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In 2019, a lot of manga I've read is getting an adaptation. Originally, I was planning on writing a blog about manga I'm reading that should get an anime adaptation. Then, one by one, almost all of them got announced. I'm gonna do a bit of a public service announcement and talk about my impressions of the comics to give you all a heads up on what might be worth looking out for. In theory, anyway. You never know if a manga adaptation is gonna get the love it deserves or if it's gonna fizzle out in mediocrity.

However, I'd like to end the blog with asking for help. This year, rather than following all these adaptations(and hopefully some good original stuff) live and get drowned in anime, I want to get some of my backlog out of the way. I'll list a bunch of shows with maybe a line or two of what I expect or why I put it in the Plan To Watch list in the first place, and then I'd love some help from the readers to figure out which I should actually attempt to go for first.

Manga I'm reading that's getting an anime

Dr. Stone

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My favorite out of the newcomers to shonen jump, it depicts an Earth where everyone were turned to stone in a flash of light. Thousands of years later, our protag child genius Senku awakes in what's essentially a new stone age and starts turning other people back to normal. However, in a desperate situation he has to revive a particularly brutal man for help, and that man wants to become the ruler of a new world rather than reviving everyone turned to stone. Senku's scientific ways are put against this dude's super strong warrior ways. You get to follow along as Senku tries rebuilding all of Earth's science from what you can find out in the forest, which is extremely fun as a concept for a shonen. Very different from training or other ways of getting power ups, but definitely in that same spirit.

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It's written by Riichiro Inagaki, the writer behind Eyeshield 21, and drawn by Boichi, a stellar Korean manhwa and manga artist currently living in Japan that I mostly know for Wallman. It's a real good mix, Inagaki knows exactly how to write an energetic shonen story so each chapter feels exciting and like it's progressing the story, while Boichi's artwork has an amazing energy all of its own. Neither of these dudes are rookies, and it absolutely shows. Every single chapter you'll get at least one big moment, impressive drawing or dramatic turn. I think Boichi's illustrations are gonna be too porny for a lot of people, it's the kinda drawings you look at and can instantly tell he once made some art. That either lands for you or it doesn't. But personally I love the mix of good artwork, sexy poses, scientific edutainment, naive kindness, heartfelt scenes and dumbass comedy.

There's a joy to the proceedings, and over every piece of the puzzle of technology, from batteries to hot air balloons. "Science" can usually be pretty cold, dry and detached. It tends to be portrayed as something smart people do separately from everyone else, smart people who are jackasses that don't like people. Senku might be Mr. Science, a genius too smart to believe, but he's just as much about people, and recognizing their individual strengths. It's all very wholesome. He genuinely wants to save everyone that got turned to stone, rather than just moving on and starting over.

Stick with it for a few episodes/chapters. Early on, the cast almost entirely changes aside from Senku himself, and I definitely prefer his new allies to his old ones.

Dr Stone will get an anime in July 2019, by TMS.

Dorohedoro

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When I heard the news that Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida is getting an anime adaptation, I couldn't believe my own ears. Dorohedoro is some of the weirdest stuff I've read. It starts out with a slummy postapocalytic-like city. Its inhabitants are weird and are only getting weirder, 'cause wizards from another world keep opening doors into it and try out their new spells on the inhabitants. A couple of friends in the city, a big dude with a crocodile face called Caiman and a dumpling restaurant proprietor named Nikaido, are looking for a way to break the spell that gave Caiman his head. This would easily be done by just killing the wizard, but Caiman's lost his memories and isn't much of a help, so they just keep slaughtering wizards. They'll get the right one eventually.

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In the first few chapters they attract the attention of En, one of the most powerful wizards in the wizard world. Imagine a mob boss, not Gandalf. He sends his hitmen after them while searching for Caiman's identity on his own, fearing him to be an opponent he faced in the past that's returned. So you've got these two teams, the theoretically good guys from the city and the cruel wizards from the wizard dimension, both looking for one another and trying to figure out who Caiman is.

