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.
Bastard!! – Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy –
There’s been a recent revival of ’90s anime going on, and Bastard!! is one of the latest commissioned by Netflix. Since all 13 episodes dropped this month, I decided to at least give the first episode a peek. I watched the original anime back in middle school (don’t judge me), and this new adaptation felt pretty close to what I remember, if slightly less gory. I don’t mind that so much, since they kept the most important part of Bastard!! intact (see above). For those unfamiliar, the story follows Yoko, daughter of the high priest of Meta-llicancan and her best friend, the pipsqueak crybaby Lucien. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Lucien just so happens to be the reincarnation of the evil wizard Dark Schneider, who was sealed away 15 years ago by Yoko’s father. A virgin maiden’s kiss can awaken this powerful alter-ego in times of great need, but that’s, like, super embarrassing for Yoko to do. She definitely has her priorities in order. When the kingdom’s castle is under attack and Princess Sheila in danger, Yoko finally releases Dark Schneider in a bid to save everyone, only to find out first-hand why this megalomaniac wizard was sealed away in the first place. The show is violent, campy, shamelessly sexual, and filled with exquisite ’80s hair styles, and for me it’s a big hit of nostalgia, but don’t go into it expecting high art or anything. Turn off your brain and you’ll likely have a great time, though. I’ll more than likely give the entire series a go, and a second season has all ready been greenlit, so if you enjoy what you see, there’s more on the horizon. – Leah
– You can watch Bastard!! – Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy – on Netflix.
Like Engage Kiss, this show is another original anime I’ve been keeping my eye on for this season. Since we’re already on the third episode, allow me to give a quick rundown of what’s going on. Our two heroines, Chisato and Takina, are Lycorises. Lycoris members are tasked with stopping crimes and terrorist threats before they occur. Takina was a DA member, but was promptly transferred after things went wrong during an arms deal crackdown. She joins Cafe LycoReco and partners with Chisato, who is considered the top Lycoris. But Chisato is an odd one. Despite how skilled she is, she refuses to take a life. Takina is determined to rejoin DA while Chisato is content with helping those around her. Will Takina be able to adjust to her new life at Cafe LycoReco? Episode three brings the events that occurred in the arms deal, specifically what occurred between Takina and her former squad, back to the forefront. Chisato has to take a physical and medical test to keep her license and remain a Lycoris. Learning that she’ll be heading where the Commander is, Takina tags along, hoping to rejoin her former unit. Unfortunately for Takina, things don’t go well. She is shunned by fellow Lycoris members for her actions during the arms deal, despite saving her teammate’s life because of her decision. To make matters worse, she has already been replaced by a girl named Sakura. Fuki, Takina’s ex-partner, and Sakura badmouth Takina some more before she storms off. Chisato catches up with Takina and gives her a well-needed pep talk. Takina didn’t just lose things, she gained things from her actions on that day. She got to meet Chisato and all the rest of Cafe LycoReco. She also relays that Takina’s dismissal was a cover up for a much bigger issue. Chisato and Takina get to have a little payback against Fuki and Sakura, and then they go on their way.
I liked this episode because we got to see Chisato and Takina get much closer, and I think their chemistry is a blast. Chisato is exactly the type of person Takina needs to stop relying so much on DA. Also, we get to see Chisato be a total badass again as we get to see her school Fuki and Sakura, pretty much singlehandedly. Seeing her stand up for Takina so much was great too. I had mixed feelings about the whole bullying of Takina in this episode. Not every show involving teenagers needs to have a bully angle. But, it did end up making me more invested in the mock battle, so I guess it did its job. Lycoris Recoil has some endearing characters and fluidly animated action scenes. Plus, ClariS performs the opening, another big positive. It’s definitely one I’ll continue to keep an eye on this season. – Patrick
– You can watch Lycoris Recoil on Crunchyroll.
