Let's talk anime.

The new season of Aggretsuko just dropped! While it is carrying on with the plotlines in satisfying ways that are consistent with its themes, it's not quite as edgy as previous seasons. Still a nice watch. It is starting to drift towards romcom territory, but even in that it's cleaving a lot closer to recent trends as in what we can see with Rent-a-Girlfriend where the protagonist isn't your typical indecisive harem point and everyone gives him a pass. Instead, folks in Aggretsuko have realistic personal weaknesses and normal misunderstandings and hangups. And yes, those still lead to remarkable trainwrecks - the sort that's sometimes difficult to watch because you've seen or experienced the very same things happening in your own life.

I just finished watching it. I think it was largely my favorite season of the bunch, and seems like a place where they could comfortably end the show. Which, for me, is where I have mixed feelings. It's good for a happy ending, but not the ending I would have preferred.

Spoiler:

Like LarryC notes, this season and its characters are surprisingly grounded enough that you can really see yourself or friends reflected within its story (as opposed to the second season, which felt like it got a bit too outrageous in ways). For that reason, my preferred ending would have involved Haida finally getting over Retsuko. As it is, it feels a bit too "fairy tale" in that he saves her from an attacker, though she doesn't have the "my hero!" moment.

As someone that spent a lot of their life crushing on someone that they just needed to move the heck off from, it feels like we got the escapist fantasy fairy tale ending despite having an otherwise grounded experience. But, that's also because I am a fellow and relate to Haida. How would a woman feel from Retsuko's position? Well, I've been around enough women of different types my whole life to know some that will be glad with this ending and others that will find it bad. After all, there's no real indication that Retsuko has any feelings, even if they're buried, for Haida.

Which I think is where his holding her hand during the death metal scream is supposed to communicate her actually seeing him as something more. Haida himself has never been strong and stepped forward and has instead been too passive himself. Yet he's the one guy that managed to not only listen to her death metal scream, but not be pushed away by it. In other words, in the moment she reveals her true strength, he proves himself strong as well.

In some ways I feel like it's an interesting and potentially progressive glimpse at gender relations in a relationship in Japan, which is still largely pretty darn traditional. Haida still needs to "man up", but Inui sort of represents a more traditional feminine assertiveness where she's giving him all the opportunity he needs to make the decision and lead the relationship. She's positioning things for him to be assertive and make the decision and "be a man" and so on, but Retsuko isn't really like that.

Or something. I dunno. Now that I've typed that up I'm feeling like it's a bunch of bupkis. Guess that's what happens when you step off of something fresh.

Regardless of what they tried to do, though, I feel like Haida should have gotten over Retsuko this season and she find better understanding of herself without having to get a boyfriend.

And there's my over-thinking of it all.

ccesarano wrote:

I just finished watching it. I think it was largely my favorite season of the bunch, and seems like a place where they could comfortably end the show. Which, for me, is where I have mixed feelings. It's good for a happy ending, but not the ending I would have preferred.

Spoiler:

The incident thing where Haida saves Retsuko from an attacker notably isn’t viewed as a reason for Retsuko to like him. Indeed, the anime was quite explicit that it just made her stressed and put upon. Haida himself doesn’t see this as a reason to hold debt, either. Rather, that entire incident is a statement in his relationship with Everyone told him to take Inui. He knows it makes he most sense. She knows it makes the most sense. And he tries to convince himself he should. Quite hard. But when Retsuko was in danger, his body moved without him thinking about it at all. And that is why Inui gave up. She’s willing to put up with a lot. She knows the score. But when she sees that - she can’t tolerate that.

I do not think Retsuko at the end has any romantic feelings for Haida. And Haida isn’t demanding it. All he wants is a chance and an opportunity to help her, because she’s sliding dangerously close to hikikimori territory. Whether anything develops between them is an unsettled question, but it is beyond a doubt that while Retsuko is capable of infatuation, Haida is NOT her type, and no one knows that better than Haida himself. And he’s okay with that. The entire way the three people here handled the situation is remarkably mature. And this is why Inui doesn’t hate Haida. She knows he isn’t being a dick.

