Anime Explorations Episode 2: Boogiepop & Others (2019)

This month, David, Tora, and I look at the 2019 adaptation of some of the Boogiepop light novels – Boogiepop & Others.

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Fuuto PI: Anime Review

We’ve been getting a fair amount of anime and manga spinoffs of Tokusatsu series lately. The main ones I’ve covered have been the Ultraman manga series and its anime spinoff on Netflix, and Studio Trigger’s Gridman universe series – Gridman and Dynazenon – in addition to ones I haven’t gotten to yet, like the Garo spinoff anime series. This fall’s Fuuto PI (or Fuuto Tantei) is another of those – this time tying in with Kamen Rider W.

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Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Anime Review

There are not a lot of anime series explicitly based off of tabletop RPGs – Record of Grancrest War, Record of Lodoss War, Rune Soldier Louie, and Night Wizard are some of the few that come directly to mind. None of those – I should mention, are particularly based heavily on Western tabletop RPGs (aside from Lodoss starting as a D&D campaign, before moving through Tunnels & Trolls and eventually becoming a Sword World campaign). So, it is impressive to see Cyberpunk: Edgerunners to be perhaps one of the first anime series to wear the western TRPG connection right on its sleeve. Yes, the show is tied in to CD Projekt Red’s video game – but right from the jump the series credits leads off with “Based on a world created by Mike Pondsmith” – showing how much of its influences it wears on its neon sleeve tattoo. Thankfully, Studio Trigger, who animated this, also does right by its source material far more Cyberpunk 2077 did from the jump.

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Anime Review: Lycoris Recoil

Lycoris Recoil is something of a modern retooling of a genre that we haven’t seen in a while – the Girls With Guns anime series. In particular, Lycoris Recoil in this case has a mix of “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things” as a recurring B-plot, with the conspiracy thriller elements covering the series A-plots, with action informed now not by the John Woo films of years past, but the modern John Wick films. All of this works tremendously well.

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Anime Review: Engage Kiss

Engage Kiss is one of the lighter fanservice series from the Summer 2022 season – there were much (*ahem*) harder shows (like Slave Harem in the Labyrinth of Another World – which was borderline smut – and also leaned into some of the grosser elements of the isekai genre) – but Engage Kiss was more palatable about it. Even more, A-1 Pictures paired some of that fan-service with some gorgeously animated fight scenes, making for a series that, while flawed, was really enjoyable to watch. Some spoilers below the cut

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Anime Review: Tokyo Mew Mew New

Tokyo Mew Mew was an oversight in my anime viewing when I was growing up. When I was a kid and watched cartoons with any degree of regularity on Cartoon Network or on Saturday Mornings, the main Magical Girl Show was Sailor Moon. When I got older, 4Kids picked up Tokyo Mew Mew as Mew Mew Power – but by that point I was familiar enough with anime, but immature enough when it came to my opinion of my own taste to dismiss almost anything licensed by 4Kids by reflex. Switch to this year, when we get a remake of Tokyo Mew Mew, appropriately titled Tokyo Mew Mew New, released a little bit after the passing of the original manga’s creator – Reiko Yoshida – and I figured now’s as good a time as any to look into what I missed.

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Birdie Wing (Season 1): Anime Review

One of the genres of anime I’ve spent the least time with is sports anime – where the number of titles I’ve actually seen is far shorter than the shows I intend to watch – only Magical Girl anime and Music series are lower on the list. None of this is necessarily due to a lack of interest. I’ve found that the sports shows I’ve watched I’ve generally enjoyed (with a few exceptions like Battle Athletes). So, in the Spring 2022 season, when I saw Birdie Wing was airing, I decided to give it a watch.

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AMAIM: Warrior at the Borderline (Season 2): Anime Review

AMAIM is a show where the first half of the series had some questionable issues, but ended on a really strong note that left me coming back for the second season. The second cour of the series, while it does have some strong concepts, has some significant problems with the finale that makes it not quite work.

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Science Fell In Love Season 2: Anime Review

When I watched the first season of Science Fell In Love So They Tried To Prove It, I started out by binge watching the show, and I found the show was basically one joke repeated with some variations. Consequently, when I switched to watching just one episode or so a week, I got a lot more enjoyment out of it. When season 2 was announced, I decided to watch this week to week, figuring that that would be the optimal way to get the most enjoyment out of it. It was – but this also lead to me running into a tonal shift brick wall on the last episode of the series, and without any significant foreshadowing. So, this review is going to have to get into some spoilers for the last episode.

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Ya Boy Kongming!: Anime Review

I have generally avoided doing a lot of Isekai anime. I’ve watched and reviewed the first season or so of Sword Art Online, and all of Log Horizon and My Next Life As A Villainess to date. However, otherwise, this means that the closest I’ve come to Reverse Isekai has been Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, which is using that particular genre definition loosely. So, Ya Boy Kongming! initially slipped under my radar… until I heard the OP – and then I had to see it. I made the right decision.

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Ultraman Season 2: Anime Review

Several years after the first season of the Ultraman anime came out, we’ve finally gotten our second season of the show – this time only half the length of the first season, with a second season the same length coming out next year (giving a whole new meaning to the concept of the “Split Cour”). The question becomes “how well does a shorter, tighter narrative handle the 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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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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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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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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