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Dated 17 January 2023: In/Spectre S2 is my favorite show this season

Masayuki and Yuki-Onna
All things considered, he's taking this well.

I liked the first season of In/Spectre enough to start buying the manga. 16 English-language volumes later, the second season has finally started. As far as the name of the series goes, Kyokou Suiri (Invented Inference) is what the author titled it back when there was only going to be one book (covering the "Steel Lady Nanase" story). After writing more, he lamented the original title isn't as apt as it was originally. (See the author's notes in volume nine of the manga.) Eh, it happens. "Karmaburn" doesn't really sound like the name of an anime blog, for that matter.

Yuki-Onna and Masayuki
He has gratitude and money, and she needs need cash to buy ice cream.

Anyway, Kyokou SuiriInvented InferenceIn/Spectre Season 2 is great, although I can see how it might be a mixed bag for anime-only viewers. It's not really paced for seasonal anime, and long monologues are not uncommon. I, for one, find the mysteries interesting, the stories clever, and the characters enjoyable. I don't know how long the author, Shirodaira Kyo (城平京), intends to continue writing this series, but I hope it's for a long time.

Dated 22 November 2022: Collecting Kantai with the ships you have

Shigure
I like Shigure because she has nice hair.

Is it necessary to watch the first season of Kantai Collection before watching the current anime? No, but it turns out the answer is no for an atypical reason: Because it wouldn't help. This is to say that my ignorance of Kancolle as a franchise—despite having watched the first anime nearly EIGHT YEARS AGO still leaves me with an incomplete understanding about KanColle: Itsuka Ano Umi de (KanColle: Let's Meet at Sea). I've also watched the movie. That doesn't help, either.

Mogami
I might have recognized you if you had more fan art.

Through three episodes (it started late), there's nothing I remember of the previous Kancolle anime that would assist me with the second season. What would really help is a greater understanding of the video game. I would probably also benefit from being more familiar with the actual ships and the naval battles they joined. As it is, I am less invested in the show and its events than I think it wants me to be.

Shigure
Looks humid.

This is not to say that the anime is confusing or difficult to follow, though. The plot so far is straightforward and the characters' motivations are not unclear. What I'm missing are ties to the characters themselves, since I basically don't know any of them. Shigure, the lead, I only know because an old anime blogger used to post about her regularly. She seems okay, but I don't expect to be as moved as I might otherwise be if the season really does turn out to be about her survivor's guilt.

Kongou
Are you going to die this season?

Of course, I don't genuinely know if an emotional connection with these boats is really going to be necessary to get the most out of the long-awaited second season of Kantai Collection. The opening episodes have had a much more serious tone and higher stakes than what I remember of the first season. This could change, but we're quite a distance away at the moment from curry battles and friends who poi all day and POI POI POI all night. Kongou did briefly appear in the most recent episode, though. Maybe her BURNING LOVE remains unquenched.

Dated 15 November 2022: Imagine SPY x FAMILY without spies or family

Yor
Yor doesn't have anything to do in this show.

SPY x FAMILY is one of those well-made shows that I inevitably lose interest in despite not having any major complaints about it. Basically, the same thing happened as I was reading the manga, too. I just stopped one day and didn't really miss it. I suppose the series simply doesn't align that well with the sorts of things that I like despite not having any critical faults of its own.

Anya and Becky
I said Anya-focused school antics.

Well, I guess I do dislike Yor's brother. He's certainly my least favorite part of the anime thus far. And there's a Loid-obsessed lady who will appear later. She's not great either. Really, I think I would be satisfied with nothing but Anya-focused school antics. Maybe getting kidnapped less often, but still trying to do Anya-type things with her mind-reading abilities despite her efforts not always necessarily going to plan. I'd be okay with a show like that.

Dated 8 November 2022: I find Chainsaw Man more interesting than Golden Kamuy

Sugimoto and Asirpa
That is the sort of suspicious look reserved for strangers who don't eat brains.

