Spring 2021 Anime At The Halfway Point

In a lot of ways, this was the season that reminded me about how my anime tastes are different from the community. I am with a lot of people when it comes to enjoying Dynazenon and Fruits Basket, but there is a few numbers of them that other people are watching and enjoying that I am not and vice versa. I think that has something to do with me being an anime fan so long. Sometimes, I want to look for something creative and different which will lead to me actually enjoying a show more than others. It happens. At the same time, I have seen a number of series that do the same thing as others I’ve seen and they completely suck at what they are pursuing. I will leave what each of those are to what I write about.

The biggest show that displayed this level of diversity between me and others was how I saw To Your Eternity. That is the only show that I’ve dropped this season, thought I wish I could drop more. (I have a rule that once I am halfway through a show, I have to finish it.) The first episode of To Your Eternity was probably the best thing that aired this season to me. It was emotionally raw and had a relatable character’s journey. After that, I so did not care about what is going on but other people were led to tears for some reason. I never found a reason to like March because she was annoying and having her selected to die in a ceremony, I don’t know about didn’t mean to anything for me. Thus, dropped. Fun times, right?

With that, time to get into the halfway point of this season finally.


A Handy Guide for how I feel about shows:

Solid: Seasonal Favorites, Highly Recommend.
Good: Maybe not as high quality as the first category, but still pretty enjoyable.
Ok: What it says on the tin. Maybe preferable for those who are into the genre the show is from.
Bad: I’m not even sure why I am still watching it besides maybe learning something from it.



Back Arrow

There is a reason why I haven’t put this show on any of the rankings this season. Ok, a couple reasons with it airing last season and I wanted to start it new. Anyway, Back Arrow is fantastic guys. I love it to death and back. It’s a show that sounds ridiculous dumb in concept but it’s grown so much to where I don’t think anything will show it up. As fast as it moves with its characters and plotting, it feels so well thought out. The character journey of Back Arrow is out of the way, but incredibly competent. Especially with Shu Bi leading the charge with his thoughts and intellect. The action is fantastic and the mecha designs are well varied and thought out too. Lastly, the story and the world feel complete and all the questions I would have for Back Arrow don’t exist anymore. I don’t know how else to give it praise. We shall see if it stays at my favorite anime for this year because we are only half way there right now.


ODDTAXI

Practice online and social media safety, watching Oddtaxi. That is the main theme of this show as online life destroys (or in some cases improves) the lives of fury animals as they live out their lives. The show does revolve around a Walrus in a taxi talking to people. It sounds boring because of how it is a simple concept, but it’s executed so well. So many complex plots and ideas are spread around through realistic and snappy dialogue that other shows wish they had. A person on twitter called it Durarara with animals and yeah, that’s kind of what it is but with adult characters only. The older teenagers are taking out of the equation and they were honestly the worst part of Durarara for me. That’s all I wanted to say.


Thunderbolt Fantasy Season 3

While Thunderbolt Fantasy Season 3 is a little too busy with lots of characters all over the place and now, time and dimensional travel, but it is building to somewhere interesting because one plot element is connected to another. It’s a whole sale mess in so many ways that Shang will probably not live through (or maybe he will) and it’s hard to write those easily. Everything that Shang has done up to this point is coming to take him to task as well. Plus, it’s Thunderbolt Fantasy so there is over the top but relatable characters and relationships, bloody and humorous puppet antics, and things. Can’t recommend it enough honestly.


Megalobox 2: Nomad

This show is fantastic. As of 7 episodes in, I am amazed by how different of a direction season 2 took from the original. It’s a much slower and heavier piece about Joe suffering through hard times and trying to find his way out of it. The first four episodes were not only an arc about becoming clean again, but also dealing with so many complicated immigrant issues as well with them discovering their home. Those first four episodes were so well realized and written that it could have been its own film. The second arc revolves around Joe returning home and it’s just as strong so far even if it’s different in scope. It shows the depth of Joe and what he will do for the kids he left behind. Can’t recommend it enough right now.


