How are You Doing, Anime? | Winter 2020 Check-Up

My my, a season sure flies by doesn’t it? …is what I’d like to open up with. Truth be told, this is one of my longest seasons yet and it’s literally only my fourth season following seasonal anime. Maybe I just have a painfully low tolerance and patience with hobbies? Yeah, that’s a definite maybe.

But, enough of that unwanted negative. We’ve reached a significant point in the first anime season of 2020 – that’s right – the inevitable halfway point! This calls for celebration in the form of me gushing over series and taking up a sizeable chunk of your valuable time! Welcome, ladies, gents and others, to Inski’s “halfway check-up show” that’s totally not a disguise to avert your attention from the fact it’s just me nonsensically screaming about a series. Absolutely not.

  • Green Titles are definite must-watches for the season or watches you at least, should pick up. What have you been doing if you haven’t been watching them?
  • Yellow titles are average. They have their negatives and positives. Should you watch them? Sure, if you want. Is it absolutely necessary? Nah.
  • Red titles are poor. They’re either leaning on the bad side of things or going down that route confidently. Should you watch them? No, but if you want, by all means! Red titles are a little vague which is why I also contain my thoughts below the titles.

Ishuzoku Reviewers (7/12)

Ishuzoku Reviewers

What better than to start with the clout monster of the season, Ishuzoku Reviewers? Loads of chaotic drama has been diligently pursuing Ishuzoku ranging from its sudden spike in MAL scores to Funimation’s exclusion of the show for being out of its standards. It’s been a hilariously fun ride with Ishuzoku not because of the anime’s content, but because of its dedicated fanbase its accumulated over the weeks. It adds layers upon layers to the Ishuzoku experience. However, if I’m looking at this anime for none other than itself, Ishuzoku, although carries an…interesting concept, grows rusty fast. If I did episodic reviews on this show, each review would only state ‘big anime boobies girls’ in bolded red because that’s all Ishuzoku is. However, I have to give Ishuzoku credit where its due for creating some of the most intuitive monster girl designs I’ve ever seen. I mean, c’mon, one of them was a literal barbecue grill. It takes talent to come up with an idea as surreal as that. Ishuzoku lies on the borderline of average and as it sloppily treks onward, I believe Ishuzoku will only stay at that meager level or less considering its concept is wearing thin.

Haikyuu!!: To The Top (7/13)

Haikyuu!!: To the Top

I’m really enjoying this season. Granted, I enjoy every Haikyuu! season but I’m enjoying the living life out of this one. The boys are back in town with their volleyball goodness and oh man, sign me up! Plus, they’re still rocking their killer haircuts even after four seasons worth of content. That deserve a standing ovation by now. There’s a player from Dateko that has the coolest bowl cut I’ve ever seen and all it is is hair in the shape of a bowl. Haikyuu! has a natural affinity for haircuts and I envy big time. I want their amazing hair. In fact, I picked up Haikyuu! percisely because of Hinata’s killer haircut. Crunchyroll’s cover was just really enticing, okay?

Watching Hinata be a ball boy for four episodes was, to my surprise, much more entertaining and heavy than I thought it’d be. No one can make picking up balls as meaningful and intense as Hinata can! On the topic Haikyuu!’s technique, I have nothing to say since I watch with a surface level mindset or, in other words, popcorn entertainment style. Sometimes it can be exhausting to always be in constant search for criticisms and underlying messages. Although I take great joy out of making such attempts, it takes work for my slow brain. Nevertheless, that’s no excuse for my lack of finer understanding for Haikyuu’s fourth season. For intricacy, you can visit other blogs that cover this wayyy better than I do. Irina is definitely one you want to stop by first. Her episodic reviews bring attention to the finer details of Haikyuu! and denote their meaning (or, her personal take on the meaning) beautifully. I come out of them knowing a little more each time! I’ll be a Haikyuu! genius by the end of the season, just you wait.