Golden Kamuy is a good anime based on a great manga. The adaptation is fairly straightforward, and the series is now in its fourth season, with more than 40 episodes completed. Anyone still watching it has probably been with the show since the beginning or has at least read the manga. In my case, I believe this is the first time I've been ahead of the anime relative to how much I've read, even though my progress is governed by the release schedule of the English-language version published by VIZ. (The original run completed earlier this year.)

Denji
Relax, he gets better.

I suspect knowing what happens has dampened my enthusiasm for the Golden Kamuy anime somewhat. Although it's still good, an important part of the experience in the past has been my constant bewilderment at some of the unpredictable mishaps facing our intrepid (and not so intrepid) menagerie of heroes and misanthropes. In contrast, I don't know jack shit about Chainsaw Man.

Power
She did knock.

Well, I do know that the manga is wildly popular. I also know one of the characters who hasn't appeared in the anime yet dies. I was expecting a lot of fighting and shounen jive, but I was at least informed ahead of time that it does not have tournaments, so that's a plus.

Makima
Makima seems like a nice lady.

Through six episodes of the fourth season of Golden Kamuy and five episodes of Chainsaw Man, the former is doing well at all the things I expect it to do well, thanks to the strength of its source material. The latter is intriguing and features people being weird and stupid, but in amusing ways. Not surprisingly, it does have chainsaws, but there also seems to be less shounen jive than I was expecting. I'm still uncertain what the show is actually about, but I am more entertained than I thought I would be. I probably still won't bother reading the Chainsaw Man manga, though.

[Update: Via ANN, "Golden Kamuy Season 4 Delays Remaining Episodes Due to Staff Member's Passing."]

Dated 6 September 2022: Love Live! Superstar!! is still Kanon's show

Kanon
Come with me if you want to love live.

I had a lot of reservations when I learned Love Live! Superstar!! was adding new characters for its second season. Superstar!! was the only Love Live! iteration I regarded as actually being a good anime. Its much smaller cast was a big part of that. Through seven episodes so far, the second season has at least not ruined the good thing it had going, and remains pretty all right in and of itself. Kanon is still the character I like the most, though, and by a significant margin.

Keke
At least I like Cuckoo a lot more now than I did originally.

Fortunately, the second season continues to present Kanon as the Love Live! Superstar!! center point rather than taking a more chaotic or uncommitted ensemble-cast approach. For example, it sensibly found an excuse for Kanon to exhibit her preternatural ability to basically "fast travel" once again in order to personally set one of the newbies straight. It resulted in a scene that advanced both characters.

Shiki
She's weird.

Don't get me wrong. The rest of the cast is pretty good, too, and none of them actually suck. The supporting cast does suffer a bit from being relegated to various gimmicks at times, but they are being fleshed out more and more over time. It's not at all like, for example, Cure Honey from HappinessCharge Precure!, about whom I could tell you absolutely nothing that doesn't involve rice. Even Natsumi—the unpopular would-be video streamer who is obsessed with money—has more going on already than I initially feared.

Margarethe
I believe this is what the kids used to call being "extra."

This is not to say it's all been a huge success, though. MARGARETHE WIEN, or whatever her name actually is, disappeared basically immediately and looks to be another Lanzhu (from Love Live! Nijigasaki). I.e., someone contending for rival status who ultimately turns out to be mostly irrelevant. I'm also not particularly impressed with the character development for Shiki thus far, but I guess there is still nearly half a cours remaining. Maybe there will be something surprising to learn about her. Personally, I'm hoping she's secretly an android sent back in time from the future by Honoka to keep the idol wars from destroying humanity. It could happen.

Dated 30 August 2022: Overlord viewers who haven't read the books must be so confused

Philip
This fucker is too stupid to live. And yet....

I haven't checked if Overlord season four is adapting a proportionally greater amount of the source material than the previous seasons did, but it feels like it. The anime has covered a lot of ground at breakneck speed, and it appears the remaining episodes will bring us all the way to the end of volume 14 (at least based on the content in the OP). Notably, the anime has already skipped past the Holy Kingdom arc that will be covered by the upcoming movie.

