Thursday, March 19, 2020

Anime Roundup

Guess it's a good time to stay home and binge lots of anime, eh?

Girls und Panzer
Kind of like K-On!, but with tanks instead of guitars. My guess is that the creators of this show decided to employ the cognitive dissonance formula common to lots of manga and anime concepts and, during a brainstorming session, thought "what if we took a bunch of kawaii (cute) high school girls and...made them fight each other with tanks!" Okay, yeah, sure, why not. And, of course, it works.

Samurai Champloo
Continuing with the whole cognitive dissonance thing, this show blends a historical Edo-period setting with some cultural anachronisms like rap music, graffiti, and breakdancing. Great action, a simple yet compelling plot, and a good balance of drama and humor make this one a modern classic, in my opinion. I had plans to go see Shing02 - the rapper who performs the main theme song - at a show in Portland this month, but, well, you know. Maybe I'll just rewatch this show instead.

At first, you might think this is one of those animes about several teenage girls who all inexplicably like the same boring dude (yes, that's a subgenre), but...well, it is sort of like that, but it's so much more, as well. Based on a visual novel, it kind of meanders along slowly like a drowsy slice-of-life story for a while before it suddenly swells to a dramatic, emotional peak, settles down, and then repeats the process. Quite an entertaining roller coaster ride, if you ask me. Oh, and don't worry, they'll explain the whole girl-and-robot-on-a-different-world thing eventually, if you stick around long enough.

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?
Yes, yes it is. But don't worry, this show isn't really about its title. It's mostly a D&Dish story about a teenage boy who becomes an "adventurer" in order to make ends meet and, to everyone's surprise (including his own), levels up and gains new powers faster than anyone ever has before. And yes, a few girls inexplicably become interested in him along the way, but that's just a minor part of the whole deal.

No Game No Life
A portal fantasy about a brother-and-sister uber-gamer team who are transported to another world where their considerable skills are put to the test. Kind of a neat idea, if you ask me. The climax to the first season even features a virtual world-within-the other world scenario, sort of like if Sword Art Online or Ready Player One existed in Narnia or Fillory. Oh, and as the TV-MA rating indicates, this is definitely not a show for kids.

This is a full-length animated adaptation of a live-action film from the '90s, which is pretty cool, because usually you see that kind of thing done the other way around. Anyway, the story is pretty much the dictionary definition of a romantic drama (or rom-dram, as opposed to rom-com), and it features a bit of magical realism/time travel, which I always appreciate. After you watch it, you, too, will be wondering: are fireworks round or flat?

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