December Anime Roundup

It is close to Christmas and the final anime season of 2021 is almost over.  There have been highlights and low-lights (and no-lights), and as usual I had a show to watch almost every day of a week, and in some cases more than three.  A number of anime ended as it approached my deadline for this post so I will probably be adding to it as I end each one. 

November | December |  January

Current Season Completions:

Komi-san wa Comyushou desu  (Komi Can’t Communicate) became a firm favourite of mine very quickly. There was just something about it that resonated with me and I really enjoyed the series.  It was the story of Komi Shouko as she battled to overcome “Social Phobia”. The story is quite a simple one but realistically it addresses  something that is quite prevalent in our world.  Quite a few new characters were introduced towards the end of the season and I could not help think that large portions of their backstories had been skipped which was quite a pity.  However, Komi-san has discovered a whole new world and while she cannot quite string a complete sentence together has learnt so much more in her quest for a “normal” life. I rate the show 9 while MAL rates it 8,24. A second season is supposedly going to be made and it will definitely go onto my list.

Blue Period concluded on the 11th and I really enjoyed the show. Apart from some interesting art I did enjoy the storyline although huge chunks of it were not there.  The manga does get rave reviews so the adaptation may have been poor, after-all, how do you condense a school year into 12 episodes? The main character Yatora was interesting and you had to admire his dedication and perseverance (and of course his ever burgeoning talent). I also have to mention the two teachers that stood behind him as being particularly inspiring. Their dedication and passion were so good to watch and I bet that anybody in their position would be very proud to see a student reach their goal. Salute to the passionate teachers out there!  My rating is 9 while MAL  rates it at 7.88.  

Kyuuketsuki Sugu Shinu  (The Vampire Dies In No Time) looked weak right from the start and the luckless Draluc should have stayed in his coffin. The story is laden with sexual innuendo and fanservce and the stories are generally nonsensical. However, I really watch it to see what John the Armadillo gets up to. He has some really great moments and if it had not been for him I would have ditched this series very early on.  If you go look at character popularity for this show it lists John as being the favourite of 236 people at MAL while Draluc only has 27!  I rate the show 4 and MAL rates it 6,82. This is one story that should have stayed buried in it’s coffin forever. 

Sadly Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (The Aquatope on White Sand) has concluded after it’s 24 episode run.  It was the story of a former idol (Miyazawa, Fuuka) that quit Tokyo after resigning from her dream job. At the last minute she headed for Okinawa where she met Kukuru and she then works at the Gama Gama Aquarium for 12 episodes. The next twelve see the staff from the now demolished Gama Gama working at the all new sparkly Tingara Aquarium with some hard lessons for Kukuru to learn.  

This was one show that I really looked forward to every Friday. It was visually beautiful and the story was very enjoyable with some very well developed characters and a vast cast of fish. It was educational and well created and most episodes were coherent and very watchable. My only gripe was that Kukuru was annoying and we needed less of her and more of Fuuka and everybody else. Kuuya Yakamashi was especially amusing because he really reminds me of me!  The nice thing about the show is that it was consistently good and a very well crafted underrated anime.  I rate Aquatope 10 while MAL rates it at 7,52 which is quite disappointing. 

Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu (Irina, the Vampire Cosmonauit) ended it’s run today and I was very glad that it was a good ending rather than a bad one. I lived through many of those early days of the space race so I can relate to a lot of what I saw and that was why the story really appealed to me. Surprisingly the creators managed to capture the closed minded upper echelons of the fictional country (although we know who it was based upon) as well as the seat of pants early days of space exploration.  Irina the vampire was a wonderful character that was caught in the middle but she was a strong enough character that we were all rooting for.  I cannot really fault the series and it was yet another that I looked forward to seeing every Sunday. My rating is a 9, whereas MAL rates it a 7,37. 

We also bid Mushoku Tensei Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu  farewell, although I hope that it is really a temporary pause and the story will continue in another season.  I came very close to dropping this anime because parts of it are really not necessary and drag the story down with it’s attitude towards pedophilia, treatment of women and overall borderline pornographic scenes.

