By Operation Rainfall / January 15th, 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 Lavi relegated to working in the Northern Jaegers Training Camp after her past violations. Here we meet more members of the Northern Jaegers: Talion, Iseria, and Supervisor Marty. Talion seems to be a caring individual who looks out for others; Iseria is very peppy and seems to be carefree, but she’s also a crack shot with a rifle; Marty looks like a slacker, but he makes sound decisions during dire situations. Soon, a driver of a truck full of explosives goes out of control in the Training Camp and drives straight towards Haliask. Lavi works together with Talion, Iseria, and Marty to rescue the driver and prevent the truck from hitting the city’s walls. Unfortunately, the truck still ends up exploding. Meanwhile, a secret meeting between the Northern Jaeger higher ups and the North Ambria politicians is underway. They are discussing what to do regarding Crossbell’s annexation. Rogan wants to strike the Empire before they can attack North Ambria, the politicians want to stay on Erebonia’s good side. Master Glark, the Northern Jaeger leader, decides to not act and plays a wait and see approach. Lavi and crew are called in for the commotion caused and are assigned a mission to infiltrate Erebonia and investigate their mysterious Hero.
So the two big things that came out of this episode were Ouroboros’ interference in the truck incident and the assignment of Lavi to Erebonia. I’m starting to feel like the majority of this show will take place in Erebonia with only the last few episodes focusing on the Northern War. I’m hoping they find a way to spread the story well between the two locations. Lavi is giving me Fie Claussell vibes so far. They’re both skilled and young Jaegers and tend not to show much emotion. With future episodes, hopefully Lavi develops into someone completely different from Fie. I’m a bit disappointed that they are switching locations to Erebonia so soon, but I am looking forward to seeing how these events lead into the actual war. – Patrick
— You can watch The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War on Crunchyroll.
The Fire Hunter
I decided to watch this show on a whim based only on its design, and I’m glad I did. This fantasy future world where humans combust the moment they come near real fire is an absurd premise, but it’s told with such seriousness that it’s easy to simply accept the premise and watch as the world unfolds during the first episode. While out in the woods, Touko comes across a Fire Hunter, one of a handful of humans who hunt Flame Demons for their liquid fire blood. He dies in the fight to protect her and his dog, Kanata, bequeaths her with the fallen warrior’s scythe, setting her destiny into motion. Touko is the only one who can touch Kanata, and her adoptive mother decides Touko must return both the dog and the hunter’s affects to his family in the capital city far away. Every six months, an armored caravan comes through the village to sell goods and trade, and it’s on this truck that Touko will travel to far away lands. This first episode takes its time establishing Touko’s timid character and the fraught relationship she has with her adopted sister, as well as giving us some worldbuilding regarding the way humans were “remade” to react so violently to flames as punishment for their endless wars. The animation is gorgeous, with a muted color palette and some striking character designs, though it’s sort of what I expect from the team Mamoru Oshii has put together. I definitely plan on giving this one at least a couple more episodes to see where it’s going. – Leah
— You can watch The Fire Hunter on Crunchyroll.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. Season 2
BOFURI is back with its second season, and Maple is as OP as ever. A new level gets added in New World Online, and of course Maple, Sally, and the rest of Maple Tree were eager to see it. They easily access Level 4 after Maple wallops the boss. Not much happens in this episode other than Maple discovering Mii’s cute thing obsession, Kasumi receiving a special weapon that debuffs her in a funny way, and Maple and Payne unfairly teaming up in the new Christmas event, but I enjoyed watching all the chaos the characters got up to. Oh, and the GMs were discussing nerfing Maple specifically, but they decided against it as it would wreck the game balance. This was a fun episode and I’m happy to see Maple and the crew adventuring again. We also got to watch the 1st season opening in addition to the new one. And yes, the new opening is cute too. This is definitely one I’ll continue watching this season. – Patrick
— You can watch BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. Season 2 on Crunchyroll.
We’re now two episodes in and Trigun Stampede remains my show to watch for this season. We’re introduced to the Nebraskas, a bandit father/son group who are after the $$6 million bounty on Vash’s head. They ambush our trio as they’re on the run from the townsfolk Vash saved in the first episode, who are also vying for the bounty in order to repair their Plant. This isn’t dissimilar to the original anime at this point, but ORANGE give the chase scene a real sense of kineticism that I just love. Eventually Vash leads the Nebraskas out of town, but the duo simply set their sights on stealing Geneora Rock’s Plant instead. Vash returns to save the town, but he’s also determined to save the Nebraskas. I love how earnest Vash is, how dedicated to saving every life he is. It’s always been his defining trait, and it’s on great display here. It’s hard to compare Stampede with the 90’s anime because they have such vastly different approaches and tones, but the core aspects of Vash’s character are all represented here despite the changes, and it makes me excited to see each new episode. It feels fresh and new, not unlike when I watched the original anime all those years ago, and I’m eager to see where this new take will lead us. – Leah
— You can watch Trigun Stampede on Crunchyroll.
