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Anime/Manga Sonata's Anime Journey

Sonata

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So-nat-a anime addict

Heyo, it's me. For the next year I'll be putting my thoughts and questions in regards to various series I make my way through here. The goal for the time being is 100 anime, and 20 manga (which will... very likely be surpassed by the spring). Sometime within the first week of each month, I'll randomly generate up to 5 anime and 1 manga (filling the spaces for things I've watched the last month) from my backlog to be my goals for the month. I can't promise I'll get through my randomly selected shows every month, or that I'll even adhere to what I've rng'd (as I've added a number of just... absolutely terrible shows to my backlog that I dread the day I'll have to get around to, but gotta experience it all!) but I'll do my best. I'll also be doing seasonal roundups as all the things I've been watching as they air start to end (for instance, I have 7 shows I'm currently watching which started airing on the 8th, and just about as many that started on the 7th or 9th lol........) and these may be anything from a paragraph or two to full on reviews if there's something I felt really strongly about in the current season. All that said, I've already generated my shows for January up above, those being; You and Me., Someday's Dreamers, Neuro: Supernatural Detective, Ground Control to the Psychoelectric Girl, Basilisk, and Aphorism.

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Sonata

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1/100: Killing Bites

Alright. This isn't the first anime I finished of the new year, but I am waiting to do my review of 'You and Me' until I finish the second season.

To start things off... would I recommend Killing Bites? No. Probably not. Killing Bites is a battle royale type show with the twist that everyone's powers are based off of some sort of animal. It's an interesting concept, and the first episode does a decent job of setting everything up. However, everything is overly sexualized in this show and the action kind of suffers for it. The main character fights in underwear and a tank top, there are gratuitous ass shots littered throughout, and half of the female characters have powers that for one reason or another end with them or their enemies taking the show further and further down the road of Ecchi. Other than that, as with most battle royale anime there's not a lot of plot to cover, especially with having only a single season to work with. The main characters at least have one or two moments each that kind of redefine who they are from the first episode, but the show would have benefited from even another episode or two just to give a little more time to certain things. There is a moderately interesting twist at the end, but I'm not sure it was worth the four hour binge it took to get there.

The voice actors in this show aren't bad. They do what they're supposed to, the voices match the characters pretty well, and the emotions that are portrayed in some of the later episodes don't feel like they've been overshot or anything of the like. The ost is mostly rock so there's some power behind the action scenes and the OP/ED though I only watched each once also seemed decent - though they are just more horny bait, especially for the last ED. The art itself isn't bad and is pretty middle of the road for LIDENFILMS. The action scenes weren't overly exciting, but for what it's worth they were interesting enough to continue watching. The animation includes some still frames that have the zoom effect added here and there, but for the most part the animation is fluid and has the characters moving around a decent amount with few reused animations so there's a few points for them to pick up there.

Overall I gave the show a 6/10. It wasn't life changing, and I don't find myself wishing for a second season. However, it was watchable and I'd probably still pick up a second season if it did come out just to see what happens lmao. If the animation hadn't been acceptable, I could pop this down to a 5/10 and I feel that's probably where most people would include this on their list if they managed to get through it. It could have been better, but it's not near the worst things I've spent a similar amount of time watching.

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Sonata

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2/100: The Eminence in Shadow

The first of the seasonal anime to start rolling into the finished logs. Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute is a story of a high school student that commits vigilante acts to punish those he deems worthy of it, and saves some people in the process... at least, that's how it is for the first episode. This very quickly moves into the Isekai bit of it, though it probably has one of the records for longest time spent in the 'real world' at the beginning of any isekai.

The show is an odd one, having some degree of fanservicey moments spread out but moreso focusing on the main character's ability to play the role of 'background character' in this new world, all while secretly being the most OP character alive - because of course he is. Minoru Kagenou - a play on words for 'minor kagenou', which is relevant - is somehow reborn into the body of infant Cid Kagenou in another world. While he bears the same name, and the same memories of his previous world, he is still insistent on becoming as powerful as possible, especially since he's in a world where magic is plentiful. So, as you do, he proceeds to murder bandits in a nearby village and creates a secret organization made up almost entirely of elves. As you do.

