Let's talk anime.

Naofumi honestly isn't the sort of character you can hang that on, though. He's petty, malicious, and cynical. In many ways, he is genuinely also a bad person. Like, he willingly owns slaves and condones slavery. I don't know how coincidental it is that a far-right misogynistic movement would sympathize with him.

In regards to Shield Hero - it is a FALSE rape accusation which feeds into all that type of talk which is opposite of what you stated. It also has a problem with slavery apologism. In the words of the Anime Feminist site -

I watched the episode, and it was worse than I had imagined. I have never seen a series with such a deeply held, misanthropic victim mentality.

It didn't strike me like that, though. Perhaps the anime wasn't as clear about it, though I could also be very mistaken.

I haven't seen it one way or another, but it wouldn't surprise me if the point of the story is that the protagonist is a bad person and you're not supposed to think of them as a hero. The problem is a lot of people (no matter their political beliefs) just cannot grasp the notion that a protagonist doesn't always have to be a role model. In fact, it sounds to me like the manner in which the Shield Hero becomes worse and worse as he suffers this blow to his reputation is the whole point. That he was always this person inside, it was just easier to hide it when everything went his way.

Of course I haven't seen it or read the original and probably won't care to any time soon.

ccesarano wrote:

I haven't seen it one way or another, but it wouldn't surprise me if the point of the story is that the protagonist is a bad person and you're not supposed to think of them as a hero. The problem is a lot of people (no matter their political beliefs) just cannot grasp the notion that a protagonist doesn't always have to be a role model. In fact, it sounds to me like the manner in which the Shield Hero becomes worse and worse as he suffers this blow to his reputation is the whole point. That he was always this person inside, it was just easier to hide it when everything went his way.

Of course I haven't seen it or read the original and probably won't care to any time soon.

Sure but again, having it occur due to a FAKE rape accusation feeds into the conversation that women should not be believed when they speak up, etc etc. The beginning of the first episode actually does a good job of making the point that the shield hero is usually thought of as not as powerful, etc without the accusation. There was no need for it.

It actually doesn't occur because of that. He was screwed no matter what. That particular tangent was just that one specific character's way of crushing his spirit.

He does actually rise as a hero in later arcs and does genuinely heroic things. And then he goes right back to being genuinely terrible that you remember that he's still a petty, cynical slave-owner.

Having said that, Overlord is a little bit more on-the-nose about the protagonist being a bad guy. Like, he is literally an evil demigod with demons who carry out his amoral selfish wishes.

In other news, Perfect Blue is now up for pre-order on Blu-Ray in the US on Amazon, or for slightly cheaper on RightStuf anime. Then again, gotta pay shipping costs through them so... I guess I'm saving a dollar or two total.

Watched the first episode of "inuyashiki last hero" and thought it was pretty good. I was putting it off because the old man robot looked weird. The old man aspect works really well here. Usually it is some young teen or preteen that is the robot. This is a nice change of pace. They really hammer it in that he has old man problems like bad back, bad eyes, crappy kids, and a wife that barely cares about him. He gets the new robot body and his physical problems go away. I'm looking forward to seeing how his relationship to his wife and kid changes.

Watching this on amazon prime.

The show is very, very good. It is notable that there is another character in the show who also got the same powers and modifications. This is not much of a spoiler, since it's right there in the initial episode, and it's revealed who it is fairly quick. They're contrasted against each other, and in some ways it's a commentary on the value of perspective and wisdom, as well as a commentary on the traditional values Japan and anime in particular have put on youthful enthusiasm and energy.

Moe is in everything now. I can't say I mind it that much. I liked the Sailor series and Cardcaptor, and I also liked Love Hina, and then Magical Lyrical Nanoha afterwards. Nanoha is fairly early on predating K-On by a large margin. In the season, I and many fans thought of it as a cross between Magical Girl shows and mecha, but from a modern moe-informed perspective, many would just think of it as Gundam Girls during cute things.

