NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 1

Greetings blogosphere, and whoever is reading this post right now! Even after a period of great agony and deep introspection, I couldn’t decide on a series that I wanted to commit to reviewing weekly. Most of them weren’t interesting enough or didn’t seem like I could find a lot to say about. Plus, I’m currently away from home and may have to skip a week and watch the episode later when I find the time. Hence, I had decided to write a paragraph (or more, if I feel like it) about every series I watched that week!

Let’s get it!

Meaning, whichever series/episode I get to watch that week, I’ll be writing a couple of words on that. This method would allow me to drop a series if I don’t like it and still have a post you can read. For this season’s gallery post, I picked Spy x Family. Because I’m making progress in the manga, I didn’t want to be the annoying person who can’t go on without mentioning that fact every 2 sentences, as I did in Haikyu!!. That’s probably all I have to inform you about my weekly schedule, so without further ado, let’s take a look at what I watched last week, how were my first impressions of them, with official summaries. 

Orient

At age 10, best friends Musashi and Kojirou sat in excited silence as Kojirou’s father spun tales of evil demons who preyed on the innocent, and the warriors who defeated them. Practicing swordplay, the two swear an oath to become the strongest in the world, but as they grow up, Kojirou turns cynical, and Musashi comes to the realization that he can’t overturn 150 years of demon rule on his own. He’s being called a prodigy with a pickaxe, and he’s almost ready to settle into a life of labor. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that he is still has a responsibility to act… and soon, the injustices of his world will force his hand…

Not to be a wet blanket right off the bat, but I fell asleep in the middle of the first episode. That doesn’t mean Orient‘s necessarily bad I guess, it felt like a very classic shounen and I’m certainly not the audience for it. None of the other elements was intriguing enough to keep my eyes open, so I had a hard time finding redeeming points. I’m planning to watch another episode or two but most probably I will be dropping this series. 

Tokyo 24th Ward

Enter the 24th Ward, a man-made island inside Tokyo Bay. Three of its inhabitants: Shuuta, Ran, and Kouki, have been best friends since childhood, but after a deadly incident, everything changed. A year later, reunited for the first time, they receive a mysterious phone call. On the other line is a familiar voice—from a friend who’s supposed to be dead. Together, they’ll have to save their home. 

When I first saw the trailer for Tokyo 24th Ward, I had a feeling it’d be a “diluted-Psycho Pass meets Prince of Stride” kind of series, and looks like I was on point! Starting with a 48-minute-long first episode to set the tone properly, Tokyo 24th Ward undoubtedly looked pretty and was interesting enough to glue my eyes on the screen. Without knowing it was a double-length episode, I finished it in one go. That’s a good sign!

Cue!

Cue! is about a handful of voice actresses in the making being employed by a brand new agency AirBlue. The first episode does a fairly good job of introducing the young women and their characteristics, which are now at the level of archetypes we frequently see in anime. The production and the plot itself seem nothing to write home about, but there isn’t anything that put me off either. Hence, I’ll be keeping up with Cue! for now!

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform

It’s Komichi Akebi’s first year of junior high and she has her heart set on one thing: Robai Private Academy’s sailor uniform. As the next chapter of her life gets closer, she dreams of all the exciting new experiences she’ll get to have—school lunches, classes, club activities, and of course, making lots of friends! With her favorite outfit on, Komichi feels ready for anything.

I caught a glimpse of the trailer and from there, I thought Akebi would be the one who’s into sewing, and Akebi’s Sailor Uniform would be one of those series whose strong point would only be its breathtaking visuals. That surely wasn’t the case. Akebi’s Sailor Uniform not only did amazing in introducing the family’s dynamics and their individual characteristics, their history together, and the first friend Akebi made at the end, but at the same time, the series really took time building up the emotions and anticipation in the scene where Akebi wore the sailor uniform for the first time. I didn’t think I would tear up over a young girl wearing her school uniform but here I am. It’s really good! I’ll certainly be watching it.

