Was this a good anime season? I feel like I lagged behind pretty much the whole thing and had to go back to catch up on pretty much everything after the fact. Although maybe that was more of a case of me not having enough time to do pretty much anything these days. All in all, I feel like I still got a fair bit of anime watching in there. Even if I wasn’t talking about it on a weekly basis
I mean, for one I actually took a holiday this year. A proper one that wasn’t me just driving around the country and visiting as many places as I could in the space of a week. But that was quickly followed by me having to work eight nights back to back. So my productivity has really been all over the place. It does feel like I’m getting caught up though.
Although by the time this post actually goes up, in like three weeks time, I feel like this entire last paragraph will end up being pretty irrelevant as I’d have gotten some consistant posts up on here… So let’s get to the anime eh?
Don’t Toy with me Miss Nagatoro
I really love the Manga this series was based on. It’s one of my top three romantic comedy books I’m reading right now. So the idea that one of the manga I’m heavily invested in was getting an anime adaptation was a pretty new experience for me. As I’d not been that deep into reading manga for quite long enough for it to happen before now.
And the result of this little first occurrence was that I ended up dropping off this anime after the 4th episode.
I like what this anime is doing, but having already seen it all play out before in black and white, watching the anime recreate it ended up feeling like a pretty perfunctory exercise. I mean, these kind of romantic comedy manga/anime are a dime a dozen and the real attraction to them comes in the details.
And part of the big draw for Nagatoro for me is the art in the manga, which I feel is only partially recreated with the series’ transition from Manga to Anime. So this one ended up falling by wayside. Not by any fault of the series itself, it was just: something had to fall through the cracks this season and this show ended up being it.
This series is the one I really had to go back and catch up on, really watching it all in two major binge sessions after those first three episodes. I’d forgotten that this series has been based on a stage play until I went back and re-read my initial 3 Episode Rule post on it. Having seen the whole thing now, it makes a lot of sense in hindsight.
Despite being a series about super-powered Vampires, the action is pretty subdued and not “too” flashy. For the most part anyway. Mars Red is a cool series though, it takes far more twists and turns than I expected it to. By the time a major earthquake hits the city half way through the series the entire military plot line descends into chaos and the series becomes something else entirely.
One in which seemingly half the population have become vampires. It’s almost as it the series becomes one of ensuring survival of this newly born race than the military drama it started of as. It wasn’t my favoueite anime of the season but it was one I did want to see through to the end.
Megalobox 2: Nomad
I really, really liked the first series of Megalo box. (Is there a space in there? It seems like every website I look at writes it differently) While the first series was very much your typical sports underdog story, the second series tells a much different story, one I found myself going back and forth on as to whether I actually liked it or not.
While the first series was very must pushed forward by Joe’s drive to be the best, coupled with the financial troubles him and Nanbu that was also forcing them to succeed, the heart of Nomad is much more nebulous.
It focuses on a wider collection of characters and how they all have different connections to the sport of (Megalo) Boxing. Culminating with Joe eventually putting his innate desire to fight aside to focus on the family he made for himself in the first series.
Also introducing the character of Mac, a Mexican Immigrant whose life was saved thanks to experimental technology given to him by a less than scrupulous young Tech CEO. Culminating in a final fight between the two in which there really was no easy choice when it came who to root for. Both Joe and Mac were good, honest people.
Which is why I wasn’t a massive fan of how their fight eventually ends up. I mean, I can understand why they ended it the way they did. But it feels like a bit of an anticlimax nonetheless.
Either way, it still looks gorgeous and has a fantastic soundtrack. A super unique anime that is worth some attention.
A Mystery, a Thriller, a Drama. Odd Taxi is all of these things and you’d never imagine it being that way from just looking at it. At a glance, this is a series about a bunch of cute animals living in modern Tokyo, starring a grumpy Walrus taxi driver. But once you scratch the surface you realise this is actually a pretty hardboiled crime thriller all kicked off by the disappearance of a high school girl Idol.
This is actually a fantastic series, having a pretty broad cast of characters whose own personal stories weave in and out with one another and impact the course of the course of the story is strange and unexpected ways. I was super impressed with this series and became even more so as it went on.
I’ve rarely seen so many effective plants and payoffs crammed into a single series, distinctive background elements ending up being vital to learning about characters histories and motivations. Seemingly irrelevant characters becoming hugely important the changing the entire course of events. It’s filled with twists and turns all the way to the end.
And packed with some very real, human stories throughout. Ironic really considering the nature of the series. But that’s one of the things that makes this series so smartly written. This came from nowhere for me, a random recommendation that ended up being one of the best things I’ve watched all year.
A murder mystery thriller of Hitchcockian caliber, something I’d never expect out of a anime like this. The very definition of not judging a book by its cover.
My Hero Academia – Season 5
Moriarty the Patriot
As much as I loved the first half of Moriarty the Patriot, I’ve fallen away from it a little this season. I’m pretty behind to be honest. Strangely, as compelling as Moriarty is in this anime version of the story, once pretty boy Sherlock showed up, he kind of sucked all of the air out of the room.
As the story is shifting back and forth between the two now, I find myself much more interested in Sherlock as a protagonist than Moriarty. I guess our titular protagonist seems just a little too unbeatable, lacking the overt character flaws that make Sherlock Holmes such a more intriguing character.
I do plan on coming back to this one and finishing it up. I guess I’ll say I’m savouring it and not in a rush to finish it off or something,
Castlevania: Season 4
I fully intended to write a full season review of this final series in the current arc of the Castlevania anime. But it kept getting put back further and further, by the time I finally sat down to write the thing, I could hardly remember what had happened. So I decided to knock the whole thing on the head.
This had been a wild ride though. This loose adaptation of both Castlevania III and Curse of Darkness reaches its conclusion with this series, and if I’m being super honest; it all felt a little rushed. I don’t know if this was always the plan, but after the events of season 3; which felt like this giant, Game of Thrones-esque, jump in scope of storytelling, this last season felt like it was almost falling over itself to tie everything off.
That really is just a minor complaint though. This has been a series of astounding quality, in voice acting, animation and art design. And series four goes all out to end the whole thing with a bang. I don’t have much else top say. This show is great and I’m glad to see they’re continuing the story.
Although surprised that they’re jumping past Simon and right into Richter Belmont. Castlevania is good. You should watch it.
Although I’ll tell you, it was kind of bizarre getting back from a week in Whitby and then watching the final episode of this series the day after and hearing Dracula talking about taking a trip to Whitby himself.