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Dated 7 May 2024: I like Unnamed Memory even though it feels rushed

Tinasha
You can tell "teenage" Tinasha has work to do because she's wearing gloves..

Unnamed Memory is about a prince who can't get anyone pregnant without killing her. This is because of a curse, not because of any inherent baby-making quirks and features driving him. At least that's what the witch who cursed him said. I don't think he's actually tested it. Anyway, his proposed solution involves impregnating a powerful witch (a different witch) who can withstand his cursed precious bodily fluids instead of queuing up unsuspecting or risk-happy regular-type women and hoping for the best, or seeing if a baby can gestate in a box. (The witch can survive the curse because of her powerful magic, not because she's built up a tolerance to iocane sperm.) It's basically that Re:Zero comic asking if witches can get pregnant, if you think too much about it.

Tinasha and Oscar
Don't let the height-difference antis find out about this 'ship.

Tinasha, the witch in question, looks like a teenage girl when he initially propositions her, but this doesn't seem to factor into his request in any way. It's fine. She's old. Maybe not Frieren old, but old enough to mention Oscar Lyeth Increatos Loz Farsas (the prince dude) bears a resemblance to his great-grandfather when he was the same age. It doesn't matter, since Tinasha ages up to a more 20-something appearance shortly thereafter because of Reasons, and she's going to work on removing his curse the magic way anyway. Don't worry about it.

Lucrezia, Tinasha, and Oscar
I guess she's not that short.

I was expecting a dumber light-novel tone from this setup, but the show has been surprisingly all right so far. It does feel rushed, though, as if the anime adaptation may be blowing through the source material. Another possibility is maybe the books contain more insights into the characters' inner thoughts that aren't reflected in the show. In any case, I feel as if there hasn't been sufficient on-screen attention to developing the relationship between Tinasha and Oscar. Most of their scenes together involved verbal sparring, so it's not as if he's been trying to sweet talk her. Their testy exchanges don't quite work as romantic banter, and if you subscribe to the theory that the most effective way to court a woman is to be an asshole, he hasn't been doing that either.

Tinasha
I don't think "adult" Tinasha looks much different.

For now, I'm going to chalk it up to the limitations of the single-cours anime framework that plagues us, and appreciate that the show is still interesting despite its faults. There's also the looming possibility everything we've observed in the series thus far is false or manipulated. We know memories in this world can be untrustworthy (because of witches fucking with them), and there's no way to know this predicament doesn't extend to the main cast. There's also the matter of Tina's claim that she can't reverse time, which honestly only raises a lot of questions already answered by her claim that she can't reverse time.

Dated 2 April 2024: More about Spring 2024

Nadeshiko, Reimi, and Akira
Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Last week, I provided a quick rundown of what I expect to watch this season. This post augments that one by including additional titles that I plan to try, but won't necessarily watch all the way through. By the time I finally post this, the first episode of Shuumatsu Train Doko e Iku (Where Does the Doomsday Train Go? or Train to the End of the World) should be out. This is an original anime with Mizushima Tsutomu attached, so I'm more optimistic about it than the rest of the shows I'm considering. In many of those cases, I've only read potentially misleading descriptions and won't even have necessarily watched the corresponding trailers.

Mira
I don't know anything about you.

Astro Note is one of those anime I know nothing about. I believe the first episode has already leaked, but I remain wholly ignorant about its contents aside from learning it's an original anime. It's enough to warrant a try out of general principle.

Hoshino
Have I even seen any fan art of you? You don't look familiar at all.

Blue Archive I know only from fan art. Based on that, I'm confident the series will be about scantily clad schoolgirls making passes at their teacher while toting around firearms designed by people who know absolutely fuck all about guns. I did watch a trailer, and it mostly seems to feature only the shrimpy kids. Where are all the aerodynamic students?! Are the shrimpy girls the ones who are popular among those who actually play the game? Did fan art lead me astray?

