Anime Vlog Review: Lupin The Third – The First

The latest Lupin the Third movie got a second theatrical run (because the first ran into Lockdown), and I got to go see it.

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Part of the cast of Fruits Basket Season 3

Fruits Basket The Final: Anime Review

This revived version of Fruits Basket has been a long time coming – the original series came out while the manga was ongoing, and skewed more towards comedy rather than drama, and some of the core themes of the series ended up getting pushed to the side (along with some instances of mischaracterization). At long last, though, we come to the conclusion of the far more faithful adaptation of the manga, and the question becomes whether or not this can stick the landing.

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The World Ends With You: Anime Review

To be upfront – The World Ends With You is a game that I had no familiarity with going in. I never got around to picking up the DS version of the game, and I’d held off of picking up the Switch version mainly because I’d heard disappointing things about that particular port. So, when I learned that the game was getting an anime adaptation (just in time for a new game in the series to come out), I decided to give the show a watch.

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Combatants Will Be Dispatched: Anime Review

I will admit, I’m not as familiar with Konosuba as I’d like to be. I’ve watched some of the show in advance of my first Anime Appendix N video, but I haven’t read any of the novels (though I’m planning to rectify some of that). However, the show was very much a success, so it’s not surprising that a different series of novels from the same author – Combatants Will Be Dispatched – has also received an anime adaptation.

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S.S.S.S. Dynazenon: Anime Review

The previous Gridman anime, from Trigger, hid the true meaning of those 4 S’s for that series until the last episode – “Special Signature to Save a Soul.” Dynazenon puts its meaning for those initials right up front – “Scarred Souls Shine like Stars.” The theme of this show is very much self-evident – this is a series about characters learning to cope with trauma and work through trauma, but also acknowledging that trauma is something that sticks around and doesn’t necessarily go away. And the show presents those themes through the framework of high school students working together to fight Kaiju.

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Back Arrow: Anime Review

Of the past two cours’ mecha anime, Back Arrow is probably the oddest of the bunch. Like Real Robot anime, it has warring factions with what are, effectively, mass production mecha, with ace customs for more prominent named characters. Like Super Robot anime, no fucks are given as to the mechanics of how this works, to the point of the mechs effectively running on Gurren Lagann-style Hot-Blooded Gumption (fitting since Kazuki Nakashima, who wrote Gurren Lagann, wrote this) And, like Space Runaway Ideon, there are some mysteries about the source of this technology that lean towards the sinister.

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Saya, the protagonist of Joran.

Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood – Anime Review

Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood is a series that grabbed me by its premise – what appeared to be an alternative universe take on Lady Snowblood with some steampunk and supernatural trappings. While the show went off on its own directions from that elevator pitch, it did build up some goodwill that kept me engaged, even with some missteps at the start of the third act. So, the show wrapping up its run with a spectacular face plant was immensely disappointing. I will be getting into spoilers for that ending below the cut – because it strongly tainted my response to the show to an extent where I can’t really talk about my reaction without it.

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SK8: The Infinity: Anime Review

Much as how Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl was created by legendary manga writer and artist Naoki Urasawa in advance of the Barcelona Olympics having the first women’s Olympic Judo competition, the 2020 (now 2021) Tokyo Summer Olympics has had several sports anime released for the various new sports for those games. I’ve already discussed the bouldering anime, and we also got a surfing anime which I wasn’t really able to get into – at least not enough that I felt comfortable reviewing it. However, arguably the best of these is has been SK8: The Infinity, which wrapped just last season.

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Log Horizon: The Destruction of the Round Table: Anime Review

It’s been a long time since the last Log Horizon series came out. That series ended with several mysteries still in play, and several new plot hooks set up, like Krusty having been teleported to the Chinese server, and the introduction of Geniuses – more powerful monsters with their own weird, metagame logic sent by whoever on the moon server had brought them to this world in the first place. This season doesn’t resolve those issues particularly, but it does push some plot developments forward in that regard, particularly related to the characters’ plot development.