However, both seasons turned out to be a surprisingly good watch. It’s world and character building were really great and while our main character  Rudeus Greyrat is somewhat of a perv, he does make some sound decisions and is faithful to his travelling companions.  Special mention must go to Eris who initially was a mega pain but who turns out to be a strong and fearless fighter.  The story does continue in the manga which is apparently even better than the anime. Overall I rated the season a 9 while MAL rates it 8,79, and it is the 37th most popular show at the time I posted this.

Mieruko-chan also came to an end and I am really in 2 minds about it. For starters it was totally ruined by gratuitous fan service, but the seemingly grotesque spirits were a real drawcard. Unfortunately though the reality of the show is that it’s all about Miko, a high school girl (what else?) who is plagued by visions of ghosts that she tries her best to ignore. There is no reason behind why she is so cursed, or any sort of solution to her peculiar problem. We also have to put up with insatiable appetite of  her close friend Hana.  who seems to spend her life eating and who is totally oblivious of the unseen monsters surrounding her.  I did find it compelling viewing though and I was really hoping they would drop a bombshell of a plot ending as we ended the season, but alas…. we may have to wait for a second season (assuming they make one). I  rate it 8 while MAL rates it 7.55.  

Watches from previous seasons.

Dominating this section is an amazing 3 part series that I watched in the 2nd week of the month. The first season of Golden Kamuy ran from April to Jun 2018, while the 2nd season followed from October to December of the same year. In short the story is about a former Japanese soldier Saichi Sugimoto (aka “Immortal Sugimoto”) and a young indigenous Ainu girl called Asirpa in 1900s Hokkaido after the Russo-Japanese war. She saves his life and he ends up travelling with her on a quest to find the Ainu gold that has been waylaid/stolen and not been found. The key to finding the gold is to collect the tattoo-ed skins of criminals that were created by a mysterious prisoner who may or may not be Asirpa’s missing father.

It is somewhat of a convoluted plot and new characters keep on being introduced as the story progresses, but at no time are you left bored or asking yourself “why am I watching this?” The world building, character development, animation (except for the infamous CGI bears), plot development and enjoyment factor are very high and it is an amazing anime to be caught up in. The real star of the show is is the 12/13 year old Asirpa, she is an accomplished hunter and cook, and has decided that she would not follow the path of the typical Ainu women that she grew up with.  It is recommended that you do go read up on the Ainu people as it will help with understanding many of the customs, diet and mythology of the Ainu. 

The second season really continues with the story although it seems as if there were some loyalty differences so some characters change sides! The only bugbear about this season is that 2 of the episodes play out at night, or in dark places so it was very difficult to see what was happening at a critical point in the plot. Once again Asirpa does not disappoint, and her ever expanding story seems to be reaching a conclusion, however……….  Onwards to a third season! (ran from October till December 2020) 

Asirpa and Sugimoto

In this season Asirpa is no longer with the Sugimoto party but heading north towards Russia with a group led by Kiroranke, who was an old friend of Asirpa’s missing father, and it is through him that she learns more about the shady past of her father. Unfortunately we will have to wait for a fourth season to learn what happens from there.

The series does not always take itself seriously but it is violent and bloody at times, and if you are an animal lover I suggest you do not watch this as animals are hunted for food.  I thoroughly enjoyed all three seasons and learnt a lot about the people who populated these regions.  Overall Golden Kamuy is a fantastic watch and I rate the series 10 because it was so watchable.  All three seasons are rated over 8.00 and are well worth watching. The 5 OVA’s are excellent too, although they are more humorous than anything else. 

ReLIFE is the story of a 27 year old jobless man Arata Kaizaki,  who gets the chance to return to high school for a year aged 17 but with his 27 year old experience and memories intact.  It sounds like a familiar scenario as it has been used in other anime, but it really works quite well in this story. He is quite a likable character and his “experience ” in life makes his new school career very interesting, although he does battle with his 27 year old body. Some of his classmates are interesting characters in their own right although the show only really concentrates on five.  Naturally there is a love interest and once again the socially awkward are given their spotlight.  I rate it an 8  and MAL rates the series an 8.00 too. My biggest gripe was the elevator muzak that constantly played in the background, it was really unnecessary!  The 4 OVA were just as good to watch and do not forget to sit through the ED because the closing of the series happens then. 

November | December |  January

DRW 2021 – 2022. Created 23/12/2021. All views expressed are mine and reflect no official views or opinions. Characters are copyright to their respective copyright holders. 

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