Tuesday, July 14, 2020

[New][July 2020] Shows that I've Started, and am Considering as of July

Skipping right to it:

Shows on the List to Start:

The God of High School: I've been reading the comic for...a very long time now. So, suffice to say, I'm your most biased opinion. Long story short: Shounen Battle Genre, but with one of the deepest running intrigue plotlines I've ever seen. It's literally insane, they're still as of last week, pulling more threads out from characters past to weave the narrative deeper. Mind you, the plot may go for broke in depth, but the story and characters are charmingly simple, and I am absolutely invested in seeing some of the fights animated, if for no other reason than the idle dream I might more fully comprehend just what the hell is going on sometimes. Right, so,

with a heavy spoonful of Biased Opinion salt.

Re:Zero Season 2: Ready to watch a japanese boy suffer and die repeatedly in another world over and over, again and again just to advance the plot one step forward at a time. You should know the story by now, and if you don't, you need to watch the first season, this is probably a direct sequel, I fail to see how shenanigans in time can be achieved.

Fire Force Season 2: This show got the most unexpected amount of hype out of me in its first season, and I'm still not entirely sure why. On paper, it still reads like a basic shounen battle show, but there's just something so reasonable and mature about it regardless. I absolutely adore this show.
Also, in case it wasn't apparent yet, unless stated otherwise, assume that if I recommended a first season and have decided to watch a second, the recommendation carries over if the show maintained or achieved it by the end of the previous season.

SAO Alicization: I really dig stories about AI, so I'm willing to ignore some Kirito plot-god'n for a conclusion to the story we've been given thus far, and were left hanging with.


Right...*squints at list* I think that's everything I haven't started yet...I really should find some way to make wordpad use white letters on a black background, discord and everywhere else has spoiled me with dark themes. My night shifter eyes hiss at the bright whites now. Blogger isn't helping either. Anywho, back on point:

Shows I've started:

Monster Girl Doctor
: Honestly, I debated whether I should wait till I could see the second episode to post this one, because I damn near dropped it in the bin right in the opening 2 minutes. There's a lot to be said about the First Impression you give your audience. Yes, it's not everything, but it sure as shit sets the tone for what your viewers can expect. Ultimately this show is the reason I decided to include Reviewers in the previous post, so I could give the proper context. I can't, in all good honesty, watch and adore that show for its comedy, and then just wordlessly drop this show in 2 minutes. No, I gotta harp on this shit like it owes me money.

The entire rest of the episode maintains a very professional air about its conduct, minus the token romantic fucking angst, because god forbid we could have romantic interests without teenage-grade fucking angst and jealousy...Where was I?
Oh right. It maintains a reasonably professional air, almost like it's apologizing for its opening act. This is precisely what pisses me off. You know one thing I won't bash the show "Prodigies in Another World" for? It's opening act. Was it glaringly off-putting? Yeah. But it was also painfully honest. It tells you everything you need to know about what to expect from that show, right in episode 1. Know another show that doesn't apologize for what it is? Ishuzoku Reviewers. If you're going to try and sweep it under the rug after you do something, don't bloody well do it to begin with.

The way it should have been done, is with a more reasonably level headed introduction to the world. THEN introduce the doctor doing a breast cancer check, after you have established that he's very dedicated to being professional. Nevermind the female staff member in the same building with him that is probably more than qualified to perform said exam. At least establish some kind of reason he had to do it himself. Hell, by the end of the first episode they already have, they're casting him as some kind of Dr. House-grade diagnostic savant. If they had cracked more lewd jokes, or just shuffled the order around a bit, I wouldn't have cared, but this storyboarding just feels incredibly slapdash to me. Maybe I'm just over reacting, but it sticks out like a bull in a china shop after our next show:

