What Anime Have I Been Watching?

This anime season has had some of my favourite ones I’ve watched recently, and while I haven’t been watching a huge amount of series, it’s definitely been one of quality over quantity for me.

Tsurune has sadly slipped under the radar for most it seems, despite a beautiful trailer for it surfacing on my facebook feed. Although perhaps that’s because I do archery in real life so they knew I’d be interested. The visuals are beautiful in it, and the story is one that hits close to home, as I’ve continued to struggle with archery this year (breaking three arrows in two days, when I really am at the point where I shouldn’t be missing the boss anymore and don’t even know what caused these shots) and am contemplating not rejoining the club next academic year especially with the hostility from members of the committee who don’t want to see the club change direction like it needs to. But, like me, the main character, Narumiya, who fell from grace in similar circumstances to me, works hard and also develops friendships in the archery club, which is the only reason I didn’t quit the sport years ago. I’m a bit behind on this one (as with most), maybe watching a few more episodes before shooting tomorrow is what I need.

Sword Art Online was one I was obviously excited about. I never got all the criticism of it, maybe I just don’t watch it critically enough, but I’ve always enjoyed the show, the worlds, and the storylines. This new series definitely caught my attention with its new characters and very different setting than before. I liked the episodes where Asuna does her part to reveal what is going on to us, and they’ve raised some interesting questions about artificial intelligence, which we then see played out in the episodes with Kirito and Eugeo in the virtual world. The most recent episode was one of my favourites so far, broaching on much darker themes than before, and it was great to see Eugeo start thinking for himself and break free from the taboo index after what happened in episode 1. One more suitably enthusiastic about AI could raise the question of AI self-awareness and whether Eugeo’s development is something that could happen. I was glad it did, as he finally was able to gain independence and break free from the shackles of the program, something which, while completely unaware of it, must be terrifying.

Tokyo Ghoul‘s previous season was fun to watch for the battle sequences, but the plot was getting increasingly convoluted and throwing up more and more questions instead of giving us any answers. I’m glad that this new series has been able to redress the balance slightly, and actually looks like it is leading somewhere bigger, something the last series also couldn’t achieve. Again, I’m a few episodes behind on it, but watching the internal Ghoul struggles, seeing the darker side of the CCG, and finally seeing Kaneki be himself again has made this series more interesting, and I’ll be looking forward to going home so I have the time to catch up properly on it.

Goblin Slayer was a very good example of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I wasn’t too interested just seeing the promo art, it looked a bit too cutesy and I suspected it wouldn’t have enough action for me. Then a video on facebook completely turned that on its head. It was the scene where Goblin Slayer rescues the priestess and kills the goblin children in episode 1 against her naïve protestations. Seeing how dark and bloody that scene was, I knew I had to check it out, and I wasn’t disappointed. Yes, it is graphic, and there is a lot of blood, but that’s the reality of a world like this, and is how adventuring likely would be, none of the glamorised stuff we get elsewhere. This realism really appealed to me, and Goblin Slayer’s varied strategies for killing the goblins had me in awe of him, he’s exactly the kind of person I’d want in my D&D party. I also like how, while the anime is a series of seemingly unrelated missions, the downtime scenes and skips to the other adventurers gives the feeling that something pertaining to a larger plot will happen, but even if that weren’t the case I’d still very much enjoy watching the party develop and seeing all the interesting ways Goblin Slayer lives up to his name.

What anime is everyone else watching? Any recommendations?

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