Good evening, Chums! June and July were decent anime watching months for me given all that I had going on. The bulk of what I had consumed consists of seasonal simulcasts, which taught me that I much prefer to watch completed shows versus ones that are simulcasting, mostly because I don’t have to wait around to finish it and I get more enjoyment with going at my own pace. This doesn’t mean I won’t have a couple that shall tempt me into the Dark Side every now and again (I’m looking at you Fruits Basket, and possibly Vinland Saga, which is damn alluring; yet I’d prefer to binge it).
There’s also a nice variety to the genres of things conquered that makes me feel good. After looking at the anime on this wrap-up, I think moving forward with August and September, my goal shall be to watch some older shows. Recently, I started watching Naruto and re-started Hunter X Hunter (not that old, I know), and the old-school vibes have been quite lovely. If there is one specific title that I know for sure that I’d like to conquer before the end of September that shall have to be The Twelve Kingdoms. I chatted about it briefly in my Top 5 Underrated Shōnen list thing here, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the art style since that post!
Similarly to my biblio wrap-ups, I’ve including a snippet with some brief musings and links to any relevant reviews/Anilist pages. Future reviews shall also be mentioned. If I decide not to review a title, but you’d love one anyway, let me know and I’ll outline something. It’s very rare for me to turn away review requests.
Senryū Girl (Spring 2019)
Senryū Girl is a shōnen, slice-of-life anime short series that follows a socially awkward adolescent girl named Yukishiro Nanako who only communicates via senryū (Haiku-like short poetry) that consists of 5-7-5 syllables, and her good friend named Busujima Eiji who is always mistaken for being a delinquent due to his roguish demeanour. Both teens are part of their school’s literature club where they learn more about the art of crafting senryū.
This was a very cute anime that has the pink, cherry blossom motif of the Spring season down beautifully. Between the dainty art-style and the lively characters, a couple of whom were quite creepy, there was very little about this show that one couldn’t enjoy. My biggest complaint was that it didn’t go over senryū the way that I had anticipated. The first couple episodes made it seem like it would teach us about this specific type of poetry writing, as there are many anime out there that are educational in nature, however that aspect took a major backseat to the cutesy romantic stuff. My heart was saddened. Overall, though, it was a delight and I’d recommend it to watchers who’re in the market for a low-maintenance feel-good story that doesn’t require a big commitment at all. I currently have no plans to do a full-review, but if you’d like one, let me know. 6.5/10.
Dororo (Winter 2019)
Dororo is a seinen, historical dark fantasy, supernatural anime with a story about a young boy—Hyakkimaru—who technically shouldn’t be alive as his father sacrificed his existence on an alter to twelve demons in exchange for political power and influence. However, due to certain extenuating circumstances, the kid survives. Eventually, he finds himself in the company of a little boy named Dororo, and the story follows them from this point onwards.
I loved this series! It is one of the best for 2019. There are so many cultural and visual nuances in this series—both subtle and more on the nose—that make is utterly brilliant. Between the multi-faceted characters, the artistry, the writing, and much more, I’d even say that it’s one of the top ten of my contemporary favourites. I do plan on doing a full review for this, so keep an eye out for it.
Attack on Titan: Season 3 Part 2 (Spring 2019)
The best instalment in the series thus far. Season one was an excellent introduction to the world of Attack on Titan, providing us the gist of what is going on, what the characters’ motivations were, and much more. Season two was a hot mess of inconsistent flashback regurgitation with half-arsed animation. Season three took everything I loved about season one and blended it with rich storytelling that provided concrete historical context that gave the narrative a much rounded and wonderful flow to it. It’s safe to say that the last season will be the make it or break it instalment for this franchise. 8.5/10 for this season.
Goblin Slayer (Fall 2018)
Goblin Slayer is a seinen, dark fantasy, adventure anime about a silver-ranked adventurer who steps in to save some newbies from being completely decimated by goblins. From here, we learn that he only ever hunts goblins and usually solo. However, the quirky blonde priestess is so thankful for his heroics that she joins him on his quest to protect him and lend a helping hand were possible.
This was a controversial anime when it came out, mostly because of its pilot episode. However, beyond that it’s kind of a generic dark fantasy series that makes the mistake of relying on heavy loads of unnecessary fan service at an attempt at making it charming. If it cut out all of that gratuitous nonsense, it would have been quite a fantastic show because there are some amazing dynamics to it. I do plan on doing a full review where I shall focus more on the positives of what Goblin Slayer has to offer, which you can expect in a day or so.
Rideback (Winter 2009)
Rideback is a seinen, science-fiction, drama anime that follows a character named Rin Ogata. Rin was a ballet prodigy who was set to follow in her late mother’s footsteps as one of the greats of the industry. Then one evening during an impressive performance, she broke her ankle and it changed her future. After recovering from her injury, Rin understood that she would never be able to perform the way that she used to, that she’d never be as good as she once was. Accepting her reality, she begins to attend a local university with the hopes of figuring out what comes next for her. One day she comes across the Rideback club and it revolutionises her sense of identity.
July was a month of appreciating this phenomenally underrated series for me. I did a character spotlight for Rin and then it was the centre of my OWLS post as well. I have seen this series at least twice and it never stops blowing my mind with how absolutely gorgeous it is (more so when you consider it’s a decade old; well-done Madhouse) and how much it fortifies the power of subtle storytelling. You don’t need a shite ton of details and a massive cast to tell a good and impactful story, which is exactly what you get from Rideback. I haven’t decided if I will be doing a full-review for this that is separate from what I’ve already written, but if you’re interested in that, let me know in the comments. 9/10.
Sounds of Life! (Spring 2019)
Sounds of Life! is a shōnen, slice-of-life, music (koto) anime about a koto club at a local high school where kids come together through various circumstances to play Japan’s national instrument (and one of my favourite instruments ever).
This show has a lot of fucking tropes and is quite basic. Yet, my love for the koto helped me to develop a very deep connection to the series and a couple of the characters. There was even one scene where I bawled my eyes out because the music reminded me so much of my late brother and his passion for playing an array of instruments. While it’s quite a few leagues away from being perfect, it is still enjoyable if you know what to expect. I do plan on reviewing this, so stay tuned.
Those are all of the shows I’ve finished between June and July. For the most part, they were all rather pleasant in one way or another. I didn’t see anything that I wish I could erase from my mind and that’s always a plus! I do have a small list of Currently Watching titles and of them I hope to have Megalo Box, Planetes, and Persona 5 Special 2 finished in August.