Category Archives: Initial Results

Initial Results: Naoki Urasawa’s Monster

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(Spoilers for the first for episodes, so if you want to go in blind feel free to click off).

Going into a series with a lot of critical acclaim can sometimes be nerve-wracking, not because I care about having the “wrong” opinion or whatever, but more because it feels like I might be missing something that would significantly affect my enjoyment of the series way or another. With the anime adaptation of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, however, I do not really get that feeling. What makes the series the incredibly nerve-wracking psychological thriller it is known to be is very much self-contained, in a way that often makes one feel like they are there watching the events of the story in person.

For those unaware, Monster tells the story of Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a genius neurosurgeon who moved to Germany from Japan in order to study medicine. However, his fairly cushy life goes from looking up to depressing when defying the orders of his hospital director/future father in law leaves him without his position as the head of neurosurgery and the ire of the other doctors at the hospital. What is worse, the patient he chose to save when defying said orders turns out to be a serial killer, one who seems likely to haunt him.

One thing that stands out about this series is how terrifying the atmosphere can be at times. The show uses a lot of muted colors in order to create a feeling of stuffiness which is often associated with hospitals, which is where much of the opening episodes take place. However, this also has the affect of drawing attention to colors when they do appear, such as with blond hair and the uniforms of police. This makes it more likely that people will focus on certain characters, such as Johan.

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Speaking of Johan, though I cannot speak to the strength of his motivations for becoming a serial killer, it is a fascinating development. Dr. Tenma, for better or for worse, made what he thought was a moral decision that ultimately came back to bite him. In fact, the name Monster along with the series general setting and aesthetic feels reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a way that feels too intentional to be coincidence. Not a direct allusion, per say, but certainly an interesting nod to the classic western novel.

Dr. Tenma, meanwhile, at least at this point in the story, feels like an unfortunate victim. After all, how was he supposed to know that saving a kid and then getting angry at his fellow co-workers was going to result in a home-grown murderer? Going back to the Frankenstein comparison, he very much feels like a modern interpretation of Victor, someone who is trying to do right by others but ends up making a terrible decision in the pursuit of morality. Though, Tenma almost certainly deserves this less than Victor did his punishment.

Seeing the politics of the hospital was also fairly interesting as well. It is clear that the director, before he dies anyway, only cares about himself. The same is also true of his daughter and Tenma’s ex-fiancĂ© Eva, who seems to be coasting through life off of her father’s success. Despite the fact that Tenma is innocent, his connection to Johan puts that innocence in question, given that he does have a motive for killing the director and the other doctors.

The show is in a great place, both stylistically and narratively. Even though it has only been four episodes for me, I can certainly understand why this series has been given so much praise in the past. From what I have read, however, it does not seem as though Netflix has the full series just yet, so it might be a while before I do actually finish it. Still, it will probably be worth the wait.


How do you feel about Naoki Urasawa’s Monster? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Shuzo Oshimi’s Latest Work: Welcome Back, Alice (Vol. 1)

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(This one gets a bit weird, even for manga anime standards, so if you’re easily grossed out maybe skip this one for now).

*Terrible impression of Jerry Seinfeld* “What’s the deal with gender? and sex? get outta hereeee.”

Oshimi’s The Flowers of Evil is still one of the wildest experiences I have had with a manga to this day. It is a psychological thriller in mostly the best way possible, letting you feel everything the main character feels as his life becomes a spiraling mess. I never ended up watching the anime, but from what I saw of the promotional material…yeah the manga was a significantly better choice.

Of course, that manga is, at this point, over 10- wait, Flowers of Evil is almost 15 years old…anyway, his newest series, which started back in 2020, is called Welcome Back, Alice, and has a decidedly similar character set up and tone to his most successful work. I say this not as a diss, but merely an observation, for thematic reasons which we will get into shortly.

