Winter 2020 First Impressions: Plunderer (Finally) Joins the Fray!

(…Or something. I’ve never played Smash Bros, despite my memeing.)

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.)

Aside from Zenonzard, which is mysteriously missing, I’ve put down everything I have interest in below so the lineup shouldn’t change outside it.

  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
  14. Infinite Dendrogram
  15. A Destructive God Sits Next to Me
  16. In/Spectre
  17. A3
  18. ARP Backstage Pass

…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


Plunderer

I knew there was an ecchi tag going in, but of course I got swayed by the bishonen, who turns out to be Licht, on the visual (and Ume, as I do). Of course I was gonna be in for a bad time. Licht is a lech, the military guy is also a bit of a creep (up to and including sexual harassment) and no badassery is gonna fix that.

Outsid that, the plot was pretty predictable (Licht has a -999 and wasn’t sucked into the Abyss, even though that’s how we’ve been told that’s how this world works) and the fight scene wasn’t that great either, so I predict there’s going to be a production meltdown on this one soon despite the early debut. Aside from the ecchi, it did have some vaguely intriguing concepts, but the ecchi is rather overbearing (and it was signaled from the word “go”, since Hina’s Count is on her inner thigh – thank goodness the animators bother enough with the plot that they don’t bother putting in her camel toe!) so I don’t really wanna stick around.

Notes:

  • One of my metrics for dropping a show if I’m shopping around for new premieres – as I learnt in 2018 when I tried to “broaden my horizons” – is if I ask myself, “Why do I give a s*** about this show anyway?” (or a variation thereof) then I drop it…with the exception of when I’m looking for a VA – then I’d wait for their character to show up, watch a bit to evaluate their performance, then drop it. Plunderer happens to be a show I asked myself that question for (specifically “Why do I give a s*** about this guy [Licht] anyway?”), but it also happens to be one I was looking for a VA (since Jail – Ume’s character – doesn’t appear in ep. 1), so it’s saved by the narrowest of margins.
  • Licht doesn’t “wear” the white star, for some reason – it’s on his sword. That’s just a bit random, considering he might’ve tried to throw it away or something.
  • If kanji are rare in this world, then is it a world that doesn’t feature much kanji (but has the concept enough for random people to know what they are)? Or is this setting just an analogue for Europe/some other Western country that just so happens to have a woman whose name means “seven” and has a Count of 77?
  • Normally I’d go bananas for something like the mask crumbling to reveal Licht was a bishonen all along, but considering he’s bishonen on the key visual and it was far too predictable to tell that mask wasn’t his real face anyway, on top of the ecchi…yeah, nah.

..

.

Case Files of Detective Richard

This is an interesting one in that it’s very middle-of-the-road and doesn’t have much of anything to attract anyone to it, but it’s basically become my baby ever since I took responsibility for putting it on the AniList database (you can see my translation “fingerprints” all over the translations for Seigi and Richard).

Although I can see it boring people half to death (particularly if they don’t like bishonen like Richard), I think it might become an immensely google-able series which might only hold an appeal to those who like the original Sherlock Holmes novels (with emphasis on human connection rather than an exciting chase scene at the climax), since it seems to have that vibe to it. However, as it is now, it’s a bit predictable and most of its work is only serviceable (although I namedropped Eizouken as the work to beat, so maybe it’s actually better than normal), so it’ll have to work hard to keep my favour. 

Notes:

  • I thought I saw CGI (but couldn’t tell where it was being applied when it came to a car, whereas it was so clearly applied in one scene where it’s just the ring on a black background), so I wonder if this is being made on a piecemeal budget or not…
  • If I wasn’t imagining it, Seigi was keeping the padparadscha in his fridge…(?) Was he, or did I just misinterpret him getting it out close to the fridge?
  • Shouko’s name has the character for “crystal” in it and it can alternately be read “Akiko”.

  • The pun is that Seigi = justice, so the ep title could be “justice of the pink sapphire”.

  • I was using the spelling of Richard’s name from ANN when I put this series on AniList, so I didn’t expect it to be “de Vulpian”.

  • The joke (Hero of Justice) is that Seigi Nakata is kinda like seigi (no) mikata (ally of justice).

  • Takadanobaba Station actually exists.

..

.

Hanako-kun

Another show with nicer reviews which didn’t enter my list initially. I mean, with a name like that, who would bother with this show…?

Well, it was better than I expected, but it took about half an episode to get there. I think the moment it won me over was when Nene turned out to be someone who thrived upon someone else’s reciprocation of her feelings (which reminded me of how I treat my seasonal husbandos, LOL) and then sealed it when Nene turned into a fish, which remindd me of Classicaloid (although I could guess that beforehand based only on the shot of the wheel).

