Anime Watchlist


#321

Currently watching Laid-Back Camp a.k.a. Yurukyan a.k.a. cute girls go camping. I started it mostly because I saw the OP and it seemed like a fun show for in between. Turns out its an Iyashikei show and just wonderfully tranquil and wholesome. The character art is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, but the show is filled with absolutely gorgeous nature shots. I basically watch an episode a day in the early morning because its a very nice start into the day, or occasionally right before bed. Not something everybody has to pick up, but if you just want to see time melt away while you are having a nice cup of hot chocolate on your couch, this is the show for you. Also there is a second season and a movie in the works.

In a similar manner because I was looking a show with such a laid-back feeling I started to rewatch Flying Witch recently, watching it in a similar manner. That show and Sketchbook ~Full Colors~ are probably recommendations I would put above Laid-Back Camp due to better character art, more fleshed out and interesting characters and better dynamic, but all three of these shows have a similar vibe.

I also started watching Skull-faced Bookseller Honma, which is a very funny work-comedy about bookstore clerks and shelf-stockers. The animation is very minimalistic as most characters wear masks and other headwear that obscures the face and thus not even mouth-flaps happen most of the time. The style reminds me a lot of Detroit Metal City and in particular Astro Fighter Sunred. As the episodes are only 11 minutes long including opening and closing credits, it is a great show to watch in between.

A show I recently finished is Bokura wa Minna Kawai-sō or as the english title has it, The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior, which was better than I expected it to be. There are still too many boob gags in there and some of the characters are deliberately unlikeable, but as a romance series it has a bit of something to it as there is no love-dodecahedron going on and no ecchi bs constantly happening. It is actually relatively wholesome and the main characters gradually grow towards each other. The show also impresses with a very beautiful art direction for its backgrounds. Hardly a must-see, but better than you would think from the premise.

After recently finishing the english release of the manga for Kuroko’s Basketball, I started watching the anime, but I think I will drop it. The anime doesn’t really add a whole lot, and the action scenes for the actual basketball being played has been rather subpar so far. I’m 10 episodes in and I don’t think its worth watching it, particularly since I’ve read the manga anyway.

Finally there is Kotoura-san a.k.a. Mood-Whiplash the Anime. So this show starts with an interesting premise of a girl that has a low-level psychic ability of being able to read the minds of people in close proximity to her. This manifests in very early childhood and she doesn’t really understand it, starting to blurt out secrets of other people around her, including her parents who both seem to have affairs. She is then shunned for this and abandoned by her parents, entering high school friendless and alone. And then she meets a horny moron who doesn’t care about it and falls in love with her.

Despite the dire setup and the show repeatedly “relapsing” to address stuff like bullying, child abandonment etc. the show is actually a comedy with kind of stereotypical jokes. Now those jokes can and do land on occasion, have illicited a couple of guffaws from me, I admit. However, based on the premise the show could have been so much better by just focusing on the straits the titular character goes through. Instead she is basically over 8+ years of being constantly vilified and ostracized by episode 2 of the show.


#322

We judged the current season instead of doing a Wednesday show last week. Scott’s working hard to get it up for all of you to enjoy.

There are several current shows that look worth watching!


#323

How I can tell Rym writes lots of emails to business people.


#324

Or pornography.


#325

Perche no los dos?

“The Business Strategy team is working hard get it up in time for the shooting date of the money shot”


#326

Touching base changes meaning drastically in the pornography field.


#327

So does low hanging fruit

Circling back… :smirk:


#328

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is better than that title gives it any right to be. While the first two episodes do make you pay the anime tax, it leads to some rare commentary on issues such as mental illness which are sorely missing in anime. Even more impressively is that it never looks down at mental illness, but rather as something that one must live and get support for. It does this by having the character’s issues manifest themselves in a super natural way, but never as some Persona-esque shadow that must be defeated in combat. The protagonist, while still having traces of the all-too-common standard for the stoic protag, is not afraid to be soft without it being showcased as a major weakness.

Over all I really enjoyed it, but I wish this was a higher budget show that was bolder with it’s commentary. It felt like it was holding itself back at times. Still, it’s a good series to watch if you have the time.


