Spring 2021 – My To-Watch List

So, after I made two posts about the shows I’m watching in January, I figured I could do the same again in the spring season but I just kind of dragged it out… and now is honestly quite a good time to start the post and tell you about all of the shows I’m watching and about all of the whys. Personally, I’d say that this is one of the best seasons in recent years… but there are plenty of shows that kind of drag the overall show quality down, so I’ll have to revoke that statement. Sure, this time around there are plenty of new originals and not that many sequels, which is interesting, but the topics that some of the worse shows feature are… questionable. I’ll get into that later. For the purpose of this post, I wanted to start with the best shows!

オッドタクシー or Odd Taxi is frankly a masterpiece that I can’t stop recommending. It’s a Mystery-show about Odokawa, a taxi driver who can’t sleep, and the many strange and interesting passengers he takes through town. When he talks to them, he finds out things about them and it’s very… strange… but I love it? It certainly has something to it. All of the guests are connected in a way, too, especially with the recent vanishing of a highschool-girl that is making the news. Yes, it’s sort of a Slice of Life and Mystery mix with Drama and Crime Story elements to it, which is phenomenal. At first, you may find it a bit peculiar that the show features anthropomorphic animals in it, similar to Beastars, but that’s only until you notice certain things about the show, like how it doesn’t get questioned too much and like how Bruce Springsteen gets mentioned a whole bunch in the first episode… Odd Taxi hooked me from the get-go. I’m not really someone for crime shows but this one just had this magic around it with a fantastic soundtrack and phenomenal writing, interesting characters, and as the plot thickened, I just felt bad that there isn’t a manga (yet!) to read through. Highly recommend this one!

The other show that I love and adore is 不滅のあなたへ aka Fumetsu no Anata e or as it’s translated “To Your Eternity”. It’s an Action-Adventure set in a somewhat fantasy-like world with lots of Drama, Fantasy and Mystery elements to it. Yup, more Mystery! The show is about a godlike entity that drops an orb into the world that learns from its environment and adapts rapidly. It cannot die or anything and as time goes on, it turns into a wolf, has a fated encounter with a boy, and has to quickly part ways with him. In its journey in search of “stimulation” and knowledge, it meets many different people from tribesmen to soldiers to brewers, and it learns from them. This may sound very weird and cryptic but what really reeled me in is how this manga adaptation approached topics like random encounters in a harsh world and how things may seem like fate when it was pure luck and nothing else. I love the fights that happen from time to time as they are beautifully animated. There is this narrator that spectates the world and describes the events in an uneventful tone and I love it. I really do. At the same time, Fumetsu no Anata e’s soundtrack easily rivals works like Shingeki no Kyojin and surpasses them, creating this eery and harsh feeling in the world while giving you nice and lovely moments and making you feel… things. It’s very lovely and I can really recommend this show!

Next up on the list is Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (ヴィヴィ -フローライトアイズソング-), which is not a Mystery-show this time around but actually, an Action-Drama set in a Sci-Fi world with music as one of the topics. The story follows “Nearland”, an amusement park where dreams, hopes and science coexist in form of an AI that has been born. It’s the first-ever fully automated humanoid AI, Vivy, who’s supposed to bring happiness to the visitors with her songs. So far, quite strange, right? Well, then there’s this other AI that eventually shows up named Matsumoto that comes from the future and tells Vivy that she needs to help him travel through the times and stop the many events that lead up to the robot uprising that’s gonna happen in 100 years and that will destroy all of humanity… and while Vivy doesn’t know how this will help her, Matsumoto convinces her that, yes, she can’t sing for humans if all of the humans are dead. Hence, this is a story about two AIs trying to save the world and it gets quite crazy as time goes on and intriguing with many important questions: How is a machine supposed to make people happy if she doesn’t know what happiness is herself? What is a human/a machine? Where is the difference? All of those and some topics that kind of reminded me of Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” really create an interesting rather philosophical tone that fits the story really well. Meanwhile, the team behind the show is… just amazing, which is honestly the reason why I started watching the show in the first place. I mean, when you hear that Chaos;Child’s Eiji Umehara (btw same universe as Steins;Gate) as well as Re:Zero’s Tappei Nagatsuki wrote the story together, you already know where it’s going to go. Meanwhile, it’s directed by Shinpei Ezaki who worked on a bunch of great shows as well as produced by Vinland Saga’s and Attack on Titan’s WIT STUDIO, Inc. with a soundtrack by Jin Aketagawa… I know, I know… ever since my JJK Appreciation post, I should have learned that names don’t mean anything. Jujutsu Kaisen is great but nobody has ever heard of all of these names before, apart from a bunch of ultra-weebs, I guess, and not a single soul in the world cares about the people behind it… BUT trust me, the show is great!

