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thewrll
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27 Jul 2019, 2:51 pm

Glad to see the return of this beloved feature Bradleigh.


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12 Oct 2019, 12:16 pm

And now the Fall 2019 season. The amount of isekai seasons are actually crazy, there being about six of them, with three coming out the same day, and I kind of feel like most of them are worth mentioning.

First, [b]Ascendance of a Bookworm[/b], this has the general premise of a total bookworm, who practically lives on books, died and was born again into a little girl in a medieval like world, and unfortunately for her books don't seem easy to come by. This seems to be a slow burn of a series, where a minute could be spent in a little girl trying to understand her surroundings and get out a room, no real action, and kind of a focus on the little things. Honestly, I kind of love it, actually a type of story I would like to write myself with a focus on things that don't seem all important as slaying a dragon, but certainly can for the everyday person.



Second isekai, Cautious Hero: The Hero is overpowered but overly cautious, which you can probably guess the main gimmick. It being an isekai where the is super cautious, not like afraid of things, just kind of ridiculous in caution, the other thing is that it can feel kind of like Konosuba, the hero being accompanied by a goddess. The goddess does not always fit the elegant vision that would be expected, sort of out of her league in professionalism of the hero, and often has some interesting model shifts that make her look crazy, kind of just like Konosuba's Aqua, only she seems to be the straight man in this show, and so far feels like the star.



Third is Kemono Michi: Rise Up, and is even more worthy of mentioning Konosuba, because the source material is by the same author as Konosuba. And although is also an isekai it does not feel like it copies Konosuba, yet has a kind of similar humor that shines through that I could kind of feel it. It's basic premise is that the hero was summoned to a fantasy world, said hero being a pro wrestler who happens to like animals a bit too much, and things kind of go off the rails. I don't want to ruin the jokes from the two episodes out so far, but I can say that his first interaction with the princess who summoned him is unforgettable after she asks him to kill magical animals, and the reaction of this total animal lover meeting not only new animals but beastfolk that have elements of animals. There is heavy petting.



The Fourth show I am going to mention is Welcome to Demon School, who's first episode did surprise me in getting me to laugh. The premise is of a boy with terrible parents sold him to a demon, and the boy is surprised to learn the demon wants to adopt him as his grandson, and thus has sent him to a demon school, which he must hide that he is human. I have kind of felt from the first episode that it feels a bit like Hayate the Combat Buttler meets Rosario Vampire, and a pinch of My Hero Academia in terms of crazy characters. From the first episode it felt a bit like it is hitting for a bit of the younger audiences, but not that it is too sterile, and its turns kind of surprised me from not everything falling into the worst situations, that it might be fun to watch. Could be an interesting start for October's Halloween.



Next, a kind of harem like show, ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me?. I say kind of like one, because although it kind of starts off like it has a premise of being a harem, it takes a left turn of his terrible nice guy harem lead persona not paying out, and there is humour of indeed his image just being something he is putting on. The first two episodes managed to throw the plot for enough of a leap that it feels a little bit like a Gamers love triangle, and the characters have been kind of a funny mix of terrible and funny.



Another ridiculous light novel name, and also an isekai, is Didn't I Say To Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?. As the name suggests it has a hero who was reincarnated into another world and happened to ask for herself to be totally average, although it might not have been granted like she had hoped. After the first episode I am kind of feeling it as a sort of light fun silly adventurer show with a group of girls, which makes me think of Endro, as long as it does not lean too hard into things like sexuality. But it feels like it might be fun.



Stars Align seems to be a sports anime, and that kind of makes me lose a bit of interest off the bat, but despite seeming to have a premise of a transfer student coming in and joining a sport club, it seems to be touching on a lot more complex and maybe even violent topics. I do like its style, with how it seems to be doing a wide array of different character designs, and with a promise of tough subjects, I am kind of in.



Beastars is not the only show this season starring anthromorphic animals, but this is the one that got my attention, from the design alone. It kind of feels like Zootopia, with a plot of herbivores and canrnivores living together, but not everything is peaceful and there are rumours of some carnivores killing. It feels interesting, with themes of things like racism and other bullying, a firm grasp of atmosphere, and a style that blurs the line of what is expected of anime. It will continue to have my attention.



