oprainfall Week in Anime: Jan 1 – 7

Sunday, January 8th, 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:

Trigun Stampede

Trigun Stampede | oprainfall anime

I have been waiting for this one to air for some time now, and the first episode absolutely did not disappoint. ORANGE have done an amazing job once again with some stellar 3DCG animation, from the action sequences using dynamic camera work and posing to Vash’s expressiveness. If you’re familiar with the 90’s anime, this is a fresh take on the story, swapping Meryl’s job as an insurance underwriter for a reporter, though she’s just as spunky and adorable as ever. Millie is sadly missing, replaced by Meryl’s coworker Roberto, a hard-drinking investigative reporter, but he’s at least interesting and I’m curious to see how the story is going to change with the core cast’s roles mixed about. We also get to learn about Vash’s past much much sooner than the previous anime, which I’m not averse to, but building up that mystery was one of the better aspects of the original TV show. Still, I’m happy to be back with these characters, and knowing Nightow is involved gives me hope this version of the story will turn out as good as the one I grew up with. If nothing else it’s visually gorgeous and the acting is impeccable, so I’m definitely along for this wild west ride. – Leah

— You can watch Trigun Stampede on Crunchyroll.

Nier: Automata Ver1.1a

Nier: Automata Ver1.1a | oprainfall anime

This is probably one of the anime our readers – and us here at oprainfall – have been looking forward to the most. Considering Nier: Automata is one of the best video games of all time, and also a personal favorite, I was excited to see how the anime adapts the multi-ending story of the original game, and I’m a bit on the fence about it, honestly. It seems as though they’re going for a merged A Route and B Route approach, at least for now, which makes sense for this medium, but as someone who played the games, it feels a bit rushed. I can’t speak to how it comes across to someone who is unfamiliar with the source material, but I was a bit surprised at how fast they got through the fight with the Goliath-class Machine Lifeform. Still, getting to hear Natsuki Hanae and Yui Ishikawa reprise their roles as 9S and 2B respectively was a treat, as well as the way the anime used the game’s soundtrack. The animation is pretty solid, and the CGI is honestly passable. It fits the aesthetic of the game at least. It would be nice if the compositing can be cleaned up but I’m not too chapped over it. Also the endcap of the episode was the best part and I want an entire episode done with just those puppets. I’m looking forward to seeing how the anime diverges from the source material, but for now I’m just enjoying the nostalgia. – Leah

— You can watch Nier: Automata Ver1.1a on Crunchyroll.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War

Trails of Cold Steel - Northern War | Episode 1

I am a huge fan of the Trails series, so I was really looking forward to this anime, especially since it tells events not shown in the video games. In the first episode, we get introduced to Lavinia Winslet, a rookie in The Northern Jaegers. We don’t learn much about her other than her name and combat ability, but she does seem like one tough cookie. We also get to see firsthand how dire the situation is in North Ambria. Civilians are living off rations and are in constant threat of monster attack if they live outside the capital city, Haliask. Another thing I found interesting are how monsters are portrayed in the anime. In the video games, we are used to mowing down these foes with our capable party members. However, the situation is completely different when it’s a monster taking on a regular civilian. It really hits home how terrifying these monsters are supposed to be. The last scene sets the groundwork for the war, so I’m really looking forward to how things play out. Our boy, Rean Schwarzer, didn’t make a significant appearance in this episode, but I’m sure we’ll see more of him eventually. The animation looked fine and was smooth enough, I didn’t really see anything I could complain about. The music is good, but I expected as much considering that’s one of the strong points of the games. During the first scene in the anime, the BGM used is from the games, so I appreciate how we were welcomed in with that. Not a lot happened in this episode, but I’m sure that will change in the future. I’m looking forward to seeing Lavi develop and how the war progresses from here. I’m definitely sticking with this one. – Patrick

— You can watch The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War on Crunchyroll.

 

Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte

Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte | Episode 1

I am glad I decided to give this anime a chance, because it is cute and funny. Kobayashi is a huge fan of the otome game, Magikoi – so much so that she keeps pestering her friend and classmate, Endo, to play the game. They start to play the game during their club hours, and Kobayashi tells Endo he should give commentary during the story to help practice his diction. Kobayashi, on the other hand, would give her expert analysis on the situation, kind of like a commentary team in sports. Crazily enough, once they start giving the commentary, Siegwald, one of the otome’s love interests, is able to hear them, and he is the only one that can. Learning about this strange phenomenon, Kobayashi comes up with the idea to use this ability to save Lieselotte, the tsundere villainess of Magikoi, as she is destined to die no matter what route is played. By giving advice to Sieg, Endo and Kobayashi hope to get Sieg and Liese together and prevent a horrible death. I loved this first episode. It was cute, funny, and ridiculous. The way Sieg reacted to the commentary is priceless, and I found it funny when he panicked and asked what a “tsun de rais” was. Liese is freaking adorable, and I can clearly see why Kobayashi fell in love with the character in the first place. I’m curious how Fiene, the otome’s protagonist, will be affected by their meddling. I hope Liese’s dark fate is not shifted onto her. Other than that, the animation is good and the music is pretty average, nothing really memorable. It looks like there are dual stories going on here: one focusing on the Sieg x Liese relationship, and the other focusing on Endo x Kobayashi. I’m looking forward to seeing how each one develops in the next episode. – Patrick

— You can watch Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte on HIDIVE.

Tomo-chan is a Girl!

I’ve heard a number of people waiting for this one, but I wasn’t familiar with the manga. Starting off quickly we see the tomboy Tomo confessing to her childhood friend Junichiro. However, he is one of those extremely dense characters, with this case being he only sees her as a guy. The premise for this one is pretty simple, but this first episode shows off some good moments. I do like the few other characters that appear so far, such as the two’s other friend Misuzu. I did like how Tomo is kind of dense with how she mistakes two girls who wanted to argue with her for an actual fight; then later thinking they’re asking for relationship advice. I can see so far why people were excited for this series, so I’ll probably keep following. – Walter

— You can watch Tomo-chan is a Girl! on Crunchyroll.

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

You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!