Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 9 July 2019: TO THE ABANDONED SACRED BEASTS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE

Schall
Have gun. Will travel.

The Summer 2019 anime season is upon us. First out the gate is Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts), an adaptation of an ongoing manga by the author/artist duo known as Maybe. Unlike the manga, the entire first episode and nearly all of the second episode provide background information for the primary characters first. The tail end of the second episode picks up where the first chapter of the manga actually begins, and the preview for episode three at least suggests the show will now be more straightforward about adapting the manga. I generally prefer when an anime isn't bound to its source material scene-for-scene. Being too rigid can be counterproductive from a storytelling perspective simply because anime, manga, and text have different advantages and limitations. You'd think this would be painfully obvious, but anime adaptations fail often enough that I'm genuinely relieved the MAPPA production seems to have put at least a little thought into this.

Hime and Sato
Also a childhood-friend romance.

To be honest, the Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e manga itself is merely all right. I have purchased all eight volumes currently available from Vertical, and I do enjoy it, but I'm also predisposed to like most of Maybe's work. The mix of seriousness and humor work for me, although the anime probably won't necessarily reproduce the more comic expressions that I enjoy from the manga. Incidentally, I also enjoy Maybe's other ongoing manga, Kekkon Yubiwa Monogatari (Tales of Wedding Rings), a double-isekai harem comedy with plenty of cheesecake and blue balls. The manga has been available via the Crunchyroll's manga jobbie for some time now, but hard copies published by Yen Press are also in print.

Dated 18 June 2016: High School Fleet finally gets something right

Hiromi
The last thing you'll see before Hiromi sumos the fuck out of you.

I've been fairly hostile towards Haifuri (High School Fleet) all season long. The problem is that, as military-otaku bait, it's completely ate up. It sort of tries to cater to that crowd, but it goes about it in a half-assed sort of way. Unfortunately, the season-long plot, mystery, and ongoing crisis are serious enough that I feel Haifuri needed to get its paramilitary parts right.

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Dated 31 March 2011: I've started watching Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (not quite comparing and contrasting magikal girl shows again)

Sailor Moon
Nice boots, Moon.

For some reason, I've never watched a single episode of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon until now—not even dubbed. Long heralded as a mahou shoujo classic, Sailor Moon ran for hundreds of episodes spread out over numerous season, although Pretty Cure has since surpassed it in terms of episode count. I'm passably familiar with some of the basic Sailor Moon elements such as the talking cat, the "punish you" catchphrase, and the A-list voice cast.

Usagi
Mahou shoujo faceplant in the making.

After two episodes, I've learned a few things I did not expect: I love Mitsuishi Kotono, but her Usagi voice is horrifying. It's closer to her Ebichu or her Suite Precure Hummy animal voices than her Misato or Mireille voices. Usagi doesn't even have Excel's charm, so this is going to make for a long batch of episodes if things don't improve. Second, the show is not as good as I had hoped so far. Granted, I've not even seen the tip of the iceberg yet, but so far it sits pretty low in my "Also Watching" queue. Finally, I understand Pretty Cure is unique for its heavy focus on combat, but I was under the impression Sailor Moon was a bit of a departure from the standard magikal girl party line for having a relatively higher emphasis on fighting than traditional mahou shoujo shows. So far that is not the case.

Cure Dream
Get some, Cure Dream.

Speaking of which, if pressed to choose Usagi's closest Pretty Cure analogue, I'd say so far she and Nozomi have the most in common. Usagi is a self-described clumsy girl, but thankfully I've yet to see her in full-on dojikko mode. There's one important difference between Nozomi and Usagi, though: Cure Dream would beat the living daylights out of Sailor Moon in a fight. Cure Dream doesn't play.