First, though, for those unaware, a quick mostly spoiler-free summary of the opening volume: Yohei is a loner middle school kid who all of a sudden becomes friends with a boy named Kei and a girl named Yui. The group gets close until Kei moves away. When the three meet up again in high school, pre-existing romantic feelings get complicated when Kei comes to school dressing like a girl, and saying they no longer identify with either gender.

Ok, for anyone interested just based off of that quick summary, just go ahead and read it, it’s weird but interesting. For everyone else, strap in.

So, That Just Happened

Well, Oshimi is nothing if not a little bit weird. Ok, actually “a little” is putting it lightly. I mentioned The Flowers of Evil at the beginning because as far as the overall tone and setup the manga are actually remarkably similar, at least as far as the coming-of-age set-up and deeply horny main character.

Also, I do not know if this is just me being dumb, but the opening chapter was just kind of confusing on a text level because the characters that were not Yohei kept shortening his name to Yo, which felt more like a general greeting than a nickname so the part about them being friends prior felt very tenuous.

Which, even without the confusion, it still kind of does, as most middle school friendships do. This feels especially true after Yohei sees Yui confessing to Kei behind the gym building, after which the middle school crush jealously kicks in, and their relationship sours. Que the time skip and Kei’s transition and we get to the real meat and potatoes of the story.

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Oshimi’s Take on a Non-Binary Character

For what it is worth coming from a random internet critic, I do things it is still noteworthy to have a stated Non-binary main character from an otherwise relatively notable mangaka (I say main character because it feels pretty obvious that Kei is the focal point and will as or more important than the other two). Representation has come a decent way but is still far from perfect.

What’s more, that representation does seem to matter to the overall story. Yohei starts the story with a fairly normal heterosexual crush on Yui, but ultimately ends the volume with the two of them reevaluating their feelings towards Kei.

Oshimi states at the end of the volume that the story is about exploring male hypersexuality and ultimately how fragile it can be. As far as motivations for writing a story, I think this makes sense, especially at a time when that same hypersexuality drives a lot of internet grifters telling men that being cold and misogynistic is the best way to get women along with reinforcing decades-old stereotypes about queer people.

Still, using your only genderqueer character in a way that portrays that as not just hypersexual but very willing to violate boundaries for no reason might not be the best way to do it. It is one thing to say stereotypes are bad, but it is another thing entirely to do that while also then reinforcing those stereotypes. Ultimately, the story has yet to cover much ground, in the first volume, and Oshimi is an intelligent enough writer that it feels worth giving it more time.

The Art

Oshimi’s art sits in a weird place for me, because while I would by no means call it bad, he also probably would not make my top mangaka artists list any time soon. It comes with a sense of realism that, while mostly uneventful, becomes infinitely more detailed in the moments when the story ramps up, or when he wants you to experience the same intense feelings as the characters.

The same is true of Welcome Back, Alice, with the backgrounds often being solid but uneventful, which fits the more intimate subject matter of the story. If the author were making his debut attempt at an expansive shonen action series, I would probably be a bit more disappointed, though.

The character designs, on the other hand, do feel unique and in line with the personalities they are supposed to represent. Kei is much more boyish and feminine even before presenting as such. Yohei looks like a typical middle-school/high-school nerd (and certainly acts like it). Yui looks like…well, a girl that it would be totally reasonable to have a crush on if you’re a nerd idk. Saying they look stereotypical feels more like a compliment in this case given that it appears to be the focus of the story.

Predictions

After Flowers of Evil, it honestly feels like a wasted effort to try and guess where this man will be taking his story. That being said, I do expect it to be significantly more unhinged as time goes on, but hopefully in a good way? Like I said, the dude’s an intelligent writer, I just hope the significance of the subject matter is not lost on him as the story goes on.

As of right now, the manga has four volumes in English and 30ish chapters. So, assuming I like the story enough to get that far, I’ll probably continue to cover it on a weekly or biweekly basis until I catch up.