There are a few other shows, like Dreamer Boys that is filled with chuunibyou boys, and can be equal parts cringe and kind of entertaining. After School Dice Club focuses on "analogue" or tabletop games, such as German board games. High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World goes a little overboard on the ultra competent isekai heroes, and could be fun, such as a second episode that focused on economics like a Spice and Wolf story. Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth is a rare otome like reverse harem anime, which I could hope be good in having a strong heroine, although probably won't. And Z/X Code Reunion seems to be the return of a franchise's anime that totally died several years ago for being totally horrible, now doing a more yuri show, and might not be so awful now.


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Bradleigh
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21 Oct 2019, 7:22 am

The OP of Beastars came out, and it is fantastic. It uses stop motion, so I encourage anyone check out just the video bellow.



The show propper uses CGI, much like Land of the Lustrous, which this studio worked on. For funs I will also link the OP of Land of the Lustrous, another fantastic show. They do kind of feel like animation that reaches beyond what is traditionally thought of as anime.


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23 Oct 2019, 6:20 am

I'm pretty psyched at the recent announcement of a Muv Luv Alternative anime adaptation. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high though. When it comes to VN to anime adaptations, for every Steins;Gate or Clannad there's a Tsukihime or Umineko.



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20 Jan 2020, 7:10 am

Starting a bit late this time, but I have opinions on the new Winter 2020 anime, maybe make a joke of the anime to define the decade.

First new anime to release an episode was Somali and the Forest Spirit, it is one of those anime that are pretty much a single father raising a small child, a generally pretty safe bet as a good watch, as long as it does not try to fetishize the kid being cute. Thankfully there is no need to worry, everything has seemed to be pretty wholesome, with a general plot of a golem guy try to get the human Somali to her own kind, in a world where humans have themselves been hunted down as monsters, the fantasy creatures instead having their run. It has generally set itself up for being bitter sweet.



The new decade has also brought a new Madoka Magica anime with Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, what seems to be a spinoff. It is not seem to be quite the same level of the original series, I presume some of the mystique is meant to be rubbed of by knowing the general dark premise, with for me so far a question about what its setting means for the franchise. Other fans of Madoka are probably going to be the kind looking forward to this. If you have not seen the original, go watch it, mostly check out the movies.



Next is Seton Academy: Join the Pack, which got a bit of controversial reactions from reviewers, mainly that they were not big fans, but I on the other hand really like what I have seen. The general premise being a high school filled with different animal, although the females are generally shown as animal girls and the males mostly look like their animal in uniform, perhaps a thought that it mostly interested in fanservice, all except the lone human male. He does not like animals a lot and wants to also join with the human female, but a wolf girl has taken an interest in him too in getting him to join her pack. I am quite sure that the correct way to view the series is like a microcosm of the animal kingdom, along the lines of the wolf being the first animal domesticated by man, and logically then one of the other animals is the cat. A lot of the humour comes on bringing in animal facts, things you might not know and have it play out, quite a bit has been done with the addition of a koala girl and a sloth girl, maybe equally funny and gross joke.



This season’s anime with a long title that you just know is a light novel adaption is BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense., the type you can get a gist by the title as a sentence. This is actually one that uses a virtual reality as a setting, the general gist being the heroine that does not know a lot about games, and her ridiculous method seems to have allowed her to get a totally broken character build. Actually has a lot of good humour with how she does not know what she is doing properly, and at least in the first two episodes made herself a monster with total defence. Also seems to have like no sexual fanservice, so it can be pretty safe to watch if that is something you might worry about.



My next recommendation would probably be Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it, a general romantic comedy where a scientist fell in love with another, but thinking scientifically they try and prove it. Mostly so far comedy in missing the point in trying to categorize romance, and I think has fine entertainment material in following scientific methods over romance tropes.



One that has seemed to so far be a bit of a surprise is Smile Down the Runway, that has its setting in runway modelling. A girl who has been unfortunate in not being able to grow as much as what would be expected for a runway model, and a boy who likes designing but his family circumstances limit his chances. I presume the guy will be more of the main character from what I have heard, but the first two episodes have been pretty good, portraying this serious attitude over the industry and such. Even if an anime about runway models might not be your usual fare, I think that it is worth checking out a bit.



The show that is really going to be hit or miss with people is Interspecies Reviewers, that is because it is about a bunch of different fantasy races talking about their opinions of different fantasy race prostitutes. This one is not for the kiddies, especial uncensored, the entire premise is about sex, and if you have hang-ups about the main characters going to brothels, even rating them, you are going to have a hard time. But despite how I can be critical about bad portrayals of women, I am actually kind of really digging this show, perhaps because I do indeed like monster girls and general fantasy, I don’t think it has actually quite reached creep levels. And will keep that sort of thing as long as it does not feel like it just treating female characters as things. The OP also sounds like a mix of Village People songs, not for children.



