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Dated 16 April 2024: The iDOLM@STER: Shiny Colors is only medium shiny so far

Kano
Kaho, does your shirt say LOVE MEAT?

Prior to April, basically everything I knew about The iDOLM@STER: Shiny Colors came from fan art. However, I've since watched two episodes of the TV anime, and I guess it's fine? It's 3DCG animation, but it's at least as good as it was in the Million Live! anime. In fact, it might even be better. Unfortunately, I don't find Shiny Colors as interesting, but that may be because I felt I sort of knew the Million Live! cast better. Would prior familiarity be helpful in a show that seems to be a straightforward idols-doing-their-best series? I'm not sure.

Yuika
Learning Yuika wears a monocle made her my favorite L'Antica.

I wouldn't say I'm burned out on idol anime, but the Shiny Colors setup does feel a little rote so far. Frankly, I don't need to see idols doing their best. Hiori accusing Mano of not doing her best will be more interesting to me if Mano really does slack off and drag others down, but we all know that's not happening. Best case scenario, Hiori resents Mano and Producer all season for being dropped on her and Meguru, because it's demonstrates a lack of confidence that the original duo was good enough.

Kiriko
Well, I might dislike Kiriko if it turns out her gimmick is being constantly injured.

The part I liked best from the first two episodes so far was the completed L'Antica music video. That was pretty good, but I didn't really need to watch them filming it and overcoming unexpected production challenges. Ultimately, what this probably means is the Shiny Colors anime wasn't made for me, and I would presumably enjoy the experience a lot more if I already liked the characters before starting the series. I don't dislike any of them, but I'd much rather be watching a second season of Million Live! if I had a choice.

Dated 9 April 2024: Ooi! Tonbo: Life is like golf

Tonbo and Kazuyoshi
Beware the golfer with one club.

Someone on the IRC opined, "Tonbo is...it's like a kid's anime? But not really?" I didn't know what he meant, but I sort of understand after watching the first episode. It's Tonbo herself. She comes across as much younger. She's in her final year of middle school, but I would have no trouble accepting her as a seven-year-old child instead. Perhaps that's deliberate, since that's about when she lost her parents. A synopsis I saw described it as a car accident, but didn't specify where. Was it on the island? That seems to be the sort of small community where everyone knows each other. If it happened on the island, and there was another car involved, surely she would still see the driver of that vehicle all the time.1 How awkward. (My guess is it was off the island, and she moved there when her grandfather became her guardian.)

Kazuyoshi and Tonbo
Your name is Igaiga now. Deal with it.

Anyway, Ooi! Tonbo does seem tonally odd. I'm probably overthinking it, and it'll turn out to be an actual kid's sports anime. It does have familiar clichés such as when the pro golfer guy narrates amazing techniques that he spotted in a split second. However, the source material apparently runs in a weekly golf magazine (presumably for adults), so maybe the tone actually is weird for what it is. Not that I'm expecting something darker. This is surely an anime about good times on rustic golf island as a former pro golfer fleeing his old life gets his act together again with the support of genuine small-town folks and through the power of unorthodox golf techniques. There are already 49 volumes of the manga, though, and it's still ongoing, so anything can happen.


Note 1: I suppose all of the other occupants in a multi-vehicle collision could have also died, but I feel as if accidents that violent require speeds I wouldn't expect on the island. Probably they died off the island, or in a single-vehicle accident, or the entire parental death thing is an unexplained bit of the backstory that I'm completely overthinking. [Update: The second episode confirms their deaths occurred off the island.]

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 26 March 2024: I have too many shows teed up for Spring 2024

Nadeshiko
It's not a metaphor.

With less than a week left before the start of the Spring 2024 anime season, I currently have 19 shows that I'm willing to at least try. Moreover, I compiled this list weeks ago without closely scrutinizing what series will even be airing in April. There's a good chance I've overlooked multiple anime I'd also consider, and I may have missed series that were announced only recently. Based on past experiences, what's likely to happen is I'll end up dropping a lot of these, but that still leaves a significant number of shows to follow.

Kumiko
I didn't expect to like Hibike! Euphonium more now than when I started the series.

Some of these titles are a lock. For example, I'm guaranteed to follow Yuru Camp△ SEASON 3, Hibike! Euphonium 3, and Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 3 (KONOSUBA -God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! 3), and Wonderful Precure! regardless of how they turn out. Likewise, I'll probably stick with Kimetsu no Yaiba: Hashira Geiko-hen (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc) and The iDOLM@STER: Shiny Colors.

Mano
Everything know about Shiny idols, I learned from fan art.

Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha: Shijou Saikyou no Maou no Shiso, Tensei shite Shison-tachi no Gakkou e Kayou II Part 2 (The Misfit of Demon King Academy: History’s Strongest Demon King Reincarnates and Goes to School with His Descendants Season 2 Part 2) probably has enough momentum that I won't drop it outright, and I'm curious enough about the Spice and Wolf do-over (Ookami to Koushinryou: merchant meets the wise wolf) that I'll at least watch some of it, despite finding the first anime horribly overrated.1 Anyway, I support the assertion that good media do not need to be remade. Rather, it's the bad ones that would benefit from an opportunity at being unfucked. Since I have a generally negative opinion about the 2008 Spicy Wolf, then this remake should be right up my alley. I hope it's not bad a second time.

Lawrence and Holo
I've since learned Holo has "the form of a sweet 15-year-old girl" via @Kotobukiya_EN.

Besides these and a few more I didn't mention, the current lineup also includes eight new shows, at least two of which are anime-originals. There's even a baseball anime. This place could use more robots, though. Preferably giant ones, but I'm not going to be picky if the alternative is a robot-free-zone spanning three months, alas. It's probably hypocritical of me to say this, though, seeing as how I never got around to watching Brave Bang Bravern! during Winter 2024. I heard it's great. I suppose I could just watch that, but I can't resist New Season allure, and there's so much of it.


Note 1: I got to Spice and Wolf late, after its positive reputation was well established and generally uncontroversial. Well, I disliked nearly all of it for reasons too lengthy to include in this aside. I probably should have written a blog post detailing those reasons at some point instead of bitching about it on the IRC and on the Twitter (such as here, for example).