Fall 2020 Anime Impressions Part 2

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Here is part 2 of the list! If you have yet to see part 1, you can go to this link!

Average: Not the best, but not the worst, these anime are, simply put, okay, but have the potential to become great.

Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World (Funimation)

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Impressions: It’s a pseudo-Romeo and Juliet-style romantic war story that’s based on a light novel and manga by Kei Sazane, directed by Shin Onuma and Mirai Minato, and animated by Silver Link. It’s set in a world where military personnel fight against powerful witches and wizards. It’s kind of a unique setting, but with designs we have seen before. Let’s just say that the comments I have seen comparing the leads to characters seen in Sword Art Online are not new. I think the chemistry between the two leads is cute, and the action is solid enough, but it all feels like something we have seen before and done better. At least by the third episode, the plot is kicking in.

Magatsu Wahrheit (Funimation)

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Impressions: We have yet another anime based on a popular mobile game. It was developed by KLab. The anime itself was directed by Naoto Hosoda and produced by Yokohama Animation Laboratory. We have yet another steampunk/WW1-looking world with some fantastical elements. Unlike most anime that tend to look like this, the magic and world are more grounded, which is nice. It makes it feel more believable. However, it doesn’t stand out in most areas. It has decent action, a decent story, decent characters, and a somewhat cohesive world. I want to feel invested, but there isn’t much to be invested in that I couldn’t find in previous seasons or this season of anime. 

The Day I Became a God (Funimation)

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Impressions:  Well, in terms of original anime series, this show directed by Yoshiyuki Asai and produced by P.A. Works has some supposed baggage that comes with this release. The story of a young girl claiming to be Odin befriending a normal boy who just happens to be named after a sun goddess is an interesting premise, to say the least. While I am finding the dynamics between the two leads grating, it at least has some comedy that is legit funny. Granted, the first two episodes get close to running their best jokes in the ground, and I’m kind of curious to know if this girl is just messing with the boy or not. Still, she can be pretty obnoxious, so your mileage may vary with this show. Oh, and since this is apparently by a director of some known projects that go awry, if that is your thing, then maybe stick around to see how this one unfolds.

Warlords of Sigdrifa (Funimation)

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Impressions: So, we have a multi-media franchise entry with this one. It has two light novel series by Tappei Nagatsuki, two different manga by Kanari Abe and Takeshi Nogami, and this anime series directed by Hirotaka Tokuda, and animated by A-1 Pictures. It’s Evangelion mixed with Raiden, and for some reason, this world’s art direction isn’t working for me. Normally, I would be fine with old-fashioned customized fighter planes fighting angelic-looking monsters, but it’s not gelling with me. I think it’s mostly because of the cast. Outside of the whole debate of using teens as child soldiers, the designs clash with the overly serious aspect of the show. It also makes a terrible first impression with an hour-long first episode that drags out what seems like a single episode-level story. The animation is pretty great, but the dialogue isn’t all that memorable, and some of the dynamics between the characters feel a touch uncomfortable for me. There are some genuine solid moments of levity, but they are few and far between. It has the potential to maybe be one of 2020’s hidden gems, but it’s not gelling with me so far.

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear (Funimation)

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Impressions: This quirky isekai anime is based on a series of light novels and manga by Kumanano. The anime is directed by Hisashi Ishii and Yuu Nobuta. It was produced by EMT Square. Its one gimmick of a young 15-year-old getting zapped into an online VR MMO RPG with a special over-powered set of items is nothing all that new to the genre. Its cutesy art style is the only real thing that makes this show stand out. So far, it seems to have one real reoccurring gag with how strong the main character is, and it has gotten tired by the third episode. It is nice to get an anime in this genre with a female lead this time, but outside of that fun little addition, the fantasy world she inhabits is not all that interesting. There are some interesting aspects to her character, but they are her real-world self, and since she’s stuck in this fantasy world, we might not see them again. It’s a show that is struggling to keep me invested in its story, characters, and world.

DJ4D First Mix (Funimation, Crunchyroll, VRV, and HiDive)

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Impressions: I feel badly for this anime that’s based on a multi-media project by Bushiroad, because it had to come out almost a month after Hypnosismic Division Rap Battle Royale, and I worry that viewers are going to constantly compare the two due to their focus on rap and pop music. Sure, they are different projects and are entirely different setting-wise, but you know how the internet tried to make a drama fight last year with Fire Force and Promare? The petty nature of fandoms will never die. Anyway, this anime is directed by Seiji Mizushima and was produced by Sanzigen. It’s a cute premise of a girl wanting to be a famed DJ, and the CGI animation used is pretty alright. It’s expressive and snappy, so that’s more interesting than what that Berserk reboot had going for it. The music is popping, but otherwise, the anime is generic overall. You know what’s going to happen by the base set-up of the anime and the opening. I could see it may be getting better as the show goes on, but it’s an okay first impression at best.

Hypnosismic Division Rap Battle (Funimation)

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Impressions: This anime is based on a multi-media project by King Records, has a slew of manga written by Yuichiro Momose, a game developed by Idea Factory, and an anime series directed by Katsumi Ono, written by Shin Yoshida, and produced by A-1 Pictures. On one hand, this show’s premise of a world where weapons are abolished outside of specialized mics made for rappers is so dumb. I have no idea how this would work in real life. However, on the other hand, they commit to the silly premise, and you will laugh when you see someone rob a bank and hold a mic up to someone’s neck like it was a gun or knife. The rap battles are also fun, and it has even driven a lot of curiosity in the rap scene in Japan, which is pretty cool. The four rap groups the show follows are also distinct in their designs, personalities, and dynamics among one another. 

On the other hand, this show is so flippantly sexist with how it treats female characters, that it also takes away all of the goodwill that the show commits to its goofy premise and sometimes decent comedy. There are barely any female characters worth caring about, and I’m so worried about how they are going to handle the fact that the government is run by a woman. I was okay with it being mildly sexist at first, but now I’m worried about how sexist it’s going to go. The show has also lost the plot. We are about halfway through the first season and there has been no battle royale or big rap event. The rap groups know of one another, but so far, the battles have all been one-sided. I’m hoping the rest of the season picks up the pace.

Check in the part 3 soon!

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