Then again, the jokes mostly fell flat until it started overturning my expectations with the last few, so it could get better or it could get worse. It’s gonna need some close observation…  

Notes:

  • “High hopes” – Well, in the context, it is “high hopes”, but the characters (期待) just mean “expectations”, so the hopes are not that high, so to speak…*still plays High Hopes in the background nonetheless to annoy people*

  • I had to google the characters for the Japanese title to determine what it really means. You already know shonen = boy, Hanako is the boy’s name and -kun is an honorific for boys, but when I tried googling to confirm what “jibaku” meant, I got characters that mean “self” and “explosion”…! The real characters are 地縛, (literally) meaning “bound to the earth” (and my experiments say if you google 少年花子君 – the title without “jibaku” and using the single character for the honorific – you’ll only get Chinese results)…but when toilets used to be holes in the ground, I guess being “bound to the earth” makes sense. I was wondering how the heck I even knew what 縛 meant, but then I remembered it was the character meaning “to bind” from Shibariya Komachi). Update: Without taking the characters literally, jibaku refers to a type of plant and is read jishibari.
  • I watched Plunderer and Hanako-kun on the same day, so I was wondering what was up with the (potential) perverts this season. Does anyone know?
  • Nezuko’s VA shows up for the ED, haha. Plus Lerche clearly likes this Hozuki-style aesthetic, although the best comparison would actually be Ranpo Kitan given their oeuvre (which I’m guessing is why they were tapped to do the adaption!). 
  • The last few seconds of the episode were like a next-ep preview, but then the actual next-ep preview was more like a comedic TV short and felt slightly redundant.
  • The scene where Hanako slices the mermaid had some reliance on the shaky camera, so I wonder if this series could do better on that front…? I mean, the aesthetic was never strayed from, so they could easily bother with a proper action scene.

..

.

Uchitama

A generally pleasant show, for sure. It’s clearly an SoL and the visuals are gorgeous, but the one quibble I really have with it is the Bull x Momo romance, which weirds me out a little because it’s a cat x dog ship. Not “these people are like cats and dogs”, actual cats and dogs.

Notes:

  • I got spoilered on what Waiha was from the reviews and even then, it’s pretty obvious from the name it’s an anagram of Hawaii. (“Hawaii”, in Japanese, only has one I.)
  • I originally wasn’t going to watch because I don’t really want in when shotas are involved, but Ume and Shirai convinced me to come and both of them are in unconventional roles in comparison to what they normally do (I would have expected Ume as Nora or Bull, not Kuro and likewise, I would have expected Shirai to be Tama, not Tora, based on their human forms).
  • Aside from the SoL, the real pull is the one flash you get of Nora’s owner.
  • Tosa inu. It’s a huge dog with a face like a pitbull’s. 
  • I like Beh slightly more than the others already.

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) – 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] –
  • Uchitama (1 ep) – I can definitely live through the Bull x Momo romance bits, but I think I need another episode to decide if I want it.
  • Hanako-kun (1 ep) – This will have to work hard to get past the threshold…I’d rather sit through a comedy I can’t laugh at than a rugby anime where the only asset is the occasional bit of humour, which is why I rank this above number24.
  • Richard-shi (1 ep) – I had this ranked above Hanako-kun at first, but the latter has a bigger emotional pull for me.
  • number24 (1 ep)
  • 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, as weird as that is.
  • 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)
  • Plunderer (1 ep) – Look for Ume, then drop like a hot rock!

 

 

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.)

I can now tell you, since the schedule has been set:

  • RikeiKoi I’ve been going back and forth on because someone described it as an “aromantic anime” – that is, an anime that tries to explain how an aromantic feels about romance. The reviews are bad though.
  • Some of the pictures I see of Chiyuki (from Runway ni Waratte) unintentionally freak me out, not to mention I have basically no knowledge of fashion as I admitted in one of my School Days posts.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Winter 2020 First Impressions: Plunderer (Finally) Joins the Fray!

Add yours

  1. So far, Plunderer is terrible. I’m three episodes in and already cursing picking up the show. It just fails on so many levels. The ecchi if you’re there for it is not good, the story is tired, and the delivery even worse. Random exposition revealled to random people, Hina not knowing anything about the world she’s been walking around in for five years. It’s all just too stupid. I’m not sure how I’m going to stick with it for 24 episodes at this rate.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not really a big fan of ecchi, but in this case it was more that I just didn’t like how all of it was presented. The story felt clumsy despite the interesting premise. That said, the sword guy was a /bit/ much…

        Liked by 1 person

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