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.

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Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is utter nonsense that makes me feel good

I recently found myself getting into yet another show via what has weirdly become my second most reliable source of finding new anime to watch: Youtube’s recommendation algorithm. I swear, you watch one cute anime compilation and the machine never lets your forget it.

In this particular case I found 2017’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid popping up several times, of course I eventually buckled under the weight of the cute and decided to search it out. Upon finishing the lone series, I think fantasy slice of life might be the genre I never knew I wanted till now. Well maybe it’s not a massive surprise considering how much I enjoyed The Helpful Fox Senko-san earlier this year. What with the plentiful similarities between the premises of the two anime.

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Sarazanmai is bizarre, progressive and has a lot of heart

In a season where nothing much was especially jumping out at me, I took some shots in the dark. Mostly due to a striking visual style and bizarre visuals, Sarazanmai caught my attention. After getting to know the extreme formulaic setup to episodes and repeated animation, I came close to dropping off. After getting to the half way point, I’m glad I didn’t.

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