Shonen’s Double Edged Sword – The Great Cast Colander

Shonen is a staple part of any anime fan’s diet, whether you’re super invested in the genre or not. It’s impossible to avoid the larger than life characters, their larger than life adventures and all the pure hype and insane action that comes with these stories of nobodies becoming THEbodies.

But no matter how great the protagonist and their story, no great shonen has been anything without a great supporting cast. And more often than not, these casts: they’re biiiiiig.

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Ahiru No Sora made me enjoy basketball for the first time since Space Jam

I keep acting like I’m still some newbie to watching anime outside of the major shonen series out there. But at this point, I’ve been watching quite a broad array of different anime for a couple of years now. I’ve spent three seasons making a conscious effort to expand what I’m watching and try new things. Hence my “3 episode rule” series.

Yet, after this time there are still genres and series that surprise me that I can get into. Last fall I started watching Ahiru No Sora; a sport anime about a really short kid wanting to become a great basketball player. Never did I expect to become so invested in a series about a sport I actually kind of hate in real life.

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Did Ascendance of a Bookworm just “Isekai Catfish” me?

Of the small batch of anime from this previous fall season, one of the shows that jumped out at me was Ascendance of a Bookworm. A genre of show I don’t normally find myself drawn to; an Isekai. Ascendance was atypical of the genre though, as most Isekai I stumble across tend to be power fantasies, this show was not. At least that’s how it started out.

As the series went on, I started to get suspicious of the main character’s “illness” and how the series might take a sharp turn and start to lean into the very aspects of the genre that traditionally turn me off them. It drew me into a series full of warmth, character and charm and then pulled the rug from under me with a good old bit of Pope-choking.

Continue reading “Did Ascendance of a Bookworm just “Isekai Catfish” me?”