April 15, 2021

Every Anime You Should Be Watching from spring 2020

It figures that the one time that all of us weebs can stay home, watch tons of anime, and not be called neet degenerates for it is also the time that tons of anime are being delayed, but what can you do.  There is still some good stuff left this season and I’m sure a lot of you are sitting around doing nothing and wondering what you should be doing with your social distanced lives right now, and I’m here to cover your back, late as usual, and tell you all every single anime, that’s left, that you should be watching from Spring 2020.

Now I do think that we’re past the worst of all of these delay announcements, Re:Zero season 2 broke my heart, My Teen Romantic Comedy season 3, tons of seasonals left and right, it’s not looking great out there but I think we’ve survived the biggest storm  and there are still some anime left this season that I want to recommend.  At the same time though, I am prepared to look like a clown in a month when the universe slaps me in the face for even daring to say that we’ve past the worst of the delays. 

FUGOU KEIJI: BALANCE UNLIMITED

  Fugou Keiji: Balance Unlimited for example, is one of the best premiere episodes of the season, ridiculously fun and over the top Bond style action with great character interactions,  jazzy soundtrack, and the entire internet collectively lusting over a single man so  hard that he went trending on Twitter. It’s delayed. It’s gone. I can’t talk about it anymore, I can’t recommend it because it got pushed back to next season and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. If you want to watch those first two episodes, get drawn in and then immediately have to wait an entire season to see the continuation, be my guest, but me personally, I’m just going to put those fire opening and ending’s on repeat and maybe just bring it up next season instead assuming there is a next season.

All of that being said, I thought it’d at least be worth telling you guys what things I’m enjoying at the moment and praying that nothing bad happens to them, and who knows, maybe 50 years from now when these shows are probably finished and the slum dwellers in the midst of their post-apocalyptic resource wars are reading this, they’ll find some cool anime to watch. So to those dwellers, I want to make it clear that this is a bunch of shows I’ve watched 1 or 2 episodes of, and cannot take any personal responsibility if they end up turning out trash. Sign here please. I’ll also be giving an extra special phenomenal stamp of approval to the shows that I think are extra good and should be put at the top of your priority list.

You see Kaguya-sama Season 2? APPROVED. You see Fruits Basket Season 2? APPROVED. I haven’t even finished the first seasons for these shows and I already know that these season 2’s are top quality stuff, so get on it. I had to take these measures to make sure the special shows stood out because even with all of the delays, this season is just absolutely insane. Okay, maybe not that insane. 

KONOSUBA (LEGEND OF CRIMSON)

If you asked me a couple months ago what some of my biggest anime sins were, among a myriad of my bad takes and incomplete catalog, I’d tell you Konosuba. They were right this is one of the greatest comedy series ever made. Konosuba is filled with loveable characters, my kind of dry and ironic comedy, and gorgeous animation that is stupidly expressive and expressively stupid. It’s really great but also aired three years ago, so why am I bringing it up now?

Well just recently Konosuba had a movie that was released for streaming called the Legend of Crimson, and I like bending the rules of my videos so I can talk about stuff I like so we’ll just say it’s a part of this season. Legend of Crimson is basically everything you would expect from a Konosuba movie, it feels like one gigantic episode of the series, but is surprisingly straightforward and has some of the best emotional beats I’ve seen from this story as a whole. If you love these characters as much as I do, you should probably stop what you’re doing and check it out while we’re in the painful wait for season 3.

GLEIPNIR

This season’s edition of people grossly underrating a series comes in the form of a supernatural action show where this dude can turn into a giant furry and has super strength and hot girls suddenly want to do lewd things with him… Screw it. Maybe it’s the furry wish fulfillment that turned people off, maybe it’s just the fan service in general, I don’t know, but hey I’m really enjoying this one so far. It’s got some really unique and unsettling vibes that almost remind me of what horror anime used to be back in the mid 2000’s.

Take the main girl for instance, yes, she’s hot as hell, yes I want her to do things to me that I will not mention at this time, but you also immediately get this maniacal, sociopathic vibe from her that’s really off-putting, and for some reason that off-putting vibe to her and the rest of the cast and the show only makes all of it more interesting. Now let’s move on before my poor judge of character starts revealing itself even more.