Neia
GET HYPED

For anime-only viewers, this timeskip occurs without explanation. Unfortunately for anyone relying solely on in-show context to fill in the gaps when it comes to events and organizations not explicitly depicted in the TV anime thus far, there is a fairly significant error that appeared in the official subtitles for episode eight of season four. Specifically, the Holy Kingdom and the Slaine (Slane) Theocracy are treated as being one and the same. They are not. It's an understandable mistake if the translation team is working without the benefit of knowing what the movie will cover, since the Holy Kingdom hasn't been previously introduced in the anime at all, while the Theocracy has been a fixture since the first season.

King Ramposa III
This old dude.

To clarify, the Kingdom is the country that has featured most prominently in Overlord so far. It's called the Kingdom because, you know, it has a king (the old dude). Last season and this season, there's also the Empire. This is the country with (can you guess?) an Emperor (the young blond guy who is stressed out all the time). We don't know that much about the Theocracy, but they seem to be religious douchebags who deserve to get thrashed. The Holy Kingdom is the country receiving humanitarian aid (the grain that Philip steals) from our intrepid heroes.

Jircniv
This stressed-out guy.

The Crunchyroll's subtitles mistakenly refer to the Holy Kingdom as the Theocracy, which is incorrect and wildly confusing because Nazarick regards the Theocracy as an adversary and would have no reason to provide it with humanitarian aid. [Update: They fixed it.] It's spoilers for the upcoming movie, but I'll leave it up to your imagination to discern why the Holy Kingdom would need humanitarian aid. (Spoilers: Because it gets frickin' wrecked. This wouldn't have happened if y'all had more R.U.N.E.C.R.A.F.T.)

Dated 9 August 2022: Overlord IV ~I Love It When a Plan Comes Together~

Aura and Shalltear
For a kid who's only in her 70s, Aura has a lot to deal with.

I assume nobody is trying to watch the fourth season of Overlord without watching the first three seasons first or reading the books. Without the foundational background, most of the events so far must be somewhat confusing. Since the first anime season came out seven years ago, there are surely potential viewers today who were too young to get in on it in 2015. If any of y'all are reading this, I don't know what to tell you. At least all of it is available on the Crunchyroll, so it's accessible, even for non-subscribers using the free, ad-supported tier. Get caught up.

Shalltear
It's all right, Shalltear. You can just kill them all later.

In my case, I'm pleased simply to get more Overlord anime at all, even if years of memes may have colored my expectations as to how certain scenes ought to transpire. I'm also relieved that the use of 3DCG has (at least so far), not suffered as it did during the third season. Man, some of that was dire. I'm also pretty stoked there's a movie in the works that will cover one of the best arcs from the books. If you've seen people going on and on about some pope, that will make sense after the movie. It's gonna rule.

Dated 28 June 2022: I don't know why I watched Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL

Black Rock Shooter
That's some nice shootin', Rock.

I sure have watched a lot of Black Rock Shooter for someone who claims not to care about Black Rock Shooter at all. I'm not even confident my understanding about Black Rock Shooter in general is even accurate. As far as I know, it is a Hatsune Miku song that was turned into a sort of popular music video, then an OVA, then a 2012 anime written by Okada Mari, and now Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL. I don't even know if Dawn Fall shares continuity with anything that came prior.

Monica
It would have been better if the human characters didn't wear these masks all the time.

What I do know is that Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL was 12 episodes of a grimdark future where there is only war. Well, war and rape. I don't mean this in a metaphorical sense, and I can see why you might think that considering a lot of what happens in the 2012 Black Rock Shooter was allegorical. No, I'm letting you know that a significant plotline in the 2022 anime involves young girls being raped literally to death.

Smiley
Is it better or worse that the rapist is a big freaky robot with limited emotional range?

So, is Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL actually good? Well, mostly not? I don't know if it's better for people who have strong attachments to the franchise. I can't claim I do, although I recognize Dead Master and Strength as characters who were present in previous Black Rock Shooter installments—that sort of thing. And I'm not fundamentally opposed to a series introducing characters, trying to make us care about them, and then having something terrible happen to them. I don't think I'm in favor of sadism, but I can appreciate that a show like this can still exist, and even be associated with an IP people presumably still value. Also, learning this was licensed by Disney was wild.