By Operation Rainfall / January 22nd, 2023
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.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War
This week’s episode sees Iseria and Marty infiltrate a party being held in the Port City of Ordis. Lavi and Tally are stuck on surveillance duty while the other two enjoy the soiree. Lavi, being the free spirit that she is, decides to ditch lookout and walk around Ordis to get a feel of the city. The majority of this episode is like a game of hide and seek between Lavi and Tally. Lavi goes around enjoying various activities such as eating ice cream and watching a puppet show while Tally desperately tries to catch her. It’s all capped off with a clown and a large group of Mishy’s trying to attack the party, which Lavi ends up thwarting. Yes, we got terrorist clowns and evil mascots in the show.
This episode did a good job showcasing how different life is in Erebonia compared to North Ambria. In North Ambria, women and children join the Northern Jaegers in order to survive the country’s harsh situation. In contrast, Erebonian women and children can live normal lives happily, doing the same things Lavi got to experience. I really enjoyed watching Lavi experience things that she normally wouldn’t be able to do in North Ambria. It really seemed like she was having a blast running around the city. She’s really growing on me. Also her whole dress up scene at the beginning was very cute. The whole clown and Mishy attack thing was a mixed bag for me. It felt kinda random, and the fact no one questioned Lavi jumping through the window and having a firearm baffled me. I’m still not even sure what the point of the party was. Were Lavi and crew sent to the party to prevent the terrorist attack? I’m sure all will be revealed eventually. Honestly, a pretty entertaining episode overall. – Patrick
— You can watch The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War on Crunchyroll.
After saving the town from the Nebraskas, Vash and company are immediately set upon by E.G. Mine, one of Knives’ underlings. He kills Gofsef without a second thought and puts explosives on everyone in town, including our intrepid trio. Some quick thinking from Meryl and Roberto are able to save most of the townsfolk from being killed, but there’s been too much death so far as it is. Too bad it’s only going to get worse, because Millions Knives heads to Jeneora Rock to take matters into his own hands. In the 90’s anime, we only ever got hints of what Knives was like. He was an overwhelming force in Vash’s life, and we know he destroyed July, but we never really got to see why he was so terrible. That is not the case here. Knives is genuinely terrifying in Stampede, reducing Jeneora Rock to rubble and murdering his own underlings without a second thought. He has a cold will about him, and seeing Vash powerless against his brother is heartbreaking. I am loving how we get to see a completely new story with these characters while exploring the same themes and emotions from before. Once again, there is some absolutely gorgeous animation on display here, with ORANGE capitalizing on the strengths of 3DCG to really drive home just how big a threat Knives can be. The music as well is just fantastic this episode, and Matsuoka really nails Vash’s anguish. I cannot get enough of this adaptation. – Leah
— You can watch Trigun Stampede on Crunchyroll.
Tomo-chan is a Girl!
Catching up with the last two episodes, we get a few different parts where we see that things might not be all one sided with Tomo. Junichiro is pretty protective of her to the point he becomes somewhat threatening to others. Beside that, we get a new character introduced named Carol. She is kind of an odd character with how she speaks and how at first she is against Tomo. Misuzu really is a schemer as she uses Carol to get Tomo riled up as she trains with Junichiro. This conflict is settled pretty quickly with Carol joining the group. In the most recent episode, I like how Carol and Misuzu work off of each other as they attempt to get Tomo ready for a date, which itself definitely had its high point at karaoke. I’m liking the series so far and I hope they give all the supporting characters some time. – Walter
— You can watch Tomo-chan is a Girl! on Crunchyroll.
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale follows a young sugar artisan named Anne. She travels to the town of Lewiston in order to enter the Sugar Confectionary Exhibition so that she can become a Silver Sugar Master. However, before she can even think of that, she has to venture through the treacherous road known as the Bloody Highway. In order to get there safely, she purchases a warrior fairy named Challe. After this she ends up reuniting with a fairy named Mithril, whom she had saved earlier, and one her friends, Jonas. They all travel together and decide to rest at a doctor’s inn. This week’s episode begins after they make it to the doctor’s inn.
Anne and company meet a gentleman named Hugh who is also staying at the inn. Hugh promises to pay for their stay if she and Jonas make sugar confections for him. After they make the confections, Hugh smashes the pieces and gives them harsh, yet fair, criticism and leaves. Anne later discovers that much of Silver Sugar has been stolen, and Mithril is accused by Jonas and leaves. Jonas leads Anne to a sugar apple grove and she is able to make her piece for the Exhibit. However, Jonas betrays her (due to Anne rejecting his confessions) and steals her confectionary piece, and leaves her and Challe for the wolves.