But that’s not where the great shows stop, after all, I have a knack for Isekais and I feel like not enough people know about Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu (聖女の魔力は万能です) aka The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent. I love these shows that describe the plot in its title. It lets you focus on the more important things like this being a Josei-Romance show with a lot of Slice of Life, Fantasy and Magic in its world, as well as a few sprinkles of very light Drama here and there. It’s about a fantasy world where there’s this Miasma that threatens the world and the different kingdoms summon otherworldly humans via a ritual to receive a Saint… who’s the only one that can deal with the threat of the dark beasts. Well, our main character, Sei, is a female workaholic in her mid-twenties and got summoned into this world together with another young woman and the Prince that ordered the Summoning, Kyle, who actually ignored Sei completely and took in the other woman because she’s cuter or something. Sei is not only upset about being stuck in this world and not being able to return but has to now live with maids and guards watching over here. Bored to death, she wanders off to find a laboratory where they create potions, quickly is employed over there, and finds out that she’s very good with plants, magic and other things. Either way, it’s a great story. It’s cute, it’s wholesome, it’s really just what I needed… It seems that it has Reverse-Harem elements to it but it doesn’t add too many thick layers onto the plot itself, actually, and I found it more than entertaining to see Sei’s struggles and her daily life… and her romance… I love romance. It’s cute and wholesome. Really watch it! Also, all the men are hot because why not?

And speaking of Isekais, I’m also watching Tensura Nikki: Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (転スラ日記 転生したらスライムだった件) aka The Slime Diaries. It’s the adaptation of a spin-off-manga of Slime Tensei, a series that I love and adore that follows a male workaholic that dies but gets reincarnated as a slime of all things and quickly becomes very strong, eventually even building its own nation and trying to establish plenty of great relations with the neighbouring countries. The first season aired a while ago, the second season just finished this Winter, and the third season is scheduled for the Summer Season, I believe, with The Slime Diaries actually filling in the gap during that Spring presents for us. The Slime Diaries are essentially just episode-length OVAs that take parts of the fun of the actual show and multiply it by a whole lot. It’s just side stories from the characters in the show, kind of 4-Koma-Esque, that mostly consist of Comedy and Slice of Life, things I really like. There is some background info here that is quite nice as well and I had a lot of fun so far, watching this, as it’s really light-hearted.

And while we’re there, I’m still watching Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? (蜘蛛ですが、なにか?) anime adaptation. “So, I’m a spider, so what?” follows a similar principle to Slime Tensei where a high school student dies and where she’s reborn as a monster of all things… a spider… and she has to survive. While Slime Tensei is a lot more light-hearted, Kumo desu ga Nani ka mixes things up with a lot of action and a struggle for survival that is only rivalled by Ultimate Survivor Kaiju, another work that I really can recommend (review soon?)! Anyways, the season is an adaptation of the light novel, like the manga, and hence it adds a lot of background information as I mentioned before that I, as a pure manga-reader, haven’t known about… and it also catches up quite rapidly to the current stage that the manga is in, which is very surprising! Either way, it’s fun and the fights are adapted well. Really recommend it! Especially as some time-warp shenanigans are going on with the story playing at different times here and there, which is very interesting!

From actual Isekais to quasi-Isekais, Kyuukyoku Shinka shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu yori mo Kusoge Dattara (究極進化したフルダイブRPGが現実よりもクソゲーだったら) sums up my ideas on “realistic VR games” quite well: They must suck. In that world full-dive RPGs that even emulate the pain and smell were a thing… but people quickly noticed how shit that is, so it got quickly shrugged off and they downgraded their games again… The main character gets scammed and has to now play this shitty game and stuff just goes down-hill for him after certain events. I find it kind of entertaining but mostly as a trash-watch. It’s not a masterpiece. It isn’t that fun really and the dialogue isn’t the greatest in the world, the running gags suck, and the “realism” that is mentioned here isn’t that logical… there are a lot of plot holes, so overall, I watch it as a trash-watch, lol.

