So What Have I Been Watching?

All right, enough of that shi-ite. As I said earlier, I got bored by anime for quite a while. It turned into isekai, isekai, isekai, and More Isekai. Speaking of which, I was very disappointed in S2 of Rising of the Shield Hero. So was everyone else, including the author, from what I read. I haven’t been able to get back into it’s third season either.

Or the second season of God’s Blessings on This Wonderful world (or Konosuba for short). Generally, I’ve abandoned the genre, especially now that the “twist” is often that the poor Japanese guy is genre savvy. (Dammit, that site always results in my falling down the rabbit hole for an extended period…) Well, it was a funny show, so I need to catch back up for S3.

I did enjoy Tower of God, (NOT isekai) and have been disappointed over the lack of a S2. A lot of it was anticipation of the payoff for all the “f*ck you Rachel” hate from fans of the source material. I was already down on her for abandoning the protagonist, and then trying to pretend she was someone else when they met, but the fan hate from webtoon readers was so hard-core, I figured her betrayal must have been epic. Whoo boy was I right. Sadly, it was a Crunchyroll Original, and they stopped funding those. Also, lack of Princess Yuri was a problem in S1, whereas it looked like she was going to feature more in any S2.

I wonder if I’m becoming a misogamist, as another meme I enjoyed was “F*ck Mami” from Rental Girlfriend. I followed all of S1, but I dropped it early in S2, as all the main characters were dumb-asses unable to figure out what they really wanted, and well, let’s just say the protagonist was a little too recognizable.

A Couple of Cuckoos was a cute twist on the “mismatched teens not in love but forced to cohabitate/marry by their parents.” The twist is that the babies were accidentally switched at birth and it wasn’t discovered for sixteen years. So, hey, if they marry each other, the parents won’t have to swap them back at all, right? Win-Win! Except that neither of the apples fell very far from their biological trees, and both of them are fiercely independent. Add a “Love Stinks” pentagram with the not-biological sister, and an academic rival, and things get mixed up fast. Oh, and don’t forget the otaku stalkers from the FMC’s social media accounts. Fortunately they exist mostly to give the MC the opportunity to flex his manly man-muscles and make the FMC do the doki-doki thing at times.

I definitely enjoyed Reign of the Seven Spellblades. The OP (Sword Flower) is stunning; one of my favorites of the last few years. I have kept up with the LNs as well, and I feel the anime did a great job of following it–possibly unfortunately. One of the difficulties with this story is that the author either hadn’t decided on the full world and backstory until several novels into the series, or maybe he just buried it for too long. This series has been compared to “Harry Potter on steroids.” Dystopian steroids. The lack of an explanation for the insane nature of the staff and student body is not explained within the anime. It isn’t until the sixth episode (corresponding to the end of the first novel) that the viewer discovers that this is a very bloody revenge story set in a school where survival is it’s own degree. Exactly why the school is so full of students and teachers willing to risk anything , even kill to advance their magic, is not explained until one of the later novels. It probably wouldn’t even appear in any second season , unless it were two cour. Short version: Their world is under constant attack from incomprehensible extra-planetary aliens. Mages are the only viable defense, and there appears to be no world government; there’s not even a mention of countries. As for unifying religions…no. None, and no possibility for any.

And then there’s the past two seasons, which brought me back into anime in NO uncertain terms.


Apothecary Diaries.

I do not know what dice were being rolled, but this was like rolling a double-Yahtzee. On D20s. We got two absolutely top-tier anime, running at the same time. Both of them (and Seven Spellblades) deserve more than a single paragraph, so I’m not going to discuss them further yet. Hopefully I can find the time to do them justice. God, but they make me miss Steven Den Beste more than ever. I’d love to read his dissection of this pair of stories, and all the little touches included by the animators and writers.

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