What anime do you watch?

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iwansquall
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Clever loli strike again!

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Title : Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season
Ascendance of a Bookworm Part 2

Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy

If you havent watch this, i will give short summary of this series. Basically it is about an adult female who loved book so much that spent alot of time in library. Tragic struck, she died because falling bookshelf on her and she now reincarnated into a cute girl in fantasy world. With her previous life knowledge, how she will use it for her new life.

Season 2 continue from first season where she was brought into custody of a church in order to study her inhuman capability. Being mentored by head priest, she learnt her way up into society where it revolved heavily between normal & nobles. As her simple goals are simply want to read and study magic, she create her own group so that she will have full time access to the library. So now the challenges are to convert all helpers from the church's orphanage and turn their life around.

This is tale of heartwarming story same like first season. While sometimes it made question why doesnt just use all modern technologies into this world, it is kinda finally explained that she only have vague memories of her previous life. Her dream of creating her own book made her rediscover technologies into book printing. Season 2 focus heavily more on society difference compared first season where she merely want to live her life the fullest as she have quite fragile body.

Season 2 able to maintain quality of heartwarming feeling from first season. If you havent watch this series, I highly recommend you. Maybe just keep your mind about our protagonist is a still a child, so expect some weird behaviour from her.

Alternative : For some story about heartwarming female protagonist, you can watch series like Hamefura, Akagami Shirayuki Hime, Mahoutsukai no Yome, & maybe Spice and Wolf for some merchant story. As for child character, you can watch Somali to Mori Kamisama, Kakushigoto, Usagi Drop & Amaama to Inazuma.




Im sorry, but your princess in another castle.

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Title : Hitsugi no Chaika
Chaika -The Coffin Princess-

Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy

Im not sure what made me download this old anime (2014), but for sure I know it was famous for our main girl which is Chaika. Consider this era, I set my expectation accordingly.

The story is about girl who only know that she need to buried her dead father remains (hence why she carried a coffin) to set him free. Sudden encounter with mercenary group which looking for a job, she get tagged with 2 team members which gonna help carry forward her duty. Apparently her background is somewhat unique that even she herself didnt notice, making her a target by several other evil group. Without spoiler the whole story, lets just say she on her way to discover who she really is and what her true goal.

As anime from mid 2010s, this is the era where anime production is kinda perfected with fluid animation, I can say that this anime production by Studio Bones are pretty good although it is not something grand. Story wise, this is kinda fun adventure of small group running from evil guys until the revelations about Chaika background. The special effect also good, especially when it related to spell effect used by Wizard in the series as Chaika is one of the them.

If we judge from the score on MAL, this is pretty average anime with good production. For me, at least it was entertaining to see our main protagonist group. It just sad that the story could be something more grand in 12 episodes, but it just remained small scale (hence kinda feel flat)

Alternative : Actually Im going 2nd season atm, I will write alternative once I finish that one.




That kinda conclude abruptly.

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Title : Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
Chaika -The Coffin Princess- Avenging Battle

Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy

Continuation of first season until conclusion. Im not sure if this will be anime-only ending or something, but definitely it end of the ride.

It quite hard to explain the season 2 without spoiling whole plot. Lets just that all the build up on first season and stake are much higher here. Finally we got answer to all questions we have with the series with even more plot twist this time around. At the beginning of season we able to see our adventurer group traveling around while trying to find the remains of Chaika's father. Only halfway of season then we finally the into finishing storyline involving all others parties.

The only downside of this season are probably the ending. It felt like there have budget cut, and suddenly have to finish the series in just 10 episodes (which is weird if you ask me). As usual, the studio production quality carried forward with constant quality. The OP / ED are much more awesome this around that made me pumping watching each episodes. Personally I dont like the way story progress where it have some training & tournament in the middle of freaking war.

So the conclusion for 22 episodes? Definitely worth the time. It is not something grand like many better series out there, but it is done the story justice with proper albeit rushed ending. Definitely entertaining from beginning to the end.

Alternative : I think I will focus on anime with similar powerhouse female characters : Nanoha movie (1st & 2nd), Akatsuki no Yona, Madoka Magica & maybe Black Lagoon.
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iwansquall
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Bring it up couple of notches.

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Title : Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai?: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2

Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen

I will be honest that I had issue with this series. Mainly because comedy are subjective and Im not fan of this comedy. Something about the way it delivered the joke & emphasize on monologue.

As usual, the main story is about a couple who cant express their love. Their goals in the beginning is to make their partner to confess their love. Being stubborn and egoistic, this painful relationship pretty much going for most of the 1st season and it continued in 2nd season. In meantime of story plot, there are more important side stories this time around, and I pretty love when it get serious. As usual romcom series, dont expect anything concrete unless it mentioned something like "final season" in the title.