Darwin’s Game (7/11)

Darwin's Game

Darwin’s Game is a mixed bag of good and bad. Although Darwin does indeed have decent moments of social interaction and narrative technique, the majority of times, Darwin feels too forward and robotic. For one, the dialogue hardly feels real. It feels like a mechanical setup to obtain perfection rather than a down-to-earth conversation between two parties of vivid personality. In Darwin’s most recent episode, a baddie smelled one of our mains and the legitimately said: “Wait. I smell something. My sigil is Hound’s Nose (not exact name) so I can smell things from afar”. C’mon, does that truly sound like a real interaction between two people? It sounds like one of those blunt, read-out-loud paragraphs. Within the context of Darwin, I can’t imagine someone naturally saying this to an opposite party. It was as if the baddie was talking to the audience directly and it’s, to put it frankly, annoying. Darwin rarely gives us an opportunity to think for ourselves. It tirelessly attempts to cram knowledge down our throats like we can’t operate two working brain cells. I like the satisfaction and process of generating answers based on my observations but thats difficult to accomplish when Darwin is taking every chance it gets to make sure we understand the obvious. It’s okay to handhold your audience through the narrative (sometimes) but maybeee try not to smother them to death with your overbearing propensities.

Kyoukou Suiri (7/12)

Kyokou Suiri

I’m not the biggest fan of dialogue-heavy shows considering I find myself easily bored but, somehow, Kyoukou has managed to maintain a consistent interest and vivid flair in its dialogue. Maybe that’s to blame on Kyoukou’s concise explanations flowing from one topic to the next or maybe that’s to blame on Kyoukou’s occasional intuitive cuts / artistic nuance keeping its dialogue fresh – who knows? I’m no expert in such cues. Whatever ancient tactic Kyoukou Suiri has been applying to its dialogue, it’s been doing a marvelous job and I, for once, find myself wanting to actively pay attention to eyeless waifu, immortal mermaid man and normie police lady leisurely chat about ghost killers for 20 minutes. I’m truly eager to see how the confrontation against Nanase goes and I don’t use the word ‘eager’ with light. After all these episodes of clever strategizing and examining existing or possible threats, it’s no wonder I’m on the edge of my seat now that we’re nearing the final outcome to our trio’s tedious research; all it took was a little clever dialogue play.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!

Eizouken is still healthily maintaining its imaginative prowess and intuitive approaches towards art even after a lengthy seven weeks of airing. Eizouken doesn’t seem to be losing its artistic touch – both narratively and visually – anytime soon. In that sense, I think Yuasa was the perfect director for Eizouken. His creativity and flair in the art direction can shine brightest upon Eizouken’s wake, an anime all about utilizing creativity. It’d be contradictory if a director of vanilla style directed Eizouken. Thus, Yuasa’s wacky creativity is thrown into the limelight and you bet he fills the stage. All eyes are on him. Plus, like Ishuzoku, Eizouken’s impact has too been shaking up the community but on a more positive plane. Normie, Tall Girl and Goblin’s opening dance has caused a hilarious yet wholesome ruckus I can’t help but embrace and I don’t even need to mention all the heart-stealing Tall Girl has been doing these past weeks. She’s the most wholesome thief in anime yet. She can burn down my house and it’ll be wholesome. I always love watching seasonals that gain significant traction amongst a crowd. It makes watching the crowd and show from afar all the more entertaining!

Bofuri: I Don’t Like Getting Hurt so I Put All my Points in Defense (7/12)

Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.

Imagine you’re a college professor and you receive a professional essay from a student titled like a goshdarn Isekai. You’d get shit like, IncoRate: I Don’t Like the Small Income Teachers Earn so I Wrote an Essay About Why They Deserve More. Or, imagine calling your essay your thesis statement. Gee, I wonder what it’d be about.