My Dress-up Darling

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High schooler Wakana Gojou cares about one thing: making Hina dolls. With nobody to share his obsession, he has trouble finding friends—or even holding a conversation. But after the school’s most popular girl, Marin Kitagawa, reveals a secret of her own, he discovers a new purpose for his sewing skills. Together, they’ll make her cosplay dreams come true! 

The other series that genuinely captured my heart with its first episode after Akebi’s Sailor Uniform was My Dress-up Darling! Looks like I’m all about clothes this season. Although reading about CloverWorks’ insane amount of anime projects is concerning, I can’t help but adore the mouth-watering visuals of My Dress-up Darling. It’s vibrant, bursting with energy, and the movement happens on-screen and is masterfully done as we usually get single-color backgrounds or movements happening out of the screen in the slice-of-life or romance genre.

Not only the visual aspect but the topic and its characters are very gripping as well! Marin and Wakana are interested in things that are tangentially related to each other, and I loved how Marin is not a caricature that’ll only be there to encourage Wakana’s love for the dolls but be her own person with distinct interests. This is a strong ‘YES!’ from me, I can’t wait to see how these two will deepen their relationship ~

The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest

His strength limited by the magical crest with which he was born, Matthias, the world’s most powerful sage, decides reincarnation is necessary to become the strongest of all. Upon his rebirth as a young boy, Matthias is thrilled to discover he’s been born with the optimal crest for magical combat on his first try! Unfortunately, the world he’s been born into has abysmally poor standards when it comes to magic, and everyone thinks he’s still marked for failure! Now it’s up to Matthias to prove everyone wrong…world’s strongest sage-style!

Spoiler, that crest is not weak at all. Well, it is kind of weak, but the protagonist uses it so well that the only purpose that crest serves is to have others look down on him. And that doesn’t even do much because my guy’s father (and of course, he as well) is very famous. I’m guessing my feelings about The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest won’t be too surprising: I’m not interested, but I’ll give it another episode or so, although the future doesn’t look too bright for this sage and me. 

Sasaki and Miyano

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Miyano spends his days reading Boys’ Love manga and worrying about the soft features of his face. His world of fiction becomes reality when a chance encounter leads him to high school senior Sasaki in the middle of a fight. Now, Sasaki wants to spend every opportunity he can to get to know Miyano. And what was once admiration quickly turns into affection. 

Of course, I had to deliver the content that my blog handle promises. I haven’t read Sasaki and Miyano before, although it’s a title I’m familiar with through Twitter osmosis. I knew it was very sweet and casual, and this was what was delivered. I’m not sure if the manga had followed a similar construction, but I was confused about what happened when. I also don’t know if the adaptation is rushing things or not. 

I have to say, I’m not as hyped about it as I am with Akebi’s Sailor Uniform or My Dress-up Darling. I do enjoy casual settings and sweet encounters, however, I’ve read SO many BL stories in a high school setting like Sasaki and Miyano that there’s not much that excites me for now. I sincerely hope that these adorable boys prove me wrong! I will, of course, be keeping up with it and this calls for a top 5 BL list I’d want to see adapted into anime.

Requiem of the Rose King

Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil. 

Requiem of the Rose King was another series I eagerly waited for. I’ve read so many good things about the manga and the manga covers intrigued me. Visually speaking, the series had interesting palettes at certain times, and texture choices that helps create a fairytale-like atmosphere. All of these are details that I dig! Too bad that even without reading the manga, I could understand that the pace was too fast and we weren’t given too much time to absorb what we are given or to take in the dark atmosphere and enjoy it. Personally, it didn’t take away from my interest and I’ll certainly keep watching it!

Series that I couldn’t watch properly and will make appearances next week: 

Sabikui Bisco, Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout, Miss KUROITSU from the Monster Development Department

How’s the Winter season going for you? What are your favorites, meh’s, or big NOPE’s? Let me know in the comments, and see you on Friday for my weekly BL pick!

If it’s your first time visiting my blog, you can click on the image below to find ways on how to connect with me ~

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