#329

I like to think of it as Bakemonowannabe. It’s good, but I also spend most of my time watching it thinking about how much I like the -motogatari series.


#330

Yeah but this did not make me uncomfortable, as the Monogatari series does. I finished the the currently aired ones because of the absolutely bonkers and unique voice it has, but things such as hachikuji and the sisters completely disappointed me. But I do agree with you, and it’s part of why I wish Bunny Girl Senpai was bolder in its voice, to put more emphasis in what sets it apart.


#331

yeah, that stuff is… rough, to put it mildly


#332

I could tolerate Bunny-girl-senpai. I think I really liked one of the monogatari bits… the one with the may-not-exist character that may just be an aspect of protags mind? Still didn’t finish it.


#333

Rymance novels. Escottica.


#334

Been sick at home this past week, so I’ve burned through a bunch of anime.

The second season of KonoSuba is just as raunchy and naught of a comedy of as the first. Definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, particularly with the heavily exaggerated and sometimes downright lewd character designs, but there are some very funny gags as well, particularly when it takes pot shots at the Isekai genre it heavily parodies.

A different kind of “parody” of Isekai is That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. It actively engages in some of the tropes, e.g. the ridiculously overpowered main character, but it sets itself apart as well with this as the main character isn’t out to be the best or rule the world or really shows any sort of ambition. Instead the main character tries to avoid conflict and is looking for peace and to improve things with the power he has. The show isn’t over yet, and I am also a bit behind on the show itself, but I very much liked what I have seen so far. It is also weird to see how the show uses its time. It feels like at times nothing much is happening, but in a good way. I am regularly surprised that the ending of an episode has already arrived, only to find that actually, a ton of events happened during the episode, and you are left with wanting to see more.

A show on the different end of the spectrum in terms of pacing is Wotakoi: Otaku no Koi wa Muzukashii (Otaku Love is difficult). Here I find myself regularly encountering the commercial break eyecatch and thinking “wait, this show is only halfway over. How?” Mostly this is because the show doesn’t have a whole lot of variety. It has a whole 4-and-a-half characters and the show is almost entirely conversations between them, and for the title that ostensibly is about how hard it is to maintain a relationship, particularly for people pre-occupied with their hobbies, there isn’t that much of conflict that has any actual consequences even in the short term. Supposedly this is a rom-com, but I don’t find either much “rom” or “com” in here. The setup of a fujoshi being bullied out of a job only to join a new company and try to hide her hobbies could have been so much more and I feel it is wasted on this show.

Girls Last Tour on the other hand is a show that takes some rather disparate elements and fuses them excellently together. Its about two girls moeblobs driving through a depopulated post-apocalyptic mega-city seemingly without goals or purpose, encountering some remaining technology and questioning how the world got this point with the little knowledge that they have etc. While the show definitely has a very relaxed, Iyashikei-esque pacing and aesthetic, I don’t think it really falls into that genre as the characters are in actually rather real jeopardy and almost die multiple times. At times I also wondered if the entire show is a metaphor for the afterlife or purgatory, something the characters themselves ponder at one point. I actually think the closest comparable this show is found outside of anime: Waiting for Godot. I can’t really call this a “hidden gem” as several outlets have pointed this show out as really good and worth watching, but it is still very surprising just how well this show functions.

An actual Iyashikei series I found by looking for a series similar to Yuru Camp is Non Non Biyori, a laid-back show about a girl moving to the country-side and entering a school with an entire student body of four pupils before her arrival. A bunch of comedy hijinks, beautiful background art, and some moe stuff in this one, nothing much to write home about but a decent time filler or day-starter/day-ender, as I’ve explained before these shows are best watched as.