Have you read Welcome Back, Alice? Let me know your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for the support on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: Revolutionary Girl Utena

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I have spent a lot time thinking about this series, not because I have any real connection to it myself, but rather because of how widespread its influence seems to be. Not only have I heard this show cited in a number of video essays, even ones not about anime, but but also from western creators of other animated series, like Rebecca Sugar of Steven Universe/Adventure Time, and Michael Dante Dimartino, one of the creators behind Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Seeing as how my journey with Wolf’s Rain came to a close not too long ago, I figured it a good a time as any to get back into another relatively older series. After all, given its influence within the medium of animation, its worth at least having as a point of reference, right? So, after the first six episodes of the series, here are a few of my thoughts.

I will say this first because it has nothing to do with the quality of the series, but the modern anime season really made me forget that series did not have to be 12 or 24 episodes, and could literally just be however long is needed to have a satisfying conclusion. Seeing 39 episodes for this series really threw me for a loop is all.

Now, as for the series itself, there is certainly a lot to like. I have never been overly crazy about the aesthetic of a lot of 80s or 90s anime series, but Revolutionary Girl Utena is one I can get behind. A lot of the colors are fiery and bright, including those on the members of the student council. The overall vibe of the school is very regal and upper-class, showcasing very intricate designs on the outfits of its primary cast, which itself begs the question of why any of the main characters are there to begin with.

Speaking of, Utena and Anthy, the show’s lead characters, offer a nice contrast both in personality and design. Utena takes on a more masculine role, subverting the the damsel in distress trope by vowing in the series intro to become a prince herself, though she does say specifically that this desire still exists within her own identity as a girl. Anthy, meanwhile is apparently what is known as the “rose bride,” who will help “revolutionize the world.” At this point, all of that still feels a bit esoteric and clouded in mystery, which is appropriate because Anthy herself feels much the same way, opting to take a more passive role in the opening episodes.

The two have yet to build a ton of chemistry, other than the fact that they just look cute together. I suspect, though, that will come with time, as the series is divided into four main arcs, of which I am barely halfway into the first. It will be interesting to see both how the contrast in their personalities is shown, and how that contrast will then affect their relationship.

Series creator Kuniko Ikuhara has been praised not only for his work on this series, but also for his previous work on Sailor Moon, as well as a number of other projects later on the in the 2010s. It is clear even from the show’s opening episodes that there is a strong creative drive that went into Revolutionary Girl Utena as a series.

While I cannot say my my attention has been fully retained at every point so far, the show is fascinating, and I do want to see where it ends up. So yeah, I will probably keep watching.


Have you seen Revolutionary Girl Utena? Maybe not? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: Wolf’s Rain

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There are a lot of shows that sit in the back of my mind, every so often popping into my immediate consciousness after a brief interaction via a mention on social media or a peer talking about the series in passing. This time, however, it was a little bit more forward than even that, as a friend of mine lent me the series since it is one of their favorites. After sitting on it for a month, I decided to finally start Wolf’s Rain and see for myself why this 2003 Bones original is remembered fondly by so many.

The story of Wolf’s Rain details a world much different from our own, where legends say humans are descended from wolves, and that their ultimate goal is to return to paradise. The only problem is, the last wolves were seen over 200 years ago, and are believed to be extinct…so it is thought by most, anyway. Enter Kiba, a lone wolf who has recently come to town following the scent of the Lunar Flower. He then meets a few others, Tsume, Toboe, and Hige, who flee the town and join him on his journey.

There are a lot of individual storylines which are introduced in the opening episodes of the series. The majority of the time thus far has been spent on the wolf boys themselves. However, there is the story of the sheriff who came to Freeze City looking for wolves, the detective whose head researcher ex-wife knows a lot more than she lets on, and a mysterious masked man who is trying to gather the “flower maidens.” Yet, despite all that, it never feels like these storylines are fighting each other. Rather, they serve as a compliment in a mystery that is clearly bigger than all of them.

