Anime Video Review: Boogiepop & Others (2019)

2019, 3 years ago, was the first time that the Boogiepop novels had gotten an anime adaptation. It’s time for me to give my thoughts before I get into the earlier Boogiepop anime series.

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Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie: Quick Thoughts

Moving on to the next of the anime series of the Spring Season that I’ve been watching – as of this writing I’m about 4 episodes into Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie – one of the new rom-com anime of the Spring 2022 Season that caught my interest. I’m about 4 episodes in so far, which is far enough to give me a pretty good feel of the show’s dynamics.

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Spring 2022 Anime: Season 2-s

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.

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Spy X Family: Quick Thoughts

Unfortunately, with my current work wrapping up, this has played hell with keeping things caught up on my daily blog posts – so I’m having to grab some ideas more or less off of the cuff. In this case – with my regular anime viewing, I’ve gotten about 3 episodes into one of this new season’s most popular shows – Spy X Family, and I figure it’s worth breaking from my usual tendencies to give my thoughts on the first 3 episodes of the show.

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My Dress-Up Darling: Anime Review

I’m a sucker for an anime that has an element of instruction and education to its premise, and as someone who also appreciates cosplay, but who does not cosplay himself, I’m interested in the craft behind it. So going into the Winter 2022 season, I’d already suspected that My Dress-Up Darling would be my jam on that front. What I wasn’t expecting was to get a tremendously sweet love story along the way.

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Boogiepop Phantom: Anime Review

Boogiepop Phantom was an anime that came out in 2000 that very much served as a counterpoint to Serial Experiments Lain in the eyes of American anime fans. Both works are dark psychological suspense works containing conspiracies and supernatural elements. Both works are heavy on suspense, and depict their high school-aged protagonists dealing with a heavy weight of intense personal dread, psychological pressure, and often with that trauma based on the burdens of society and how they play on their peers.

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Lupin The Third Part 6: Anime Review

Lupin The Third: Part 6 is, unfortunately, a mess. Unlike previous Lupin series, this one neither has a serialized focus (like with Woman Called Fujiko Mine) or a primary episodic focus (like Parts 1 through 3). Instead, the series tries to be a hybrid, sort of like Part 4, but instead of the stand-alone episodes fitting in the overall continuity, they go off on their own directions in ways that are very hit-or-miss. This is all aggravated by splitting the show into two different serialized plots – one per cour.

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Bakemonogatari: Anime Review

Bakemonogatari is my first introduction to Nisioisin and to Shaft as an anime studio. I had tried to watch the show in fansubs when it first came out, as it hadn’t been licensed, and I remember being struck by the visuals of the series and the level of visual style – I could tell that the show was doing something – but I couldn’t tell yet, and I ultimately decided that I’d get around to it once the show had finished. And then I forgot about it entirely until this past year, when I decided it was time to finally get around to watching the damn thing – and I’m glad I finally have.

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Tekkonkinkreet: Anime Review

Tekkonkinkreet is an anime that I’ve been meaning to watch for years, but just never gotten around to it. It’s a film from Studio 4*C and fits a sort of middle ground between their more art-for-art’s sake films like the Genius Party anthologies and Mind Game, and the more clear-cut adaptations like their Berserk trilogy. It’s also an outlier in that it’s an anime film that is directed by an American (and not a Japanese American either) who didn’t come up through the industry.

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Blade Runner: Black Lotus – Anime Review

Blade Runner, as a franchise, has had a lasting impact on anime, particularly in the Cyberpunk genre. In the lead-up to Blade Runner 2049, an OVA – Black Out – was released to expand the setting. As a further part of those efforts after 2049’s release, Adult Swim & Crunchyroll collaborated with Shinji Aramaki & Kenji Kamiyama to put out a CGF animated series set between the Black Out OVA and 2049 – Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Crunchyroll & Adult Swim’s last collaboration – Fena: Pirate Princess, was somewhat mixed, and unfortunately, this series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, is much the same.

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Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun: Anime Review

It is a long-standing trope in romance fiction to have an author protagonist whose own romantic inexperience drives them into the relationship that is the focus of the plot. Normally, the way this premise works is that the author has a degree of self-awareness of their own inexperience, in turn leading to them being self-conscious about it as they look for a partner. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, however, is not one of those stories. Oh, the male lead is inexperienced, but he’s also a grade-A Wholesome Himbo.

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Rumble Garanndoll: Anime Review

If AMAIM: Warrior at the Borderline was the mecha anime series from this season that was trying to sell hesitant viewers on Japanese conservative talking points in an anime context, Rumble Garanndoll feels much more like a move in the opposite direction. It’s a mecha anime series, leaning more towards the super robot side of things, which also feels like it’s more overtly anti-fascist, but with a more comedic, otaku-focused take.

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Takt Op.: Destiny: Anime Review

Takt Op: Destiny – the first part pronounced “Takt Opus” – is the second of the two anime I watched this season based on a mobile game – specifically a mobile game that wasn’t out yet. Unlike Pride of Orange – this was a show where how the ultimate game would work out in practice felt like it was a little more established from the get-go. This still left the question of whether we’d get a solid story out of the bargain.

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Pride of Orange: Anime Review

The past couple of years have had a wide array of new sports getting represented in anime forms, some of which I’ve reviewed on this blog – like Sk8: The Infinity, Re-Main, and Sport Climbing Girls. Well, this year we had not just the first hockey anime (which is a surprise right there), but it’s also the first girls’ hockey anime (and potentially the first girls’ hockey TV series – full stop), with Pride of Orange.

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Edens Zero: Anime Review

When I learned that Hiro Mashima’s next project after Fairy Tail was going to be a science fiction series, I was intrigued to see where this was going. When I learned it was going in more of a science-fantasy direction, I wasn’t exactly surprised, considering his track record. However, when I finally watched the first season of the anime adaptation of this project, Edens Zero, on Netflix, I was absolutely surprised by just how dark the show is. There will be some spoilers for the show below the cut, mainly for early episodes.

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Princess Principal: Anime Review

It felt, for a bit, like Steampunk was getting out of vogue. However, with this year’s Video Game Awards, along with a few other places, we started getting hints of Steampunk coming back to the market. However, even before this, there was a sense that much of what was marketed as steampunk was stuff that was less “punk” and more just Victorian-inspired Pulp Sci-Fi, or as the Foglios refer to their webcomic Girl Genius – “Gaslamp Fantasy”. Works that circumvented the social and political ills of the Victorian Period – not necessarily pretending they didn’t exist, but creating worlds where they could have adventures inspired by Wells, Verne, and Haggard, but without the racism, classism, and imperialism. Princess Principal, on the other hand, feels like a Steampunk Ghost in the Shell – a series that engages with the trappings of its setting and does not paint over the cracks and warts, but instead calls attention to them and works with them.

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