Over a hundred chapters later and I have no fucking idea, man. Dorohedoro has the set up of an action movie. It looks sort of like a sketchier Battle Angel Alita or Eden: It's an Endless World!, both in terms of settings and character designs. It feels very mid 90s/early 2000s( The wizards look like this). But in practice, it plays out more like a guro-styled slice of life.

Caiman's identity is the mystery box hanging over this whole story. It drives everyone's actions, but it takes a long time to learn anything about it. And as you start understanding it, you realize it might have been better not to have bothered - It's a trail of split personalities, memory loss, death, resurrection, possession, extra lives, personifications of hate, clone bodies, very retcon-feeling excuses and absurd magic.

But while Caiman's identity drives the plot, I wouldn't even say Caiman himself is that important, here. The appeal is barely related to him at all. Dorohedoro creates a bizarre feeling mood, all of these magic murderers hanging out in improbably dangerous places and doing their best to live normal lives, even as Hell is literally right below the wizard world and all the wizards make deals with literal devils for their power and status. It's a cool vibe. It's in theory all a big edgefest, but the characters are just as goofy and dumb as they're murderous mobsters. It doesn't have that heavy metal/90s kinda vibe even though it seems like it should.

You spend just as much time with En's hitman squad as you do with Nikaido, Caiman and their friends from the city, maybe even more. And the fascinating part of Dorohedoro is seeing their day-to-day antics and learning about the out-there setting piece by piece, unraveling the mysteries along the way. Mafia wizards who always wear masks, baseball-playing cockroaches, literal hell, more than one completely naked muscular woman, absurd amounts of gore, literal Death, all of this crazy stuff in an oddly light and comedic tone. At one point three cut-off heads have a conversation among each other. It's got the biggest cast of male/female platonic best friends I've ever seen. Dorohedoro is truly weird, in big and tiny ways, even when compared to other anime.

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I've read all of it and was utterly transfixed, pulled along by mystery box bullshit during the slower parts. I don't love it. The story often feels like it was made up along the way, and several characters change personality non-stop in magical ways that are frustrating. It feels like it takes forever to get anywhere, and many of the mysteries just go in circles. Around the 16-18 volume mark it loses the lighthearted tone and becomes plain depressing for a while. In the story, the rain of the human world weakens wizards and might slowly kill them if they're exposed for too long. It rained for a looong time during those last volumes. Nobody had a good time anymore. It brightened up in the end, boy did it brighten up, but there were some rough spots there.

And personally, gore just grosses me out. Especially when it's done in this guro-like manner, where the artist is way into finding new and interesting ways to turn the human body inside out.

But I've never seen anything quite like it, and between the bonkers story, the gratuitous violence and gore and all the naked chicks I just couldn't imagine anyone adapting this. I guess it has to be a Netflix show. Nothing has been announced so far beyond that an anime is coming, so I guess we'll see what happens. But if you give this to a director who gets it, I think we're in for something legendary.

Vinland Saga

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Vinland Saga is made by the team of Makoto Yukimura, the man behind Planetes. Based on the old saga of the same name as well as the general European history of that time, it tells the story of Thorfinn, an orphaned boy shanghaied by vikings. He could escape pretty easily, but he's working for his father's killer, a man who calls himself Askeladd, in order to get a shot at revenge against him in a duel.

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I think it might sound a bit dry on its face, but there's a real down to earthness to the characters mixed with some good Japanese exaggeration. I've read pages of Power Girl flying at the speed of sound that don't look half as exciting as a big viking in Vinland Saga kicking a smaller viking into the air or punching a horse. Because everyone's just portrayed as people, they work equally well in comedic situations as they do when they're forced to work as thralls for years or question their sanity during war atrocities. It's a manga where you can have the occasional comedy bits or lighthearted characters without it ruining the impact of, say, the chapter where a viking breathes his last as he bleeds out on a battlefield and is very disappointed that valkyries don't exist.