Not only are the storylines immediately interesting, but the world itself is also fascinating. Not much about the landscape outside of major cities is known, but a lot can implicitly be drawn from episode four, where the crew travels across what looks to be a war-torn area, and Toboe’s reactivation of a mech that was buried underground seems to imply that much of the world was burned down from advanced military technology. There is a sense of bleakness not just in the landscape but in the colors as well. The four wolves trek across what is essentially open, frozen land, with nothing but snow for miles.

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The wolf boys themselves are fairly compelling, and each of them clearly has their own problems. Tsume has been leading a gang in order to make enough money to survive, but clearly does not fit in with human society. Toboe, at least at first, is a bit more optimistic. A chance encounter with a young girl gives him hope that wolves might be accepted by humans but is later betrayed when the girl cowers after he reveals his wolf form. Hige is admittedly the most underdeveloped of the three since he more or less just meets Kiba and sticks along for the ride. However, I am hopeful that his own storyline will come to fruition.

I did choose to watch the series in dub, only because that is how the DVD is set by default (I am that lazy). Still, I do not at all regret that decision. Not only does Johnny Young’s Bosch play the role of Kiba, but a younger Crispin Freeman takes the role of Tsume, and oh boy do I miss his buttery voice when watching anime dubs. Hige, played by Joshua Seth, and Toboe, voiced by Mona Marshall, also do a great job in their respective roles. Although, in the case of the latter, I cannot help but laugh a little every time I hear his voice.

The only thing I can really complain about at the moment is the format in which I am watching it. The show is almost 20 years old at this point, and as such, is sadly stuck in 4:3 aspect ratio. Not only that, the latent audio is incredibly quiet, and the English subtitles do not at all match the dub script, meaning I am basically required to wear headphones when I want to watch it.

Minor annoyances aside, Wolf’s Rain is looking set up for success. Not does it excel at visual storytelling, but its cast is just big enough to keep it interesting at all times without having to fight for screen time.


Have you all seen Wolf’s Rain? Let me know in the comments, but please avoid spoilers, as by the time this gets released I may or may not be finished with the series.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, thank you to our Patron Jenn for being amazing!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: Kaguya-Sama Season Three

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Love is war, indeed, and the war now continues into the series’ third season. The competition: fierce, the battles: just as high stakes as ever. Even Chika is resorting to cheating just to get a leg up, much to Ishigami’s continued annoyance. Those who have watched the first few episodes already will understand what I am talking about, and those who have not…what are you doing reading this?

I mentioned in my seasonal intro that Kaguya was the series I was most hyped for. The first two seasons not only had me laughing my ass off but also genuinely had me invested in the characters as people. Luckily, the first episodes of the season have yet to disappoint.

Part of what has made Kaguya-sama work up until this point is its previously mentioned characters. Sure, Kaguya and Miyuki themselves could probably carry a good portion of the show. After all, their dynamic is well thought out on a comedic level. However, they can only be that funny for so long, and the elevated role of Chika, Ishigami, and the recent addition to the student council Miko has helped to prolong the show’s comedic value.

Still, the opening bit between Miyuki and Kaguya is no less funny. With her first-ever smartphone now in hand, Kaguya attempts the daunting task of responding to Miyuki’s messages. The 4D chess of trying to get her to admit to staring at her LINE app for hours and then getting saved by Hayasaka and the “computer system” at the last minute is honestly brilliant.

The growing relationship between Ishigami and Miko is another that I am intensely curious about going into the rest of the season. At times, it can be hard to tell whether the two actually hate each other or if the combative aspects of their personality are just being played up for maximum effect. Personally, I am not complaining either way, but I do hope we get a real conclusion in that regard.

