Spring 2021 First Impressions: Catering to the Niche Crowd (i.e. Me)

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:


Fairy Ranmaru

Fairy Ranmaru‘s a bit of an odd concoction. It was clearly made from the ashes of Boueibu, right down to some staff and the studio, but it’s trying to be the Madoka Magica to Boueibu‘s Sailor Moon – pointed commentary on social issues and never-quite-but-almost-lying about things (watch this space about the Ten Laws). It’s ripped guys with crotch patches and BDSM ropes which expects you to take it 100% seriously while asking you to buy the merch…because I’d be lying if I said Bakkun plushes weren’t part of the picture.

I should really hate it based on some of the things in that last sentence, which runs antithetical to the lithe bishonen I keep falling for season after season, but…it being, y’know, magical boys, I can’t bring myself to hate it…Also, when you decide you’re basically tethered to this series for the next 2 years or so (which is what I did by attempting to translate/convey all the goddang tweets and, indeed, that’s what I did for Boueibu), then you know you have to be passionate about it.

It’s like someone else took Boueibu‘s structure and told someone else aside from Takamatsu to work with it…and I am here for it, even if no one else is.

Notes:

  • What is that QR code…? *scans it* Okay, so it does lead to Bar F…the blog called Bar F on the Fairy Ranmaru website, that is…
  • I went with a fairly literal translation of the clan names, so it’s fun to see the CR translator stepped the words up to Latin to make them sound like actual names. That’s a good idea.
  • Why is the spoon in the water??? (I think someone else asked this, so it became obvious to ask when I saw it.)
  • Even Bakkun eats curry with little star-shaped carrots! It’s so cute!
  • The ad in the corner is funny, because it’s referring to “pots” (you put flowers in), but the ad is clearly alluding to “pot” (the drug) based on the main article.
  • Another almost-Truck-kun this season in the first episode alone. (TWEWY has another one.)
  • Et Fran de Muse. I shall make a note of that. (Somehow, it only occurred to me that it was based on “F Ran” when I saw the dots put into the name…*facepalms in shame*)
  • “…with no dark side at all…” goes the song, as we see Homura on the rooftop and you know already Eiko (that’s the girl from earlier) is being bullied.
  • Takara says you should follow the Ten Laws, then…you see him with a woman. There must be several of these Laws being broken in this ep. alone…
  • “Advent”…? It’s exciting to see how other people handle [for the most part] things only I’ve ever touched, but…”advent” seems like an awkward word to use…
  • Okay, now that I know the context, I can see why they translated it as “love makes it possible”. This song is Airanranran, Ranmaru’s character song. (Also, went back to my translation of ep. 1’s synopsis and…I got the subject of a sentence wrong again. It’s Eiko who’s slandered online, although Ranmaru does cop some of it too. That seems to happen a lot with me.)
  • That Queen…she’s planning something. That smirk tells me so.
  • Hmm…I think Sakata exaggerated when he said the ED was “something we’d never heard of before” (or something like that). It’s got a jazz flair to it, but most of the impact is from the visuals.

..

.

Bishonen Tanteidan

Now that I look at the title, it seems to be a play on the Shonen Tanteidan (by Edogawa Rampo). It’s more style over substance, but it’s definitely something that draws you in, even though progress on finding the star is slow throughout the episode because it’s clearly putting the building blocks in place.

Notes:

  • Yubiwa = ring.
  • Why do I think the star might be the lighthouse…?
  • 創作 (Sousaku) means “creation”, like creation of an artistic work…like he does.

..

.

Blue Reflection Ray

It’s a pretty average magical girl series, but I can see some signs of animation meltdown already showing through…The blush on sections of the girls’ bodies is also a bit weird and may take some getting used to.

Notes:

  • 澪 (rei) – when read “mio”, it means “waterway”, “channel” or “wake (of a boat)”.
  • Zakka? That means something, doesn’t it…? *checks* Yep, 日用雑貨店 (nichiyou zakka ten) = everyday goods store. Like a Costco or something.
  • I like how the Leap Range looks. It’s quite pretty, although not quite like Fairy Ranmaru’s or Madoka Magica’s magical zones.

