It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our Final Thoughts of the winter anime season that just came to an end~
Hands down, Jujutsu Kaisen is my favorite show of the season, even beating Shingeki no Kyojin and Otherside Picnic. Unlike many other fans out there, I had not read the manga and simply went into it because of the hype surrounding it. I wasn’t expecting much, just some action packed shounen anime with a story like whatever else you can find flying around right now. And while the story itself didn’t strike me as anything that unusual or outstanding, everything else did.
The animation of Shingeki no Kyojin, which is done by the same studio, pales in comparison of how smooth and fluid this animation looks, especially in fighting scenes. The characters, as wacky as some might be, are simply lovely and all without fail bring something unique to the story. I basically fell in love with probably all of the girls in this show, especially Miwa, Maki, and Nobara, but characters like Gojo and Itadori are also fun and simply so lovable.
And finally, the fact that this show can so easily and naturally combine elements like horror, comedy, and drama just makes all other shows of the season pale in comparison. And don’t even get me started on all of the shipping possibilities… I would seriously die for Maki x Nobara~
I remember last year around the same time, I was so excited to have found some new yuri-ish light novel that would combine horror elements with some yuri. I was surprised how well those two genres worked with each other and especially how in book format, the horror elements actually succeeded in delivering the atmosphere and fright factor that it intended to do.
In anime format, however, not so much. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason horror anime often just end up looking odd, with the horror elements being done in a rather funny and not so scary way. Unfortunately, Otherside Picnic was no exception to that, as it mostly delivered what the light novels contained, but all of it in a much more rushed and thus far less scary and immersive way. However, even though the light novels might have delivered a better experience when it comes to the scare factor, what it didn’t quite “succeed” in delivering was the yuri aspect of it all.
Well, one might say that the light novels quite literally went a little light on the yuri, and while it was hinted at here and there, it never really went past a certain line. I might add I’m not done with the second book, but I doubt there will be any major development in that department. The anime, however, pretty much embraced the yuri and simply went further in the display of it, making the subtext feel much heavier and more obvious than in the books.
In conclusion, I still think I liked the books more. However, I’m glad they decided for an anime adaptation of this one, and I sure hope there will be more where that came from in the future.
Just so everyone knows, L’s favorite show was Jujutsu Kaisen, but for me, things were a bit different. I’m not going to spoil anything, but let me say that I’m disappointed that the final episode of the final season isn’t in fact the final episode. It looks like there’ll be a part two of the final season starting in January. That’s so far away, but overall, I liked what “The Final Season” had to offer. I’ve become pretty invested in the story, and liked this season’s slow build up and attempts at character development. I’d be lying if I said I knew what was really going on, because everyone seems to be operating in a moral gray area, where there might not be any “good” guys or “bad” guys. Like real life, we’re seeing both the good and bad in people, it’s just a shame that we’re not going to see the payoff for quite a while.
The change in studios from Wit Studio to MAPPA went pretty well, and I never really missed Wit’s art style choices that MAPPA did away with, such as thick lines. SnK has never been the best-looking anime, so it doesn’t matter that much. This wasn’t an action-fest like we’ve seen in past seasons, but when a battle did happen, it had that same high intensity as before, so I’m happy that wasn’t lost. For all this positivity, we have to have some negativity, and that came in the form of the final nail in YumiKuri’s coffin. I haven’t read the remainder of what needs to be adapted from the manga, but those who watched know why the yuri party is over.
As the penultimate group of episodes in the series, I very much enjoyed The Final Season and eagerly await the true final episodes, I just hope all of this story build-up pays off and the series can go out with a bang. We shall see…
The second season of Uma Musume was a long time coming, but even though this season wasn’t bad, there was something holding me back from liking it more: the characters. Pretty much all of the featured characters from the first season are either M.I.A. or don’t have anything interesting to do, so we’re left with Mejiro McQueen and Tokai Teio as the ones getting the lion’s share of the screentime, and I just didn’t care about them as much as I cared about Special Week and Silence Suzuka. Suzuka is still overseas and is barely seen at all, while Special Week doesn’t race even once, and I hated that. There were a lot of characters introduced in the first season, but they don’t race or anything, and that feels like a huge waste. The new characters introduced this season did little to nothing for me, and I was left wishing for more Gold Ship and El Condor Pasa, but those prayers went unanswered.
