Spring 2020 First Ep. Impressions: Delays, Delays, Delays…


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.

  1. The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?
  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. Princess Connect
  11. Millionaire Detective
  12. Appare Ranman
  13. Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro

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


Fruits Basket

Nothing really changed about Fruits Basket…it’s still such a romance/drama series that I feel somewhat apathetic towards it in comparison to other genres, but – even though I know Fruits Basket is a series that means a lot more to other people than me – having to dig through years-old memories of the manga to reconcile them with an anime in 2020 is still a bit like being in a dream I never thought I’d have.

As for the episode itself, it just focusses on Yuki + the rest of the student council, Motoko and setting up later developments. Nothing to write home about, although the OP sounds like a generic pop song more than I’d like…it might grow on me with time, though. 

..

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Princess Connect

In 1 word: Terrible.

However, the main caveat on this is comedies I read reviews for drop like a stone because they lose all unpredictability. This anime’s only saving grace is its comedy – the rest is a bog-standard tutorial, gathering of allies and first quest, and I bet even if you found Pecorina or Kokkoro cute, that wouldn’t be enough to save it. The only time I laughed was at the fact Landosol was shaped like a star. 

Notes:

  • Nameko and maitake are types of mushrooms.

  • “Pecorina” makes sense as a nickname because onaka ga pekopeko = hungry.

..

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Fugou Keiji

This series is a lil’ silly about how flamboyant and extravagant it’s trying to be…like a rich James Bond…but it’s also extremely charming and tonnes of fun – it’s actually getting me excited for the next episodes, unlike the other simulcasts this season. I also heard Kambe’s VA is a rookie VA, but an experienced actor, so that’s some spice to my spring 2020 season. Just for the record, even with my reduced reading of proper novels, you’ll still see me reading James Bond ones (mostly Young Bond ones, because YA novel series are like zombies – when they die, they don’t stay dead), so the comparison to him is a favourable one.

Need a reason why this is silly? Instead of TIME Magazine, this series has KAMBE…uh…digest PDFs. 

Notes:

  • Ah, so that’s why they moved this series to the modern day. The exchange rate! (re: the costs incurred screen)
  • Ginza’s a really ritzy place, so robbing a jewellery store there does make some level of sense.

  • Kambe seems to have a single black stud in his left ear.

  • Water resistant watch, huh? For a guy (Haru) whose shtick is “money isn’t everything”, that must cost a fortune. Water resistance always ratchets the price of watches up a fair bit, not to mention they’re harder to find…

  • Kachidoki Bridge…ooh, pretty.

  • Kita, mita, katta (来た、見た、買った)” – “I came, I saw, I bought.” (although the subject isn’t specified, you can assume it’s Kambe) I wonder why it’s translated as “sponsored” – “sponsor” requires a different verb, I think (Maybe teikyou, if you rip it out of the standard anime quote “Goran no sponsor no teikyou de ookurishimasu”…?). “Bought” is still fine here though, since it retains the allusion.

  • I had a brainwave the other day (from writing these impressions) – why is this called “Balance: Unlimited”? It’s his (Kambe’s) bank balance!…Or at least I thought so, but it also seems to refer to the balance on his special card.

  • I’m calling this Fugou Keiji because 1) “Millionaire” is a heck of a word to type and 2) every now and again, I’ll mistakenly read it as Billionaire Detective and then…I get carried away with the Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars association (possible NSFW language). 

  • I find Kambe’s name ironic, because “Daisuke” means “great helper” (according to the kanji used). This Daisuke is…not so great at helping.

..

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Appare Ranman

Hit by a COVID-19 delay before I even get to it…what a curse…(Stay safe, everyone!)

Anyways, this looks exactly like what I thought it would be. If Fugou Keiji is James Bond, Appare is Around the World in 80 Days. I associate that movie as being a coping measure for loneliness, so it would’ve been a nice companion for these times if it showed up every week, and I remember reading the book of it in the past too. (As for the book that appears in the show proper…haven’t read that.)

Notes:

  • I’m convinced the title has to be a pun on 天真爛漫 (tenshinranman), meaning “naivete”, “innocence” or “simplicity”. It has most of the same kanji and everything. Also, it seems like “Appare” is written with characters that mean “skies [are] sunny” and Kosame means “small rain”, hence the sun/rain puns. Kosame’s character page also confirms hangetsu = “half moon”, although I didn’t expect him to be 21 (I thought he was at least 25!).

  • Shihandai (師範代) I checked up and that means “assistant instructor”.

  • There’s a sign saying “Kuroda House” in the back at one stage, so the man angry about his garden is Kuroda.

  • Fuyutsuki prefecture doesn’t seem to exist in real life…Don’t go finding it.