BRAND NEW ANIMAL

While we’re talking about shows where people turn into furries, let’s move on to another fantastic premiere this season, Brand New Animal. Studio Trigger saves anime once again with this exciting new series and I already know what you’re thinking, first it was Beastars in Fall, then it was Gleipnir, and now it’s this, I’m sure you’re wondering how long I can hide putting my fetishes into these lists and you’re right, it’s time to fess up, I have a crippling addiction to well written and well produced anime I know. I do have to mention that I think a lot of people dismissed BNA because of Beastars, because of how fresh it is on everyone’s mind, and how good it ended up being, but you have to realize that this is a completely different animal from what that series was.

Beastars is this gripping, understated drama that takes a more realistic approach to exploring its themes of prejudice and self-identity. BNA on the other hand is about as Studio Trigger as you would expect, it’s loud, it’s over the top, it’s bombastic, and above all it’s fun as hell. Instead of an all animal society like in Beastars, you have this mix of humans and animals that are the core of BNA’s xenophobic themes and where all of the social commentary comes from.

You also have this wolf who is basically furry Batman so I don’t think I have anything left to say about why you should watch this show, BNA gets a PHENOMENAL stamp of approval and I encourage you to make this series one of your top priorities this season. It’s stuck in Netflix jail of course, because Netflix seems to have the same fetish for quality anime that I do, but you should already know the drill by now if you don’t want to wait for them to finally make it available in half a year.

TOWER OF GOD

In order to understand the context of this next show though, we actually have to go back half a year instead, when the official announcement came in that Tower of God would be receiving an anime adaptation. Now I don’t know what kind of people you guys surround yourself with but for me, I feel like I’ve been hearing about Tower of God since the beginning of time, back before the creation of the universe where there was only darkness and this one celebrated manhwa that felt like everyone and their mother had already read. It was a property that seemed to have an endless number of fans ready to tell you how good it is, and because of that hype, I kept wondering what kind of series could this actually be, the trailers were vague, the key art was cool, what sort of strange phenomenon could this show culminate in, it’s just Hunter x Hunter.

Now believe me, I don’t want to copy the tired comparisons everyone has been drawing between this series and Hunter x Hunter’s Exam arc but… well, the Tower of God author didn’t mind copying Togashi so you guys can give me this, right?

Tower of God is about a kid named Bam chasing after a girl named Rachel who’s chasing after a dream that she can only achieve at the top of this tower filled with dangers and spectacle and godly music. Saying it’s a rip-off of the Hunter Exam arc and maybe a little bit of Heavens Arena might seem like a negative thing to bring up, but you underestimate how much I love Hunter x Hunter. I’m more than happy to see other stories evoke that same kind of feeling, and it’s made even better when you have this goddamn Kevin Penkin soundtrack assaulting my ears with greatness every single episode.

The only problem with this story mimicking the Hunter Exam is that.. well, the Hunter Exam was never really what made Hunter x Hunter the masterpiece that it is, so I do hope Tower of God distinguishes itself as it goes further, because I do think that the potential is here. Bam is kind of a blank slate who gets by because everyone thinks he’s cute but they’ve introduced a rich cast of supporting characters and some legitimate mystery surrounding the upper floors, so I am looking forward to seeing where this show goes.

SING “YESTERDAY” FOR ME

If there’s one genre of anime I don’t think we get enough of, it would definitely be grounded romance dramas. If you’re anything like me, romance and dramas are an appealing way to invest yourself in lives much more interesting than your own, but the problem is that I don’t want a happy go-lucky romance series, god no, you think I wanna see people actually HAPPY and MAKING JOKES in my romance story? I’m tired of romcoms, I’m tired of pointless romantic subplots in fantasy and sci-fi, it seems like there’s less and less of a market for romance in anime that actually takes itself seriously.

Now I’m being incredibly hyperbolic of course but I do appreciate more serious takes and perspectives on romance and thankfully this season has me covered in the form of Sing “Yesterday” For Me. This show is really really good guys, I’m not even gonna lie. Preemptively I was already drawn in from the obscenely gorgeous presentation, because Doga Kobo finally stopped pandering to weirdos and finally started pandering to people like me!  not.. weird person.

