Thursday, January 23, 2020

Anime I Am Watching: Winter 2020

I remember when Digimon Adventure tri. was coming out and fans were wondering if it would premiere "this season" or the next. I had no idea what that meant. Since going to college I'd lost access to Adult Swim and only watch anime completed on Netflix and such. Apparently I didn't know the first thing about anime airing schedules. This year, I wanted to finally start keeping up with some simulcasts. Here's what I'm watching this season.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

It's hard to imagine you haven't heard about Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! since it's all over Twitter right now. If you haven't seen a clip or a screenshot of the actual show, you've at least seen it's tallest main character is. This series is about three high school girls who form a club to make their own anime.

This is clearly a massive love letter to animation. The characters see the world through an imaginative, youthful eye while still being grounded in the fact that they're still only fifteen. Each episode features an "animated" fantasy sequence, almost reminiscent of Rugrats or Muppet Babies. At the same time, I'm not even convinced they could make a flip-book let alone produce an actual anime.

Somali and the Forest Spirit

This is a series about a world filled with monsters and a lone golem who departs from the forest he was sworn to protect on a quest with a mysterious human child. It's channeling some massive Baby Yoda energy as it's stoic, faceless badass travels with an adventurers little shit.

I will say that I found the first episode of this series kinda slow and dull. But that just feels like a lot of usual Anime Episode 1s. Story aside, this show is gorgeous. The backgrounds are full of lush details and the cities are built with unique architecture and populated by a diverse assortment of monsters. It reminded me a lot of .hack - which is also pretty yet kinda slow and dull.


This was another one that kinda moved a bit slow in it's first episode, but not in the usual anime. The first episode was almost entirely two characters talking on a bench. And despite the pitch that this series was a supernatural action/thriller, it felt more like a John Green romance novel than Bleach.

I actually appreciate the lighter tone in a typically dark genre. There's kappas and undead and other usual suspects here, but before they get a chance to be scary they're goofy as hell. I think this is actually the funniest show this season, which is weird.

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

This is obviously a spin-off to the original Madoka series, which I quite liked. Apparently it's actually based on a telephone game, which obviously I've never played. It takes place during the original timeline so the original rules apply.

Genius! I wish more anime sequels would do this. Take the world and the concepts and just tell a new story with new characters. The "dark" take on magical girls was so clever and Madoka's story never needed more than what we got, so seeing another group of girls going through their own horrible, horrible adventure is so much fun!

I've been watching all of these Crunchyroll, but I believe Funimation has some of them too. Oh and I'm still working through Dr. Stone. Since I spent most of 2019 reading nothing but manga, the idea of an anime that 1:1 adapts a manga I've already read feels kind of unnecessary to me. I've never read any of the manga the above shows are adapted from and I'm not sure how excited for them I'd be if I did.