oprainfall Week in Anime: Dec 25 – 31

Sunday, January 1st, 2023

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We here at oprainfall don’t just love video games: we’re big fans of anime, too. So in celebration of the medium, we’re here to give you our thoughts on what we’ve been watching each week as we watch it. Old, new – anything goes.

Currently Airing:

Management of a Novice Alchemist 

Management of a Novice Alchemist resource harvesting

This one was one I had a slight interest in during the season and finally gave it a try. It follows Sarasa, a recent graduate of an alchemist academy as she sets up her own shop out in a rural village. It started off with her backstory, which is quite a bit more tragic than I thought a series like this would start with. We see that she isn’t the most outgoing person at her school, but is very talented. I like her dynamic with her mentor, who we can see cares for her very much. She struggles a bit moving out to somewhere new and getting use to a new setting. While she is a novice, Sarasa proves to be quite good with a number of skills. It kind of threw me off in one episode when she starts taking on some monsters and proves to be probably one of the strongest in the area. I can see some slice-of-life elements coming in more as more characters are being introduced. I do enjoy Sarasa getting closer with the people in the village. So far, I definitely wouldn’t say it’s among the best this season for me, but I am enjoying it. – Walter

— You can watch Management of a Novice Alchemist on HIDIVE.

Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man | oprainfall anime

Hayakawa manages to get out of the bind he was in last episode when the Ghost Devil appears. We get some nice memories of him with Himeno, which are bittersweet in light of all that’s happened. Sadly we don’t see much of how the Future Devil will help him, but there’s plenty of time for that, I’m sure. (Pun absolutely intended.) Division IV continues clearing out the zombies created by the yakuza, with a particularly great moment featuring Power. I love her so much. She’s so stupid. Denji finally takes on the Katana Devil, and it’s a super satisfying fight, despite being surprisingly short. Denji is as dumb as a pile of bricks, but seeing him apply some of what he’s learned from Teacher in pursuit of his goals was some nice character writing. Him kicking the shit out of the dude after the fight is over was equally satisfying for much more childish reasons. My favorite part of the episode definitely had to be the credit sequence with Denji, Power and Aki all just … living and being themselves. It was nice to see them have a moment of normalcy following everything that’s gone wrong and before the inevitable fight with the Gun Devil. I really like these characters, so letting them unwind and not have to worry makes me happy. Still, I’m really eager to see what happens from here, especially after that stinger with Pochita, and can’t wait til the next season. – Leah

— You can watch Chainsaw Man on Crunchyroll.

Anime of the Past:

Whisper of the Heart | oprainfall anime

Look at that, I actually watched some anime this week. So for Christmas last week, I got Whisper of the Heart, the Studio Ghibli movie; the complete Witch Hunter Robin series in a DVD + Digital collection; and I got the complete Fractale series in a DVD + Blu-Ray multi-platform set. Witch Hunter Robin is an old fave of mine from back when it was new and airing on Adult Swim. Fractale I have never seen before, I merely saw some trailer for it in one of my other owned anime sets and it had great reviews on Amazon, so on my Christmas list it went. And then Whisper of the Heart I really wanted because I already own The Cat Returns and since The Cat Returns is a bit of a spin-off of Whisper of the Heart, I wanted to watch them together.

I haven’t started re-watching Witch Hunter Robin yet, nor have I tried out Fractale, but I did have myself a little double feature Studio Ghibli night this past week. Obviously since I wanted to watch them together and I now own both films, I watched both Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. Both of these movies I’ve only seen once before, a long time ago, and they were definitely as good as I vaguely remembered. Whisper of the Heart ended up being a lot longer than I remember, but I’ve realized I really like these more chill slice-of-life Ghibli movies. There’s no fantastical fantasy stuff going on, or any anxiousness for something to happen next. You can just relax, enjoy the beautiful atmosphere with the classic Ghibli animation and enjoy yourself. Now The Cat Returns has more of the wacky fantasy you expect from a Ghibli film, but it was quite a bit shorter. I loved it and honestly, it may just be my favorite from Studio Ghibli. There are all kinds of crazy feline characters with unique personalities throughout the movie and it was simply overall hilarious. I had a lot of fun and I’m really glad I did my double feature Studio Ghibli night. – Jenae

— You can watch both Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns on HBO Max.

— Witch Hunter Robin can be found on Funimation and so can Fractale.

What anime are you watching? Let us know in the comments!

You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!