The secret organization plays the role of the straight man more often than not. They're the ones actually running around doing things, uncovering the plot, chasing the bad guys down, etc. etc.. Meanwhile, Cid gets to play the role of the fool; he pretends to be incompetent and weak, makes jokes, comments on his own designation of 'background character' and considers his options out loud around other people without it ever becoming a thing. And, somehow he continues to stumble into the main plot being uncovered by his secret elves while searching out things to do in his spare time or through random chance.

The story does have a plot, which is nice. When I first was told I was going to like this show, I assumed it was in jest since there's a lot of big breasted anime women and the mc is overpowered. But, I do have to say I enjoyed it overall. Due to the viewpoint of Cid, some things do end up hitting as 'oh come on, really?' but for the most part when things are revealed it doesn't feel forced onto you or like you're supposed to suspend your disbelief in order for it to work as intended. Certain things happen, and it typically makes sense why. The secret organization knows everything, and because the mc is so powerful they don't question him even when he doesn't exactly know what's going on. There's a couple of points relatively early on that I questioned why the organization didn't push him a little for certain things that happened, but overall it wasn't anything major.

The music overall is pretty good, and the voice acting is acceptable. I didn't find any faults in the animation or art direction either, and the fight scenes are well choreographed. In all, I don't have any real complaints.

Oh, and there's a character called Perv Asshat and also a guy named Imatry Nottaloos. 8/10

Anime Reviews

1. Killing Bites

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Sonata

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3/100: I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss

I'm the Villainess is a show which came out last season and had been on my intended to-watch list, I just never got around to actually doing it as part of my daily routine. That being said, I'm glad I decided to wait and binge it in the end. If it had been something I'd kept up with weekly, I most likely would have forgotten about it at some point or simply chose to stop watching it.

The premise of the show is similar to some others which have come out in the last few years - an Isekai based off of the cast of a dating sim that the person played in their real life. However, I feel that this iteration in particular falls short in most regards. Perhaps it's unfair to compare to other shows which had longer runs or will have longer runs in the end, but overall this one just doesn't really have much going for it.

The soundtrack isn't all that great, aside from a fun ED. I switched between Subbed and Dubbed due to Dubbed being easier to watch at work whereas watching subbed was easier to access at home, and the voice actors are fine. The characters are more so frustrating at any given time than anything else, however.

In comparison to the likes of My Next Life as a Villainess, the show falls flat in the way that it explores the potential love interests even within the bounds of the first season, and also struggles with explaining any of the lore of the world that she's been Isekaid into. Whereas MNLaaV starts us at the birth of the current MC/Ex-Villainess, this show starts us at one of the integral turning points in a romance path, without setting us up for any of the reasons why we should like anyone else besides the poor sod who's stuck in this shitty situation. And in addition, the Villainess never truly turns around and 'switches sides', she is in fact, always a terrible person. Although in her defense, compared to some of the other characters she's a saint. Which leads me to my second comparison~

I'm the Villainess also tries to tackle the vantage point of 'what happens when two people are reincarnated into a video game', which is something that Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs went at just a season prior. That show also benefits from having a second season which is upcoming, however they are able to take some time to introduce the world and the characters to us before revealing that the oldMC is actually another player - who also just happens to be a massive piece of shit. TiaDS does the evil MC angle much better than I'm The Villainess, and also manages to recruit the original MC which has been displaced in the story to their side as well with passable explanation in the story itself, whereas ItV just... never really explains why anyone does anything for the Villainess the show is titled for.

This show was frustrating. Not just for all the shitty things that people continuously did throughout for no apparent reason, but also because I found myself being forced to compare it to the few other shows of the same style I'd seen relatively recently. If this type of show is your thing, I'd say go wild. But as for me, I gave the other two mentioned in this review 7/10 and seeing as how they're better than ItV in just about every way... 5/10

Anime Reviews

1. Killing Bites
2. The Eminence in Shadow

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Sonata

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4/100: Re: Creators

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Alright. I have a bit of backlog of these to do, so I suppose I'll start here and try to knock out a few before the thirty seasonal things catch up with me all at once lmao.

Re: Creators was great. I had been putting it off for quite some time since there was a lot of hype about it at the start and then it seemed like everything kind of died off around the halfway point. It's one of those things where every time I would see it come up on my watchlist I'd verbalize 'hey, I should watch that soon' and then put it off again for six or seven months. That said, I'm glad to finally have crossed it off the to do list for a few different reasons.