Finally, I’ve watched Cells at Work a.k.a. Hataraku Saibou which is a rather weird experience to watch while being sick oneself, and unfortunately I also tend to be a bit hypochondriac. The show doesn’t really have characters as much as archetypes as the show isn’t telling as much a narrative as explaining body functions and diseases illustrated with those character archetypes, from blood circulation to heat stroke to cancer. I can’t exactly call this unique as it has a lot in common with a french animated tv show that was a staple in my childhood, Once Upon a Time… Life, but I don’t think that show was very popular in the U.S. In any case, Cells at Work is rather entertaining but I don’t think its really needed to watch this show as a whole or in order. Except for the two-parter that serves as the season finale, it is very much made to watch every episode pretty much independently from any other episode. The only real gripe I have is that the show can’t decide whether it wants to have hyper-violence or cartoonish violence. When a White Blood Cell or a Macrophage attacks a germ they do so with flying knifes and giant fountains of blood, but occasionally the aftermath just shows a germ with X-eyes to signify that they are taken out.


#335

I recently tried to watch the anime for Karin, a.k.a. Chibi Vampire, a.k.a. Cheeky Vampire because after I recently reread the manga. The manga still is very good and holds up for the most part. The story is ostensibly a rom-com about a vampire girl that is an outlier in her family. She can walk around by day, is scared of the dark, can’t manipulate memories, and most importantly instead of sucking blood she over-produces blood and has to inject it into others. A new transfer student named Kenta Usui arrives and Karin’s blood reacts to him due to his misery. Hijinks and romance ensue.

The series can be a bit cliche, but also sets itself apart by talking about some rather mature topics as well, such as poverty, parenting, child neglect, teenage prostitution, and sexual assault. Some of the plot points revolving around these topics I wondered if/how they would be handled in the anime as they aren’t exactly TV friendly, and thought I should give it a shot.

First thing I notice is the animation. Of course the series is from 2005/06 and its readily apparent just how much animation has jumped forward in quality over the decade and a half approximately since, but it’s still fine. I make my way through the early part of the story which is a straight adaptation, though I also noticed that they increased the number of nosebleeds she suffers to a ludicrous amount. Then comes what I was wondering.

One of the early plot points is Usui’s mom being desperate to find work even though she is an unskilled high school drop out, having born Kenta at age 16. She eventually finds work at a love hotel as a cleaning lady, and befriends a teenage runaway who has being forced into prostitution, helping her escape and the love hotel getting shut down, she having done the right thing even though it cost her a source of income she desperately needed.

Nothing of that is in the anime. Instead the anime introduces an incredibly stupid original character that is both extraordinarily dumb written and horribly voice-acted. Instead of raising an underutilized topic and sticking to the original plotline, they go ultra-cliche introducing a rival character with the most contrived backstory ever, and his entire presence is just annoying and dislikeable. After about three episodes with the guy I could no longer take it and dropped the series. Way to ruin an adaptation.

I have also read the Wikipedia page for the anime episodes, and apparently they just didn’t adapt the most important part of the anime which is the underlying reason for the events of the series happening: The reason why the Usui’s moved to a different town, and Kenta’s confrontation with his father.


#336

I recently watched Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues (Chūkan Kanriroku Tonegawa) an excellent series you should watch, but is probably better if you’ve seen the original series first. This is a spin-off prequel to Kaiji, a high-stakes gambling anime that just ratchets up the tension. Tonegawa on the other hand is a comedy that focuses on the villains from the Kaiji series. Initially this is mostly about Tonegawa who struggles to keep his irrational tyrannical boss happy and his quasi-nameless/faceless underlings in line, but later incorporates a second spin-off from Kaiji called One-Day Outing Chronicle Leader (1-nichi Gaishutsuroku Hanchō) which follows Otsuki, a foreman in an illegal forced labor camp and his single day excursions from that camp to both enjoy his life in extremely petty ways, but also to organize for his schemes with which he exploits the other laborers in the camp.

This show is extremely funny in the ridiculous situations it presents, the analogies it creates for them, and also has some very good allusions and parodies to the main story of Kaiji as well as some other anime properties. However, what makes this series the best is the narrator who is just a joy to listen to in plays up really kind of mundane and dumb situations to extreme and hilarious lengths.

Because of that series, I also started a rewatch of Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor (a.k.a. Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji) which is a bit silly on the surface but just grabs the viewer and drags you in, chews you through and spits you out. I will however say that while it uses a similar narrator to Tonegawa (which is of course what Tonegawa is parodying to an extend), the narrator is a different voice actor. The voice actor for Tonagawa is also a different one between the series (not sure about Otsuki, haven’t gotten to his part yet).