Anyways, Bofuri, albeit a cute show, like Ishuzoku Reviewers, too grows rusty at an alarming speed. In that sense, both are awfully similiar (narratively, they are not). I’ve never liked CGDCT percisely because of that sole reason. Over a set course of time, CGDCT like Bofuri grow stale and lackluster. There are no oustanding, captivating qualities propping CGDCT like Bofuri up once the CGDCT high wears off and thus, nothing seperates Bofuri from the chaffe even in the enjoyment perspective. I found myself losing interest by episode three and now that we’re on episode seven, consider me burnt out and dead tired. I’ll be using Bofuri as my go-to paradigm whenever I get into a heated convo about CGDCT now…

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun (7/12)

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun

Wait…Hanako-kun? The title was Hanako-kun the entire time? Great, now the thought of me using the honorific “-san” in my episodic review titles will forever haunt me. Then again, I could go back and change each title one by one so I can sleep in peace but my raging indolence objects.

Allow me to summarize basically everything I say every episodic review. Ahem, Among Hanako’s first episode, it exceeded in its ability of generating decent tone and lighthearted comedy deserving of the its title. However, as soon as Hanako extended past its third episode, its comedy grew unappetizing and its tone mastery, flunctuating. Moreover, new problems began to emerge from the mist such as poor transitioning, inconvenience of Hanako’s more or less stagnant artstyle and slow treks through episodes not at all feeling light nor airy. Lately, Hanako-kun has been gradually becoming better so that’s a plus. At the moment, Hanako-kun is in the threshold between yellow and red.

Science Fell in Love so I Tried to Prove it (9/12)

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei shitemita.

Is it bad that I silently giggle to myself everytime I see this title? I don’t know what I find so hilarious about it. This long title or, as laziness calls it, RikeKoi, is basically Love is War except science. However, they aren’t at all similiar in execution. While Love is War can cleverly play off wit with its one-of-a-kind concept, RikeKoi cannot. Albeit RikeKoi often uses science to support its gags as Love is War uses the tsundere trope, the science is of a borderline basic level and instead of stealthily manipulating jokes from the shadows, it’s only used as a means of keeping the idea fresh. Thus, RikeKoi ends up growing mundane and increasingly frustrating in its stganant romantic aspects. Our main couple has pratically moved a millimeter from its intial standing come Rikekoi’s ninth episode. Despite all these negatives, RikeKoi isn’t all doom and gloom. RikeKoi can manage to be a funny show when it cleverly times and uses its science themes adequately . The occassion may not happen everytime but when it does, it DOES.

Id: Invaded (8/13)

Id:Invaded

ID is a cool concept to play around with however, I feel like the range of its concept still has potential beyond what it is now. ID’s intriguing concept is handled in a straightforward light when I feel it could be so much more. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself though. Currently, ID is adequate as is. It’s been progressing at a decent pace and its characterization is by far the most instense and interesting of the seaso. ID’s stayed a clear representation of what it is with no hazy confusion amongst it. However, come its eighth episode and ID’s unwavering stance may be endangered. ID’s eigthth episode attacks its founded pacing and makes unnecessary decisions (like Anaido’s existence) sure to stunt future growths along ID’s timeline. ID’s depiction of logistic deductions and conclusions are, majority of the times, that of a child’s and oddly bizaare. In fact, ID’s logical appeal and knowledge in general are often flunctuating. Hopefully ID can get it together by the end. I’d hate to see such a cool concept and compelling characterization go to waste.

Dorohedoro (6/12)

Dorohedoro

Before anything else, the opening and ending both slap. At first, I was indifferent towards them but come this week and I ferociously bop to each every time. I heard it foreshadows a considerable chunk of the manga yet, no matter how hard I try, I can’t find the hidden subtext behind a blonde lady ferociously chopping up meat and serving gyoza to countless alligators. I really can’t. Dorohedoro has been raw blood and grit since the beginning and as a seinen/shounen dumpster moth, I’ve been enjoying Dorohedoro’s unwavering pride in its ability to extravagantly flaunt massacres and grueling bloody-fist battles like it’s nobodies business. Its story, although simple, is engaging (after all, its basically the action genre compressed into an anime) and leaves you thirsting for more. I’m still holding myself back from reading the manga but I swear, if I see it in the manga section at Barnes & Nobles one more time, I will buy it; no questions asked. Dorohedoro won’t be a big hit for me by the end of the season however, the pure bleakness and enjoyment I’ve been experiencing with Dorohedoro will definitely be a memorable aspect of Winter 2020. It’s seinen / action spiderweb has gotten me happily entangled!