The presentation is only the tip of the iceberg though and I have an immense appreciation so far for how this story has established its characters and personal dramas. I intro’d it as a super serious romance story but Sing Yesterday is even more focused on this coming of age tale surrounding the main character Rikuo, this dude who’s out of high school and living paycheck to paycheck working at a corner store market while his previous classmates are off living more ambitious and successful lives.

Now that’s already hitting a little too close to home for me but this story really gets its emotional core from watching this dude contemplate on his life and how he doesn’t want to aim for anything higher than what he has because he’s scared of failure. It’s a seriously relatable plight and this down to earth premise is enhanced by stellar voice acting performances from all of the main characters. You ever listen to your average bargain bin anime and think to yourself “wow, there is no way anyone in Japan actually talks like this”. Well Sing Yesterday is basically the polar opposite of that, you have this cast of characters who are clearly supposed to be grounded in a reality that you relate to, and the voice acting expresses that really, really well.

Everyone just talks like a normal person, they’re very soft-spoken, they have nuances to their cadence that sounds natural, and they even have a genki girl who is like the most realistic depiction of a genki girl I’ve ever heard. That’s impressive, man. Overall Sing “Yesterday” For Me is extremely promising and I have to stamp this one so you guys know it belongs as a must watch priority this season. Of course being a super serious romance drama, I feel like there’s even more of a chance for them to screw it up, but hey, fingers crossed. That being said, this isn’t as stacked a season as I would’ve hoped so I only have a few recommendations left in here.

WAVE, LISTEN TO ME

Wave, Listen to Me! is another show this season with a title that sounds like a needy girlfriend, and focuses around this woman who ends up with a job hosting a radio station. It’s honestly pretty funny and the show does a good job of keeping it fresh by actually putting you in all of these eccentric scenarios she comes up with, which I have to mention are sometimes absurdly well animated for absolutely no reason at all. If you’re looking for a fun comedy this season, I could definitely recommend this.

KAKUSHIGOTO

 Kakushigoto is another comedy this season I can recommend but not really for the comedy itself. This is about a mangaka who draws stories for the cultured but is trying to keep his occupation a secret from his daughter. It’s got a lot of fluff, a lot of comedy that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, but the real appeal for me with this show so far has been the wholesome and emotional relationship between this single father and his child. Right from the get go you can tell this story is going to get heavy eventually, so I guess it’s kinda genius the way it’s acting like a comedy to hide those deeper moments underneath. Also, I swear to god this ED sounds exactly like Japanese ELO, please someone out there tell me I’m not crazy, I’m begging you.

OTOME GAME (MY NEXT LIFE AS A VILLAINESS)

But come on now, you guys know I wouldn’t leave you hanging, I wouldn’t end these recommendations without saving the best recommendation for last, and you might be surprised at this if you haven’t watched it, or you might not be surprised if you have, but Otome Game, or My Next Life as a Villainess is probably the most fun and enjoyable anime I’ve had the pleasure of watching this season. I swear isekai anime are the most hit or miss shows in the medium right now, but Otome Game really is just that good and I don’t think I can really do it justice just by describing it. You’ve got your usual isekai fare, main character dies and gets reincarnated into another world, and in this case, I think the title of the show kind of spells it out, the protagonist has been transported inside of an Otome game where she takes on the role of Catarina, a villain who is destined to either be executed or banished by the end of the game.

 Because of this, Catarina uses all of her knowledge about the game to try to reach a happy ending, hijinks ensue, yada yada yada, listen this show is way too good to try to sell it from a synopsis alone so I’m just gonna be real with you, this is some of the most wholesome anime content I’ve watched since The Quintessential Quintuplets last year, and if you know how much I love that series, you should know that’s the highest praise you get. As you watch Catarina try to avoid certain doom, she inadvertently forms bonds with all of the Otome characters surrounding her, each with their own tragic and lonely backstory, and unknowingly causes pretty much every single one of them to fall in love with her.

It’s so silly and so heartwarming at the same time watching Catarina so oblivious to all of the kindness that she’s showing these people, and that’s really where the heart of this story is. I genuinely think it would take such an extreme cynic not to find any level of joy here, and even then, even if you have a black hole for a heart, I think this show just might save you. Watch it, it’s pure unadulterated happiness every single week, and it’s pretty much the only show that I’m actually attempting to keep up with this season. So that basically wraps up my thoughts on Spring 2020, you can go back to social distancing, and continue having a great day.