  • If Appare is 19 and he saw steamships at 4 (so assuming that’s Commodore Perry in 1853), this means this work is set…around 1868 at the earliest, although the official introduction only indicates “somewhere between the 19th and the 20th centuries, on the end of the former and the start of the latter”. The mention of Tokugawa confirms this is in the Bakumatsu period, though not this Bakumatsu:

..

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Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro

Initially, I didn’t think I understood how the case was resolved, but then I thought over it a bit more and it made sense…then again, maybe I didn’t focus because I was googling stuff a lot…Nonetheless, this seems a more solid choice than some of the other offerings this season *erhem* Princess Connect *erhem*.

Notes:

  • Copy-pasting from Wave (ep. 2), but Kushiro is a place in Hokkaido.

  • Apparently this Buch der Lieder is “Book of Songs” in English. Japanese has a lot of authors who are also translators or teachers…just like anywhere else in the world.

  • Based on a quick google, Iwai Saburo is a character in this show. Osamu Ishii (Western name order) also seems to be a character from this show.

  • Oh! This Takuboku guy existed, and his name has the same characters as the “Kitsutsuki” in the show title. This also means this show can’t be later than 1912.
  • The soundtrack in this is awesome, so this ED is a letdown…wait, what?! You’re saying this was a rock song all along?

  • This violin jig (over the preview)…I know the tune, but I forgot what the song is called.


Rankings

Since I only need 5 new shows this season, the threshold was higher…but then COVID-19 kicked it down again. There’s a lot of drama and romance this season, so I might need to do what I did in winter 2018 and get a lower-ranked anime through for variety, too. Furthermore, due to the situation this season, I made a decision before the delay for Appare Ranman showed up. This means anything listed as “paused” this season is not set in stone:

  • Keep a 7th show in place in case the others get delayed. If the conditions below are met, add more accordingly, but use backlog for any other positions.
  • If half the shows that make it (i.e. 3 shows) are affected by delays, introduce an 8th show. (Obviously, since Appare Ranman got hit, I’m enacting this.)
  • If all shows bar Bakarina (already known to have wrapped up production safely) have delays, introduce a 9th show.
  • If any shows come back from postponement, pause the backup that gives the least satisfaction – generally this will be an anime that hasn’t ever made the top 6 in consistent weekly rankings, so I’ll need some to make my decision with.

There are only 14 shows in this lineup if NGL appears and lately I’ve had a really high retention rate between the pre-season prediction lists and post-season lists (i.e. after picking anime, I don’t drop them), meaning this might be the highest amount of simulcast anime I finish while it’s airing ever. There’s clearly going to be a tradeoff of time vs. quality, too, plus picking up this entire mess somewhere down the line will be a pain…    …plus all bold stuff below is a new entrant or a change in ranks. Tell me if it’s useful.

Watching:

  • Idolish7 s2 (2 eps, already holds a position) – …oh yeah, the Idolish7 notes from winter are here. I forgot to include them because I assumed existing fans would have read them when the 1st episode came out. Also, this is being postponed after ep. 5.
  • Fugou Keiji (1 ep) – postponed after ep 3, no details so far about reschedule.
  • Appare Ranman (1 ep) – postponed after ep 3, no details so far about reschedule.
  • Bakarina (1 ep)
  • Arte (2 eps, down 1 spot)
  • Wave (2 eps, up 1 spot)
  • – [backups from this point onward, I still need to keep up with them though] –
  • Yesterday wo Utatte (1 ep)
  • Fruits Basket 2 (26 eps)
  • Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro (1 ep, in reserve)

Paused:

  • Bungou to Alchemist (2 eps, down 1 category) – ep 4 delayed to May 8
  • Listeners (2 eps, down 1 category) – The mech bit is getting better, but the Phantom Toilet bit is really laughable in a bad way.
  • Kakushigoto (2 eps, down 1 category)Kakushigoto didn’t make me laugh much and it’s a comedy, which is why it ranks so low. It’s also quite consistent with its humour – as in, the punchline is probably the only thing that gets me laughing most times – when comedies aren’t usually so.
  • 8th Son (2 eps, down 1 category + 2 spots) – Alfred got kicked from the cast, so…there’s basically no incentive for me to watch anymore.

Dropped:

  • Princess Connect (1 ep)

Not accounted for:

  • No Guns Life 2 (postponed indefinitely)

 


A lot of the anime this season is sitting in the upper-middle or middle range, but only Fugou Keiji and Appare have me truly excited because most of it is drama. Bungou to Alchemist is thus probably going to make a comeback because it’s an action show.So how’s your experience with these shows? Did I skip anything good? (For a refresher, see the anticipated anime list here.)

Update (16/7/20): Edited to remove page jump duplication.

 

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