Pet (5/13)

Pet

Yeah, I’m a few episodes behind. At this point in time, I have no idea if I’ll finish it or not. Pet, like ID, has a cool premise that sadly, isn’t used to the best of its potential. Its primary issue stems from its wild application of obscurity. Pet never lays out its exposition in front of us nor the answers. Basically, Pet gives us a long leash and lets us run free however, that obscurity Pet takes pride in sometimes goes overboard and thus, becomes an obstacle preventing us from distinguishing subtext or sometimes understanding the nook and crannies plot itself. It’s handled with a severe lack of finesse and care. Non-linear takes on stories are styles I definitely appreciate however, one should know the boundary between non-linear storytelling and confused flailings across a storyline. My word isn’t very trustworthy though considering I haven’t been actively engaged in watching Pet. Two weeks without watching Pet and I’ve already forgoten all of what episode five entailed. What a pain in the butt…but I’m an even bigger pain in the butt for not dropping it despite my indifference…This is a bad section, I suggest Sean (Moe Sucks) or Irina’s episodic reviews; I’m a mess.

Runway de Warrate (7/12)

Runway de Waratte

Imagine taking fan fav attributes of shounen like tournament arcs, passionate perservere, help-me-help-you relationships, etc and tossing them into the lexicon of fashion. Introducing: Runway de Warrate. Runway de Warrate has answered a question that’s been haunting me since the prehistoric ages; a question holding more importance than that of existential wonders; a question experts consecutively fail to calculate…Do I truly like the shounen genre or do I just like the reoccuring tropes? I’ve said this countless amounts of times but I’ll say it again if I must, I adore the shounen genre from its raging action down to its shounen-exclusive tropes. Now that Warrate’s entered the fray, I’m beginning to slightly question my insurmountable love I felt only exclusive to the genre. I experience the same feelings watching Waratte as I do with childhood shounen favs like Naruto. Waratte’s existing conflicts emmit a similiar feel to that of a blood-boiling shounen battle; the overarching theme of persistence gives me huge classical shounen nostalgia and even if Waratte doesn’t partake in supernatural themes, it still manages to be just as atmospheric in the fashion field as shounen like One Piece or Naruto are in their fictious worlds of raw awe.

In essence, Waratte is a shounen. A fashion shounen. And the answer to my question? Of course I like the shounen genre! However, without shounen’s existing tropes, I wouldn’t love it as much as I did. Ultimately, Shounen’s exclusive tropes work best with shounen; case closed! Plus, no-brainer actions will always be my home calling (what even is my niche at this point?). Shounen’s style of simplistic tropes go hand-in-hand with action’s (normally) straightforward approaches. I’m loving Warrate and I can’t wait for the episode where they summon chakra from their inner cores and embed it into fashion designs, creating Goku Uniforms unrivaled in all forms of fashion. Really, though. Ikuto needs to create Mako’s Goku Uniform this instant. I’ll pay.

If my Favorite Pop Idol Made it to the Budokan, I Would Die (7/12)

Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu

And if I see another title that can be an essay thesis statement, I’ll die too ahahahahaha! I was really excited to see a yuri-ish show drop by this season and its typical plot of, y’know, clingy extravert seeks reserved introvert is one I love indulging myself in…if done right. This show is torturously slow. Medieval torture can’t amount to how torturously. The romance between our two leads has gone literally nowhere. Even the painstakingly slow progress made in RikeKoi was infinitely better than the nonexistant progress here. Every episode is a rinse and repeat of the last and there’s no deliberate sign of change anytime soon – no matter how many times I wish for it. The comedy, like the story, is too a rinse and repeat and it can’t do anything else except endlessly shower us with idol rantings and light otaku/wota criticisms. A show I once had high hopes for (I was gushing over it in my TCNC) is tumbling down an endless rabbit hole of irrevocable flaws I can only foolishly hope will magically disappear next episode. Sigh. If you’ll excuse me, I need to cry.

