Are You Really the Only One Who Likes Me?

Continue with harem shows… After the really nice anime about the neighbors club I also forced myself to finish that. Ugh. The first 4, maybe, episodes were okay, the scenes with a bench and the recurring mention of “that baseball game” felt maybe not hilarious but quite funny. And I should’ve stopped watching this show after the next one or two episodes when the pace slowed down. But I was being stupid and decided that if I had already finished half of the show it’d be stupid to drop it. It turned out to be a bad, bad idea.

Oresuki is, honestly, a pile of incomprehensible trash. Who are all these characters? Why are they doing what they’re doing? What about all this pretentious dialogs? It’s not even an ordinary romcom, those typically take their time to introduce characters! But considering that by the end of the show we have at least 8 girls participating in all this circus, there was hardly a chance that I’d memorize at least their names. The plot is also a mess. Every girl is in love with Sun-chan, but not, wait, they already fell for Joro (oh boy, what a terrible protagonist he is)! Every damn single thing in this anime is unnatural, rushed and forced. Was the idea to laugh at other harem romantic comedies, throwing in all the cliche this genre is based on? If it was — it was executed… not perfectly.

Ascendance of a Bookworm

Huh, the English name is so much shorter than the original (本好きの下剋上 ~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません)! Just recently saw a video on youtube when Japanese people were trying to guess the name of the anime by its American title, my bet is that no one would’ve had this one!

Anyway, I was very skeptical about this show after the first episode. Another isekai, with a pretty annoying main character — doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, right? Everything turned out to be not so bad. Luckily, Ascendance of a Bookworm often looks like a slice-of-life anime and is not too focused on Maine’s abilities (which of course are not ordinary, who would’ve thought). The girl’s family is super cute, Otto and Benno are nice supporting characters, the world makes sense — I couldn’t have asked for more. Maine’s also become a little better person than she was at the beginning, thanks to her family and Lutz. To complain a bit — sometimes it was weird to think that this 5-year old girl hugging her father is actually a adult woman. She’s also kind of like Senku and surprisingly knowledgeable in areas I wouldn’t expect her to be — basically, considering how she’s obsessed with books, I didn’t think she’d know how to bake a pound cake, for example.

Well, if I started complaining it’ll be impossible to stop now =) The final of the first season felt a bit more childish than it could’ve been. I was not really sure about all this “okay, let’s pretend that the incident with the High Priest has not happened at all and live happily all together”. No public executions in retaliation for Maine’s behavior, really? Hopefully, we’ll return to the relationships between the main heroine and the head of the church in the second season.

Machikado Mazoku

Thanks to an absolutely bland description about a “high school student Yuuko Yoshida wakes to see that she has grown demonic horns blah blah” I almost skipped a super adorable anime!

Everything in this show is cute. There are cute characters, all of them, demons and 魔法 girls, there are cute jokes, there are cute familiars — off the top of my head it’s really hard to recall anything that was not 可愛い. Yeah, to be fair, there’s not much behind all that sweetness — but who watches such anime hoping for complicated plots? I consider it a great success that now I can write everywhere “The time hath come!” and send this video:

Dr Stone

I’m very vocal about my disappointment with and, consequently, disapproval of shounen shows. Nevertheless, Dr Stone, despite being a “normal” shounen in many aspects (for example, they have a goddamn tournament there! they always do…), stayed very enjoyable during all its 24-episodes-long run. Maybe because instead of relying on heroes’ superpowers or exceptional abilities this anime mostly rely on science?

To be fair, Senku’s memory is kind of a superpower. He knows how to make anything, starting from a wheel and ending with a nuclear bomb apparently. He remembers what properties all materials have. He’s also very lucky — like, what were the chances that the sulfa drug he made would work out? And so on, and so forth. In this case, I’m going to let it slide, just for the sake of the general unusualesness =) Also, for the sake of some genuinely fun characters (Kinro and Ginro, or Kaseki).

