These past couple of months were excellent anime months for me. All the titles consumed were quite pleasant in one way or another, and I also watched the most anime in a two-month period during August and September than I have in all of 2019. Both of those things make me feel really comforted and joyful, and it also makes me super excited for whatever otaku shenanigans that October and November shall bring my way.
Out of the seven serials here, I shall be doing a review for one of them with full certainty (it’s already outlined, just needs to be pieced together and scheduled). There are some that I won’t review at all because I don’t have anything in particular I want to discuss, or I know I’m going to be way too biased to write a review I’ll be proud of. Then the last couple are undecided for me. I’ll let you know which is which in their respective sections.
Megalo Box (メガロボクス) is a shōnen sports (boxing), nanopunk anime series that is the 50th anniversary tribute to the Joe of Tomorrow, or Champion Joe franchise. It follows a street boxer named Junk Dog who aspires to compete in an infamous boxing tournament so that he can go up against the best-known boxer around, Yūki.
I love nanopunk but it’s an extremely rare genre to be found in anime. I remember the first time I sat down and watched the pilot episode and how floored I was by Megalo Box’s potential as a series. My excitement was at an all-time peak to witness such a narrative, one that’s an homage to a brilliant classic nonetheless, set within a nanopunk atmosphere. Combined with all the tossbacks, the craftsmanship of its artistic style, the music—everything about it blew my fucking mind. Impatience got the best of me while it was simulcasting, so I put off finishing it until it was complete, which I finally did in August.
If you like nanopunk as a genre, then I highly recommend that you watch Megalo Box, if you haven’t already. It’s a classic underdog story, while breaking that mould in some pretty neat ways. Plus, almost-retro hand-drawn animation is combined with the contemporary kick of technology blended together almost seamlessly to create a highly addictive anime experience. Did I mention that is also has a kick-arse soundtrack? 8.5/10. No review planned.
Phantom in the Twilight.
Phantom in the Twilight (ファントム イン ザ トワイライト) is an original shōjo, supernatural, urban fantasy that’s both a Japanese and Chinese production from LIDENFILMS. It’s about a couple of young ladies who move to London to attend University. When one of the girls gets kidnapped, her friend decides to do whatever she can to be the saviour. In the process she also discovers that her grandmother was a very special person with unique powers, powers that she now has inherited.
There were a lot of things that I enjoyed about this urban fantasy series. Urban fantasy is a genre that I tend to like more of within the anime medium rather than others, so seeing the young woman and the friends she makes along the way whipping out their own set of abilities in a completely modern environment was appreciated. The protagonist’s grandmother seemed like a badass, which reminded me a tad bit of Natsume’s Book of Friends.
Beyond the good stuff, everything else was disappointingly average and I felt like there was a lot of lost potential here. For example, we learn about Grandma’s powers, but it’s clipped and brief. There is very little information delving into her past, which I felt like would have been excellent information to have, particularly with providing more depth to the leading lady. The Shadow world that is essentially the magical aspects of the universe was also curious to me, but yet another thing that wasn’t established enough. There are a few other examples as well. All these shortcomings ended up creating a significantly mediocre ride. 6/10. No review planned.
Poco’s Udon World
Poco’s Udon World (うどんの国の金色毛鞠) is a seinen, fantasy, slice-of-life series about a 30-year-old guy named Sōta who returns to his hometown in Kagawa to attend his father’s funeral and take care of the aftermath of his passing. While in town, he encounters a small child who appears to be homeless and family less. Sōta takes him in and ends up having his life changed, and enlightened, in ways he never expected.
This is one of the best anime serials I’ve seen thus far in 2019. It’s remarkably comforting and kind and beautifully gentle on the emotions while retaining a strong essence of evocativeness. The series is about family and the natural dysfunctions that tend to create chasms within family bonds, and the kooky ways that life tends to bring everything together when the time is right.
Additionally, it is chock full of extraordinarily gorgeous animation, lively and upbeat opening and ending songs, and many charming characters, making Poco’s Udon World damn near perfect. 8.5/10. Review to come.
Persona 5: The Animation -Day Breakers-
Persona 5: The Animation – The Day Breakers is a sort of prequel segment to Persona 5: The Animation that shows the Phantom Thieves tackling one of the cases that’s in the video game.
I can’t comment much on this without spoiling some aspects of Persona 5: The Animation, but I will say that I loved watching it. I was hoping that this prequel/side-story episode would have focused more on Joker’s life, specifically the event that forced him to move to Tokyo. Alas, it was not. But besides that, it was just as stylish and fun as the main serial. 7.5/10. Review not planned.
Persona 5: The Animation Special: Stars & Ours
Persona 5: The Animation – Stars & Ours is the second special that was released after the main anime finished simulcasting. This one completely wraps up the main story.
Once again, there was very little that I didn’t like about it. It had the same stylish flair and glamour to it that I became besotted with when I first played the game and also when I watched the main anime. My only really complaint is that it dragged on a tiny bit where its predecessor—Dark Sun—was much faster paced. So, when you watch it back-to-back, it can feel a bit unbalanced.
Another thing that I felt after I finished watching this is that rather than have two separate special segments, I think the franchise would have benefitted better if it was all compiled into one full-length film. However, that could just be a personal preference thing. I still recommend it either way. 7.5/10. Review not planned.
Black Lagoon Seasons 1 & 2
Black Lagoon (ブラック・ラグーン) is a seinen, action, crime series about a group of criminals known as Lagoon Company, who essentially run deliveries for shady clients in the fictitious city of Roanapur in Southeast Asia.
Black Lagoon was a re-watch for me. This was probably my fifth or sixth time watching through the entire series. Recently, I wrote a post chatting about the anime that I like to re-watch for various reasons, and those reasons are why I picked it up in September. I needed to laugh and unwind, and just feel inspired again. Moreover, Black Lagoon is one of the very few anime where I actually prefer the dubbed version. It’s just so damn good.
I highly recommend this to people who like high-octane serials akin to John Woo films, and those who don’t mind episodes brilliantly jam-packed with artistic vulgarities. 9/10. Review undecided.
Fruits Basket (2019)
Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット) is a shōjo, supernatural, romance, comedy anime that was one of the Spring simulcast titles for the year. It follows a teen girl named Tōru Honda, who finds herself homeless due to special circumstances. When a couple of her classmates discover her situation, they invite her to live with their family for the time being. While residing with them, she learns their dark family secret and vows to protect it and them in whatever ways that she’s able to do so.
This remake is perfect. I never say that about anime, even my beloved Initial D. But this adaptation is absolutely astounding; a masterpiece for the medium and the perfect way to pay this fantastic series the greatest of respect and acknowledgement. I cried with every fucking episode and I laughed, and I felt so incredibly inspired to keep fighting through all of life’s bullshite. It is my favourite anime to date—that isn’t Initial D or GTO—and I will always cherish this.
If you’d like to know the details of what makes this so brilliant, a few of those qualities include breath-taking animation, charming yet thoughtfully flawed characters, splendid musical store, and a narrative that is so powerfully engaging and filled to the brim with a vast spectrum of evocative allure. It’s perfect for watchers of all genres and story types. I’ll never stop recommending Fruits Basket. 10/10. Review undecided.
I don’t have many ambitious watching plans for October or November, as I know that I’m going to be busy with transitioning to a new university and also with trying to spend the extra time that I have with working on my writing projects, at least before all of that time disappears with school. Either way, my brain and heart shall remain optimistic that whatever I do consume shall be as enjoyable as these two months have been.
Have you seen any of the anime on this list? If so, what did you think of them? If not, do you plan on watching them in the future?
Thank you so much for visiting me today! I appreciate your support. I wish you a lovely day ahead.
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