Winter 2020 First Impressions: It’s Not Even Spring Yet…

…and I’m already lining up anime for spring 2020.

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. (ThMoois 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


Idolish7 s2

Okay, so it’s Idolish7, but with more chibis and a tad more comedy than it used to have. Also, it’s throwing Re:Vale into the mix, who essentially amount to “mentors in the way of show business, particularly variety shows, MCing and idol stuff”. If you’re prepared to go through with that after those caveats, then by all means, go for it! You’ve had 17 episodes to figure out how you feel on s1.

Anyways, this is a keeper for spring 2020. 

Notes:

  • The slightly feminine touches that Re:Vale has in comparison to i7 is interesting, because Momo and Yuki are very much set up to be one of those Designated Yaoi Ships with them. Namely, I’m referring to the earrings and nail polish – I’m no connossieur of either, but it’s the small details that count for me. (Note I can’t wear anything past clip-on earrings because I have a genetic quirk that makes it risky to get my ears pierced, so the earrings would be out of the question anyway.)
  • Gen from Dr Stone made me aware of this, but “Chan-Momo” appears to be a variety of modern slang akin to Pig Latin.
  • I think Momo and Yuki are going to reach out to Mitsuki and Tamaki (respectively) most this season…just a feeling, based on their dispositions. Tamaki and Yuki have similar faces, on top of that, so thank goodness we can tell them apart by hairstyle.

  • I like Silver Sky (the song Re:Vale sing) already. Too bad I can’t seem to access any of the I7 songs on Spotify, though…
  • I7 has always had better CGI than a lot of the other offerings out there and this ep. was absolutely free of exposition dumps (even though I was worried there would be one any second), so if you ever want to give this series a shot, keep that in mind. 

..

.

Orphen

I remember nothing about the OG series. This just proves it, because someone who remembers the entire plot of the OG series – not my mother, but someone who watched along with her – ended up watching most of the episode with me and according to her, apparently this Tish person and her co-conspirator are new, but majority of the rest of it is not. She showed me the original OP and that didn’t ring any bells for me, either. That said, this is a respectable entry point for people who don’t know anything about the series and just want a ’90s fantasy throwback, since I understood everything without her explaining it (although I believed Azalie was Orphen’s sister…turns out, from reading the wiki, they’re actually only foster siblings).

Notes:

  • “Childman” is a stupid name, even for anime standards (but he really doesn’t look that bad…Orphen doesn’t look that bad when he’s in the suit, either). “Everlasting” is a stupid surname, too.
  • There might be CGI, but it’s pretty hard to detect…then again, the CGI could get worse as the series progresses…not to mention there was this one shot where the dragon didn’t move as a tradeoff for the action scene.
  • For some reason, looking at ’90s Orphen brings to mind A Cruel Angel’s Thesis, even though those are 4 years apart.

..

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Bofuri

This anime got good reviews, but it’s a parody on isekai (and known as “Shield Sis” to contrast “Shield Bro”)…so it’s going to be a comedy to some degree, isn’t it? That’s the worst kind of series to read reviews for…

It’s…fine, but I only laughed once and not very hard. It’s just Kaede going around and putting her all into defence. I was never a crazy person about defence – in my time playing TERA and Pokemon, I’ve always been a person who focuses on status effects, speed and attack stats.

Notes:

  • I still have no idea who conjured up the short title “Bofuri“, although I can only assume one of the higher-ups in the licensing hierarchy did (because I remember seeing it being thrown around all of a sudden and going, “Huh? What anime is that?!”)
  • I read on ANN there’s a complaint the text goes too fast. For me, the text was mostly fine except when the conversations happened (presumably between Risa’s character and “Kuromu”), but if you have an easily-usable pause button that works, I guess there shouldn’t be any room for complaint.
  • The crafter’s name is actually Izue, according to most instances of the name. The subbers probably only trusted the one instance where the name was listed as “Iz” (on the friend list).
  • Is that a mochi plushie?! I want one!

