Fixer-uppers are all the rage lately, and I’m not talking about home renovation. The anime seasons have seen their fair share of rebuild narratives, with a few in recent memory jumping immediately into mind: Realist Hero, Genius Prince, and, currently airing, I’m Quitting Heroing. Each of them features a fantastical kingdom in economic and/or political turmoil and in each of them a hero comes along to save the day. While some aspects are refreshing in their approach, other areas perpetuate troubling beliefs and boring writing. I’m Quitting Heroing is the latest and, arguably, the best example of this type of story with its increased focus on notable side characters rather than the lead.
The creators of My Dress-Up Darling couldn’t have named this series any better, because it accurately summarizes the adoration this show’s heroine received this winter. No other girl could even compete in the light of Marin’s glittering smile and outheld hand. You’d have an easier time just going with the flow than trying to ignore her and the force of her cosplay aspirations–not that I think you should do that. I 100% support joining Gojou on this journey that is cosplay and friendship and accepting your passions.
Now that we’re fully into the first and second weeks of the new spring season, I’ll be finishing up my winter reviews a bit more succinctly for my own sanity. This in between time is always a bit crazy trying to finish up one season’s shows but still stay up to date with trying all the newly airing ones. Thankfully, most of the remaining winter anime I have yet to discuss are mostly pretty mediocre, or in the case of this Realist Hero sequel, completely forgettable.
02:03 Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Season 2
02:47 How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Part 2
05:20 Love of Kill
06:50 Platinum End
10:03 Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2
13:41 The Case Study of Vanitas Part 2
14:38 The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt
16:38 In the Land of Leadale
17:29 Princess Connect! Re:Dive Season 2
19:00 Police in a Pod
23:07 The Orbital Children
24:00 Futsal Boys!!!!!
25:13 Tribe Nine
28:12 Akebi’s Sailor Uniform
30:41 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc
33:23 My Dress-Up Darling
38:20 Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout
41:23 Salaryman’s Club
43:13 Slow Loop
45:35 Ranking of Kings
45:50 Sabikui Bisco
46:17 Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
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There was a time when I would have likely avoided Slow Loop the second I saw the word “fishing”, but that time is in the past. This anime turned out to be one of the most welcoming and healing shows of the winter season, replete with fishing lessons, delectable meals, and family introspective.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Police in a Pod was actually not bad, though it does work with not a small amount of dark comedy and still errs a bit more often than I’d like into officer immunity expecting us to laugh off their choices. What does make this shine is the author’s obvious first-hand experience in law enforcement. Her time spent in uniform reflects not only in a few of the main female characters, but also in their interactions with both their peers and the public.
Fantasy Knockout is yet another prime example of how first impressions can be wrong and it’s often worth trying new things at least once. I completely skipped this anime for several weeks before a couple of friends convinced me to pick it up—we ended up discussing it along with another isekai on the podcast. Of the handful of similar shows this season and even the previous year, Fantasy Knockout is definitely one of the more unique and entertaining.
Don’t be fooled, dear viewers, into mistaking Love of Kill for some action-packed love story, because it decidedly is not. Mistaken impressions aside, there is a decent amount of thrill in the action and mystery we do explore, even if our protagonists lack several identifiable human traits.
As an avid lover of eating mushrooms, I don’t think I’ll ever look at them the same again after watching this season’s Sabikui Bisco. Equally fantastic and ridiculous, this show took us on a journey more unique than any other I’ve experienced in near memory. Skyscraper-defying mushrooms? Check. Tanky battle crabs? Check. Slug parasites? Check, check, check. Sabikui Bisco easily took its spot as my favorite of the winter 2022 season with memorable characters, a creative setting, and well-paced writing.
No other medium of entertainment exalts the glory years of school quite like anime, a playing field that would have you believe that cherry blossom-lined hills and immaculate indoor shoes are the normal youthful experience. Enter Komichi Akebi as a first-year student, a small town girl with very little experience in a large school setting. Her sailor uniform is a right of passage, one signifying her acceptance and independence; that her mother is making it by hand makes it all the more special. What starts in the first episode as a touching homage to the student experience transforms into an uncomfortable worship of girlhood.