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Currently Watching (Spring 2021 Edition)

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  • [Spring 2021] Currently Watching (Spring 2021 Edition)

    Widgets Magazine
    It's onto the spring season that is the beginning of everything in Japan. Unlike this time a year ago, things look to be getting close to normal, although there's still a ways to go. But in any case, anime production is back on schedule for the most part, and in any case it's time for another season full of great (and not so great) new shows.

    The link to the Winter 2021 Edition
    Spring 2021 Anime Chart
    Spring 2021 Anime Lineup Thread

    - Change the title of your post to reflect the contents.
    - Do not use the Reply to Thread button; instead, click quote on the post you wish to reply to, or on this post if you're starting a new subthread.
    - Edit down the quoted section to the relevant bits, nobody needs to read someone's epic list of watched stuff twice.
    - Be nice to one another.
    - Please discuss only what you are watching this season in this thread. Stuff watched during other seasons should be discussed in their respective threads.

    Also, I'd like to add the following. The Currently Watching Thread is mainly meant for a general overview of how you're currently feeling about shows. It is not supposed to be a replacement for actual discussion threads. Try to keep heavier discussion (if possible) in the more specific discussion threads.

    In addition, try to be careful of spoilers here. It's one thing if it's properly tagged and such. However, I don't want people to have to worry about someone randomly posting "Wow, X died in episode 17 of Y". Just a randomly made up example, but you get the idea.
    Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
    Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
    A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.

  • #2
    Spring 2021 Simulcast Interest List

    As I do every season, I put together a list of shows with the probability that I will end up watching them in tiers. Nothing has changed as In means I'm definitely watching (almost exclusively for continuing shows and sequels), Probably means unless it bombs badly I'm watching it, Questionable means I will check it out and use first impressions through the show's four-episode trial period to decide, Doubtful means I might check it out (more likely than not), but it will need to really impress me to make the cut, and Out means I'm not bothering with it at all, and that's largely for shows not available for streaming and sequels to shows I didn't finish.

    [MTP] Moriarty the Patriot (continuing)
    [SSW] So I'm a Spider, So What? (continuing)
    [FRB-3] Fruits Basket: The Final Season
    [HND-2] How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
    [JOE-MB2] Megalo Box 2: Nomad
    [MHA-5] My Hero Academia Season 5
    [ZLS-2] Zombie Land Saga Revenge
    [HET-WS] Hetalia World Stars (short)

    [86E] 86
    [SWH] Shadows House
    [TSL-N] The Slime Diaries
    [S4D] SSSS.Dynazenon
    [TYE] To Your Eternity
    [TRN] Tokyo Revengers
    [VIV] Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song

    [BTN] Backflip!!
    [BRF] Blue Reflection Ray
    [BKD] Burning Kabaddi
    [CFV-OD] Cardfight!! Vanguard OverDress
    [CVS] Cestvs: The Roman Fighter
    [CWD] Combatants Will Be Dispatched!
    [IJN] Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro
    [DHH] Dragon Goes House-Hunting
    [FRR] Fairy Ranmaru
    [SWC] Farewell, My Dear Cramer
    [FDV] Full Dive
    [HGH] Higehiro
    [300] I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
    [JOR] Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
    [MRE] Mars Red
    [OML] Osamake
    [BTT] Pretty Boy Detective Club
    [SPO] The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent
    [CUB] Super Cub
    [MSO] Those Snow White Notes
    [WEY] The World Ends With You
    [GGZ] Gloomy the Naughty Grizzly (short)

    [BTA-R] Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!
    [EDZ] Edens Zero
    [GDZ-SP] Godzilla Singular Point
    [KYW] Koikimo
    [MUG] Let's Make a Mug, Too
    [OTX] Odd Taxi
    [MSG-WH] SD Gundam World Heroes
    [7KR] Seven Knights Revolution: Hero Successor

    Beyblade Burst Dynamite Battle
    Dinosaur Biyori
    Dual Masters King
    General Manager of Baby
    III Icecrin
    Kingdom Season 3
    Mazica Party
    Mewkledreamy Mix
    Shinkalion Z
    Thunderbolt Fantasy Season 3
    Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun Season 2
    Yokai Watch Note
    Yuki Yuna is a Hero Churutto!

    So counting standard-length shows only, that's 7 that's in from the start, 7 very likely shows, 21 in the middle tier, and 8 that I can pretty much write off unless the extremely unlikely happens (three of them will be revisited once Netflix gets the episodes out). Unlike with the winter season that featured a whopping 14 continuing shows and sequels that occupied spots on my watchlist to make me enforce my ten new shows minimum rule, that gave me little flexibility for my watchlist, this season there's only seven that's locked in so that I can add plenty of new stuff as I see fit.
    Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
    Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
    A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


    • #3
      Post-simulcast Report: April 1-15

      Here's the first of my post-simulcast reports for the season. I'll be writing up my first impressions soon.


      *World Witches Take Off!: C-

      *Laid-Back Camp Season 2: A+

      Room Camp OVA: B-

      *Horimiya: A

      *SK8 the Infinity: B+

      ^Cautious Hero: The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious (1-12): B+
      The show initially looked like it was going to be another gimmicky, stupid, and cliched show without much of a purpose. But as the series progresses, the show delivers with nice character development, crazy antics, and creativeness to make for a nice, entertaining show. That said, the show's story just feels too incoherent to really work, all while there are segments that just serve no purpose whatsoever. In all, it's a good show once the initial shock of the premise wears off and the show settles into a groove.

      *The Way of the Househusband (1-5): C+

      ^Emma: A Victorian Romance (1-12): B+
      This is a nice and beautifully done romantic drama. The show doesn't really get to the matter at hand until midway through the season when the forbidden love stuff causes trauma within the characters and forces some difficult decisions to be made, as well as the backstory of the maid that was pretty much a nobody until she got her job. It starts off lighthearted, which is stuff that is good, but not great as it's towards the end of the first season when things really take a step forward to set things up for the second season.


      [CFV] Cardfight!! Vanguard (1-26)
      [IFS-2] Infinite Stratos 2 (1-5)
      [PKM-J] Pokemon Journeys (9-10)
      [ZDS-W] Zoids Wild (1-8)
      Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
      Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
      A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


      • #4
        Kingdom 3rd Season won't be back from its more-than-year-long COVID hiatus for more than two more weeks, but all the actual new series of the season has started, so I'll just add that in for the end-of-season post.

