Winter 2018 Anime Season
January 1, 2018 7:31 AM - Subscribe

Another anime season is upon us - what do you plan to watch, skip, hate-watch?

Season preview from Random Curiosity.

Or watch all the trailers at one go, through one of the many compilations on YouTube, although in the past I have found this is a way to end up not wanting to watch most of the shows.
posted by needled (79 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Here's another trailer compilation, just trailers without commentary.
posted by needled at 7:34 AM on January 1


I will be over here singing "hime hime, suki suki daisuki" under my breath.

I don't really expect anything of it besides More YowaPeda, but they're such good boys and YowaPeda has gotten me through so much shit in the last year, you have no idea.
posted by Sequence at 3:10 PM on January 4


I see the first episode of Pop Team Epic has showed up on Crunchyroll. I'm hoping it's as weird as its advertising seems to want me to think it is.

Sangatsu no Lion has been several seasons worth of superb so far, and it's continuing, so I'll be watching that. Ancient Magus' Bride has been... a great deal less than the sum of its parts, somehow; I guess I'm still watching that because the idea of a love story with one character who's basically a moose trophy is sorta funny.

A Place Farther Than The Universe had a few funny moments, and features a character so rule-and-habit-bound that she couldn't bring herself to cut class, even after planning it elaborately. That sort of reminded me of myself at one time... so, I'll give it a few episodes. It seems not great, but neither terrible.

Devilman Crybaby is Masaaki Yuasa's loveletter to the days when anime meant gratuitous nudity and extreme violence. If you don't find that offputting, it's weird and stylish.

And I'm gonna watch Violet Evergarden, and the Trigger thing even though it's robots, and... isn't there a Shaft Fate show this season?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:49 PM on January 6


> I will be over here singing "hime hime, suki suki daisuki" under my breath.

Augh, curse you! It's now stuck in my head and I'll be randomly blurting it out.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised by Record of Grancrest War - I really like the female mage and I am hoping her role doesn't deteriorate to mostly fan service as the series progresses.

I also enjoyed IDOLiSH7, it's much better done than TsukiPro the Animation, albeit that is a low bar. It shows the trajectory of a new idol group, starting with a poorly attended first concert. It's not something I would recommend to folks who don't share my fascination with idols, though.

Have yet to see Devilman Crybaby. I was a bit surprised when I first heard that Masaaki Yuasa was working on it, but then I remembered a previous work, Kemonozume, which I'd found quite affecting despite the violence. It will be interesting to see his spin on Go Nagai.
posted by needled at 7:34 AM on January 7


>Grancrest War - I really like the female mage and I am hoping her role doesn't deteriorate to mostly fan service

Yeah, when she made her pact with the guy by kneeling down in front of him, I became suspicious. I guess we'll see where it goes--it's not exactly my cup of tea, but it's early in the season yet and I'm still in 'just watch everything' mode.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:26 AM on January 7


> I see the first episode of Pop Team Epic has showed up on Crunchyroll. I'm hoping it's as weird as its advertising seems to want me to think it is.

I haven't seen any of the advertising but I've read the manga. The anime is far, far stranger than the comic. I'm not quite sure yet whether it's anarchy for anarchy's sake or they're building up to something, or they are trying to make the viewer think they're building something, or they're building something now and will change their mind about it later, or... It demands an amazingly broad level of nerd-culture literacy that's going to challenge the most obsessive western otaku, and I'm not sure that even typical Japanese viewers are going to make heads or tails of it, and I guess that's the point. I mean, it's called "Pop Team Epic", maybe the whole point is an assimilation of all popular media, not to revel or wallow in but to destroy.
posted by ardgedee at 3:12 PM on January 10


I have to add: the first episode of Pop Team Epic does something I've never seen anybody have the nerve to do on TV. I won't spoil it, but I'll caution it's not necessarily as incredible to watch as I might be making you assume.
posted by ardgedee at 3:14 PM on January 10


Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles: I love ramen noodles too, but we only made it five or six minutes into the episode before the high school moe girly blargh overwhelmed our willingness to hold out for the promised food porn. I'll keep an eye on the reviews to see if it gets better later, but I'm not expecting it to.

Mitchiri Neko: Very stupid and easy-going. I don't know anything about this but I assume it's based on some Sanrio-type mascot product. Three minute episodes good for watching when thinking is too hard.

Working Buddies! In a world of anthropomorphic cats, two high schoolers work part-time at a shipping company. One is an eager but not particularly bright go-getter, the other is laid-back and glum but gets the job done. Episodes are also only a few minutes long. Produced by Good Smile, so again I assume it's either based on or a setup for mascot collectibles.
posted by ardgedee at 3:29 PM on January 10


Sora yori mo Tooi Basho is pretty adorable and without resorting to just stock characters.

Kokkoku throws a lot at you in one episode and I'm interested in where it's going.

I'm going to keep watching Ancient Magus' Bride but I'm going to complain about the new opening. So generic compared to the first one.

Yuru Camp I like, though that's probably just my own love for when a show is randomly educational about a very particular interest, in this case camping.
posted by RobotHero at 5:09 PM on January 10


>Sora yori mo Tooi Basho is pretty adorable and without resorting to just stock characters.

I thought maybe I just liked it because I was impatient for new shows, but having seen the second episode: it's really quite good--it's genuinely funny and the art is lovely. Best new show so far, for my money.