Oh, and what’s this? Another Isekai? Alrighty! Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita (スライム倒して300年、知らないうちにレベルMAXになってました) aka “I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level” is about yet another workaholic that dies (actually from burnout) and gets reincarnated as a Witch. The only thing she wants is to live a long and peaceful life. So, she hunts slimes every day (about 25), sells them off, makes herbs and medicine, lazies off, helps people… and she does that for 300 years since Witches are immortal. Either way, she eventually became well-known for being super strong and people came to challenge her because she’s at the level cap for this fantasy world, which is causing her stress and issues as she only wants to have an easy life. Quickly, the life of leisure becomes rather eventful and she finds new friends and students and stuff… It’s cute, really. Again, no masterpiece but the beginning was actually great while it eventually turned into a not-that-great-but-still-kinda-good show. Can kinda recommend it if you need a semi-trash watch that isn’t too bad.

And obviously, I’m watching My Hero Academia’s new season. I love it. It’s a nice arc that’s getting adapted here. I read the manga, yadiyadiyada. This may deserve a whole post on its own. Moving onwards, as we all know that MHA is great and that I’m a fanboy, there are two shoes that I have mixed feelings about. Both shows are kind of controversial in a way but they have alright topics in them.

Koikimo aka Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui (恋と呼ぶには気持ち悪い) aka “To call this love is disgusting” is about a high school student and a grown-ass man. That guy falls in love with her and manipulates her into kind of liking him by sending her gifts every day. This is my summary of it. It’s kind of fun to watch but it’s super toxic and creepy and gross… I mean “gross” is in the title but if a girl tells you to stop stalking her or to stop sending her gifts, then you don’t do it anymore because that’s a felony, at least as far as I know, even if the intentions aren’t ill-willed. She’s an emotionally vulnerable minor. He’s a sicko who is bothering a minor. Time for Jail. But then again, my description right there is as accurate as saying that Angel Beats! is about bullying… which is true… in my opinion. I didn’t like Angel Beats. Koikimo was kind of alright at first until I noticed how that grown-ass man is slowly digging himself into her heart by showering her with gifts and gestures while she clearly doesn’t want any of it… until she does. It has this “No doesn’t always mean no” energy to it, if that makes sense? So, deeply problematic… I hope that it ends with her calling the cops, finally. What’s even weirder btw is that her mom doesn’t question an adult fancying her underage daughter. Like what the fuck is this world?

Either way, the other show is “Hig Wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou.” (ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う。) aka “I Shaved. Then I Brought a High School Girl Home.” is about an office worker that takes in a runaway after getting rejected. He takes care of her as her guardian but she eventually falls for him after being manipulated and gaslit for quite a while. She’s traumatised by being abused by the men that she crashed at as she walked all the way from Hokkaido to Tokyo and seduced men (or rather was being used and eventually got used to the mistreatment, so that she did it on her own) in order to have a place to sleep at. She tries to seduce the main character but he doesn’t fancy kids and lets her crash at his place as long as she does the chores… The show actually has me hooked as it talks about trauma, abuse, and other topics. It handles the topics quite well and still manages to be somewhat cute. A common theme is “know your own value” and stuff like “I’m not nice, this is normal, raise your standards, you deserve better” and other stuff about self-love, mental health and themes like that. I like it… but at the same time, obviously, a grown man taking in a girl and not reporting it to the police is illegal, even if her family situation isn’t known to him. Yadiyadiyada, I have yet to finish it, so I gotta wait for that end to see how it goes and where it gets.

Anyways, those are the shows that I’ve been watching. I was thinking of watching some other shows but haven’t started them yet… I may do write again about those once I’m done with these here… For now, this post has to ship since it’s 11:55 pm over here and I wanna keep my streak, so, hope you enjoyed this one. What anime are you watching right now if at all? :)

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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