        Spring 2021 First Impressions

        01. Fumetsu no Anata e | To Your Eternity (A) The last time I gave a non-sequel a solid A after only one episode was over two years ago, for the first season of Neverland. That feels like a cursed title to invoke at this moment, just after the disastrous sequel ended, but that has no relationship to the quality of its first episode, nor this one. While that was a manga I had followed since day one and was coming off of another solid CloverWorks adaptation, I had no familiarity with this series but was obviously very interested due to the pedigree of coming from the mangaka behind Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice), my #8 top anime and #15 top manga. Since I hadn't heard much about the manga other than it being her next series, I assumed it didn't end up being anything special. Additionally, none of the main staff of this adaptation had any name recognition to me and Brain's Base hasn't particularly impressed me since they last did a season of Natsume over nine years ago, so I didn't bother to get my hopes up too high, despite the weight of that initial association always looming overheard. Of course, I was always going to watch it, and what I got from that first episode was a transcendent experience that stood on its own as a powerful short film, felt many times longer than its mere 25 minutes, and showcased Ooima's mastery of profound emotional devastation. Everyone involved in the adaptation went far beyond my expectations, especially the composer, who is far less prolific than the rest but whose stirring score was absolutely essential to the effectiveness of every scene. I could see the series being unable to sustain that quality of storytelling in a serial format, and maybe that's why I haven't heard as much about the manga as I'd expect from this first look, but it sure seems like this team is very determined to give it the best treatment possible. Hell, they even got Utada to do the theme song! Fingers crossed that they can keep the series close to this good for its unusual length of 20 episodes.
        02. Fruits Basket: The Final (A-) Not only the final season, but only one cour long, so this is the very last stretch of the Fruits Basket story. It's been a few years since I've read the manga now, but it does feel like there's a bit more content to cover than that would allow, so I'm slightly concerned that there will be some rushing to the finish, but the emotional character writing of this series just gets better as it goes, so we're in very solid territory even if it's a little brisker near the end.
        03. One Piece (A-)
        04. Yuukoku no Moriarty Part 2 | Moriarty the Patriot Part 2 (B+) With a blend of classic Sherlock Holmes stories, more prominent Moriarty involvement, and a shared role of the Moriarty character across the three brothers that exist in this series, it has created some great opportunities for new ideas that put exciting twists on tales that have been adapted countless times for over a century. It can still feel uncertain about what kind of show it wants to be at times, but when it commits to something, especially dealing with the Moriarty brothers' philosophies, it shows a lot of promise.
        05. Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song (B+) This is the kind of series that draws me in with its pedigree and has the potential to disappoint me if it doesn't live up to it. It's an original anime by Wit Studio (Attack on Titan until The Final Season, Vinland Saga) and the creator of Re:Zero, with music by Satoru Kousaki (Haruhi and Monogatari Series), complete with a major music theme and a high concept science fiction premise. While it's certainly not reaching the level of those other series in its first few episodes, it's far from disappointing, and has a lot of potential to continue to improve. It remains easily one of the most intriguing new series of the season, and I hope to see it really come into its own as a stellar addition to each of those filmographies as it goes on.
        06. Nomad: Megalo Box 2 (B+) I'm never going to be a fan of Megalo Box's aesthetic choice of heavily downscaling its picture quality to appear more retro, but the other techniques to achieve its unique atmosphere are quite effective, sometimes painfully so. In stark contrast to the heights and occasional levity of the first season, this one is deeply entrenched in the harshest lows the series has explored so far. It hasn't been a particularly pleasant watch so far, but the hellish struggles Joe is facing keep it from becoming complacent and give this sequel its own identity, assisted by the switch from urban hip hop motifs to Spanish and Mexican ones.
        07. Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou. | I Shaved. Then I Brought a High School Girl Home. | Higehiro (B) In the world of light novels and anime, this title naturally evokes unsavory thoughts that would serve as vibrant red flags to stay away from the series. In fact, the plot even sets everything up for that to be a possibility, but all it takes is a protagonist who acts like a respectable adult to subvert those expectations and give us as wholesome of a story as we can expect given the titular high school girl's propensity to offer her body to grown men. There are certainly some uncomfortable moments, but ultimately that brokenness is what makes her a compelling catalyst for this dynamic and what looks to develop around its with its larger cast. It could turn right back around and become a creep show -- worse examples have happened -- but so far, it looks to be exploring this premise as tastefully as one could reasonably expect of it.
        08. 86 (B) I had read the first light novel of this series not too long ago and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I was excited when the anime was announced. Along with the level of polish we often see from A-1 Pictures, the pair of Hiroyuki Sawano and Kohta Yamamoto step into the music role right after Attack on Titan: The Final Season. They'll also be returning to Kingdom 3rd Season when it comes back, but Sawano is in full force for this series, with some new trademark vocal songs in both the background music and ending theme. The story is the most important aspect, of course, and it has a lot to establish in its first few episodes, so it hasn't quite gotten the chance to show its full potential yet. The premise takes concepts of racist dehumanization in warfare to such extremes that it can come across as a tad heavy-handed, but reflecting on human history, it's disgustingly believable. As long as the team stays committed to delivering a high-quality adaptation, I have hope that the series can become really great over time.
        09. Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season | Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun 2nd Season (B) There's not much new to say about this series, but I do find myself surprisingly happy to have it back. It's a wacky show with a slightly more juvenile sense of humor than I usually gravitate toward, but it's just clever and fun enough to be far more entertaining than I ever expected.
        10. Tokyo Revengers (B) Okay... so it's basically just Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased). But if you're going to use an existing premise, that's not a bad place to start, and once we get past that setup, the delinquent plot that serves as the central source of conflict is very different and perhaps no less derivative, but at least draws from sources without much in common. Even if it's mostly just a blending of other material so far, as long as it can do that creatively and create an engaging new story from the combination, it's still a more than worthwhile pursuit. So far, I certainly find myself invested in its story, even if I've seen some of its elements before.
        11. Mashiro no Oto | Those Snow White Notes (B-) Honestly I'm surprised it's taken me this long to watch a shamisen anime. "High school boy moves to Tokyo to find himself and rediscover his passion for the shamisen" is the most anime synopsis I've heard in a while. It follows all the music anime tropes to a T, but I do tend music anime, so I can enjoy them even if the series is often very predictable and contrived. One nice perk of music anime is that, even if all else fails the music and the performance sequences will probably be pretty good. That's definitely one of the biggest things this series has going for it so far, though there's value to be found in other areas. Now let's just get a little more personality in that protagonist.
        12. Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season | My Hero Academia 5 (B-) Remember when HeroAca was such an obvious #1 of every season, dipping down to A- at its absolute worst? Boy that honeymoon phase sure seems to be over. It's still an entertaining, well-produced shounen series, but it used to be so much more, or at least I felt like it was. I can't even claim a focus on school competitions inherently means it's less interesting, because it was a sports festival/tournament arc that first made the series something special. It just needs to return to stronger character drama. Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo have all had great arcs in the past, but they all feel so flat in comparison now, and nobody has really taken their place. With any significant plot related to the world at large also sidelined for the time being, there's not nearly as much to get excited about as I'd like from this series.
        13. Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken | The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (B-) These spinoff series depicting the daily lives of the characters in a lighthearted manner are naturally never as good as the series proper, but this one is watchable enough so far. It's a story that has always had a great deal of levity, and this maintains a fairly similar aesthetic, though the slight differences in character designs are occasionally jarring. By its nature, it could be very hit or miss multiple times each episode, and some of its pieces do go on for quite a while despite being rather boring, so there's definite risk involved. But for now, it's a pleasant enough detour to enjoy.
        14. Super Cub (B-) What a bizarre show. The first episode in particular was so sparse, so minimalistic, that I can't quite think of what to compare it to, though I feel like there has been something on a similar level. I can't remember exactly what the first episode of Non Non Biyori was like eight years later, but I want to say it spent a lot of its time just staring at scenery, in which case there's some common sentiments to be found here. It makes a point of depicting the emptiness of the protagonist's life and how this motorcycle is the first introduction of any sort of vitality into it, but man it's dry. Even once she gets it, she's really no more of a character, and it's the simplest slice of life imaginable. Other characters look to be turning it into more of a standard "cute girls with motorbikes" show, but while those long shots of almost uncomfortable nothingness aren't especially captivating, the flashes from a washed out color palette to a much more vivid one to portray the life coming into this girl's world is a nice touch, and its occasionally overwhelming piano score can be quite beautiful and powerful. So yeah, hard to know how I feel about this show, except that it feels like a weirdly protracted Honda commercial.
        15. Bakuten!! | Backflip!! (B-) Very close to dropping, but the second episode pushed it above the line with some good sports shounen progression and more focus on individual movements rather than ugly CG models. It's still about as generic as you can get, but it's starting to show the struggles of a newcomer well enough within its fun dynamic of quirky characters to potentially be a light, entertaining watch.
        16. Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san | Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro (C+) Dropped after Episode 2. I feel like this has had the biggest fanbase behind it since well before the season started, it's by one of my favorite adaptive anime writers (who is also writing two of my top 4 this season), and it sounds similar enough to Takagi-san, which I like quite a bit. But the line between cute, innocent teasing and shitty, meanspirited bullying is significant enough to make the difference, and as a result this becomes a thoroughly unpleasant experience to try to sit through. Nagatoro is of course the worst, but her senpai has no real likable qualities either, and is just the sympathetic one of the two. With that, there's really nobody to like in the story as of episode 2, which isn't a great place to be.
        17. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S Short Animation Series (C) Dropped after Episode 2. It's great to have this series back, and I'm looking forward to its proper return. But... these are literally like less than a minute each. Not even worth selecting the episodes when it seems like the ED takes longer than the episode.