Still room to mention more, I will put out there Keep Your Hands off Eizouken. I have not generally been much of a fan of this director’s anime in terms of things like its visuals, like Tatami Galaxy, but this one actually has appealed to me, the anime itself being about things in the anime making process. Following three school girls, a shortie who specializes in background and setting/world building, a rich girl who general likes doing character animation, and a tall girl who is pragmatic about money and generally pragmatic. It has some really cool elements where it makes ideas of anime scenarios explode with super interesting visuals, a recommendation to those who might like classic anime, and maybe feel a slight surreal. The OP also pretty catchy and I think has this creative element that just has me watching over and over again for its character animation.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-91y7BJ8QA[youtube]

There are a number of other anime worth watching too. Like Number 24 if you want to see some cute guys all over each other, rugby of all things. If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die is an idol like anime on the fan side, following a woman into a female idol, so you have yuri in there. You have hints of yuri in Asteroid in Love, a cute girls doing x (astronomy), which is actually pretty easy to watch and nice to look at, but no idea if it will be brave enough to confirm same sex attraction. ID: Invaded is a sci-fi detective show, using virtual worlds to track murderers. Nekopara is pretty much just cute cat girls, not sold yet. Infinite Dendrogram also has VR games as a setting, but takes itself too seriously. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is a maybe romance comedy of a human girl and ghost dude. The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is a detective show specific about jewellery, and worked well so far in not overplaying itself. Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga is a silly concept of feudal lords reincarnated as dogs. A Destructive God Sits Next to Me is a new show about guys with chuunibyou, need to stand cringe required, but funny so far. And In/Spectre is a supernatural mystery show on the more neurological side, with its first two episodes working well.

We also have the 4th season of Haukyuu, my generally favorite sports anime somehow about male volleyball. And the 3rd season of A Certain Scientific Railgun, I think marking the 7th in the franchise overall from Accelerator being a couple seasons ago. I presume you would otherwise only need to watch the first two seasons of both Railgun and probably Index just to understand why someone is in a wheelchair. Hopefully this season of Railgun will be better than the third season of Index, which was a garbage fire.


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thewrll
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20 Jan 2020, 6:53 pm

Brad maybe you can answer this, but why are there so many idol animes and has it exploded in recent memory?


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20 Jan 2020, 7:10 pm

thewrll wrote:
Brad maybe you can answer this, but why are there so many idol animes and has it exploded in recent memory?


I have my theories, but not really an expert. I think that they exploded in popularity after Love Live made it big, you had a number of copycats. They are a way that the creators can hone in on a niche in Japan, where anime otaku and idol otaku can be a sizable crossover point. The production companies can continue to sell merchandise such as music and such that can be a part of Japanese idols. And that music element, means they are looking for people to voice characters, which there are some series that choose actual idols to voice characters, either banking off a popular idol, or even trying to push that idol's popularity, but I have seen a number of anime where the idols kind of suck at voice acting. An anime from this season, 22/7, is one where the majority of the voice actresses are actual idols, and from what I heard in the first episode, they were not exactly good at voice acting.


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23 Jan 2020, 6:54 pm

I might watch Magia Record if it reviews well at the end of the season. As much as Madoka Magica is one of my favourite shows, I can't imagine it will be any good. The appeal of Madoka Magica was Gen Urobuchi as the writer and that it was a rare original anime work in a deluge of light novel/manga adaptations, whereas this new show is an adaptation of a mobile gacha game. That's about as large a gulf in expected quality as I can imagine.

I haven't watched any seasonal anime other than sequels so far. My Hero Academia is kind of mediocre, with a self contained arc that doesn't seem to advance itself outside of its own arc, and too many drawn out fight scenes and flashbacks.

I finished Vinland Saga, which had a great ending to its season that made up for its sluggish middle act. I found its main protagonist incredibly dull, especially compared to its antagonist. Not sure how engaging a second season could be.

This week I marathoned Tsuredure Children. I'd tried watching it when it was airing but dropped it finding it a bit sedate. I guess I just had to be in the right mood, as on rewatch I thought it was incredibly funny and wholesome. It's a loosely related series of short scenes within 12 minute episodes and very barely serialised, making it feel like the most distilled romcom show I've seen. I hope it gets a second season.