The Misfit of Demon King Academy: This is how you do it. By the end of the second episode, the main character is already two girls deep into a harem, and I am 100% okay with this. Which is a god damn first I'll have you know. Know why? Because he's not a fucking air head. He damn well knows what he's doing, and that he's good at it. He knows for a fact that they're interested in him at least partially romantically, and the best part? They damn well know it between each other as well, because they damn well asked each other about it like civilized functioning members of a society. They didn't even lose their shit over it! (mind you, they had literally just got done losing their shit over something, but in-world-context justifies that because HaHa, caste-system politics, etc).
Suffice to say, I am HYPED for Demon Lord Saitama *cough* uh...I mean...*squints at script* Anos Voldigord. Voldigoad? I dunno, something like that. This show gets a full


No strings attached. It's gonna be a wild ride, I'm sure.

and that's it for now folks!
I'm also looking forward to Railgun starting back up this friday, if all things go according to previously provided plans, but I don't really think a return from hiatus counts for a post here, so no comment beyond this. Hell, as it is, it's part of such a long running series that if you weren't on board already, I can't imagine an argument that would make you start now.

I'm Back! Covid19 Sucks, Right? Let's skim the past to catch up!

So. I'm only able to blame half of the lack of posts on covid, because all it's done so far is royally rape my sleep schedule...actually, just my life schedule in general. I'd never asked for a live test of the extent of comfort a set schedule for life provides, but I got one anyway. I've been flopped around between 1st shift, 2nd shift, three different stores...it's not been a good time, but it's not like I have much room to complain, my life is still pretty lush all things considered. ANYWAY, Back on point!

I'm just going to rapid fire random shows from my episode list as I read through it and confirm whether I have posted about it before or not.

They're kind of out of order, haven't actually been taking the time to clean and organize it as shows dropped off and didn't find replacements. Just didn't have the time to watch, plus there just...not being much to watch? at least 3 shows went on Hiatus for Covid reasons, and then several more ended with the season. Now the next seasons starting up...or I missed one? who knows, I'm not on top of the game anymore these days.

...christ I really haven't done much watching or reviewing have I...?
Let's work on that:

Shows that I have Completed

Tower of God:
I highly doubt I need to do much pushing for this particular envelope. I live under a rock and even I noticed how much hype they were building for this thing. Funnily enough, I've been using webtoons for a few months now, I've been using it since before the covid outbreak, but once quarantine procedures rolled out, I really started to lean on it, and picked up scores of new comics. I just didn't have enough focus left for the kind of in-depth games that I prefer when getting home from work. YET: I never read Tower of God. Still haven't at time of writing, but now that the anime has completed and there's clearly plenty more left, I'm considering it. Especially since...I'll talk about that later. Suffice to say, this was a really fascinating show, and very well made and told too. Dunno how it stacks to the comic, but I do know that you need to keep your nose out of the comments no matter what. Bloody busybody comic readers couldn't shut up, or cover their arguing with spoiler tags. God, I wonder if that's what Webtoons comment sections look like, I've never read more than the top comments...hopefully its just a special small and vocal niche created by the overlap of mediums.

The 8th Son? Are you Kidding me?: Not quite sure what caught my interest....oh wait that's right, I was just desperate to find something to fill the empty time slot for the day of the week that it was airing, as shows went on hiatus or just outright ended their season.
Having said that, this is actually a really fantastic show. I saw a lot of high ranking comments bashing on it, but I don't really get why? I suppose it may be the same tired old problem, people walking into a door with Fantasy decorations, and getting all pissy when it isn't "SAVE THE WORLD WITH THE POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP" nose dive into a magical feel good adventure.
I'm exaggerating of course,

but that doesn't make the screaming imp in the back of my head shut up that someone out there probably legitimately thinks like that.

In truth, this is more a show of medieval politics than anything else. The main character is literally the exact opposite of invested in said politics, but that's the part that makes it approachable and fun for me. If he was invested, it would just boil down to another drama-based show. Instead, it comes across more as a 'modern perspective' kind of nod and analysis of older political structures. There's an intriguing enough set of details running underneath everything, but the show doesn't give much attention to that.