        Crunchyroll (11) Fumetsu no Anata e, Fruits Basket: The Final, One Piece, Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou., 86, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season, Tokyo Revengers, Mashiro no Oto, Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season, Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken, Bakuten!!
        Funimation (4) Yuukoku no Moriarty Part 2, Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song, Nomad: Megalo Box 2, Super Cub

        Weekly Schedule

        Sunday (2) Yuukoku no Moriarty Part 2, Nomad: Megalo Box 2
        Monday (3) Fumetsu no Anata e, Fruits Basket: The Final, Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou.
        Tuesday (1) Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
        Wednesday (1) Super Cub
        Thursday (1) Bakuten!!
        Friday (1) Mashiro no Oto
        Saturday (6) One Piece, Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song, 86, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season, Tokyo Revengers, Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season

        Saturdays are extremely unbalanced as per usual, though Mondays have quite a bit when factoring in my Steins;Gate 10th anniversary weekly re-watch. Definitely a smaller season than the past few, and it obviously doesn't have anything on the level of Attack on Titan, but at least the Crunchyroll dominance is finally back.
        My Top Anime | Manga
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        • #5
          These are the shows I will be following ranked in order of interest:

          1. Fruits Basket the Final
          2. Dragon Quest
          3. Megalobox 2: Nomad
          4. Higehiro
          5. SSSS.Dynazenon
          6. The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent
          7. 86
          8. Let's Make a Mug Too
          9. Super Cub
          10. My Hero Academia 5
          11. Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-
          12. Farewell, My Dear Cramer
          13. How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
          14. Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!
          15. Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro


          • #6
            What I've settled on watching during Spring 2021.

            Tropical Rouge! Pretty Cure
            Pri Chan S3
            Back Arrow
            Let's Make A Mug Too
            The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent
            Super Cub
            Zombieland Saga Revenge
            Yuuki Yuuna Churutto!
            I've been killing slimes for 300 years and maxed out my level.

            Slime 300 being the favorite show for the season.

            Avatar: Princess Rei


            • #7
              Spring 2021: First Impressions

              It's later than usual and I have pretty much narrowed down my watchlist for the season, but here are my first impressions as I usually do that was supposed to come out a couple of weeks ago. Once again, shows on the first list I have all but confirmed that I'm watching, shows on the third list, I have dropped or am getting close to barring an unexpected turnaround, and the middle list I'm still deciding on. The lists are in alphabetical order by English show name.

              Red Zone
              Moriarty the Patriot (continuing)
              So I'm a Spider, So What? (continuing)
              86 -
              The novel series this is based off of has gotten rave reviews, and the production team has done great justice to the anime so far as it does a nice job in humanizing all the characters and setting the stage for great battles and drama to go down.
              Fruits Basket: The Final Season - After a lot of buildup in the first two seasons, the payoff comes in a big way this season. It's heavily story-focused compared to the first two seasons, and it does an excellent job with character development.
              How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega - This season's production values aren't as great with a change of studio, but that's compensated for with the new characters and the more focused storytelling that is carrying this season. This show continues to emphasize fanservice, but doing so in a way where it's nicely integrated into the story.
              I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level - This isekai has really delivered with its outlandish comedy and quirky cast of girls who are much older than they really look. Still, episodes are hit or miss, but for the most part the fun factor is what caries this show.
              Megalo Box 2: Nomad - This show takes quite a departure from the first season, and while it gives the show a different feel about somebody who is soul searching, and the storytelling really stands out in a nice way. Also, the Mexican-style aesthetics really add a great touch.
              My Hero Academia Season 5 - While this show continues to deliver great action and make the characters an interesting bunch, this season just isn't as good as the previous season, though it doesn't help that it's happening during one of the slower arcs in the manga. Even so, the show still delivers on action even if the storytelling hibernates.
              Shadows House - While on the surface the show is about cute girls and the gimmick of shadow masters, this show has a lot of mystery to it, and so far it has done a great job of being interesting and intriguing despite having some missteps along the way.
              The Slime Diaries - It's a slice-of-life version of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, and while the show doesn't do anything overly complicated, it works as the characters really make this show go.
              SSSS.Dynazenon - While this show continues to be engaging the way SSSS.Gridman is, this show just doesn't compare as the characters are not as interesting, the storytelling is inconsistent, and the drama and suspense is lacking, at least so far it is. That said, the show is still doing a nice job with the animation and action, and it changes things up a bit so that it can present itself as its own product rather than being a carbon copy of Gridman.
              Super Cub - On the surface, this show appears to be just another one of those slice-of-life shows, and while she show's concept is pretty simple except for the fact that high school girls are riding motorbikes, this show is more about bringing adventure into a previously uneventful life. The storytelling feels something out of a Makoto Shinkai movie, and it does a great job in adding to the show's atmosphere.
              Those Snow White Notes - This show can be thought of as a shamisen version of Kono Oto Tomare, and it is highlighted by the music, which is a masterful job done by the Yoshida Brothers, who also worked on the music for Gibiate and is just about the only good thing about that mess. But beyond the shamisen music, a nice story is being built to set the stage for some big character development to go down.
              To Your Eternity - Seeing that the source material for this show is amazing that I was expecting great things to come out, and indeed that's what is happening. With strong storytelling and emphasis on character development, this show does it right.
              Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song - This is one of the season's best shows as it combines great animation, nice music, an inviting setting, great drama, and character development all into one tremendous package.
              Zombie Land Saga Revenge - This show picks up right where the first season left off, and doing so with a bang as the mixture of dark humor, idol singing, and variety show antics carry over. But what this season does well that the first season didn't as much is character development as it's very character-focused and it leads to much better storytelling than what the first season brought to the table.
              Hetalia World Stars (short) - It's pretty much the same Hetalia that I have come to know, and it's always introducing new countries that make for an amusing show.
              Mini Dragon (short) - This short does a nice job in packing as much humor and amusement as it can in a minute.