From my reading of the light novel, the slave thing in Shield Hero


was principally a plot device for the MC to be able to deal damage and thus grind mobs and experience points in circumstances where shield heroes cannot equip weapons. Slavery is the means by which he is able to trust in his party members. It's not as if the MC abuses his power and goes on to do lewd or abusive things (the Fate servant is more closer to abusive slavery than what you tend to see in Shield Hero). He is a typical airhead in affairs of the heart and the author amplifies his paranoia with the enslavery mechanism, much of which is for comic relief. Later on it's a specific advantage he holds where his enslaved minions receive higher stat growth. So he enslaves an entire village under his control to specifically level them faster and better. MC is a benevolent master in this respect and he's doing everything he can to save the world. It's worth contrasting his character to the other heroes but I'm not sure it comes out well in the anime vs the light novel. The slavery theme is problematic (the author doubles down on the betrayal paranoia) but so too is much of what we see in anime more generally. There are other isekai with slavery in them which have far less rationale than Shield Hero.

It is worth mentioning that despite all the mechanical benefits and justification Naofumi has for his use of slavery, all of which are used by slavers, the author is careful to point out that this is coming from a very dark place. He fears and distrusts everyone. That's why he needs them to be his slaves before he even allows them to be anywhere near his person for any significant length of time. His most powerful shield form comes from a place where he wants to end the world because of his hate for it. He is not a well person.

There is also a segment in the manga where he very narrowly escapes destruction by an actual force for good, who only reluctantly allows him to go his way because every other Hero is worse than him, and because he still isn't 100% evil. She's still not 100% sure letting him live was a good decision.

I don't feel the need to even engage with an anime that begins with a false rape allegation and heavily features slavery. I don't trust an anime to handle those subjects well.

bnpederson wrote:

I don't feel the need to even engage with an anime that begins with a false rape allegation and heavily features slavery. I don't trust an anime to handle those subjects well.

I don't think anyone says it's all that. Those things aside, it is not a remarkable work anyway, so it's not a big deal to simply not watch.

Shield Hero is interesting because it has a slightly different premise than your typical isekai (Grimgar is a good example of somewhat unorthodox isekai). I don't find it too problematic thematically in the realm of anime. Anime has so much questionable content anyway.

Yeah as someone who usually loves all forms of isekai I bounced on shield hero pretty hard. Not saying it's bad but it wasn't for me. And yeah slavery and women in most isekai are done poorly. Exception if the main character is female. Oddly enough manga isekai with female leads tend to be better then average by default.

A more recommendable work would be Konosuba, which is also about a questionable "hero," but while Naofumi is outright villainous, Kazuma in Konosuba is merely unambitious and lazy. Of course, none of his party could be called exemplars of virtue, and it's their individual eccentricities that makes it funny.

There's nothing like having a villain vehemently denying being accused of, well, being a villain because the "heroes" are "accusing" them of some very embarrassing motives.

I just long for the days of Issekai not operating under specific RPG mechanics. More stuff like Magic Knight Rayearth, please!

Knights and magic perhaps. Still very fantasy but the Mecha might living things up. Haven't watched it yet though.


Considering Mecha featured prominently in Rayearth in a fantasy world I think that could work very well. I remember seeing it before but never considered adding it to my queue. I'll have to look into why that was.

Knights and Magic was awesome, mostly as wish fulfillment.

Guy is a genius programmer who saves the day, and a frothing mecha freak (like he makes me look sane). He gets hit by a car and re-incarnated in a fantasy world with big, magically driven machines used in battle. He doesn't remember his previous life specifically, but he does retain his penchant for programming logic, complicated systems, and massive mecha freak-hood.

The story is his growing up enough to build the giant mechs of his dreams, and then the effect that has on the rest of that world.

Neither Knights and Magic nor Konosuba draw heavily from RPG mechanics of any sort.

In Knights and Magic, the hero draws from his knowledge of mecha concepts and personal expertise to revolutionize the world's mecha, but most of that isn't delved into in much detail. It is far more a mecha show than it is an isekai, IMO.

Konosuba draws from RPGs even less. The show has guilds and adventurers and classes and supposedly the characters operate in an RPG-esque isekai manner, but the bulk of the show is character comedy anyway, and none of that matters very much for any of that.

Konosuba is all about poking fun at established isekai tropes; the wish fulfillment MC, the deity that grants the MC cheat powers, mages with spells for every occasion, the paladin/meat shield party member, so-called demon lord that needs to be defeated and so on. It doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't expect you to, either. It's not groundbreaking or revolutionary but it really works as a comedy. I haven't watched the anime though so I don't know if the author's intent from the light novel has translated well in the anime medium (where there's more emphasis on moe and fan service).

