Winter 2020 First Impressions: Thanks, I Hate It

 

Plunderer was meant to be first, but then I got caught up in writing a different post so much that I lost the chance to watch both early debut episodes…oh well, it just means regularly scheduled episodes if I bother with Plunderer for long enough. (This image was edited from key visual art with a “bubble tea” aesthetic in mind for the background, but I…don’t think I’ve succeeded.)

This order is subject to change since a lot of the anime was “wait and see what reviews are like” content if it wasn’t already on the pre-season list, so the provisional list as of this post (for all the new shows) is:

  1. ID: Invaded
  2. Somali to Mori no Kamisama
  3. Magia Record
  4. Eizouken
  5. Idolish7 s2 (to get notes and secure a spot for next season)
  6. Orphen
  7. Bofuri
  8. number24
  9. Plunderer
  10. Case Files of Detective Richard
  11. Hanako-kun
  12. Uchitama
  13. Hatena

…and so the only hard part of this is picking 3 anime out of these (excluding ID: Invaded). I can include BnHA and Iruma-kun thoughts if you want me to – just tell me if you want them.

Page jumps


ID: Invaded

I love it! (I love it so much that it took the first slot without me even thinking.) 

You can see some of my thoughts from the double premiere here, although I didn’t take proper seasonal notes (the kind I write for these posts), so you’ll just have to refer to my simulcast commentary for more.

..

.

Somali

I think a meme is appropriate here, namely: “Thanks, I hate it.”

…well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far, but I am of two minds on it enough to drop it like a hot potato.

To be honest, Usagi Drop soured me on this entire subgenre, not to mention I haven’t been a fan of little kids since I was one myself, because of the fact my mother did babysitting as a side thing while she was taking care of me (which I think I may have mentioned once or twice). Although I haven’t heard of this one doing an Usagi Drop (as I have since come to call endings where the child is seen as a romantic interest to the father figure), just staring into Somali’s eyes and seeing them (I don’t know what pronoun to use for Somali, although reading around says Somali is a girl) eat food gives me nasty flashbacks to UchiMusume‘s first episode…and I don’t want to be burnt again…

Well, that and the fact I think Somali’s voice doesn’t sound like a proper child’s – I think it sounds like an adult woman tried too hard to sound like a kid for budget reasons – but maybe that’s just my perception of it.

Notes:

  • One reason I checked this out, aside from the backgrounds (which are gorgeous, I kid you not), is the person responsible for them. I follow Thomas Romain (French animator known for his work with Satelight) on Twitter and this is one of his buddies.
  • I’m wondering why Crunchyroll decided to co-produce this. Is this surrogate father/daughter stuff popular enough to warrant pursuing an anime budget for???
  • I noted that it took 30 minutes to watch 5 minutes of content on my computer (way too much buffering still, presumably due to my adblocker), so I originally had about 6 minutes’ survival time, but after switching to my phone and watching for another minute, that solidified that I really didn’t want to be watching this.
  • I know Heart Gear (my highest-rated manga so far) kinda looks like it would do an Usagi Drop, but considering it has awesome art and an action component, as opposed to these father/daughter series’s slice of life…you can tell why I like Heart Gear now, don’t you?
  • I also read there’s a Plastic Memories component to the series and…Plastic Memories was one of those series that I dropped due to either extreme competition or extreme boredom (I haven’t had access to it for a while because the licensor for it in my region has basically gone out of business). That series I associate with trying too hard to make me cry, so…nup.

..

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Magia Record

This is a respectable re-entry into a universe which I left not too long ago (in 2017, when I finished watching the OG series (“OG” = original generation). I’m definitely going to be able to stick with it for a season or however long it lasts, since it has the inherent mystery of “Who’s Ui?” and “What was Iroha’s forgotten wish?” as well as all the existing concepts from the OG series to play with.

Notes:

  • Much like the OG, small details make all the difference in this world. However, some of those clues are in English this time –

    “The only good witch is a dead one!”/“Speech is silver, silence is golden.”/“Nakama – because we can do it.” (The tiny English isn’t particularly subtle, is it?) Likewise, a book spine you see before Iroha starts cooking mentions organic recipes.

  • Uwasa = rumour, hearsay. Speaking of uwasa, I heard the Urobutcher ain’t around this time. I bet he’s off playing with his puppets or his mechs right now…(LOL)
  • Never thought I’d see letterboxing in Madoka Magica, ever.
  • The teacher seems to talk a bit too fast in comparison to the rest of the anime. I dunno why that would be the case, though.

..

.

Eizouken

This was getting good early reviews from pretty much everyone, so I put it into my lineup.

It really showcases Asakusa (Midori) and Mizusaki (Tsubame)’s love of anime and even gives you an insight into the process. I wasn’t too gung-ho on the character designs, which look like they walked out of a Western animation instead, but I haven’t had much exposure to Yuasa yet so I’ll probably be won over with enough time. All decisions, especially group-made things like anime, must’ve had someone making the big decisions at one point or another, so I have to put my faith in them.

Notes:

  • Whose bright idea was it to not translate eizouken? It just means “video research [club]”.
  • Kanamori literally means “forest of gold”. An appropriate name, if there ever was one.
  • I knew there was a chase scene at the end thanks to the reviews, but I was drawn in by the final scene with the comets.   
  • That OP is hella trippy.
  • Update: Something that wormed my way into my notes from reading reviews (specifically, ANN’s, which I’m monitoring for all the wildcards this season) is that the anime Asakusa watched was a parody of Future Boy Conan. Surprisingly, I didn’t remember to put it in my notes here, though…

Rankings

Since I only need 3 new shows this season, the threshold is higher…not to mention the top tier stuff is really top tier this time!

Watching:

  • ID: Invaded (2 eps, already holds a position)
  • Eizouken (1 ep)
  • Magia Record (1 ep) – I put this below Eizouken because although I’m on board with anything from this part of the ranking upwards, I worry the central mysteries of this show will run out fairly quickly and then the series will have to rely on adding new characters to keep itself going. If it stays on – there’s a high chance it will – I hope I’m going to be proven wrong on that front. 
  • – [threshold of pausing/dropping] –

Paused:

  • Heya Camp (1 ep) – I thought “if there’s no Rin, I’m getting out of here”, but then I thought I might need the soothing SoL vibes of YuruCamp in bite-sized pieces later so it’s paused instead.

Dropped:

  • Somali (1 ep)


So how’s your experience with these shows? Did I skip anything good? (For a refresher, see the anticipated anime list here.)

6 thoughts on “Winter 2020 First Impressions: Thanks, I Hate It

Add yours

  1. I was really disappointed with Plunderer, but surprised by BOFURI. I’d say ID: Invaded and Infinite Dendrogram are my early favourites. Also watching Darwin’s Game, In/Spectre and Somali.

    Gave up on Orphen, Nekopara and Hanako-kun. They didn’t do anything for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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