              Backflip!! - This is a boys sports show on rhythmic gymnastics, and while the animation is pretty good and the characters are an interesting bunch, the story doesn't exactly do anything to set itself apart or make it worthwhile. That said, it's still an enjoyable watch for all the typical sports show stuff going on.
              Cardfight!! Vanguard OverDress - While this is just another show to market a card game, this one is unlike the other Vanguard series. For one, this show doesn't spend much time with the card duels and is more focused on the characters. Clamp's character designs also brings a lot more attention to this show that it would have probably gotten otherwise. While I generally don't think highly of card games, this one at least stands out.
              Combatants Will Be Launched! - With this show being by the same guy as Konosuba that expectations were somewhat set unreasonably high, and while the show does manage to be funny, the storytelling is up and down while the characters are just not as interesting as they should be. Storytelling is just all over the place as while it's good at some times, it's really dull at others.
              Fairy Ranmaru - Given the show's premise and production staff that I wasn't expecting much out of this magical boys show, but it turns out to be more engaging than I thought. The production values are pretty good given the production team's track record, or lack thereof, and despite following the standard magical girls show formula, this show does a good job in changing things up.
              Full Dive: This Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life! - While this show has an interesting premise, decent comedy, and good drama, this show is dragged down by bad characters. Watching this dull MC make bad decision after bad decision due to his extreme lack of common sense just gets nauseating. Even so, the supporting cast is still a fun bunch, but it gets really irritating at times.
              Higehiro: I Shaved, and Took in a High School Runaway - This show appeared to be just a train wreck after watching the first episode, but the show gets much better from the second episode onward as it's a lot of soul searching, and it's done well despite the odd setup that makes it appear that it's going to be a romance between two people who are at least a decade apart in age, which thankfully does not appear to be the case.
              Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood - This show does an excellent job in being outside-the-box as the animation style is something special, especially when Sawa transforms into her changeling form. The show has a nice concept and intriguing drama, but the storywriting has issues seeing that it's director hasn't had a good track record. Still, the show does have solid production values.
              Odd Taxi - The show just came out flat and uninteresting coming in, but the show has since improved greatly with engaging conversations and interesting stories going on. The subpar animation quality and dull premise made it look like it would be an easy drop, but my opinion of this show greatly turned around after the second episode when this show offered a lot more.
              Osamake: The Romcom Where the Childhood Friend Will Not Lose - This show has a pretty stupid concept where it's just another rom-com giving hope to the often-shunned childhood friend that usually gets the short end of the stick. The MC is a pretty dull guy, and the romance is the typical love triangle faire, but the girls are an interesting bunch, all while the comedy is solid as Doga Kobo specializes in comedies.
              Pretty Boy Detective Club - Shaft and Nisioisin make for quite an intimate combination, and pretty much this is a gender-flipped version of the Monogatari series. While the storytelling is nowhere near as rich, the show's relative simplicity makes for a fun show to watch. And while the pretty boys are the main draw, it doesn't hurt that the MC is a cute girl with so much intrigue.

              Own 20
              Battle Athletes Victory Restart! - The moment I learned that a studio that specializes in hentai is animating this show, my expectations just dropped like a rock. And indeed, this sequel happening far into the future of the original series is just terrible as if the poor animation quality didn't do this show in, the dry characters, the lack of urgency in storytelling, and failure to establish the MC are among the many things this show does totally wrong.
              Blue Reflection Ray - This show was created to market a video game, and while it does a nice job in not just taking the game and make it something that's a replacement for playing it, the storytelling is just really bad, and the characters that should have some more life into them are simply lifeless. Not to mention, the animation quality is not up to par for a typical show put out by J.C. Staff.
              Burning Kabaddi - This is an alright sports show as learning about a sport that's not very well known outside India is a nice change of pace, and the characters are a colorful bunch. That said, the storytelling just isn't engaging and it's more about making the MC look like a fool more than anything.
              Cestvs: The Roman Fighter - The show had some promise at the beginning, but for the most part it's a rather forgettable historical fiction show that uses CGI that's at least acceptable, all while it sets up an engaging story to go down. That said, the characters are just dry and the action leaves a lot to be desired.
              Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro - Pretty much, this show is a more sadistic version of Teasing Master Takagi-san, and there are times where things just get downright cringeworthy to watch. That, and the show's repetitiveness make for something that I probably will get tired of really quickly.
              Dragon Goes House-Hunting - While this is a funny show, unfortunately it's way too stupid for its own good, and not to mention the MC is really cringeworthy and the show's animation quality is so lackluster.
              Farewell, My Dear Cramer - The magic from Your Lie in April is sadly lacking in this show as the storywriting was more about bringing out the worst out of the girls more than anything. Still, it had potential, but it just couldn't capitalize on the setting.
              Koikimo - While this show has some amusing moments, the characters are just so dumb and hard to watch, while the animation quality is subpar as to be expected out of that studio.
              Let's Make a Mug, Too - The show is a straight-up slice of life that has a simple formula. While it works and the live-action segment adds some great insights, there's just nothing that stands out about this show.
              Mars Red - I'll give this show props for its stage show feel, but in the grand scheme of things the show just doesn't do a good job establishing a story that will make me want to follow it.
              The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent - This show just feels flat and boring, and while the story is pretty good, this shoujo isekai just doesn't resonate with me.
              Seven Knights Revolution: Hero Successor - This show is just generic for something advertising a smartphone game with no standout qualities whatsoever. It's just bland and uninteresting.
              The World Ends With You - This show does a nice job in its intended purpose in getting me interested in playing the game. The artstyle adds a nice tough to resemble that of the game it adapts from. That said, the storytelling is just all over the place and so hard to keep up. It doesn't help that it has a dull character for the MC that I'm pretty sure is not as dull in the games. In any case, it's mission accomplished when it comes to generating interest in the game, but everything else it just drops the ball on.
              Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
              Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
              Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
              A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


              • #8
                Simulcast Rankings: April 2021

                Before the most recent episodes influence my rankings, it's time to do my first leader board of the season. With this being the first of the spring season, that means it's back to baseball terminology. Aside from that, everything remains as is. Where I stand with a particular show will be based off how I feel about them on April 30 as I have since then dropped some shows. As always, black means in, red means out, and blue means no decision made (again, as of April 30). While I did watch Way of the Househusband and Yasuke, the Netflix shows will only be present on the final leaderboard coming at the end of the season.