The only problem is I'm kinda afraid the anime is gonna suck. I think many of these comics have great drawings that will inevitably suffer in a translation to TV anime, but a lot of historically accurate, gorgeously detailed depictions of vikings and warfare and large-scale fighting really take the cake. I can't really imagine a studio doing them justice. It's either gonna be 2d stills with some yelling over it, or most likely, piss-poor war CG. If the anime does end up sucking, I heartily recommend reading it. It's stellar.

There is some hope, though. It's being made by Wit Studio, the people behind Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and The Ancient Magus' Bride. As far as tv anime goes, this studio works magic, apart from the occasional questionable CG bit. Let's hope.

The first arc they're adapting is the one with all the raping and pillaging of England, and while I won't spoil where it goes, suffice to say the author isn't exactly romanticizing the viking life too much. This is the Golden Age from Berserk segment of the story, to put it like that. It's the Game of Thrones-style atrocity party, with lots of murder and political manouvering, while the next arcs are definitely not.

A bit of my fondness for it is because it's local - while not a ton of it takes place in Norway, it's still familiar to me. But I think it's appealing even if you aren't from around here. It's not like I had heard a thing about the original Vinland Saga until this manga adaptation.

Kengan Ashura

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Kengan Ashura is made by Yabako Sandrovich and Daromeon, neither of whom I know anything about. Kengan Ashura's conceit is that big businesses all over Japan are part of a secret society, the Kengan Association, that settle their disputes through having representative fighters duke it out for the best deals. It soon turns into a big tournament where the winner gets to be chairman of the whole association. So what you get is a whole lot of burly macho dudes beating on another for hundreds of chapters, with political manouvering from the businessmen in the supporting cast.

Kengan Ashura is incredibly fascinating to me as the framework for a Street Fighter story. While not quite as wacky as the Street Fighter universe, there are several characters that feel like they map directly to Street Fighters. The main character in particular, Tokita Ohma, basically has a dark hadou lying dormant in him, and has to mix that with his martial arts training to win. Sekibayashi Jun is a phenomenal pro wrestler that I might like just as much as Zangief. I can just _tell_ how this would be a phenomenal way of writing a proper, long-running Street Fighter manga. They even had a little crossover at one point.

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As a story on its own, I largely like it. The main businessman is in waaay over his head and is very fun to watch as he desperately sweats his way through situations where he ends up looking like he knows what he's doing by accident. And for all the incredible shit-talking the opponents do to one another(one American fighter in particular is dirtbag with a real potty mouth), when the matches are over, most of them are all hanging around chatting like the best of friends. Conflict is for the ring. I like that vibe a lot.

The manga nails an ensemble cast. The focus might be on the main characters, but everyone get their time to shine. That makes it very difficult to predict who's going to win. Which archetype is being played straight and which one is a set up for an upset is hard to tell.

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I don't expect it to be something anyone can get into, it's a very macho show, with not a single woman fighting and a large undercurrent of body building/workout wish fulfillment going on. But I definitely enjoyed it and found more heart underneath the surface than I expected. It presents itself as a violent gladitorial killfest, but very few people actually end up dying in it, even if many of the fighters have violent pasts.

Still, let me deflate anyone's hype right here: It's being adapted by Larx Entertainment, a studio that predominantly works with CG. Judging from the teaser, it's a full CG show, and one that looks as bad as those always do. This wish was a bit of a Monkey Paw one.

The art style in Kengan Ashura is a bit take it or leave it for me - some of the anatomy grosses me out, Grappler Baki style, but a lot of it gets across the immense force and damage of the blows these fighters are suffering, and goes above and beyond in creating a sweaty, rough atmosphere. The damage looks like it hurts terribly, which is important when you're making relatively low-powered fighters and want the punches to have some impact. The faces are often caricatures of real people, and very expressive. I prefer the artist's work when he's doing caricatures to when he's drawing "typical anime" faces. It's not a very "on model" kinda manga, and I don't think it benefits especially from being CG.

