Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 29 August 2023: The Summer 2023 Anime Season So Far

Mie and Komura
Enjoy this apple. Or else.

Somehow, Suki na Ko ga Megane wo Wasureta (The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses) is my top show this season. I say "somehow," but I know why: It's because the girl Potato-kun likes squints when she doesn't have her glasses (which is often), and it makes her look angry as fuck all the time. This is a dumb gimmick, but I love it. The juxtaposition between her appearance and her demeanor is so good. More surprisingly, outside of the trailer and first episode that made everyone (including me) assume GoHands was going to commit anime crimes all season long, the visuals have been fine. If anything, I'm sort of disappointed it looks as normal as it does. Maybe Sukimega would be a bottom-tier show during most quarters, but you go to Seasonal Anime War with the shows you have, not the shows you wish you had.

Ageha
Carcinization.

Hirogaru Sky! Precure is only sort of average as far as Pretty Cure seasons go, but it's such a step up from Delicious Party♡Precure that it seems wonderful in comparison. God, they really fucked that one up. Anyway, Hirogaru Sky! has made notable changes to the existing Pretty Cure formula. It has a "blue" lead instead of a "pink" one, it has an adult Cure, and it has the franchise's first male Cure. Nevertheless, despite these departures, the series as a whole seems really...normal.

Misha and Anos
Not even bothering to make a magic umbrella.

Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha: Shijou Saikyou no Maou no Shiso, Tensei shite Shison-tachi no Gakkou e Kayou II (The Misfit of Demon King Academy: History’s Strongest Demon King Reincarnates and Goes to School with His Descendants Season 2) re-started after a mid-season interruption that forced a delay for the remaining episodes of the cours. It's a lot of magic bullshit, none of which seems as interesting to me as the first season's Misha and Sasha content, but I haven't gotten tired of the constant ass pulls yet.

Yohane, Lailaps, and Dia
Dia still sucks, though.

Genjitsu no Yohane: SUNSHINE in the MIRROR (YOHANE THE PARHELION -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR-) needs more music. And where the Hell is SAINT SNOW? C'mon. I mostly like what it's doing anyway. It's had a few twists that are sort of interesting. I'm not sure I'm entirely on board with what the series has planned for what I presume will be a big finish, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. The Yohane focus has rehabilitated my opinion of Love Live! Sunshine!! to some degree, but I still think Nijigasaki and Superstar are superior installments overall.

Dated 4 April 2023: There's a new Setsuna in town

Kusunoki Tomori
Kusunoki Tomori welcomes her successor.

31 March 2023 marked Kusunoki Tomori's final day voicing Yuuki Setsuna in the Love Live! franchise. Hayashi Coco (alt: Koko) assumed the role beginning April 1st. This is hardly the first time anime characters have been recast, and this particular handover seems to have been handled well, but part of me wonders how necessary it really was. As far as I know, Kusunoki Tomori is still doing voice work and has only stepped down as the voice for Setsuna because health issues make the physical requirements of the live performances too demanding.

Hayashi Coco
The handover between Hayashi Coco and Kusunoki Tomori was posted on the YouTube.

Despite still claiming—even now—not to be a Love Live! fan, I consider Setsuna to be the franchise's best idol. (Shibuya Kanon is "only" its Best Girl and best character.) Of all the different Love Live! iterations, I regard Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai (Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club) as having the best music. This is in no small part due to how much I enjoy all of the Setsuna songs. Would I like them as much with someone else in the role? That remains to be seen, but I do know the Kasumi version of "CHASE!" from the Shuffle Festival album isn't quite as good as the original Setsuna one.

Setsuna and Kasumi
Nijiyon Animation was okay.

Personally, I think simply not having Setsuna appear during the live events ought to have been a viable solution, but this likely reflects a lack of appreciation on my part as to just how important those live events are to the franchise and its real fans. The production powers-that-be (not to be confused with the School Idol Deep State) surely fully explored every possible option and concluded that re-casting the role was the right decision.

Setsuna and Lanzu
Second-Generation Setsuna appears briefly in the Next Sky PV.

I don't know how many Nijigasaki-type things there will even be going forward, but I know there's one OVA already announced (Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai: Next Sky). I presume there are a lot of live events planned too. Thankfully, the reception to "Setsuna 二代目" appears to be very positive, so the newest Love Live! member at least shouldn't be facing an uphill battle for our hearts and minds.

Dated 28 March 2023: The End of Kantai Collection ~Air/My Purest Love for Sea~

Haruna
Ship girls as a concept still seems weird if I think about it.

After multiple production delays, the eighth and final episode of KanColle: Itsuka Ano Umi de (KanColle: Someday in that Sea, alternatively, KanColle: Let's Meet at Sea) aired on 25 March 2023. Being an outsider who is unfamiliar with the game, the second season of the Kantai Collection anime made me wonder whether its tone is reflected in the gameplay. It's been a while since I watched the first season and the movie, but I don't remember either of them being so consistently serious throughout. It would be easy to say the tonal shift is because so many ships "die," but at the same time it feels as if the series tries to soften the loss the way a parent might lie to small children by saying beloved pets have gone off to live happily on a faraway farm. Unless they really did go to a farm?

Haruna, Kirishima, Kongou, and Hiei
Ship girls sure age well.

Ultimately, I can't claim the second season of Kantai Collection was a good anime for anyone other than viewers who really wanted lingering shots of Shigure doing Shigure-type things. I don't mean to imply that the show is full of cheesecake and fan service. It's not—not at all. Rather, I mean that this short series felt like I was flipping through a photo album that captured memories of her experiences during the war.