The monologue comedic moment of this anime is one that i really hate. Especially when it rely heavily on misunderstood part, but the joke have to be explained in a dialogue or monologue. As someone who prefer more innocent or slapstick / physical comedy, I dont enjoy most of the times as it made infuriating. Thankfully those moment are much lesser than 1st season, it relied a bit more on story plots this time around. Anime production is top-notch so quality are freaking good.

Definitely this season is much better than 1st season. My suggestion is to watch first season, then decide if you can get into its comedy (I didnt) and maybe you can find enjoyment in this.

Alternative : I cant remember any good romcom I watched recently to be honest, so i just give random suggestion based on recent anime on my list.
Kanojo Okarishimasu, Fruit Basket (Remake), BokuBen, Boarding School Juliet.
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FFF-class Trashero

Not exactly an anime as it only exists as a webnovel and a manga, but whatever.

The story is about Kang Han Soo, who was unwillingly sent to a fantasy world. After 10 years of struggling his way to level up while facing constant abuse by his uninvited partymembers, he finally achieves his ultimate dream of returning back to his own world by killing the demon lord. Or at least that's what he thought. Because the gods watching him graded his journey as insufficient, returning him back to Day 1 of the adventure, telling him to improve his reputation (graded D-) and character (graded F) in the next run.

This is such an interesting story. I do feel empathy with that guy, who never wanted to be a hero, and instead just wanted to live his everyday normal life. But he was forced to train (as in beaten up) and live with the hygiene standards of the 15th century for over 10 years. Only to have all his progress up to this point wiped out. Well, if you can be empathic to this guy, you'll know what happens next: Pure outrage.

While the main character is definitely interesting, don't expect him to be your casual isekai protagonist. He does have a trash personality. This on the other hand gives a similar to feeling to Luffy from One Piece despite their completely opposing personalities. They are both characters that aren't bound to the story. They ARE the story. And this is something that many writers don't understand. So yeah, good writing so far.
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Houkago fish time.
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You know pretty well about myself with CGDCT (cute girl doing cute thing), all those moe stuff that pretty much doing mundane stuff. The trick is balancing the content especially if you tackling big subject matter like this anime.

Story started very simple where our protagonist was tricked into joining a "breakwater" (i assume this mean those stuff near port area to break big wave) club that emphasized on fishing and food handling. Here we will learn about fishing with 4 team members as well as 1 useless teacher that bring forward some comedic moment. Our protagonist is kinda feeling insecure especially when tasked with basic stuff like butchering a fish or setting up a live bait, so you will able to see how her growth throughout the season.

Anime production was made by studio Doga Kubo, which is one my favourite studio that great at making moe slice of life anime. Granted, you dont expect something grand from this genre (hence why i say it is average). However with a lot of funny facial animation, as well as good "information bomb" that available in every episodes to teach audiences, this is pretty enjoyable series. Not to mention, with relaxing environment, it just made you wish you were outside doing some fishing yourself (instead of cramped inside your house because of virus outbreak)

If you enjoyed this genre, i think this is a good recommendation. It is very chill anime that easily make you really want to hang out with your friend and go out fishing.

Alternative : (hard to find any similar subject matter or feeling with this anime lately)
Amanchu! (2016) : About diving instead of fishing, more toward iyashikei (healing) feeling than comedy
Non non Biyori (2013) : Anime about bunch of girls living in rural area.
Nagi no Asu kara (2013) : Not entirely same genre, but it feature beautiful sea side
Tsuritama (2012) : Old anime that have similar fishing term, but with boys instead.

*Scoring on anime would be tricky as i really dont want to get into stuff like a proper characters, story / plot progression, writing, music / theme. Those detailed stuff are kinda basic requirement for review on MAL, some crazy reviewer even go super in depth up to thousand of words. But i still want to find a way to give out several score for a metric to judge. This anime might sound average, but it is really entertaining for me. A good anime that I didnt enjoy for example, could be your anime of the year.
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Quantum romance of nonsense.
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Random anime from free legit youtube stream. I didnt know anything about it, except i accidentally saw the score of the anime. Despite that, I put quite low expectation while watching this.

I will be blunt and say that I WILL SPOIL THIS SERIES. You see, you need to understand several factor. This was originally a VN (visual novel) adaptation back from 2010. Obviously several concept & trope can be seen in various VNs from that era. This anime have a concept of sending someone from the future to save from the past. Question is, which type of time travel concept will be seen here? I give you one answer, the grandfather paradox. The story have great start with "big mystery" about a mysterious girl as well as some ghost sighting.

