Winter 2020 First Impressions: 6 Anime For the Price of 4

As an apology for making you wait so long, here’s 6 impressions.

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

Infinite Dendrogram

I complained a lot throughout this episode that I’d seen a whole bunch of these tropes before – specifically with Sword Art Online, although the most I’ve watched of that is passing the TV while it was on – and I snarked at it a lot, but unlike the other shows, I had a bit of a visceral reaction – the sort I get when trying to imagine transformations, which I’m bsically addicted to at this point – to when the sword appeared (although when I was checking if mukudori meant “starling” – it does, by the way – I got spoilt on the fact Ray gets a sword anyway). A lot of the shows have sat in the middle because I haven’t had much of a reaction to them aside from “eh, this was good”, but having a reaction means a step in the right direction.


  • I saw HOTZIPANG in the credits list…now I’m really wary. HOTZIPANG were in the credits for Africa Salaryman and their animation production isn’t the best.
  • Yo…does Ray have to be blonde…? Is this some commentary on how having blonde hair is better than black hair, or am I thinking about this too much? (It’s my belief that Asians want to look European and vice versa – just look at their beauty standards! – so that’s where that comes from.)
  • I was going to ask what a tian was, but the show answered it for me. Good job, show! (I think that might be the first time I’ve had that happen…)
  • The Google definition of “dendrogram” is “a tree diagram, especially one showing taxonomic relationships.” Hence, an infinite dendrogram would represent the many opportunities that the game gives you.
  • The sentence ending -grizz is –kuma in Japanese.



Hatena Illusion

The fact you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not in a magic senseis nice. The bog-standard romance and occasional CGI is not.


  • The pun is that the ka in Kana can be read hate (if you rember Yu-no, it means “end/bounds [of the world]” in that case).

  • I was comparing this anime to a lot of other anime that came before it, such as DN Angel, Phantom Thief Jeanne and Hayate the Combat Butler, which is why I describe it as “bog-standard”. The only distinguisher is that the boy was introduced as a girl.



A Destructive God Sits Next to Me

This isn’t the best comedy out there (I can think of TV short series that do better than this in regards to laughs) and it’s similar to Tonari no Seki-kun, but it’s pleasant enough and just a touch heartwarming.


  • I was referring to this as “Ankoku Haishin” but the correct term is “Ankoku Hakaishin”.
  • “This is war!” – The word here is shoubu, which literally means “victory or defeat”, so it makes sense to change it to a more commonly used phrase.

  • “RIP Koyuki” – The grave said “Koyuki’s grave” (in every instance it appeared)…which isn’t that funny to be honest, so again, I get the decision to change it. (Plus it’s shorter – less typing for subbers!)

  • “Things I Want to Forget” – Literally, the words on the page mean “black history”, which I think is funnier.

  • “[T]he jerk in the next class over” – Does he have a name…?
  • You can see the broken window from earlier when Koyuki passes it…LOL.

  • It’s Animal Crossing! On DS! (But what’s up with that rabbit with the fishnet stockings…?)…Do Japanese kids even use DSs these days? DSs must be cheap in comparison to their newfangled gaming laptops and Switches…

  • Out of curiosity, I hit Google Shopping and found DSs these days – the Lite version, the 3DS and 2DS go to about $300 or $400 – do cost about $200 in my region (rounding to nearest $100).

  • The “Muney” (sic) is because he (Hanadori) wrote the hyou in mokuhyou (目標, meaning “aim/goal”) wrong. By the way, Hanadori put an eyepatch on one of his banknotes.

  • I always prefer heartwarming comedies like these over mean-spirited ones (Osomatsu-san, Konosuba), so…yep, it’s in my wheelhouse!

  • I predicted the ending but the galactic reaction I got was…awesome! By the way, I think Koyuki’s catboy aesthetic is deliberately designed to get the best reactions out of him.

  • I quite like the OP and think the ED is rather cute-sounding for this show. I thought the ED was by TrySail, but it’s by AOP…which are both cutesy-sounding girl groups, so I get why I thought that.




Okay, so it’s mostly guys pleading not to get their (newly organised) theatre troupe disbanded and/or theatre torn down. The problem is that I couldn’t give a s*** about these boys’ arguments, even if they try to demonstrate their passion to me and the guy who’s trying to tear down the theatre in the first place, Furuichi. (Also, Sakuya’s eyes have always been vaguely unsettling for me…)


  • I predicted, quite correctly as it turns out, that Furuichi will join the troupe, purely based on his looks. He’s part of the Autumn troupe. (By the way, I couldn’t even tell Furuichi was a yakuza until I checked him up. I kept calling him “demolition guy” because I thought he was just a flamboyantly-dressed businessman.)
  • I love how Izumi takes action, but I feel like she’s too naive to be suddenly entrusted with an entire theatre troupe.
  • Apparently Veludo Way is a pun on Broadway.
  • Considering this involves – according to the synopsis – a Mankai (full bloom) Company and this is called “spring and summer”, plus the metaphors from the start of the ep., it makes sense the kiddo’s (Sakuya) jumper says “spring” on it.