                Home Run
                To Your Eternity
                Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song
                Fruits Basket: Final Season
                Megalo Box 2: Nomad
                Moriarty the Patriot

                Base Hit
                Tokyo Revengers
                Those Snow White Notes
                Super Cub
                Zombie Land Saga: Revenge
                My Hero Academia Season 5
                The Slime Diaries
                Shadows House

                So I'm a Spider, So What?
                Odd Taxi

                I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
                Pretty Boy Detective Club
                How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
                Combatants Will Be Launched!
                Burning Kabaddi
                Mini Dragon
                Hetalia: World Stars
                The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent
                Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro

                Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
                Full Dive

                Cardfight!! Vanguard OverDress
                Fairy Ranmaru

                Let's Make a Mug Too
                Edens Zero
                Mars Red
                Farewell, My Dear Cramer
                Dragon Goes House-Hunting

                Blue Reflection Ray
                The World Ends With You
                Seven Knights Revolution
                Cestvs: The Roman Fighter
                Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!

                Of note, there are two shows continuing in So I'm a Spider, So What? and Moriarty the Patriot. Their positions reflect the contents of the episodes so far in this cour and in both cases, the episodes so far are a big improvement over the first cour, but their final grades will factor both cours in.
                Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


                • #9
                  Post-Simulcast Report: April 16-30

                  Once again, I'm behind on my post-simulcast reports, but I haven't forgotten. Anyway, here's the second half of April with the first half of May hopefully coming soon.


                  Mitsudomoe (1-13, OVA): C+
                  This show has some solid vulgar humor, amusing characters, and an unconventional atmosphere that makes for something that stands out. That said, this show is hindered by subpar animation quality and repetitive humor that gets quite tiresome. In all, it's a decent comedy, but definitely something that isn't the most memorable and can get too crude at times.

                  Mitsudomoe Zoryochu! (1-8): C+
                  This season is pretty much a continuation of the first season as everything that made it good and not-so-good carries over into this season. The humor is a bit better, but it's more or less an extension as the same issues aren't significantly improved with this season.

                  Infinite Stratos 2 (6-12, OVA, Picture Drama): C-
                  After a solid first season that at least ended up having a solid story in spite of the typical problems with harem shows, this one just goes off the rails, barely advancing the story all while opting for fanservice overload. The only thing that saves this season are the two new girls for this season as it's thanks to them that at least it was worthwhile for fans of this show. Nevertheless, the cringeworthy storywriting is something that makes it hard to watch.


                  [CFV] Cardfight!! Vanguard (27-50)
                  [LGH] Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1-4)
                  [NYJ] Natsume Yuujinchou (1-3)
                  [PKM-J] Pokemon Journeys (11-18)
                  [ZDS-W] Zoids Wild (9-17)
                  Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                  Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                  Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                  A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


                  • #10
                    With titles leaving CR on the 28th, I'm presently working my way through 1 I've never seen before, Working/Wagnaria!! I'm enjoying this zany series quite a bit and hope to make it through all 3 seasons before it leaves CR. I'm also hoping to catch at least some of ROD the TV, but since I have the discs, if I finish Wagnaria, I'll likely be hitting a greatest hits number for the Paper Sisters. and then I'll switch to catching up on Spring 2021.
                    My Avatar: The lovely Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Why do I stick with her in a world of constantly changing avatars? Because:
                    1) Her friendly, playful attitude in that picture, (despite being forced unwillingly into cosplay), reflects my own friendly, playful personality;
                    2) Mikuru-chan is an excellent combo of smoking hot and super sweet cuteness; and
                    3) It makes it easiier for me to find my own posts in threads.


                    • #11
                      Post-Simulcast Report: May 1-15

                      And now, time for me to do my next post-simulcast reviews. With numerous Aniplex titles leaving Crunchyroll that I have been focusing my attention to those. I did that with Mitsudomoe for the first batch (and because of the notice that came only five days prior to removal that I didn't have time for anything else), and now I'm doing it for Wagnaria and Occult Academy, the only two shows from this batch of Aniplex shows that will soon be off Crunchyroll, and while they might end up on Funimation someday now that Sony owns both them and Aniplex, I can't count on that happening.


                      Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Golden Wings (movie): C-
                      This prequel movie doesn't exactly have much substance to them, but it's a solid way to understand Reinhardt's background story. Seeing that this movie came out after the OVA series was finished that it's not required to watch, but it's there, and it's pretty much nothing but bonus material without the superb storywriting this show is known for.

                      Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars (movie): B+
                      This is another prequel movie to the main series, and unlike with Golden Wings, the storytelling is much more focused and relevant to the main story. It does a nice job in setting the stage for the many encounters between Reinhard and Yang that makes the OVA series so fulfilling.

                      Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train (movie): A+
                      This movie is a great way to follow-up the TV series as it continues to do everything well with great storytelling, awesome fights, eye-popping animation, and excellent characterization. But it was the emotional impact of the ending that really made this movie stand out, and seeing that this is canonical unlike many shonen manga series that have a movie component to them. It helped that the source material is strong, and seeing that this is an action-oriented story arc that it was quite appropriate to make this arc into a movie.

                      Yasuke (1-6): C
                      This show has some great ideas presented, and for all the faults this show has, it's still an enjoyable piece of work from LeSean Thomas. The unconventional plot, the character building, and the action were all nicely done. That said, this show just totally skimps on the storywriting to make it so that only the two leads really matter in this show, while treating everybody else as throwaways. Also, the show doesn't really get interesting until midway through, making it a chore to make it through the first half of this show. In all, the fact that it gives attention to something that's rarely seen in anime is a nice change of pace, but it's one that definitely wasn't done in the best of ways.

                      Cardfight!! Vanguard (51-65): C+
                      Being another show that's about advertising a card game, the show pretty much does that for the most part, all while the storytelling wasn't exactly constructed in the best of ways. The show got pretty cringeworthy towards the middle when this whole Psy-Qualia thing was introduced, but the show redeems itself with the card battles towards the end of the series. The card battles at the beginning were pretty dull and uninteresting seeing that they were just plain old real life card battles as opposed to using special devices like in Yu-Gi-Oh!, but the ending was satisfying enough to make it worthwhile to get through to the end.

                      That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (1-24, 24.5): A-
                      This show does a great job with character building, and while most of this season is lighthearted, the serious stuff is strategically utilized. The right balance was struck as the show knew when to be serious and lighthearted, as well as how much of it. That said, this show has a major shortcoming in that the pacing tends to really drag leaving some parts not so well-established when it should have been more established.


                      [LGH] Legend of the Galactic Heroes (5-8)
                      [NAR-S] Naruto Shippuden (312-313)
                      [PKM-J] Pokemon Journeys (19-26)
                      [WKG] Working!! (1-3)
                      [ZDS-W] Zoids Wild (17-22)
                      Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                      Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                      Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                      A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


                      • #12
                        Spring 2021: Finalized Watchlist

                        Alright, it's quite late in the season, and while I have had the majority of my watchlist figured out, the last show went deep into overtime as I was quite torn between which show would be the final one to land on my watchlist, and for some time now, I didn't go beyond the extended trial period for either of the last two shows until now.