All told, the show doesn't feel like it has a specific goal in mind, which may be where it garners most of its criticism. That would also be the most probable reason I enjoyed it so much in such an exhausting time. I most definitely Recommend the show, but not enough to put the fancy font and add a post tag for it. That's for another show later next post. I would have been happy to give it one, if the show had been just a bit more ambitious with literally any of its story directions, but it's still a fantastic way to pass the time.

Annnd that's it...oh wait there was one more I suppose. Hmm. Ah well I'll keep it brief.

Ishuzoku Reviewers: This show is not intended for the young or the innocent. I am 99.9% sure You must be of legal age in the region in which you live to watch it.

But at the same time, it's not exactly for mature audiences, since most of its comedy is literally puerile in nature. So watch it literally the birthday you're old enough to do so.

It is, literally, a story about a group of adventures writing reviews for brothels of all the demi-human races. For someone like me who has had their humanity burned out yeaaars ago, it's comedy fucking gold. Almost literally, I didn't see any gold in the golem shop, or that would be a class S joke right there
Anyway, so if you're of legal age wherever you live, not a prude, and know how to take a joke about erotica, I think this show's comedy genius. It's my kind of humor, rather than going for over the top slap-stick humor, the "THE THING HAPPENED, ISN'T THAT JUST SO WACKY HA HA HA",
Kind of gags and jokes, it's actually pretty off-the-cuff analytical.

In other words, context is the base of most of the jokes, although they do make their puns and innuendos of course. Not gonna lie, the old lady is the first thing that has made me physically cringe away from my monitor in a very long time. Just because I know something exists, doesn't mean I want a reminder dammit. The best part is that the show absolutely knows it's doing that. After the initial introduction though, she's a worthwhile contributor to the comedy, but mostly if you watch the after credits little shorts type things that feature her basically being an instructor to whatever demi-humans the main characters visited in that episode. Those were about a 50-50 hit or miss for being funny for me.

*CLAPS*RIGHT THEN. In the interest of not having another post where the tags are longer than the character limit, I'll cut this post here because uh...that's literally it for shows I've completed. Like I said, physically and mentally I got thrown for a loop the last 5'ish months, but I still don't have much room to complain all told. No one I know has gotten the 'Rona, and I've been fine myself so far despite working with the public. If I just disappear for an entire year with no posting though, safe to assume I died! It would probably be one of the first times it was actually a true accusation about someone disappearing from the net.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

[New][January 2020] In/Spectre, a Refreshing Story and Characters

When the show just got done Sucker Punching you in the gut,
and you never saw it coming...

Last Seen: Episode 2

Summary: (Quoted from MyAnimeList.com)

At the young age of 11, Kotoko Iwanaga was abducted by youkai for two weeks and asked to become their "God of Wisdom," a mediator between the spirit and human worlds, to which the girl quickly agreed... but it came at a cost.
Now, six years later, whenever youkai wish for their problems to be solved, they make their way to Kotoko for consultation.
Meanwhile, Kuro Sakuragawa has just broken up with his girlfriend after he apparently fled alone when the two encountered a kappa. Seeing this as her chance to become closer with him, Kotoko immediately makes her move, hoping to marry Kuro one day. However, she quickly realizes there is something more to Kuro. With this knowledge, she asks for his help in solving the various issues presented by the supernatural, all the while wishing her newfound partner will eventually reciprocate her feelings.

First Impression: An amazing 180 flip of expectations! Even if most of that is because of Crunchyrolls Summary.

My Opinion: I wasn't expecting anything from this show, but that mostly has to do with Crunchyroll's summary making it sound like the entire show revolves around romance. It is literally the opposite.
The show is so...candid, for short.
Hell, they literally just spent the entire second episode on two characters doing nothing but talking about and deducing things about something that was already done in the past, just because one of them "wanted an answer they are satisfied with". In case that flew over your head, that means the show devoted almost all of twenty minutes to dialogue and it was still interesting.