I liked Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, too. It's about a girl who's constantly messing with one of her male classmates; he wants to get back at her but she's always one step ahead of him. It could easily go wrong in a lot of ways--the teasing could seem mean-spirited, or the pranks too farfetched, or it could just be predictable (I mean, you KNOW she's gonna get him)... but it kind of threads the needles and manages to be mildly charming and funny anyway. Of course the implication is that they have a mutual crush, and the way the show acknowledges this was subtle and very sweet.

>the first episode of Pop Team Epic does something I've never seen anybody have the nerve to do on TV.

Yeah, it made me think of Endless Eight, not because I think it's anywhere near that good, but just in its willingness to do something that could so easily alienate so many viewers. Maybe people who know the manga know what they're getting, but I thought it was still pretty bold. I'm not convinced the show is any kind of masterpiece, but it's an extreme outlier, which is good enough for me.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:45 AM on January 11


>I'm going to keep watching Ancient Magus' Bride but I'm going to complain about the new opening. So generic compared to the first one.

Remember the episode where it's revealed that whatshisname, Linden?, the dragon guy, is a mage who casts spells by singing? It was such a great opportunity for a neat musical choice, and what they ended up with was this awful, generic New-Agey-sounding, echoey pap...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:57 AM on January 11


>Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles: I love ramen noodles too, but we only made it five or six minutes into the episode before the high school moe girly blargh overwhelmed our willingness to hold out for the promised food porn.

Yeah... the one thing I liked about it was: Koizumi is kind of chilly and standoffish, and the main character is a girl who wants to be friends, and just WILL NOT be put off. She keeps getting the brutally cold shoulder, and then giving a big thumbs-up like she's one step closer to opening the door to Koizumi's heart or something... which she CLEARLY is not.

The convention, of course, is that Koizumi will eventually accept her friendship... but it seems to me the one shot the show has at actually being funny is if Koizumi genuinely dislikes her, and continues to dislike her, and really can't figure out why they keep ending up eating together.

It seems like the kind of show that's neither quite bad enough to drop nor good enough to keep spending time on... but I'll give it another episode or two.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:07 AM on January 11


Sora yori mo tooi basho: the animation really elevates it, in my opinion. The story is unexceptional, but the animation is much more dynamic and fluid than I expected, and it has a very engaging effect. Probably because it's an anime original, not an adaptation.

Citrus had me honestly on the edge of my seat. I usually don't like shoujo and I often don't like adaptations ... But there was so much tension the whole episode and I definitely want to find out what happens next.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:03 PM on January 11


Mitsuboshi Colors is VERY VERY Good and fun and you should watch it, it is not loli or moe
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:08 PM on January 11


Also I really liked Yuru Camp. I don't often like hobby animes, but it's engagement with the landscape and scenery is lovely.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:10 PM on January 11


I keep hearing that Mitsuboshi Colors is good, but I don't think I can legitimately get at it, unless I sign up for HiDive. And I'd sort of like to let the stake in Anime Strike's heart cool off for at least a few days before I sign up for ANOTHER goddamn streaming service...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:25 PM on January 11


Watched 3 episodes of Devilman Crybaby and stopped. The pacing felt really off to me, as in instead of telling a story at its own pace, it was all about hitting certain story points to make sure they fit all of them in the allotted 10 episodes. The anime didn't draw me in like Masaaki Yuasa's earlier work, Kemonozume, did.

I am already familiar with Devilman manga and Go Nagai's other works, so gratuitous nudity and extreme violence were no surprise - I suppose I was hoping the anime would have been less faithful to the source material and be more Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi, and less Go Nagai.
posted by needled at 6:14 PM on January 11


I watched the first episode of Pop Team Epic at 3:30 in the morning awake with a stomach bug, and I'm not 100% sure that actually happened. I'm not sure if I'm okay. I'm not sure if anything is okay.
posted by Sequence at 2:09 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


>I'm not sure if I'm okay.

Are you upset?

Come on, there's no point in a show like that even existing if we're not gonna make it into a bunch of stupid references. Beef! Your life has been spared!
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:11 AM on January 12


I'm at least more convinced this morning that I didn't in fact have a stroke, so there's that!

I also watched the first episode of Devilman Crybaby and should say--I'm not sure what I think about the plot but I'm likely to watch the rest of it just for the aesthetic. It kept making me think of Hannibal; not the same design sense or anything, but while I like Hannibal's plot, I really could have just watched it for the art murder.
posted by Sequence at 1:07 PM on January 12


I thought Devilman Crybaby had a lousy ending that made the whole thing kind of impossible to care about. But if anime has taught me anything (and it hasn't), it's that endings are hard. Most of the rest of it was bizarre and excessive and fairly entertaining. And the Beatboxing River Delinquents were great, and should have gotten all the girls, and now I want to be a Beatboxing River Delinquent.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:34 PM on January 12




Cool, thanks for posting--I didn't realize there was such a site as 'Anime Feminist'.

I mostly agree with their assessments--though putting 'How To Keep A Mummy' in the 'mostly harmless' category ignores the fact that, though it may not be offensive to progressive sensibilities, it's best avoided anyway because it REALLY sucked...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:28 PM on January 19


Really? "How to Keep a Mummy" is cute for cuteness's sake; there's nothing there except threadbare stories about cute miniature yokai and the harmless trouble they get into. There's no there there in terms of characters, narrative arc, or setting that isn't provided by trope. It's safely in the "turn brain off, turn tv on" category of viewing. I can neither hate it nor totally like it, so I'll keep watching it with absolutely zero expectations.

