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Dated 4 June 2024: Unnamed Memory is a mess

Tinasha and Oscar
I'm disappointed the law of conservation of mass does not apply to cat-mode Tinasha.

Remember when I said, "I like Unnamed Memory even though it feels rushed"? Yeah, about that... Well, it definitely still feels rushed in ways that are absolutely to its detriment. Basically all of the plot beats in the anime seem to occur arbitrarily without being properly introduced or established in any sort of way that I should care about. I have to assume the books are not like this, but I don't know why the anime adaptation would choose to depict events this way. With only a few episodes left in the cours, it's unsalvageable.

Tinasha
I'm disappointed fan art does not dwell on the weird tan lines Tinasha should have.

In fact, I'm so unsatisfied with the Unnamed Memory anime that I have zero interest in reading the books even though they're all but guaranteed to be better. That doesn't matter anymore. To be clear, I had considered it initially. The series is complete and only six volumes long. Maybe I wouldn't end up liking it, but there was enough positive buzz about it that I was willing to read the first volume and see how it goes. Nope, not anymore. The anime isn't bad enough for me to drop it entirely this close to the end, but it is bad enough to kill any interest I might have in uncovering what potentially went wrong.

Dated 23 January 2024: Chained Solider is what we're calling it to avoid having Slave in the title

Kyouka and Yuuki
It's not a date.

Mato Seihei no Slave (localized as Chained Soldier instead of as Slave of the Magic Capital's Elite Troops) is a new anime based on the manga by the same author who wrote Akame ga Kill!. Consequently, you might expect it to be edgy nonsense (I mean that in a good way, okay), but it's more of a gratuitous fan service romp. I suppose I could characterize the manga as a guilty pleasure except I don't feel guilty about enjoying it. It's great, actually.

Himari and Yuuki
You're in the sort of anime where this happens, Himari. Deal with it.

Through three episodes, the anime isn't quite as good, mostly because (I suspect) this is the sort of thing that works better as manga than as anime. For one thing, there's something not right about seeing it in color—or at least in these colors. There is, also, the fan service, which does honestly come across differently animated than in manga form. Still, I'm generally in favor of gratuitous content, even if a show is forced to prepare a censored version for the delicate to go along with the uncensored version for general audiences.

Kyouka and Yuuki
See, just like Fullmetal Alchemist.

Oh, am I going to need to describe the premise? Fiiine. Chained Soldier is about women (well, teenage girls, mostly) with superpowers defending the world (well, Japan, mostly) against inhuman monsters. The leader of one of these groups has the ability to enslave these beasts, but it turns out her power works on humans, too (well, on one male human in particular, anyway). Naturally, payment is required in exchange for using this power. In principle, it's like Darker than Black (where a price is paid for using one's powers) or, uh, Fullmetal Alchemist (where, uh, you know, equivalent exchange). Same thing, honestly, except lewd.

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 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 21 March 2023: I expected more from MagiRevo

Anisphia
There are a lot of reaction shots in MagiRevo.

Before the season started, Tensei Oujo to Tensai Reijou no Mahou Kakumei (The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady) looked like it would be okay, but not something I was motivated to start watching as soon as possible. I was content to see what the initial reactions to the anime were like first. As if turned out, those impressions I saw seemed overwhelmingly positive, so I decided to give the series a try after I had dropped some of the other shows that I had been watching instead.

Ilia and Euphyllia
So many reaction shots.

Through six episodes, I would describe Tenten Kakumei as being basically fine, but it's still not something that particularly appeals to me. From the looks of it, a lot of the fans of the series are mostly in it for the relationship between the two leads. However, I still don't believe the chemistry between them is as compelling as it ought to be. I feel mostly the same way about everything else, too, such as the setting and the stakes. I'm simply not invested in anything that happens, which is a bit of a surprise considering how favorable the other sentiments I've seen have been. I don't have any major complaints, but I'm starting to think I'd have more fun watching it if I did.

Dated 20 September 2022: I hope Lycoris Recoil and Engage Kiss can both stick their landings

Chisato and Takina
What are you thinking about?

You might see Lycoris Recoil and Engage Kiss compared every so often (and I guess that's what I'm doing now), but they don't share much in common. Well, I guess they both have Aniplex and A1-Pictures behind them, and both anime air on Saturdays, but the shows themselves aren't similar. Also, both are headed towards a big finish this weekend, although I can see how Lycoris Recoil might earn itself a sequel, depending on how things go.

Chisato
Look, there aren't even any bullet holes!

To be clear, Lycoris Recoil is a significantly better show than Engage Kiss. I like both, although for different reasons, but there's a good reason why fans of Lycoris Recoil are so enthused. It features a well-balanced mix of serious drama with genuine stakes, wacky high jinks, and significant amounts of entertaining (albeit unrealistic) gun play.

Sharon and Shuu
My opinions about SHARON HOLYGRAIL are wholly positive.

On the other hand, Engage Kiss has a combat nun sensibly named SHARON HOLYGRAIL who only takes off her habit's headpiece during sex. It also features a high school demon girl whose motivation for being so devoted to Potato-kun is somewhat unclear. She at least seems willing to accept she must have had a good reason. Maybe she found instructions scrawled on her hand telling her to be, and just assumed there was a good reason that she merely forgot.

Dated 13 September 2022: I guess that's why Yofukashi no Uta is a noitaminA show

Nazuna
Not sure if gap moé.

I generally expect more from anime airing in the noitaminA block. It's not always a clear indicator of quality, as there have been a fair number of noitaminA shows that seemed "undeserving" of the designation, but they do seem to be better more often than not. In the case of Yofukashi no Uta (Call of the Night), I have read some of the manga because I enjoyed the author's previous work, Dagashi Kashi, but I can't claim to have been a huge fan.

Seri
What's a nice girl like you doing in an alley at night?

The Yofukashi no Uta anime adaptation, though, is really well done. The visuals, the music, and Tenchan's characterization of Nazuna are all top-notch. (Haruka DeTomaso Pantera also appears in the anime, and Sawashiro Miyuki is reportedly joining the cast as well.) There's honestly not much about the show's ostensible plot that I especially care about, but each episode continues to impress me with the execution. It's possible I merely failed to fully appreciate the manga, but Call of the Night might also deserve to be one of those examples where an anime adaptation improves upon its source material.