Haruka
I assume this has nothing to do with Boukyaku no Senritsu.

Boukyaku Battery (Oblivion Battery) is a baseball anime with an amnesia gimmick. Curiously, it's the catcher who lost his memory, and not the pitcher. I could totally see how this story would work with a now-clueless pitcher taking cues from a knowledgeable catcher (you know, like in Bull Durham), but having a catcher who doesn't know what he's doing sounds like a bad time for a battery. I also noticed there's an ONA from 2020 with these characters except set after high school, while this new TV series is set at the beginning of high school. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'm going to assume the ONA adapted material from later in the original manga, and it's not the TV series aging everyone down to make them more relatable to an adolescent audience.

As for the rest of the new Spring 2024 anime that I'm going to try out...

  • Jii-san Baa-san Wakagaeru (Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again). Everything I know about this comes from its title. I can't tell from the promo art if I'm looking at the couple while they're old, but they look oddly young, or if I'm seeing them when they're already young again, but they still look oddly old.
  • Unnamed Memory. @frog_kun raved about the source material years ago. My taste and hers often don't align, and she tends to be a lot more enthusiastic than I am about the same titles, but it's still enough of an endorsement to warrant a try.
  • Seiyū Radio no Ura Omote (The Two Sides of Voice Actor Radio). Hasegawa Ikumi is in it. I don't think she's voicing one of the leads, though.
  • Ooi! Tonbo is about golf. Eh. Golf.
  • NIJIYON ANIMATION 2. Yeah, I'm watching more because they're making more. It's a vicious cycle.

Dated 16 January 2024: 10 years of Tales of Wedding Rings

Satou and Hime
This anime bed is made of concrete.

I've been reading Kekkon Yubiwa Monogatari (Tales of Wedding Rings) since it first came out a decade ago. It's honestly not an especially compelling story, but I got in at the ground floor because I like Maybe, the manga duo who also gave us Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts) and Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia). Wedding Rings is a fairly straightforward Hero v. Evil Menace fantasy story. It's also one of those deals where the hero's strength is bolstered by the power of polygamy. There are plenty of stories where magic abilities correspond with boner status (e.g., Dakara Boku wa, Ecchi ga Dekinai and Dokyuu Hentai HxEros, among others), but that's not quite what's going on here.

Saphir, Nephrites, Hime, Granart, and Amber
There sure has been a a lot of polygamy anime lately.

Still, the whole going-on-wife-collection-adventures thing sets the tone for what you can expect. I don't think the anime will attempt to cover the entire manga in a single cours, but I also have my doubts about the likelihood of this getting multiple seasons. Through two episodes, it's mostly just fine, although I'm less enthusiastic about it since most of what I liked about the manga is how it looks. In comparison, the Tales of Wedding Rings anime simply looks like, well, just another anime. I'm sticking with it, but I can see how anyone coming to the series with a blank slate may be somewhat unimpressed.

Dated 2 January 2024: The End of 2023 ~Air/My Purest Heart for Tired Evangelion Jokes~

Suletta
I don't mention Witch Gundam until the end.

I started out thinking about doing a "Best Anime of 2023" summary, considered a "Favorite Anime of 2023" post would be better instead, then briefly contemplated an "Underrated Anime of 2023" write-up next before settling on just highlighting a few series I enjoyed without constraining myself to any particular category. And here we are. Don't be afraid of your freedom.

Yamada
This is the face Anna makes when she overhears people speaking from the heart.

Foremost is BokuYaba (Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu | The Dangers in My Heart), which I'm front-loading because its second season begins on January 7th. Get on it, if you haven't already. This has been a hard sell on occasion because summaries describing it are so misleading. The irony is not lost on me that a series I praise for its authenticity deceives the audience at the outset with misdirection. As I've previously advised, Kyoutarou is not an "edgelord," he's a cringelord. BokuYaba is about the mistakes that occur when people make bad assumptions about themselves and others. Likewise, it's a mistake to make assumptions about BokuYaba.

