Dang, this sure is late. In my defense, Amazon withheld the last episode of Killing Bites after first uploading it for some reason. And then, once I got to watch that, it’s been one trip after another.
Also, I started watching Veronica Mars. That show is extremely addictive.
Anyhoo, I watched seven anime in their entirety for the winter season. Let’s get to them, shall we?
Okay, so, I do think the premise of Maerchen Maedchen is really neat. I do. But the team kinda fumbled this one in spectacular fashion. At first, the show felt like it was plodding along. Then, things just started happening with no chance for the characters or audience to catch their breath. Then, the show just ended without having a proper climax. Just some questionable choices made at every turn. Oh, and there’s the vanishing budget to talk about.
I don’t know exactly what happened during this show’s production, but whatever budget they had must have disappeared in the second half. Episodes 9 and 10 ran late, and boy howdy, do they look like it. I often don’t notice animation errors, but Maerchen Maedchen looked me in the eye…or maybe the ear and dared me to call out its poor quality. Just ew.
Think I’ll give it a 4.5. If it were just the bad animation in its later stages, I’d be more forgiving, but everything else about the show fell apart with its budget.
How to Keep a Mummy
How to Keep a Mummy assured me in the beginning it would only be about cute supernatural pets, and by golly, it kept its promise. The mummy, the oni child, the dragon, the baku, the Anubis sculpture, and the seemingly ever-living dog. All cute. All supernatural. All good by me.
The show did seem to hint every now and then that it wanted to do more with the human characters. Even though I did love the adorable occult critters, I kinda wish it had done more with their respective guardians. They were likable enough characters. Just got the bare minimum of character traits with a hint of more depth.
A 6 out of 10 for this slice-of-lifer. Cute stuff.
Citrus really wants to fit a particular niche, and I have to applaud the show for it. You want your trashy romance? Look no further. Feeling like you want that trashy romance to be yuri? You got it. Do you wanna go one step more and make it kinda incestuous? I mean, if that’s what you’re in the mood for, then Citrus has got you covered.
In all seriousness, I do think Citrus is an enjoyable romance anime. The character designs are pretty striking, and you can’t help but want these crazy kids to find happiness. Even if one has some major emotional baggage to sift through and deal with and the other is entirely too confused by what she’s feeling to behave rationally. Still not cool with how Yuzu and Mei’s relationship started. “Forceful” is putting it nicely. Should’ve had more Harumin. Harumin is best girl. Easily.
Gonna give it a 7. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it only gets so high because of Harumin.
Dagashi Kashi 2
I have…mixed feelings about Dagashi Kashi 2. On one hand, I feel like the shorter episodes helped the show maintain a decent pace every episode, and each outing never overstayed its welcome. On the other, I really, really like this cast of characters and wanted to see more of them. It felt like just as I was getting into each episode, it ended. Also, I love the two new additions to the cast, Hajime and Beniyutaka. Both are somewhat mentors for Kokonotsu while Hajime doubles as his subordinate and Beniyutaka something of a rival. Then again, Hotaru’s absence is just too noticeable.
This second season is as funny as the first, though. May even be funnier. Kokonotsu played off his dad, Hotaru, and the Endou siblings as well as always, and Hajime’s and Beniyutaka’s respective shenanigans were welcome. But again, it was like the characters I grew to love in season one took a backseat to the new ones. So, mixed feelings.
Dagashi Kashi 2 gets a cool 7.5 from me. Pretty much what I gave the first season.
This would probably be my number two from this season, but man…okay. I’m not saying rape is something that can never be used in a story. If it’s handled well, if it’s explored correctly, if justice is found, then yeah. Everything can have its place in fiction. But Killing Bites is a little too cavalier with using rape as a plot device. Hitomi is abducted at the beginning by people who plan to rape her, but kills her abductors. The cobra therianthrope is a serial rapist, but he, thankfully, gets destroyed in the Destroyale. Leo takes part in a massive coup and rapes Youko Mitsukado, but he…well, he gets away with it. Show plays it off as part of his lion nature and Youko is one of the most despicable characters in the show, but rape isn’t something you just throw around in your story. I hope that if this show gets a second season, it’ll be able to handle its more controversial elements better.
All that aside, I love everything else about this piece of trash. It’s bloody, it’s full of glorious cheesecake, it’s got legitimate facts about nature, it’s got fun character designs, it’s got a catchy soundtrack, and it’s so gloriously over-the-top in every aspect you can’t help but have fun. And that’s the biggest compliment I can pay Killing Bites. It is always entertaining.
Giving it a 7.5 like Dagashi Kashi 2. Sure, the score’s the same, but Killing Bites just has sharper fangs…and the one with the sharper fangs wins. That’s what Killing Bites is.
After the Rain
After the Rain had so many opportunities to go off the rails and become something…gross, but damn, it walked a tightrope, maintained its integrity, and wound up being a real gem from this season. Seriously, if you were put off by the initial premise of a romance blossoming between a 17-year-old high school student and her 40-some-odd-year-old manager, then you should still give this a chance. There is a love between the two, but if it’s romantic, it’s quite minimal and never acted on.
Instead, what Akira and Kondou find in each other is a newfound love for what they’ve given up. Through their odd relationship, Akira is able to reconnect with her old best friend and begin rehabbing her injury, while Kondou’s passion to write is reignited with a fervor he hasn’t felt since his college days. I like most of the side characters, too, but the two protagonists kinda eclipse the rest of the cast. Plus, the show is pretty. Like, really damn pretty.
Solid 8 out of 10 for me. A genuine surprise.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
So, girl becomes interested in boy when he runs late on the first day of school because he found a handkerchief and turned it into the office. Instead of befriending the boy and getting to know him in a normal fashion, girl decides to persistently tease the boy in order to see his reactions and get him to blush. At some point girl must realize she is crushing on this boy and wants him to reciprocate her feelings (which boy does, even if he doesn’t think so), but she decides to continue pranking him. Because it’s fun. Because he interests her so much. This is the story of Takagi and Nishikata. And I love it.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is the anime I didn’t know I needed in my life. Sure, I loves me some rom-coms, but Takagi-san really struck a chord with me. The highlight of my week was always getting on the Crunchyroll app on my PS4 and watching Takagi and Nishikata’s interactions. I like the side stories with three of their classmates thrown in to keep things from getting old, but man, nothing beat seeing the main two. I’m sure I had just the stupidest smile on my face watching these two kids. They’re the best.
Takagi and Nishikata get a 9 for my favorite anime this season. I can only hope we get another season. Or OVAs. Well, I know one OVA has been announced, but I need more!
This is the part where I say, “Aw, yeah, I got some cool post ideas coming up soon,” but let’s be real here: The next post is gonna be Seasonal Sawce. We all know it.
Peace out, and stay bizarre.