I would love to tell you what I think of every anime series I’m watching right now. Really, I would. But first of all, I doubt you’d be the least bit interested, and second of all, there’s only 24 hours in a day, and because I’m at uni, 18 of them are often consigned to this thing called “work.” But enough complaining. I thought I would quickly go over some thoughts rattling around my head about some of the other series I’m currently watching.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, just the shows that I’m most interested in, and would like to share. You’ll probably see a second part to this list soon.
Allison & Lillia
I know that this is a fairly recent series, but because of whatever magical technique the people at Madhouse use, this anime has the feel of something that’s a classic. As far as I can tell, the story tells us about the the fight between Roxche and Sous-Beil over who came first. It sounds like a stupid thing to fight over when you put it down in words, but I’m sure there have been actual wars over the very same topic.
I really like this series so far. The characters are spot on - Allison is a go-getting fighter pilot who leaps before she looks, but always manages to lovably escape unharmed, dragging her childhood friend Wil along with her. The chemistry that Allison and Wil have is something that’s very hard to manufacture in an anime series, but you can really feel it here. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the rest of this.
Hmm. How can I describe Bamboo Blade? It’s a fun series, what with all of its characters being slightly demented in one way or another. Some of its comic moments so far have been inspired, even though you couldn’t really classify it as a comedy. It’s about a high school kendo club and it’s lack of members, no thanks to the apathetic and malmourished coach. But you certainly wouldn’t call it a sports anime as such. It’s got many more good things going for it than that.
For one, the characters, as I mentioned, are all very unique and likeable in their own ways. While there are a few stereotypes present as always, the producers do throw a bit extra in when they reveal the stereotypically “kawaii” Miya is deep down a blood-thirsty misanthrope who thinks hitting people is fun. It’s points like this that make Bamboo Blade hard to ignore. Certainly one to keep watching.
Hidamari Sketch x 365
Slice of life is an anime genre that is aimed at a relatively narrow selection of anime fans that like shows that have no plot. A niche within a niche, if you will. Luckily, I love the stream of consciousness, character-driven shows that slice of life provides so often. One of these is Hidamari Sketch, an anime detailing the daily lives of four high-school art students living in a small apartment block called Hidamari Apartments. The beauty of the series is its simplicity, as well as its characters. Yuno, Miyako, Sae and Hiro are all endearing in their own way, and their chemistry as a group is also hard to better.
This new series continues in the vein of the first, being completely unchronological in its episode ordering. There are small ties that let you know where you are in the year, but apart from that, the focus is completely on the characters. It’s hard to put into words what I really like about Hidamari Sketch. The atmosphere it generates is a friendly one, and it makes you feel good. Simple as that.
First impressions are not everything with Kaiba. If that were the case, you would think you were watching CBeebies or something. Get past the Astro Boy-esque animation, and watch it for what it is. The initial plot introduces a world where people can swap bodies at will, erase and create memories and basically live forever. Any other anime would portray this world as a beautiful utopia, but Kaiba strives to find the worst of it. It makes the show interesting as hell. We see stories of corruption, lust, greed, betrayl and grief, all while Kaiba travels in whatever body he can, with no memories, searching for someone on the one human relic he has left.
There was an episode I recently seen, called “Chroniko,” that I just thought was one of the most emotive and brilliant episodes an an anime I had ever seen. I won’t spoil it, I’ll just tell you that it’s an emotional rollercoaster. After initial worries about the series, I can now clearly say that I’ll be following this right to the end.