Natsunagu! (7/12)

Natsunagu!

Natsunagu! is still a cute sonder even after seven episodes. Granted, the art is still heavily lacking in nuance however, the sheer wholesomness of our main lead’s journey to find her online pal can make up for it. After all, Natsunagu! only takes up five minutes of your precious time. I never find it inconvenient to swifty turn on Natsunagu! for a watch and enjoy it to my heart’s content. Natsuangu’s been a wholesome story and although I won’t remember it give or take a few seasons, I’m glad I picked it up this season. Out of all the fuzzy series this season, Natsunagu!’s lax attitude has helped me simmer down the most evne if Natsunagu! is only five minutes per episode. There’s nothing wrong with it however, I can’t strongly reccommend this to a collective audience. I’m always stressing out and getting anxious over trivial things which is why such a small thing like this feels big to me. Objectively, it’s a yellow. Personally, green all the way.

Breakers (7/?)

Breakers

Newborne studio, Albacrow, the studio behind Breakers, has been doing a substantial job. Granted, 3D designs and 2D designs are still galaxies away from blending in, art and animation in general are at a strong baseline level. Character designs are realistic as are joint movements and actions. Minor issues like unsynched eyes or awkward additional designs are easy to put behind. Albacrow’s made a fine, first impression. I’ll be following them to see what more they put out there.

I’ve never seen an anime on paralympics so, I was eager to begin Breakers. Truth be told, a lot of these paralympic sports I never knew existed. I’m quite uneducated on the topic. Like Natsunagu!, Breakers is too a short anime with 1/2 the length of a typical anime episode. Unlike Natsunagu!, Breakers has no aspect of specialty. Yes, it’s a rare anime to add to the small clutter of paralympics and..? And? There’s not much else to add past that. The show isn’t very sporty since it’s more dedicated to its characters, who are inevitably glued to the stiffness. Breakers downfall is unfortunately, its small time per episode. Had it had more, I’m sure things like characters and sports could’ve established a bigger foundation for themselves.


Woah. 15 anime is exhausting. I should stop piling so much on my plate and maybe also stop procrastinating at the last minute during blogging. 3.5 hours of straight writing for two days (total, seven hours) isn’t as fun as it sounds but then again, that must seem like child’s play to most veteran writers here on WordPress…

If you’ve made it this far or if you skipped to the end to see if I was as considerate to put a TL;DR (mwhahaha false), nevertheless, thanks for sticking with this insanely long post. Even if you did skip around, I’m happy you even considered skipping around in the first place. I’m grateful you even clicked. I’m grateful you even know who I am. I just appreciate you and every one of the people who stop by and give a click. This has been In (Wow, my name has went from Inskidee > Inski > In. Next, it’s only going to be one letter) and bye!

Drops:

  • Case Jewler Richard *1st ep.
  • Number 24 *3rd ep.
  • 24/7 *3rd ep.
  • Overflow *1st ep.
  • Infinite Dendrogram *1st ep.

8 thoughts on “How are You Doing, Anime? | Winter 2020 Check-Up

  1. I have to agree with you about ID:Invaded. It has quite the concept and characterization but these last few episodes just haven’t been hitting the mark. I still need to watch the latest episode and I can only hope for the best really. I really don’t want this one to disappoint me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I’d really hate for ID to crash and burn in it’s end. Those sudden crash and burns always hit the hardest. You can only imagine the mark Guilty Crown’s final episodes left on me…not good…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. Everything feels right until it goes so badly wrong. It just overshadows all the good stuff as well.
        Oh wow… I never watched Guilty Crown but it must have been bad.

        Liked by 1 person

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