I’ve found myself watching more anime this season than I thought I would when I saw the promotional material coming out. In a given weekend I will find myself watching 7 different shows, and so far I’ve enjoyed all of them:
Persona 5 is one I’m watching as I am a huge fan or the series, but don’t have a console on which to play it. It seems to be diverging a bit from the series’ usual format, and no social links seem to be present in the same way they were in the Persona 4 anime. I’m watching it with interest, more to see how the Persona series is developing. But the two storylines touched on so far have been good, even though the first concluded one has a rather unrealistically good ending. The only issues I have so far is the role of the interrogation room scenes, and where we are going with that. The events we watch are obviously in the past, but what is the point of this? They could just as easily have been done in the actual sequence of events. I’m sure this will be answered in the future.
Record of Grancrest War is ongoing from last season, and has been quite an investment, but I’ve enjoyed the battle scenes and strategizing from Siluca in particular. It’s been interesting to watch the war develop and even see Alexis finally show why he is such a high-status leader at the end of this week’s episode. It’s one which I’m excited to see what happens at the end, and who will survive, as it has shown that, for the villains at least, death is a very real possibility. Whether all the good characters continue to be miraculously saved by Priscilla remains to be seen. I expect battles will become more intense, and she can’t be everywhere at once.
Caligula has low ratings on anime planet, but I haven’t found anything majorly wrong with it yet aside from the fact that we still don’t really know what is going on after five episodes. It’s an interesting concept that appears so far to be that people with mental health struggles have been trapped in a game world by a “benevolent” AI so that they can hide from reality. Although that raises the question of who the musicians are and why they are fighting against those who become aware. It looks like it will be quite a long-term investment for most viewers, but I think there is potential for it to be quite a cathartic anime for those struggling to face up to difficulties in their lives. So far it has touched on self-esteem, eating disorders, and abusive relationships. I hop it does live up to its potential to sensitively tackle these and other issues, and be a real benefit to people who are suffering from them.
SAO Alternative is one which, as I mentioned previously, is one of which I was definitely sceptical, but I’ve very much enjoyed it so far. The Squad Jam storyline was good, and it didn’t suffer from the usual main-character syndrome that other anime have, in that it really wasn’t certain who would win. It has been good to see the main character, Karen, grow more confident in herself as well. With the SJ arc concluded though, I wonder where the story will go next.
Tokyo Ghoul is one that just throws up so many questions for me and no answers, and as such keeps me engaged the whole way through. I loved both previous seasons, and this one has matched them in quality and character development so far, although I hope Saiko will break from the anime archetype of a rather useless, short female character which frankly doesn’t have a place in the Tokyo Ghoul universe. A lot has changed in the universe, and I keep wondering why so many Anteiku ghouls are now siding with Aogiri Tree, even Hinami, and why Takizaki has become a ghoul and lost his mind in a way that Kaneki did not. It’s a shame as he was one of the more relatable characters when he was a human. And what will happen to Kaneki as well? There are enough questions and answers being slowly revealed to keep this a very engaging series.
Shokugeki no Soma has always been a great anime, it mixes somehow being able to make cooking very serious with a well-rounded cast of characters, none of whom are particularly annoying anime tropes, and also doubles up as very useful revision for me of Japanese cooking and ingredients. I’ve liked the storyline so far, and even though the current task for the rebels is to defeat members of the elite ten, I expect they will all be saved by main character syndrome. The battle between them and Central has been an interesting one, and the writing and animation have been very good. I’ve even found myself sympathising with Erina, which is something I never expected to do.
Darling in the FRANXX starts off very strange, even for Japan. I mean, wtf is with the klaxosaurs and their appearances, and when the parasites operate the FRANXX for the first time there are some very sexual noises and shots and I can understand why this might be a bit much for even some anime fans, particularly those like me who are watching for good plots. But it is worth getting past this and continuing, as this is the anime from this, and last, season that has intrigued me the most because of the setting and society. Everything that happens around the parasites is shrouded in secrecy. Who picked the children for the facility and why were they raised with no names or knowledge of any kind, and why did so many have to disappear (I assume dead)? Why did society become how it did – the adult Zorome meets has some tubing and something that looks like her heart on the outside, and her husband is being kept alive on life support and fed doses of “happiness”, and she doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with this non-existence he is experiencing. All the other adults the parasites encounter are faceless guards. Sexual reproduction is outlawed, and the children are lied to that this “papa” created them. It’s almost like the human race is supposed to go extinct regardless of the parasites’ actions in the FRANXX. Moreover, Hachi and Nana (whose names, meaning eight and nine in Japanese respectively, are likely to be indicative of some sort of coding system the children experienced) now seem like victims of something too. Memories come flashing back to Nana when Kokoro confronts her and the 9 who is watching talks about brainwashing to her and Hachi’s faces (neither of whom seem to care) and I fear for both her, and Kokoro and Mitsuru. Something tells me there will be attempts to get rid of at least one of them in the near future. Darling in the FRANXX has some very interesting societal mysteries which are all coming to a head now, and I’m very excited for the next episodes to see what happens, and what is the truth behind their world. No doubt it will be something quite sinister. I would tell anyone reading this who has dropped the anime to go back and give it a second chance!
I’ve also watched episode 1 of Steins;Gate 0 which was nice, but for some reason I just haven’t felt engaged by it or motivated to watch more, probably because I started late and have more than enough on my plate already. I haven’t checked much of next season but perhaps it would be good if there was less I wanted to watch so I could catch up on my ever growing to watch list.