                        • Moriarty the Patriot (continuing)
                        • So I'm a Spider, So What? (continuing)
                        • Fruits Basket: The Final Season
                        • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
                        • Megalo Box 2: Nomad
                        • My Hero Academia Season 5
                        • Zombie Land Saga Revenge
                        • Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song
                        • The Slime Diaries
                        • To Your Eternity
                        • Tokyo Revengers
                        • 86
                        • Shadows House
                        • Super Cub
                        • Those Snow White Notes
                        • Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
                        • Pretty Boy Detective Club
                        • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
                        • Fairy Ranmaru
                        • SSSS.Dynazenon
                        • Odd Taxi
                        • Cardfight!! Vanguard OverDress
                        • Full Dive
                        • Backflip!!
                        • Mini Dragon (short)
                        • Hetalia: World Stars (short)

                        • Higehiro
                        • Osamake
                        • Combatants Will Be Launched!
                        • Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro!
                        • The Saint's Magical Power is Omnipotent
                        • Burning Kabaddi
                        • Cestvs: The Roman Fighter
                        • Blue Reflection Ray
                        • The World Ends With You
                        • Let's Make a Mug, Too
                        • Farewell, My Dear Cramer
                        • Dragon Goes House-Hunting
                        • Koikimo
                        • Mars Red
                        • Edens Zero (Waiting for Netflix)
                        • Godzilla Singular Point (Waiting for Netflix)
                        • Shaman King (Waiting for Netflix)
                        • Seven Knights Revolution
                        • Battle Athletes Victory ReStart
                        • Gloomy the Mighty Grizzly (short)

                        So in the end, I went with Backflip over Higehiro for the final show this season, and the deciding factor was episode 6 of Higehiro as that was one of the most cringeworthy episodes of the season, and after waiting a couple more weeks, it appears that show is headed on a downwards trajectory, while on the flipside, Backflip is more of a sure thing as the visuals and presentation look great, and the show's problem mostly stems from the show taking awhile to really establish its story that I feel is more in-line with what I want to watch. Anyway, to make things quick here, I had some either-or decisions as Backflip beat out Higehiro for the last show, I went with Full Dive over Osamake for the second Wednesday show of the season as I was only going to take one more show in addition to Super Cub, and I was going to knock off two Saturday shows and while it was easy to ax Battle Athletes, it wasn't so easy to ax a second one and in the end I felt Nagatoro was going to get too repetitive for its own good. Lastly, Odd Taxi looked like a surefire drop at the beginning, but the show got so much better once it settles in and thus, is a rare instance where a show that started out as Doubtful made the cut. So here's a rundown of my schedule for the week:

                        Sunday (2): Moriarty the Patriot, Megalo Box
                        Monday (3): To Your Eternity, Fruits Basket, Odd Taxi
                        Tuesday (2): Slime Diaries, Joran
                        Wednesday (2): Full Dive, Super Cub
                        Thursday (4): Fairy Ranmaru, Zombie Land Saga Revenge, Backflip, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
                        Friday (4): SSSS.Dynazenon, So I'm a Spider So What, Those Snow White Notes, Cardfight Vanguard Overdress
                        Saturday (7): My Hero Academia, Slime 300, Vivy, 86, Shadows House, Pretty Boy Detective Club, Tokyo Revengers

                        Saturdays and Mondays this season were so loaded, while the rest of the week, not so much. But even so, I still found plenty of shows I really enjoyed this season to make sure there is plenty to watch every day of the week.
                        Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                        Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                        Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                        A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


                        • #13
                          Post-Simulcast Report: May 16-31

                          With the end of the season coming, I need to catch up on my post-simulcast reviews. Here's the one for the latter half of May. There's quite a lot of stuff I need to get to, so I need to take some time to sit down and get through all this.


                          Working!! (4-13): B-
                          This show seems like a typical slice of life show with not much going for it that's out of the usual. The characters are interesting, the humor is alright, the storytelling does its job and not much more, and the show does everything it can to keep things real. So in all, this is a season that pretty much just gets the job done, but in the end it has the appearance and impression of a run-of-the-mill slice-of-life show with the way the season is structured.

                          Working!! Season 2 (1-13): B
                          After an alright first season, this show gets better as characterization increases, while the humor improves, and the show has better upwards mobility as the show is able to build after an adjustment period from the first season.

                          Occult Academy (1-13): C
                          This show has a decent premise, but in the end the show's execution was pretty spotty, all while the story writing was just inconsistent. The show does a nice job with the supernatural aspect, and after a really rough start to the series, the show slowly improves towards the end. Nevertheless, the show had a nice idea, but when it came to writing the story it was just sloppy in the first half, and decent in the second to make this a watchable show.

                          Princess Principal: Crown Handler (movie 1): C+
                          With this being the first of six movies, which are essentially double-length episodes assuming that the others are similar in length, and given the episodic nature of the show that being a movie allows it to be more comprehensive. That was the case here, but at the same time the case was just not very interesting until the end as things just moved too slowly, all while the action was a disappointment. Nevertheless, it still does possess some of the things that made the TV series so fun.

                          Working!! Season 3 (1-13, Special): A-
                          After two seasons that focuses more on the character antics, the humor, and the crazy life, this one has a much different feel to it as it focuses almost exclusively on character development and solving the problems that ail the workers at the restaurant. Character grown is so tremendous, and it is capped off in the special. While the first two seasons didn't really do much in the way of advancing the characters and focusing on the slice-of-life aspects, this one changes all that and makes this a fitting way to go out.

                          Bofuri (1-12): B
                          This show easily surpasses expectations as while this show is built on fun, the show does a lot more than that. This show has great characters, a casual atmosphere, craziness galore, and utilizes the defensive gimmick very nicely. But where this show really thrives is the fact that it comes in with a plan and sticks with it to the end without ever going outside its comfort zone. So pretty much, while this show has a pretty simple premise and doesn't do anything to overly complex, it has a that it sticks to through the end that makes for a fun and entertaining show.

                          Eden (1-4): C+
                          This short series has some nice production values and nice animation as Yasuhiro Irie does a great job in making this show visually pleasing. That said, the show suffers from a rushed and fairly shallow story as the plot wasn't very intricate as it could have been, all while the show kind of fell apart during the climax. But in all, it's a nicely done CG job that unfortunately didn't have the best story to go along with it.


                          [LGH] Legend of the Galactic Heroes (11-16)
                          [NAR-S] Naruto Shippuden (314-316)
                          [PKM-J] Pokemon Journeys (27-40)
                          [ZDS-W] Zoids Wild (23-33)
                          Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                          Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                          Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                          A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


                          • #14
                            First Impressions

                            Spring 2021 Final Thoughts

                            Movement indicators of rankings are treated as if Kingdom 3rd Season isn't present, since it wasn't in my First Impressions due to it not having started back up after its year off from COVID.