The series drop the important plot in the beginning, filling it out various typical school romance scene (typical VN adaptation with multiple route) that focus to strength the bond between specific 1 boy / girl pair. It took until episode 8 or 9 (i forgot which one) then we finally able to see the mystery unravel about whole time travel premise. It seem like the studio that create this anime, tend to create several mediocre average production anime (aside from 1 or 2), so I can quality is consistent. Eventhough the anime is from 2014, this feel like early 2000s anime especially the VNs era.

The series might work as VN that you took time to read & detailing out, but it is failed as anime. At least this adaptation couldve used some arrangement by putting the "accident plot" somewhere in the middle, after the romance have built up. Unless you have nothing else to watch, then there is some small merit to anime (which i doubt)

Alternative :
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018) - Story about a girl going to past to change herself
Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO (2019) - Grand father of time travel VN, not that good, but there are more interesting concept here
Steins;Gate (2011) - Duh, if you havent watch this, i wonder why you are still here, watch both season
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (2003) - One of my old school favourite drama. It dealt a story with relationship of big accident aftermath

*Let me know if you like the verdict like this or not (usually i put at the bottom). As I said before, it highly depend either you can stand specific genre and set your expectation accordingly. But considering each anime requirement time commitment to watch, then i just put verdict based if i think it worth the time or not (according to myself of course)
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Netflix & Chill
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It have been awhile since my review, mostly because I was playing several of heavy game that required focus (despite playing open world) that cant justify me to watch anime on 2nd monitor. Now with Genshin Impact, i got perfect games for it (whenever im going collectibles / farming easy stuff).

As you all know, winter 2021 is JAM-PACKED with tons of good sequel. Yuru Camp series is one of it, and I dont want to miss it. Mainly because this genre is something that Im for sure I can enjoy for awhile and I heard many good things about it. The story is pretty straight where a bunch of girls who joined an outdoor club wanted to go to camping whenever they can. You will learn a lot of stuff about camping like a way to setup your tent, a list of essential stuff to carry while camping, a way to setup fire camp & cooking while camping.

Granted, even with this genre, there are some key elements that need to exist for the anime production. The pacing must be done properly so that it wouldnt be boring for the viewer. This series managed to bring a lot of different emotion from the joy of relaxing while hanging out with friends, mesmerizing view of night city from on top of mountain, the struggle of camping alone in the wood etc. Again, plot is simple but it bring the chill & healing feeling whenever you watching this as this anime production is pretty top notch.

Should you watch this? Definitely. This probably one of anime that i felt that everyone can enjoy even if you not a fan of this genre. It have everything good that related to genre that should be your gateaway entry to slice of life anime (iyashikei / healing to be specific).

Alternative : (Now clicking name will link to MAL website of its respective entry)
Yama no Susume- Shorter version of hiking & slice of life
Non non biyori - A slice of life anime about girls in rural area (AND THERE IS NEW SEQUEL FOR IT NOW OMFG!)
Sora Yori mou Tooi Bashou - Another good production anime about girls venturing to artic (or was it Antarctica) with good feeling.
Houkago Teibou Nisshi - Another similar anime, which i review earlier
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There is not enough words to describe this anime
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Literature in anime is not something main stream. Usually the content would be too boring for modern audiences unless it is in hand of good director. Even then, it then to overcompensated with dramatic stuff or something that can pull the audience.

This series I randomly stumbled that I feel like Im gonna get bored to death. It is considered as mundane even by slice of life standard, focusing a genre what would i called "slice of work" which is about adult doing their work & their daily life. The protagonist is awkward guy who probably can be considered someone who very eager when it came to words. He kept searching for word meaning, which eventually landed a tough job to create a dictionary. Together with his working colleagues, he faced a lot of challenges in the day to day life as well as struggled through his awkwardness.

The series is slow, i doubt any on viewer in this forum will enjoy. It is something that I can appreciated the quality, although it feel lacking in overall pacing (especially the time skip). While romance & drama was tagged as its genre, I feel like it is quite minor in overall story as mostly of the story are about the struggle in dictionary production, especially the department have lack of funding. But it doesnt stop me getting mesmerized as I watching this, which show the anime still have interesting stuff, albeit not for everyone.

Only watch if you can enjoy slow mature anime. It is beautiful, but not a masterpiece. I feel like if the pacing a bit more balance (it kinda slow in beginning but fast in the end), the series couldve get higher marks from me.