And that’s how I overthink that. Haha.

I can't find much to disagree with, there. It jives well with how other romances in Japanese media I've seen concluded. Still sort of frustrates me, though.

Spoiler:

As you note, everyone handles it in a mature manner, and I think that's perhaps the best part of this triangle. There's no silly, immature misunderstanding like you often get in Western media or more common love-triangle narratives. At the same time, if the overall conclusion is that there is no relationship and Haida is basically just okay crushing on Retsuko without it being a secret or whatever, then it just makes the ending feel like "a return to status quo but at least everyone's cards are out on the table". Which, in a lot of ways, is certainly closer to reality. But to me, crushing on someone that's never gonna feel that way for you back is a personal Hell.

Granted I'm of course relating to the male character more in this scenario than I am the female character, though I've also had that phase of "Y'know what? I'm okay with my day job being my career" so I guess I understand her return to status quo better. A bit unsatisfying, but it's a very different sort of character growth.

I'll probably do a rewatch of the whole series in a few months. Get a better view of it from start to finish and see if the end gels better that way.

I don't know what to think of this... Inuyasha is getting the Boruto treatment...

https://www.livechart.me/anime/9937

ukickmydog wrote:

I don't know what to think of this... Inuyasha is getting the Boruto treatment...

https://www.livechart.me/anime/9937

So for no real reason I decided to rewatch Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, and while it was as delightful as the first time I viewed it, I also found its twelve episodes to be all too brief (13 if you count the OVA bundled in with the Blu-Ray that you can evidently find on YouTube). Perhaps it's more an issue of the show's pacing, but it really feels like 2/3s of it are introducing and developing characters before the final 1/3 hits its stride by really mixing these characters together. There's some mixture in the early 2/3s, but it seems to follow a pattern of "introduce each individual character, develop the pairings, let loose with the hijinks".

Which means it feels like the show stops just as it is starting. Pretty disappointing in the end, and has me curious if the manga it is surely based on goes further. However, given that part of the show's charm is the surprisingly strong animation and its high quality voice work (well, in Japanese, no clue on the dub), I feel like there'd be something lost shifting to comic form.

Trying to figure out what to watch next. Pondering Deca-Dence or Outlaw Star on Hulu, or DoroHeDoro or The Great Pretender on Netflix. Ultimately I'm honestly kind of craving something a bit more escapist and down-to-earth since literal Earth has been getting to me. I reread Wotakoi and have ordered replacements of my Genshiken volumes that have mysteriously gone missing, but it'd be nice to have something new as well.

Any recommendations? Preferably something closer to the Genshiken or Shirobako end of the spectrum, where it's still escapist fluff but doesn't suffocate you with moe, or isn't completely pandering like Gamers! is.

The Great Pretender is a great ride, though it is a little unusual in that the protagonists are criminals. I suppose they're a bit like Lupin in that way, but even Lupin isn't quite so unapologetically criminal.

If you want escapism, and don't mind nearly hentai levels of ecchi, then I'd suggest Peter Grill and the Post-Nut Clarity. It's a harem comedy only the harem women don't stop at kissing or whatever. Kinda rapey, so trigger warning on that. The anime folks appear to not have a firm grasp on boundaries, especially if the victim is male.

Uzaki-chan is pretty delightful. That's a nice watch.

I really like Great Pretender but it does deal with some pretty heavy stuff at times, particularly during the second story arc.

Spoiler:

war, PTSD, child soldiers, plus some pretty unpleasant misogyny from the main antagonist

It's a great show, but if you're looking for something purely escapist it might not fit the bill.

Yeah, I watched the first two episodes of it and am not sure how I feel. Less than savory characters whose flaws are their entire being is why I've fallen out of Western television. Not what I'm wanting in my anime. I might watch more of it but I'm not in a hurry.

