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DocHaus

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Seriously, I'm just floored by how many anime from this season I decided to check out and legitimately like for different reasons. I'll try to sum them up best I can here for the uninitiated.

Odd Taxi

Beastars meets Durarara!! and that depends on the truth of a fan theory floating around that the animal-people in this show are a part of the main character's delusions. Seriously, if you just made all the characters human but kept everything else the same, virtually nothing would change, and so far it's great. There are multiple storylines floating around this version of Tokyo: a melancholy middle-aged cab driver who might be connected to a schoolgirl in a missing persons case. A new idol group struggling to make it big while one of the members attracts a well-meaning but obsessive superfan, and another is dating the cabbie's drinking buddy. A gangster baboon with a gun trying to stay ahead of his competition. An alpaca who may or may not be selling drugs on the side. A game dev who is one bad day away from snapping into a serial killer. A bunch of seemingly disparate plotlines all woven around a, well, Odd Taxi driver. If you don't mind the simplistic art style, you'll love this show.

Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song

There's no way an idol show should be this good, but it is. The artwork alone is amazing, the soundtrack is glorious, but then you throw in the sci-fi story with time-travel and AI progressing to the point where they become self-aware and possibly murder their creators, and it becomes something seriously special. Hey it worked for Macross, that was an idol show that hid behind a sci-fi show of a small colony worth of people on a giant space-faring transforming robot fortress, and they just had 1980's art techniques to work with. Vivy may not be as wide-ranging as Macross, but our heroine has 100 years to supposedly fix singularity points as guided by a AI teddy bear who might have its own agenda, and this show already jumped ahead 20 of them over the first 5 episodes. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

86

It's surprising how much we here in the States just completely forgot that we're engaged in multiple wars around the globe, even where we say we aren't. We just put the idea out of sight, out of mind, because hey it's not our asses on the line right now. Similar things happened here, where the supposed "smart war" done by non-human combatants is actually because all the non-silver haired people aren't considered human to the Republic of San Magnolia, which claims there are only 85 Districts. The 86th? That's where all the unpersons from different races/ethnicities/haircolors live, trying to make the most of the time they have left as their Handlers in the Republic basically throw them into near-suicidal missions against an enemy that may or may not be robots. It's brutal, sad, and also a reminder that even a "good" officer who treats their subordinates well is still benefiting from the system that allows them to treat the war like a video game, while the actual units have to die in their place just to maintain a stalemate, not even an actual victory. Don't get too attached to the Spearhead Squadron, folks, as not everyone is going to have a happy ending.

To Your Eternity

An alien decides to observe humanity by sending down a shapeshifting orb that turns into a rock, then a wolf, then a human boy. Maybe the alien should've just stayed away from this planet if he knew how much we would fuck things up. Jokes aside, this is another great one in seeing how different people react to this weird creature observing not-Earth in its own way. The first episode alone is a hell of a tearjerker, watching the unnamed boy try and keep his spirits up even as various factors slowly eat away at his psyche while he tries to reconnect with his missing tribe. Or how the girl feeds a feral boy fruits as it hasn't learned to be quite human yet. This show is great. You should watch it.

Nomad: Megalo Box 2

Joe returns, sort of. After events that happened offscreen between the end of Megalobox and the start of this one, Joe drifts around like his new namesake, Nomad, to different underground boxing rings, trying to feed his painkiller addiction and chase away the ghost of his old trainer who haunts him. A chance meeting with some Hispanic immigrants who were inspired by his own tournament run might be the spark he needs to get back into the ring for real. Only been able to watch the first couple episodes so far, but if you loved the first Megalo Box, you'll probably like this one, with the pseudo-1990s style downscaled artwork and the heavy punches that feel impactful through it.

Jouran: Princess of Snow and Blood

In a tale heavily inspired by the Japanese film Lady Snowblood, a girl who can partially transform into an albino crow tries to get revenge on a snake guy while operating in an alt-history Japan where the Meiji era and the Tokugawa Shogunate didn't end, stretching to the 1930s after Japan discovered some phlebotinum that allowed them to dramatically increase their tech progress. Of course, the society is slowly coming apart at the seams after news of various unrest happening on the outskirts, plus everyone in the show has a chronic backstabbing disorder and is trying to take revenge on everyone else. Feels like this would've been better as a 4-part OVA, as the main revenge plotline seems to wrap up frighteningly quickly, but there's still 8 episodes to go. Having said that, if you're looking for an alt-historical action piece with some interesting cel-shaded artwork (especially during Sawa's fight scenes) then you'll love it.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer

A surprisingly good story about multiple budding girls' soccer players and their coach trying to take a bad school team to bigger and better things. The artwork might be a little janky but they do a pretty good job of explaining soccer concepts and formations to an otherwise casual fan (like myself). Just wish they could pull the camera back instead of teleporting it into different players' faces during the soccer action, but despite that, these are cool girls you hope to see succeed, especially as the show opens on a fictional player from the real life Japan Nadeshiko team that one the women's World Cup ten years ago crying because she feared for the future of women's soccer in Japan if their team lost. Might check out a local NWSL match if I have the time and distance.

Honorable mentions to Combatants Will Be Dispatched! (literally just proto-Konosuba by the same author) and SSSS.Dynazenon (sequel to SSSS.Gridman which I haven't really started yet). Check them all out if you have the time.

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DocHaus

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Something about Arknights just clicked with me in a way few others have, probably because the "towers" are actually animal-people with stories and personalities behind them.

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DocHaus

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Don't skip Yakuza Kiwami! Yes there are some dated aspects but you get the continuation of the story along with the new Majima Everywhere system.