As for the actual racing, it was fine, but the focus on only a few racers meant that there was usually little drama as to who would win the races. When you have a field of two known characters and a bunch of nobodies, it removes a lot of the drama. There was an instance where one girl was portrayed as McQueen’s main rival, though I just couldn’t care less about her. I liked how the girls’ setbacks changed things up a bit, and because of that, I think the story is better than before and not quite as cliche. The rivalry between McQueen and Teio was nice, but in my book, they didn’t match Special Week and Suzuka in terms of shipping potential. I found it a lot harder to ship McQueen x Teio than last season’s main duo, so don’t expect a review of this season. That’s disappointing, as is there not being a lot of scenes between McQueen and Gold Ship either. Overall, I don’t think I liked this season quite as much as the first, but with the mobile game having finally launched, I wouldn’t be that surprised to see a third season, if only to help boost the in-app purchases in the game.
It was pretty evident from the first PV that Vlad Love was going to be an incredibly stupid anime, and it absolutely was, but at the same time, I have to admit that it was also really entertaining. Much was made of Mamoru Oshii’s involvement with this show, and despite this being a slapstick comedy, there this was so odd and different at times that it certainly wasn’t your typical slapstick comedy. Most of the time, I like physical comedy, so I found this pretty amusing, but the highlight of this anime for me were the characters. Nobody in this show is lacking personality, and like the story, most of them are so over-the-top that you find yourself wondering how much crazier everything and everyone can get. I sometimes wondered if this anime was too weird, but I’m not even sure if it’s possible to be “too weird”. There were a lot of references that I wasn’t very familiar with, but I admired the decision to include them, and I think they added to the show’s unique charm.
As you’d expect, Bamba’s feelings for Mai end up being one-sided, and they get lost with all of the other batshit crazy stuff going on. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t greatly disappointed by this development, since the theme was supposed to be “girl meets girl”, and while I’m not naive enough to think that meant legitimate romance, I thought there would at least be a greater focus on their relationship. There’s too much to talk about in such a small space, so expect to see a review from us in the coming weeks. Long story short, I thought Vlad Love was a really good example of a guilty pleasure anime, and even though the chaotic nature of this show didn’t do the yuri any favors, I thought Vlad Love was still a lot fun and one of the more entertaining comedies I’ve seen in a while. This show’s not for everyone, but I found it very refreshing. Lastly, Romi Park is awesome and should be cast in every anime. Yeah, every single one. 😛
After the stellar first season of Yakusoku no Neverland, I was super hyped for the second season, but I think it turned out to be a huge letdown. For the most part, the drama and sense of mystery from the first season is gone, and the direction the story went just wasn’t anywhere near as interesting as the story from the first season. The slow-burning suspense is almost completely gone, and far too much info was revealed, leaving little to the imagination. I’m not going to spoil things, but it seems like the author just ran out of good ideas and went with whatever uninspired story elements they could think of and/or CloverWorks just butchered the adaptation. Either way, this is a massive disappointment.
When I saw how low the MAL score was for the second season, I thought people were overreacting, but when you compare it to the first season, I think it’s totally understandable. Season one showed so much promise, no pun intended, but the second season completely fell apart, so much so that it almost doesn’t even feel like a real second season. At this point, you can see that I wasn’t a fan of the second season, so there’s no need to beat a dead horse any more than I already have. I haven’t read the manga, so I can’t speak for how bad an adaptation it might be, but on its own, Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season is just not very good.
The first season of Yuru Camp was a revelation, and now that the second season has come and gone, I’m convinced that there isn’t a more cozy and easy-to-watch anime series than this. Who needs stuff like drama and story development when you have a cast of adorable characters who go on relaxing adventures? Just as before, the comedy isn’t over the top, yet it serves its purpose and increases the overall entertainment value of the show. And also like before, there’s no yuri, and that’s probably the most negative thing I can say about this anime. I was expecting Rin to spend most of her time camping solo, but I was surprised to see her spend more time with the girls than I thought she would, so that was awesome to see.
It’s actually kind of hard to write about Yuru Camp, since there’s practically no story and there isn’t much deviation from the standard “cute girls enjoy the great outdoors” theme. Compared to the generic slice of life anime that take place almost exclusively in schools, I’d much rather watch something a bit different like this, and I’d definitely recommend both seasons of Yuru Camp to any slice of life fan out there~
Anime Dropped: WIXOSS Diva(A)Live