All right, it’s back to your regularly scheduled blogging. After spending the past month getting to grips with my newfound freedom at MAL, it’s back to The Cart Driver Dot Com to join my fellow writers in telling everyone what you should watch this season. Except you should only listen to me. And Inushinde too for this month at least. Just not Shinmaru.
Scamp: Prison School
I pretend to be a classy man with refined tastes. I say I am a bastion of quality recommendations for anime. Instead I am nothing but a dirty man who enjoys anime in which moustached men kiss photographs of shapely butts while muttering “oh Angelina, Brazil” and burying them in the ground under cement. I absolutely love Prison School. Somehow combining the prison breakout genre (which is basically the logical reverse of the heist genre) with absurd sex comedy works a charm. There’s absolutely nothing to Prison School if we are talking depth or themes. But it’s the kind of show where deathly serious conversations about shitting your pants so you can use it as part of your Rube Goldberg escape plan is being held at the same time as your other characters potter about in the background making train noises. What makes it extra funny is how deathly serious everyone takes the events. There’s no straight man standing off to the side and yelling “woah that’s crazy”. You’re allowed to appreciate the nonsense on your own terms.
Shinmaru: Gatchaman Crowds Insight
I’m loving how Insight is building off the foundation of the first season of Crowds. The first season (among other things) was about social media becoming a tool to influence and organize people, for better or worse. In Insight, these tools are firmly entrenched in society and people are dealing with those influencing effects in more complicated ways. I’m particularly enjoying the way the show is approaching the clash between new modes of communication and new ways of thinking with traditional ideals. The whole storyline with Gelsadra becoming the prime minister is this in spades, with Jou using old-school techniques with new technology to achieve his ideals, even though he doesn’t necessarily think it’s the morally correct way to make his desires a reality. And there are all sorts of different views from various characters — Gelsadra, Tsubasa, Jou, Hajime, Rui, etc. — bouncing off each other.
I’m actually surprised how invested I am this new season of Gatchaman. I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Inushinde: Prison School
Prison School is a firm adherent to the Detroit Metal City school of comedy: Everything awkward that can happen, and even some things that can’t possibly happen, somehow do happen. Because the characters, both of the prisoner and student council variety, are caricaturized to a significant extent, the show can throw everything it can at them, and it won’t feel the least bit excessive. It’s an extended Wile E. Coyote vs Roadrunner episode, but with both sides being the one who gets maimed by his own machinations on a regular basis. I like Prison School because everybody is reprehensible, and everyone is in the right to point out everyone else’s reprehensibility. It makes for damn good entertainment.
What’s not so hot
Scamp: Monster Musume
Since this is apparently the season of trash, I’ve been watching the trashiest anime of them all. The one designed for people who always wanted to fuck a horse but it wasn’t quite socially acceptable yet. Yet for as much weird fascination as I have with the idea of monster girls and how relationships with them would work, I feel I would be better off just reading a monster girl encyclopedia than watching this show. There’s something faintly offensive about how it treats the girls. The fact that of the 4 introduced so far, 2 of them have already been infantilised to the point of being basically referred to as children, but not that it would ever prevent it from sexualising them. Or there’s the fact that the remaining 2 women in the show have only one purpose in life, that is their man and how much they love him. These aren’t characters or people or the exploration of their lives. They’re so shallow that I can’t find any amusement in their struggles. The fact that their whole goal in life is just to get married shows how backward the views of women are in this show. I feel a better way to explore this show is have no harem lead at all and have all the monster girls be college roommates on an exchange course and watching them integrate into society that way. You can still explore their sexuality and they can still be eternally horny, but at least then it feels like they’re horny on their own terms. At least one of them could discover that she’s a lesbian and then and then and wait a second I need to write this all down.
Shinmaru: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
I joked on Twitter that this might be the first month that I wrote about the same anime in both the What’s Hot and What’s Not So Hot sections of the monthly review, but I wasn’t enamored with the Disappearance arc to the degree that it bumped out Gatchaman. At least the ending is boring enough to write about here! The worst part about it is that it COULD have been interesting, with Kyon being forced to confront his feelings for Yuki after all the fun stuff in the previous arc. However, it mainly results in Kyon being a bit awkward around everyone and more of the same boring antics that made up the bulk of the series. The ending is such a massive cop out that it actually made me laugh. I’m not super mad, because that would’ve required me to actually have been invested in this fictional relationship, but I do feel bad for anyone who watched this show with any hope left. Y’all got trolled.
Inushinde: Rokka no Yuusha
HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD.