Winter 2021 1st Ep. Impressions: Crunchyroll Edition

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:


IChu

This was a pleasant surprise when it showed up on the Crunchyroll slate at the start of the season. It’s decent, but I guess I shouldn’t go expecting too much out of it. The ending song for episode 1 is a bop though and I can’t quite get the main song from this episode out of my head either.

As much as I want to keep watching this, I’ll hit pause on it here. There’s much better offerings this season.

Notes:

  • Here for Ume and, of course, dem bois. Bring it!
  • I seem to remember one of the magazines called an “Ichu” “an idol egg” (i.e. a fledgling idol)…More egg puns for me, then.
  • I found him! Ume! He’s Akira Mitsurugi! Update: Turns out that’s Toshiyuki Toyonaga…Oops. (Ume is actually Lucas from I*B.)
  • Huh? For a second, I imagined Akira with a dubbed voice. Of course, I could only be dreaming, because idol anime normally don’t get dubs, but…it was interesting to think about.
  • This Akio-type character is popular lately. The sort who’s timid but has an outstanding talent they themselves might not see.
  • …uh, but “Kocho” means “Principal”…?
  • Torahiko is crazy…(Note the tigers. Tora = tiger.)
  • Specifically, that’s black coffee with no sugar.

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YuruCamp 2

Aside from a spotlight on Rin as a younger camper, this is basically the same YuruCamp. Even the talking pinecones are back!

Notes:

  • All this talk about jobs…I personally don’t like jobs because I like to work at my own pace (hence one reason why I’m working on being a translator), but…money…I’m jealous, girls.
  • I’m trying not to rely on the subs for those texts that appear on the screen…I kept up with them for the most part…but then I got distracted by the croquette sign at one point…
  • “…buy you some local food?” – That’s omiyage, normally translated “souvenirs”. “Local food” actually does make more sense in that gap, though.
  • …man, I’m jealous that the girls all got jobs suitable for their personalities and everything. Lil’ ol’ antisocial me sucks at retail, even after 2 years.

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Heaven’s Design Team

Feels like a bunch of short episodes strung together, but some comedy series are like that – see Maoujou from last season, for instance. Takes a bit to gain momentum, but educational, much like its closest competitor, Cells at Work...I could stand to learn a lot from this.

Notes:

  • …geez, these utaite are everywhere now. I’ve seen 96neko, USSS, Eve and more being more central to anime song creation…
  • Thise characters in the OP seal (<-the stamp, not the animal) are saiyou, meaning “recruited”, or in this case, “accepted”.
  • OEM = original equipment manufacturer.
  • Hrm…you can tell it’s a giraffe by description, but…that “base everything on the horse” is interesting as you could count several things as horse derivatives. Also, the angels’ names are all standard Japanese names with natural components to them (Ueda = upright rice field, Shimoda = frost rice field etc).
  • Is this pink-themed guy…a guy? Or a crossdresser? Update: That’s Kanamori-san.
  • I like how the suits have little wing-like flaps. Also the wings on Shimoda’s back.
  • …I never thought an anime episode would make me so concerned about giraffes.
  • That guy in the green I remember from the Wave x Tendebu (Heaven’s Design Team) collab, his name is Kimura.
  • Oh, so there is a bird like that!
  • The random wiggling the chibis do in these short segments…it’s a bit disorienting. (<-Just a small quibble of mine.)
  • Oh! Galapagos effect!
  • Agonistic: “polemical; combative.” I thought they meant “antagonistic”.
  • Oh man, that punch line was great! It took me a while to get into the spirit of it, but this anime is great!

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Ex-Arm

A big ol’ dumpster fire. I think I have enough words on this to put into a post of my own, so I might as well do that.

Notes:

  • [All the comments are just me laughing at this, so I’ll omit them. The serious comments are all mixed in with the not-so-serious ones, so…maybe just wait for the post?]

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Wave!

Although this is so far out of my zone I don’t believe I’m watching it at points, it feels so much like summer that it will go perfectly with the warmer weather that’s been around lately. Also, you know that weird lightness your heart feels when you know you’ve got a winner on your hands? That happened at the end here.

