Winter 2018 – Week 5 in Review

This week’s anime was, uh, brief, I guess? I still haven’t caught up on Violet Evergarden and March comes in like a lion is tragically on an Olympics-prompted hiatus, so my current viewing schedule has been reduced to a fine point of four very satisfying shows. And yes, I’d actually call Franxx satisfying, at least if this last episode was anything to go by – it was the show’s strongest episode by far, and finally sold the emotional bonds necessary to make all of Franxx’s stunning visual strengths hit home. This season doesn’t really have a strictly “me” show, but the aesthetic excellence of shows like Franxx and After the Rain are definitely helping to make their not-quite-exactly-me narratives sing. We are watching some astonishing creators strut their stuff this season, and I’m happy to be here to appreciate it!

Continue reading

Winter 2018 – Week 4 in Review

Aw shit I’m late it’s 10:40 and these posts go out at 9 crap crap crap. Alright, this week’s anime! The anime was good this week. That it was. Darling in the Franxx and After the Rain had somewhat bumpy episodes, but Laid Back Camp was as sturdy as ever, and March comes in like a lion headed off on its break with a quick reminder of just how lovable its cast really is. I actually fell behind on Violet Evergarden this week, but it’s kind of a struggle to keep up with shows I can’t write about for anyone, and considering After the Rain already falls into that category (and is like a million times better than Evergarden), hard calls had to be made. Outside of airing anime, I spent this week spamming through Myriad Colors Phantom World and starting off on some new Current Projects, activities which will both bear delicious wordy fruit for you guys at some point. Taking a break from anime to find time to watch more anime; it’s quite the respectable life I live. Anyway, let’s focus in on the airing shows for now, and RUN THIS WEEK DOWN!

Continue reading

Why It Works: My Number is My Name: Finding Warmth in the World of FRANXX

Today on Crunchyroll, I finally took some time to poke at Darling in the Franxx’s big thematic contrast, the conflict between the sterile world of Franxx’s overseers and the intimacy its actual stars attempt to bring to that world. As far as this conflict goes, the show is doing a pretty solid job of establishing a coherently puritanical society, and the ways the kids push back against that order feel natural as well. The main problem so far is that the character writing just isn’t there yet – shows predicated on a concept like this need the “human element” of the kids’ interactions to dramatically sell their perspective, and Franxx’s stars still feel too archetypal to get there. But if Hiro can be turned into an actually compelling protagonist, there could be a reasonable show here yet!

My Number is My Name: Finding Warmth in the World of FRANXX

Winter 2018 – Week 3 in Review

What the crap how is this season so good. We just got off a season that basically justified anime in 2017 altogether, and now here we are opening with a season that’s pretty much just as strong, if a little more genre-constrained. And it’s not like I care about this season’s genre constraints, given I fall neatly into the audience for all its low-key character drama and slice of life offerings. Perhaps the most astonishing thing is this crop’s base aesthetic quality – Laid-Back Camp is mostly just an above-average production, but Evergarden, After the Rain, Franxx, and Universe are all visually stunning every single week. The season has been good enough that it’s forced me to realize half a dozen airing shows is basically my limit; I’d love to be keeping up with Mitsuboshi Colors, but there’s just too much else to watch for me to hold onto it at the moment. There’s plenty to celebrate this week, so let’s get right to it and RUN THESE SHOWS DOWN!

Continue reading

Why It Works: Past Classics from the Voices of Darling in the Franxx

Got another sort of peripheral-to-ongoing-shows article today, considering I already wrote initial pieces on my other two airing Crunchyroll shows, and Franxx hasn’t yet given me enough in-show material to write about. It’s always nice to find a season to rep great old shows, and hitting both Toradora and Idolmaster made me feel pretty good about this one. The nice thing about watching too much anime is you’re always full of recommendations!

Past Classics from the Voices of Darling in the Franxx

Winter 2018 – Week 2 in Review

What the heck, where did this season come from. I still feel I had pretty much every reason to expect this to be a mediocre season, but the straight-out outrageous quality of shows like A Place Further Than the Universe and After the Rain have kept my schedule totally packed. There are enough good shows that I wasn’t even able to watch them all this week – I still need to catch up on Mitsuboshi Colors, and only just now rushed through the latest Universe. On the whole, it appears this season’s relative wildcards are carrying the day, while the more sure things like Evergarden and Franxx are turning out to be a great deal more suspect. But either way, this season is full of absolutely beautiful shows, and some of them are even good in other ways. Let’s run this week down!

Continue reading

Why It Works: Charting Trigger’s Path to Darling in the Franxx

I’ve got a very Preview Week article up for Crunchyroll this week, basically taking a tour back through Trigger’s catalog in the leadup to their promising new creation. Trigger have been an exceedingly hit or miss studio for me, largely because almost all of Imaishi’s dramatic sensibilities are anathema to my own, but the sense of, well, cartoonishness that permeates all their shows seems hard not to love. I love their sense of visual energy and fun, I just don’t love dick jokes and punches quite as much as Imaishi apparently does. That means I’m in a pretty good position for Franxx, considering its own director, and I hope the show turns out well.

Charting Trigger’s Path to Darling in the Franxx

Winter 2018 Season Preview

Well, all good things must come to an end. This fall has offered us bountiful great anime in a wide variety of genres, presenting the strongest single-season crop that I’ve seen in years. From great romantic comedies like Recovery of an MMO Junkie to sturdy character dramas like Just Because!, from action highlights like Blood Blockade Battlefront and Juni Taisen to the all-in-one spectacle of Land of the Lustrous, this season has spoiled us utterly. And now, with only a few weeks left in this magical season, it’s time to look forward and acknowledge that joy is fleeting and disappointment boundless, and that next season probably isn’t going to be very good.

The pickings are definitely slimmer for winter, though there are still highlights worth mentioning. And on top of that, the fact that fall all-stars like MMO Junkie and Just Because! didn’t really recommend themselves on first viewing should also serve as a reminder that every season will have its own surprises. As usual, I won’t be going down the names and synopses of every single upcoming show – you can easily find that info on anichart, and I don’t generally find premises that useful anyway. Instead, I’ll be focusing on the shows I have some semi-meaningful reason to look forward to, and explaining why I think these contenders have a chance. Starting with my top prospects and wandering on down, let’s explore the winter season!

Continue reading