In long: I have often praised shows for being "level-headed", which is to say, if the normal response in Anime when someone accidentally walks in on a person using the bathroom is for irrational anger and comedic violence, then the 'level-headed' response is only being angry if they stop and stare instead of immediately leaving and apologizing. Comedy is all well and great, but when comedy becomes the normal, the Status Quo, then its not funny anymore, and I've banged on about that quite enough I think.

In contrast, In/Spectre, (which is actually one of the most clever attempts to translate a title I've seen in recent years of Crunchyroll titles, if not the best, by the way), is not just level-headed. It feels...well, realistic, to say the least. That doesn't quite describe the whole impression I'm getting though. Ah, I know.
Down-to-Earth. That's it. The show feels very grounded in reality for all that it is clearly 100% supernatural right out of the gate. It's entirely possible that I find that highly appealing as part of a minority, but I'm going to pretend like I'm the majority anyway. The setting of the show is presented in such a way that it comes across as utterly mundane, the normal day-to-day just naturally features things we'd find utterly outlandish. I love it when stories and fiction of all kinds approach the supernatural as if it would have its own special natural laws and physics to obey, if not explicitly in a literal 1:1 ratio of the meaning of Physics. Since, usually, you bend if not break several Physics with supernatural settings and conditions almost as a default.

I put some extra emphasis on clarifying that last statement because its very relevant here. This show hasn't talked about anything from a scientific or Physics-based perspective at all, and yet it still feels very real. That has to do with the fact that a lot of times, people on both sides of the writing will mistake excessive details as lending realism. Much in the same way that you'll often find the mistake that making a story and its characters gritty and edgy will make it more Mature or better appeal to adults. In/Spectre is a very nice example of how to tell a viscerally candid and approachable supernatural settings story in a realistic perspective, without drowning the audience in enough scientific terminology to fill an astrophysicists term paper.

To talk about it in a much less vague way, despite how much effort I'm putting in to avoid spoilers, the romantic aspect of this show is doing everything absolutely right in my opinion. Without being at all in your face with it. If it wasn't for the fact that it is very clearly a core element of the show, you'd almost be forgiven for thinking it was a background sub-plot for non-main characters with how low-key the show treats it. Personally, as someone who has been an introvert all their life, I say with authority that the typical representation of the Shy, the Timid, the "Tsundere", and other such archetypes finding love by being vague, indirect, and misleading...well it's just straight hogwash. While I actively avoided human contact on purpose until my teenage years, (because children and especially teenagers are prone to stupid ideas, and being convinced they're great regardless), I spent a lot of time watching people. The bottom line is this: People are not Psychic mind-readers. Whatever you don't do, whatever you don't say, those things are forever unknown to others. The only way someone finds out that another person likes them, is if they damn well say it...or else are snooping, and that breaks ground into all kinds of especially sketchy territory that I'm not bothering with right now.

In/Spectre hits this nail on the head quite nicely. Kotoko isn't gushing at Kuro, nor is she stalking him. She's being politely forward and honest. Quite frankly, it's only after I watched the first episode that I've realized how de-sensitized to anime's standard romantic methods we've all become, how we naturally take it for granted that romantic interests are going to be comedic and over-the-top exaggerated affairs.

[Aside rant]
While that's fine in its own rights for a show that is meant to be a comedy, it's only now that I've taken a step back and seen the wider perspective of just how pervasive it is across the board. I mean, sure, Japan adores their comedy and anyone can see that just by watching some of their game shows. The bemusing part is how often I'll see a show praised for breaking from the exaggerated romantic tropes...but yet at the same time, without the show having been an anime and placed in that set of standards...would anyone have been commenting about the romantic elements of the shows at all? I can't help wondering that.
[rant end]
In short, with great joy I give In/Spectre, (a play on "Inspector", btw, something I only realized after I finished the first episode), a full and earnest:


You should be watching this show this season, it's gonna be good.