Another problem is that AniList doesn’t have a TV entry for this, only the movie entry, so I have to document each ep. separately before marking it all off at the end.

Notes:

  • Ever since this project was announced, I’ve been watching developments unfold on Anime News Network. I knew it would get an anime or something similar I could follow…and now here I am. I mentioned in the Sk8 comments I have basically zero knowledge of surfing, so…this is very unexpected, in one sense.
  • Was that a drone…?
  • “Wizard of the Waifu Board”?! Are you kidding me?! (LOL)
  • There seem to be shots where I can see the CGI here, but…anything’s better than Ex-Arm. Let’s say that.
  • Actually…yappe is a derivative of yabai, meaning “cool” or “crap” (in an ironic sense). So it would probably be better to translate it as “Surfing’s the greatest!” or “Surfing’s the coolest!” Anyways, what I was thinking before I was going to say this was that the waves are so enticingly animated, it feels like a summer anime. Basically the only other anime I’ve ever said that for is Grand Blue.
  • If I’m understanding where Isokichi’s name comes from right, iso is the character for seashore or a rocky beach (磯).
  • LOL, the teacher wrote “Show must go on.” He forgot a “the”.
  • Hayama, Kanagawa. Kanagawa’s capital is Yokohama, so it’s not quite Tokyo, but somewhat close.
  • “Murphy”? I have zero clue what that means.
  • Oh, I see. The title is translated that way due to context. Now that I can accept.
  • I just burst out into laughter when I realised Nalu hasn’t dropped or put down his ukulele once.

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Bungo Stray Dogs Wan!

(…Oops, this is a 10 minute short. By virtue of that, it won’t rank.)

It’s everything I remember and then some (because I only worked on this series about 4 years ago and you can still see a screenshot from it on my Kitsu profile, so my memory of it isn’t hugely vague). Mostly, my reaction to everything was either “I remember this! This is where I [did X]!” or “Oh noooooooooooooooooo! Not X!” (where X is different things depending on the context), so I won’t bore you with it. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ED, but it’s an Atsushi cover of Namae wo Yobu yo (from the main series).

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Dr Stone: Stone Wars

Again, if you liked s1, you’ll like s2. This picks up where s1 left off, but I still remember every detail as clear as day because it wasn’t that long ago in comparison to some of the other things I’ve had to pull from the depths of my memory this season.

Notes:

  • I like how that recap is framed as Gen talking to the kids.
  • Also I know Rakuen (this episode’s ED and probably the OP going forward) isn’t as cool as Good Morning World or Sangekshoku, but nothing really ever compares to the original in those cases.

Ratings

Since I have a short this season, that means I have to cut it to 5 anime.

Since I don’t have to consider gender parity due to one of the top choices being a romance, I think I’ll be fine with these underlined anime as my final choice. (Yikes though: I quickly calculated how many episodes I watched this season for these posts and I watched 26 episodes! No wonder I thought I was lagging!)

Keepers:

  • Sk8 (1 ep)
  • Horimiya (1 ep)
  • Kemono Jihen (1 ep)
  • Back Arrow (2 eps)
  • Wave! (1 ep)

Paused:

  • Heaven’s Design Team (1 ep)
  • Dr Stone: Stone Wars (1 ep)
  • YuruCamp 2 (1 ep, debuted under Back Arrow but moved down after sampling Dr Stone)
  • Wonder Egg Priority (1 ep)
  • Cells at Work Code Black (1 ep)
  • Skate-Leading Stars (2 eps)
  • 2.43 (1 ep)
  • IChu (1 ep)
  • Kumo Desu Ga (1 ep)
  • Cells at Work!! (1 ep)
  • Hortensia Saga (1 ep)
  • Ex-Arm (1 ep, it was objectively the most terrible series this season, but I feel like there will be a time where what I want to watch is a dumpster fire like this)

Dropped:

  • Praeter (1 ep)
  • Tomozaki (2 eps)
  • Suppose a Kid (etc.) (1 ep)
  • Vladlove (1 ep)
  • Mushoku Tensei (1 ep)

Unranked:

  • BSD Wan! (1 ep)

So how do you like these anime? Are there any other anime I should be checking out this season? (You can see my pre-season list here.)

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