Another series I’m currently watching is Gurazeni a.k.a. Money Pitch, a series about professional baseball. Unlike other sports series it doesn’t exactly follow a straight narrative and the games themselves are mostly tangential. Instead it zooms back out and talks about the ins and outs of professional baseball, i.e. contracts, retirement of ball players, calling up from and sending people back to minor leagues, acquiring foreign talent, etc. The show still follows a team over more or less a season, but it is very episodic and you could watch almost any episode without having seen any other episode of the show. It is primarily shown from the perspective of Natsunosuke Bonda, a left-handed middle reliever from a Tokyo based team who has a hang-up about pitching against players who make a bit, but not a lot, more money than he does.

The show is good if you’re into that sort of stuff, but I don’t think it has great appeal outside of that. There are three gripes I specifically have. For one, all the characters look odd and don’t have a cohesive art style. The faces of a lot of players are drawn very much like caricatures, while others have a more developed profile and it is very scattershot. Take a look. My second gripe is with the animation. For some in-game actions, particularly for Bonda’s pitching they use a 3D model for the characters. This is done to have the same motion but be able to use different camera angles, but it also seems cheap and is looks out of place and distracting a lot of times.

My last gripe is the lack of and usage of female characters. Basically the show has none. Unlike high school sports shows there are also no like team manager girls around. However, the OP shows multiple stereotypically cute anime girls as reporters interviewing players, the stadium announcer and stadium aisle vendors. There is one female character who shows up multiple times in the OP and who is the only character in the first iteration of the ED (in the second season the song remains the same, but the animation changes). She is the only named female character and does not show up in the series itself until episode 12 and only gets to play the role of a distant love interest to the main character. I mean, it is kind of expected that a show about male sports don’t have a lot of female characters, but I found this kind of off-putting, particularly with the very suggestively spoken, female-voiced “shoo” that for some reason accompanies the commercial break eye-catches. I just found it offputting and in a way even worse than typical otaku-bait show filled with eye-candy female characters, though it is hardly something that makes the series unwatchable.


#337

Just finished rewatching Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (first time since I downloaded fansubs years ago, this time an official release) and man, it’s even better than I remembered, especially when you binge it.


#338

One Patch Man, a show about a hero who can fix any bug in one commit.


#339

I’m torn between wanting it to be about how baller one person is or how bad everyone else is.


#340

I just finished Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (or AoButa as is the shorthandle for its name) and boy, that show was much better than it had any right to be. The setup is that one day a slightly disengaged teenage boy named Sakuta suddenly sees a girl in a Bunny Girl costume strolling through a library, seemingly invisible to anybody but him. She is in fact a retired child actress and also his senpai at his school, where she is known but mostly ignored. The reason for her literally disappearing is ascribed to “adolescence syndrome” where supernatural phenomena occur to teenagers but is thought of as an urban legend. The boy has however first hand experience with it already. From there the show solves multiple mysteries of this adolescence syndrome and how they manifest in the viscinity of Sakuta and his small circle of friends and family, with him trying to find solutions.

If you read this setup and saw Bakemonogatari and its endless cavalcade of continuations, you will probably have picked up the similarities between the two shows, both being adaptations of light novels too. The nominal difference is that while the Monogatari series drenches its mysteries in japanese folklore and mysticism, AoButa dresses up its phenomena in quantum physics in a somewhat handwavy manner, a sort of science-mysticism if you will.

The far more important thing though, and what makes this show worth watching, is how AoButa utilizes the conditions of its characters to draw analogies to the process of growing up and coming of age, of learning to navigate your social environment and how bucking the expectations it puts on you can both be necessary and freeing at times. It also helps that the main character actually has a personality rather than being a vanilla stand-in for the target male audience to self insert into.

There are still some squicky things about the series, most prominently the little sister character though thankfully at least she is 15 and nothing much is there beyond a brother being rightfully concerned over the wellbeing of a sister who had a traumatic experience of her own. I also didn’t exactly like a rather sexist joke about girls being on periods in the first episode. However, the series has really a lot of depth to it you wouldn’t expect and is certainly worth watching.