                            01▲ 02▲ 01. Fruits Basket: The Final (A+) What a masterpiece. Even having read the manga, always ranking it among my favorites, and knowing that the series gets exponentially better as it goes on, I still wasn't prepared for how phenomenal this final season would be. Taku Kishimoto has been one of my favorite anime writers for a long time, so I was always excited about Fruits Basket ending up in his hands, and he proved his skill to elevate the source material he works with -- particularly emotionally rich character-driven drama -- yet again. Masaru Yokoyama's equally poignant score similarly continues to help propel him up the ranks of my favorite anime composers. Anyone involved that I wasn't sold on immediately certainly rose to the challenge and not only did the material justice but gave it the proper new life you dream of from a modern anime adaptation, and any concerns I had about the final season being rushed from having to cover too much in too little time were thoroughly dashed by the deft execution we were treated to. It's truly everything I had hoped for from a Fruits Basket adaptation when I read the manga, and much more.
                            01▼ 00► 02. Fumetsu no Anata e | To Your Eternity (A) The last time I wrote about this series, I had only seen the first episode, and it sure changes a lot from that first impression. It's not that it's a wholly misleading taste so much as you just need more content to realize how varied the story ends up being. I did already assume that it would have to change pretty significantly from the first episode, as that was a relatively self-contained story, and I feel like it still stands alone as an effective enough short film without needing to watch any more. Once it gets going, though, it could've continued down a solitary, episodic path like Mushishi, but instead opted for more arc-based storytelling with regular casts of characters (who often steal the spotlight from the protagonist) and much more levity than the first episode. Some of the tangents it goes down cause it to lose some steam, and some of the character humor can be more obnoxious than endearing, but time and again we're reminded of Ooima's expertise at developing beautiful character relationships and then ripping our hearts out. Every few episodes we experience some spectacular action, and every few instances of that result in the climax of an arc that guarantees tragedy to make us realize how much we've fallen in love with that arc's characters once it's become painfully too late.
                            00► 01▲ 03. One Piece (A)
                            01▲ 01▲ 04. Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song (A-) It's such a relief to see an original with this kind of pedigree and ambition not only not disappoint, but excel quite handily with its concept. It's a gorgeous series with the kind of stellar soundtrack you need from a series so focused on music, masterfully executed by most metrics. While it's a stark departure from Re:Zero on paper, Nagatsuki pulls out some of the same emotional gut-punches and shocking but organic plot twists that made that series so memorable. The story doesn't necessarily reach the heights of its concept's potential, so it can feel slightly underwhelming compared to the hype its own stylistic flairs build up, but the technical merits of those flairs are usually enough to smooth over those relatively weak moments without feeling too hollow. Kousaki once again proves himself a master at background score and flashy pop spectacles alike, getting the opportunity to blend the two in a piece that plays an uncommonly crucial role in the plot. If Wit Studio wants to keep making originals of the caliber of Great Pretender and this, I'm all for it.
                            05▲ 01▲ 05. Tokyo Revengers (A-) The fact that the premise is just BokuMachi/Erased is almost always irrelevant compared to the plot that Takemichi has to deal with in the past. We're able to dive deeply into that side of its story thanks to the harrowing intensity with which we experience Takemichi's perspective, viscerally terrifying due to his status as a total loser in way over his head but armed with the knowledge of what he has to change to prevent tragedy in the future. It's a classic underdog story, and the victories are so much more satisfying because of how rough the roads there invariably were. When it does return to modern times (back to the future, from a certain point of view), it balances the rewards Takemichi has earned from his hard work with events just as traumatic as those in the past but often more sudden and surprising, setting the stage for more work that Takemichi can't help but be profoundly motivated to achieve. Now we're starting to get a sense of what feels like an Attractor Field in Steins;Gate terms, which is a concept that can obviously be used to incredible effect. My one big qualm is still that we're supposed to accept that all of these massive murderers controlling Tokyo are middle school children, which is just too fucking stupid.
                            00► 00► 06. Kingdom 3rd Season (B+) Getting Kingdom back after a year really feels like we've come full circle after how much COVID was shaking up the world of anime as much as the world at large, and while there's not much different from episode to episode at this point, the combination of traditional animation instead of the ugly CG from earlier seasons and the Sawano/Yamamoto score is so delightful. It finally feels like this series is getting close to the adaptation it deserves, even if I can already tell it pales in comparison to the manga without having really read any of it. Certainly moving in the right direction, at any rate.
                            02▼ 00► 07. Yuukoku no Moriarty 2nd Season | Moriarty the Patriot 2nd Season (B+) This series was already quite entertaining as an anime version of Sherlock Holmes focusing on the villains (and in fact, not Sherlock Holmes or any established stories for a while), but this season soon transformed it into a far-reaching pastiche of every source its creator wanted to pay homage to. We have Sherlock and a very different Moriarty, the latter split into three characters. We have adaptations of classic Sherlock stories, later works by different authors, some inspiration from other mediums right up to the 2010 BBC Sherlock series, and plenty of original ideas, often to make Moriarty a central figure when he wouldn't have been otherwise. But far more than that, we have fucking James Bond. We have a character and story that seem to have no existing analogue, until you watch and realize that it's a direct retelling of Harvey Dent's arc from The Dark Knight. We have historical figures and events twisted to fit within the world of Sherlock Holmes, or whatever this series has turned that into. It's an absolute mess, and it's an absolute blast.
                            01▼ 00► 08. Nomad: Megalo Box 2 (B+) There are essentially two halves to this season, and we get two very different looks at Joe in the process, but it all serves to weave a tale of Joe's journey to redemption and self-acceptance, with the arcs of many other characters worked into the formula nicely. It can be harder to sympathize with some of the characters, specifically the children, than it should be, but most of the main boxers are depicted with such aching humanity that the series still functions as a highly effective character study even though Joe's most striking development comes in the early parts of the season.
                            00► 01▲ 09. 86 (B+) The ending of this season was a little too abrupt, but since it's coming right back after a single cour off, it's not too surprising that they wouldn't bother to make it feel very conclusive. The series, another production with a sense of polish rivaling Vivy and another Sawano/Yamamoto score alongside Kingdom, takes an interesting approach by splitting its episodes between two contrasted settings connected by phone calls, often covering overlapping material between the two. Its devotion to this formula can sometimes be to its detriment, artificially inflating less substantial material for the sake of sustaining that signature dichotomy, but overall it's a clever motif that drives home the less-than-subtle portrayal of class disparity. I give it a lot of credit for being so overtly political, but it could occasionally benefit from a little more nuance. At any rate, I'm definitely anticipating its continuation, especially now that the status quo has been upended enough that it seems unlikely for the second season to fit into its established molds.
                            00► 00► 10. Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season | Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun 2nd Season (B) Iruma-kun is still an absurdly silly series, but now that we're always in some sort of arc, everything that happens feels a lot more meaningful than some of it once did, and we get the sense that there's some real forward momentum building. It's also a series that benefits from simply spending more time with its characters, since they're comprised of very bold characterizations that take time to becoming endearing, and the more the various character dynamics can build, the better. Some of them are written to be extremely annoying, but even they surprisingly grow on you, thanks in large part to their role in the overall ensemble.
                            03▼ 00► 11. Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou. | Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (B) Big round of applause for our protagonist never being a fucking creep, no matter how many opportunities the series unfortunately set up for him to do so. The way that Sayu still teases him right up to the end leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but given the track record for this medium, I'll take a win when I can get it. In fact, the frequency at which the series falls back on harem tropes make it all the more shocking that it never crosses that line. I guess, for once, thank god harem protagonists are so uninterested in the advances of their harem? Sure, we'll go with that. Thankfully, most of that material is reserved for the relatively boring adults, while the two primary teenagers receive great development and forge a beautiful friendship, and the relationship between the protagonists is mostly much more familial than anything. I'm not particularly fond of the decision Yoshida arrives at regarding what's best for Sayu, but seeing how much they've both grown through their time together is overall heartwarming.
                            01▲ 00► 12. Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season | My Hero Academia 5 (B-) Jesus, did we just waste an entire cour on that fucking Class 1-A vs. Class 1-B exercise? Please go back to being interesting more than once a cour, HeroAca. I know you can. Yeah, we got our Yutapon sakuga spectacle and eventually some plot intrigue and real stakes by the climax, but it didn't warrant spending a fraction of that much time on "Here's another simple school training exercise where we can showcase characters with less screen time probably because Shueisha wanted more merchandise sales." Now that we're finally past that, we've had a few schizophrenic transition episodes to lead into... Work Study Arc Take 3? There's so much potential for greatness in this series, as we've seen plenty of displays of before, but when it keeps repeating itself so much, it's hard to feel like it's really making the most of its high status. I know we're supposed to get into a big villain arc any second now, so hopefully the latter half of the season will be much fresher and more interesting, but man, it hurts to see HeroAca only staying above mediocrity because of its seasonal format and high production values.
                            01▼ 00► 13. Mashiro no Oto | Those Snow White Notes (B-) Music anime tropes are very silly if you think about them too much, and this show is nothing but music anime tropes. We spend probably the latter half of the series, maybe more, watching performances of the same shamisen pieces with a few differences, some more subtle than others, and experiencing the audience collectively wax philosophical about the transcendence of how the playing of each individual paints this profound world before them. Hey, I love music, and sometimes I can feel that way as well. There are some series I adore that do much of the same. This one just doesn't have much else to break it up. While they may not have been religious experiences for me, the performances are pretty enjoyable to take in and see how they translated the descriptions in the manga into actual unique play styles. It's a fascinating challenge that anime adaptations have from print source material, and I'm usually impressed.
                            02▲ 00► 14. Bakuten!! | Backflip!! (B-) Similarly steeped in sports anime tropes (which music anime is largely a subset of anyway), this very formulaic "original" series saved itself from being dropped with its focus on a few slightly unusual topics. The first is the prominence of the coach, who ends up being the best and arguably most developed character, despite the main characters still ostensibly being the high school club/team. Along with his own story, the stories of virtually every main character ultimately revolve around him, as he inspired nearly all of them to pursue this passion in the first place. The other piece is something that also heavily features in his story, the topic of weighing injuries against the passion to put your all into competing. The characters make some irresponsible decisions in service of a better story arc, but they're always very cognizant of that fact, and they deal with the dilemma realistically. Unfortunately, the big performance scenes are mostly hideous CG amboniations set to songs with all the impact of elevator music. It's not like I'd have any interest in men's rhythmic gymnastics, but anime can make anything seem cool. This one doesn't do a very good job of selling how amazing the characters find this artistic sport to be. At least the main cast is pretty fun across the board.
                            00► 00► 15. Super Cub (B-) It's been three months and twelve episodes, I've watched the entire series, and I still have no idea what to make of it. Once we get the other two characters, it starts to resemble a typical cute girl iyashikei show a bit more, thanks to the two of them actually having personalities, but always with a very strange bias toward treating the Honda Super Cub motorized scooters as the stars over the actual humans. But maybe I'm just the weirdo for not idolizing Super Cubs, as I had never heard of them before this series despite them apparently being the best-selling vehicles in history and having strong followings worldwide that would maybe begin to explain how this show exists. This feels like a show I'd forget about as soon as this season ends, but also one that I'll remember forever out of sheer novelty and confusion.
                            02▼ 00► 16. Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken | The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (B-) Although I was never quite ready to drop this light Slime spinoff, it did regularly test my patience throughout the season. I didn't expect to compare it to Super Cub, but the way they both sit on very uneventful scenes far beyond what would seems acceptable is a point of some similarity. In both cases it's meant to build on the atmosphere, but due to the often energetic nature of Slime proper as well as some vignettes in this series, it feels a little more trying here. It wasn't a bad way to spend the off-season, but I'm looking forward to getting back to the real thing.