When I saw there was going to be an anime focusing on judo, I knew I would have to watch it. I practiced judo for a couple of years, so I was interested in seeing how they implemented the martial art in this anime. The show starts with two girls, Michi and Sanae, entering their last judo competition in middle school. They both end up losing, but Michi’s was especially bad because she was choked out and had a funny face after the match. Now in high school, Michi is determined to live a normal high school life with a boyfriend and leave her judo journey behind. However, she ends up running into the judoka who defeated her in the last tournament, Towa. After a cute scuffle to get Michi to join either the judo club or kendo club, Michi ends up throwing Towa and rekindles her love for judo.
I enjoyed the first episode. Many of the throws used in the episode were moves I was able to practice in real life, so it was really awesome seeing them done in an anime. The show is animated really well. The throws are fluid and you can see the sweat fly as they hand fight for control. Michi is that classic happy go lucky and energetic main character, but I appreciate that peppiness. Sanae is a smart girl and really looks out for Michi, but she annoyed me a bit in this episode because of her outburst in Michi’s match. Towa is a quiet girl but very skilled at judo, and hopefully she learns to open up more as the series progresses. Michi’s other friend, Anna, isn’t a judoka, but she practices kendo. I’m wondering if she makes the switch later on. This show made a great first impression, and I look forward to how the series progresses. – Patrick
— You can watch Ippon Again! on HIDIVE.
Nier: Automata Ver1.1a
We spend a good half of this episode with the machine lifeforms, following along as one specific machine revives following a battle with an android and slowly begins to gain consciousness. It awakens with simple, rudimentary thoughts, apparently “infecting” others as leading them to the factory where the Goliath Class machine lifeform was constructed in the first episode. After a time at the factory, our new buddy begins to think more clearly and eventually finds a book, in which it sees a flower. This flower exists in the real world, and the machine discovers one among the remains of its fellows, captivated. Unfortunately, the flower dies, so the machine begins trying to grow its own flowers, roping smaller machines into helping it, and eventually they cover the desolate landscape with beautiful blossoms. At the same time, the androids are losing resources faster than they can replenish them, and there’s been no help from the humans on the Moon. The Resistance is struggling to survive and outgunned, and their leader, Lily, has no choice but to begin retreating. It’s at this point when the killer machine lifeforms confront our buddy machine on the field of flowers, trapped between them and the androids who have set up a bomb to kill them all. At the last moment, 2B and 9S arrive to lend a hand, and every machine lifeform dies – including the one we’ve followed this entire episode, who falls down a chasm but gets one last look at a flower before it perishes.
This entire episode felt so much more refreshing than the first one, which hewed a little too closely to the game. The little paper cutout asides are taken directly from the game, but the flower machine and its journey from mindless to thoughtful really encapsulated what Automata is about, and I hope we get a lot more episodes that veer away from retelling the game’s main narrative to give us more of the grey inbetweens. We also get yet another puppet show, which remains the highlight of each episode so far. I love them. I love them so much. Peak comedy, especially this week’s. I can’t wait to see what they bring us next time. – Leah
— You can watch Nier: Automata Ver1.1a on Crunchyroll.
Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
This episode of Tsundere Villainess sees Endo and Kobayashi grant their blessings onto Baldur and Liese. Apparently not only is Liese facing a tragic fate, but her cousin Baldur is in trouble as well. This family is just destined to have tragic fates. In order to save Baldur, now Endo and Kobayashi are trying to push him together with Fiene. Artur finally makes his appearance and tries to recruit Fiene as a priestess. Fiene ends up dueling both Baldur and Artur at the same time and absolutely thrashes them. We find out Fiene is max level, but no one knows how she got that strong. Sieg finally understands what a “tsun de rais” is and falls further for Liese. The best part of this episode was definitely Fiene smoking both Baldur and Artur, mostly because it was so unexpected. I actually laughed pretty hard at that part. I was hoping to see Endo and Kobayashi develop their own relationship more, but I guess we’ll have to wait until later. Liese showed once again that she’s super cute and caring. The moment when she gave Fiene a new wand was so adorable. I’m glad I started this series and I can’t wait to see more of Liese and the crew. – Patrick
— You can watch Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte on HIDIVE.
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible!
The set up of this follows Shiraishi, who commands almost no presence. People constantly forget he’s around, even when he’s right there. While somewhat content with this, things change when a classmate named Kubo shows interest in him. The show kind of follows some stuff we’ve seen before, such as how Kubo teases Shiraishi. Much of it though has to do with Shiraishi’s ability to go unnoticed. It’s not bad, but I think it’ll be interesting once more characters are introduced. – Walter
— You can watch Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible! on HIDIVE.
What anime are you watching? Let us know in the comments!
You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!
animeBofuriCrunchyrollEndo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess LieselotteHIDIVEIppon Again!Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible!Nier: Automata Ver1.1aThe Fire HunterThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - Northern WarTrigun StampedeWeek in Anime