[TV] The What Anime Are You Watching Thread!

I just mean that listing “Economics” as an anime genre is like listing “Whole wheat” as an anime gender.

—Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Spoilers for Overlord Season 3. Don't click if you haven't watched it all.

But if you have, and you are also up on your Kemono Michi: Rise Up, then you'll probably find this funny and understand it perfectly even though it's been dubbed into Russian.

 

GasBandit

Staff member
Ascendance of a Bookworm



Genre: Stuck in Another World, Fantasy, Comedy, Diabeetus

Fanservice: None whatsoever.

Premise: Urano is a girl who loves books. Just as she is about to attain her lifelong dream of becoming a librarian, everybody's favorite Isekai device, Truck-kun, punches her ticket on a one-way journey to being reincarnated in a medieval fantasy world where books are scarce, expensive, and for a commoner like her, nigh-unobtainable. She resolves that if she can't find books to read, she'll make her own! Bankrolled by "inventing" items the modern world would take for granted like soup stock, pound cake, and low-effort homemade shampoo, she sets about trying to reinvent the process of making paper from wood, so that she can bind and write her own books. However, Maine, the little girl whose body she was reborn into, is extremely frail and is one of the unlucky kids born with a magical disease that almost guarantees she won't make it out of childhood alive...

It's a story with a lot of potential and some decent side characters. Urano/Maine herself is a little grating at times, but the real problem with this series is the absolutely glacial pacing. Where most seasonal weekly anime have 12 episodes, this one needed 14... and even then, only to get to the point where most first season anime would probably consider the halfway point. Still, the interesting twist on isekai gives it a slight bump up over most other middle of the road shows.

Verdict: 3.0 out of 5, but the pacing threatens to bump it down to 2.5... I hope season 2 improves on that.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
ORESUKI: Are You Really The Only One Who Loves Me?



Genre: High School, Harem, Comedy, Romance

Fanservice: Occasionally partially-naked girls with strategically placed nipple coverage.

Premise: Joro is your average, uninteresting 2nd year high school student who wants a girlfriend. Suddenly, he is approached by both his childhood girl-next-door friend and the student council president - but his hopes are dashed one after the other as they each profess their love for his best friend, star baseball athlete Taiyo "Sun-chan" Ouga. Each pleads with him to help her get set up with Sun-chan, and Joro comes to the realization that he is not the protagonist of a harem series - he is a background supporting character, and Sun-chan is the MC. However, he agrees to help them both equally - secretly plotting to catch whoever Sun-chan doesn't choose on their rebound. However, unknown to Joro, he is being stalked by a creepy bookworm, who figures out his machinations and uses the knowledge of his self-serving plan to blackmail him...

Turning the harem genre on its head is a lot of fun, and this show keeps upping the ante with almost every episode... at least until the final few. Then things start to return disappointingly to format. And most irritating at all, it sets up a cliffhanger in the final episode, which it turns out is NOT the final episode - the final episode is the OVA which will come out this summer. That's just dirty pool, and kinda pisses me off. I don't know if I'll still give enough of a shit to watch the OVA when it comes out this summer.

Verdict: 3.0/5. Delaying the final episode for 6 months turned the end-of-season stumbles into full-on dropping the ball. Maybe wait for the OVA to come out and then watch it.
 
Ascendance of a Bookworm



Genre: Stuck in Another World, Fantasy, Comedy, Diabeetus

Fanservice: None whatsoever.

Premise: Urano is a girl who loves books. Just as she is about to attain her lifelong dream of becoming a librarian, everybody's favorite Isekai device, Truck-kun, punches her ticket on a one-way journey to being reincarnated in a medieval fantasy world where books are scarce, expensive, and for a commoner like her, nigh-unobtainable. She resolves that if she can't find books to read, she'll make her own! Bankrolled by "inventing" items the modern world would take for granted like soup stock, pound cake, and low-effort homemade shampoo, she sets about trying to reinvent the process of making paper from wood, so that she can bind and write her own books. However, Maine, the little girl whose body she was reborn into, is extremely frail and is one of the unlucky kids born with a magical disease that almost guarantees she won't make it out of childhood alive...

It's a story with a lot of potential and some decent side characters. Urano/Maine herself is a little grating at times, but the real problem with this series is the absolutely glacial pacing. Where most seasonal weekly anime have 12 episodes, this one needed 14... and even then, only to get to the point where most first season anime would probably consider the halfway point. Still, the interesting twist on isekai gives it a slight bump up over most other middle of the road shows.