Shigure
Shigure DIES. P.S. Spoilers.

Incidentally, I suppose I should acknowledge Kancolle's ties to World War II. Naturally, since the adversaries in its world are fictional "Abyssals" instead of the Allied powers, key events were re-imagined so that certain outcomes differed from their real-world counterparts. (It also allowed for the sort of cameos you might expect under these conditions.) Does this make the montages at the end of the final episode more or less poignant? Once again, as an outsider, it's not clear to me at all. Nevertheless, I appreciate the franchise for what it is, and I'm curious what the future has in store for it.

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 14 March 2023: Please make more Doomsday with My Dog

Master and Haru
This is not Yuru Camp â–³.

Sekai no Owari ni Shiba Inu to (Doomsday with My Dog) ended after 72 episodes. These are pretty short episodes to begin with, and they also barely qualify as anime. Think of them more as voiced comics or illustrated radio dramas. Nevertheless, I found the series entertaining, probably in no small part thanks to Uchida Maaya voicing the dog's unnamed master. She at least makes "Goshujin-sama" seem like a cool person to be roaming around with after the fall of humanity.

Master
Coffee is pretty great.

It appears there are only four volumes of the source material (a 4-koma comic), so the anime could have run out of strips to adapt, but at least it's listed as still running. Maybe if I wait five years there will be another 72 episodes. In the past, that would have seemed like a long time, but five years basically goes by in a flash now. To tell you the truth, it's starting to feel as if time passes at an alarming rate even after being converted to dog years.

Dated 7 March 2023: I started watching Let's Play Otome Games ~The Animation~

Lieselotte and Siegwald
She's so happy to see him.

I don't think I would normally watch Tsundere Akuyaku Reijou Liselotte to Jikkyou no Endou-kun to Kaisetsu no Kobayashi-san (Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte), but here we are. It's all right. Through four episodes, I would not exactly call it a must-watch anime, but I appreciate it at least features an original idea. Well, original enough that I don't recall having encountered anything quite like it before. The basic premise involves a couple of classmates who discover that a character in a video game is able to hear and respond to their voices. Instead of examining this phenomenon to better understand the scientific, theological, psychological, or mystical implications, they use this ability to shape the video game's story in hopes of preventing a beloved character's death.

Endou and Kobayashi
These two spend a lot of time alone together.

The titular Endou and Kobayashi from Tsundere Akuyaku Reijou Liselotte to Jikkyou no Endou-kun to Kaisetsu no Kobayashi-san do so well by the second episode that it seems all but certain some crazy plot twists must await me. Indeed, the fourth episode ends on a cliffhanger, and there's at least one likely antagonist who has made only occasional brief cryptic cameos thus far. I'm not really expecting much from this series, but I presume there will be some light romance that doesn't advance very far between the two players as they try to maneuver the video game prince into position to bend his betrothed over a, well, not a kotatsu—that would be an anachronism, but perhaps over some suitably fancy and exorbitantly expensive piece of antique furniture, thereby unlocking a sex scene the incorporates at least one desu wa during Lieselotte's throes of passion. It could happen.

Dated 28 February 2023: I stopped watching Handyman Saitou In Another World for the same reason I stopped reading it

Lafanpan
The Touyama Nao character sounds extremely Touyama Nao.

I like the basic premise of Benriya Saitou-san, Isekai ni Iku (Handyman Saitou In Another World). The series starts off well, but the anime suffers from the same problem as the manga: It develops a plot. As a gag anime with uncomplicated jokes about a normal schmuck who uses his unique skillset to assist a stereotypical RPG party of adventurers, the series is successful. It's consistently amusing, and it's rewarding to see the contrast between the appreciation Saitou receives in the fantasy world compared to how his blue-collar skills were taken for granted in modern Japan.

Lychee
Those cowards didn't animate Lychee's sex scene.

Because the Handyman Saitou anime is a faithful adaptation of the original manga, it doesn't take long for it to exhaust the more whimsical standalone chapters and reach the part with continuity and interwoven character backstories. At that point, it becomes more of a normal fantasy show, albeit still with comedy and parody bits. It never gets actually bad (or at least it didn't before I dropped it), but I lost all interest in watching more. Maybe it returns to the original flavor of the series, but I'm not motivated to push through—hoping for the best—to find out for myself. Someone else is gonna have to tell me.

Dated 21 February 2023: I've stopped watching anime-original episodes of Detective Conan

Ran and Kogorou
He's fine. Your dad has been knocked unconscious probably a thousand times by now.

The Meitantei Conan anime (localized as Detective Conan and Case Closed) has been running since January 1996. I didn't start watching it until much later than that, but I have been following it for something like 13 years. I did start from the first episode, but I ended up I skipped hundreds of episodes in what was at the time the middle of its run. Still, I've basically seen all of the episodes from the past decade at least, including a number of spinoffs. It's getting to be entirely too many because I'm tired of the anime-original episodes.

Ran
On the plus side, Ran will probably kick some guy in the neck next episode.

I've complained about this before, but now I've decided to stop watching the series aside from the episodes that draw from the source material. Thankfully, the Japanese-language Wikipedia entry gets updated in a timely fashion, making it easy to identify which episodes to pass up. It's not that there aren't good anime-original episodes, but there are entirely too many that don't seem worth watching when a show has run as long as Detective Conan. Incidentally, the plot episodes based on the manga do suggest the main story is getting somewhere, but I have no idea if that means a conclusion is looming, or if we'll still be in basically the same place a decade from now.