It's getting on Netflix, so I expect a lot of people will watch it anyway though.

The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland is written by Kaiu Shirai and drawn by Demizu Posuka. This one's Dr. Stone's sibling, one of the new shonen jump stories that started around the same time. It's fairly unusual, which is always a good start. The story out with a bunch of kids in an orphanage, who do unusually hard math, but otherwise just kinda chill in the huge mansion until someone who wants to adopt them shows up. First chapter reveal: The kids who get taken away are killed and eaten by monsters, who are raising them in this orphanage as high-value food. I guess the brain tastes sweeter the better you are at equations.

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From there on, it's a prison escape story with an increasingly huge cage, as the kids try to survive and shut down the whole "children as food" business. It's very tropey, but not very shonen fighting tropey, if you catch my drift. It reminds me much more of adventure books for kids, like I dunno, an Oliver Twist or whatever. The main character is a girl, which is bloody unprecedented as far as shonen fighting I've read goes. If the kids were a little older, I would've thought of it as a Young Adult kinda story.

Rather than powering up, the kids just learn to shoot firearms and move stealthily around. One villain is beaten by tricking him into the hunting grounds of a big monster. Those are the kinda tropes we're working with here. The whole "bred and raised to be smarter so they're more delicious" is taken to extremes, so even five year olds can basically act and communicate as well as teenagers. The main trio of characters, who I think are around 11, are just as smart as adults, if more naive. It's more than a little bit ridiculous, but very convenient. I suppose they're the ultimate underdog, in terms of bodies, anyway. In practicality they're just as capable as older teens would be in other manga.

The first episode is already out. I'm... moderately interested, but I don't love Promised Neverland like I love Dr. Stone. It's got a self-serious vibe that doesn't fit with me that well, and I don't find the moment to moment action and drama as interesting as in, say, Attack on Titan, or One Piece. Or Dr. Stone, for that matter. I think it would work better if I was younger. I could take the crazy parts as seriously as the characters in the story do, and the violence would be much more shocking to me.

Frankly Reg's robot dick gets under my skin more than anything in Promised Neverland
Frankly Reg's robot dick gets under my skin more than anything in Promised Neverland

As it is, there are a lot of other shonen series I think are more fun, and as far as young kids on dangerous adventures way out of their dept goes, I think loli creepfest Made in Abyss is a lot more interesting. It actually feels like a terrifying descent through monster territory, a couple of poor kids on a journey in an adult's world. It's uncomfortable and cruel, but ultimately, hard to not keep reading. Promised Neverland, while perfectly fine and pretty unusual, doesn't really make me feel anything much at all. It does a lot of the talking and planning of an Hunter X Hunter without ever getting to the moments that make me feel. It might just aim for a younger audience, really.

Demizu Posuka is a great illustrator, with beautiful and interesting artwork to his name. But I don't think he's amazing as a manga artist. The human faces in particular look ugly, blobby and off-model a majority of the time, with the occasional bizarre expression. The imagery he gets to draw here isn't as imaginative as what he can do on his own, it feels like his writer doesn't really care that much about the looks of the setting itself. As an artist, while this might be presumptuous of me, I feel like I can tell that the directions given to Pozuka weren't very focused on what's going on with the environment or backgrounds. That's something the anime might improve upon just by sheer force of good background artists.

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The anime is made by Cloverworks, a part of A1 that was recently rebranded. So you get the people who made Persona 5 the Animation and Ace Attorney to animate the manga with the wonky faces, I guess that's appropriate.

Still, I expect it'll be a hit, and if you're looking for something a bit different in the shonen mold it might work well for you. But please bear in mind that I think this manga aims a bit younger than most shonen fare. Like yeah, some kids die in it, but it feels distinctly written for a younger audience to a bigger extent than a lot of these things. Upon reflection, I could've read this when I was 8 and started reading Animorphs, and it would've fit right in with those books.

