Winter 2019 Anime: What I’ve Been Watching

(Sorry for being late) 2019 has started off with a bang with the return of several popular shows and new series, I couldn’t watch much this season (I had a lot of other series I needed to finish) but I really liked this season and the shows that it brought with it.

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BOOGIEPOP AND OTHERS:

MAL Description: “Hushed exchanges among the female student populace of Shinyo Academy center around an enigmatic supernatural entity. This entity is Boogiepop, a Shinigami who is rumored to murder people at the height of their beauty before their allure wanes. Few know of his true nature: a guardian who, between periods of dormancy, manifests as the alter ego of a high school girl named Touka Miyashita to fend off “the enemies of the world.” Now, a string of mysterious disappearances—presumed by the school to be merely runaways—has caused Boogiepop to awaken. But somewhere in the academy, a menacing creature hides, waiting for its opportune moment to strike.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai subtly explores the intrinsic associations between human beings and their perception of time, while delving into its characters’ complex relationships, emotions, memories, and pasts.”

I watched this series with not much knowledge of the series (All I knew was that it was based off a pretty famous light novel, it had a anime adaptation in the early 2000’s and Boogiepop had a nice hat.) So I began this series out of interest.

I was confused by this series, to put it lightly. I wasn’t used to a series showing its events out of order, it wasn’t till the end of the first arc where I finally released what was going on. The first episode begins with the start of the arc and ends with the end of the arc. The other 2 episodes of the arc fill in on what happened in between. While this takes time getting used too, I found its experience to be interesting and awarding. I love the way it handled its theme of urban legends, which really gave it a. While I believe this anime went under most of the fandom’s radar, this series is certainly worth a watch. I loved the mystery and the horror in it. (Also I think that Boogiepop is 2nd best girl girl of the season, I’ll get to number one later.)

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DORORO (2019):

MAL Description: “A samurai lord has bartered away his newborn son’s organs to forty-eight demons in exchange for dominance on the battlefield. Yet, the abandoned infant survives thanks to a medicine man who equips him with primitive prosthetics—lethal ones with which the wronged son will use to hunt down the multitude of demons to reclaim his body one piece at a time, before confronting his father. On his journeys the young hero encounters an orphan who claims to be the greatest thief in Japan.

I’m a fan of Osamu Tezuka’s work, so when I heard of a modern remake of the classic series, I was excited because I always wanted to see a new adaptation of his work and Dororo was the one I wanted to see the most. Dororo had a anime adaptation back in 1969 and after 50 years has been re adapted, after Devilman Crybaby I’ve been more excited for remakes and reimaginings for classic series. This remake didn’t disappoint, despite the art style changing, it keeps the dark and gritty style of the original manga. The result is one of the best remakes of all time and a must watch for fans of dark anime.

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THE RISING OF THE SHIELD HERO:

MAL Discription: “Stories of old tell of four otherworldly heroes—wielding the sword, spear, bow, and shield—who defended the land from wave after wave of calamity. With the fate of the world in balance, the kingdom of Melromarc summons these legendary figures; in modern-day Japan, the call is answered, and the unwitting heroes are transported to this fantasy universe.

Thrust into Melromarc and given the title of “Shield Hero,” otaku Naofumi Iwatani is labeled the weakest due to his lack of offensive capability and apparent inexperience. When the heroes part ways to start their journeys, he only has one willing companion: the beautiful princess Malty Melromarc. However, she soon betrays him, steals all his money, and accuses him of taking advantage of her.

For his alleged crimes, Naofumi is branded a criminal and made outcast of society. With hatred filling his heart, he sets out alone, vowing vengeance against those who wronged him.”

A lot like last year’s Goblin Slayer, the first episode fell into controversy because The Rising of the Shield covered a little topic known as false rape allegations. False rape allegations are a indeed a thing and they cause damage to someone’s life, however making this a plot point offended some people and they started complaining about this which caused some heat in the community. Anyway, about the actual show, its a show that manages to drag me into Isekai again and shows that somehow the genre hasn’t covered everything (They have covered smartphones, becoming a slime and pregnancy already.) Despite the premise being fairly simple, its a show that feels fresh and original. I loved most of the characters, with Rhaphtalia being best girl of the season, Naofumi being a loved protagonist this season (and unlike most protagonists, he didn’t start off with an advantage, but he wasn’t defenseless) and Malty/Myne being the character everyone loved to hate.

The series was overall a great addition to the Isekai/Fantasy genre of anime and I loved (most of) its characters and the way it handles its plot.


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THE PROMISED NEVERLAND:

(Contains spoilers for the series and I recommend watching it before reading this review)

MAL Description: “Surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance, the Grace Field House is inhabited by orphans happily living together as one big family, looked after by their “Mama,” Isabella. Although they are required to take tests daily, the children are free to spend their time as they see fit, usually playing outside, as long as they do not venture too far from the orphanage—a rule they are expected to follow no matter what. However, all good times must come to an end, as every few months, a child is adopted and sent to live with their new family… never to be heard from again.

However, the three oldest siblings have their suspicions about what is actually happening at the orphanage, and they are about to discover the cruel fate that awaits the children living at Grace Field, including the twisted nature of their beloved Mama.

Similar to Made in Abyss, Promised Neverland was a series that started off as cute and then it slowly becomes more dark and hellish. The series had a almost perfect start, with one of the most memorable moments being the horrific death of Conny, a 6 year old girl. Despite Conny only being alive in the series for half a episode, you could feel the impact of the series once cute and light hearted tone after this scene. I loved the animation of this series, not only did it look nice but it was perfect for capturing the cute/horrific moments. Its a series that you don’t want to have spoiled for you because the experience of watching it is marvelous. Other interesting point is how it blends horror and shonen (I really haven’t seen anything like it.) The characters are wonderful, I really liked the protagonist Emma and the supporting characters are interesting in their own ways. I highly recommend Promised Neverland and its not something you should miss.

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HOW CLUMSY YOU ARE, MISS UENO:

MAL Description: “Ueno-san, who is in her third year of junior high school, is in love with the concept of falling in love. She makes full use of her inventions and tries to show it off to Tanaka, her Science Club kouhai.”

I’ve been a fan of Slice of life anime since watching Lucky Star, so I always try to watch at least one every season to even out the mix of shows. For this season I watched Ueno-San because the art style looked really nice and unique. The series was a fun one to watch, while it didn’t really add anything new to the genre, it was a fun and quick series to watch. The animation was the best part of this series, it gave the series its own unique feel and made it stand out compared to other slice of life anime. If you want a cute slice of life or a quick series, then you should give Ueno-San a try.

Series I plan to watch later:

*Kakegurui Season 2

*Kaguya-Sama Love is War

*Domestic Girlfriend

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