Was the adaptation done by the same people as the new Kino anime? People were also underwhelmed by that (and mad at Crunchyroll for lazily giving Kino wrong pronoun usage since they’re canonically without gender but that’s a whole other thing).
It’s being handled by Madhouse, and directed by Shingo Natsume. Who isn’t exactly known for making underwhelming anime, since he previously directed ACCA 13, season 1 of One Punch Man, and co-directed Space Dandy. It does sound like Boogiepop and Others had some production issues though.
I am liking it so far, I think the first two episodes set up an interesting mystery I’m curious to see resolved. I can definitely see why people would dislike it though. The series plays with the chronology of events in a way that can be really confusing. Plus the first episode mainly just is about some guy who is barely involved talking to Boogiepop, who just gives a few hints about what goes on throughout the series. It’s alleviated somewhat by the second episode having premiered on the same day and giving a bit of clarity, but still both episodes are a rough start.
By the way, Mob Psycho 100 season 2 starts later today, which I’m incredibly excited for since season 1 is one of my favorite anime in general. The opening song has been released already and while I’m not quite sure if I like it as much as the first opening song (it’s pretty hard to top), it’s pretty great:
EDIT: The episode is up and it’s pretty good! Aside from it having some action at the start, they focused more on Mob’s school life this episode making it a surprisingly calm premiere. Also the opening rules:
Glad we got Mob back since it’s such a delightful show that it made me feel a lot better after seeing the incel isekai shield show awaken the ,slavery is totally cool and not sketchy because x’ crowd.
Why has the protagonist owns slaves such a thing in isekai right now?
Man I wish I wasn’t right when I called that becoming a trend.
You can usually predict what’s going to pop up in light novel adaptations down the line based on what’s the current hot trend among hentai manga artists and doujin groups. Was the case for imoutos, was the case for crossdressing characters, and now it’s the case for fantasy and/or magical slavery (just wait, eventually one of these shows will have a fucking crotch placed “lust crest”).
Shield Hero is especially disgusting in this regard. Did the first episode get to the part yet where he (TW: sexual assault, victim blaming, misogyny) gets falsely accused of rape by his slave, whom he them renamed “B-word” as punishment?
The fact that Crunchyroll co-produced this makes my skin crawl. At least Anime Feminist decided that instead of actually reviewing this garbage, they’d just list various organizations you can support to help sexual assault and human trafficking survivors.
Because most isekai stories are pretty blatant wish fulfillment tales. In modern isekai a common theme is that the main character is ridiculously overpowered after being reincarnated or whisked away to another world. You could see this as being a way to explore the fantasy of being in control of one’s own life. A way for the authors/readers to self-insert and experience a life of success through the perspective of characters that didn’t or couldn’t experience success in the real world. The fantasy of being powerful after being powerless. Of being important after being meaningless, that sorta thing.
I think that also feeds into why the worlds in these stories tend to be based on, or just straight up are in some cases, RPG systems. They’re something most people can recognize and understand what it looks like when you’re fully exploiting or subverting these systems. It can also be considered a way to express the fantasy of having “useless knowledge” become valuable.
Anyway, as far as the proliferation of slavery in isekai goes, I think it’s… the fantasy of being fully in control of someone else. Usually in addition to the stuff I mentioned before. The three recent shows (that I can think of, anyway) use this trope and justify it in different ways but it’s still stemmed from that common motivation.
Death March to the Parallel World has the main character purchase slaves but they actually like being slaves (also they are literal children)! So it’s all good. The protagonist in How Not To Summon A Demon Lord is accompanied by two women in slave collars but they got that way because they tried to enslave him! So it’s fine. In Shield Hero the protagonist has to buy a slave because he can’t trust anybody and everyone hates him! Also, coincidentally, all the slaves in these examples are women. Just a coincidence though!
Although, I’d say Shield Hero seems especially misogynistic especially considering some of the stuff that happens in that series. But the fact that it’s such a high profile production (Kinema Citrus also did Revue Starlight and Made in Abyss) that’s being so fervently promoted and not some random 1-cour seasonal people instantly repress after it airs is… troubling!
I wish every new anime season didn’t have to feel like a bad game of minesweeper where we have to guess at which show(s) will have the most problematic garbage in them. ugh.
I watched the first two episodes of the new Boogiepop show and I think I liked it? I’ve never seen or read anything from that franchise before so I kinda have no idea what’s going on but I’m not sure that I’m supposed to yet? At the very least I’m intrigued.
So the thing is, I haven’t read the original Boogiepop and Others LN. I have read the 2-volume manga version of the LN, which made me question if I actually liked Boogiepop at all. Then I rewatched Boogiepop Phantom, and realized that I like that version of it … which is a problem because most of that show was anime original.