The anime is also no less beautiful than it was last time around. A-1 Pictures seems to be handling the production well enough, and director Shinichi Omata, who handled the first two seasons as well, seems poised to deliver on quality, per the usual. Musically, the series is still quite interesting. the OST feels as strong as ever, and both the opening and ending themes also have their strengths, along with also being incredibly well animated to boot.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Ultra Romantic seems to be on track to be one of the better entries of the spring season. Though I have definitely cursed other series with those same predictions into a spiral of bad writing, this series has a proven track record and a convincing one at that.


Are you excited about Kaguya-sama season 3? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, thanks to Jenn for being our amazing supporter on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: In the Land of Leadale

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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It has been a while since I have taken the time to talk about a seasonal isekai, since generally, it feels like most of them exist only to promote the light novels and move figurines. I get that is the case for most anime as a business model, but a lot of isekai in particular just feels like soleless, trend riding made only for a quick cash grab.

It would be hard for me to say much else about today’s series, In the Land of Leadale, if it were not for a few things. First, while having a male main character does not make a series inherently bad, far from it, it does tend to manifest in isekai in some pretty fanservice-ee, gross ways. Leadale’s main character is considerably not that. Rather, Cayna story feels like a much more genuine one, albeit told in the same bass assumptions and framework that is typical for the genre.

After dying due to a power outage at her hospital while on life support, Cayna wakes up to find she is in a realm not unfamiliar to her. In fact, it is quite similar to her favorite VRMMORPG, Leadale. However, some significant changes have happened in the 200 years since her last visit, including a major political realignment between major kingdoms. It also seems to be the case that none of Leadale’s players can be found in this future timeline.

The first few episodes remain largely about establishing her purpose in this world. Cayna is already at a super high level and has retained all of her items and magic from before she passed. So, what else does she need to do? Well, obviously, visit her kids in the nearby kingdom along with visit the other towers that were owned by players.

The amount of subtle world-building the series manages to achieve in just its first three episodes is frankly quite impressive. The backgrounds are not anything special, but they feel unique enough to give us the impression that the royale capital is its own vibrant, magical location. The animation overall, though, feels pretty sub-standard and in line with how these shows generally play out.

Even with all that in mind, this is a series that I will definitely find myself rooting for. It has enough that differentiates itself to make it feel like something that could be above average.


How do you feel about In the Land of Leadale so far? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special shout out to our patron Jenn, who is amazing!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: My Dress-Up Darling

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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It is officially that time of the season. Now that a couple episodes are out for basically every show that is airing, we will be taking a look at what Winter 2022 has to offer, and whether or not it will be worth finishing them. First up on that list is My Dress-Up Darling, a show that has an extremely interesting concept, as it feels like a fairly unexplored angle given anime’s often self-referential culture. So, how does this show stack up so far?

Well, tbh, not great. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely want to like this series. As far as the character arcs are concerned, everything is going nicely. Gojo is set up as the weird, introverted kid with no sense of social awareness in contrast with Kitagawa, whose social life and friends, as far as Gojo is concerned, just seem to come naturally.

However, where I find myself wary of My Dress-Up Darling is in Gojo’s larger personality failures. This could honestly just be chalked up to personal preference, but something about how he is portrayed as a total loser is just kind of annoying at this point. The whole teasing trend across female main characters such as Uzaki and Nagatoro that has been rising in popularity recently just feels a bit antithetical to what its story is trying to accomplish.

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Gojo very obviously wants to enjoy a life in which other people accept him and his hobbies for what they are, and Kitagawa is an understanding person who does not know how to realize her hobbies. Thus, it feels a little weird to spend almost an entire episode just focusing on weird he feels about taking her measurements for an outfit.

Outside of that philosophical gripe, though, there is plenty of potential here. The animation and character designs are pretty as hell, with Kitagawa being the standout. Normally I would say anitwitter fawning over a character is unjustified, but in this case, it makes a lot of sense. Even the designs for the unnamed background characters stand out a lot more than in other shows, so points for that I guess.

The music overall feels pretty meh. While there is certainly no stand-out awful track, there is also nothing incredibly interesting either. The only exception to this is ED which I actually mess with quite a bit. Here is to hoping that it comes on streaming services soon.

