Recap: For some reason in March 2018 I watched a lot of anime. Probably too much (if there is even a thing as “too much anime”). In the post linked here, I discuss the movies I watched, why I liked them and why you should/shouldn’t watch them. Now, it’s on to the series. In some cases, I watched an entire 12-episodes series in a single day! So sit back, put on your life vest, and enjoy the anime flash flood.
3/8: Mob Psycho 100
This was the first of my anime binge week. I watched an entire anime every business day for 5 days straight and Mob Psycho started it all. I began watching this series when it was airing in Japan back in 2017, but didn’t fall in love with it. I didn’t find it that funny; people were raving about its animation that I didn’t think was great. Last month I gave it another try. People were still talking about how good it was, and now I have to agree. I was surprised by how much I liked this show.
My preconceptions of the show were proven wrong with a longer viewing. I thought it would be some slap-stick comedy about Reigen hiding his secret and the hilarity that ensues between him and Kageyama. I was happily mistaken. Instead it turned into a funny and touching commentary on the negatives pushing away your emotions and how two brothers torn apart by a trauma return to each other. This show made me feel things. I didn’t almost cry or anything, it’s not that kind of show, but the depth of the characters and their emotional climaxes we’re natural and affected the audience. An entertaining and endearing ride, I can’t wait for season 2.
8/10, surprisingly good.
3/9: AICO: Incarnation
I had been looking forward to this show for a long time. I saw teaser posters for it in 2017 and thought it looked like the sickest show ever. Then, after watching Devilman Crybaby, I was even more hyped. If Netflix can do anime this good, it’s going to blow me out of the water with AICO. Instead, it just blew up in my face. AICO was not very good. Honestly, I didn’t really like it at all. And it made me so sad.
Firstly, the dub is horrible. It just plain sucks, don’t watch it. Then, there’s the show itself. Good animation and a decent premise to latch onto but it never really delivers. I can’t tell if the show wants me to become attached to the characters or get completely engaged in its plot and it spends so much time in its short run trying to do both that I couldn’t do either. I didn’t really care about the characters. Okay, I cared about Aiko/AICO a little but that was because she was cute. I didn’t care about the Divers or the scientists or even mysterious transfer student. It was a jumbled mess.
I will say there were a few plot twists at the end that did genuinely surprise me. The plot had some neat turns. But with a bad villain, bad pacing and mediocre execution, I couldn’t sink my teeth into it the way I wanted to. And, after looking forward to it for almost a year, I was really sad.
5/10, do not watch the dub, but the show itself isn’t worth it either.
3/12: Classroom of the Elite
This show was recommended by my good friend Mo who raved about it while it was airing in 2017. A story about an incredibly competitive high school, class groups must compete with each in academics and strategic situations in order to score points and go up in rank. Classes A, B, C and D are the order from highest scoring to lowest and, of course, our group of underdog protagonists are in Class D. Can they band together to rise up to beat the other classes? What is the deal with our mysterious main character? Why the hell is that chick absolutely crazy? It was an interesting, entertaining show from start to finish. I was never on the edge of my seat and it was a bit too slow to get me super into it but I’m still glad I watched it. It was…yeah. It was fine.
6/10, yeah, it’s fine
3/13: Ping Pong the Animation
A recommendation from my brother, Ping Pong the Animation is the aesthetic story of two childhood friends and rivals as they learn to love, hate, and love ping pong. Smile and Peco were two very cool characters. The show really centered on Smile’s story, but the reason I kept watching was Peco. He was animated (literally), had realistic motivations and weaknesses, and was a fun character to watch develop through the story. I did like Smile, but he was kind of boring and having so much time centered on him seemed like a waste.
There was also a cool cast of supporting characters, old rivals, coaches, Kong— the feared but then friendly and karaoke-singing Chinese player who destroys Peco confidence and forces him to rebuild his motivation and sense of self. There were a lot of cool things about the show, it was just a little slow for me. Very good, but not my cup of tea. I can see why my brother recommended it. I have a new appreciation for ping pong.