Sometimes, though, it feels like Senko is inventing for no other reason but the invention itself. “We need phones to win the Stone Wars”, seriously? They are advanced (and lucky) enough to build trebuchets or similar brute-force weapons, that would probably give them an upper hand in their fight again Tsukasa. Or they could try finding more acid to un-petrify more people. Or do something else. But phones?

There are also some questionable plot lines. For instance, what have Taiju and Yuzuriha been doing in “Tsukasa’s Kingdom”? How the hell did the village survive through so many years when there were only 6 founders? Why is the village at a walking distance from Hakone — seems that Senku’s father with the others landed somewhere far away from civilization?

My hopes are that all these loose ends will be tied up in the second season and that, generally, it’ll get a decent story arc, not too stereotypical and not having to resort too often to far-fetched things like “they’re not going to fight us till spring because reasons”.

Joshikousei no Mudazukai

The competition on the field of the comedy-about-high-school-girls-doing-ordinary-thing-which-sometimes-are-not-so-ordinary genre is tremendous and considering that we’ve had such brilliant shows as Azumanga Daioh, Nachijou and Pani Poni Dash, which I love wholeheartedly, it’s sometimes hard to grasp why we need another one. So my first typical reaction when I read the description of a new show featuring the daily life of 3 (or 4, or 5) high school girls is “ogh, another one, hopefully it won’t be terrible”.

Joshikousei no Mudazukai is not terrible at all. Actually, it’s surprisingly funny, despite the fact that we know all the characters there fall into well defined and knows categories, like “this is a normal girl” or “this is a chunibyo girl”. Damn, this show would’ve been worth watching if it didn’t have anything but it’s hilarious 面白い女 scene! Luckily it has more to offer — the janitor scene, for instance. Or this: =)

To sum up, I will happily watch the second season if we ever get it, or (Takhisis forgive me) might even watch the just announced live action =)

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

One of my co-workers asked for recommendations on ongoing anime (it happened a few months ago) and I was stupid enough to suggest watching “Maidens in their Savage Season”. I mean, I genuinely liked the show but when I started explaining what it was about… “Well, you know, it’s an anime about a high-school literature club, consisting of 5 girls who talk about sex. All the time. But it’s actually cute, trust me!”

Honestly, despite the fact that the maidens are indeed in their savage season and that they are kind of obsessed with sex — the anime is sweet and pretty innocent. 80% of its time — it’s a pure romance show, showing how our heroines, who are school outcasts to some extent, learning to trust other people and their feeling. Yeah, for sure, some of them have childhood traumas (Sugiwara-san, I’m looking at you, your behavior is not acceptable!) and that screws things up a little closer to the end of the anime, but it’s much, much better than it could’ve been. I just need to figure out a way to advertise it properly =)

Fruits Basket 2019

Seems that it’s about time I dropped a couple of lines regarding all the summer season shows I finished, while I still remember at least something =)

In out local anime community the original Furuba was mostly met with polar opinions — people either loved it a lot or hated it with all their might. I watched it because, well, everyone else had and, honestly, was closer to the second group. Everything is this anime felt artificial, overly-dramatic and the main heroine was not sympathetic at all.

Years had passed and we got the second interpretation of the same story, which should’ve been closer to the manga. And… maybe I just got older but I enjoyed this version way more than the show that came out in 2001. If I had to point out what’s become better — I probably couldn’t. It’s the same cheesy story and Tohru is still not especially likeable. Soma family… despite his apparent questionable intentions Shigure is the best guy there, hands down. All of them are still pretty much one dimensional though (I mean, in this world everyone has to have something dark in the past). However, Fruits Basket 2019 is well done. It doesn’t drop the quality of its animation anywhere, the pacing is good, the music in openings and endings is catchy. Plus, another big factor is that I watched this anime ongoing, so I always had a chance to get distracted with something else before the desire to throw the TV out of the windows appeared.

I hope that the second season will be able to keep up and we’ll finally see how anime-Tohru lifts the Soma family curse. She will do this, won’t she?