So it has been almost 3 months since I last posted on the blog. Partly because I am lazy and partly because stuff’s been going IRL. After my exams ended on the second week of June, I went on a mega anime binge where I watched over 20 titles over the span of three weeks- I didn’t get around to watching much seasonal anime. Then I got some visual disturbances and my regular ophthalmologist referred to a specialist and he said I am alright for now. But it sucks that he warned me that my eyes might get messed up in the near future… but enough about that, the last thing I need is cultivating my health anxiety through a blog. Oh, I also missed my blog’s anniversary- but I guess it’s not much to celebrate- I am pretty on and off in my consistency.
I’ll be talking about what I watched last month (in brief, of course)- which were mostly non-seasonal shows. Maybe I’ll count this as an Anilog, since this is a kind of diary-update- thingy.
I started off with A Silent Voice. It was a pretty good- better than the manga? No. Better than most anime? Yes. I wasn’t expecting much from a movie adaptation of a 62 chapter manga- but the movie was surprisingly focused thematically, the cinematography was decent (although sometimes gimmicky) and the resulting story didn’t seem too cryptic. Maybe I will write a ramble post on the movie- it certainly is worth writing about.
I then watched Tari Tari- it was alright and average-tier PA Works show. Although the characters were well-written but their interactions felt too plastic and the whole narrative seemed to be laid out well just on a superficial level- over written? Maybe.
Next was Tamako Market (+ the movie): the series was again, average, nothing much happened narrative-wise but it was a cute show nonetheless. The movie had a more focused script and the good character chemistry with good direction- much better than the series.
Then I wanted to watch the Watanabe trio- Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Space Dandy. Samurai Champloo was a fun ride sonically- a classic soundtrack, with good animation even with sub-par still frame artwork. But the character writing seemed to be a little ham-fisted- but I guess not every episodic anime can be Cowboy Bebop.
Speaking of which, Cowboy Bebop certainly lives to its title as a classic for me- it is really impressive how well written the characters are in this show. Almost every episode is well paced and structured. The artwork and animation is truly timeless and the same can be said about the soundtrack. I guess everybody has watched Cowboy Bebop: it’s a great show, watch it if you haven’t. The movie’s decent- it’s well directed and fun.
Nichijou has been a rare experience for me. It’s not everyday one stumbles across a hyper-animated, fast-paced comedy. But I would say the animation precedes it’s script; Gintama still has the best comedic script for me.
I finally got around to watching the rest of the Garden of Sinners (Kara no Kyoukai) movies- and my impression on the franchise has certainly changed and I see it in a more positive light. The rest of movies gradually got less cryptic and more coherent thematically, also the character writing. The best movies from the series are the fifth and seventh one: the fifth is really well directed and it’s pretty good as a standalone; the seventh one finally addressed the character chemistry between Shiki and Mikiya and it was great. The sixth one is the worst of the series- I think this movie does nothing to the series and the sister character is just commercial fodder… or whatever the call it. I’ll probably write something to follow up my negative review (snap judgments) of the first movie.
I then finished Seitokai Yakuindomo* (second season). I haven’t watched many sexual comedies in anime (I have yet to watch Golden Boy, Shimoneta and Prison School- which are on my ever growing watch list). But boy, this anime has a good script with tasteful jokes for the most part (then again, this is coming from an immature teenager) and the character designs are nice too- they (especially Aria) are beautiful and hot without looking hyper-sexual (to be honest, the screen cap above is probably one of the hottest shots in the season). But it is pretty un-bingeable, the comedic structure is pretty inflexible (as with many SoL comedies).
Planetes is a gem of a story. The premise is unique, the soundtrack is really good, the art is good with the CG not being really noticeable and the character writing is solid. I don’t think there are many other anime that focus on the lives of astronaut or realistic space expeditions, the only show that comes to mind is Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai). Anyway, Planetes had good drama build-up with solid foundations of character chemistry and quite a bit of socio-political commentary.
I finally got around to watching Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke and it was beautiful- from the character designs to the background art to the animation. Kodamas are very pleasing to look at. It might be the second best Ghibli film I have seen yet.
The Blame! movie was a pretty run-of-the-mill film- good CG rendering but pretty insubstantial in terms of narrative.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san turned out to be just another shitty commercial waifu fodder and Elfen Lied is some fun yet terrible edgy shit. I still remember one of my classmates recommending it to me back in seventh grade; maybe I would have liked it back then.
Princess Jellyfish is an average Josei slice-of-life drama: the premise is unique but pretty inconclusive, the character writing didn’t go anywhere (except the protagonist). If you are curious- read the manga. The opening is pretty nice.
Servant x Service is a good recommendation to those who liked Working but it lacks the layered character writing that the three seasons of Working has. The comedy is alright.
Maria the Virgin Witch showed promise at the beginning but suffered from tonal issues where it awkwardly transitioned from episodic sexual comedy to serious comedy to a happy romantic PG ending.
Ichigo Mashimaro (Strawberry Marshmallow) is probably the oldest ‘cute girls’ show I have seen yet. It’s surprisingly trope-y in a not very obvious way and it is funny. Basically, there are no frustratingly clumsy characters, or any quirky unfathomable shit. Woah! The characters actually have personalities to them.
I got around to watching Gurren Lagann and I first thought it was a Trigger show. It was fun, Kamina is a god of inspiration and Nia is beautiful to look at. It’s a great coming-of-age show: the layers in its themes, the epic voicing of the script and the soundtrack were all wonderful to witness.
I have watched five shows to completion (or caught up for My Hero Academia).
Since I am caught up to the manga, Attack on Titan’s cliffhangers didn’t affect me as much- it was pretty cleverly stretched out to me and I saw some good foreshadowing in the flashbacks and the ED. I don’t think Ymir’s flashback was that detailed in the manga and the Beast Titan shifter’s face was definitely not revealed that early in the manga: I think now I get why the production was delayed. But I still don’t get the dinosaurs in the OP…
My Hero Academia S2 is the best of the five that I watched this season. The animation is really good and the level of consistency in its production so far is really good. I got a bit too hyped and read the sports festival arc in the manga and I was pleasantly surprised how faithful the anime was to the manga- almost panel for panel.
Natsume’s Book of Friends (6th season) is still a soothing experience, though the narrative seems to have progressed significantly this season. Nishimura and Kitamoto get some flashback story- they hardly get any writing to them- so it was nice to watch how they became friends with Natsume. Natori is a good man, but his character just got more mysterious to me. A new plot point emerged, and it’s interesting- am I dying to know? Not really.
Tsuki ga Kirei’s romance is sweet, cringey, funny and sad all at the same time. It was wonderful, middle schoolers lives are so messed up. No, but seriously it is a solid show- the art was great, the characters were well written, the CG got less prevalent and Dazai-worshipping is quite something. Maybe it’s time for me read that pdf of ‘No Longer Human’ I downloaded three years ago.
How could I avoid watching the meme of the season Eromanga-sensei? It’s pretty shitty even as a meme- don’t watch it.
As for the rest of the shows I watched the first episode of: I will watch Sakura Quest, Re:Creators and Virgin Soul after they complete airing. I am planning on watching King’s Avatar, Sukasuka, Eccentric Family and Seikarusu Kado sometime. I guess I am not picking up any new Summer shows for now, although I did watch the first episode Kakegurui- and boy those are some weird edgy sexy-ugly chicks… if they ever existed.
That’s it. If you have read through this useless post (or even scrolled through it)- thank you for your time.