12:30 I’ve Somehow Gotten Stronger When I Improved My Farming-Related Skills
15:12 Muv Luv Alternative
17:00 Raven of the Inner Palace
18:41 Reincarnated as a Sword
21:05 Shinobi no Ittoki
22:10 Urusei Yatsura
25:44 BOCCHI THE ROCK!
26:56 Do It Yourself!!
29:21 I’m the Villainess so I’m Taming the Final Boss
30:55 Love Flops
32:47 Mob Psycho 100 III
35:10 SPY x FAMILY Cour 2
36:44 The Eminence in Shadow
38:11 To Your Eternity Season 2
39:38 Welcome to the Demon School! Iruma-kun
40:53 Akiba Maid War
44:05 Chainsaw Man
47:13 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury
48:42 Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
49:52 BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War
51:22 Golden Kamuy Season 4
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“Clover 3” by Vibe Mountain
BLUELOCK OP: “Chaos ga Kiwamaru” by Unison Square Garden
I’ve written more about this show this season than any other on both this blog, Twitter, and even on Discord, simultaneously praising, recommending, and freaking out about it. I can no longer imagine the fall season without Akiba Maid War charging right up the center and standing at the forefront. From start to finish, the characters and this ridiculous setting demanded my attentions, easily competing for both anime of the season and the overall year.
I’m walking into this review a bit off-kilter, having thoroughly enjoyed the premise and writing in the first arc, then gradually spiraling into disappointment through the middle and ending. I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss may have let me down at the end, but I still appreciate Aileen’s character and her romantic interactions with Claude. Their blunt flirting left little to the imagination and made for some of the most entertaining couplings of the year.
A ton of promising shows dropped at the start of this fall season, but one that continues to fly under the radar due to its Netflix release late in the season is Romantic Killer, an eye-catching romcom with a defiant heroine. On the surface, this show looks to be a modern Cinderella; we have Anzu Hoshino, a girl whose life revolves around three greats: video games, her cat, and chocolate. When Riri the fairy pops into her life with a mission to add some romance into Anzu’s life à la otome game tropes, we start the roller coaster that is our lead’s attempts to survive the onslaught of handsome young men and compromising scenarios. What started as a seemingly structured storyline with a predictable ending turned rapidly into one of my favorites of the fall that may very well be among the most entertaining romantic comedies of surprising depth in recent anime seasons.
It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about Parallel World Pharmacy‘s use of cosmetics and skincare, so I’ll refrain from speaking too long on the series now other than to quickly go over what did and didn’t work for me over the course of the season. As an isekai and slice-of-life, PWP did well to draw me into its world and our protagonist’s place in it. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Falma use his experience from his former life as a pharmacologist to aid in his current one as a pharmaceutist now that medicine and magic co-exist. The show’s attempt to ramp up the drama in the latter part of the season reminded viewers, perhaps uncomfortably, about our own recent pandemic. While I appreciated the higher stakes, Falma’s near perfect handling of this emergency in addition too all the previous ones dampened any real concern, resulting in an ultimately forgettable series.
The second season of SHADOWS HOUSE couldn’t have come sooner, and it wasn’t too long into it that I was reminded of all that I loved in the first season. Character interactions like those between Emilico and Kate, a dark Victorian-esque setting blanketing the scenery with shadows and lace, and a mystery that carries on still unsolved–these all balanced together to create a story that continues to enthrall. If, however, you hoped for resolution to our children’s fears, then you’ll be disappointed to know that this sequel does not wrap up the mysteries, but rather sets the stage for even more curiosities as they step closer to adulthood.
As busy as the summer anime season was this year, there was a whole lot of mediocrity on that list. Only a handful of shows rose above the masses, with Lycoris Recoil taking one of the highest spots with charm and gusto. So much of the story might have faltered in other, lesser experienced hands, but each week the series defied the weaker elements of its framework with strong characters and writing. I’d be pressed to consider this show the best of the season, if not for the less-than-satisfying ending which lacks a much needed change for true resolution.
The time has finally arrived, my long-awaited sports anime that ticks off all the boxes and then some, leaving me wanting for more. The set-up, our characters, their journey, and the final game all contribute to what I love most in this type of show. I don’t know if a sequel is in the works, but if it happens, I will be there cheering wildly from the stands.
The reality of the word “yakuza” now is one romanticized beyond all recognition. Almost every story I see lately focuses on a singular character or entire family ripe for redemption through love. The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting makes it easy to forget that our comical characters are anything but a normal family. While I would normally sit back mindlessly and just enjoy the heartwarming episodes, the occasional small reminder of their true way of life makes the ride a bit of a bumpy one by the end.
The anime-original YUREI DECO recently wrapped up after 12 episodes and for all intents and purposes is a complete package with little need for a sequel or spin-off. Part of this is due to the material from which it took inspiration as well as the manner in which the writing paced itself through to the end. Colorful and idealistic from the beginning, the larger themes of freedom, value, and family are inspiring but too ambitious for such a small box. While I was fond of YUREI DECO’s characters, I ultimately found myself frustrated with the rushed ending that did little to address the story’s many issues.