Fruits Basket

I actually haven't read the manga for this story. Instead, I watched the old anime not too many years ago with a friend. It's pretty much Love Hina for the ladies - it's in that same general genre as shows like Ouran High School Host Club. The advantage of these reverse harems over the harems of the world is that they're pretty light on the whole fanservice thing. Presumably because the target audience get bigger flutters from seeing the boys blush or pushing people up against walls rather than stumbling around in their boxers, the focus is more on silly comedy, traumatic backstories and light sprinklings of romance. That makes it something I can watch as a straight dude without feeling like I walked in the wrong door. The dudes might all be unrelatable anime prettyboys, the anime equivalent of men from romance novels, but I can still enjoy the wacky antics and the emotions of the characters.

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The actual story is about Tohru Honda, this chick who starts living with the Sohma family that picks her up off the street after her mother dies and the other members of her family treat her badly. Now she's living in a house of prettyboys who all share a dark past, as they're being possessed by the chinese zodiac, turning them into animals when they're hugged by people of the opposite sex. Fruits Basket is about Tohru getting to learn about the effed up family relations of the Sohma family and helping individual members out, all the while getting closer to the cold Yuki and the passionate Kyo especially.

Fruits Basket isn't my favorite of these, that's Ouran, but both of them were woefully unfinished back in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, the manga has long since finished, so there's nothing stopping them besides whatever math is going on behind the scenes. I guess someone at TMS decided that banking on finishing a beloved old anime would be worth the money, even if it's been a whopping 18 years. I guess they might have to start over again? I dunno what their actual plan is, but I look forward to watching it sometime.

And I'll heartily recommend the old Fruits Basket and Ouran while I'm at it.

Mob Psycho 100 season 2 and One Punch-Man season 2

This premiered on January 7th. It hasn't been that long since season 1, so hopefully everyone already know that Mob Psycho rules. It's the same author as One Punch Man, and to my knowledge the same team of people that animated One Punch Manseason 1(who knows how season 2 of that is gonna turn out at this rate), and that's a winning combination. One's writing is stellar. I have my issues with it - he writes pretty terrible villains, for one thing. They're never evil for any actual opposing moral reason or goals. They're always just mean because they're high on their own power or for comedy reasons. And fight-wise, it's mostly just dudes flailing wildly at one another, measuring powerlevels.

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But One is very good at writing a coming of age story that feels both relevant and earned. Mob doesn't just have to learn to believe in himself, although that's definitely part of it. He has to learn to have his own opinions, care about his surroundings, working to improve his shortcomings and so on. And he is such an earnest kid that you wanna root for him every step of the way, through both well-animated esper battles and school problems. It's really astounding, the level of animation at display here. There's more amazing action going on in a minor Mob Psycho 100 fight than in the entirety of a My Hero Academia season. You know those fights where they bust out with some kick-ass animation? This is like those, but every episode. And when it isn't lavishly animated fight scenes, it's amazing comedy bits or animation that heighten the mood of an emotional scene.

The manga is done now, and I loved it all the way to the end. This season of Mob Psycho 100 is probably going to cover three arcs or so, leaving the final three arcs for a season 3.

On a related note, One Punch Man is getting another season in April, after a three year hiatus. While I liked the first one, I'm personally not super excited for it. The anime is based on Murata's manga adaptation of One's work, a webcomic drawn as well as One can draw. But the webcomic isn't done, and Murata's adaptation isn't either - because One takes this chance to expand the story greatly. As a result though, it feels like we aren't going anywhere. The big current arc in the manga has been going on for years, and one anime season isn't gonna even get close to finishing it.