The second episode of "Pop Team Epic" went similarly to the first, but at a couple points it made me laugh uncontrollably and so I think I'm going to continue watching it. I'll spoil one sketch for you all: The two main characters' signature pose involves them giving the reader the middle finger. In the anime this is always censored out. There's a wordless skit with the shorter main character feeding birds by scattering seed in a slow, dramatic motions while the birds freak out from ecstasy in slow, dramatic motions. That's it, on to next scene. But to review that sketch: there was one short bird, one tall bird, and two short birds in a row onscreen, making it appear like a blue-gloved fist was giving the viewer the middle finger. And then the birds began freaking out: The apparent joke was about feeding birds in a silly way, hiding the actual gag that the animators were getting past the censors to literally flip the bird at the viewer. And yes, this works a lot better as a 10 second blackout sketch than as a 100 word essay. There's always been a sense that most of the non-jokes might be jokes specific to Japanese language and culture, and English speakers find them funny because the non-sequitur makes them indistinguishable from the deliberate anti-humor. But jokes involving breaking the fourth wall have been a part of the comic and show from the start, and there's a lot of metahumor based on that as well. In a terribly weird way, it's a show that makes you think.
posted by ardgedee at 5:54 AM on January 20


>"How to Keep a Mummy" is cute for cuteness's sake; there's nothing there except threadbare stories about cute miniature yokai and the harmless trouble they get into. There's no there there in terms of characters, narrative arc,

Well, it sounds like the only thing we disagree about is whether or not to watch it. :) It struck me as something that had no thought or effort put into it at any stage, something its creators are only interested in because the mummy might sell keychains or something. I guess it's pretty close to the boundary between harmless and actively irritating, but I called it on the actively irritating side.

Pop Team Epic: I don't see how anybody can dislike a show that's got stop-motion felting. It's completely stupid, but it's elaborately, inventively stupid... it's RIGOROUSLY stupid. Anyway I like it, it certainly seems like an idea that could wear out its welcome but so far it hasn't and I hope it don't.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:44 AM on January 20


My favorite Pop Team Epic joke isn't the Hoshiiro Girldrop fake-out itself, it's the split-second right at the end of the fake anime's intro where you see the "whole cast" and there's just this fuck-off huge dog there like Clifford's Japanese penpal. It's just a throw-away glimpse of this generic fake anime that seems more or less devoid of fantastical elements, except for this ginormous dog that is in no way central to the plot. It makes me giggle every time I think about it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:51 PM on January 25


Pop Team Epic's three episodes have so far had two French installments that play out like pitch-perfect renditions of one-pager bande dessinée gags, completely unlike in tone to the rest of the show (and therefore, of course, fitting in perfectly). It's been making me wonder how many different studios are involved in this show, from how many different countries, and whether they'll be dragging in even more in future episodes.
posted by ardgedee at 4:36 AM on January 26


Yeah, and the French guy is sitting in front of a workstation where he appears to be working on animating the two main characters. This is some Inception-level shit here.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:52 AM on January 26


Is anyone else watching Violet Evergarden? As a longtime fan of Kyoto Animation, I was excited for this one — but I have to admit disappointment. Visually, the production is gorgeous (of course). Their usual attention to detail is there, the focus on character moments and body language and atmospherics. But the visuals are propping up content that's just ... facile and disjointed, honestly. Violet is the most basic type of "AI/robot learns how to love" character possible; the Auto Memory Dolls don't make a lot of sense, other than as a romantic concept; the writing has spent the two episodes delicately, slowly unravelling clichéd plot points that everyone's figured out in the first ten minutes. I'll probably try another episode, and I'd like to be proven wrong, but I'm not expecting much.

In other (good) news, School Babysitters is pretty much 100% what the title promises. Unashamedly so!
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 9:22 PM on January 26


I will be watching Violet Evergarden on the Netflix release schedule. Someday. I think.

>But the visuals are propping up content that's just ... facile and disjointed, honestly.

I don't need Violet Evergarden for this, I'm already watching Bride of the Ancient Magus... :P
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:36 PM on January 26


Spring 2018 for Violet Evergarden in the US, I think? Not sure why it's not being broadcast everywhere (lucky I'm in Canada).

Haha! Coincidentally, I am also watching Ancient Magus Bride, and have similar feelings. The thing is — some episodes have moments that are genuinely, rousingly magical. And then the rest is tonally disjointed, not very well paced, and honestly kind of silly. I wonder if the weird tone shifts were part of the manga or just a result of poor adaptation choices?

I should probably stop watching both Ancient Magus Bride and Violet Evergarden and all other B+ anime in my queue, because I have a long list of high quality recommendations to get through, but somehow at the end of a long day B+ anime is all you have the energy for.

