Mid-Season Mutterings: Fall 2020 Anime Simulcasts

I know, I know. The Fall 2020 anime season has technically ended, however, most of the shows that I’m watching from this past season are 24-episoders, meaning that rather then it being the end, it’s merely the mid-way point. With that, I bring y’all to my mid-season mutterings on the handful of simulcasts that I have been keeping up with.

My original plan was to watch a much larger spectrum of shows, however, with life getting somewhat extreme these past few months, I figured it would be best to keep my airing watchlist a bit more low-maintenance and manageable. The only downside to this is that I catch up on weekly segments far too quickly and start starving for more by the end. Even so, I’m glad that most of the stuff I did pick up are turning out to be rather swell and entertaining and quite worthy of their investments.

There are four total anime titles I’ll be chatting about today. Three of them are still ongoing with the fourth being the only one of the bunch that had recently wrapped up (thus leaving me in a humongous ball of anxiety and impatience and mind-blown ecstaticness). Feel free to click the titles to visit their respective AniList pages. If there’s any First Impressions write-ups to share, they shall be linked at the end.

Yashahime: Princess Half-Demons

This shōnen adventure, fantasy series is the direct sequel to InuYasha: The Final Act and picks up fifteen years after the events of its predecessor, following the daughters of Sesshomaru and Rin, and InuYasha and Kagome as they protect the realm from demons while trying to learn the truth about who they are and where they come from.

We are twelve episodes into this series and while I’m enjoying it, mostly for nostalgia’s sake, the series definitely isn’t without its issues. The first and most annoying issue (and possibly a very personal quirk above all else) is how every character is constantly labelled in each and every single episode. I understand the need to point them out in the first few instalments as there are a lot of folx to keep track of, but when it’s happening three months into its simulcast with no indication of letting up, it turns into an unnecessary irritation.

Another issue that I have is that the series started on a sequence of flashbacks, which felt wholly unneeded. If it began where the flashbacks did and stuck with it as is, it would be just as if not more compelling. The reason I bring this up now during the three-month check-in is because we still have no clue as to what happened to the parentals of the three kiddoes. Only a handful of *gasp* flashbacks have given us tiny clues as to their shady disappearances. The significant lack of explanations also hasn’t given the story any realm of cohesive storytelling dynamics or an actual plotline to follow beyond hunting down a Dream Butterfly for reasons (I don’t want to give spoilers for potential future watchers).

Other small things that have been driving me crazy is the way everyone treats Moroha like an idiotic, comical relief character. She definitely takes after her dad in a lot of ways, but I wish she were given a slightly more serious build to her character, rather than a jester-like accompaniment to Sesshomaru’s girls. She’s constantly treated like crap and it bugs me quite a lot.

Moroha tired of everyone’s BS.

Even with all my issues, I have really been enjoying the series overall. As I mentioned earlier, there is a nostalgic element that reminds me of the original InuYasha series that I adore very much. I only wish this new addition to the franchise had more substance to it in the ways that its precursor did. Right now it’s quite flat and shallow. However, given that there’s no total episode count yet, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it shall grow deeper and more narratively fleshed out as it moves forward.

Jujutsu Kaisen

A shōnen, supernatural dark fantasy series about a kid who tries to rescue his friends from some shady supernatural shit and ends up becoming a vessel for one of the most powerful cursed beings to have existed. He’s then captured and trained how to tackle other cursed beings with the understanding that one day he’ll have to be executed so as not to become a plague of doom and gloom to the whole world.

I have very few negative things to say about Jujutsu Kaisen. Thus far it has been a wild ride of badassry and laughs and even some evocative moments, more so if one understands some of the more subtle and not often spoken aspects of Japanese culture. The writing has been top notch, the action and violence is perfectly balanced with the storytelling and the humour, the characters are all unique and their abilities are just as strange and eccentric as they are, there is a cohesive plotline—I mean, I could probably go on.

Another thing I find quite pleasant about this show is that while it does have some formulaic elements with regard to the shōnen genre, it isn’t afraid to try something fresh and new with it. In that sense it can be occasionally unpredictable and incredibly absorbing. I love that each episode feels like it flew by in the span of five minutes. That glorious air of riveting suspense and engagement is just marvellous, especially with all of the other qualities it has going for it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I have been. I’m floored by its fabulousness.

If there are any shortcomings I could mention, it would have to be how predictable it still is even with its originality and fresh takes. As I mentioned, it has its formulaic titbits, and sticks close to them most of the time. It also feels a lot like a newer generation’s version of Naruto in many respects as well, which I don’t mind because it’s still unique enough on its own to stand apart and stand out, however, I know some watchers have had issues with how close the two can feel. Just something to keep in mind if you decide to try this out and haven’t yet.

With another twelve episodes left in the series, I’m curious to see if it shall wrap everything up nicely with a bow by its end, or if it shall leave us on some cliff-hangers akin to Demon Slayer. I’d definitely prefer the former, but am not opposed to the latter as long as there’s an announcement for a continuation to go along with it. Oft times, so many amazing anime are left dwindling in mid-air without a solid ending and it’s super heart-breaking. [First Impressions]

With a Dog and a Cat, Every Day is Fun

This is a shōjo anime short that I picked up a couple of weeks ago as per the suggestion of an otaku chum while I was searching for feel-good anime to dive into and binge-watch. It follows a mangaka expressing her daily life as a companion to both a doggy and a kitty. Each episode is approximately two minutes long and the series was originally a comic that they published on their Twitter page, and then later on Pixiv.

