I didn’t realize it then, but the first part of this season wrap came out on the official first day of autumn, the best time of year. I’ll be right over here, patting myself on the back, for being on top of this season’s shows and reviewing them in a timely manner. We continue here with three more shows, one of which ended far too early.
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.
Koi to Uso
Love and Lies is an interesting show in that it presents one idea while pursuing the ideals of another. The entire premise of this story hinges on government-arranged marriages from as early as the age of sixteen. Once you are notified of your match, you are obligated to do all that you can to bring the marriage to fruition and, hopefully, procreate. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the person; chances are you likely do not. Unions are chosen based on statistical data gathered from every little detail of your life, from vague notions of your personality to the hard facts of your place and direction in life. These government marriages have shown favorable results not only in the country’s birth rate, but also in public acceptance. The vast majority of people we see in the show not only go along with the orders, but even look forward to it. Gone are the days of loneliness, or those of insecurity in trying to get someone to give you a chance.
Yukari’s role as someone who finds himself caught between a long-time crush, his arranged wife, and a friendship that will never be sanctioned for more is meant to challenge the system. And, for the most part, we do see him wavering between the reciprocated affections of Misaki, and Ririna’s curious naivete. The battle becomes one of true love: can it only be found through self discovery, or can it be nurtured into reality?
Unfortunately, the answer does not get fulfilled at the end. If anything, you’ll sit there afterward in shock at how little we moved forward. The setting was interesting, but ultimately did not result in satisfaction. My personal wish to see a possible future for Yukari’s best friend, Nisaka, also hits a dead end. While I enjoyed parts of the show, namely those spent on Ririna, the story’s lack of forward movement makes it impossible for me to recommend it to anyone. Koi to Uso plays much like any typical high school romance drama—excited, uncertain, jealous, hopeful, and teetering on yet another cliffhanger.
Rating: 0 dango
I’ll be honest, when I first started Re:Creators, I fully expected to drop it after a few episodes. Yet somehow I made it past the usual three, then halfway through the first cours, and then I couldn’t stop. I had to know how this story about stories would end. The idea that seemed too ridiculous to maintain charged through to the finish with an actual ending.
A large part of what made me so skeptical of this show was its amalgamation of characters from various genres and mediums. Not only did they mix science fiction, fantasy, and romance, but also included anime, video games, and fan art as sources. Personalities clashed among the heroes and their creators. This work felt like someone’s idea of a prank, or perhaps a multi-franchise fighting game with clear winners and losers. Meteora, Altair, and Magane all seem overpowered, especially when compared to an adult dating sim girl like Hoshikawa.
The pacing also threw me off, at times fast forwarding through clashes in too short time frames, or extending repetitive dialogue at the most crucial moments. The entire series itself is a couple weeks short of a normal-length, two cours anime, ending at 22 episodes instead of 24 or 25. Despite being shorter than expected, the ending still went through multiple power ups before taking the most obvious, though least likely to be successful, path. I kept thinking we were about to hit the finale.
Regardless of the mish mash of characters and stumbling, there’s a lot to like about Re:Creators. As we’re all lovers of stories, it makes sense that an anime about writers and artists would resonate with viewers. We can imagine ourselves as fans, or even creators, fueling the appearance of the heroes. Experiencing the show’s Elimination Chamber Festival had me itching to get back to my own novel; surely no response to my writing can be as terrible as world destruction!
Rating: 0 dango
Nana Maru San Batsu
7O3X won’t win any awards in art or originality, but it more than makes up for them with careful writing and spirit. This anime appealed to me in a way that the best competitive shows do; it not only introduced me to something new, but also invited me to experience the learning process in an organic way. It’s possible to puzzle out quiz answers along with the players. Unlike shows like Saki where understanding mahjong is not integral to enjoying the show, or Kakegurui where seeing the cheats and tactics of each gamble is impossible, we both understand the various aspects of Quiz Bowl and can play along with the characters.
It pains me to include Fastest Finger First, also known as 7O3X, in this season wrap, because that means it’s really over. As wonderful as it was to learn about Quiz Bowl along with Koshiyama, I wasn’t satisfied with where we ended the story. The informal meet used to close out the series felt like the first step of what should have been a long journey. Perhaps I feel this way because more popular sports anime tend to run with longer episodes and cover multiple matches leading up to the dream that is nationals. Even single cours shows tend to have higher stakes, like the semi-final match of a regional, if not national, tournament. 7O3X chokes us off right when the need to see more is at its greatest, and I’m almost certain that we will not be getting a sequel any time soon, if ever. Despite this, I’m glad that this show was even brought to the screen since it encourages me to seek out the still ongoing source material.
Rating: 1 dango