Sidenote, if anyone wants to see gorgeous, fluid, Violet Evergarden-quality animation without having to suffer through a lot of banality, Kyoto Animation's film A Silent Voice was unreservedly good.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 10:07 PM on January 26


Ancient Magus' Bride is just so uneven... I like the character design, I love the world it takes place in, but the story can't get going anywhere. It seems to be following the form: Chise and Elias get separated; Chise encounters a weird, dangerous creature; Chise gets fatally injured; Elias shows up, cradles Chise's broken body in his arms, and tries to express concern and regret but is tragically unable to emote due to having a moose head; Chise turns out to be perfectly fine for no reason that is adequately explained. Bake at 350 until heated through and serve with unnecessary lingerie vampires. I don't mean to complain TOO much about it--even when it's not great, it's not boring--but it seems like it ought to be better than it is.

Somehow I hadn't taken in that A Silent Voice was KyoAni. I guess I'm waiting for that to show up on one of the streaming services where I can get at it legitimately.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:41 AM on January 27


Recent anime, short takes:

Pop Team Epic. I seem to be the only one here who doesn't like this one. Humor is notoriously subjective, and whatever makes this show funny, I just don't get. I am Pop Team Epic deaf.

Darling in the FRANXX. Trigger remakes Evangelion. I approve.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody. Yet another anime about some random shlub who becomes trapped in an MMO turned real. Yawn. I hated the previous 27,493 shows based on this trope, and I hate this one, too.

Kokkoku. Supernatural horror/action/crime/thriller. Stylish and arty OP. Ugly character design, and sub-standard character animation quality, but detailed backgrounds, good direction and composition. Storytelling is well done, unrelenting drama and tension. I'll follow this one for a while.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:44 PM on January 29


I can’t remember an anime in recent memory that left me as angry as Darling in the FRANXX. This touches on some of the aspects of why it left me seeing red.

There appears to be an interesting world and story, but it’s ruined by stupid fan service, creepy, leering male gaze directed at the underage-looking female characters (why so much nudity exclusive to them?), and generallly demeaning presentation of girls and women.
posted by needled at 4:34 PM on January 29


Pop Team Epic has me rolling, even though I'm pretty sure I'm only getting about 30% of the references. The stop motion felt number was amazing.

> My favorite Pop Team Epic joke isn't the Hoshiiro Girldrop fake-out itself, it's the split-second right at the end of the fake anime's intro where you see the "whole cast" and there's just this fuck-off huge dog there like Clifford's Japanese penpal.

That pretty much set me off for the rest of the episode.
posted by lucidium at 6:17 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Is nobody else watching "Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens"? It plays an extremely absurd premise (there is a district in Fukuoka where 3% of the residents are contract killers and the rest are, seemingly, making their living as the go-betweens and assistants) totally straight and so far, somehow, they're managing it well. I'm inclined to watch through to the end even if they can't sustain current quality, just to see how they manage to resolve the various storylines.

If nothing else they're playing the hard-boiled game to the hilt and gleefully/shamelessly riffing on Cowboy Bebop during the closing.
posted by ardgedee at 6:22 PM on January 30


In other (good) news, School Babysitters is pretty much 100% what the title promises. Unashamedly so!

Then you hit episode 3 and for some reason--I'd have considered ANY joke where a character got a nosebleed from being around toddlers to be Seriously In Poor Taste Dear Christ. But episode 3, which I'm going to need a scalpel to remove from my brain, makes that joke, seems like it's going to do the normal pull back into "okay but it's not really that haha hilarious misunderstanding"... and then has that (minor) character's friend insist repeatedly that his friend is not safe to be around children. What the actual fuck. It's a testament to the rest of it not at all being that show that I was willing to watch episode 4 and I'm cautiously willing to keep going, but I strongly suspect if Yagi shows up onscreen again and they return to those jokes, I'm dumping it.
posted by Sequence at 9:56 AM on January 31


A small thing from Yuru Camp is the way they use social media feels very naturalistic. Like, of course it's slice-of-life genre so it'll tend towards naturalistic, but that in particular I don't see very often.
posted by RobotHero at 1:38 PM on February 1


Some more watches.

A Place Further Than the Universe. Four high school girls conspire to visit Antarctica. Charming and mostly upbeat story with a hint of sadness — one girl's mother is a scientist who has gone missing. Made in Abyss Antarctica? A major theme seems to be identity: who am I, what am I, as I grow up and change? Am I an explorer, or a stay-at-home? Am I a hero, or a coward? Gorgeous animation. Exceeded my expectations.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. A very large cast I couldn't keep track of, all of whom are boring. Incomprehensible plot. Sub-par animation. I'll skip this one.

Junji Ito Collection. Horror is a hard sell for me, and these stories can't close the deal. There are few twists or surprises. Something bad happens, something worse happens, something completely awful happens, The End. I watched two episodes, four stories, and the only exception to this formula was The Long Dream. Interesting idea, mild twist, but still not enough to entice me to watch any more.

Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls. Edo-period ninjas with supernatural powers. Also some truly weird remarks about incest. Not doing it for me.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:00 AM on February 3


With the Junji Ito collection, is it all the stories that nobody has already licensed for adaptation? So kind of the left-overs?
posted by RobotHero at 8:36 AM on February 3


First episode of the Junji Ito thing left me genuinely puzzled as to what note they were trying to hit. It seemed like kind of a gimpy horror-comedy, with a very ordinary visual presentation. I'm not a horror buff, and I'm not sure I exactly like Junji Ito, but the things that are noteworthy about the source material seemed missing from the adaptation.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:07 PM on February 3


Ito has produced a lot of comics, so it seems uncharitable to call this series his leftovers. It might be a problem of bad curation (the director just has bad taste in horror) or a bad fit of material with studio.

