The bug has bit me. I want to blog about anime again! As in on this site and not as some corporate whore! We’ll see how long this lasts as I’ve only been picking up the anime I had some interest in pre-season. It’s nice that none of them have let me down though. In fact in all 3 cases I’d say they had exceeded my expectations. Which rather gives my hand away on what I was going to say about them but read on anyway, it has been a while after all.
Izetta the Last Witch
The final 5 minutes of this episode were fantastic. A princess delivers a corny speech about being strong, which causes her lesbian witch admirer to wake up from a steampunk coffin and blow up a WW2 plane with the power of sparkles and rainbows. She then proceeds to jump on an anti-tank sniper and fly it like a witches broom as she chases after her love. It was an excellently animated, wonderfully ridiculous scene that made me much more excited for what other ideas they have for combining world war 2 era weaponry with modern magic.
The rest? Eh, it was fine I guess. We got that the main princess was very patriotic and strong for her country. Problem is that doesn’t make for a very human character. More of an idealistic version of what a noble leader should act like. It’s why even in the very brief moment we got to see the redheaded witch she seemed instantly more relatable because she had a more human reaction. Namely homosexual desire. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it and none of you can say I’m wrong. You saw the pictures in those ending credits too.\
Magical Girl Raising Project
It’s tough to talk about Magical Girl Raising Project (have we come up with a cute portmanteau for this yet? MagiPRO or something?) without discussing where it will inevitably go in the future. They basically said right at the start “yo they’re all gonna murder each other”, which puts everything else as various forms of death flag-esque moments. Which I’m a little ashamed to admit totally works on me. Similar to something like Gakkou Gurashi, a lot of the fun for me came from reading subtext than the pure surface level because the surface level early on is your fairly generic, uninspired magical girl stuff.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. I did enjoy the revelation with her new mentor into the magical girl world. It gave their relationship an extra twist. It gave them dreams that don’t conform with reality and made them more interesting as a result. Also when I say it’s interesting to watch for the subtext, that’s not a knock either. That’s the entire intent. It’s not painfully dumb and stupid like the opening parts of Higurashi were, but it’s not independently entertaining right off the bat like Madoka was, but neither can it survive on subtext alone the way Gakkou Gurashi did. Basically it’s hard to tell if this is good until it reaches later episodes and does something interesting with what it’s building up. It could just end up being misery porn for its own sake, which right now would be the worst case scenario. But it has done a reasonably good job of building up these characters and their dreams early on, so I’m at least somewhat hopeful they have something interesting to say.
Yuri on Ice
I was not expecting how goofy and cartoony this ended up being, and I mean that in a good way. A combination of Sayo Yamamoto’s previous directorial works and the vibe the trailers gave off made me think this was going to be a rather dry affair. Which I wasn’t entirely keen on since I hadn’t really liked Sayo’s previous anime, but after this first episode I was reminded that the parts of Michiko to Hatchin and Fujitits I did like were the goofier parts. The cartoony humour works because it builds off a solid base of strong characterisation which means the emotions still feel real even when filtered through a goofy lens.
The story is different from your usual shounen sports show in that it stars a 23 year old failing to make the grade and wondering if at his age he should just quit, instead of some dumb teenagers trying to get to koshien. It makes for a very different tone from what you’re usually used to seeing from anime. Also it’s suuuuuper gay. As in the amount of beautiful men is astounding and obviously leaning a bit into the fanservice part a bit. Which is fine and the naked butt jokes are at least funny. I did legitimately laugh out loud at the audacity at the end of the episode. Looks like this will be a good season for toned anime sportsman butts.