Iwa Kakeru! – Sport Climbing Girls – First Impressions: A Charming Yet Conventional Anime about Competitive Rock-Wall Climbing (Fall 2020)

Iwa Kakeru! follows four high school girls as they come together to form a sport climbing club with the hopes of being able to compete in the sport on a national level. One of the newest members is a former professional video gamer named Konomi Kasahara who goes searching for a fun, new club that will offer her the same excitement and satisfaction that games (specifically puzzle games) used to give her.

Jujutsu Kaisen – First Impressions: An Awesomely Action-Packed Supernatural Shōnen Series that Shouldn’t Be Missed (Fall 2020)

Jujutsu Kaisen is about a teenage boy named Itadori Yūji who’s a typical teenager that tries to be free-spirited while caring for his ailing grandfather. One day while visiting his gramps, tragedy strikes, leaving Yūji to ponder the nature of life and death. Meanwhile, the two members of his occult club from school end up falling into a spot of shady shite when they unknowingly release an ancient and deadly supernatural entity. In order to save his friends’ lives, Yūji will have to undergo a formidable and treacherous Cursed power, placing his own existence in wretched jeopardy.

The Perfect Insider – First Impressions: A Curiously Intelligent Locked-Room Mystery that Explores Existentialism

The Perfect Insider (すべてがFになる) is a seinen mystery anime series that is an adaptation of the original novel from 1996, written by acclaimed author Hiroshi Mori. It aired during the Fall 2015 simulcast season and was produced by A-1 Pictures, with direction from Mamoru Kanbe (The Promised Neverland). The music was composed by Kenji Kawai,…

Ninja Scroll: The Series – First Impressions: A Surprisingly Low-Quality Sequel to the Original Motion Picture Classic

Ninja Scroll: The Series (獣兵衛忍風帖「龍宝玉篇」) is a seinen jidaigeki supernatural, martial arts anime series that released in Spring 2003. It was produced by Madhouse, directed by Tatsuo Satō, and written by Toshiki Inoue. The story takes place fourteen years after the original film and follows Jūbē on his wanderings. One evening while trying to rest…

Naruto: Shippūden: A Mature and Entertaining Return to Konoha with Endearing Teenage Ninja Dweebs

Naruto: Shippūden (ナルト- 疾風伝) is the sequel series to the 2002 shōnen, martial arts anime, Naruto. It aired from 2007 to 2017 with 500+ episodes and was produced by studio Pierrot. Taking place about two and a half years after Naruto leaves the village for hard-core ninja training, Shippūden continues the grand adventure of blondie-brat’s…

Phi Brain: Puzzle of God: First Impressions – An Entertaining Action-Adventure Shōnen with Neat Puzzles & Funny Folx

Phi Brain: Puzzle of God (ファイ・ブレイン 神のパズル) is a 2011 shōnen, adventure anime series that was produced by Sunrise studios. Due to its popularity, it spawned a total of three seasons, a manga adaptation, and a video game for the PlayStation Portable. I came across the anime when I hit the Randomiser button on Crunchyroll…

Bungō and Alchemist: Gears of Judgement: First Impressions – A Messy Pilot About Japanese Authors Having a Romp Through Literature (Spring 2020)

Bungō and Alchemist: Gears of Judgement (文豪とアルケミスト ~審判ノ歯車~) is the historical fantasy anime adaptation of the browser-turned-mobile game of the same name, and it’s being produced by studio OLM with direction from Toshinori Watanabe. When I saw notifications for this go live on AniList by fellow users, there was one distinct word that caught my…

Kakushigoto: First Impressions – A Drab Comedy Series with Refreshingly Beautiful Art Styles (Spring 2020)

Kakushigoto (かくしごと) is an anime adaptation of the shōnen comedy, slice-of-life manga of the same name authored by Kōji Kumeta. It’s being produced by Ajia-do Animation Works with direction from Yūta Murano. The show revolves around a dad who’s a mangaka of adult stories that decides to hide his profession from his daughter out of…

BPS Battle Programmer Shirase: First Impressions – An Aesthetically Retro Series About a Carefree Computer Hacker

BPS: Battle Programmer Shirase (BPS バトルプログラマーシラセ) is a comedy, science-fiction series about a guy named Akira Shirase who’s a freelance computer programmer that takes on jobs in exchange for goods, usually rare computer parts. Because he’s absolutely brilliant, he’s contacted often by many individuals to complete various hacking and security related tasks. The very first…

Chihayafuru: First Impressions – A Beautifully Impassioned Portrayal of Youth & Culture

Chihayafuru (ちはやふる) is a josei, slice-of-life, sports (karuta), romance anime adaptation of the original manga series written by Yuki Suetsugu. The series was produced by anime powerhouse Madhouse with directorial support via Morio Asaka. It is one of my all-time favourite anime in existence, superseded only by Initial D and possibly even Natsume’s Book of…