What the world really needs is an anime adaptation of Junji Ito's Cat Diary series. That's right: Ito has also made autobiographical cute cat comics.
posted by ardgedee at 7:48 AM on February 4


> My favorite Pop Team Epic joke isn't the Hoshiiro Girldrop fake-out itself, it's the split-second right at the end of the fake anime's intro where you see the "whole cast" and there's just this fuck-off huge dog there like Clifford's Japanese penpal. It's just a throw-away glimpse of this generic fake anime...

Oh hey, a word about that Hoshiiro Girldrop being fake.
posted by ardgedee at 2:30 PM on February 4


> Elias shows up, cradles Chise's broken body in his arms, and tries to express concern and regret but is tragically unable to emote due to having a moose head

The phrase "Elias is tragically unable to emote due to having a moose head" now pops into my mind every time I watch a dramatic, emotional Elias/Chise scene, which, for some reason, greatly elevates my enjoyment of the show. So thanks for that, ha.

Regarding the "unnecessary lingerie vampires/faeries" — yup — Titania's introduction scene had me laughing in despair and disbelief, as did that scene with the fairy-creature in the garden. On the other hand, I'm happily surprised with where the story is taking the (obviously dubious) premise of "ancient mage buys young girl as a slave." There's not really anything sexual to it, so far — with all the characters and friends who have gathered round them, it seems more like a found family premise. Elias' understanding of human relations is childlike at best, and there's even that scene where Angelica asks after Chise's treatment and reminds her of her freedom of choice. Totally not what I was expecting.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 5:12 PM on February 4


> Then you hit episode 3 and for some reason--I'd have considered ANY joke where a character got a nosebleed from being around toddlers to be Seriously In Poor Taste Dear Christ.

THANK YOU for mentioning this. I kind of thought I'd lost my grip on reality, or hoped I'd misinterpreted something. Did they really just slip a pedophile joke into the middle of a feel-good anime about a babysitter club? Oh wait, it wasn't a joke? Not the kind of surprise I'm ever looking for when I just want something benignly sugary.

I'm not sure if I can keep watching after this ...
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 5:17 PM on February 4


>"Elias is tragically unable to emote due to having a moose head" now pops into my mind every time I watch a dramatic, emotional Elias/Chise scene, which, for some reason, greatly elevates my enjoyment of the show

Heh. My work here is done. Well, sometimes you can enjoy the show on its merits, and sometimes you have to make do with whatever amusement you can find...

>Titania's introduction scene had me laughing in despair and disbelief,

"Despair and disbelief" is right on the nose for that scene. And I knew without looking at it what screenshot you'd supplied for the 'fairy-creature in the garden' link. It's moments like that that make you proud to be an anime fan. Wait, not 'proud'... what's that other thing?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:51 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


I will say that Babysitters episodes 4 and 5 don't contain that guy or any other similar moments. I think the series is theoretically watchable if you just immediately skip any episode-half that he shows up in the moment he's there, because I don't at all trust that he won't be back, but I 100% get anybody wanting to not go that far and why, show, why is this necessary.

I have also now watched the end of Devilman Crybaby. I had a lot of feelings and would almost say that as far as I'm concerned, the ending was the opposite of lousy, except in that it left me with a lot of feelings that I am still processing days later. I've been assured that it is not just me, because apparently CLAMP also very famously had these feelings, and that these feelings are in fact fully in line with the intended themes of the show, but... man. My sinuses are SUPER clear from all the crying.
posted by Sequence at 10:46 AM on February 5


Some more brief takes on recent watches:

gdgd men's party. 8 minute episodes, frame story with improv jokes by the voice actors and bottom-of-the-barrel animation. In other words, Pop Team Epic with extra cheese. Some people lap this stuff up. I just don't get it. *goes off to nap in his rocking chair*

Beatless. Formula: high school boy and supernatural girl meet cute, both go home to live with boy's annoying kid sister. Harem elements. In this case, the 'supernatural' is a sexy robot. Beatless seems to be a slightly above-average example of this very tired trope. I'll watch it if I run out of everything else.

Yuru Camp. About camping? Some didactic stuff, some amusing interaction between two girls with wildly different personalities. Looks like there's going to be a camping club. I don't expect any high drama, or searching themes exploring humankind's fate in the universe, but it might turn out to be an amusing and heartwarming little show.

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card. I watched a little of CCS during its initial run, over a decade ago. I've always wanted to like it more than I do. I like the style, the characters, I like other CLAMP stuff, but CCS has always been a little too soft, a little too twee and nice-nice to get traction for me. I'm afraid the Clear Card version is more of the same.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:30 PM on February 5


> Titania's introduction scene

I remember reading somewhere that the female director of Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club had to constantly slap down male animators wanting to sneak in some male-oriented fan service. Basically she knew what would turn off female viewers but the male animators didn't know / didn't care.

So I wonder how much of this "unnecessary lingerie vampires/faeries" stuff happens because somebody wants fan service regardless of whether it actually belongs there.