SSSS.Dynazenon

The only thing holding this show back from being near the top is how low key it is and how naturally the show dives into it. It doesn’t have as strong of an effect otherwise and that isn’t a knock against the show. It’s more of a vibe the anything. Otherwise, this show is so good. The first half has been about the growing relationship behind the pilots of the different parts of Dynazenon against the Kaiju Eugenicists who aren’t trying their best. It gives them enough time to explore their own issues while providing cool fights which is what I like. The second half featuring the villains trying harder and the Dynazenon group working hard together feels like a natural sort of conclusion here. Especially with best boy Anti showing up. I can’t help but dig it honestly. Such a good vibe.



Fruits Basket Season 3

Ok, the only reason why Fruits Basket Season 3 isn’t in the solid section is because so many shows fits into that segment because there are a lot of good things airing this season. This final season is just as good as the other seasons so far. The world that Tohru build with her kindness and thoughtfulness is overtaking the world of Akito and her darkness and it’s destroying Akito. This season is much more of Akito’s season as she learns how she treats people (which she learned from her abusive mother) isn’t working and she can’t see any reason why or can’t find any solus of any of it. Consequences build up. The Sohma family is still in the season as well and they are just as good as they have been. Love it.


Mars Red

This show is something different. Apparently, it’s based on a play and the show digs into that by not focusing on the play or having a lot of its set dressing look like places that would appear in a play, but having the stage take a central portion of the show makes a lot of sense. At the same time, this is a show about the Taiso era Japanese empire building their own nukes during the arms decline through vampire warriors. The main group is four vampires of different levels led by one very inhuman vampire colonel and they solve cases. The growing of the militaries interests grows, these squad will have to deal with the fall out. The simplicity yet complexity of the writing is what weighs it down because for all the complicated military things going on, the character writing is very simple and doesn’t hit hard enough.


86

This show is also really good, but I feel like it is a victim of being a way too faithful adaptation of the light novel it comes from. 86 is a story about a nation using all the non white haired people to fight an AI built empire that sets out to destroy them. They are used as ai units and are issued commands by a control who is one of those white-haired people. Our show focuses on a Major named Lena who feels a massive amount of sympathy for them. So, the show is one unit fighting to survive while Lena learns what their actual struggles are to sympathize. The show has a great direction in ways that does makes you feel bad for everyone involved, but the story itself is a little slow. If it was a bit more efficiently written, it would be a much stronger top performer for me but it is incredible.



Vivy ~Flourite Eye’s Song~

I was thinking about putting this in the bad section with Moriarty, but I don’t have it. I just think it’s gotten so boring and predictable. The concept of a song idol AI unit fighting to stop humanity from being destroyed through major events over one-hundred-year jumps is interesting, but these writers are not creative at all. The first six episodes are the same story three times again and again with the same thing’s kind of happening again and again. It’s a beautiful looking show and different settings can help provide some nuance to it, but I feel like each arc could easily be four episodes in length instead to feel so fully fleshed out. Some episodes are so rushed and they don’t have the emotional impact they are trying to do. If this show was a 30-hour video game instead, it would be incredible. Now, we just have an ok and boring anime series that is almost done. Maybe it will become good in the end, but I feel lacking in execution



Moriarty Part 2

Ok, what happened to this show? Season 1 was a lot more grounded and meticulous in it’s execution which made it so good even if it was a bit stale. It being restrained so much is why I found it so good. Now though? It’s jumped so many sharks that I just lose so much interest in it. Not to mention the writing on top of it has become questionable as well. I thought the beginning arc was ok and the best part of the show, but the Jack the Ripper arc was atrocious and now a minor villain that Moriarty can defeat in a short amount of time has shown up? There was an episode recently where a backstory case which shakes the entire foundation of Moriarty happened and considering the wealth James got through it, ruined the whole scope of the show. How do you have a mansion and a business and not have it be brought up at all? I just have so many questions here. Can this show just shut up and tone down, please? Thank you.


Conclusion

There we go, my somewhat controversial opinion on this season so far. I don’t know how else to say or explain all of this other than saying that straight out. Some series concepts sound cooler than they actually turn out to be. Other series that usually revolve around some smaller and lamer seeming concepts can blow people things out of proportion better then expected. That’s the way media always works whether it’s anime or not. Ambition can carry a series quite a few ways, but it also needs to succeed at what it’s doing as well too. That’s all I wanted to say at this point.


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3 comments

    1. It feels so strange saying this, but last episode was pretty good and grounded as well. It feels like when the show is focused away from certain characters, the show can be what it was in season one.

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