Spring 2021 First Impressions: Back From the Vault

There’s a lot to get through this time – so much so that I cut a bunch of it from my list without even trying to write it up…so you’ll see a lot of things on this list that weren’t on the list...because I rushed putting it out…

This is a list of anime I intend to get through so far (subject to change, and watched mostly at random depending on whatever struck my fancy), although knowing where I’m at now, it may not be possible until at least a week down the track from posting this when Crunchyroll drops all the first episodes. Like the previous season, what’s bolded is in this post:

  • BnHA s5
  • Moriarty s2
  • Hetalia
  • Joran
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • Dynazenon
  • Fruits Basket the Final
  • TWEWY (Subarashiki Kono Sekai)
  • Shaman King (2021)
  • Mashiro no Oto
  • Blue Reflection Ray
  • Bishonen Tanteidan
  • Fairy Ranmaru
  • To Your Eternity
  • Zombieland Saga Revenge
  • Iruma-kun s2

Hetalia (not ranked)

I don’t talk about Hetalia much, but I do think it rather unique for a TV short. That’s why I spent a bit bingeing the 100 or so episodes that existed at the time until I was caught up a few years back. Nowadays, it holds a position as a “zombie grandad” of sorts among the other bishonen series this season, so it’s kinda scary and yet simultaneously comforting to see characters I can see on DVD animated in 2021 style.

Notes:

  • …waitwaitwait?! Greece? Debt?! This is from 2016!
  • The tomato movie exists, but it’s from America, not France or Greece.
  • Oh, that punchline was great. It only showed up for a few seconds, but it was great nonetheless.

..

.

Dynazenon

Holds a lot of trappings from Gridman. I like this cast more (maybe I’m biased though, because Ume is the one apathetic dude…? Also, dinosaur robot?). Anyways, this is interesting, but like Gridman, it has a lot of questions that need answering.

Notes:

  • “Scarred Souls Shine like Stars”…ooh…
  • This is even more brightly coloured than Gridman…I love it already.
  • That lollipop is a Chupa Chup. I’m sure of it.
  • …it was bugging me, so I checked it up. Yomogi = Japanese mugwort.

..

.

Fruits Basket the Final

The reason I’ve been slow on the uptake this season is (aside from assignments being on a tighter schedule than I’ve previously had) because of Fruits Basket season 2, which is dear to my heart because that’s one of the first manga I remember finishing, but it’s also in a genre slightly outside my comfort zone and it’s a slog to get through in the middle. COVID delays a year ago, plus the choice to pick up and then completely run behind on Healin’ Good PreCure (also a series with slow progress in the middle) to the point it was demotivating, were just the final nails in the coffin.

That said, there’s nothing here that isn’t already established in previous seasons.

..

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The World Ends With You/Subarashiki Kono Sekai

I’d heard of this series before, although I couldn’t ever tell you where I heard of it from, and since I was behind anyway, the first time I experienced this series was on the theatre screen, which was awesome (!!!). (That’s why I don’t have many notes for it, even though I could have had some from the day it debuted.) The series’s OST is really cool, although apparently ALI was meant to produce an OP for the series, only for the drummer to get arrested…(“bummer” is an understatement). The series seems to be a bit more style over substance – I wasn’t bugged by the pacing at first because there was a feeling there seemed to be an endgame beyond the Reaper’s Game, but as I read the reviews afterwards, that feeling became more apparent.

Other notes:

  • I didn’t expect an anachronistic Truck-kun!
  • I think people who like HypMic would like this series, based on the shared Shibuya setting (for Fling Posse), the music focus, the larger-than-life characters and the urban aesthetic.

..

.

Shaman King

Another manga I’ve read through already, aside from a few bonus chapters. If TWEWY hit me in the nostalgia enough to make me crave that game’s soundtrack and the ol’ Mii Channel theme song (the really memey one…if you’ve ever played with the original Wii console, you know the tune…), the Shaman King anime’s OP and ED made me go back even further, to the late 1990s/early 2000s when the manga began (although I only stumbled on the series in the decade afterwards) – they sound out of place in a season where the only thing I can muster love for are the overly campy fairies (…never thought I’d ever say a sentence like that one day, but they’re magical boys – you know I love magical boys).

I think it’s interesting they chose to start with the Hao endgame, rather than go from that iconic outlined shot of the shaman mask that comes off the first page of the manga – it will mean, if they adapt everything and only that (i.e. no spinoffs), they will bookend this with tales of Hao, even though the viewpoint character is Manta and the main character is Yoh.

..

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Rankings

Keepers:

  • TWEWY (1 ep)
  • Dynazenon (1 ep)

Shorts:

  • Hetalia (3 eps.)

Paused:

  • Shaman King (1 ep. – I would’ve liked to continue, but it’s behind a paywall)

I’m lagging a lot, so I know I missed some stuff. What have I missed that’s worth taking an interest in?

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