Anime Highlights Week 52

6th – 12th January 2020

With slightly more to watch this week there might actually be more highlights then the first week of January gave us. Just maybe.

Also… Like all season beginnings some of these might have two episodes covered because I have the dates things are MEANT to start which doesn’t always end up being when they start. In other words I had dodgy information… Then there was also one or two things I picked up out of boredom and they started last week but I only decided to watch them this week.

Lots to talk about though.

Cute vs Horrifying

This truly is a season of two very different themes when it comes to what we review.

There isn’t much in the middle if I’m honest.

you get seriously cute things like Somali and the Forest Spirit or you get terrifying things like Darwin’s Game. Sometimes they mix the two like Magia Record and other things have a mix of other things in them.

What we very much have though is either over the top cute or I’m gonna hide in a corner gruesome.

Fight for the cutest?

I might just have to make a blog at the end of the season for what turns out to be the cutest anime of the Winter Season.

There are contenders.

For a start Somali and the Forest Spirit are just hauntingly beautiful, the relationship between Somali and the Golem is such a pure and wholesome one and jeez does my heart brim over with happiness watching it. Then you have bloody Asteroid in Love which just makes me cry with how adorable it is because it is just the loveliest thing ever. Since I Don’t Like Pain has one of the most endearing main characters so far with some adorable story telling then you have something like Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! which might not look cute but takes the imagination of a bunch of kids, dials it to 100 and makes something so pure that I cried watching it.

I cried watching nearly all of those mentioned.

Is this the cutest season we’ve done so far or what?

Wait… Isn’t that a real thing?

I love the concept of Babylon and the way it is animated and pretty much everything but the actual execution of the story so far.

One thing that kind of hit me for the first time in this episode, or maybe not and I just can’t remember due to the long breaks between Archs, is that everyone acts like the Suicide Law is this really weird thing but…

Places already have suicide laws.

OK maybe not quite the same thing but there are countries that offer the option of killing yourself you just have to be seen by various experts first to balance out whether or not this is the right decision for you. Most people who go to them are either seriously depressed and feel they have no way out of the pain they suffer due to it or have terminal or long term illnesses that destroy their day to day life but they are out there in certain countries.

For this show to then have this giant back and forth between the President of the United States and France about how this is a non-issue or just a silly fade makes little to no sense.

Not only that but if we’re looking at this as a world that doesn’t have these laws, and forgive me for forgetting if they ever mentioned them before, then why should we as a audience feel the same way as the characters in the story when we live in a world where people can do that?

We know these laws on the face of it are out there to protect those who have no quality of life and pick death over suffering. Sure this show skewers it hell of a lot by having the supernatural element to it and the bubbling plot that has nothing to do with a suicide law whilst also having the victims be just normal people who have been forced into it by some sort of brainwashing/hypnotism but whilst they are all doing the whole “OMG this is awful” routine we live in a world where we are well aware that in certain circumstances sometimes it is kinder to allow someone to pick their own path, with the help of professionals, then it is to continue their suffering.

So why should we care?!

Very different from usual

This season both me and Luc picked a show that didn’t interest us at all to watch.

Not that we thought it would be bad but the genre, subject matter or art style just weren’t things that we would usually watch. Ever.

Both of us have so far, one episode in, been really impressed with what we picked.

I didn’t go too far from what I usually watch with Smile Down the Runway which is just a cute story of two kids trying to achieve their dreams but Luc did take a bit of a gamble with The Case Files of Jeweler Richard which actually surprised him with how interesting it was and how much he enjoyed the story.

Numbers?

Luc started with Plunderer this week and this whole show seems to be about numbers.

OK that isn’t really the truth but I found it really interesting that humans are forced to behave a certain way to maintain a number. Whether it be to be praised or simply to do something repetitively there seems to be no actual reasoning behind them other then if you reach 0 you get taken to the abyss.

Scary stuff.

For us though we found it a cool concept, we’ve never seen anything like it and it makes for a interesting series where so much could go wrong or right for the heroes within it.

Even in that world we saw people with numbers of all sorts and with ridiculous reasoning for your numbers to fluctuate it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Another interesting world mechanic!

So we have numbers above and proof that I am awful at actually writing these highlights before we saw Plunderer I had watched Pet which had the interesting world mechanic of people being able to get inside other people’s minds.

Like the above number mechanic you can only guess just how this one will be implanted into this series, giving a series that will probably be pretty mundane in most ways a interesting and kind of scary twist to it.

Really loved watching as they sent the character (Keine?) crazy.

I say love, that might be the wrong word, it was fascinating watching how they could do that just by being in close proximity so then when his mind was wiped it brought up all sorts of questions.

Pet could be a good one. Not gonna lie.

Alexander W. Wood

I don’t know if I made him a highlight the week that he showed up but the President of the United States in Babylon is probably one of the best additions to that series since it began.

Not only is the guy a massive gaming nerd but he’s a thinker.

Why is that so important?

Babylon is a show that has such a interesting story that it isn’t telling all that well and one of the biggest flaws it has had was having a character like Wood who doesn’t run into something moralistically and shout “that is evil” instead he thinks about it.

So far in two episodes he’s done more to actually look at the situation the world is finding themselves in and try to understand it then anyone else in the show has bothered in the previous 7 episodes. Whilst I don’t think he’ll be immune to Magase I at least hope that he’d be someone who she would actually maybe talk to if they have to cross paths.

I’m gonna be upset if he ends up a target and victim but so far he’s come over as being the most rounded and interesting of characters in the entire series.

Illustrated beauty!

We were in for a treat in Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! when the weird world the characters lived in jumped into a hand drawn landscape where they brought a story to life from the brains of the characters in the show.

I really loved the different animation styles shown and how they let a story be played out in the scribbles of the characters.

This show looks like it’ll be super interesting.

Nothing wrong with defense!

So Luc even said in the review that he was happy to watch Since I Don’t Like Pain… Because he knew it was something I would like and you know what?

It is.

This is exactly the thing I thought Cautious Hero would be and I love it for being so much better then that piece of garbage.

It is a light hearted take on newbies who throw all their skill points into that one thing they think they’ll be good at. For me it was two handed weapons or strength or anything that would let me hit things hard with big weapons, for Maple it is defense.

Pretty bummed Luc is reviewing it honestly.

Stories in stories are always the best!

Somali and the Forest Spirit might be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen but it was the story of Monsters and Humans that just filled me with so much sadness yet it was beautiful and such a well told story.

I like when things have a story told in a different style outside of the normal style of what is happening around it. Fire Force did it too though unfortunately not as well and over the entire series with snippets here and there but I really enjoyed the story of humans and monsters.

Two similar ideas done two different ways

We have two series this season that focus on VR worlds and newbie players joining them.

Sure they both aren’t the “stuck in VR” SAO type but whilst being the same in that the players can easily turn off the game and nothing bad happens to them outside of the game they are also very different in presentation.

Both have comedy, both have lovely characters but one is bonkers in so much as the character is full on defense mode and things just bounce the heck off of her whilst the other is funny because a character has picked to look like a bear but it is much more action packed and just different.

Yes we’re talking about Since I Don’t Like Pain and Infinite Dendrogram.

So far both seem extremely interesting but very different and it’ll be fun to see if within their own little spheres one comes out on top of the other.

We all win if they are both super good tho right?

Right?

More then just a killing game

Luc wanted it to be added that a highlight for him was that it turns out that Darwin’s Game is going to be much more then just your bog standard killing game.

This weeks episode showed us that there are various different ways to win your matches and stay alive, people clan up and the win/lose record is a real thing.

That makes the show much more interesting then you first thought it would be.

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