The Ancient Magus Bride – The Boy From the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm
I am admittedly a bit late getting to this one, but I finally got around to watching the second episode of the Ancient Magus Bride OVA. Taking place after the end of the anime but before the following events from the manga, this short story, penned by the mangaka herself, follows a young boy named Gabriel who recently moved to the countryside from London. He’s sickly and the city air was bad for him, but he’s dreadfully lonely out in the boonies. While out exploring one day, he comes across a shiny rock that broke off from a pillar during a thunderstorm. He doesn’t know it, but the stone houses the spirit of the knight who leads the Wild Hunt, and without him they are running amok through the countryside, killing everything they touch. The knight’s horse, meanwhile, ends up with Chise and Elias. Gabe accidentally releases the knight from the stone and quickly befriends him, naming the spirit Evan after an old French storybook character. This second episode deals mostly with Gabe and Evan’s budding friendship and how alienated Gabe feels from other kids due to his illness. While searching for Evan, Chise and Elias have a nice chat with Titania and Puck. Gabe is attacked by spirits and flees back toward the pillar where he found Evan’s rock, where Elias saves him. Evan and his horse are reunited but Gabe can’t handle the idea of losing the only friend he’s made since leaving London. One of my favorite things about Ancient Magus Bride is the way it presents faeries, spirits, and other mythological creatures as both relatable but also unknowable forces of nature, and that holds true with Evan. He’s a lonely boy who feels alienated from the world, seeing as he can only watch time pass by while he’s locked away for decades at a time. He’s also an immortal knight that can and will drain Gabe of his life force, but not out of malice. There are rules to interacting with the Neighbors and it’s just such a neat depiction of folklore. I love it. The next episode won’t release until September, but I’m looking forward to how this story concludes. – Leah
– You can watch The Ancient Magus Bride – The Boy From the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm, as well as the first season of the show, on Crunchyroll.
The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting
Giving this one a try, I found a series that so far is nice and relaxing for the most part. It follows an infamous member of a Yakuza family named Kirishima. He’s introduced to be quite a fighter and is informed by the head of the Yakuza family he has a new job: Kirishima will be looking after his patriarch’s daughter, Yaeka, who’s in elementary school. Once this part occurred I was kind of surprised by how it proceeded. I feel normally things like this move into how much the tough guy doesn’t want anything to with the child and how it takes a while for them to open up with them. In this case, while Kirishima doesn’t seem to want to take this job on at first, he doesn’t seem too displeased about it. He attempts to get along with Yaeka, who is a reserved and quiet child. There’s some nice bits of comedy thrown in, some of them at the expense of Kirishima’s friend Sugihara. There were a few fights in the first two episodes, but they are brief and pretty one-sided. While slightly comedic and a relaxed show so far, there are some serious/touching moments also included, the biggest with the story regarding Yaeka’s mother toward the end of the second episode. This is a series I think was worth a try. – Walter
– You can watch The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting on Crunchyroll.
Komi Can’t Communicate
An entire year has passed since Komi and Tadano first met, and the waning days of their first year of high school are fast coming to an end. With it comes Tadano’s realization that he likes Komi as more than just a friend, and he’s out to find her a proper White Day gift to let her know that. He settles on scented hand cream, which he delivers to her personally. There’s a fantastic comedy bit between him and Komi’s dad that I really loved, but the moment is an overall sweet one. The class all engage in an eraser battle, but Komi has trouble enjoying herself because she knows they’ll eventually be shuffled into other classes when they reach their second year, and she opens up to Tadano about how sad the thought makes her. These quiet, intimate moments between the two of them are my favorite, and Komi’s stuttered, broken words as she tries to express herself tug at the heartstrings. This is a rom-com, so everyone will more than likely end up together next year, but for the time being, seeing Komi’s vulnerability drives home how much these nascent friendships have meant to her and how hard it is to deal with the possibility of them going away. She’s only just coming out of her shell and you really feel for her in the moment. Thankfully, we at least get confirmation that her and Tadano will continue being classmates as the episode comes to a close. I really, really enjoyed this season and look forward to future episodes. – Leah
– You can watch Komi Can’t Communicate on Netflix.
Dropkick on My Devil!!! X
Picking up right after last week, we see the conclusion of the “fight” with Jashin-chan and Lierre. Lierre proves she is the stronger one, but in her human form of a child, she is much weaker than she really is. The fight is witnessed by Pino, who reacts poorly to seeing Lierre and fears she and the other angels will be killed. The episode really focuses on Pino and it really shows how unstable she is, something other characters mention. She attempts to kill Lierre to prevent what she thinks is inevitable; however, she makes a poor decision by having Jashin-chan do it. Like in most episodes, there are a number of references thrown in. I enjoyed this one and after seeing some clips in the preview for next week, I’m pretty excited to see how some things develop. – Walter
– You can watch Dropkick on My Devil!!! X on Crunchyroll.
What anime are you watching? Let us know in the comments!
You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!