Deca-Dence, meanwhile, had a pretty swell first episode.

Then the second episode happened and while it's still swell in its own right I'm kind of left feeling... I dunno. I really don't know how I feel about this.

But it is compelling and Natsume is super charismatic and charming, even if her little misunderstanding at the end of the second episode is a bit forced.

Spoiler:

Ah, yes, that person was just unconscious or asleep. Let's now ignore the fact that there's a dead body there and stuff and have ourselves a good laugh.

So I'll keep watching that for sure.

If you want escapism, and don't mind nearly hentai levels of ecchi, then I'd suggest Peter Grill and the Post-Nut Clarity. It's a harem comedy only the harem women don't stop at kissing or whatever. Kinda rapey, so trigger warning on that. The anime folks appear to not have a firm grasp on boundaries, especially if the victim is male.

Is that seriously the title, is that seriously an anime, and uh, I think I can confidently say I'm not in the mood for escapism of the sexual variety.

I've not seen Kaguya-sama yet, nor the Love Story one where the big ogre-looking fellow and the little lady fall in love, so those have been added to the Hulu list. I saw clips of the latter when my brother was watching it and it's probably right up my alley of what I'm looking for.

My Love Story is great

edit:

ccesarano wrote:

Yeah, I watched the first two episodes of it and am not sure how I feel. Less than savory characters whose flaws are their entire being is why I've fallen out of Western television. Not what I'm wanting in my anime. I might watch more of it but I'm not in a hurry.

For what it's worth, you don't get a good picture of who the main characters really are until the end of the first arc. Since everything's a con there's a lot of layers of deception going on. I found most of the main characters pretty likeable, they're not exactly good people by any stretch but they often do bad things for good reasons. There's a bit of a Robin Hood vibe to it all, where all of their marks are pretty despicable people.

I'll jump on the Ore Monogatari (My Love Story) bandwagon. Not for nothing, but the live action movie is really fun as well.

"My Love Story" is great! It's unapologetically sweet and wholesome. [quote="muttonchop"]My Love Story is great

muttonchop wrote:

For what it's worth, you don't get a good picture of who the main characters really are until the end of the first arc. Since everything's a con there's a lot of layers of deception going on. I found most of the main characters pretty likeable, they're not exactly good people by any stretch but they often do bad things for good reasons. There's a bit of a Robin Hood vibe to it all, where all of their marks are pretty despicable people.

Really more of a Mission Impossible, if all the agents were swindlers. Mission Impossible gives us a VERY thin veneer of state interest, but they're basically killing and swindling people who are sold to us as very bad folks. Except they're also not exactly the best people ever. Great Pretender is a bunch of bad folks swindling people they don't like out of money and putting that money in their own pockets. Yes, they do get criminals arrested. But they're also criminals. Edamura's constant moral conflicts over what they're doing is, I feel, throwing a bone to Japanese sensibilities about why any of this is acceptable at all.

But really, it's bad people doing bad things to other bad people. It's an exploration of a criminal underworld where deception and subtlety are your greatest weapons.

ccesarano wrote:
If you want escapism, and don't mind nearly hentai levels of ecchi, then I'd suggest Peter Grill and the Post-Nut Clarity. It's a harem comedy only the harem women don't stop at kissing or whatever. Kinda rapey, so trigger warning on that. The anime folks appear to not have a firm grasp on boundaries, especially if the victim is male.

Is that seriously the title, is that seriously an anime, and uh, I think I can confidently say I'm not in the mood for escapism of the sexual variety.

The actual translation is "Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time," but yeah, "philosopher's time" refers to that post-coital state where your senses are completely clear and you regret everything you've just done in the past 24 hours.