This show is definitely not for serious anime watchers looking for something to dissect and analyse. It’s entire purpose is to be a goofball of laughter as well as some mild heart-warming comfort, mostly for pet owners. There are jokes about trying to get the animals acclimated, or having to clean up after them when one is first potty training them, there’s a ton of compare-and-contrast type situations between cats and dogs, and a lot of other fun and silly shenanigans. The anime does exactly what I needed it to do: make me laugh out loud at how ridiculous it is while also making me go “Awww” at the cute kitty moments. I’m not a pup owner, so I don’t have much to compare there in terms of life experiences with them.

Because the episodes are so short, it’s fairly easy to watch them all in one sitting, which is exactly what I did when I started it (there were about eight or nine episodes out at that time). The animation style is very cartoonish with the designs of the animals and the human looking like caricatures, but this completely complements the slapstick and goofy humour aesthetics wonderfully. The voice acting for the animals are hilarious. The cat has the basso voice of some Yakuza dude while the puppy has a very cutesy, shōjo heroine-type voice. Together they make such an interesting duo and the contrasts of a cat’s pretentiousness with the dog’s inane desire to please their human are excellent.

If you don’t like slapstick, stupid sort of humour, you may not like this. Normally, I’m not a fan of that sort of comedy, even so, for some reason it just works so damn well here. I think it also helps that the watching investment is very low-key and minimal, barely a handful of minutes out of the whole week. I’m definitely going to stick with it until it reaches the end of its 24-episode planned schedule.

Golden Kamuy 3

The third season in a seinen, Japanese-style Western, historical fiction anime series about a dude and an Ainu girl that go on the search for a grand hoard of gold that her father has hidden away. The only map leading to it consists of tattooed skins of the men that he was imprisoned with.

Um…. HOW THE FUCK DO I EVEN BEGIN? I’m sure those of you who saw my chaotic live-tweets while I was watching the finale shall understand my level of pain now that this season is over. It’s just so fucking surreal, bruh.

This season took everything that I fucking love about this goddamn show and raised it to the next level of epicness. The suspense. The tension. The storytelling and the writing. The characters, OMG THE CHARACTERS. The animation. The culture. The history. The themes. It was all so fucking brilliant. One day I shall be able to gather my thoughts into a organised enough review that is well-written and properly outlines why I am such an avidly obsessed fucking asshole about this series. Today is not that day, unfortunately, as I finished watching the finale literally an hour ago and I have not recovered from it at all.

Putting my uncontrollable fanhumaning glee aside for a second, I’m going to be honest. The last time that I watched and read a series that so wholeheartedly swept me away in its magic in every conceivable way possible was when I first watched and read Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno. Through the hundreds of anime and manga that I have engaged with over the last ten to fifteen years, nothing has compared to the experiences I’ve had (and continue to have with each re-visit) with Initial D. Nothing except Golden Kamuy. It’s such an extraordinary franchise and my passion and infatuation runs just as deep as my love for Initial D does, and that feeling cannot be expressed in words. At least not yet. But when I do finagle them out of their messiness, I promise to share it with y’all.

In the meantime, I will say that if you can keep an open mind about the humour and how outrageously strange things can get with this series, then please do give it a watch. It’s one of the most underrated anime I have ever seen, and I wish more people screamed about it. With that being said, I have no idea how I’m supposed to wait around for season four because that finale, HOLY HELL ON A STICK…

I’m looking forward to seeing how the second half of Jujutsu Kaisen shall unfold. I am tempted to pick up the manga again (I started it but took a break due to my ADHD being too hefty at the time), but I also like the feeling of not knowing what to expect as it’s been invigorating my watching experiences. So, I think I’ll hold out until it’s all wrapped up. Additionally, there are a ton of characters that I am crushing on (platonically, except for one in particular) and I’m looking forward to sharing those folx with y’all in the coming weeks.

As for With a Dog and a Cat…, I’m going to keep on enjoying the mindless laughter and small moments of joy that it provides as it has really helped me survive a lot of the stresses that December has wrought upon me.

With respect to Yashahime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it shall start developing its narrative and characters very soon. Even though I have been finding some realm of pleasure in my watching of it, the bulk of what I was expecting has been utterly deficient due to the significant lack of direction that it has going on. I would hate to see such a fantastic series tossed to the wolves due to poor writing and structure.

Are you watching any of these? What are your thoughts on these anime titles? Please, come chat with me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. With that, I hope y’all have a safe holiday season.

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8 thoughts on “Mid-Season Mutterings: Fall 2020 Anime Simulcasts

  1. I started Golden Kamuy after your recommendation (the anime) and it’s pretty great so far. Thanks. 🙂

  2. Golden Kamuy was quite the ride! There were a couple episodes where the fan service made me cringe and a couple scenes where children were inappropriately part of the fan service. If I just didn’t watch that few scenes, I’d miss nothing. Still, a good show overall.

  3. I’m not watching any of these – but you got me to add Jujutsu Kaisen to my watchlist. Golden Kamuy is on there and sounds like I might have to move it up a ways. I’m really into the light, goofy shorts lately – that seems to be about the sum total of my personal attention span and what my heart needs to get through the day so I will definately be checking out With A Dog and a Cat… thanks for the reviews!

    • With a Dog and a Cat, Every Day is Fun is an amazing gem of a series. A really great short. Another one I recommend is Wakako-Zake. About a lady who likes to get food and drinks after work. It’s a light-hearted series of shorts mostly about eating and finding joy in taking time for yourself alone. If I think of other cute or fun shorts, I’ll pass them along. 🙂

      • Again, I started Wakako-Zake, found the live-action, showed it to hubby and we were going to watch on Monday, our import night and somehow got sidetracked… I’m really on a “shorts” binge lately so thanks for reminding me!

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