Brief impressions of the Winter 2020 anime season so far
As before, it's time for my relatively early views of how this season has shaken out so far, following up on my first episode reactions. This entry has been delayed partly because I'm lazy but largely for the traditional reason, which is that I haven't wanted to admit something about one of the shows airing this season.
- Magia Record: This has completely blindsided me with how good it is
and how much I've been enjoying it. The entire show is very well
presented, with excellent staging, scenes, direction, and so on, the
characters and their interactions are appealing, and the overall story
interesting, with a solid balance of mystery and slow revelations.
(The show's staging is very deliberately unnatural, but that fits its mood and setup, and it's doing very good things with that staging.)
- BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense: This
is my kind of thing so I'm biased, but even then I think it's solidly
entertaining and above all simply fun. The show has an infectious joy
of people playing this game and having fun at it, and it communicates
that well along with the inherent comedy of Maple and her friends
quietly breaking the game by doing things that the developers didn't
- In/Spectre: I like this style of show (it's from the same author as Blast of Tempest) but sometimes it has a little more talking with a little less compelling things than I'm entirely happy with. People making clever plans is all well and good, but sometimes I want a bit more. However, the show routinely does excellent character interactions, with the core cast interacting with each other in nice and often funny ways. Seeing Kotoko being taken down a peg is never not amusing, and everyone has believable chemistry with each other.
- Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken (#3): This is an excellently made
show about animation, with some appealing characters and all of that.
But it hasn't really clicked with me and watching it often makes me
feel that I'm sort of being lectured at (with a lot of love, but
still). Some of the little things the show does with the characters
don't appeal, either.
Many people really love this and I'll probably watch episode four (which is apparently very good). But episode five is apparently all about giant robots and the various issues around the genre, which sounds exactly like what I'm not interested in at several levels.
That Eizouken hasn't clicked with me makes me feel both sad and guilty, because this is theoretically just the sort of thing that I should really enjoy and watch as an anime fan. It's even made by one of the best directors working in anime, someone whose previous shows I've generally quite enjoyed or at least appreciated. But my gut is just not interested and these days I listen to it.
(My gut actively looks forward to Magia Record, enjoys BOFURI a lot, and is okay with In/Spectre.)
My (Twitter) reactions to the first episodes of the Winter 2020 anime season
As before I'm collecting here all of my tweeted reactions to the first episodes I've seen (in the order that I saw them).
- BOFURI #1: I rather liked this, but I was biased towards it because
I've enjoyed what of the manga I've seen. I'm scoring it solidly
entertaining in a deliberately silly way; Maple is gleefully (but
unknowingly) breaking the world in her own fun way.
- Eizouken episode #1: That was a bunch of fun and a paean to animation,
and I like these kids. I definitely hope that this show is going to
go interesting places; I'll find out next episode.
- In/Spectre episode #1: This is my kind of stuff in general so I'm
biased, but this was sharp, interesting, nicely done, and with all
sorts of lovely touches in dialog and action. And I like these two
(I can't call them 'kids', all things considered). They bicker well.
- Magia Record episode #1: That was a decidedly interesting start, often told in an interesting way that I liked. Iroha is an intriguing person with undercurrents, the whole show looks good (and had some decent action), and I want to watch more. →
This pretty much covers anything that I feel likely to watch. I've heard good things about the story of Infinite Dendrogram, but from all reports the implementation in animated form is not particularly impressive. There's also Heya Camp, but two large parts of what I loved about Laid-Back Camp were Rin and the actual camping and I understand that neither of them are in these shorts, which doesn't make me very enthused.
(There's also sort of Dorohedoro, but it's apparently so mired in what is sometimes called the 'Netflix jail' that it wasn't even covered in the ANN review of this season's first episodes.)
I ended up abandoning the Fall 2019 anime season
It's time (and past time) to officially note this. In the end, after my first episode reactions, I wound up effectively entirely abandoning the Fall season, eventually watching no shows. I explicitly dropped everything except Fairy Gone, and while I didn't officially drop it I haven't watched more than the first two episodes. I may finish it (or watch more) at some point, because I was reasonably enthused after episode 14, but somehow that never translated to spending 24 minutes to watch episode 15.
This marks a low point in my anime watching; I haven't been this inactive for a very long time. I think that Winter 2020 will be better (there are certainly more promising shows in it), but I'll have to see. I don't think I'm burned out, but I'm definitely distracted by various things.