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Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Battle of Kimluck: Anime Review

Orphen’s second season is, arguably, a lot more focused than its first. That, unfortunately, doesn’t stop the show from tripping over its own feet when it comes to the world-building of the setting. In particular, it’s where the mythology of the setting is concerned, especially related to the organization known as the “Kimluck Church.”

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Vlad Love: Anime Review

It’s been a long time since Mamoru Oshii did any anime, with the short film Je T’aime from 2010. It’s been even longer since he did comedy, with the last clear-cut comedy he did having been several episodes of Patlabor: The Mobile Police New Files in 1990. Over a decade since the last time he did anime, and over 30 years since he’s done comedy anime. There are fans who have only know his creative output as not only a director of serious anime, but a director of deadly serious anime. So, it was a surprise this past year to see Oshii returning not only to anime, but to comedy anime, and as a series instead of a short or a film, with Vlad Love.

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Yashahime (Season 1): Anime Review

Inuyasha was a show based on Rumiko Takahashi’s works that I fell off of back in the day before it completed. A combination of heavy filler on a more conventional shonen action series, combined with the show’s very long length made it tricky for me to keep up with the show. When I learned that there was a sequel series due to come out, that was an anime original show, and was following the daughters of the first series protagonists, I was intrigued, and decided to try to keep up with the show this time. That show was Yashahime.

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BNA: Brave New Animal – Anime Review

Studio Trigger’s more recent fare is interesting from a critical standpoint because it’s very clear that they are a studio that does not shy away from being political and generally attempting to be progressive. They’re also a studio who, rather than directly addressing Japanese politics, tends to address their narratives through the lens of American politics, often through the X-Men books, which means that due to their distance from American politics, they can stumble into some rakes that are otherwise avoidable, and BNA: Brave New Animal is a great example of this.

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The Akudama of Akudama Drive; Clockwise from Top: Doctor, Courier, Brawler, Cutthroat, Hacker, Hoodlum. Not pictured: Ordinary Person/Swindler

Akudama Drive: Anime Review

We occasionally get new Cyberpunk anime every now and then, though usually, the protagonists of those series have some degree of… license by the establishment. The Major in Ghost in the Shell is a government agent. So are the protagonists of Cyber City Oedo 808. The Knight Sabers from Bubblegum Crisis are superhero mercenaries who contract with the government. Rare are the cyberpunk anime that have protagonists who work for hire, not only outside the law but in violation of the law. Akudama Drive is one of the series that fits that theme, and utterly nails the concept.

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Yuna, the protagonist of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear: Anime Review

I’ve generally avoided a lot of the more OP Isekai Anime series – no wish fulfillment shows with characters that have a superpowered cheat ability getting ported into a fantasy world modeled on a MMORPG in my watched list. Oh, there are Isekai shows on there, and even ones with people who have abilities that are somewhat overpowered (Log Horizon comes to mind). However, all of those are ones that are cases where an existing power from the game’s world is applied differently. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is the first show with this concept that I’ve ended up watching, and it’s probably the best place to jump in on this idea.

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Iwa-kakeru: Sport Climbing Girls: Anime Review

Iwa-kakeru kind of got a bad break. This year was the year where we were supposed to get the Tokyo Summer Olympics and with it, as one of the new events, Bouldering – or Sport Climbing. So, Iwa-kakeru would have been placed to perfectly strike when the iron was hot, adapting a manga about this brand new Olympic sport, to rise off of the heat of that Olympic fever. And then COVID-19 happened and the Summer Olympics were pushed back at least one year. So, the question becomes whether Iwa-kakeru can hold up without that boost of Olympic excitement.

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Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You: Anime Review

I’ve reviewed most of the anime adaptations of Hayate: The Combat Butler, and reviewed much of the manga that’s been officially released in English to date (in spite of the official US release being several years behind the Japanese release – which has since ended). When I learned that author Kenjiro Hata’s latest manga, Tonikawa, was getting an anime adaptation, that show quickly ended up on the list of shows on my watchlist for that season, and I was not disappointed.

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