7/10, needed more Peco
Lastman, Lastman, Lastman. Where do I begin with Lastman? I loved Lastman. It’s such a great show with something for everyone. Sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, comedy, romance, boxing…I just fell in love with it and it’s 15-minute episodes. And you can tell I really loved it because it’s not even an anime. It’s French. Go France.
Richard Aldana is a freeloader living at his friend’s/mentor’s boxing club, strolling through life with no purpose. But when his friend is kidnapped and murdered, Richard is responsible for protecting his daughter Siri who possesses strange powers. As they are chased by the police, the mafia, spirits and demons, Richard and Siri must figure out what is happening to them and secure the Cup, there key to answers and the Valley of the Kings. It’s absolutely thrilling. I don’t know why more people aren’t talking more about this show. It’s an amazing— and short — ride from start to finish. it easily deserves more recognition than it gets.
It also has an out-of-the-ordinary art style. With a lot of shading and darkness in every shot, it keeps its underground, cultish vibe throughout. That with a killer soundtrack to boot, there’s really nothing to dislike about this show. It’s 26 episodes, 15 minutes each. Watch it and see if Richard and Siri make it out alive.
9/10, must watch, something for everyone, dark in tone- light in comedy
3/16-3/18: Children of the Whales
If I had to sum up this anime in 2 words, they would be “unfortunately mediocre.” Whales had a lot going for it, the main thing being beautiful, beautiful, beautiful art. It was absolutely gorgeous. The colors, the animation, the landscapes and scenery, absolutely breathtaking. But that was it. The story started off with some nice world building and then BAM! The end of episode 2 changes everything. But there was just something about the show that made it lackluster. It’s hard for me to put my finger on it.
Part of it was the characters. They were…okay. They didn’t have strong enough personalities to really make an impression, so when the plot got more convoluted and everything hits the fan, you don’t really care. My favorite character left the show early so, for the rest, I wasn’t too engaged. Again, the world was cool and the art was fantastic, but these children just didn’t have the drive to bring the show to fruition. A sad end for the Sand Whale.
6/10, didn’t do it for me, great art, cool world, lame characters and confusing villain.
3/27- 4/3: Code Geass
Woooooooooooow, do I have words for this show. I’ll probably write a post about it on its own. Code Geass, the acclaimed anime that rivals Death Note in its strategy and thrills, surprised me and kept me at the edge of my seat. I tried watching it a couple years ago but dropped it after four episodes. It didn’t grab me right away. And that didn’t change. It took me about 12 episodes to really get into this show. The disparity between the rebellion and the school stuff was a bit awkward for me and I didn’t (and still don’t) give a crap about Nunnally. But once you see what happens to Shirley’s father, BAM, I was hooked. That was the show’s first major tragedy and got me swept up in the world and the characters, especially Lelouch and Suzaku. They’re a can of worms I’m not going to open right now but damn, talk about dysfunctional.
Going into the show, I knew about two of the major deaths (including the big one at the end) and it didn’t matter. I was still enthralled, surprised and disgusted. Everything changed seeing them in context; they were equally tragic and entertaining. I found the end to be great, but dissatisfying. Lelouch didn’t deserve the ending he got. But that’s what it takes the change the world and I still hurt for him. There were somethings I didn’t like about the show (Rolo, Rolo, Rolo) but all in all, I liked it a lot. It deserves the acclaim. It’s a triumph in anime.
9/10, yes Clamp yes, wow Light Yagami drives a mech but I like this guy waaaaay more than Light
I finished the month strong but it was a bumpy ride, and a fun one. I haven’t watched so much anime in a row since high school! If you have any recommendations for me, please let me know! You can see my movie reviews here. And I’ll try to post more on the blog. I just had a crazy month of anime and couldn’t write! Sometimes, without even know it, you get stuck in a flash flood.