And also anime needs more women directors and animators. e.g. Rie Matsumoto and the first season of Blood Blockate Battlefront, which was a tremendous financial success for Studio Bones.
posted by needled at 5:38 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


The costume was already there in the comic though perhaps we didn't need a close-up shot of her cleavage. At least Titania has other aesthetic stuff going on, all vines in her hair, flowing skirt, riding a horse sidesaddle. So her costuming doesn't bother me like the nearly-naked leanan sídhe.
posted by RobotHero at 5:51 PM on February 5


The manga didn't subject us to the full, undulating, slo-mo glory of Titania in the anime.

I have to agree "despair and disbelief" sums it up perfectly.
posted by needled at 6:42 PM on February 5


Yeah that's fair. We're meeting the queen of the fairies and her royal entourage and some horny animator decides the important thing to focus on right now is her chest.

If we're nominating horny animator intrusions, on Kokkoku they manage to not overtly sexualize the main character during the actual show, but then suddenly the ending credits have her in her underwear for no good reason.
posted by RobotHero at 12:18 PM on February 6


>some horny animator decides the important thing to focus on right now is her chest.

In fairness, I'm pretty sure the horny animator is supplied keyframes by the horny key animator, who is supplied concept art by the horny character designer, who sits through lengthy meetings with the horny director, who's answerable to the horny production committee, who are obliged to represent the interests of the horny legal owners of the source material.

It's not like some guy at the bottom of the decision-making chain decided to boogie off on his own and draw boobs, and nobody knew he was gonna do it, and by the time they saw it it was already 3:30 and the episode had to air at 5:00...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:09 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Didn’t you watch Shirobako??
posted by needled at 2:44 PM on February 6


...I did, but I don't remember anything about it except the drag racing and the donuts. :P
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:31 PM on February 6


I watched Shirobako, but the phrase "constantly slap down male animators wanting to sneak in some male-oriented fan service" was so evocative that's what I pictured, though I suppose a close-up shot hardly counts as sneaking.
posted by RobotHero at 8:51 PM on February 6


> It's not like some guy at the bottom of the decision-making chain decided to boogie off on his own and draw boobs, and nobody knew he was gonna do it, and by the time they saw it it was already 3:30 and the episode had to air at 5:00...

haha that totally was a Shirobako episode or two (except for maybe the horny personnel part ...)

Now that we've confirmed some of us are watching Ancient Magus Bride, I think I may be joining the Pop Team Epic camp. Some bits work, some don't, but that's fine. It seems to be the just the thing to watch after a crappy day at work.


Bonus:
The folks behind the felt stop-motion: https://www.uchu-people.com

AC-Bu: http://www.ac-bu.info/
posted by needled at 4:34 AM on February 7


Hello! So I just binged all 64 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Netflix and was wondering if everyone here has seen it and would want a full season post. I'm hesitant to just make one because it's such an old anime and I really just wanted to express one thing but it's super spoilery.

I'm also considering watching the other version and compare. I've watched that one ages ago and don't remember most of it.
posted by numaner at 6:59 PM on February 7


Hey, on the subject of Fullmetal Alchemist: it is claimed here that the recent live-action version will be available on Netflix from February 19.

It is further claimed here that the recent live-action version does not suck.

I don't really know how this stuff is generally done around here, but maybe a single thread for all things FMA-related is in order?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:13 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


> I remember reading somewhere that the female director of Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club had to constantly slap down male animators wanting to sneak in some male-oriented fan service. [...] So I wonder how much of this "unnecessary lingerie vampires/faeries" stuff happens because somebody wants fan service regardless of whether it actually belongs there.

I wonder this all the time! There's a lot of female-centric anime with totally jarring fanservice moments. Your mention of Free! (which is a female gaze show if I've ever seen one) makes me think of another Kyoto Animation show — Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

Without even stretching it much, I think it's possible to read Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid as totally queer: Kobayashi-Tohru-Kanna are basically a family unit with two gay moms and an adopted daughter; and then there's Fafnir and Takiya's platonic, supportive male friendship. So here you've got this earnest, heartwarming show about found family, and how the people you love make life worth living — and then suddenly there's the character Lucoa, whose characterization mainly relies upon the fact that she has enormous breasts, and whose punchlines revolve around sexually harassing a little boy. And it's just ... WHY?!

It makes me wonder if creators (either of anime or manga) are sort of like, "Okay, we've got to put in this panty shot, check, aaaaand now we're allowed say all the other things we actually want to say." And, as Sing or Swim said, at what level of production is this stipulation actually coming from ... (every level?)
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 9:22 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


> It's moments like that that make you proud to be an anime fan. Wait, not 'proud'... what's that other thing?

Oh God, I know! This is why I can never recommend anime to anyone. 95% of a show is creative and artistic and terrific, but that 5% will guarantee that no one respects you ever again (and crack jokes insinuating things about your sexual fetishes forever (ask me how I know ...)).
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 9:24 PM on February 7


>So here you've got this earnest, heartwarming show about found family, and how the people you love make life worth living —

See, I really liked that show. For the Fafnir/Takiya relationship, and also for Kobayashi's relationship with Tohru, which never quite connects because Kobayashi doesn't quite know how to connect. So you've got these moments where Kobayashi says, "Why am I always alone?" or, "I'm not used to being wanted, this is the best I can do." And then Fafnir drops by to say something crappy about mortality to Tohru, who just goes, effectively, "I know, we can't have everything we want, we're just having what we can have." There were these little moments of real poignancy...

