Hola Señors and Señoritas!
When I’m not in the middle of tackling the latest indie releases or trying to painfully whittle away at my Steam backlog, I occasionally dabble in the Weeb Shit. Every now and then when time permits, I’ll be providing first impressions, reviews, and other topics around the Weeb Shit. So today let’s talk about what shows I’m giving my time to: some good, some bad, some beautiful.
Or don’t. I’m not your dad.
So I’ll preface this article now by stating I don’t do Isekais. Well, very little. Truck-chan is not gonna run over my fucking free time with the same shlock. So for this season, this is the only “isekai” that’s showing up.
Kyouya Hashiba is an everyman of the 28-32 company: mulling the past decisions of taking a safer college route away from his dreams, slowly becoming more broke by the day, and the bankruptcy of his workplace is only pushing the previous problems forward quicker. After receiving his old acceptance letter to the college he didn’t commit to, he wishes for a chance to re-do things and take the chance to not only make his possible dream come true but to be in the echelon of success as his near-aged favorite game developers, The Platinum Generation. He wakes to a life 10 years prior, before his fated college decision, with a chance to run it back. Can you believe it: he runs it back.
I kid you not, the first episode is a damn hour long, which threw me off but I wish more anime did this because it allowed the nooks and crannies to really be explored before jetting off with the rest of the plot. There’s a nice deep dive for why Kyouya wants the re-do, which gives plenty of ground to plant its feet with its upcoming material. The supporting cast of characters with Kyouya (Team Aki and don’t start otherwise, heathens) are bright and bubbly, and just the simple fact this is college and these characters are young adults outside that 16-18 range is…such…a nice change of pace for my Cringe meter.
While it is playing the normal romcom, “Who’s the MC going to be with?” It has been insanely fun to watch, especially the behind the scenes feel of how fine arts like photography, film development, and at least the fun parts of college life are done without having to spend $100k on your own degree. I’m enjoying the hell out of this one.
Season 2 into the pseudo-remake-reboot of the 2006-2007 anime sharing most of the same name. Hinamizawa is host again to the rag-tag group of kids lead by transfer student Keiichi Maebara, where everyday life is slowly but surely interrupted by weird happenings and potentially deadly scenarios. I would break more into the craziness and violent nature of this anime but to be honest I’m still angry at Higurashi here.
Higurashi – GOU found a way to stretch maybe 8 episodes of content into a 24 episode season with the guise of being mysterious and giving you 1 puzzle piece every 4 episodes in the excuse of “arcs” within the season. Problem is GOU essentially turned into a 3 hour game of Simon with an added tablespoon of exercising your fucking patience for a very little payoff. I came into this season with very little commitment because I didn’t want to get burned every month like I did with GOU, and it looks like SOTSU is starting…the exact same way.
We’re getting re-used shots from last season, with more continuity with the events that happened at the end of GOU, but we’re reliving shit we’ve seen already, and having SOTSU slated for a 15 episode season does not leave me with a lot of faith that they’ll turn it around. I’m watching this out of spite, but if you don’t have a horse in this race: don’t bother.
Boy, how do I get around the fact I’m actually watching this. Um. Well.
For Naoya Mukai and the love of his life Saki Saki, high school couldn’t be going any better for the two of them. But on one fateful lunch break, freshman Nagisa Minase confesses her love to Naoya. Taken back but unsure how to handle the situation, Naoya decides not to reject her, but instead tries to avoid rejecting Nagisa’s feelings and also sidestep the possibility of cheating on Saki: by pulling the ole’ “¿Por qué no los dos?” and develops a three-way relationship secret to their classmates and those around them. Hilarity ensues.
First off, this anime is tough to recommend. There’s no way on God’s green Earth this would ever happen, and even for rom-coms that lean more to the comedy it’s distracting how unrealistic this is. The fact that Naoya gets through every emotional and sociological hurdle by basically yelling Naruto’s tagline is just fucking absurd and is the only real plot mover when shit hits the fan. And with what looks like 4 girls featured on the cover, the triangle is probably gonna turn into a love pentagon at some point.
But man there are some points in this show that are stupidly fucking funny. Not many anime’s this year had me laughing as much as Girlfriend, Girlfriend has. It’s dumb as shit, but that’s kind of the charm if you’re willing to turn your brain off and watch a man Leroy Jenkins his way through two girls sleeping in his house and co-habiting with each other. There’s no way this scores well at all for critics, but this gives the vibes of a We Never Learn! but even deeper into the quasi-ecchi pool and just not as good. I’ll be here for the laughs, but not much else.
In recent seasons the trope of “cute girl finds a hobby” has been on fire: with Yuru Camp△ (Girls go camping), Super Cub (Girls do moto-riding), and even Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom (Girls make coffee) making it’s triumphant return. This season we’re given the aquarium treatment.
When failed idol Fuuka Miyazawa gathers her belongings and prepares to depart back home from Tokyo, she has a sudden change of heart and embarks on a flight away from home to escape the formalities of facing her old family and friends after her dream was lost. After a small bout of new-city confusion and a slight battle of heat stroke, Fuuka finds her way to Gama Gama Aquarium thanks to a tour guide turned life saver met on the side of the road. Fuuka finds herself enraptured by the aqua life and feverishly applies to work at said aquarium to working summer director, high schooler Kukuru Misakino. But as the aquarium faces closure due to lack of attendance and finances, Kukuru and Fuuka will work together to help save the aquarium, and maybe some friendships along the way.
Full stop this is your best looking anime of the season and I will not be persuaded otherwise. The first episode looks like a 22 minute trailer for a AAA budget movie: eye-popping colors, beautiful detail, and the cinematography of the shots are masterful. I loved how this episode took the time to minimize the amount talking and let the immersion of the town flow over you. You get to really see the island instead of a narrated explanation to save on budget. Episodes 2 and 3 do shift gears to more of a slice-of-life style and the production value isn’t as crazy but boy howdy that first episode is the finest use of a pilot I’ve seen in quite awhile. Easy contender for Anime of the Season.
That’s all I have for this Season! Anything else I should be watching? Let me know.