Verdict: 3.0 out of 5, but the pacing threatens to bump it down to 2.5... I hope season 2 improves on that.
My opinion on this one is that the first 5 or 6 episodes made me want to punch a 5 year old, but then it got better after that.
 
Cautious Hero episode 11... right in the smegging feels.

Finale is Friday morning/midnight Saturday Japan time, instead of New Year's Day.
 
Ascendance of a Bookworm
Verdict: 3.0 out of 5, but the pacing threatens to bump it down to 2.5... I hope season 2 improves on that.
This title is the first one in a long time that’s made me want to watch a series again.

—Patrick
 
Funimation is trending for Top 5 Characters of the year on Twitter, so here's mine.
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GasBandit

Staff member
Funimation is trending for Top 5 Characters of the year on Twitter, so here's mine.
I don't have the wherewithal to do a graphic at work, but mine are probably:

1) "Mom" (Promised Neverland)
2) Raphtalia (Rising of the Shield Hero)
3) Chika (Kaguya-sama: Love is War)
4) Askeladd (Vinland Saga)
5) Juzo (No Gun's Life)

Honorable mention: Machio (How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?)
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Great, but who's top 5 waifu/husbando? Or would your lists be the same?
Top 5 Waifus of 2019

Raphtalia (Shield Hero)
Itsuki Nanako (Quintessential Quintuplets)
Mamako (Do you love your mother and her two-hit, multi-target attacks?)
Gina Boyd (Dumbbells)
Washimi (Aggretsuko)

Honorable mention: Albedo (Overlord) (hey, I can still pick her because Isekai Quartet was in 2019!)

But my top 5 anime series of 2019 would be

Jojo part 5
Babylon
Cop Craft
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?
and 5th place is a tie between Shieldbro and Reincarnated as a Slime.

Honorable mentions go to Promised Neverland, Dr Stone, No Guns Life, Vinland Saga, and O Maidens in Your Savage Season.

I would have liked to have gotten around to watching: Fruits Basket, Mob Psycho 100 2, My Hero Academia season 4, Demon Slayer, Carole & Tuesday.
 
I don't have a top 5 at the moment, but Kominami-senpai is high on the list once I have one.

If for no other reason than she doesn't freak out if someone so much as breathes in her direction.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Beastars

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Genre: High School, Drama, Romance

Fanservice: Moderate but tasteful furry nudity.

Premise: Zootopia's PG-13 dark reflection.

Legosi is a gray wolf attending high school in a world where carnivores and herbivores are expected to treat each other civilly, but sometimes nature and instinct is more than can be ignored. Occasionally there will still be the odd herbivore devoured alive, but it is treated as murder - at least, in the daylight. Soon after an herbivore classmate is found murdered and devoured, the melancholic and shy Legosi himself finds his instincts starting to drive him to impulses he would find unthinkable in his right mind. But before he knows it, he has barely stopped himself from devouring a classmate himself. As he berates himself and turns introspective, he finds he can't get his erstwhile victim off his mind... and it becomes more apparent that his fixation is not going away. But is this a predator focused on prey... or is it burgeoning first love? But can a wolf really be in love with a rabbit??

I gotta say I went into this one expecting to get tired of it quickly and move on, but this is actually a singularly compelling story. It also helps that the characters are deeply fleshed out and the dialog and interactions feel very natural and do not rely heavily on the sort of tropes one would expect. The romance angle is halting and awkward, but not cringey. Rather, it's understandable when viewed through the lens of naive inexperience, and there's a lot of thought put into the development of both the plot and the characters. I have a very low tolerance for cringe and awkwardness, but it never bothered me here, and likewise I never felt the love triangle was tiresome or inane (and I think almost ALL love triangle stories are exactly that). So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Beastars is really good. Surprisingly so. It's a mature story, and one that is simultaneously instinctively identifiable and yet complex.

Also, it's got a jazzy theme.

Verdict: 4/5. Very good stuff.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Fire Force

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Genre: Fantasy, Action, Supernatural, Kiddy-Grade

Fanservice: Lots of big bouncing bikini'd boobs, including a literal sex kitten

Premise: In an alternate future where people spontaneously combust and turn into demon-like creatures called "Infernals," the various companies of the Fire Force are called upon to put down the monsters and save the lives of people threatened by the flame. Most soldiers on the Fire Force are pyrokinetics - humans with a genetically-linked ability to control fire in such a way that it gives them special power. However, a shadowy conspiracy plots to corrupt the Force and use spontaneous human combustion for their own unfathomable purpose. A third-generation pyrokinetic with an unfortunate facial tick that makes him smile like a demon when he's nervous joins the rag-tag Company 8 of the Fire Force as a step toward his life's goal of finding the truth behind the fire that took his family from him 12 years ago, and protect others from suffering the same experience.

