Spring 2020 First Impressions: Surprises All Around

 

No Guns Life has been postponed because COVID-19…this list is currently in progress and subject to change for the same reason. Welp, it’s times like this which are why I have the priority list and everything.

My winter wrap-up post is coming soon, too – it’s just that BnHA is a straggler I only finished the day this post went out, so please be patient about it.

  1. The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me? (not on the preview list)
  2. Kakushigoto
  3. Listeners
  4. Bakarina
  5. Bungou to Alchemist

  6. Wave, Listen to Me!

  7. Sing Yesterday for Me

  8. Arte

  9. Fruits Basket s2

  10. Millionaire Detective
  11. Appare Ranman
  12. (more to come!)

…and so the only hard part of this is picking 5 anime out of these (excluding Idolish7). It’s slim pickings for sure in comparison to other seasons, but there should be some gems in there…

…Oh yes. The anime club (via Discord, due to social distancing) watched Bakarina and Listeners before I got my mitts on it in my usual way, so that affected the latter’s take. 


8th Son

I was content with sarcastically dissing this…until the reason I started watching – namely, one long-haired blonde magician by the name of Alfred – showed up. Anime Feminist tipped me off as to his existence (and a lot of other things, to be honest), but let’s keep that a secret, okay…?

A lot could be assumed from the flash-forward, but that ruined the outcome of the magic aptitude thing.

Notes:

  • My first impression? “I don’t get it.” I mean, having a isekai protag flatten a field is probably one of the most boring intros you could possibly have! (Even if it is with magic.)
  • The backgrounds are gorgeous…
  • …and of course I get bitten in the butt with this isekai protag having a bunch of pretty sisters (?) to bring in the people who have eyes for them. *sigh* This flavour of isekai never really changes.
  • Gosh, I know I shouldn’t think this about a milquetoast isekai protag who’s gonna die anyway, but…this one’s kinda…hot. (Update: I know, my “this guy is hot” reactions are sometimes vaguely irrational – I mean, I wouldn’t have watched Kage Kara Mamoru otherwise – and this thought is probably going to make me look stupid when I look at it once the season’s gone.)
  • His priorties are real straight – his pork ribs come first.
  • The reason this got a jump on the other shows, despite my initial low opinion (and Alfred), is that I had a gut reaction to seeing Well do his first spell. Admittedly, this may just be that my senses are dulled – I did watch Two Heroes and Kakushigoto on the same day, after all, and haven’t been doing much because COVID-19 – but generally, my first instinct tends to be right, so we’ll see how wrong it is later this season. 

..

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Kakushigoto

It’s…decent. Not overly exciting by any measure, but I wonder if it’ll be able to last the distance… 

Notes:

  • A lot of the puns flew over my head, but I’ve got a post in the works about the bungou/mango pun. It should be out in the next week or so.
  • Even if you never knew this was from the guy who created Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, Kakushi instantly gives that away when he starts to lament the results of his secret-keeping.
  • This is from Kodansha, which is how it got away with the more blatant Attack on Titan/Ajin mashup – they have the same publishing company. That’s also why they couldn’t do the same with Tokyo Ghoul (from Shueisha). Also Kazuhiro Fujita (the guy who did Ushio and Tora) was parodied – a quick Google reveals this is (likely) how they got away with it, although that consistency is ruined when I realise don’t know how they got away with mentioning One Piece (Shueisha).
  • Oshapi = Oshare (Fashionable) People
  • The Kakushi Goto/Kaku Shigoto/Kakushigoto pun seems like a low-hanging fruit of the Japanese pun world to me, for some reason.
  • Negaigoto (wishes) matches kakushigoto (secrets) because of the koto at the end, meaning “thing”. It’s goto because of this thing called dakuten

..

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Listeners

I…got duped!

I was never told I was watching a mech show! (I blame the media manager, whose “mech/’older shows’ fan” status is one of his defining traits for me and the club in general, even though he also likes other works as well…technically, ‘older shows’ means 70s/80s anime.)

That aside, this series goes all in on its music/mech theme, with even call outs to what I can assume is the birthplace/s (?) or hip places of rock, Liverpool and Manchester. Apparently Oasis was formed in the latter place and there’s a guy who looks like Prince, which only strengthened the connection. 

The mystery around what Players are is a gripping one, but I think I feel the sting from how cliche it is that a boy (a loner and/or nerd of some sort) meets a girl and then gets slapped by her because what he’s doing is misinterpreted. Also, I could see the fact a Earless attack was coming as soon as all the pieces fell into place.

Notes:

  • What I know about Liverpool aside from this: 1) It has a (hugely popular) soccer club. 2) It has a huge dock that was apparently moved from as globalisation did its work on entrepots, plus a museum made from an old building on the pier (googled its name and it’s “Tate Liverpool”).
  • What I know about Manchester aside from this: 1) It has a (hugely popular) soccer club. 2) It lends its name to large sheets and other fabric materials, which were sold there at one point…well, as it turns out from this little thought experiment, I know surprisingly little about these places because my knowledge is so focussed on Asia.
  • I learnt everything I know about Prince from BnHA: Vigilantes. There’s a hero who’s a parody of him.
  • I was a bit confused about what the protag and his sister’s names were (Echo and Swell respectively), but that might have been because I was focussing on taking notes instead. 
  • The CGI’s a bit awkward…

..

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My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

Aw, this is cute.

This show has plenty of humour which isn’t mean-spirited – although it’s only really enough to give me a chuckle very so often, I believe it will grow on me given time. You can understand why Catarina makes her decisions because of her Inside Out-esque personality meetings, even if the outcome is the silliest result possible.

Notes:

  • I want Geordo to have his marriage broken off because that would protect Catarina more. I don’t know who I should ship Catarina with, though, outside that.
  • I kind of like Keith, but that might be because I keep spinning him in Mudae more than anything (and young Keith does make me feel those moe feels, so it’s not unjustified). I never took the guy (outside of getting kakera) because he was a playboy and I’m not normally in favour of playboys.
  • Note I’ve memorised this as “Bakarina” rather than “HameFura“.

Rankings

Since I only need 5 new shows this season, the threshold is higher. How far are licensors going to captivate us anime fans? Well, they already claimed a summer anime of 2020 back in December 2019that’s real far, in my opinion.

Watching:

  • Idolish7 s2 (1 ep, already holds a position)
  • Bakarina (1 ep)
  • 8th Son (1 ep)
  • Listeners (1 ep)
  • Kakushigoto (1 ep)


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

(Update: Edited to remove page jumps and duplication.)

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