  • I thought the kid (Sakuya) was singing at the start, but turns out he’s reciting Shakespeare. I don’t know how popular the ol’ Shakie is in Japan, though. The reality of the anime really hits you, though, when Tsuzuru and Sakuya recite Shakespeare as if they’re romancing each other…(Sure, I get that looks shippable, but when you remember what they’re actually doing – and if episode 2’s name is any indication, they’re going to do fujoshi dream!Romeo and Juliet to fuel that fire further – it becomes a bit of a snoozefest?…Seriously though, aren’t there more playwrights in the common consciousness that aren’t ol’ Bill Shakes?)



ARP Backstage Pass

As the guys themselves admit at the end, this show is documentary-style, so it was giving me the correct vibes when I initially thought it was similar to a Coldplay live concert. The animation is terrible and sometimes you don’t even get music where you should (such as when a teacher plays the piano and it’s meant to be Shinji’s chance to show off, but you can’t judge him for yourself because you can’t hear the dang piano!). Despite that, it does feel very different for an anime to be like a documentary – almost like an out-of-body experience, I’d describe it. 

The music/mini music videos do a lot of the heavy lifting for this show – as in, it can make or break the entire experience, so your ability to like this show will be dependent on how much you like the songs and can live through the CGI/bad animation hybrid.


  • The group’s synergy is definitely great, but you have to get to the end of the episode to see it (it appears instead of a proper “on the next…”). Rebel Cross are definitely the best, but that may be due to their unintentional humour from when they were complaining about starving. I thought I would like Shinji, but nup – Shinji and Leon’s parts were the parts I liked less of this show and I think I specifically hate on Leon because his a capella show-off bit was terrible.
  • I correctly guessed “Rage” wasn’t the guy’s actual name – it’s Reiji. Then again, Daiya’s name is actually Daiya (with kanji), so that threw me for a loop.
  • This show did make me actively question “But why should I care about ARP?!” a few times, mostly during Shinji’s part.
  • The CGI itself isn’t actually bad, it’s the choice to sometimes use CGI and sometimes traditional animation that might make it a bit of a dealbreaker. (Plus when there’s a bit of a closeup on the CGI models’ eyes…it gets a bit unsettling.)




Okay, so apparently this is meant to be a romance/supernatural thing, but Kuro has the looks of the standard Potato-kun, so I don’t get the “romance” bit.

Despite that, the mystery around what Kuro is and why ayakashi are drawn to him is pretty darn compelling, plus there’s this awesome ED (although it doesn’t quite compare to Kekkai Sensen‘s…sorry). 


  • The subs mention Harlequin novels. If you have no idea what a Harlequin novel is, Harlequin is a company which publishes trashy romance/sexy novels that have storylines like “romance with a cowboy” and “I have my best friend’s baby inside me”. They’re popular with adult women at the charity store, but I could care less about them. They also have teen versions of their books, which I used to avoid like the plague. (I bet they were just “romance novels” in the Japanese.)
  • The age gap I can’t quite pin down, but it seems to be either 6 years or 4 because Kotoko is the only one that’s explicit about her age (17).


I’ll add BnHA and Iruma-kun back into the ranking to indicate where they are. There’s quite a few that could still work and I need to then catch up once I decide, so I’ll take a bit to figure out which will go through.


  • ID: Invaded (2 eps, already holds position)
  • Eizouken (1 ep)
  • Magia Record (1 ep)
  • Iruma-kun (15 eps)
  • BnHA s4 (13 eps)
  • Ankoku Hakaishin (1 ep)
  • – [threshold of pausing/dropping – there’s a huge gap between the top stuff and the middle stuff] –
  • Uchitama (1 ep) 
  • In/Spectre (1 ep)
  • Infinite Dendrogram (1 ep)
  • Hanako-kun (1 ep)
  • Richard-shi (1 ep)
  • number24 (1 ep)


  • Bofuri (1 ep, down 1 category) – The epitome of “average” in this ranking.
  • Orphen (1 ep, down 1 category) – 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.
  • Hatena (1 ep and a bit, dropped at 2nd ep.) – After the 1st ep, I started the 2nd, but the repeated shenanigans that I don’t like from years ago, such as the guy (potentially) seeing the girl naked which results in a punch, and the fact I repeatedly could not understand what made Makoto blush (because this is a boy’s perspective on this series, after all) made me drop it then.
  • ARP Backstage Pass (1 ep, down 1 category) – The highs are great, but the lows signal worse things to come so it (mostly) averages out.
  • Heya Camp (1 ep)
  • Plunderer (1 ep) – Look for Ume, then drop like a hot rock!


  • Somali (1 ep)
  • A3 (1 ep)

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

Also, is it just me or does Funimation encode their subs funny at times (that makes them slightly pixelated)?

5 thoughts on “Winter 2020 First Impressions: 6 Anime For the Price of 4

Add yours

  1. Hatena Illusion looked like it could be interesting, as I love magicians and magic tricks, but it’s looking like something different from that now. Plus, the 2nd episode and now the 3rd episode the animation quality has gone way downhill, I can’t believe how poor it is at times. Plus the lightning has been no good, with entire scenes being too dark.


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