One of the big questions I have after watching the first 2 episodes is how much freedom the writing staff has to actually adapt the source material. My guess is Not A Whole Lot, because why else would you turn in that Episode 1? While it’s true that they’ve been able to speed up and condense a few bits, the adaptation is kind of doomed to repeat the same mistakes the LN/manga made if it keeps having to emulate its structure.
The central conceit behind the original LN/manga was to tell a story from the viewpoints of several characters and leave the reader to puzzle out what’s happening. The way the author chose to do this was to pick a character and stick with them, regardless of whether or not there was anything interesting about the characters or their situation to warrant the page length. It’s like a bad documentarian who throws up a bunch of unedited interviews and calls it a day – instead of a puzzle, you have bits and pieces of relevant info buried in a bunch of other tangents which are mostly boring.
(Side note: I think it’s hilarious the LN illustrator was so pissed off at the anime designs, because he also did the manga, and the art was just … OK, look, say what you want about the anime designs, at least you can actually tell characters apart just by looking at them.)
What I was hoping for in this adaptation was for the scenario planners to take the best parts of the source material, and restructure it in a way that actually makes it compelling. I don’t know if there’s any chance of that actually happening.
Mob Psycho rules, great first episode, it always makes me happy.
Latest Slime was rad and pretty gnarly, but maybe it was always like that.
I’m a little late to the party if there is one, but I started watching Hunter x Hunter and I’m having a good time. It’s good sometimes to be late to the party because this means I have 100+ episodes to devour.
I’ve also ended up on a bit of a Shonen streak. It’s not my preferred genre but I’ve found some enjoyable shows in that wheelhouse. Catching up on Mob Psycho 100, naturally, but also some stuff that wrapped up a while ago, namely Assassination Classroom (starting season 2) and Soul Eater (almost done).
For the latter, I have to say that those three “prologue” episodes really do a disservice to it: they lean way into comedy (which the show never quite nails) and fanservice (which is thankfully absent from the actual show). The story and world aren’t too distinctive, but it’s easy to like the characters and the visual design is outstanding. I want more of those weird snub noses in anime!
In this current season I’m really just looking forward to more Mob Psycho, though I’ve been told Kaguya-sama has a lot going for it. Lastly I’m also keen on Kakegurui S2, but Netflix is hanging onto that.
If the Girls’ Last Tour anime is one tenth as good as her Tumblr then I am totally in for this! Thanks for the link! :o
Aggretsuko is fantastic. I highly recommend the subtitled version. The christmas episode was fun too! Recently my friend and I cosplayed as Washimi (her) and Gori (me), and we managed to find a Haida and a Retsuko.
i definitely agree that the first 3 episodes of soul eater really don’t sell what the show ends up being at all. when i first watched it i found the fanservice so gross (i was less desensitized to that stuff back then lol…) that i ended up dropping it for a while before coming back to it. i’m glad i did because it ended up being one of my top 10 favorite anime of all time! but damn those first episodes kinda suck.
My partner and I are looking for a good spooky anime series to start tonight. I think he wants something heavy and disturbing.
Hmm, okay this is a kids anime so it isn’t as heavy but the seventh episode of currently running season of Gegege no Kitaro could be something to try? It can be seen as a stand alone with no problem.
It deals heavily with suicide and workplace abuse but I would highly recommend it. I think the entire serie is pretty good but it isn’t always that heavy or scary.
Serial Experiments Lain might be something close to what you’re looking for? It’s extremely surreal and weird and pretty spooky. It gets very heavy and dark. I think it’s an incredibly show but also need to say there’s a pretty major content warning for suicide.
Maybe also check out Key the Metal Idol. That one isn’t nearly as spooky or surreal as Lain is but it still gets really heavy and dark at times. Also it’s got a lot of cool mid-90s style if you’re in to that sort of thing.
I just wanted to say thanks for the heads up on Shield Hero. I had no idea what that show was but I was looking for currently airing stuff to try and almost gave that a shot. I’m really glad to be able to avoid it, especially after I kind of blundered into similarly gross stuff last season (SAO can’t do a season w/o some kind of sexual assault, I guess).
Another -a good horror mystery one season show.
For lighter faire, Mononoke and Owarimonogatari are both fun shows about spooky mysteries, each with their own stylized presentations.
If you want full-on “just fuck me up real bad”, Flowers of Evil is the most emotionally heavy psychological thriller I’ve ever watched. It’s a great watch to feel mentally drained for a full week afterwards.
i mean it doesnt get more heavy or disturbing than Devilman Crybaby, which some might say was “anime of the year 2018” (the show is very good)
Oh, I LOVED Devilman! I forgot completely about it. He may love it.
And Castlevania too…