I wanted to talk about what I’m planning on watching next season, but I had a bit too much to say about a few shows for it to fit neatly on Twitter, so please enjoy my first blog post about anime in over a decade. Let’s dive right in.
Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo – This may come as a surprise, but I have never actually watched a Gundam series in its entirety. Indeed, even that is overstating it―I’ve seen a few episodes of G Gundam and Gundam 00, but that’s it. And real Gundam fans who have every interview with Tomino memorized probably don’t even consider G Gundam to count as a Gundam series. (As an aside, Shichinin no Nana, directed by Imagawa Yasuhiro of G Gundam and Giant Robo fame, is one of the most miserable anime I’ve ever attempted to watch. Give it a try if you want to see seiyuu like Mizuki Nana, Fukui Yukari, and Nakahara Mai being directed to speak in unison early in their careers. I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy the results.) So, for all intents and purposes, I’m going into this as a complete Gundam newbie. Why? Well, it’s the first entry in the Gundam series with a female protagonist, and it’s written by Ookouchi, who quite frankly I trust with my life after the Princess Principal TV series. I don’t trust him not to betray my trust, but I trust him nonetheless. With the help of some friends who know more about Gundam lore than their own family members, I hope to break through my Gundam shell and fly free in the Gundam sky as a beautiful Gundam bird.
Shinmai Renkinjutsu-shi no Tenpo Keiei – I will be honest with you. As the kids would say, this looks mid. Aggressively mid, even. But I won’t let that stop me. It is so clearly inspired by the Atelier series that I have no choice but to bask in the sheer mediocrity of the production as I am healed (in Japanese we refer to the concept of healing as iyashi, which makes it inherently more beautiful as it’s in Japanese) by all manner of alchemical antics. Firefox doesn’t believe that “alchemical” is a word, but I do, and that’s why I’m going to watch this anime. It’s also worth noting that in volume 5 of the WN this is adapting, the protagonist marries another one of the female characters. As the LN version retains this plot point and is receiving further volumes, this makes it quite possibly the only LN currently ongoing where the protagonist is not just married, but married to someone of the same sex. If you know of any others, do let me know. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to state that Sophie 2 is the best JRPG of the year (alongside Elden Ring); if you disagree, you are not just wrong, but ontologically evil.
Yama no Susume Next Summit – Anyone who uses the English title for this series is a cop, don’t trust them. Now that we have that out of the way: YamaSusu is a series that has really only improved with time, evolving from a forgettable short anime to a delightfully thoughtful exploration of the relationship between Hinata and Aoi, with meaningful developments―and setbacks―along the way, bolstered by truly expressive animation. If there is a weak link, from my perspective, it is the relative lack of depth to Kaede and Kokona. Kokona is somewhat of a mismatch for the series’s tone, being more of a mystical forest fairy than a teenage girl, and while Kaede fares better in this regard, I’ve never found myself very enthused by anything involving her. As such, I am optimistic for Next Summit, seeing that it seems to focus on expanding the cast. Honoka (I actually typed Rin here before having to check her name) was introduced in s3 already, but we haven’t seen too much of her yet, and Koharu is a completely unknown factor. Hopefully they will further enrich the resplendent tapestry that is Yama no Susume, taking it to greater heights still. That is somewhat of a mixed metaphor, but please allow me the “greater heights” bit.
Do It Yourself!! – An original anime by the scriptwriter of Yama no Susume, with similar animation staff? Color me interested. Of course, characterizing Fudeyasu as the scriptwriter of YamaSusu is selling him a bit short. He’s a brilliant comedy writer responsible for such unhinged glory as Milky Fucking Holmes (the fucking is part of the official title; if you had love, you’d be able to see it). He also wrote a good chunk of PriPara, and I’m certain that all of the PriPara Chads reading this post are currently tut tut tutting at me for not having watched it, rightfully smug atop their thrones. But to them I would say―can you truly say you understand Fudeyasu’s kokoro if you haven’t seen the episode of Strawberry Panic where he has a character deliver a rant compelling us to question the accepted reality that is global warming? I will ignore the possibility that you have, in fact, seen this episode. In any case, I don’t have much to go on for DIY other than the staff pedigree, but there are worse reasons to pick up an anime. Several of which are outlined elsewhere in this post.
Muvluv Alternative Season 2 – Just kidding, you couldn’t pay me to watch this. I bet chomp chomp won’t even look that gross.
Bocchi the Rock – I’ve actually read all of the manga that’s currently out, which means that I am the only true Bocchi fan; anyone else who claims to enjoy the anime is a mere secondary, a lost sheep worshiping a false idol. But, you know, I hear those false idols tend to be made out of gold, and the Bocchi anime just might be as well. CloverWorks seems like they’ve brought their A game for this one. The manga succeeds by virtue of a large cast and increasingly defined direction; if the anime can draw out the raw, visceral emotion inherent to performing music, we might just have something special on our hands. Unfortunately, it won’t change the fact that you’re a secondary for viewing it. Isn’t it sad, Sacchin? I think that’s a reference people find funny.
Chainsaw Man – This one probably isn’t on many people’s radar. You can always count on Moogy to recommend the really underground stuff. I’m a big fan of Fujimoto’s particular blend of bombastic ultraviolence and quiet human drama with a side of casual surrealism, but I’m not terribly optimistic that the anime will capture this je nais se quois. Too many cooks spoil the sitcom’s opening sequence, as they say, and I’m not confident any collaborative effort on the scale of a television anime is really capable of balancing Fujimoto’s ingredients quite the way he does―especially when there are likely outward pressures compelling them to make it into the next big action anime. But my kvetching here is immaterial; I will be watching Chainsaw Man, and so will you. If nothing else, I’m excited to hear Kusunoki Tomori as Makima. I’ve grown quite fond of her after hearing her voice for hundreds of hours in Heaven Burns Red and Project Sekai.
This is a rather big season for anime in general, with many normie tier shows like Mob Psycho 100, Bleach, and Spy x Family. But I believe that covers everything I’m personally interested in watching. If you plan to watch shows that don’t align with my tastes, you should probably reevaluate your life decisions.
I will also be watching the new season of Molcar, but Molcar is an ineffable miracle; attempting to quantify its majesty is a task beyond my ken, and indeed I would argue beyond the ken of any mortal.