Soyo, Raana, and Taki
MVP.

Second, I got to BanG Dream! It's MyGO!!!!! late, but better late than never, eh. I had initially written it off as some sort of Cute Girls Doing Cute Thing show cobbled together as a vehicle for yuri 'shipping, but it turns out to be about DRAMA. Probably, technically, it's melodrama, but that bit when Best Girl Rāna starts backing up the singer (whose pockets may still be filled with rolly pollies) while she's forcing herself to bleed out on stage instead of packing up so everyone can get the Hell out of there? And then Rāna seamlessly transitions to The Forbidden Song that causes the Begging Bassist to go completely mental as The Quitter quits the venue and nearly banishes herself from the hero's party by piling down some stairs? That is some Good Shit right there.

Ganta and Isaki
Especially if the entire story includes telescopic sex.

Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia (Insomniacs After School) was a lot better than I was expecting. It's not much of a stretch to imagine a couple of teenagers who spend a lot of time napping together might also fall in love, so, spoilers, I guess. Mostly I'm glad neither of them tragically dropped dead at the end of the anime or some bullshit like that. The manga did end recently, but the U.S. release is still 10 volumes behind, so I'm on the fence about reading it before it's caught up, considering how many other titles I'm still following. What they ought to do is make more of the anime and cover the entire story.

Umi
Not one Like!

The IDOLM@STER Million Live! was entirely too short considering how many idols it featured, but at least we got an Umi episode. If y'all ain't heard, I do love me some Umimi.

Frieren
I enjoyed how nonchalantly Frieren made this decision.

Beyond this list, there are a lot of really good shows that I watched in 2023 that you probably already know about. Like, is it necessary to say I'm enjoying Sousou no Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End), or that Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury) was fuckin' great? The former is hugely popular and is continuing into the Winter 2024 anime season, and the latter is frickin' Gundam, so it's not as if anyone is going to forget about it. I certainly won't. Honestly, there is entirely too much capital-G Good anime each year, and 2024 doesn't seem as if it will be any different.

Dated 28 November 2023: I stopped watching seven shows during the Autumn 2023 anime season

Komari
Everyone loves this shark.

It's probably misleading to say I dropped seven shows this season, since I wasn't expecting to finish any of these when I started them. (There's a lot of other anime this season that I find much more compelling.) Anyway, I dropped two shows after a single episode: Hikikomari Kyuuketsuki no Monmon (The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess) and Kimi no Koto ga Dai Dai Dai Dai Daisuki na 100-nin no Kanojo (The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You). I understand Hikikomari has it's fans, but it really wasn't for me. Hyakkano, I've addressed already.

Pepesha
SHY has a Mamikore alcoholic.

I watched two episodes of Saihate no Paladin: Tetsusabi no Yama no Ou (The Faraway Paladin: The Lord of Rust Mountain) and three episodes of SHY and Tearmoon Teikoku Monogatari: Dantoudai kara Hajimaru, Hime no Tensei Gyakuten Story (Tearmoon Empire). I didn't find anything objectionable about these three shows. I probably would have watched them during a duller season, or if I had more free time right now. I suppose it's worth noting Saihate no Paladin is the second cours of something I watched two years ago, but I did lose interest towards the end back then.

Keiya and Isaku
This is some beach episode.

Somehow, I watched five episodes of Ojou to Banken-kun (A Girl and Her Guard Dog) which is a very shoujo age-gap romance notable only because the would-be couple starts the series already into each other. I guess it's also notable for having a lot of plot contrivances, and for having a Kitou Akari lead who sounds extremely Kitou Akari, if that's important to you. I also watched six episodes of Boukensha ni Naritai to Miyako ni Deteitta Musume ga S Rank ni Natteta (My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer), which is sort of a lot of episodes for a show that I never found especially interesting. Mostly, I was motivated to continue watching because the source material has ended, so I was at least not concerned about getting a non-ending ending. Hayami Saori voices the lead, so S-Rank Mususme has that going for it if you're a Hayamin fan.

