Anime Reviews Done Quick

I wasn’t very good at recording my thoughts on TV shows or movies at all last year, probably because I didn’t really watch that much anyway. Starting from this year, I’m going to try to do a better job of rating and writing up my thoughts on my Trakt page, even if they’re just quick blurbs. Anyway, here are some shows that I watched in 2017 that I enjoyed:

Pokémon: Sun & Moon

pokemonLook, I know, okay? I haven’t watched Pokémon since Indigo League days, and even that should be an embarrassing indictment. Sun and Moon isn’t perfect, but it helps to watch completely in Japanese with no subtitles so that I can tune out all the parts that annoy me.

And there is a lot, a lot, that annoys me. I tuned out all of the Ultra Beast episodes and most of the ones that star Lillie for what I think are very obvious reasons. I don’t really mind any of the other characters, and even find it refreshing the way Satoshi/Ash is just friends with everyone instead of constantly picking annoying fights with them (cough Kasumi/Misty cough).

I dig the new art style. The new Alola region gives me a headache (should I love it for the Hawaiian representation? or should I hate it for being basically the worst of Waikīkī and none of the respect for actual Hawaiian culture?) and some of the storytelling is… bad, but it’s cute and mostly harmless. I should probably get into this with more thoughts later on, huh?

The Eccentric Family

I ADORE this show. I can’t even really put my finger on what this show does so well that has completely captured my heart.

A family of shape-shifting tanuki in western Japan try to deal with their place in society, living among other forest animals, humans in nearby Kyoto, and the supernatural tengu. It’s funny, but not an outright comedy; it’s touching, but not overbearing, and with a hint of “that’s just how things are.” I could just chill out in this world for a few hours, not really needing a story or plot to carry me along. And that’s kind of how the show is, not really too bothered to push story so much as just let you come and hang for a bit. It’s the best.

Both seasons are incredible, though I think I prefer the way the first season unfolds just a bit more. This is one of those rare shows that makes me feel incredibly lonely once it’s over. I’ve even picked up the novels they’re based on to try to get more out of this story. It’s honestly one of my favorite shows of all time. Need more!

Sakura Quest

I didn’t honestly expect to like this show. I’m sorry, but most anime that star an all-girl cast are usually harem or fanservice stories. But Sakura Quest is surprisingly free of that, and is an earnest story of how five girls are trying to revive the rural town of Manoyama.

All of the characters, not just the main girl team, are very well-rounded and down-to-earth. It does get a bit too syrupy-sweet at times, and while the show is free from explicit fanservice there are still some questionable elements that don’t really get challenged (notably, the insistence and pressing need for the young men and women of the town to get married as quickly as possible, and the typical old man pervert who almost single-handedly undoes all the goodwill built up over the show’s run). These aren’t deal-breakers since the whole rest of the show is solid who grow and change over the course of the series. Like Eccentric Family, I found myself feeling very lonely when the final credits rolled, because this too was a world I wanted to be a part of for just a little longer.

I sense I may have to go more in-depth with this show as well… But all that said, this really was one of my surprise hits of the year, and definitely recommend checking it out.

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department

ACCA is a hard show for me to categorize, since I both love it intensely for its stylish music and animation (dat opening!!), am in love with the world and cast, and… am quite cool on the story, which is almost an afterthought.

For whatever reason, my brain puts this show in the same bucket as stuff like Cowboy Bebop, a similarly cool and stylish world with great characters and great flare, but with what I thought was a really disappointing overall story. In that respect, I found ACCA a far easier watch than Cowboy Bebop (I KNOW, I’M SORRY) if only because it’s just bland, where Cowboy Bebop’s mafia story was… really sort of cringey, when we get right down to it. I may have to rewatch both and put my thoughts together a little better.

In any case, the real reason to watch ACCA is not its political plot but the cakes. Just endless, delicious, amazing cakes. I give this show ten cakes out of ten.

I’ll probably be back later with more thoughts on shows I watched in 2017. I also need to put together a list of shows I’m looking forward to in 2018, eek… it’s going to be February before I’m finally done with all these post-year wrap-ups!