While it has absolutely no shortage of fan service, the sex isn't depicted in any episode I've watched, and it's played as a fail state that Peter is constantly trying to avoid (and failing miserably). The women are extremely aggressive though, to be fair, while they cajole and occasionally try to force Peter into it; in most cases, his own libido always proves to be the deciding factor in the end. It's a modestly amusing dumpster fire but no one will miss anything if they just pretended this thing never existed.

Shenmue anime series announced for Toonami, Yu Suzuki executive producing

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/new...

LarryC wrote:

The actual translation is "Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time," but yeah, "philosopher's time" refers to that post-coital state where your senses are completely clear and you regret everything you've just done in the past 24 hours.

While it has absolutely no shortage of fan service, the sex isn't depicted in any episode I've watched, and it's played as a fail state that Peter is constantly trying to avoid (and failing miserably). The women are extremely aggressive though, to be fair, while they cajole and occasionally try to force Peter into it; in most cases, his own libido always proves to be the deciding factor in the end. It's a modestly amusing dumpster fire but no one will miss anything if they just pretended this thing never existed.

Some of the reasons this is fascinating are also probably the reasons I ought to stay far away from it. Thanks for the share, and in another time and place I might have gone and checked it out, but it's probably not the best thing for me in my current head space.

I'll stick with Deca-Dence, My Love Story, and Kaguya-Sama for now.

Middcore wrote:

Shenmue anime series announced for Toonami, Yu Suzuki executive producing

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/new...

This is probably the best chance for fans of the series to get a conclusion seeing how Shenmue 3 turned out, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I'd hope the voice talent for the dub is better, too.

So I ended up watching all of what's available of Deca-Dence (on Hulu).

I'm pretty sure this is a good show.

I'm really curious as to where they're going with it now.

Spoiler:

Given that there's an estimated 3-4 episodes remaining, as it's paced like a 13 episode season, it could be a condensed down "Macross" where the remaining episodes are now the aftermath and establishment of a new status quo now that the old has been irreparably demolished. I'm diggin' it.

So my brother began rewatching "My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected", or given the English title "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU" which... I get, but really... I mean both titles really don't fit the quality of the show, and it's interesting digging into that after going through the first season of Kaguya-sama.

The latter was funny and delightful in much the same way that Nozaki-kun was, but it turns out SNAFU (which is the best shorthand I can think of) is far, far more in line with what I was looking for. A show where half of the fun is determining the different psych profiles of its protagonists. Maybe this is what I get for Evangelion being one of the foundational anime for me, but stuff where the characters feel real and whose true selves and motivations are deep, meaty topics of conversation themselves, that's the kind of thing I really get into when it's available. It's why I love Genshiken, and I'm quickly falling in love with SNAFU.

I'll probably purchase it on Blu-Ray, as having watched some with my brother and then gone back to the beginning to "catch up" on what I missed, I can definitely tell this show is filled with quick glimpses, glances, and body language that communicates what words won't, as well as a lot of single lines of dialogue that carry heavy meaning down the road.

Evidently it is based off of a light novel that's still going (which is funny as one of the first episodes has the characters criticizing someone's light novel manuscript, and just about every criticism is true of the genre as a whole), so even though the third season just came out there's no closure. I'm afraid of how this show will end for multiple reasons.

Regardless, call it a surprise. It and Deca-Dence have proven to be huge delights.

Watched Cagaster of an Insect Cage and it was dumb. I thought this was Terra Formers. I can't keep the insect anime straight. The idea was okay but generic paint by numbers. Throw in some little girl almost rape. And mix it in bad animation.

One good thing is the transgender character they have. I liked that nobody says anything about her being transgender. Also she isn't played for laughs and is probably the best character on the show.

Started watching Megalo Boxing on Netflix tonight. I had been looking for something kind of fluffy, and I figured cyber-boxing was going to be at least a little bit entertaining. Maybe this is one of these series that everyone knows about and I missed, but I've been really digging it. It kind of feels like a side story from Cowboy Bebop.

kazooka wrote:

Started watching Megalo Boxing on Netflix tonight. I had been looking for something kind of fluffy, and I figured cyber-boxing was going to be at least a little bit entertaining. Maybe this is one of these series that everyone knows about and I missed, but I've been really digging it. It kind of feels like a side story from Cowboy Bebop.