RC is a type of battle royale anime, but it has a feel more like Fate (not surprising, since Fate Zero really kicked things off for the modern iteration of the genre like SAO did for isekai - unfortunately) in the way that the combatants are brought around. Each character that appears is someone powerful and identifiable from a story that's been or is being told. Which to be honest, the idea of pulling a bunch of anime characters together to do a big fight is something that many people (myself included) get super excited over - I'm a powerscaler at heart, and love the 'what ifs' and 'death battles' of the world. That being said, I was slightly disappointed when I realized that the show was using all original characters rather than pulling a cast from existing works to fight their OC villain. But then I kind of realized almost immediately what a nightmare that would actually be to try and accomplish lmao.

The show is pretty good, as I said before. I did feel the little dip in quality around the halfway point that I was expecting from the way people have talked about and looked back on it over the years. The majority of the cast is pretty solid, and I can say I didn't see a few twists until they were in front of my face. The voice acting was pretty good, and the musical score also works well in most of the scenes. The animation was pretty good; it's not hitting the same level of hype that Fate Zero did for me on first, second, or third watches, but the few really big fights it does it animates them well.

A lot of the characters have quite interesting powers, and the way that each of them interacts with each other is fairly interesting. It's not as empty as some of the fate series feels in the way that legendary heroes interact, so I'll say I did enjoy those bits a bit more. There were a couple of characters I felt myself gravitating towards, which was Mamika and Magane, simply because of how different they feel to the other characters in the show. Magane, who is kind of a wild card ended up being in my top three for the show overall. And then Mamika... the idea of a magical girl that normally lives in a world without blood and just fighting with cute little explosions that knock people unconscious despite being clearly quite powerful eventually finding herself in a world where the massive hearts she's throwing around are actually killing people and breaking buildings is an interesting thing to think about.

Overall I gave the show a 8/10. Would recommend if you enjoy things like the Fate series. :)

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5/100: Isekai Ojisan

Recommend. Right off the bat, 9/10.

Alright, look, the anime isn't winning any awards. It started airing in July of last year and only finished its 13 episodes this month. It's been plagued by issues on the production side, but I still love everything about it. The comedy, the timing, the characters - it's all fantastic to me. I understand it may not end up being everyone's cup of tea, but if you're a fan of the isekai genre then it's probably well worth the watch for you.

Isekai Ojisan is a fairly simple show. It's a comedy revolving around the idea of 'what happens when someone comes back from getting isekaid?' The uncle character comes back to our world after having been transported mentally in the 90's, and a lot of his personality revolves around SEGA. He shows off his adventures in this other world through the use of spirit magic which he still possesses despite being back in our world, and is able to project his thoughts and the various terrible things that happened to him because of just how unattractive he is.

Over the course of the 13 episodes, there are a number of little skits which show off his interactions with various people from this other world which absolutely floor the nephew because of how awful his life was. Though there isn't much to really see of each character on either side of the memories, they're all fleshed out fairly well and the way that each person handles the things they're either being shown or participating in really shows a lot about who they are despite that. But of course, when you're an overpowered isekai character, everyone is bound to get frustrated with you.

But yeah. Watch the show.

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6/100: To Your Eternity S2

God. Damn. So I watched the first season of To Your Eternity back around the time that season two started to roll out, mostly because of the clips which were popping up on youtube. Unfortunately, that means I wasn't able to dedicate a slot of the 100 series for the year to it - but that's fine, I'll just gush about the story as a whole here lmao. The youtube clips dragged me in, making me cry and get frustrated at characters I didn't even know yet, only for it to hit 10000x harder when I did learn about these people.

Season one begins where all things begin - a single cell. The main character begins as an orb which can hear, see, feel, taste, and even think nothing. He is absolutely empty, and only begins to stir when a wandering wolf ends up taking its final breath near him. From there, things become depressing very quickly. Days, months, and years pass before he is able to meet anyone else, only gaining access to the basest of emotions. He is a beast, and it isn't until he happens upon a young child that he begins to learn anything more.

Fushi, as he is then dubbed, goes through the cyclical process of gaining and losing things for many years. Those who come around him die, he learns, and is able to gain new things - only for them to be ruthlessly stripped away from him once more. The whole show goes on like this, only really slowing down in the second season as things get a little more menacing.