Overall, while the series is, at least right now, being dragged down by a fairly awful second episode, it has plenty of room to bounce back. My recently having finished the second season of The Promised Neverland has left me without a lot of faith in Cloverworks, but hopefully, they can pull themselves back up and finish strong.


How do you all feel about My Dress-Up Darling? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Special shoutout as always to our patron Jenn, the support is much appreciated!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: Komi Can’t Communicate

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Ok, so I already talked about Blue Period on Sunday, so I figured I might as well talk about the other seasonal series I have been watching: Komi Can’t Communicate. Another series that had a lot of manga hype and another series that I have been enjoying a lot for the most part. While, as of the writing of this post, there have only been about three episodes released, there is enough here to warrant talking about it. With that being said, let us get started.

Komi Can’t Communicate hilariously chronicles the unapproachable and yet incredibly loveable Komi, a girl whose social anxiety renders her unable to speak to people in person. Tadano has managed to find himself in the same school as Komi, although given his self-described “average” qualities, feels a bit out of place alongside his…unusual classmates. One day, he begins talking to Komi through a chalkboard, and the two ultimately become friends. Now, Tadano is on a mission to help Komi open up to others and make 100 friends.

Though it was not represented a ton in public discourse, and the comparison has yet to land, I have seen a few people putting this series next to the likes of Nagatoro, Uzaki, and others as “bait,” and while I can understand this comparison on a surface level, I do not necessarily agree. Whereas the main characters in those series feel designed and written to initiate outrage among certain groups, Komi does not really give me the same vibe. Rather than being an outward, almost obnoxiously energetic character, she feels very much like the opposite, subdued by her anxiety and overall reserved. This is not to say it would be impossible to write a “bait” character in that mold, only that the character of Komi and the story being told feels more genuine.

The show also is not as outwardly sexual as those series, at least not at Komi or Tadano’s expense. The most sexual character so far is probably Agari and at the very least it is out of a genuine attraction to Komi rather than just “lol fanservice.” Granted, this could change later on, but the sense I get overall from Komi Can’t Communicate is a desire to have a conversation about social anxiety through comedy. Whether the series will ultimately succeed in that goal has yet to be seen, but, at least for now, it is not doing a terrible job.

Tadano, on the other hand, is, well…ok. He’s not an outright horrible character, but currently, he feels much more like a lens through which to view Komi rather than a distinct character of his own. In many scenarios, he is relegated to the butt of some admittedly pretty funny jokes, but not much else. That is not to say he does not have potential, however. Clearly there is a storyline to be told between himself and Komi, and while his character design feels fairly bland, I would like to know the motivation behind that flower shape on his head.

Overall, while I am less excited about Komi Can’t Communicate than some other series I have been watching recently, there is still plenty of potential, and though I might not necessarily be able to convince people who have written it off as “bait,” I would still encourage everyone to give it a shot.


How do you all feel about Komi Can’t Communicate? Let me know in the comments below

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Initial Results: Blue Period

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Alright, so I have a confession to make: I do not really expect much out of seasonal anime anymore. Maybe it’s a combination of my reviewer mentality of trying to go into everything neutral mixed with my general unfamiliarity, but whenever I sit down to watch something currently airing, I just sort of expect to not be particularly compelled. Luckily, though, the hype surrounding Blue Period was not at all unwarranted, and despite the series only being five episodes in, I can say fairly confidently that I have enjoyed it thus far.

For those who also rarely follow manga hype, Blue Period tells the story of Yatora Yaguchi, a delinquent turned art student whose whole life is still ahead of him. Yaguchi has always been concerned with studying and getting good grades so that he can get into a good school and not have to worry his parents financially. As a byproduct, however, he never really found a passion of his own. That is until he sees art club member Mori’s painting and becomes inspired. Thus, he starts his journey of improving his art enough to get into the only school his family can theoretically afford: the Tokyo University of the Arts.