Since then I watched Beastars. I loved Land of the Lustrous, and this is made by the same studio. I was just blown away by the animation, which surpasses their previous work. It's among the best animation I've seen, and the cinematography is beyond typical anime. But the most riveting thing about it was how relatable its characters were, and how atypically naturalistic the dialogue is. It's about anthropomorphised animals who as part of civilised life have to defy their base and animalistic natures, and it's wrapped in a unique and candid coming of age story. I'd easily call it the best new anime series I saw in 2019.



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28 Jan 2020, 1:21 am

Interspecies Reviewers is funny and kinky without ever crossing into triple-X territory. A definite favorite from this season.*

*I haven't watched anything else except a couple minutes of Eizouken :lol:


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28 Jan 2020, 5:07 pm

Nekomonster wrote:
Interspecies Reviewers is funny and kinky without ever crossing into triple-X territory. A definite favorite from this season.*


Ae you watching the standard censored version, or the uncensored version that indeed goes beyond what is usually shown in a standard tv series? I would certainly not be allowed to show the uncensored OP here. The thing is that I usually find such nudity as exploitive, since usually such things generally have characters without their permission being stripped and stuff, but it is pretty much all consensual here.


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29 Jan 2020, 12:35 am

To note that the anime that is showed in the first episode of Keep your hands off eizouken really exist: Future boy Conan a 26 episodes anime directed by Hayao Miyazaki. They may have changed the title to be more lawyer friendly, but it's literally redraw shots of that show, down to the animation.





https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0A3btqyajzSQSpEd-DBv7PTqUfb1NruX

http://live-evil.fansub-torrents.com/


For Keep your hands off eizouken itself, I really like it; part of the reason been the crazy imagination of Midori.



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29 Jan 2020, 2:55 am

Bradleigh wrote:
Nekomonster wrote:
Interspecies Reviewers is funny and kinky without ever crossing into triple-X territory. A definite favorite from this season.*


Ae you watching the standard censored version, or the uncensored version that indeed goes beyond what is usually shown in a standard tv series? I would certainly not be allowed to show the uncensored OP here. The thing is that I usually find such nudity as exploitive, since usually such things generally have characters without their permission being stripped and stuff, but it is pretty much all consensual here.



Have they already released the uncensored version? I remember Monster Musume and High School DXD not being uncensored until after the season aired.


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29 Jan 2020, 3:14 am

thewrll wrote:
Bradleigh wrote:
Nekomonster wrote:
Interspecies Reviewers is funny and kinky without ever crossing into triple-X territory. A definite favorite from this season.*


Ae you watching the standard censored version, or the uncensored version that indeed goes beyond what is usually shown in a standard tv series? I would certainly not be allowed to show the uncensored OP here. The thing is that I usually find such nudity as exploitive, since usually such things generally have characters without their permission being stripped and stuff, but it is pretty much all consensual here.



Have they already released the uncensored version? I remember Monster Musume and High School DXD not being uncensored until after the season aired.


I think it's airing uncensored on AT-X in Japan, and yes, that's the one I'm watching. Though I also watched the first episode dubbed (and censored) on Funimation because I was curious. Good dub, but anyone who wants to watch it dubbed should definitely wait for the home video release.

Funny enough the uncensored subtitles are usually ripped from the official (censored) subs, so there's still words censored in the dialog and notices like "Please enjoy this scene without the visuals" when there are certainly visuals. :lol:


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01 Feb 2020, 3:53 am

Talking about Interspecies Reviewers, an interesting turn of events just happened. After 3 episodes and an episode even coming out dubbed, setting it up for a simuldub, Funimation has pulled it from their site. Episode 4 would come out tomorrow and suddenly their website says the show does not exist. There is a lot of talk about what may have caused it, the first I think being a message that Funimation is saying censoring it would be pointless in changing the show. But it is so sudden, with no warning, that people are trying to guess if it is people on the conservative side and it does not belong on this good Christian Minecraft server, or on the left side feminists that think it is sexist.


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03 Mar 2020, 11:18 am

Yay, I found an anime thread :heart:

Can you guys recommend something historical and maybe with youkai? Like Hakuouki, Sengoku Basara or Rurouni Kenshin.


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03 Mar 2020, 11:55 am

^ Try Mononoke! I loved the art style of that one!