I am enjoying Sugar Apple Fairy Tale so far. Anne is a sweetheart, and while Challe may seem really cold, he does seem to care for Anne to an extent. I like their character designs too. Anne’s cute and dainty design really matches her personality. The same can be said for Challe’s dark design as well. His design reminds me of Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia, which is a plus since Yuri is one of my favorite JRPG characters of all time. The animation is well done too, especially when Challe has to wreck some foes. For this week’s episode, we got to see some of Challe’s past life and the human girl he used to know, Elizabeth. I enjoyed this scene because we got to see Challe tear down that wall he put between him and Anne a little, so he can cheer her up after the criticism she received from Hugh. All in all, a good episode, except for Jonas being a snake, that wasn’t cool. Leaving your love interest for dead because of a rejection is NOT the right way to go. – Patrick
— You can watch Sugar Apple Fairy Tale on Crunchyroll.
Nier: Automata Ver1.1a
After rendezvousing with the Resistance at their camp, 2B and 9S continue their investigation into an unknown machine life form in the desert, this time accompanied by Jackass, one of the Resistance’s strongest fighters – and also the one most interested in learning everything she can about both androids and machine life forms. I love her. She’s great. The trio come across a handful of machines that claim to be frightened and try to run away, once more displaying emotions and ideas that are unheard of among their kind. 9S hacks into one of them to destroy it, but finds himself in a vision he never expected, but that longtime fans of the Nier series will be absolutely thrilled over. (It’s also a fun departure from the actual game, and I thought it was a nice nod.) One of the machines escapes, so of course the androids follow it, only for 2B and 9S to be separated from Jackass. They eventually stumble across an enclave of machine life forms that freak out at their presence and merge into a giant womb, from which emerges an entirely new species of machine life form. This one looks like an android. Despite dispatching it immediately, another one erupts from the first machine’s chest and runs off with its wounded companion, leaving 2B and 9S dumbfounded as to what happened. I was honestly surprised we got this scene in its entirety. Unfortunately, it’s also the last scene we’re getting for a while, as the production is currently on hiatus due to a COVID outbreak. “break ti[M]e” indeed. The first three episode will be re-aired beginning next week and we’ll get more information on Episode 4 and beyond sometime after. At least it ended on another fun puppet show. Here’s hoping the production staff are safe and healthy. – Leah
— You can watch Nier: Automata Ver1.1a on Crunchyroll.
The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten
The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten focuses on two students: Amane Fujimiya and Mahiru Shiina. One day, Fujimiya ends up running into the Shiina as she’s just sitting by herself, getting soaked by the rain. Fujimiya lends her his umbrella and runs off. In order to pay Fujimiya back, Shiina begins to cook meals for him, seeing how horrible his eating habits are. It helps that she lives right next door to him. And with this, their relationship begins to blossom. Whether this turns into a romantic one is yet to be seen.
This week’s episode begins with Fujimiya’s mother visiting unannounced. She ends up finding Shiina in the apartment and gets the wrong idea. Later on, Fujimiya buys a cake for Shiina to celebrate her getting 1st place in the test rankings. They then go on to embarrass each other by feeding each other the cake. After that, Fujimiya tries to cook with Shiina supervising him, and he does about as well as you’d expect, which is not good at all. Fujimiya’s friend, Itsuki, and his girlfriend, Chitose, end up spending Christmas Eve at Fujimiya’s place, and they unfortunately find out Shiina lives next door to him.
I like this series so far. Fujimiya and Shiina’s relationship is very heartwarming to watch, and their interactions are adorable. Fujimiya seemed to not care much about relationships before, but he is really warming up to Shiina. Shiina tended to distance herself from others, especially boys, but it’s nice seeing her hang out with Fujimiya. And they call each other by their first names too! Shiina tends to get really gloomy whenever her family comes up, so I hope they shed more light on her familial relationship in the future. I’m hoping Itsuki and Chitose don’t go blabbing about Shiina being Fujimiya’s next door neighbor. I’d hate to see their relationship sour because of it. Other than that, the characters are drawn nicely and Manaka Iwami (Shiina’s VA) does an excellent job singing the ending theme. I’m definitely looking forward to next week’s episode. – Patrick
— You can watch The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten on Crunchyroll.
What anime are you watching? Let us know in the comments!
You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!
animeCrunchyrollNier: Automata Ver1.1aSugar Apple Fairy TaleThe Angel Next Door Spoils Me RottenThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - Northern WarTomo-chan is a Girl!Trigun StampedeWeek in Anime