The man in black - Fushi's progenitor - hopes for him to learn of all things around the world, and to eventually take his place as the one who watches over creation. It's never explicitly stated who the man in black is, but he is always the precursor to disaster in Fushi's life throughout the story. And for the longest time, Fushi is the only one who knows what it is that the man in black has been doing. Until Bon, that is. But, that would spoil too much :)))

There were so many times through the show where I hoped Fushi could have a happy ending. That someone might stop him, or that he might find a way to protect himself and those dearest to him from everything going wrong in their world. But it just never comes, and from I know of the third season... I'm not done crying yet.

9/10. Not as fantastic as the first season, but fuckin watch em both. If you need to cry, these will certainly help you out.

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I am very much intrigued by To Your Eternity. I'm going to have to give that one a try. Re:Creators is something that has been on my periphery for a while now but that has never really grabbed my attention for more than a fleeting moment, but your description has me a little more curious than I was.
 

Sonata

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Years
I am very much intrigued by To Your Eternity. I'm going to have to give that one a try. Re:Creators is something that has been on my periphery for a while now but that has never really grabbed my attention for more than a fleeting moment, but your description has me a little more curious than I was.

I do think you'll enjoy TYE, seems like the kind of vibe that's up your alley. Sapphy had also been watching it and was agonizing with me each week lmao.
 

Sonata

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7- 31: Lightning Round Part 1

I've been slacking for a couple of months on these reviews and they certainly have built up. Before I go on another big anime binge, I figured I'd do a lightning round to make an attempt at catching back up. Rather than being a full review for each, most of these will be two or three lines of my general thoughts unless it's something just that amazing.

This is probably part 1 of 2 as the current season of anime is coming to a close

7&8: Kimi to Boku 6/10 and 7/10

Nothing incredibly exciting. It's a general slice of life about a bunch of guys being awkward. I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention enough or not, but I also couldn't tell the difference between the twins for a majority of the first season lol. It's pretty chill, there's not a lot of big angsty moments or anything, so if you just want a kind of nothing burger of comfort then this is probably your vibe.

9: Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi 7/10

Guy gets summoned to another world with a group of other heroes. Everyone gets a really cool special skill, and the MC only gets a 'grocery store' skill. He then starts to meet various people and get boons from various stronger beings because he can summon basically anything as long as it is food related by buying it through an online interface, transporting it from our world. It's an isekai, so that might not be your thing but it is overall pretty vibe-worthy. More a slice of life about finding joy in cooking food and bringing new experiences to a whole lot of medieval era people than anything else.

10: Danmachi S4 P2 7/10

I don't know. I've been keeping up with Danmachi for several years now, and it just feels kind of boring at this point. I was kind of falling off towards the end of the first part of the season, especially after what happened in season 3, but I thought I'd stick with it as it came out. I probably could have better utilized that time though. It wasn't as exciting for me this time around.

11. Bofuri S2 6/10

Kind of similar in position to Danmachi. The first season was pretty fun, and the second season was fine as well, but I feel like they dropped the ball a little bit from the first part. If you enjoyed the first season of it, you'll probably enjoy the second season.

12. The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague 6/10

A basic office romance. Except, the main guy creates a blizzard during stressful and uncomfortable situations. It's a very literal interpretation of freezing up lol. I don't remember a lot about this show since it was a few months ago that I watched it, but if you like romance series give it a go.

13. The strongest Exorcist 6/10

An isekai about an exorcist that is reincarnated into a magical world. The guy ends up keeping all his exorcist abilities, but can't pick up on the magic of the new world and has to learn to play it off a lot of the times and actively weaken himself. Of course, he's an overpowered isekai protag so nerfing himself doesn't make the biggest of differences. It's fine.

14. Farming Life in another World 8/10

Another isekai. This time, it's about a cripple that is reborn and given the tool of a farming god to begin cultivating land himself. He's also given a super strong body to make up for his previous frailty, and of course becomes unnecessarily powerful since he has the tool of a god. It's pretty comfy all things considered. The guy makes friends with vampires, elves, dragonkin, and a number of other creatures as he builds a farm in the middle of the deadliest forest and draws in people of all types.

15. The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady 7/10

Every isekai has to have an unnecessarily long name. This one is about a girl that's reborn as a princess without the ability to use magic, so she starts making magitech to help her instead. It wasn't too bad. A lot of times isekai anime turn into harems, but this one focuses on the relationship between the main girl and her brother's ex fiance, which is kinda spicy. It's relatively cute and has some decent action.