  • Kaede means “maple tree”. It even has a tree radical! -> 楓.

  • How does Maple have standards regarding VRMMOs if she’s never played a game in her life…?

..

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number24

Another anime which got positive reviews. I don’t particularly care for rugby…I think I’ve mentioned I don’t really like sports anime in general because I’m not a sports person, but I’ve been won over on occasion (example: Kuroko no Basuke). Not to mention that hand thing I see Natsusa doing in the visuals (as far as I know) is a distinctly Korean gesture meant to symbolise a love heart, which…is certainly an interesting thing for an anime to include, considering the bad blood between Japan and Korea (although fans of Japanese culture tend to also be fans of Korean culture, in my experience).

The results are a bit polarising since it had to win my favour after pointing out something – namely, when Gakuto asks for more managers – which couldn’t have happened anywhere but “off camera” and I actively facepalmed when the drama gave us a second manager (although that may have been me expecting a teacher in that position, when university teams – from what I’ve seen of them on club recruitment day, anyway – don’t normally have staff members to organise them the same way high school teams do).

I found consulting the profiles fills in a lot of gaps, both about the characters and what was intended with their portrayal (of course, if you can understand them) – the biggest factor that won my favour was the fact Natsusa’s profile says he’s a Do-S (i.e. big sadist) and he teaches Mashiro how to win the senpais’ favour, culminating in the best scene of the episode where Natsusa demonstrates how his lines work and ends it with a little “got you!” face. 

The show also tries to set up (what I have now termed) the “Designated Yaoi Partnership” Sei x Natsusa – that is, trying really hard to imply this guy could get into bed with this other guy with suggestive angles and other techniques, such as the childhood friend angle.

Notes:

  • The uni rugby and manager angles make this series quite refreshing. I even saw a comparison of this on ANN to Stars Align, which was a big reason why I tried it.
  • I like how the preview says “there’s not going to be much rugby in the next episode, either,” which is an interesting little touch of meta humour in a place I didn’t expect it.
  • Natsusa’s eyes sort of weirded me out at first, because the colours of his hair and eyes together reminded me of watermelon-flavoured lollies or lollipops in contrast to Sei’s more reasonable combo. I would be able to go “this is anime, deal with it” if it weren’t applied somewhat inconsistently – there’s a guy named Ethan Taylor (the only guy whose name is English) who is blonde and likes Japanese food (if you consult his profile), which suggests – if you read between the lines – he’s a Japanophile (or part-Japanese on his mother’s side, as the tropes go) who might or might not be in Japan on a sports scholarship, but then there’s shota!Io (from Boueibu) Yayoi – meaning his hair is a somewhat reasonable beige – and one guy who looks like Kirill (from Double Decker) with shorter hair, meaning his hair is purple. The worst offender in this episode is ice-blue-haired Ikuto, though.
  • The show’s name is actually Number Two Four according to the logo katakana…that confused and flustered me for a moment. I was reading it “twenty-four” every time and in context, Natsusa is (the first) number 24, aka the manager, so it makes sense.

Rankings

Since I need 3 new shows this season, the threshold is higher…

Watching:

  • ID: Invaded (2 eps, already holds 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 – there’s a huge gap between the top stuff and the middle stuff, so I moved the threshold up] –
  • number24 (1 ep) – This won’t shape up to be anything particularly interesting outside its genre space, but I think of it positively (to some extent at least – the actual rugby, if it ever arrives, will bore me to death because I could care less about ripped boys piling on top of each other if it’s in the context of a contact sport) and that’s better than the treatment I give most sports anime, so it’s a net win overall.
  • Orphen (1 ep) – The only benefit of this vs. Bofuri is that I can laugh at this if it goes south, so its negative attribute is its only positive attribute.
  • Bofuri (1 ep) – The epitome of “average” in this ranking. There’s only so far you can take a “defence is everything!” joke, though, and that makes me worry…
  • Paused:
  • Heya Camp (1 ep)
  • 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.)

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