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This gets into my problem with the manga itself: Whenever One Punch-Man doesn' focus on Saitama, it's pretty boring. If I wanted to read a silly fighting manga with characters I actually care about, One Piece just released its 91st volume. One Punch Man's whole selling point is Saitama decimating everyone with zero effort, and the way One writes himself away from that is by making it rarer and rarer for Saitama to show up. He's basically cameoing in his own comic at this point. And that's a shame, because while Murata draws incredible fight scenes that can be turned into incredible animated fight scenes, thats pretty much all it's got going on. I read it whenever a colossal 100-page chapter comes out and I'm usually very impressed artistically, but the writing just isn't engaging to me.

And then on top of that, there's a new studio animating this season. I dunno if the old staffers are busy on Mob Psycho 100 or went their own ways afterwards or what, but that first season is a very special thing. It looked amazing, but it was because of the personal skillset, investmant and effort of the staff, not from any extra budget or anything. J.C. Staff has taken over, but while they're no slouches, I also don't have much hope that they can match those dudes from season 1. I guess we'll see.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

This has also already started airing its adaptation. It's the same studio that made Made in Abyss, so maybe it looks pretty good?

There's been some buzz on the internet about this one for a while, for natural reasons. Naofumi and three other non-nerds are pulled into another world to become the heroes of a kingdom, and while all of them receive cool weapons for cool people, Naofumi's abilities are limited to shields. As if that wasn't enough, Naofumi gets betrayed by his one own party member, the kind-seeming princess of the kingdom, who falsely accuses him of rape and gets him cast out of good company. Naofumi's a good kid, so he still tries to build up his abilities and help people out, but he has to work on the shadier side of society to do it now, picking up a slavegirl as a party member and getting down with the dark arts to gain power.

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On one hand, this is a pretty riveting story, right? It looks like this nerd is getting lucky in another world, but it's instantly turned on its head and he's just as much of a schmuck here as he was in our world. Worse, he gets manipulated and taken advantage of for the machinations of others, and nobody believes him when he's falsely accused. It's tough to see this nice kid undergo a transformation into a bitter, wounded, cynical hero. My favorite arc is an early one where he returns to the castle, accused of even more wrongdoings, and his heart feels like it's about to break - only to be saved by the friends he made on his own adventure up to that point, who know him for the man he truly is. That's heartwarming. It's also fairly different from most of these isekai shows.

On the other hand, this is very much a bitter nerd revenge show, and I kinda can't stand bitter nerds unless they get tried for their crimes. The Cool Guys are stupid and ineffective and don't actually protect the people well. Being falsely accused of rape by the princess of the kingdom is basically the highest tier of being fucked over by the popular girls. If this was an American teen movie she'd be wearing a cheerleader outfit and kiss the jocks immediately after letting you take the fall for some prank they pulled. You get the sense Naofumi is the kinda dude who'd go on a message board and call all women bitches(though within the context of the story, to be fair, he does not. He's a kind guy who's got his own harem of cute girls just like every other isekai dude, he's just a bit more pissed off than most of them).

Like yes, getting falsely accused of rape is a thing that actually happens. It's relatively uncommon, but it is real. It's awful. And false accusations like this can make for gripping stories. Getting one anime among thousands that deals with the subject, I don't think that's out of line. But in this context it only feels like it builds up the whole bitter nerd persecution complex thing. It adds a bigger pinch of vindictiveness than usual to the regular nerd fantasy isekai ingredients, and validates that feeling of the whole world being out to get you that can fester if you're having trouble fitting into society. It reads like paranoid delusion to me, especially when it's a grand government conspiracy at heart like in Shield Hero.

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This whole atmosphere is a bit "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehh" for my tastes, and the big emotional moments don't really stick around after that early arc. My suggestion is you watch until Naofumi's first return to the castle, and then you get out, 'cause that's the peak. Nothing after that particularly struck me, and I could't care less about the generic setting of it all. If you want a story about a main character falsely accused of rape who's shunned by society, then I'd recommend just playing Persona 5. It's like the best JRPG in years, and it uses this plot point without making it feel like you're reading a story written by a dude trying to get back on the women that wronged him. Or at least, written by someone targeting that demographic of bitter nerds very hard.