Alternative :
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Story about struggle of a story teller, one of the best storytelling in anime.
Shirobako- Anime about struggle of creating anime, with various departments.
Violet Evergarden - Story about a girl who struggled to adapt to society & writing letter.
3-Gatsu no Lion - Inner struggle of pro Shogi (Japanese Chess) with his daily life.
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Elaina's Bizarre Adventure
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Traditional magic anime is something I looking forward in anime, especially if it is western counter part that usually involved some sort of broom riding & school of witch. One thing for sure, if you saw a name in the title, it is definitely will be character driven, or at least focus most of the times on the event surrounding the character.

Anime started strong which have inspiring story about girl who wanted to a witch just like in the storybook that she read. Being a gifted child & sheltered throughout childhood, she finally learnt a real world struggle in the daily life. This is a story mostly about her journey once she became a proper witch officially. You will able to see new places where she learnt each of unique country and people problems. Some of the story are heartwarming, some are pretty tragic, and once a while there will comedy.

As for weak side of this anime, definitely would be that it missed it potential completely. While traditional adventure generally episodes and sometimes a bit boring (since no grand arc), adding side characters in form of a teacher, fellow students definitely bring up the continuity when they meet up later. Without spoiling, i would say that maybe 4 or 5 of the episodes are pretty good, especially with heartwarming whenever you finished an episodes. But several other is just mediocre, boring or simply jarring to be in this anime.

No doubt, this is good anime. But be aware of its downside of being inconsistent. The magical journey are pretty awesome and definitely will made you feel like kids again.

Alternative :
Little Witch Academia - This what i meant by western magical school
Mahoutsukai no Yome - Story about a girl who live in a crazy & weird magical world
Somali to Mori no Kamisama - Story a girl and her guarding journey through magic world
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou - Story about 2 girls live in a strange world
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Bloody brat who just want to sleep.
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Again, I know this would be a good anime based on score & I noticed that it was made by one of my favourite Moe / Slice of anime studio Doga Kobo, so i know I can expected some fluffy or polished anime production. Although their anime scoring have been hit & miss lately.

Oh boy im wrong. This type of comedy definitely not my taste. The pattern in every episodes always revolved around a quest of getting good sleep. She will go wreck havoc inside the demon castle like destroying treasure to obtain a good bed, ripping stuff from guards to get material for the pillow and this always cause panic for demon army. Most of the jokes will follow with loud obnoxious voice with "IM STATING THE OBVIOUS STUFF IN CURRENT SITUATION" style of comedy. Which is ok if you liked this of comedy.

Thankfully not everything is bad (since comedy is subjective). The animation in this anime is fluid and colourful, although it is more closest to cartoon style than usual anime since it have a lone of chibi / wacky style gags. The high amount of casts also kind funny each with their own traits and challenges when dealing the princess. Just take note, because of its episodic, being kidnapped in demon castle is merely a setting and no plot that gonna get resolved throughout the series.

Should you watch? Give first episode a try, then decide. I would say that I didnt enjoy it much solely because of the comedy style. Everything else is tolerable because of good anime production.

Alternative :
Mairimashita! Iruma-kun - A very similar concept but with boy kidnapped to demon school instead, more story plot here.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san - A similar concept of girl bending people around her.
Nichijou - Masterpiece of wacky comedy in execution
Gabriel DropOut - Similar style comedy, but again, i didnt enjoy it.
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Literally a Waifu for Laifu (sorry, Life pun) story
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While looking through good anime 2020, i noticed about this anime when i saw a random clip on Youtube about a cute couple. Oh boy, im not dissapointed. This anime is probably something that all newly weds should watch.

This anime is focused solely on romance relationship between MC and his wife. There is some fate about their encounter in first episode, but mostly forgotten and not the main point of the story. Watch their journey in their newly weds story from story about sharing a bed, going to buy clothes, changing clothes, going for a trip and many of things other married couple do. One thing for sure, there will be either comedy moment or something awkward that made them blushing (that look so freaking cute).

As i said in con, the artstyle of this anime does look a bit simple even for slice of life style. This made the couple look much younger than they usually are, but I dont feel it was anything wrong while watching. Again, like slice of life type anime, if you hate this type, you probably will hate it. For me, this type anime is tackling quite a rare topic, specifically young married couple about their daily life. There is no forced drama, no harem, no love triangle which might made this feel like a snooze fest, but the comedy alone carried this series pretty well.

I enjoyed the series much. While comedy also not exactly 100% of my taste, but it still feel like fun. However i love to see their awkward interaction that full of shyness and cute moments once a while.

Alternative :
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken - A story about married wife, with her otaku husband.
Ore Monogatari!! - Another romance comedy that pretty cute, albeit more shoujo.
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei - Another engaged couple story, but a bit super natural. BEST WAIFU (not my waifu, but a perfect wife)is in this anime.
Tsurezure Children - Pure romance story about different type of couples.