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DocHaus

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I'll try to fill in more about this game later when I'm not on the holidays, but for now check out this short anime with some of the best characters:

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PS: Yes, that is a talking Emperor Penguin wearing a Tupac shirt. I wonder if this means Tupac existed in that universe.

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DocHaus

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idk if I have the energy to run another Anime Of The Year poll, might just do another blog about my personal Top 10 and let everyone else fight it out.

Right now it's a fight between Akudama Drive, Dorohedoro, and Eizouken for my 2020 AOTY.

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DocHaus

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Gigguk did a brief look on why AMVs are dying out if you're interested:

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DocHaus

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Honestly, I'm all for it. Let's see James Bond do some spy shit outside of just shooting everything that moves.

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DocHaus

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He had that one song in a Madden game right? I forget which one.

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DocHaus

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No shame in waiting if you want to wait, but you definitely have to deal with the sudden shift in combat from real-time brawling action to turn-based JRPG style. Only 3 chapters in myself but there seems to be a weird mix where some mob enemies take like 3-4 turns to beat but a couple minibosses with some cutscene buildup I was able to beat in literally one turn. Not that it's a bad thing, just takes some getting used to.

I will say the "mage's" special attack of scattering birdseed to summon a flock of pigeons on an enemy was hilarious. Looking forward to seeing how other party members work.

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DocHaus

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#10  Edited By DocHaus

Just like it did with a lot of pro sports leagues, COVID-19 pushed a lot of anime that was supposed to premiere in Summer to the next season instead. As a result, there are a lot of new shows, and that's before you get into all the sequels or ongoing series (which I won't mention here). Here's a list of new anime that I've been watching and that you might want to check out:

Iwa-Kakeru! Climbing Girls

#GamersClimbUp! Okay, it's not that bad, but it is the story of a Gamer Girl who uses her mastery of puzzles to join her high-school rock climbing club. Suddenly, she finds herself thrust into a world of schoolgirl rock-climbing competitions with rivals from various schools, including this one who can't decide if she's a bunnygirl or a spidergirl. To its credit, it does show off some real rock-climbing techniques, but not as much as the anime bullshit, shounen action, and male gaze you'll have to deal with throughout the show. Not great, not terrible, worth a look if you have the time.

Talentless Nana

It's a bit difficult for me to talk about this without spoiling the early twist, so all I will say is this:

You think you're watching My Hero Academia and everything seems to be going in a similar direction and then out of nowhere a game of Among Us (or maybe Danganronpa 2) breaks out. I don't know if I'm supposed to be rooting for the imposter to finish their job or for everyone else to find them first, but awkwardly-explained setting aside, it's an interesting show, and it has hooked me in the first couple episodes.

Adachi and Shimamura

A very chill yuri show about a couple introverted schoolgirls who are slowly working through their feelings for each other and a girl in a spacesuit who may or may not be an alien. Also a nod to the writer's previous work in Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, which was another good show for other reasons. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but if you're into a slow-burning lesbian schoolgirl drama it's nice.

Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon

Okay I lied when I said I wouldn't mention sequels here. No worries if you forgot who everyone not-named Inuyasha is, as the first episode acts as an epilogue and runs off everyone's names. The fraternal twin daughters of Sesshomaru and a currently-unknown mother (implied to be Rin which would be a bit problematic if true) team up with the bounty-hunting daughter of Inuyasha and Kagome to fight their way through a bunch of bad guys in feudal-era Japan while trying to find a magical butterfly that keeps Setsuna from being able to sleep. Basically, if you liked Inuyasha, you'll probably like this one, as it takes place years after the original series ended (yes I forgot it ended too).

Wandering Witch

Literally "Kino's Journey but if Kino was a witch and her motorad was a broom that didn't talk." Even the Japanese titles are almost identical (Kino no Tabi vs. Majo no Tabitabi). Not that it's a bad thing. Just a story of the various travels of a young witch who flies to various lands and meets different people, some good, some bad, some in-between. Like Kino's Journey, there are a few constants throughout the series, but you can jump in almost any episode and not feel too lost in the story. Highly recommended.

Burn the Witch

A 3-part miniseries that takes place in the Bleach universe, about witches in "Reverse London" who oversee Dragon-related crimes. There's a lot of magic lasers, witches blowing horns, and a dragon-Pomeranian who yells "show me your panties!" in a high-pitched voice for some reason. Also a Dragon named Cinderella who is eventually beaten by a deus ex machina. Do people actually like this? I guess if you're starving for more Bleach, then go for it. Otherwise, go for this Burn the Witch instead:

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Jujutsu Kaisen

Another Shounen Jump adaptation about a strong boy with a big heart drafted into a clan of demon slayers to contain an ultra-powerful demon by swallowing its digits. Seriously. It's a fun show, basically Kimetsu no Yaiba with a dash of Naruto if it was set in modern-day Tokyo. It even has inverse-Kakashi as a mentor figure and a slightly older Sasuke as a teammate. Personally, I'd like to know where the Panda fits in this.

Anyways, the one thing that got me to watch the show was this absolute banger of an ED, from the same band behind the OP theme of Beastars (my personal AOTY of 2019).

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Give this show a chance, I think you'll like it.

Akudama Drive

An original anime that somehow dumps a wild mix of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, The Usual Suspects, Danganronpa, and Ghost in the Shell into a blender and makes the resulting concoction work. A team of criminals known only by their job names (Courier, Brawler, Doctor, Hacker, etc) and one office worker who accidentally stumbled into them are brought together by a mysterious client to hijack a bullet train in a dystopian cyber-Kansai. It's incredibly violent, brutal, dumb, but great with some seriously good fighting sequences and various actions that require heavy suspension of disbelief (especially where Brawler is involved). Highly recommended.