                            Crunchyroll (11) Fruits Basket: The Final, Fumetsu no Anata e, One Piece, Tokyo Revengers, 86, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season, Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou., Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season, Mashiro no Oto, Bakuten!!, Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
                            Funimation (5) Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song, Kingdom 3rd Season, Yuukoku no Moriarty 2nd Season, Nomad: Megalo Box 2, Super Cub

                            Weekly Schedule

                            Sunday (3) Kingdom 3rd Season, Yuukoku no Moriarty 2nd Season, Nomad: Megalo Box 2
                            Monday (3) Fruits Basket: The Final, Fumetsu no Anata e, Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou.
                            Tuesday (1) Tensura Nikki: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
                            Wednesday (1) Super Cub
                            Thursday (1) Bakuten!!
                            Friday (1) Mashiro no Oto
                            Saturday (6) One Piece, Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song, Tokyo Revengers, 86, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 2nd Season, Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season

                            I had a pretty pessimistic outlook going into a season that had to follow Attack on Titan: The Final Season, but it had its own final installment of a series (actually the final one, in this case) to blow me away and make the whole season worthwhile even before taking into account how many other very strong series it was airing alongside. Getting a third consecutive series of comparable caliber is very unlikely, but you never know what the next season might bring, and if nothing else, quite a few of the high-ranking series on this list are continuing, so it should be fine.
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                            • #15
                              Post-Simulcast Report: June 1-15

                              Moving right along with my post-simulcast reviews since I still have two more left this season: Not much to report this time as I mostly watched long series during this two-week period, as well as did my usual rounds sampling new dubs, and I only completed two simulcasts, which by rule are reviewed in a separate post.


                              *How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega: B-

                              *Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood: C


                              [CFV-2] Cardfight!! Vanguard: Asia Circuit (1-20)
                              [LGH] Legend of the Galactic Heroes (17-21)
                              [NAR-S] Naruto Shippuden (317-318)
                              [KBK-2] Kuroko's Basketball (26-38)
                              [PKM-J] Pokemon Journeys (41-46)
                              [ZDS-W] Zoids Wild (34-42)
                              Avatar: Mahiru Shiina, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
                              Watching: Dai-Guard, Black Summoner, Vermeil in Gold, Rumble Garanndoll
                              Simulcasts: MSG, TYE, BLE, GKY, CSM, EOC, ESW, MOB, DIY, AMW, UYA, ARK, MHA, ALB, UZC, SXF, KKR, BTR, UWM, BLK
                              A dedicated anime fan fan since 1997.


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                              Widgets Magazine



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                              Widgets Magazine