If you are a Prime subscriber, Amazon has the following Anime for free today (if it matters to you they are all DUBs).

Attack on Titan Season 101

Black Clover Season 1

My Hero Academia Uncut Season 1

As they say, the first one is free?

IMO Kaguya-sama is a must watch series airing this season. It's a comedy where the high school MCs are in love with each other but are in a contest to see whether they can make the other person confess first. The voice acting is amazing as are the OP and EDs. Adapted from a manga series. It's one of the few titles where I can readily say I believe the anime is a better adaptation than its original source.

My thoughts on some of the anime I'm watching this season:

My Roommate is a Cat - If you want a heartwarming anime with enough comedy to make you smile, this seems to be the one this season. A young author, who has become particularly reclusive after his parents deaths, adopts a stray cat and is forced to associate with more people as he learns to care for and care about his new family member. The format of telling the same story from both the author's and the cat's perspective each episode is pretty neat and helps us understand the cat's action, something I'm sure most cat owner wish they could do in real life...

Kagura-sama: Love is War - This show has its premise and sticks to it. Two students who are in love with each other, but too prideful to admit it and who overthink everything, try to get the other one to confess their feelings. They get into ridiculous, unspoken battles of wits and silly misunderstandings. I've been enjoying it greatly.

BanG Dream! 2nd Season - I really enjoyed the first season, so I'm happy to revisit the characters. The story doesn't seem as tight this time around, and it is designed to highlight the other bands and songs from the game more than the first season. I'm still not fond of the 3D-anime look, which is a change from the first season, but I won't let that distract me from the joyful energy of the show.

Pastel Memories - Not a great show, but it is fun to watch them enter each famous-anime-world-only-not-really each week (after the first episode), and sometimes choosing a terrible pun for the world and running with it.

WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me - It feels like it has been a while since we've had a new anime featuring elementary school girls that wasn't extremely creepy in some way (looking it up, it has only been a year, the lewd/creepy ones just stick out more). It's a cute little comedy and I'm glad to have it.

The Rising of the Shield Hero - I'm not going to argue about this one. I'm only a couple books behind the NA novel releases and the anime is doing a great job adapting them. I'm enjoying it.

The Promised Neverland - The first arc of this anime is worth a watch. It's much like Death Note in that it is a high stakes game of characters trying to outwit and out maneuver one another. The anime moves the story along at a pretty quick pace (I remember the manga feeling a bit slower), but it is still an interesting story with twists and I never felt weren't earned or foreshadowed.


Some previews of what Isekai Quartet will be like:


I’m also enjoying Promised Neverland, Kagura-Sama and My Roommate Is a Cat.

I’m also watching Dororo, which is probably rivaling Neverland for favorite of the season so far, and Mob Psycho 100 2nd season and continuing Run With the Wind from last season.

So I started watching Gundam Unicorn on Netflix. I recall people talking about it what felt like a few years ago, but in fact was almost a decade ago. I was curious but don't recall it being readily available at the time, so scrolling through Netflix to see what they had I decided what the heck. A comfortable Mech anime seems like what the doctor is asking for.

And so far I'm enjoying it! Three episodes in, but each episode is almost an hour long and there are seven total, so it's a good chunk into the show. When I saw the protagonist was sixteen I took a deep breath and prepared for the worst, but in fact I'd say it's actually rather trope-light so far. At most I was a bit confused because my Gundam knowledge is pretty light, so I had to try and piece together what, exactly, is the state of Zeon, the Federation, and Spa...Spaceists? Space-born, basically. I spoke a bit with my brother, who watched the entirety of the original show and which this seems to be placed chronologically close to, and basically it seems the Federation didn't allow Colonists to have many of their own rights (kind of reminiscent to me of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, if only loosely so), and then Zeon was like "Screw you we'll be our own government", but forced other colonies into its regime rather than letting them choose. So you basically have three factions from my understanding: the Federation, the Zeon, and the colonists in between that suffer.

Which is what makes for the Gundam Formula of "War is Hell but we're still going to humanize every side". I know at the very least that this is what every Gundam boils down to, but considering the political landscape right now it's actually pretty refreshing and welcome to me.