16. Adventurers Who Don't Believe in Humanity Will Save the World 5/10

Meh. It had the opportunity to be good. It sure does exist in my watch history.

17. In/Spectre 2 7/10

It's got some cute moments in it. Yukki Onna is best girl. If you enjoyed Season 1, then season 2 will be just as good.

18. Handyman Saitou in Another World 7/10

Another isekai, this time about a guy summoned to another world who is - wait for it - a handyman. He has no real powers, and even as a summoned being is never terribly powerful. He is a basic human in a world of super powered beings and he does his best. It has some funny moments, like a Wizard with a Giant Club.

19. The iceblade Sorcerer 5/10

An overpowered protag goes to school. There's never really any stakes in the show, and he doesn't even show off. The art is also kinda wonky. Meh.

20. Spy Classroom 5/10

A bunch of failure spies come together to form a mess of a team which does jobs nobody else can do. Most of the season is based around them learning to work together as a team, but it starts off with doing the big daring mission they should be training up towards, which is weird. I don't know, it had a lot of potential but just kinda fell off.

21. Reborn to master the blade 6/10

It's nothing amazing. It's another reborn super protag, but they go from being a guy to a girl. It seemed promising at the start, but ended up being pretty mid. There's also a lot of fanservice which kind of killed it for me.

22. Chillin in my 30's after being fired from the demon king's army 6/10

An interesting concept. The Demon King's tactician is fired by a general's son who thinks too highly of himself and ends up finding out just how important the MC was to the cohesion of the military. It's a fun show, all things considered. The guy does end up getting powerful at the end despite never having been able to do anything in the military prior, but it doesn't feel like it was pulled out of nowhere or anything. It might be worth a watch if you have nothing else to do.

23. By the grace of the gods 2 6/10

I felt like the first season was kind of meh, and the second season is even more meh. The anime just kind of exists. It's a nothing burger.

24. Saving 80,000 gold for my retirement in another world 6/10

Girl gets the power to teleport to other worlds and back. She starts a shop selling dollar store stuff in a medieval-ish kingdom. It's fine.

25. Sugar Apple Fairy Tale 7/10

Girl wants to be a sugar sculpter just like her mom was. Women typically aren't people that perform in that position, so everyone wants to see her fail. She picks up a handsome fairy to protect her from those people, and then romance blooms. It's a cute show, and season 2 is coming soon. I'd recommend a watch, though it may not be for everyone.

26. Revenger 6/10

A samurai is tricked by his master into killing his fiance's father, and then falls into despair when his fiance takes her own life. He ends up joining a group of people that take revenge on others for wronging people. It's not bad, but there's some funny and unrealistic killing methods that made me chuckle each time they came up, like suffocating a guy with gold leaf paper. Not really worth the watch.

27. Monogatari 5/10

Guy is set to be the next spirit sealer family head, but would rather just kill every spirit rather than seal them or talk to them. He's sent to live with a girl who has a whole family of these spirits protecting her. Some stuff ensues. Idk, some people have said it's really good but between the art style and the lack of really interesting fight scenes I just don't see what it brings. It feels pretty meh.

28. Giant Beasts of Ars 6/10

Guy is a paladin who kills big monsters. Girl is the power source for his paladin powers. They travel around, killing big monsters and learning the truth of their world. It's alright I guess. The cat girls are annoying.

29. The tale of outcasts 5/10

Ancient Magus bride type vibe, but not nearly as interesting. And furries.

30. Nagataro s2 8/10

Hey, what can I say? That's my type of woman. The show is a vibe, going between moments of cute and funny. If you liked season 1, this definitely builds on it well. If you didn't like season 1 because of fanservice or just because of the concept, then maybe give it another chance? There's some pretty decent character development and relationship development here. Very nice.

31. Heike story 7/10

A somewhat historical story told from the viewpoint of a Biwa player. It's not something that's going to have a happy ending for anybody involved, so don't get too attached to any of the characters. It was enjoyable for what it was, though it's hard not to get angry at certain characters numerous points throughout the story - but as its based off of historical events, it's fair enough to give them a pass for now. I recommend watching it if you like other historical-esque shows.



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