But then the boobs. It wasn't just Lucoa, everybody had boobs, everybody's boobs bounced, and every so often you'd get the little boing-boing sound effects to remind you that their boobs were bouncing IN CASE IT WAS TOO SUBTLE WITHOUT THE SOUND EFFECTS (spoilers: it wasn't too subtle). It's really difficult not to regard the show as ground-floor, fanservice-y trash--except the animation is gorgeous, and the comic timing is so good, and every so often they hit an emotional note that breaks your heart. What does one do with a show like this? It comes back to the other thing you were saying:

>95% of a show is creative and artistic and terrific, but that 5% will guarantee that no one respects you ever again

I hesitate to say I liked Kobayashi even in here, but I guess nobody respects me anyway... :P
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:34 PM on February 8


The “Dragon Maid” anime is very faithful to the manga, adding almost nothing and removing only what was necessary to fit the timeslot. In case you were wondering where the boobies gags came from.

The mangaka has a penchant for creating stories about unusual relationships and exploring them in interesting ways, and also for awkwardly working his breast fetishes into them.
posted by ardgedee at 11:26 AM on February 9


(I mean, I liked “Dragon Maid” enough to both watch the anime and read the scanlated manga, so we’re on the same page on this.)

There are at least two spinoff manga series, one focusing on Elna, the other on the Kanna/Saikawa friendship. Both of them also have their “eesh” moments too, although Elna’s series is more about trying to fit in among humans so the discomfort is mostly due to the situational comedy rather than breasts. The Kanna/Saikawa series is sweet, but Saikawa is the same pervert in the spinoff so it’s not exactly the warm soft blanket of emotions that it could be.
posted by ardgedee at 4:37 AM on February 10


>and also for awkwardly working his breast fetishes into them.

You could append this phrase, copypasta-fashion, to most discussions of anime without anybody questioning why it was there. There's some wonderful stuff in anime, but in order to find it you've got to get through a certain amount of material about cat ears and maid uniforms and so on. I'm willing to ignore a lot of that kind of stuff if there's something about the show I really like--which may or may not reflect well on me, but that's how I'm livin'.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:53 AM on February 10


Actually, as someone who got to anime very much in my 30s, I feel like some of that's a bit overblown. Not that it's not a thing that happens, but like--I don't know, it's not that I don't have higher standards for what I want, but I know what TV in the US looks like, too, and there's quite a lot of anime that turns out to be not that bad as compared to, say, Game of Thrones or literally any sitcom ever with what's supposed to be an Everyman White Guy protagonist and his wife/girlfriend/supposedly not-girlfriend/random women on the street. Fewer maid costumes, but on the other hand, there's also more anime fanservice targeted at girls/women than I expected, even if it's different. (Though not always that different, especially when you factor in extras like "yes your favorite male voice actor has probably done audio porn".)

I dunno, it's been weird. There's still some stuff that I don't care for, but I think I'm overall like 3000% more tolerant of the inclusion of those conspicuously busty female characters when they a) have personalities and b) aren't the only type of female character design on the show. Just offhand--Momo in My Hero Academia, Momoi in Kuroko's Basketball, Bishamon in Noragami, I actually like them all just fine as characters even when there's a few eye-roll kinda moments. Compared to what I expected, though, when I finished Yuri on Ice and dipped my toe into the rest of the pool--I've been pleasantly surprised?
posted by Sequence at 7:50 PM on February 11


On the other hand, I thought I could potentially be more evenhanded about it, but School Babysitters got ejected from my watchlist with extreme prejudice today.
posted by Sequence at 1:47 PM on February 12


I wasn't following School Babysitters, but I can imagine. Even as someone who is relatively inured to the standard male gaze stuff that one sees in anime all the time, I've had several shows in the last couple of seasons that crossed my Are You Fucking Kidding Me threshold.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:52 PM on February 12


Recent watches:

IDOLiSH7. Seven bishies in a new idol group, with an inexperienced young woman fresh out of school as their manager. The first episode depends on a single sentimental plot twist at the end, which means that the other 23 minutes have to be filled out with empty banter. No, IDOLiSH7, this is not how you create a compelling story. I will not be watching you.

Record of Grancrest War. Extruded European fantasy setting, one strike against it. But the first episode is saved by its main character, Siluca, a female mage, smart, bold, and takes no shit, who brazenly bosses around the other characters, runs the episode, and steals the show. Episode was better than expected, and I will try some more.

Citrus. Two girls are thrown together and shoujo-ai results. One is a bouncy girly-girl who's all about fashion and make-up, the other is a starched, emotionally distant martinet. Most shoujo-ai is exploitative nonsense for male viewers, and I approach it expecting to be disappointed. This show's first episode hits some false notes, but also hits some interesting ones. I'll give it another episode or two.

After the Rain. A Noitamina show. 45-year-old divorced man and female high-school student fall in love. Sounds awful, right? The first episode was... not awful. Tastefully and delicately done. Animation average quality, but cinematography is impressive.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:10 AM on February 16


Yeah, I've got a lot of mixed feelings about Citrus. Parts of it feel moderately male-gazey, fetishising ... It does feel like they're shoving one kiss into each episode no matter how much sense it makes. But there's a lot more than that going on too.

