October was such a fabulous month of anime-RE-watching shenanigans. Chock it up to the fact that I was stuck on bedrest for the entire month with severe bouts of ADHD, or the blame can be passed on along to my desperate desire for a distraction from the negative and anxiety-inducing ruminations of my brain, causing me to turn to comforting favourites. Whatever the reason, I re-watched shows that I loved the first time around and ended up positively swooning over with all my heart and soul on the second visit.
With the exception of two titles, I gave everything on this list an eight or higher. I’m not someone who gives out eights, nines, and especially tens that easily. I tend to see things for their enjoyment, but my innate habit of critically analysing things from a cultural/historical perspective makes me visualise the shortcomings more vividly than I care for, which then makes me rate stuff on an average-ish spectrum. So, when I do discover (or re-discover, in this case) anime that blow my fucking mind where I least expect them to, those higher numbers come dancing out, along with an irrepressible yearning to add it to my collection. I blame the unfettered nerd within me for that (proudly so).
Anyhoo, I prattled all this rubbish to basically say that October really rocked in terms of anime binging (main way I watched stuff this month). This makes me happier than normal because October was also my birthday month, making the glorious experiences feel like an endearing present to myself (the actual present to myself was cake and lots of it).
Check out the seven shows that I watched (or tried to watch, in one very specific case), which are listed in order of completion (earliest to latest). I do have reviews or recommendation-type posts scheduled out for some of these. However, since I’m scheming up themed-monthly blogging plans for 2021, a couple of them may not go live until next year. Sorry, y’all. If you want more information on anything listed beyond what’s available on BiblioNyan, you can click their titles to visit their respective AniList pages.
InuYasha: The Final Act (2009): This shōnen, fantasy adventure romance series is the sequel to the original InuYasha anime and wraps up the story of Kagome, InuYasha, and friends and their hunt to take down an asshole named Naraku from that 167-episode predecessor. I absolutely adored it and was so happy to finish it right before the new series, Yashahime, began. The Final Act is so much better than the first portion of the franchise for the simple fact that it’s incredibly darker and far more evocative. This isn’t to say that InuYasha isn’t a fantastic show because it is. But the sequel takes everything that made the original so brilliant and amps up the maturity on themes and stakes. There wasn’t a single episode that went by where I didn’t get sucker-punched by my feels. It’s my favourite chunk in the franchise and I will shout about it for as long as I live. 9/10
Golden Kamuy (2018): A seinen, Japanese-style Western that follows a soldier named Sugimoto who promised his dying chum to take care of his family. Once the war is over, he tries to find a way to bring in income to be able to fulfil that request. Then one night he meets an old dude that tells him about a gargantuan hoard of gold and the very peculiar treasure map that shall lead the way to it. This is the best fucking thing that I have experienced since Initial D. I’m actually a humongous fan of the manga series and being able to watch the anime and see all of the hilariously crude humour and fucking savage violence come to life was an indescribable joy. My first time watching this season, I knew nothing of the series, so my feelings on it were conflicted. This time around, however, after having read all of the currently released chapters of the source material, my feelings were completely different. My rating for this went from a seven and a half to a nine and a half, that’s how extreme my pleasure and the sheer strength of my obsession for this series runs. I do plan on doing a review-type post for it in November, so keep an eye out for that gloriously fanhumaning gig. Aside from that, I will say that I’m astounded this isn’t more popular because it is one of the best written things in the anime/manga medium to date. I will die on this fucking hill, fight me. 9.5/10
Ikebukuro West Gate Park (2020): This seinen, urban mystery series is a simulcast title for the Fall 2020 anime season. It revolves around a fruit vendor named Makoto who gets involved in some questionable shite thanks to his mate Takashi, the leader of a large group of hooligans residing in the city of Ikebukuro known as the G-Boys. My initial interest in this was due to it being labelled as an Urban Mystery. I enjoy the genre, but struggle with finding stuff within it that can hold my interest, and unfortunately, Ikebukuro West Gate Park was not the exception here. In my First Impressions, I chat about how it has some good traits to it, but overall is missing something special, which was making me feel so utterly disinterested in it. The episodes and the stories in each segment are elements that I typically enjoy. Even so, with Ikebukuro all I wanted to do was take a nap. When a show can make me feel that bored, or worse, intensify my ADHD, I know that we are not going to get along. So, I ended up dropping this midway through the second episode. Other folx may find it far more entertaining than I did; it may just be a case of it not being my cup o’ chai. DROPPED.
Golden Kamuy 2 (2018): This was not a re-watch, but a first watch for me, and I gave the second season its own entry here since it has it’s own page on AniList. Instead of rehashing the snippet and things, instead I will share one of my favourite episodes. It is an episode where all the boys end up in a shack together, eating an Ainu dish that is actually a very potent aphrodisiac (unbeknownst to them), causing said beautifully manly and muscular boys to get naked and partake in sumō wrestling type-theatrics to satisfy the outrageously brilliant urges that have arisen due to said awesome aphrodisiac. If you’re not watching this series, what the fuck are you even doing with your life, bro? It’s just… *chef’s kiss*. 9/10 [Also, here are my Manga First Impressions and my Anime First Impressions]
Real Girl Season 1 (2018): A shōjo, romantic comedy about a nerdy otaku dude who stumbles into a “normie” lady that is super-hot and clearly out of his league. Smitten by his adorableness, the two begin dating with the rest of the series highlighting the ups, downs, and LOLs of their budding relationship. A very average romantic comedy that I initially felt was very charming, however, episode after episode, I found myself just becoming more and more bored. I think if the series wasn’t so repetitively formulaic and predictable, then I would have delighted in it much more. I do love the art style, however. The watercolour aesthetics and the various shades of pastel with dainty animated effects—it was all so pleasing to the eye and is the main thing that kept me watching until the end. If you want a simple and straightforward RomCom shōjo gig that is pretty to look at, then you may like this title. 6/10 [Anime First Impressions]
Another (2012): A seinen, psychological horror thriller, it follows a supernatural curse that has befallen third-year middle-schoolers in the fictitious small town of Yomiyama in Japan. Okay, confession time: I began watching this as a part of JS’s AniTwitWatches community-wide watching gig. But once I began the series, I became so engrossed in it (the original novel that the anime is based off of is one of my favourite books of all-time) that I finished it in a span of a few days. Oops… But I did discuss on the days we were scheduled to. So… it wasn’t a complete epic failure. Anyhoo, the second watch made me realise how blatantly obvious the anime makes the story (you can decipher things in the first episode, and definitely by the third episode at the latest if you pay attention to the little details), however, that doesn’t make it any less amazing. It does atmosphere flawlessly and really explores themes of self-preservation and the lengths that people shall go to in order to maintain it (or the ways they go insane doing it). All in all, it’s one of the best horror anime ever made and I highly recommend it to folx who like spoopy, scary shite. 9/10
Knights of Sidonia Season 1 (2014): The last one on the list (and probably my second fave after Golden Kamuy), this seinen, mecha, space opera takes place in 3394 and is about mankind who now reside on a ship called Sidonia after they fled an attack from shapeshifting aliens called the Gauna, to put it simply. I fucking love this series. It gets so much hate because of the animation style, and I feel like I have this scandalously unpopular opinion in that the CG animation was a perfect complement to the story, the world-building, the action sequences, the portrayal of the Gauna—just everything that makes Knights of Sidonia so fucking badass and wickedly fantastic. Couple its aesthetic awesomeness with a storyline that is pretty fucking interesting, kick-ass mecha and space battles, and neat representation of gender diversity. That last bit is my favourite thing, especially with how its incorporated into the narrative as a part of the human’s biological evolution due to their desire to survive in the harshest of circumstances and situations. Honestly, I could go on and on about Knights of Sidonia and I cannot fucking wait for the season three film that is (insha’Allah) supposed to release in 2021. Also, I’m low-key in love with the Crimson Hawk Moth. Damn… she’s incredible. But then again, the character that leads to her creation was my fave female in the anime, so there’s that. 10/10
Those are all the things that I (re)watched in October. My November is also fairing quite well thus far. I finished the second season of Knights of Sidonia and am currently making my way through Speed Grapher. One of the things that I have learned about my evolved anime-watching habits is that I much prefer to have a title or two that I am re-visiting while I experience new shows for the first time. The balance prevents me from burning out and has been making the whole process of watching anime in general far more pleasurable. Plus, it also offers insights into how I have changed as a fan of the medium over the years, which is neat. Interesting food for thought, I suppose.
Anyway, hope y’all are doing okay, given the highly stressful situation that we’re all facing. If you need someone to talk to or vent to, know that my inboxes are always open (Twitter, IG, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Take care.