The two I'm reading that actually haven't got an adaptation announced yet

To Your Eternity

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By Yoshitoki Ōima, the woman behind A Silent Voice. It's a story about this immortal being who moves throughout the ages, telling the tales about the friends he makes and loses along the way. He's a shapeshifter, starting off as little more than a rock, and gradually gaining sentience and a mind of his own as he keeps growing, accumulating experiences and making friends. Whenever someone he cares for dies, he gets the ability to transform into them, bringing them with him into the future in a sense. He also encounters a monstrous enemy who keeps hounding him, wishing to take those transformations and memories from him.

I'm a sucker for these kinda stories where death is everpresent, but as a fact of life, not in a grim or edgy way. It feels like a fantasy setting(an Asian one, primarily, not a European one), but besides the immortal and his archenemy, there doesn't seem to be any magic around. Little has been revealed about his true nature, but he seems more like an extraterrestrial piece of tech or something, more than anything magic. I expect he's meant to experience everything on Earth to be able to replicate it later, maybe when a big meteor hits it or something.

A Silent Voice was adapted into a movie by Kyoto Animation, and if you can get that studio to do an adaptation of To Your Eternity as well, that's an anime I'd love to see.

Gal Gohan

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By Marii Taiyou. A gyaru named Okazaki has to take home ec classes after failing most of her other classes to barely justify having her graduate, and she ends up in the cooking club under her teacher, Yabe. Given something like five hours with a teacher who's got some faith in her and manages to make her learn to do something on her own, and she's pretty much fallen for him. The rest of the manga is all about various club activities where Okazaki develops her onesided crush on Yabe while learning occasional cooking skills. There are some other girls that also like Yabe that show up later. You know how these things go, as a romcom keeps progressing the main love interest just accumulates suitors by existing.

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This one's been one of my favorites lately. Lightly romantic fanservice shows are a dime a dozen, but the specific way this one's drawn and the portrayal of each of the characters is really cute. It's definitely far above whatever low bar How Not To Summon A Demon Lord set. Okazaki's obvious feelings and Yabe's obliviousness are a good, if common, foil for one another.

And the setting makes it pretty obvious why these two characters don't just get into it, which makes it easier to swallow the extended tease of a relationship for me. I could easily see this ending with Yabe never returning Okazaki's feelings at all and be perfectly alright with it, though I might cry a little.

Definitely something for the pervs in the audience, I had the hardest time finding a cover image I could live with posting here. Read it if you want your well-drawn boob manga to come with likeable characters and sweet crushes.

It was published in Young Animal, which I think has a good track record on the manga front. Nana & Kaoru, another of my favorite manga romcoms, was also published under their label. However, the anime adaptation of Nana & Kaoru was one of the worst I've seen, turning a sweet BDSM relationship-based romcom into a hentai episode sans sex. They couldn't have missed the mark harder.

So they really gotta step up their game if this is gonna get a worthy adaptation. They've got solid material to work with, at least.

The Backlog

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So, those were my recommendations. Now I could use some of yours. These things have a way of building on themselves until you don't know where to start anymore. I'm just gonna list everything I'm considering, alright? Shout out in the comments what you think I might like or should prioritize, especially if it's one of your own favorites. See you next update! It's not gonna be about anime!

Anime that people from the US won't shut up about

  • Trigun - I think this is supposed to have a terrible ending? I've seen a couple of episodes, it's fun
  • Hellsing Ultimate - Everyone's crazy faces are too crazy for me, but it seems cool anyway
  • Yu Yu Hakusho - I love Hunter x Hunter and I enjoyed Level E, so I'm pretty excited about this one
  • Sailor Moon - let's see where this magical girl thing all started. People keep posting gifs of pretty backgrounds on social media, so that looks alright
  • Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex - FINE, scifi nerds, I'll watch it
  • Bubblegum Crisis - The one anime Brad Shoemaker has seen
  • Ninja Scroll - Wait, he watched that one too, didn't he?