Dated 7 November 2023: There sure is a lot of polygamy this season

Shino and Naoya
Potential Girlfriend Number Three might be Best Girl.

The second season of Kanojo mo Kanojo (Girlfriend, Girlfriend) is currently airing. It's maybe not quite as absurd as its first season, but it's still pretty wild. It's definitely not a series the viewer is meant to take too seriously, but the characters are earnest. If a show about a two-timer forcing himself to keep potential girlfriends numbers three and four at bay isn't wacky enough, this season also includes the anime adaptation of Kimi no Koto ga Dai Dai Dai Dai Daisuki na 100-nin no Kanojo (The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You or Hyakkano for short).

Karana, Rentarou, and Hakari
Thanks to divine intervention, Potato-kun pulls chicks like none other.

Spoilers: There aren't really 100 girlfriends in 100 Girlfriends, at least not yet. I presume there eventually will be, but I don't believe the source material has gotten anywhere near that goal yet. I've read some of the manga, and it's reasonably funny, although not really my sort of thing. It's at least successful in running with its ridiculous premise. However, I didn't like the anime as much; I dropped it after only one episode. That's not to say you should avoid the series. Hyakkano seems pretty popular this season (more so than Kanojo mo Kanojo Season 2). I'm simply following too many other anime this season, so a lot of stuff I might watch at other times got cut.

Dated 1 August 2023: My Happy Marriage doesn't seem so happy yet

Kaya and Miyo
The stepsister is such a cunt that I'm starting to like her.

I started watching Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon (My Happy Marriage) because it features Ueda Reina in the lead role. The premise involves a girl who has been mistreated by her family ever since her mother died. She is arranged to be married to an infamously cold man who has reportedly frightened multiple previous fiancées into running away. Naturally, it turns out he's actually a good person who cares about her. She also thinks he's hot. Oh, and he has magic powers.

Kiyoka
Dude's actually in the military. He's not LARPing.

Maybe this element of the setting was deliberately concealed, or maybe my casual perusal of the show's promotional material caused me to miss this detail, but yeah, people in this world have magic powers. Notably, the My Happy Marriage heroine lacks any supernatural powers (or at least appears to lack them), despite being part of a bloodline renown for magic ability. This is ostensibly the reason why everyone has been so cruel to her, but really it's just because they're all sadists. I dunno what to tell you. Sometimes people are assholes.

Dated 25 July 2023: The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses is not a GoHands atrocity

Kaede
The girl you like is a mental case, Potato-kun.

I am going to go ahead and claim Suki na Ko ga Megane wo Wasureta is good, actually. Or rather, it's good for sufficiently unclear definitions of good. I probably can't reasonably claim that The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses is objectively good, but it is the Summer 2023 series that I am looking forward to the most each week. Notably, the jarring visual flair associated with GoHands in recent years is toned down considerably compared to something like 2017's Hand Shakers, for example. In fact, I'm going to claim the visuals are my favorite part of Sukimega.

Maho, Ai, and Asuka
Look at how pissed off she looks while casually greeting her friends. This is the best.

Specifically, I thoroughly enjoy how Potato-kun's love interest spends nearly all of her screen time squinting. It makes her appear constantly cross. (This is an actual plot point.) That's it. That's the entire reason and 100-percent of the show's appeal to me. (It's good squinting, Brent!) I do wish the series had more going for it. At least Potato-kun doesn't actively irritate me all the time anymore. Ai being helplessly blind without her glasses is a repetitive joke that mostly makes her appear, ah, not very smart, unfortunately. The romance angle is fine, I guess. It's neither good nor bad in my view. The wall-to-wall angry squinting, however, is world class. Good job, GoHands.