..

.

Vivy

Due to reading ahead (Crow says he can’t review this series, which is why I took an interest in it during the first impressions period), I wasn’t completely blindsided by the robot apocalypse. I think it’s a serviceable sci-fi, nothing more, nothing less, although I get the feeling my opinion will change once I’m not being affected by other people’s opinions (episode 2+).

Other notes:

  • Anime club is showing this and To Your Eternity this week (week of 18th – 25th April). I was interested in it, but then…my watching schedule right now is a mess. It’s the worst it’s ever been in my time with simulcasts, I think, and that includes that time I tried to cut down massively on my simulcasts in 2016…
  • This reminds me of Heart Gear…that stuff about “mission” and all.
  • From my reading ahead, I know we should pay attention to the timer in the top left…
  • Who is this mysterious voice that comes from the machine…? (I think it’s a “who”. Not a “what”.)
  • I think the top right says something about a “planned route” (for Aikawa).
  • What the heck is “Toak”? Update: It’s a terrorist group in this series.

..

.

To Your Eternity

My fears were unfounded – I was thinking CGI would ruin this series, but there’s not a speck of CGI in sight…That said, having read 11 volumes of the manga, I can see where the emotional beats are all going to land long before they’re even reached. It’s not just a matter of landing those beats right, it’s landing them in a way that will keep me watching over and over again…which, admittedly, is a problem with a lot of series which expect you to go in blind.

However, even sick (yes, I caught a cold and the signs of it started showing up after my take on Blue Reflection…during the time of COVID, that’s no good…), I could still tell I was going to like this, even the second time around where I could see a bunch of plot points coming from ages away.

Notes:

  • …having read the first 11 volumes, this will all end in tragedy. Over and over and over again…
  • These wall paintings show up in every volume (or at least, the ones I can remember)…pay attention to how they change.
  • This boy…his voice actor (Reiji Kawashima? Had to check that up, he’s new…) really has to carry the entire episode…until [REDACTED] (<- no spoilers from me on that bit until it happens, okay?) Update: I seem to remember “Joaan” (what we will soon call “Fushi”, or “undying”) talked when he revealed he was taking on the boy’s form, but aside from that, the thing in question happens at the end of the episode…if you’ve gotten to the end of the episode at this point, you already know this redacted thing is that the boy dies.
  • The boy looks like he has hypothermia.
  • There’s one frame that seems like it wasn’t “stitched together” with the rest properly (around where the broken wagon is shown) and that threw me out of the immersion for a bit.
  • LOL, TsudaKen on narration.

..

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Rankings

…Oops, forgot to put Fruits Basket in the previous rankings. I think my choice of lagging behind has made my decision of what to keep even more difficult than usual…

Keepers:

  • Fairy Ranmaru (1 ep – both F Ran and TWEWY are pretty chaotic, plot elements-wise, so I think Bishonen Tanteidan is actually the most competent, out of itself and those 2. That said, my enthusiasm is always rather apparent from the amount of notes I generate and so F Ran wins out.)
  • Fumetsu no Anata e (1 ep – the animation looked like it was slipping in certain places, although it wasn’t as apparent as Blue Reflection‘s, so I’m still a bit concerned about how this will fare over 20 episodes)
  • Bishonen Tanteidan (1 ep)
  • TWEWY (1 ep)
  • Dynazenon (1 ep)
  • Fruits Basket the Final (1 ep)
  • Vivy (1 ep)
  • Blue Reflection (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?

4 thoughts on “Spring 2021 First Impressions: Catering to the Niche Crowd (i.e. Me)

Add yours

  1. Aren’t we all a niche of one? 🙂

    Though it’s have a problem living up to it’s incredibly strong first episode, Mashiro no Oto isn’t bad. Super Cub is also worth a look at, if it can maintain the pace / tone of the first two episodes it’s on a pretty good track.

    Like

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