October | November | December
It is November already and we are halfway through the season. Are there any gems?
I started watching Komi-san wa Comyushou desu (Komi Can’t Communicate) when it first started in October and it is currently on episode 7. It tells the story of Komi Shouko, a poised and beautiful high schooler that is seen as being the perfect girl, and Tadano Hitohito, a normal average boy. He notices that Komi, inspite of being admired by everybody, does not actually interact with her classmates, and it comes out that she is suffering from a “crippling anxiety and fear of rejection”. He is the first to befriend the struggling girl and the story is really about how they expand their friendship and draw in others to help Komi-san communicate.
Komi is really at her best when she tries to overcome a situation, shivering with huge eyes she is often forced to revert to long complicated notes, usually with the ever patient Tadano. It is a strange anime because it does deal with a real life problem that many suffer from, and you really have to empathise with her. Anybody that is very shy or suffers from “Social Phobia” would be able to relate to the struggle that she has, even though in theory she should be the most popular girl in her school.
I rate it an 8 while MAL rates it 8,37 and it ranks as number 176. It is definitely one of my favourite shows this season.
Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi is the story of the petite saleswoman Futaba Igarashi who works as a junior to the very tall and large Harumi Takeda. Takeda often teases her and treats her like a kid, leaving her constantly annoyed by his antics. However, she also recognises that he is reliable and cares for those around him and they become closer as their friendship develops. Realistically this anime is really about how not to sexually harass your female co-workers, and I was in two minds about whether to continue watching it or not. There is not much new in the story, most of the ideas have been used before so it is really very predictable.
I rate it a 6 whereas MAL rates it 7,86 and to be honest it is not an awful watch, and Futaba can be very feisty and you cant help but root for her. I suspect they will be a couple by the end of the season.
Taishou Otome Otogibanashi is the story of Tamahiko and Yuzuki, who are to be wed at some point. He has been ostracised by his pompous authoritarian father due to a withered arm and she was bought as a future bride for him. Yuzuki is only 14 years old and has more or less accepted her new life looking after the apathetic Tamahiko. To be honest his character does nothing to inspire her affection for him, and she is really much too good to him. Hopefully she will inspire him to get off his rear end and stop feeling sorry for himself. Yuzuki is sweet and simple and I suspect she is high on the list of desirable Waifus amongst Otaku. However the story does raise the question of child brides, gender inequality, abuse and exploitation of women and so far has not outright condemned the practise. Granted the show does take place in the long distant past (1922) when the status quo was more “acceptable” (Unless you were the one sold off as a child bride).
I am really in two minds about the show, but have stuck with it because that child bride is going to prove to be a much stronger person than her future spouse. I rate the story 7 and MAL rates it 7,66.
Sakugan is the story of a father Gagumber and his irritating, know it all, irresponsible daughter Memenpu who live in “The Labyrinth” which is seemingly an underground city or colony (planet?). An attack on the area leads Gagumber to haul out his dormant mech and head out to explore. The show is stunning from a background and animation pov but is totally ruined by the irritating Memenpu who repeatedly puts their lives at risk. It is not an awful anime though and it does remind me a lot of Tales of the Abyss. I rate it 7 and MAL rates it 7.16. Consensus amongst fans is that Memenpu is ruining the story!
Blade Runner: Black Lotus popped up in my box towards the middle of the month and as far as I was concerned the two episodes that I saw were instant hits. Consisting of 13 episodes it is licensed to Crunchyroll. My first impressions were “wow!” because it had a very similar feel to the original Blade Runner movie inspite of it being a cgi production. It is dark and edgy and that sense of danger permeates throughout what I saw.
The story takes place in Los Angeles in 2032, 10 years into the aftermath of the Black Out, and centers on a female replicant protagonist seemingly called Elle. I hope that they are able to create something amazing with this show because I thoroughly enjoyed the two Blade Runner movies and this just adds to the canon. I rate it 8 although MAL rates it 6.08, but I suspect that is going to change as the story progresses. Black Out was not as great, but did fill in a gap that was missing between the two movies.
Heike Monogatari ended on the 24th and I am just sorry that they did not do a better job of it. Visually it was excellent but the characters were just too confusing for me. There is one heck of a lot more to the Heike story and I doubt whether the anime even touched on most of. If anything the story should have been spread over 24 episodes, with at least 2 establishing the status quo. The historical context of the Heike was missing and that was why I did not enjoy the show as much as I was hoping to. But even missing that context I was able to more or less make sense of what was going on which is why I completed it. I do think that the show may be better as a binge watch than having to wait a week between episodes. I rate it a 7 and MAL rates it 7.72
An odd one also popped up on my radar this week: Tetsuko no Tabi first aired way back in 2007, and for some odd reason none of the popular fansub groups seemed interested in it, and I was only able to see 4 episodes in 2011 before it disappeared into obscurity shortly thereafter. The story revolves around a travel writer who is a “train-nerd” that has previously visited all the train stations in Japan. He is accompanied on his new journey by an unemployed manga “at least I am getting paid” artist , and her editor, and between them they visit railway stations in Japan.
Being somewhat of a “train-nerd” myself I really wanted to see this anime back then but until now was not able to complete it. I have however been very disappointed in the show, the characters are really awful, the nerd is loud, self opinionated and obnoxious while the artist is obnoxious, lazy, irritating and definitely NOT the sort of person you would want traveling with you. Not much really happens in the series: they catch trains, look at stations, eat, bicker and squabble and generally do nothing that makes you want to travel by train. Quality is kind of iffy although it would not have seemed as bad in 2007. Having seen 4 episodes way back in 2011 did not leave me any memories about how I felt about it at the time, but my original rating for those 4 episodes was 6. My final rating for the series is 4 (bad) and MAL rates it 6,28 and I suspect had more people watched it that rating would have been very different 14 years later. To be honest by the time I finished it I was only too glad to hit the off switch.
And speaking of dropping shows, I have now dropped Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru as I have no idea what is going on, it seems to get more disjointed by the week and I have lost track of the story. My rating is 5 and that of MAL 6.28. I have also dropped Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shimashita because nothing seems to happen in it, and when it does it is incomprehensible. My final rating is 4 and MAL rates it 7,16.
That concludes this months muttering about anime. Catch you on the flip side as the season starts drawing to a close.
October | November | December
DRW 2021. Created 20/11/2021. All views expressed are mine and reflect no official views or opinions. Characters are copyright to their respective copyright holders. Updated 25/11/2021.