Boy, 2019 has been the year for "civil service" themed anime, hasn't it, between this, Babylon, and Cop Craft? Fire Force is by far the least mature of the three, however. I generally don't have much patience for Shonen anime... and believe me when I say that Fire Force is Shonen. As. Fuck... but this actually wasn't bad. I liked it a lot more than, say, Hunter x Hunter or Black Clover even though it feels thematically similar to both. It's not particularly deep or complex, and there's plenty of cool-kids-doing-cool-things-to-be-cool-as-cool-would-be-defined-by-a-9-year-old-boy, but it also has a decent feeling of progression and character development that is not rooted in the Learn-a-new-technique-lather-rinse-repeat formula such shows often fall into. Now, I'm not going to say it's show of the year or anything, but I've sat through many shows that weren't as interesting as this one.

That said, there's one or two characters which are as close to 1-dimensional as is possible while still being able to be perceived by the human eye. Some of the character schticks get repeatedly rubbed in the audience's face until they're beyond tiresome. But after 24 episodes, I'm pretty sure I'll tune in for season 2 whenever it comes around.

Verdict: Pretty decent. 3/5.
 
Beastars

I gotta say I went into this one expecting to get tired of it quickly and move on, but this is actually a singularly compelling story. It also helps that the characters are deeply fleshed out and the dialog and interactions feel very natural and do not rely heavily on the sort of tropes one would expect. The romance angle is halting and awkward, but not cringey. Rather, it's understandable when viewed through the lens of naive inexperience, and there's a lot of thought put into the development of both the plot and the characters. I have a very low tolerance for cringe and awkwardness, but it never bothered me here, and likewise I never felt the love triangle was tiresome or inane (and I think almost ALL love triangle stories are exactly that). So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Beastars is really good. Surprisingly so. It's a mature story, and one that is simultaneously instinctively identifiable and yet complex.
I'm gonna echo this: this anime "gets" that sex can be incredibly weird and unsexy between people and that relationships can be awkward between very different people, often due to differences in life experience or an inability to communicate. And that's really the heart of this series: working through your feelings and learning to communicate with others. Legosi's an awkward guy and he's never had a relationship before; he doesn't know if what he feels is because of his hormones (or rather, his predator instincts) or if he has actual feelings for Haru. Haru's had a lot of (bad) relationships and goes into them with certain expectations, some of which are fueled by her own issues. But instead of playing this for comedy like a lot of other shows would, Beastars gives these characters time for deep, realistic introspection... and this all goes on during a story about racism and societal expectations. I'm honestly amazed they were able to pull this off; if this was made in America, the symbolize would have been a lot more heavy handed and the romance would have been an after thought.

Season 2's already been greenlit, so expect to see more of this series in the future. Now if only Netflix would get off it's ass and do an English release.
 
Didn't I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?!



Genre: Stuck In Another World, Fantasy, Comedy, Kiddy Grade, Diabeetus

Fanservice: Bath House and Beach episodes

Premise: A girl who was isolated due to her exceptional talents and abilities in life is Isekai'd by Truck-kun straight into a fantasy world of swords and magic. She asks the deity sending her there to make her average so she can have a normal, happy life. Unfortunately, the deity makes all her abilties the median, not the mean, and of all living things in the world, not just humans - which means she's exactly half as powerful as the most powerful creature in existence. What follows is a fish-out-of-water coming-of-age story of a girl trying to hide her overwhelmingly OP abilities so that she can have friends and a normal life. But circumstances keep arising that force her to rise to the challenge and godmode her way through to protect herself and those she cares about... which leaves her with some 'splainin' to do.

It's not amazing, but it's not awful. I needed something to watch on mondays, and it gave me that. It gets more interesting in the last episode with hints of raised stakes, and that might bring me back for season 2. Otherwise, it's a passable-but-also-pass-uppable series.

Verdict: 2.5/5. S'ok.
My daughter is obsessed with the light novels now, and is continually filled with the need to read passages out loud and I hate everything.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Vinland Saga

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Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure, War

Fanservice: It's too cold in Scandinavia for fanservice.

Premise: Thorfinn is a young boy in Iceland who has grown up under the watchful eye of his father Thors, a gentle giant with a shrouded past. One day, trouble comes visiting their small, poor village, and the ghosts of Thors' past threaten the peaceful life he has worked to provide for his family. The obligations Thors left behind take him away, and Thorfinn, head full of fantastic stories told to him by the aging explorer Leif Ericson, stows away to partake in the adventure.

