Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 8 August 2023: I dropped Zom 100 way before getting to #100

Akira
Enjoy your life.

I was impressed by the energy and style of the first episode of Zom 100: Zombie ni Naru Made ni Shitai 100 no Koto (Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead), but it was probably inevitable that I would lose interest so fast. I don't have much enthusiasm for zombie-type shows most of the time. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say I dislike zombie-related media in general. In that sense, it's a testament to the first episode that I liked it enough for me to watch three more.

Shizuka
Do more cardio.

I suppose part of why I kept with it even that far can also be attributed to the arrival of a mysterious, cool survivalist voiced by Kusunoki Tomori. I was hoping she'd stick around, but she disappeared entirely as the show turned its attention to expanding the cast. I presume she'll be featured prominently again soon enough once all the introductions are complete, but I don't feel like watching all of that. The source manga is still ongoing, so I'm taking that to mean I'll only have a non-ending ending to look forward to even if I do stick with the anime. For viewers who enjoy zombie stories, it's probably still an entertaining series, but I'm out.

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.

Dated 4 July 2023: The Yohane anime is...fine, I guess

Yohane
What you really need to do is advertise.

The Summer 2023 anime season has barely started, but we have two episode of Genjitsu no Yohane: SUNSHINE in the MIRROR (YOHANE THE PARHELION -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR-) already. This is a spin-off of Love Live! Sunshine! based on an April Fool's gag. The basic premise is sort of interesting. Take the chuuni character and build a magical reality around her. Well, that is what this anime seems to have done, but I probably don't care enough about Love Live! Sunshine to fully appreciate it.

Yohane
Don't wear your boots in the bath.

As a standalone anime, it seems good enough to be a pleasant show for viewers looking for this sort of light fantasy. I don't think familiarity with the specific characters or of Love Live! in general is necessary to appreciate SUNSHINE IN THE MIRROR. However, I also think we're meant to derive some satisfaction in seeing familiar faces re-imagined in this way. Hence, I don't doubt there are true fans who are ecstatic about this series. For now, I'm ambivalent at best. What I really want is a Saint Snow appearance, mostly because that increases the likelihood of new Saint Snow songs, and I do love me some Saint Snow songs.

Dated 20 June 2023: If my Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia post is late this week, it's because I overslept

Ganta and Isaki
I appreciate the focus on photography.

I decided to watch Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia (Insomniacs After School) on a whim this season purely because its anichart/anilist synopsis described the series as being about two insomniacs who secretly sleep together in their school's abandoned observatory. [Note: Sleeping together as in both literally napping, not sleeping together as in sleeping together, okay?]

Isaki
Maybe I'm just nostalgic for life without light polution.

As it turns out, there's not very much napping in the show. I guess that would make for a boring series if the leads are conked out all the time. Although it occurs to me there is at least one anime that's literally just a girl sleeping, ain't there? Anyway, what Insomniacs After School is really about is two people who are clearly into each other taking their sweet ass time figuring it out. It's a pleasant show despite the typical arms-length romance. I find the leads engaging, and the characters in the supporting cast are personable.

Isaki and Ganta
Failing to plan is planning to fail.

I do think Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia focuses too much on the male lead's point of view. Ganta has significant hangups that shape his path through the story, but Isaki is a more interesting character. Initially, it appeared she might be one of those tragic love interests who dies of some sad anime disease, but this prospect seems less and less likely the more we learn about her. I mean, she still could drop dead, I suppose—I don't know how the manga is playing out so far—but it's not as if this is a Key visual novel, so I think she'll be fine.

Ganta and Isaki
Figure it out, you two.

Isaki and Ganta totally should be sleeping together more, though. Even if it's purely platonic, Insomniacs After School has them literally acknowledge that crashing together gave the two of them some of the best sleep they've ever had. I guess the series needs to stall to prevent the story from turning into documentary about making star babies in the observatory.

Ganta and Isaki
It's a good thing you made it to the shuttle on time.

The manga is currently 13 volumes long and still ongoing, so maybe this is one of those shows that really needs a second cours in order to really get going. I don't encounter a lot of discussion about the series, though, so I'm not exactly optimistic about the likelihood of getting more later. I definitely do want more, though.

Dated 13 June 2023: Dr. STONE is still good

Senku
Being confident helps.

No one who has been following the previous installments of Dr.STONE NEW WORLD (Dr. Stone 3rd Season) should be surprised it's still entertaining for basically all the same reasons. If there are criticisms to levy against it, they'll probably relate to how fast science is advancing. Or, I suppose more accurately, how fast production is advancing. There are no quality control problems or time constraints in the story that prevent the characters from designing and constructing whatever marvel is necessary to overcome the latest predicament. Everything just works. And that's okay! This is not a series about the 99-percent perspiration part. It's also consistent with the other feats regularly displayed.