Anime I've tried and put on hold, but liked what I saw

  • Shirobako - Great show. I only put it down 'cause you need to pay attention to follow along properly and I usually watch anime slumped on the coach, trying to relax
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199 - I got a little bored after the first few episodes, but I adore the premise. Amazing intro song.
  • Bakemonogatari - Watched all of Bakemonogatari, but only made it halfway through Nisemonogatari. Like Shirobako, it's kind of too high-intensity to watch halfheartedly, to much dialogue to only half pay attention to.
  • Gintama - Some episodes I've seen have been hilarious, but then occasionally there are serious episodes that I think are just poor. I don't think the art looks good at all. But the jokes are usually funny
  • Kaiji - I jumped into this, loved it, got distracted and jumped out again. It seems like Akagi, only with a protagonist who's likeable instead of an OP dirtbag
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Anime recommendations I've gotten

  • Redline - I have a car enthusiast friend who loves this, but I dunno, dude might be a bit biased about the car anime
  • Toradora - I know Taiga from Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax. Got recommended to me in the anime thread when I asked for good, down to earth romances
  • Itazura Kiss - Got recommended to me in the anime thread also

Old anime that seems promising

  • Redord of Lodoss Wars - I enjoy the story behind it and the clips I've seen look deliciously retro. I've heard the story stinks.
  • Riding Bean/Gunsmith Cats - Love the artstyle of these, and I can always go for some fun buddy cop action
  • Gundam - Could've put this under the American category too. I've heard it's good, so it's worth a shot.
  • Space Cobra - After Space Dandy and Lupin I think I can easily love a pulpy space adventure with this dude. The music sounds exactly like Lupin music
  • Ginga Nagareboshi Gin - I've seen the OP a few times and it looks fucking awesome
  • Giant Robo the Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still - I dunno, looks very cool to me
  • Yokohama Shopping Trip - Love the manga. It's one of the few chillout things I can read without getting bored because the atmosphere is so tangible and relaxing. There are four OVAs I wanna check out
  • Planetes - Vinland Saga is great, and this seems like it might be too

Anime movies "everyone" have seen so I feel like I have to watch

  • Ghost in the Shell - Seems boring, but it's a classic
  • Your Name - Couldn't make it through the last movie I watched from this director, but maybe this one's better?
  • Akira - I read the manga and can't imagine them fitting 6 huge volumes of pure action into a two hour movie. However, I look forward to seeing some god tier animation
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Trashy anime that might be terrible but I still wanna see

  • My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute - I kinda feel like I have to, since it's so infamous and popular. Sister stuff is really not my kink tho, might be a quick drop on this one. Depends on what this show actually is besides its reputation
  • Highschool of the Dead - I love this director's intensity in everything he does. I read HotD years ago, and really enjoyed it as an exciting zombie action romp with super wacky fanservice and cool art. I've seen some clips that makes the anime seem even more entertaining. Shame that it's never gonna finish, on account of one of the creators' unfortunate passing.
  • Girls Und Panzer - Me and a buddy got drunk and watched the first episode in the middle of the night, laughing the whole way through. It's got a funny premise and a weird vibe, but we'll see how it holds up without alcohol.

Anime that I wanna see because it's Lupin III

  • The Woman Called Fujiko Mine - A friend who works in retail suspects the collector's edition sells unusually well at her store 'cause there's tits on the cover. This is directed by the Michiko & Hatchin lady, which seems like a great fit
  • That one Goemon movie and that one Jigen movie - I think these follow on from the Fujiko anime. They've got a decent reputation.
  • I'm sure some of the other 40 or whatever Lupin specials/movies besides Cagliostro are good but I dunno which

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