That show is amazing! My only hate on that show is that they decided to render it at 480p, DVD quality, which annoyed the hell out of me. Apparently some people have a nostalgia for digital compression. It's the worst.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

That show is amazing! My only hate on that show is that they decided to render it at 480p, DVD quality, which annoyed the hell out of me. Apparently some people have a nostalgia for digital compression. It's the worst.

Given the visual style was completely intended to imitate the "classic" days when it was all paper and cells still instead of digital, that probably factored heavily into it.

I really dug it because it felt old-skool, which was pretty refreshing. Classic sci-fi stuff like when I fell in love with anime in the first place. I've been considering giving it a second viewing on Netflix.

kazooka wrote:

Started watching Megalo Boxing on Netflix tonight. I had been looking for something kind of fluffy, and I figured cyber-boxing was going to be at least a little bit entertaining. Maybe this is one of these series that everyone knows about and I missed, but I've been really digging it. It kind of feels like a side story from Cowboy Bebop.

It's awesome! If you liked it, you might want to look into that material it's adapted from, and old school manga/anime called Champion Joe (Ash*ta no Jo). There's a 79 episode anime that ran in Japan in 1970 and 71, and the movie I linked to the IMBD entry here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1682222/

I don't know about "light and fluffy", though. It gets gritty AF, especially towards the end.

So the next SOA anime has been announced. I was expecting Moon Cradle, which is a story that takes place in Underworld and the next two novels in the main series and was hoping they would do Girls Ops, a manga about Leafa, Silica, and Liz inside AFO, but it seems they have decided to do Progressive, which is Reki's attempt at a floor-by-floor retelling of Aincard (so far he has only covered the first 6 floors, and the 1st floor story is also the first short arc of season 1 of SAO).

I have mixed feeling about this... like most everything else he has written it is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the early floors particularly aren't that great, but there are some good stories. Just wish he'd write more of them, I really want to see how he handles some of the later floors to bring them more in line with the original storyline (since he insists and making everything a singular cannon).

Watched season 1 of Ajin on netflix. In this world there are rare times when people become immortal. These people are called Ajin. The tricky part is no one knows they are immortal until they die

The government is rounding up all the Ajins and experimenting on them in the most wicked of ways. Some of the Ajins have a problem with this so they try to get the government to stop by killing lots and lots of people. The main protagonist just want sto be left only but he has to pick a side or does he?

I liked the first season. The story was well paced and the action was nice. The one bad point would be the skip frame animation that Netflix likes to use for some reason. The first season of The Dragon Prince used the same stupid skip animation. This doesn't ruin the show but I never did get use to it. Get a new animation department netflix.

I had a blast with Ajin. Cool intro songs, too.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

I liked the first season. The story was well paced and the action was nice. The one bad point would be the skip frame animation that Netflix likes to use for some reason. The first season of The Dragon Prince used the same stupid skip animation. This doesn't ruin the show but I never did get use to it. Get a new animation department netflix.

I believe Netflix only acquired the streaming rights. They didn't produce it.

I thought the 1st season was great, but it took a tumble on the 2nd season. Not horrible, but I expected better.

Oh, I liked the live action movie. It's more or less an adaptation of the 1st season of the anime, but they give it a satisfying conclusion, instead of a cliffhanger.

Anyone watch Konsuba? Looking for some D&D type shows... This one might have some dubs so I can split focus too... just don't want to get started if its not worth the effort.

Konosuba's a comedy, so there's not a lot of effort required.

Konosuba is great! It is a parody of isekai genre; the main character is transported to another world, is given no special status, skills, or abilities, ends up surrounded by a hilariously useless companions and has to sleep in a barn. Things do eventually get better for him, but only by accident.

I'd recommend it.