We’re almost there! We’re at the penultimate wrap of the fall season, and I appreciate those of you still reading, or who have just joined the discussion. The following three series are a mixed bag of the supernatural, alcohol, and idols, but they share a talent for warming you up from the inside.
- 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.
Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou
In my round up of shows to finish for the fall, I almost forgot about Youkai Apartment—not because the series itself is forgettable, but because I had taken for granted that these characters would be around forever. Youkai Apartment enjoyed a slow and steady burn through the two cours it aired. I may not have been clicking on it first at the start of each week, but I definitely looked forward to each episode. If I fell behind on the schedule, I didn’t mind watching a few in a row to catch back up. Visiting Youkai Apartment felt as natural as breathing.
If you overlooked this show, or dismissed it on the bland premise, then you were part of the vast majority. When I first got into anime, settings heavy with Japanese myth and culture were like crack to me. I’m talking about the likes of xxxHOLiC and Natsume Yuujinchou. That’s true even now. There’s almost always a youkai story in each season, so it’s easy to only pick the ones that stand out the most. Youkai Apartment doesn’t jump to the front visually or story-wise, and I can’t even recall any memorable music.
What the anime has going for it, however, is dedication to its characters, both the protagonist and everyone around him. Thanks to the episodic nature of the series, we get to see the apartment residents, teachers, and students from many different angles. I can’t help but feel like I really know them as people and not just faces on the screen. I found the focus on the teachers particularly interesting; Aoki repeatedly makes herself unlikable in her holier-than-thou approach to everyone and everything, and by the time we hit the end, Inaba and his friends have accepted that you can’t resolve everything. There will be people with whom you never connect, and broken situations that need space and time to fix themselves. It’s a lesson we don’t often see in stories meant to uplift and comfort.
If you ever find yourself with a bit of spare time and enjoy youkai stories, then I suggest you take the time to try Youkai Apartment. You may find yourself a voluntary resident.
Rating: 1 dango
Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara
For once this time around I only had one short on the schedule, and that was Love is Like a Cocktail, an anime with the simple vision of a married couple and the cocktails they share. Each week, Sora introduces a new concoction—sometimes alcoholic, sometimes not—and we repeatedly see Chisato let down her hair in response. Much like Wakakozake’s signature noise of pleasure, Chisato also gives out a now familiar sound the moment she relaxes. It’s endearing, and makes me want to try out some of the cocktail recipes. If I do, you can be sure I’ll review them here!
Rating: 0 dango
Love Live! Sunshine!! 2nd Season
Our journey with Aqours is finally over and I can now say with certainty after two seasons of Uranohoshi’s fight to survive, I’m ready to move on. As much fun as I had with the girls, I’ll still look back on μ’s as my Love Live! group of choice. Aqours never captured my heart as completely as I would have liked; they were a group of girls who mostly felt too manipulated to fully trust. I could always see the mind behind the creation, the money behind the product.
I realize I sound harsh for an anime I did like. I even have my favorite girls, the third years with their older sister vibes. Mari was easily my main laugh of the series. Just looking back on her grin and self-made album cracks me up. I also heartily approve of the direction the story took at the end. The drive to save Uranohoshi was always a terrible motivator, one that could have easily robbed the girls of their love for singing and dancing. Once they accepted the inevitable and looked forward to the future, they grasped a new dream just as worthwhile as the previous one.
Now that Sunshine is over, other than any movies or specials that might air, I’ll be curious to see if Love Live! will continue with a new school. I didn’t expect Aqours when Sunshine was first announced, and was even resistant to the idea of it. Now I’m open to any challengers to the title…perhaps a revamped group led by none other than Saint Snow’s Leah?
Rating : 1 dango