Winter 2021 1st Ep. Impressions: The Action Never Stops

So this is the order I’m taking this time – although a bunch of anime have come out at this point and some have even aired their 2nd or 3rd episodes, I’m gonna take each one roughly as it came out originally, meaning the list looks something like this:


Back Arrow

A mech throwback with ethnic stereotypes. Since I have minimal experience with mecha, my best comparison is Star Driver, but it kind of makes sense based on how Tauburn and the title character’s mech look similar, plus how Takuto and the title character look similar and have the same kind of personality. The CGI is actually pretty good on this one – I didn’t even notice it was around until ep. 2.

I once dropped an anime on the basis of a stupid underwear joke (Marginal #4), so I was expecting to not like this once a similar joke started escalating, but surprisingly, I got caught up in the action instead.

Notes:

  • What’s with that episode title…?
  • “I’m not trying to hide anything!” – Well, that’s…true.
  • …*sigh* Why do girls always have more feminine-looking mechs? (Plus this one has boobs…*sighhhhhhhhhhhh*)
  • So it seems mechs in this anime are the form of one’s conviction and they have skills along those lines, eh? An interesting concept.
  • Whoa! Those things [Bind Warpers] break?!
  • Why does the title card mention the wall…?
  • Update: Baka yarou -> Back Arrow. I didn’t even realise that, because the Funi translation stuck the word “arrow” in and I rolled with it.

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Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki-kun

A decent romance, although one that appears to have slight harem trappings coming up later. It looks like the premise is going to be “a girl making a guy popular”, which instantly makes it better than “a girl making other girls look better” premise like this manga I read once called Ageha 100%. I pick these sorts of series up because they promise transformations like the ones I latch on to in fantasy series, but while the transformations which rely on make-up, clothes etc. are more realistic in terms of what can be achieved…they’re just not what I’m looking for in works with transformations, y’know?

The only real knock I can see on this is how Aoi accuses Tomozaki of not reflecting, when in fact he does reflect…by grumbling to himself. Some people might see that grumbling as being annoying.

Notes:

  • LOL, Yontendo (sic). It’s clearly Smash Bros + Nintendo Switch. The character designer was also around for Iroduku, so that’s why this style looks familiar.
  • …lemme guess, since this is a romance, it’s likely NONAME is Aoi. Or some other girl.
  • I think Aoi said something like “onitadaku”, but I’m not sure what the joke is there. Oni is in there, sure, but what’s the original phrase she’s playing off?
  • …LOL, it’s a good time to remind people to wear a mask.
  • Update: After episode 2, I felt mildly bitter about the anime and so dropped it. It was trying to sell me girl-on-girl fanservice and I was not here for that.

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Praeter

.It’s like someone barfed paint across Durarara!!…

Joke comparison aside, this anime sometimes looks like a game from the early 2000s, but you can ignore all that when the bullets start to fly, since the fight choreography looks passably decent. There’s way too many characters and they kill off the mentor in the 1st episode, so you know they’re trying to be serious, but since he’s a huge enigma even after he’s had quite the focus, you can’t quite invest in him emotionally.

Notes:

  • Where does Eiji keep those bullet cases of his…? In his jacket?
  • Lemme guess, Eiji gave up his tattoo because Yamato inspired him and now he’s a goner.
  • Welp, the weight of the world is in your hands, Yamato. Including that dead dude on your back. (<- sarcastic)

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Sk8

Pretty cool! I don’t know a thing about skateboarding, but this has an emphasis on action which means that doesn’t matter anyway. It also has a nice sense of comedic timing.

Notes:

  • That politician is probably relevant…probably someone’s dad, if HypMic taught me anything.
  • LOL, a beef. They call this stuff “beef”? Where’s the chicken? (<- joke from HypMic)
  • That’s rare, you don’t see Canadians in anime all that much. I was just thinking as I came home from volunteering how you know British people all have fancy names like “William” and Australians are “Johnno”, “Danno”, “Steve” etc., but Canadians? No clue. Update: Apparently you’d call one Arnold or something just as generic…?
  • …Hmm. It seems Reki’s surname is written kiya, but read “Kyan”. Reki means “history”, “calendar” or “age” (like a time period). Update: Turns out I separated the characters differently than I should have and Reki’s surname is 3 characters which are read “Kyan”, although I’ve never seen that final character (which has to do with military might or fighting) ever being read as “n”…it’s normally read “bu”, hence my mistake.
  • Even I suck at balancing on bikes and stuff (…yeah, I still can’t ride a bike even though I’ve done so many other things in my life) and I know you have to support yourself properly on a board before you do things like trick flips. I may not have observed Tony Hawk all that much, but he was on the periphery of my knowledge. (Same with Kelly Slater, if we’re thinking about Wave!! as well…)
  • “What’s your hourly wage?” – Ouch, I feel ya, Langa.
  • Koko ni netete actually means “Lie down here”, but…okay.
  • Yikes! 60 mph = approx. 97 km/h!!!
  • Aghhhhhhhhhhh! Cherry Blossom’s so pretty~! I love him already!
  • Something that can be enjoyed, even without sound: this is why I enjoy both action and comedy anime!
  • Okinawa? We’re in Okinawa? Well, that was cool! I didn’t even ask where the location was until the end.
  • Why is this anime sometimes called Sk8 the Infinity anyway…?

Ratings

I think I did this (or something similar) in the past at one point, but for my own reference, I’m going to bold the new/changed entries.

Keepers:

  • Sk8 (1 ep)
  • Back Arrow (2 eps)
  • Cells at Work Code Black (1 ep)
  • Skate-Leading Stars (2 eps)
  • 2.43 (1 ep)
  • Kumo Desu Ga (1 ep)
  • Cells at Work!! (1 ep)
  • Hortensia Saga (1 ep)

Dropped:

  • Praeter (1 ep)
  • Tomozaki (2 eps – note it was above the threshold before episode 2)
  • Suppose a Kid (etc.) (1 ep)
  • Vladlove (1 ep)

So how do you like these anime? Are there any other anime I should be checking out this season? (Note I haven’t gotten around to most of them at the time of writing this post due to things like clearing up fall backlog, plus #AniTwitWatches and that translation sucking up more time than I’d like to admit, so it might take a bit until the corresponding post comes out, but you can see my pre-season list here.)

6 thoughts on “Winter 2021 1st Ep. Impressions: The Action Never Stops

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  1. I think it’s called SK8: The Infinity, because in snowboarding you can only snowboard where there is snow while in skateboarding you can skate anywhere making it ‘infinite’… that’s my guess tho. I might have missed it on your list, but are you watching Otherside Picnic?

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    1. That seems like as good a guess as any.

      I (as of this comment) haven’t watched Otherside Picnic yet. I didn’t intend to because the advertising of it as yuri is pretty big on that one and I generally just don’t go for yuri. Sorry ’bout that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Three episodes in, and so far it’s far more about the SF than the relationship. I mean the relationship is definitely part of the story, but it’s not what the story is about. It’s not a romance.

        Liked by 1 person

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