Outside of the shows that carried over from the Winter Season (like Requiem of the Rose King), there were a couple earlier series that I reviewed that are getting second seasons, that I feel like giving some quick thoughts on – partly to cover for time on the blog (because, again, work wrapping up) and partly because honestly, I haven’t done much with the “As They Air” thing for ongoing series before and this might be worth doing for the long term. So, here are the two Season 2-s of anime I watched from earlier seasons that I’m checking out in the spring.
AMAIM: Warrior On The Borderline Season 2
So, due to the pandemic and a variety of other factors, AMAIM: Warrior on the Borderline decided to go to a split-cour approach. This is definitely one of those cases where how the series wraps will determine how good of a decision this was. I’m giving my thoughts based on the first 3 episodes of Season 2.
That said, the second season starts with a several-month time skip after the end of the first season and the battle with Ghost. Turns out the North American Faction has decided to show that they too are just as dickish as all the other factions (in spite of their Earth Federation-inspired uniforms) by launching attacks with new generation mechs against all the other factions in Japan. Further, Brad Watt (Wyatt?), our perspective character on the North American side who previously seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders, is also showing a Char-esque level of instability by having approved an R&D project involving the core of Ghost (which we saw him salvage at the end of the first season), including piloting Ghost itself into battle.
On the Resistance side, Amou returns to the rest of our protagonists, having been up to… something… we don’t know what over the course of the past few months. We know it’s been related to the PMC which had been assisting with the resistance’s logistics. We also know that the arms manufacturer who had been supplying new parts has encountered some sort of issues that caused the destruction of a bunch of their facilities before this. Finally, we also know that Amou is dealing with some heavy PTSD – and in his second significant battle back, he demonstrates that he is willing to kill more or less without hesitation. He isn’t happy about it (we even see him throwing up afterward), and he’s doing the anti-hero “I’m giving you a chance to walk away before I kill you” thing.
Episode 3 ends with Gashin and Shion confronting Amou about this, specifically wanting him to talk not because they don’t trust him, but because they know him bottling this up isn’t healthy – so we’ll see how they handle this.
To be clear – there is still the lingering cloud of nationalist talking points over this show – having the North American Faction having at least good intentions in the first season felt like a sense of self-awareness. The start of this season on the one hand is a step back from that. On the other, the points that were used in season 1, that this was brought about by Japan’s declining birth rate and other countries jumping in to “help” has not been stated again. Shion brings up wanting to start up the traditional Japanese ceramics that her father had done, but that’s about it on that side.
Instead, the depiction of the conflict feels more like various larger powers with imperialist aspirations – serial-numbers-filed-off versions of China, Russia, and the US, doing their battles with Japan caught in the middle. On the one hand, that does show a lack of self-awareness considering Japan’s long unacknowledged history of their own imperial ambitions and the war crimes that came from them not only from World War II but even before, in China and Korea. On the other hand, that is the place Japan was in during the Cold War, after reconstruction – with the Mutual Protection Treaty meaning that Japan was caught in the middle of the tensions between various Great Powers – particularly China, the Soviet Union, and the US – with no option for neutrality (which the constitutional limitations against the Japanese military operating overseas would facilitate) if the Cold War heated up. This is a theme that came up a lot in various other anime – particularly in the mecha genre – from the ’80s and ’90s, so it almost feels less toxic in a way. Not free of toxicity, just having less of it.
AMAIM is now available for streaming on Crunchyroll.
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It r=1-sinθ
When I reviewed Science Fell In Love, So I Tried To Prove It‘s first season, my main vibe was that the show was enjoyable watching episodes one at a time, but binging the show over multiple episodes drew a little too much attention to the fact that the show really only has one joke, iterated on with each episode. Consequently, I was interested in watching the show this season to see how well Season 2 fared going week-by-week.
In short, my assessment was more or less correct. The framework is more or less the same – characters doing some degree of scientific research generally related to parts of their relationships. Each episode also includes an explanation of a scientific concept presented by Rikekuma, the constantly disgruntled mascot bear who shows up to explain a particular experiment or research method that comes up over the course of the show.
Thus far, over the 4 episodes we’ve gotten in Season 2, the big shift of note is widening the relationship focus (the sample size, if you will) to additional characters – thus far we’re getting more overtly into the idea of Ena and Kosuke becoming a couple, and the fourth episode ends with a returning character from season 1 asking Kotonoha out.
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It r=1-sinθ is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.
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