Surprisingly for a shoujo series, it's hard to get a read on what they're thinking and feeling.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:31 AM on February 16


>45-year-old divorced man and female high-school student fall in love. Sounds awful, right? The first episode was... not awful.

Yeah, but they haven't committed to him being in love with her yet. So far it's just a story about a high-school-aged girl who works as a waitress and has a crush on her much-older employer, with lovely art and some funny workplace dynamics. If they really have them pair up, I don't see how it can fail to be utterly gross.

And there's a middle-aged woman working at the diner, too, and she's a frog-faced shrew, so the whole thing serves really nicely as an illustration of how men in their mid-forties are allowed to be romantically interesting, but women in their mid-forties aren't. If they wanted to really do something interesting with this show, they'd have her pair up with one of the high-school-aged dudes working in the kitchen. But of course they won't.

But yeah, I think the show just hasn't stepped on the land mine yet--and I DON'T think it's because they know where it is; I think it's just dumb luck, which may or may not hold out.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:21 PM on February 16


I am now coveting the tiny folding charcoal stove from Yuru Camp and maybe that was their intention.
posted by RobotHero at 10:53 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]


It's so small! About the right size for me.

What little I've watched of Yuru Camp I enjoyed; I think I'll watch it every other week because I don't want to binge this one.
posted by redrawturtle at 11:08 PM on February 21


Sing or Swim & ardgedee — hah, maybe I didn't make this clear enough, but Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid was my favourite show of that season, so I, too, am definitely coming from a place of "I love this in spite of everything!"

> and there's quite a lot of anime that turns out to be not that bad as compared to, say, Game of Thrones or literally any sitcom ever

I know what you mean. Honestly, I've always found it kinda refreshing how upfront anime is about its fetishes and fanservice. As opposed to dishonesty of Game of Thrones: "Oh, it's sexist because we're being REALISTIC, that's just how it was back then" (never mind the inclusion of, say, dragons). At least anime isn't pretending to be empowering when it's not.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 4:59 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


> there's also more anime fanservice targeted at girls/women than I expected, even if it's different ... but I think I'm overall like 3000% more tolerant of the inclusion of those conspicuously busty female characters when they a) have personalities and b) aren't the only type of female character design on the show.

This relates to something I've thought a lot about! So, sorry, going to ramble on here for a bit ... I actually find that anime presents a range of female personality archetypes that just aren't present in American television. TV in the West favours a certain kind of "strong female protagonist" (you know: sexy, physically powerful, extroverted, "spunky/witty" and, uh, white).

In anime, there are different types: the nerdy one, the shy one, the sweet-but-strong one, the totally weird one, the cute one, the motherly one, the one with an anxiety disorder, the disaffectedly average one who gets swept up in all the craziness. And the difference is — especially in shoujo anime or even the "cute girls doing cute things" genre — these girls are at the centre of the story. You get entire casts made up of just girls. And most importantly, they get to be the MAIN CHARACTERS. They get desires and fears and families and childhoods. They get to be the one with the love interests! Whereas when I see these types in western TV, they're mostly side characters: the best friend, the scientist sidekick.

So as someone who almost never sees myself in US sitcoms or sf/f shows, which is mostly what I watch ... I don't know, I guess that's why I like cute girls doing cute things shows. Maybe I should check out Yuru Camp.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 5:02 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Halfway through the season, I think my favorite shows are the most offbeat ones: Pop Team Epic, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, and Michiri Neko.

Episode 7 of PTE, "Hellshake Yano", might be its best. There are some laugh-out-loud moments including an extended live-action skit involving sketchbooks deployed to excellent effect.
posted by ardgedee at 5:49 PM on February 26


I dipped a toe into How to Keep a Mummy last night and I have to say that I come down on the side of it being "TV on, brain off", but in a way I really appreciate. Although... it doesn't quite match Elegant Yokai Apartment Life or Natsume's Book of Friends in my apparently-increasing stash of "soothing shows about teenage boys and their nonhuman adopted children and families". That's tipped it more into the separate pool of "shows for when I'm having serious anxiety over, say, impending dental appointments", along with Sanrio Boys and DamePri.
posted by Sequence at 10:48 AM on February 27


How to Keep a Mummy was the right level of easygoing mixed with the uncertainty of the day-to-day zaniness of taking care of a critter. Though a part of episode 7 left me uncomfortable for a little while.

Violet Evergarden had me for the first episode but I haven't been able to get back into it since. I really want to watch more but Violet's situation makes me anxious; I might be unintentionally projecting on her a bit.

DamePri feels like it's shifting gears as it nears its conclusion; I don't know what to think of the new development, but I hope it doesn't cut too much into our protagonist's agency. Maybe it's just me: it's jarring that Anri's POV is so minimal at this point, and noticing that's like having a rug being pulled from underneath me. I didn't feel like I was seeing things from her perspective. I then note (with reservations, because maybe it is just me) that it's been gradually reduced as our princes gained prominence and gotten more screen time.
posted by redrawturtle at 7:08 PM on March 17


I'm not too worried about her agency just because she's the only reasonably competent main character and the show knows it. But I can't figure out why DamePri even wanted to grow a plot. I didn't want it to grow a plot. I liked it better before it had a plot. I don't hate the plot, but man I just wanted more idiot princes.
posted by Sequence at 9:31 PM on March 24


« Older Combining books and show only ...   |  Bachelor: MeFi Fantasy League... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments