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Dated 10 January 2023: Witch Gundam: Some people need killing, Suletta

Suletta
Space Oomfie.

As you may have noticed, I really enjoyed the first cours of Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury). I've watched so little from the Gundam franchise that I'm hazy on a lot of its common, recurring themes. Nevertheless, I at least know the depiction of death and the consequences of war are integral companions (in some way) to the cool-robot plastic-model-sales aspects.

Nika
Nika realizing how much extra work killing that guy is going to create for her.

However, I'm not well versed in terms of how Gundam presents these elements or how it communicates its perspectives about them. My assumption is that it adopts a "killing is bad" approach, but I'm willing to trust it at least has a more nuanced view than something like Sword Art Online II:

2016-01-08-18:16< Evirus> The robber had already killed one person and was about to shoot the mom, the teller, basically everyone. But sniper girl, who was like five at the time, managed to get the gun and shot the robber dead. And she was a pariah ever since, even to her mother.

ANYWAY, I don't know if this ultra-pacifist view crudely depicted in SAO II in any way accurately reflects a mainstream Japanese view, nor do I know if Gundam has anything similar. For the purpose of this blog post, I'm going go assume neither are true. That said, episode 12 of Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo ends with a violent death that leaves one of its leads shocked and deeply troubled.

Prospera and Suletta
At a minimum, Prospera is way better than Sinon's mother.

Now, the most important aspect of this character's reaction is her disbelief the person responsible for the killing could appear untroubled by the act. That is the critical focus of the scene, but the implication "all killing is bad" still looms. We'll have to wait until the second cours begins in April 2023 for more clarity on these points, but anything other than unambiguously concentrating on the mental-state aspect of the scene will appear alien to me.

Unidentified gunman
I think this qualifies as an imminent threat to life or bodily harm even if he's not using the sights.

The distinction derives from my inculcation in a common American belief that using deadly force is justified in the defense of others. The legality and scope of this doctrine varies by region and jurisdiction (as do American self-defense doctrines and perspectives as a whole, for that matter), but I presume it's at least much more common in the United States than it is in Japan. I just don't know how it's portrayed in Gundam.

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 25 October 2022: Akiba Maid War was maid for me

Nagomi and Ranko
Nagomi is the main character, right?

Akiba Maid Sensou (Akiba Maid War) is fantastic. I initially had some reservations, but I gave it a try because it's an original anime and because I like the character designer. Maybe I didn't investigate the available information closely enough, or maybe the series was somewhat secretive about its content. Either way, I was mostly unprepared for what the show was actually going to be like.

Maids
I thought the show would be more like this most of the time.

As it turns out, Akiba Maid War is wild. Familiarity with the various stereotypes being smashed together probably would help to some degree, but it's likely not strictly necessary for one's enjoyment. It does seem this type of show is not for everyone, though, but at least curious viewers will probably be reasonably certain fairly quickly whether or not they are one of these people. At a minimum, any doubt will disappear by the end of the first episode.

Ranko
This is a spoiler, but it's probably only a spoiler if I tell you it's a spoiler.
P.S. Spoilers.

Through three episodes, Akiba Maid Sensou has easily exceeded any expectations I may have had for it. It will be absolutely incredible if the series can continue doing all the things it has been doing right so far. This is turning out to be an excellent anime season with a lot of good shows. Amazingly, they are also all entertaining for unrelated reasons.

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 15 March 2022: 86 Eighty Six ends its operational pause

Lena
Congratulations on not being dead.
P.S. Spoilers.

To tell you the truth, I sort of forgot 86 Eighty Six season 2 two had delayed its final 2 two episodes to March 2022 Two Thousand Twenty Two. I mean, things were sort of tense when we last saw our characters, but it totally could have just ended the season where it was. I would have accepted a cliffhanger-ish ending and an indefinite wait until the next cours, whenever that happens to be. I mean, I think it's reasonable to expect there will be another cours at some point. The anime seems pretty well-regarded, and I've warmed up to it as well, despite some initial misgivings.

Frederica and Shin
Congratulations on not being dead.
P.S. Spoilers.

86 is at its best when it's exploring how its characters relate to each other and to their shared experiences with war. These aspects of the series are much more compelling than how it depicts the war itself or the dynamics of the societies involved. This is not necessarily because I find many of those elements unrealistic, but rather more because I'm not invested in their outcomes. I'm not particularly invested in most of the characters either, but the series has devoted enough time to developing them that I can at least appreciate their emotional resonance.

Dated 8 February 2022: Girls' Frontline: ✅ Shoot, ☐ Move, ✅ Communicate, ☐ Do Cute Things

M4 SOPMOD II
I do love me some Yukarin.

Having an interest in firearms did not enhance my interest in the Girls' Frontline anime. My unfamiliarity with the video game was probably also a significant limiting factor. From an outsider's perspective, the first two episodes of Girls' Frontline (also known as Dolls' Frontline because of...reasons) featured tedious, protracted gun battles during which an endless stream of gunfire was exchanged until one side was sufficient attrited enough for the episode to concentrate on something else. It didn't make for great storytelling.

MP5
I didn't watch long enough to figure out if people are constantly slapping MP5.

Girls' Frontline is hardly the first "girls with guns" anime to have this problem. It's not even the first "girls who are guns" show to suffer in this way. Enjoying this anime requires either having pre-formed opinions about the characters (such as from already enjoying the video game) or dismissing things such as development and motivation as less important than appearance.

M16A1
I appreciate that M16A1 shoots left-handed.

In any case, I had no interest in watching anime versions of what I assume are battles based on game events. It seems weird to admit, but I would have had more interest in Girls' Frontline if there were no fights at all. Cute Guns Doing Cute Things probably isn't exactly the sort of gimmick most people wanted to watch, but I would have been more interested in that than in what we actually got.

Dated 16 November 2021: I don't care if Takt Op. Destiny probably isn't supposed to be written as {tákt: op. Destiny}

Ms. Brown, Cosette, and Anna
To a Musicart with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I'm adding braces and styling the title of {tákt: op. Destiny} this way because doing so approximates how it appears in the anime. It also seems appropriate because the series itself is also very stylish, possibly to its detriment. It is a neat looking show, but I don't know if I can call it good. Nevertheless, at a minimum, the idea of using eccentric superpowered girls to fight off the monsters that attack whenever they detect music is sort of interesting. It's not exactly the sort of anime that everyone will like, though.

Walküre
Walküre should definitely be singing while fighting.

It would probably benefit {tákt: op. Destiny} to feature more music. Since the focus is on classical music, I guess it's not realistic to expect the Musicarts to sing while fighting, Symphogear style. I would absolutely enjoy an aria or two, but Takagaki Ayahi is not in the cast, and I don't expect there are many other seiyuu who would theoretically be up to the task.

Takt, Cosette, and Anna
I find it odd that no one is riding shotgun.

This is also a road trip anime. I appreciate those because they're sort of rare. (I get the feeling Japan's extensive rail infrastructure contributes to the relative scarcity of road trip anime.) It works here because {tákt: op. Destiny} is set in the United States. I guess it's not technically a road trip anime, but there is a road trip in it. Close enough, eh.