As I said, it's feeling rather trope light in every sense of the word. With the exception of one character in one scene that doesn't even make up 1% of my total watch-time, not a bit of conveniently placed camera angles or provocatively dressed feminines, a minimum of super-charged fujoshi dojin bait (Char's subordinate maybe, but he's just a bad archetype of a character regardless), and while there's some predictable melodramatic plot turns (oh hello completely forced and unnecessary self-sacrifice to motivate the protagonist into... something?), it's overall an engrossing space opera filled with political intrigue and hand-drawn Mech combat. In fact, I really like a lot of the Mech designs, excepting the Gundam itself because I've never actually liked the look of the Gundam in the first place. It looks like a toy.

Perhaps the weirdest thing I can say is it actually reminded me of demographically diverse television shows in the West. I'm most familiar with the first seasons of Heroes and 24, and I feel 24 can summarize my meaning best. Kiefer Sutherland's storyline is "for the men/dads" watching, Sutherland's Wife is for "the women/moms watching", and Sutherland's daughter is for "the teens watching". Which makes all their plot threads, at least at the start, as generically targeted to those groups as you can make them. As another comparison point: the first season of Arrow and how it's a superhero show mixed with the drama of 90210 for people that aren't going to be inherently interested in someone hopping across rooftops in tight clothing.

Gundam Unicorn feels like it has that going on, but without the drastic demographic assumptions. You have your teen protagonists, yes, but the story is bigger than them. You have a variety of adult characters across multiple sides whose relationships begin to become more and more complex as the show continues. There's, like, substance and stuff, as opposed to Iron Blooded Orphans, which always felt like "yo man, did you know how, like XTREEEEEME we are? 'cuz like, kids fight in wars and stuff, and there's blood, and this one kid in particular is just numb to murder. Isn't that XTREEEEEEME?!" Unicorn is bloodless in comparison, and yet feels like it hits harder with the way it emphasizes the destruction of cockpits without always having to show the actual death or dismemberment of the pilot within.

So given the only other Gundam I've bothered to watch start to finish was War in the Pocket and the first season of Iron Blooded Orphans... I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes my favorite iteration of the franchise, but I also haven't been watching it long. I was already into anime by time Toonami came out and I think I had watched enough fansubs by then that I wasn't too keen on watching anime on there (I think hearing the Trigun dub, following the travesty that was the Escaflowne localization on Fox Kids, forever pushed me away from anime aired on television), so I missed Gundam Wing and only caught snippets of G Gundam.

In fact, now that I think about it, I didn't even watch Cowboy Bebop on Toonami. I watched my friend's DVD collection.

Oh, here we go. You want to feel old? My niece was asking me for anime recommendations off Hulu and Netflix. "How about Cowboy Bebop?" I said. "What's that?" she asked.

I had to pause for a moment, because she's found a LOT of anime based on recommendations and just general browsing on her own. I tried to shield her from Sword Art Online, but she found it (and thankfully thought it was trash). She found Attack on Titan. She found a whole bunch of stuff from other people. And yet we've reached a point where Cowboy Bebop is old enough that it's not going to instantaneously be on anyone's radar the second they start looking for anime to watch.

I need more weekends of me and her just chilling and watching anime. I still want to show her Land of the Lustrous and Full Metal Alchemist, and now Cowboy Bebop is on the list. Life is too busy all the time.

Anywho, those are my thoughts on Gundam Unicorn and clearly my LiveJournaling of my niece's continued teenage adventures into anime.

Final episode of Tsurune is just pure poetry. Gorgeous ending to a beautiful series. I could wish for a second season, but I don't know if there's material for it.

Just started Fate/Extra Last Encore which isn't good so far but is still interesting. This time around they are in a digital world which I guess is all the rage now. The grail war is over and the servants are run by the government. Very different from the other Fate series so far. All this is episode one stuff. I have no idea if there is a big mystery crazy plot but there probably is.

In every Fate series there is at least one person with a crazy outfit. This time Saber got the crazy outfit with a dress that has a front window to show the legs and mini back window to show her butt. Reminds me of the time Harley asked Power Girl why does she has boob window in her costume.

Right now I'm unsure if anyone can die or where their bodies are. Just being a fate show people must be able to die. The grail war is over they say but a new one is probably starting and people got to die in order to win and get your wish granted.

Besides not liking Saber's outfit I also don't dig her voice actress or personality this time around. Maybe she'll grown on me.