I generally try and avoid using relatability as the sole factor in judging whether or not a character is good because there are plenty of characters who I would consider good that do not necessarily meet that criteria (see Terror in Resonance). However, Yaguchi is a character that taps into something a lot more recent: a continued sense of unknowing. He wants to pursue his passions but is constantly doubting himself, and even when he does do good work, his mental state is not always healthy enough to agree.

However, it is not just his particular situation and mindset that make him a good character. The series does a great job of reminding us of the clock that Yaguchi is on. Every day that goes by is another day closer to the entrance exams for TUA, and while Yaguchi seems to be making progress on his art, the looming pressure of the exams makes it hard for him to recognize that.

If the series were solely about Yaguchi, I would still think it a great show, but what has so far pushed it over the edge is just how much the series’ subplots are developed even with him as the primary focus. Yaguchi’s relationship with Mori, his extended rivalry/contempt of Takahashi, and his increasingly more complex relationship with Ryuuji, who we find out is a trans woman and is struggling to be accepted by those other than Yaguchi and the art club. Even his friends going from seeming delinquents to supportive and understanding of his art is a Legitimately powerful moment.

I do not want to say too much more, otherwise, I will have little to talk about when I eventually review the series. However, for those who were not aware or are currently on the fence about starting the series, Blue Period is worth at least a little of your time.


How are you all feeling about Blue Period? Let me know in the comments below.

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Initial Results: Sonny Boy

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Alright, I’m gonna be real honest, I still cannot take this show’s name seriously. I’m sure there is a specific reason for it, but it honestly just reminds me of older people who talk like its the 1950s lmao. Idk if there’s a slightly different connotation in the Japanese title, but man is it funny.

“Sonny Boy” focuses on a class of high school seniors who, for whatever reason, have been transported to an alternate dimension. Additionally, an unknown amount of these students have gained supernatural powers that allow them to alter reality. At the center of this story is Nagara, an easy-going nobody who appears to not have any powers, but who has attracted the attention of another girl named Nozomi. The students attempt to uncover the strange rules of these worlds while also looking for a way home.

In all seriousness though, an anime like “Sonny Boy” is one that I really get a craving for on occasion. There is, of course, the ever looming mystery of where they even are and how they got there. Then factor in these strange powers that range from somewhat useful to incredibly powerful, and there is already a ton worth being invested in.

The thing that interests me the most, however, is where the focus of the story and characters often lies. It feels weird to call it this, but with most isekai stories of today, the majority of the time is spent on the main character’s “conquering” of the particular world in which they’ve been summoned to. Not only are there a ton more characters in the same situation, the “world” they’ve appeared is actually more like a seemingly unknown number of worlds, with each actor in it being important to what is happening.

“Sonny Boy” also does not take for granted the implications of being transported into a completely new place with no rules. Quite the opposite, the series is laser-focused on the breakdown of societal norms and how the changing of the rules which govern society effect people’s behavior, or in some cases, don’t. These kinds of narratives are fun because they question the fundamental assumptions that we have about the world, and how easily something everyone assumes is an unbreakable rule can just as easily be thrown out the window.

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I am not particularly fond of the way the term “fallen off” gets thrown around as criticism of media, but it does appear as though Madhouse has been slowing down their production schedule in the last few years. How much of that was caused by the pandemic versus general changes is something I am not aware, but needless to say that “Sonny Boy” has not suffered because of it. The animation looks incredible, and has a more off-putting style that feels in line with the absurd nature of the show.

Overall, while I can’t say I was expecting a whole lot before I started watching it, I certainly am now. Like I’ve said previously, “Wonder Egg Priority” has pretty much ruined my confidence in making predictions on quality, but I would be genuinely surprised at this point if the show doesn’t end up as one of the better ones to come out this year.


“How do you feel about “Sonny Boy?” Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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