However, the real world is a dangerous and cruel place, and when things go tragically horrible, Thorfinn's life is changed forever, and he must adapt to the cruel and murderous world of the vikings.

Set with a fictionalized version of the invasion of England by the Jutes, it's clear the author of this series was enamored by the live action Vikings series, and I also saw many parallels with a classic work of children's literature called Hakon of Rogen's Saga by Erik Christian Haugaard. This is no children's story, though - it fools you into thinking so in the first couple episodes, but it very quickly becomes nasty, brutish, and cynical. It's an interesting look at old Norse culture through the lends of Japanese interpretation, and a compelling story with excellent characters. Thorfinn himself undergoes a huge and disconcerting transformation, but the show is really stolen by the mercenary viking Askeladd, and the awakening of the timid Danish prince, Canute.

All in all I'd say this series is an excellent watch, if a bit slow to start. I can't wait to see more of it.

Verdict: 4/5.
 
Set with a fictionalized version of the invasion of England by the Jutes, it's clear the author of this series was enamored by the live action Vikings series, and I also saw many parallels with a classic work of children's literature called Hakon of Rogen's Saga by Erik Christian Haugaard.
Vinland Saga started in 2005. Vikings didn't start airing until 2013. You're probably spot on about Hakon of Rogen's Saga though, as Haugaard had traveled extensively in Japan, as well as wrote books about Japan. It's likely Hakon of Rogen's Saga saw release there early enough to be formative for the creator, Makoto Yukimura. Japan has a fondness for "kid's perspective" titles from overseas, historically speaking, as is noted by their fondness for things like Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, Swiss Family Robinson, and even Harry Potter. They tend to get over there if they sell well or win awards.

Makoto Yukimura also did Planetes, which also has an anime. It's about collecting garbage (i.e. broken satellites and such) in Earth orbit and is pretty damn good too!
 
All in all I'd say this series is an excellent watch, if a bit slow to start. I can't wait to see more of it.
Oh boy. Little bit of a warning (and maybe a spoiler). The first 15 volumes or so of the manga are just the prolog.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
When he started talking trash about "Do You Love Your Mother And Her Two Hit Multitarget Attacks" and "Arifureta" and (Ok, deservedly) "Isekai Cheat Magician" as dishonorable mentions, I started thinking, "Hey, he hasn't even mentioned 'High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World! Bullshit!'" and then I was pleasantly surprised that he put it at number 1.

But boy oh boy am I glad I missed out on even knowing that the entries for 5 through 2 even existed.
 
But boy oh boy am I glad I missed out on even knowing that the entries for 5 through 2 even existed
I'm reasonably sure you at least checked out Pastel Memories. How could you forget 'Pastel Mammaries'? Especially with that ED?

I'm a bit disappointed Mother's Basement didn't go with that boob joke.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I'm reasonably sure you at least checked out Pastel Memories. How could you forget 'Pastel Mammaries'? Especially with that ED?

I'm a bit disappointed Mother's Basement didn't go with that boob joke.
Oh yeah, that jogs my memories. I never got around to watching it, though. Life's too short to put up with bad anime :p
 
I love Black Clover, as I've said, and their OP/EDs are always amazing. Here's the new OP that came out today.

 

GasBandit

Staff member
Kemono Michi: Rise Up

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Genre: Stuck In Another World, Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Wrestling, Fitness?

Fanservice: Lots of skimpy outfits, wrestling holds, crotch shots

Premise: What if you Isekai'd a pro wrestler (who is a closeted furry)?

Genzo "Animal Mask" Shibata is a professional wrestler contemplating retirement. He wants to open up a pet shop and live out the rest of his days among the furry friends that he loves more than anything. But in the middle of what was to be the final match of his career, he is magically transported to a world of swords and sorcery. The princess who has performed the summoning explains that they need a hero to slay demonic beasts... but as soon as he hears that they want him to hurt animals, Genzo completely loses his temper and smashes the Princess straight to the marble tile with a german suplex, before escaping the castle.

Stranded in this strange new world, Genzo decides he's STILL going to open up a pet shop, and he's going to capture and tame demonic beasts and sell them as pets.

The entire premise is absolutely bonkers, and it's hilarious. For most of the season. By the 8th or 9th episode or so, having the same jokes repeat every episode gets a little tiresome, and the climactic final episode is a little... well, anticlimactic... but it's such an off-the wall farce that completely takes the piss out of the Isekai genre that it's still worth watching.

Verdict: 3/5.
 
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