Kohaku
Kohaku knows what she's doing.

Frequent readers of this blog (and of my grousing on the Twitter) may recall I regularly complain about tropes and storytelling conventions that I broadly describe using the pejorative "shounen jive." I don't have strong opinions about this from a taxonomic perspective, but my general sense is I'm perfectly fine with it (if what Dr.STONE does even qualifies as being shounen jive) providing that it's done in this way. I guess what I'm saying is I'm unsure if I regard Dr. Stone as the exception to a style of anime that I typically don't like, or if I like it because it does not adopt the elements I disfavor. In any case, the anime is still good, and the story seems to moving along well, and you should start watching it (from the beginning!) if you ain't started already.

Dated 30 May 2023: The Ancient Magus Bride is a better manga than it is an anime

Chise
I can't see a green chav suit without thinking of Squid Game.

I can't identify anything I think the Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus Bride) anime is doing wrong necessarily, but I don't enjoy it as much as I like the manga. On the surface at least, the anime is great. It looks beautiful. The casting and voice acting are both spot on. The production values in general are high. And yet I mostly only find the overall experience simply okay. Does that mean the direction is at fault for not optimizing the presentation of all these elements? I dunno. I still like watching it, but it doesn't astound me, and maybe I'm just griping because I feel as if it ought to.

Lucy and Chise
This is not Yuru Camp△.

As far as the currently airing second season goes, I suppose I'm naturally disinclined to be interested in its subject matter. Specifically, it is about Chise going to magic school. Aside from a few notable exceptions, I'm generally not enthused about magic schools as a setting. And taking someone out of an environment that was already interesting as a starting point, and then placing her in a magic school—well, that is objectively a step down. Nevertheless, I still find myself enjoying the corresponding manga arc despite my misgivings. In any case, the magic school setting is not exclusively why I'm never in a huge hurry to watch the latest episode of Mahoutsukai no Yome Season 2, but I can't rule it out as a contributing factor.

Dated 23 May 2023: [Oshi no Ko] is about revenge

Ruby and Kana
It helps that I like all the characters.

I enjoy the [Oshi No Ko] manga (localized as My Star, or My Favorite Idol, among other titles), so I'm pleased the anime adaptation is also going well. The manga is one of those stories that I happen to think is really good, but is constantly teetering on the verge of potentially going really poorly if it takes a couple of missteps. If anything, an anime adaptation for something like this is even more precarious, with additional opportunities to straight fuck it up.

Akane
Akane is a later arrival to the show, but also excellent.

Thankfully, it's getting everything right so far. It even took the unusual step of making its first episode 90 minutes long so that it could conclude with The Thing No One Will Talk About. It seems an odd spoiler to dance around, seeing as how important it is to shaping the rest of the (still ongoing) story, but I guess I'm doing it too, albeit mostly because everyone else has thus far. It's a conspiracy of silence!

Ai
It's not easy being a superstar.

Anyway, [Oshi No Ko] is about contemporary show business dynamics. I don't know how accurately it is depicting the production and public interactions side of things, but I at least enjoy feeling as if I'm getting an insider's perspective. It's the same sort of reason why I liked Shiorobako and Otaku no Video. Don't get me wrong—I'm also in it for the revenge plot that I guess I'm not talking about. I do love me some revenge.

Dated 9 May 2023: CATS: In re Yoru wa Neko to Issho S2 and Kawaisugi Crisis

Kyuruga
Is cat.

I am watching two shows this season about cats. The second season of Yoru wa Neko to Issho (Nights with a Cat) is basically the same as the first season. Some dude and his kid sister make unremarkable observations about a house cat's behavior. The episodes are only a minute or two long, but it's a pleasant little show about a cat doing cat-type things. I've watched 39 episodes so far, and it could probably run indefinitely because the source material (i.e., cats doing cat-type things) is essentially inexhaustible. I like it.

Yozora, Seiji, and Liza
Defeated.

On the other hand Kawaisugi Crisis (Too Cute Crisis) is sort of intense. The premise of this show involves alien invaders coming to Earth and discovering it is the only planet in the known universe that contains cute animals. Like, the cutest creature previously known to this spacefaring race is some doofy-looking thing that gets instantly blown out the competition by Earth's seemingly endless supply of cute animals. The series sort of only has one joke, but I haven't tired of it yet. It's basically the same sort of reaction gags that are more typical of food-related setups common to anime, only here it's aliens losing their minds about cats doing cat-type things. I dunno what to tell you, aliens. Brace yourselves. Cats are cute as fuck.