Chatty AF 180: 2023 Winter Mid-Season Check-In (WITH TRANSCRIPT)

By: Anime Feminist March 5, 20230 Comments

Cy, Caitlin, and Peter check-in on a season with way too many messy shows to wade into.

Episode Information

Date Recorded: March 5, 2022
Hosts: Cy, Caitlin, Peter

Episode Breakdown

0:00:00 Intros
Pit of Shame
0:02:06 Sugar Apple Fairy Tale
0:09:27 ONIMAI: I’m Now Your Sister!
Yellow Flags
0:17:55 Tomo-chan Is a Girl!
0:27:58 REVENGER
0:32:19 Reborn to Master the Blade
Neutral Zone
0:33:17 UniteUp!
0:33:43 NieR: Automata Ver 1.1A
0:36:52 Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari
0:39:11 The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague
0:43:25 The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World!
0:43:56 Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill
0:44:27 Buddy Daddies
It’s Complicated
0:50:13 Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady
0:53:37 Kaina of the Great Snow Sea
0:56:00 Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
Feminist Potential
0:56:30 Technoroid Overdrive
0:58:17 “Ippon” Again!
1:02:09 The Fire Hunter
1:08:36 Outro

Further Reading

2023 Winter Premiere Digest

2023 Winter Three-Episode Check-In

CY: Hello and welcome to Chatty AF: The Anime Feminist Podcast. I’m Cy, one of the editors for Anime Feminist. And today, I’m joined by Caitlin and Peter to give you the 411 on the winter anime season for this year! We’re a bit late on it because life, but hey, we’re here to chat about what’s been happening so far in this 2023 season.

CAITLIN: Hi, I’m Caitlin Moore. I am one of the managing editors for Anime Feminist, as well as a reviewer for Anime News Network. I’m very sleepy today, so I’m not sure how this is going to go. But we’ll see.

PETER: And I’m Peter Fobian. I’m manager of YouTube content and strategy at Crunchyroll and an editor here at Anime Feminist. I’m @PeterFobian on Twitter.

CY: Yeah, there’s a lot of anime this year. Oh, and I guess this year has just only started. There’s a lot of anime this winter?

PETER: There’s more to come.

CY: Ah, God. It’s like the (what is that?) “All Stars” [sic] by Smash Mouth: “The years [start] coming and they don’t stop coming.” It’s the same with anime.

CAITLIN: I was out last night. That song came on and everyone in the room started singing along. It was so good.

CY: [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: Everyone talks a big game about how bad that song is, but we all love it deep in our hearts.

CY: It’s so good! It’s so good!

So, I guess, for people listening, if you’ve never joined us for one of our midseason shows before, we generally use our Premiere Digest, which will be linked in the show notes. However, we also have from our Patreon some input on shows that everyone really kind of wants to hear us talk about. And by the way, if you want to hear about a particular show, you can always become a patron and vote to make sure that we talk about your top choices at Just throwing that out there. So, what show are we talking about first, y’all?

PETER: Well, I will tell you. So, it’s literally our bottom show in the Pit of Shame. It’s also one of our top-requested Patreon titles, which is—

CY: Oh, we hittin’ up that Sugar Apple Fairy Tale! [Chuckles]

PETER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

CAITLIN: We usually skip over anything Red Flag or below, but we do need to talk about Sugar Apple Fairy Tale.

PETER: Yeah.

CY: Yeah.

PETER: Well, it was Red Flags but also maybe Potential. I mean, we’ll discuss, but there were potential themes. It just also was doing the now (I suppose we could call it) classic fantasy slavery trope.

CAITLIN: It gets so close at times. You know?

CY: Mm-hm!

CAITLIN: It gets so close, because it does seem to genuinely understand certain things. And the discourse is always like, “Well, the slavery anime isn’t based on chattel slavery. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But there are elements to this, to the slavery system that they have in this world, that do correspond to chattel slavery, like they give fairies human names. They take away the fairies’ names and give them names of their oppressors. And it gets so close. But then it’s also like there is a kink element to it that’s like… Which, you know, not to kinkshame, whatever problematic kink still, whatever, floats your boat, I guess. But also, the series is so chaste that it’s just all really, really muddled.

CY: Yeah, I think that’s a really good way to put it, because this series in a weird way reminds me a lot of Gone With the Wind, and I can’t quite pinpoint why that is, and I think it’s probably just a lot of the motifs. Also, I think it needs being said that… I know a lot of people feel like, okay, chattel slavery is a very American thing, and it is. It also needs being said that Japan has had a really deep connection with America while it was a chattel slavery country since the mid-1800s. And also, Japan as a colonizing country has done its own fair share of sexual slavery. So, like…

CAITLIN: Right! Because they keep asking her basically if he’s her sex slave.

CY: It’s uncomfortable, and I hate it! [Chuckles] I hate it. It’s really gross.

CAITLIN: Like, they call him her companion fairy, but we all know that’s just a euphemistic way of calling him her sex slave.

CY: Yeah. And that kind of can’t be untangled from this because that’s partially why I dropped it, was I was just like, “I don’t want to sit through a season of this.” Because it makes me uncomfortable, and, I mean, me being a Black person, it’s really hard for me to understand why slavery is a part of any kind of power fantasy or any kind of romantic story, because, you know, that is in my blood. I am someone who is born from that really horrific history. And so, yeah, it’s just uncomfortable, but this is also so chaste that… And I think that’s part of what’s actually quite frightening, is that it is so chaste that it kind of undercuts the actual horror of what is being done to this humanoid species for their benefit.

CAITLIN: I wish it hadn’t turned around and turned into him choosing to stay with her after she freed him, because I was honestly more on board whenever she was trying to be friendly and he’s like, “No! We’re not buddies. I’m not going to choose to do something for you. Stop asking me to do things nicely. You bought me. And if it makes you uncomfortable to give me an order, that’s your fucking problem.” I wish they had stuck with that. You know?

CY: Because it’s a little bit too much of the good slave owner that you fall in love with because they show you a little bit of humanity. It’s just like, “Ugh, gross!” [Chuckles] I did like it better when he was like, “No! I don’t want your handouts. I don’t want your kindness. You did this horrible thing to me. And you sometimes leverage it even though you say you’re not going to do that. And so, no, I don’t want anything to do with you.” Yeah, I’m with you.

CAITLIN: And I think I am going to continue watching it, because it’s bad but it’s bad in an interesting way. You know what I mean?

CY: I might pick it up again.

CAITLIN: It’s bad in a way that is worth discussing. And I honestly… All y’all out there listening, I don’t think I’m the one to write the article about it, but if anyone did want to write about how the show depicts that and the issues with it, I would be super on board with it. Just so you know. Putting that out there if anyone wants to pitch to us. But yeah, Sugar Apple Fairy Tale, not a recommendation.

CY: It feels like it’s kind of harkening this thing, which is that for the past few seasons, every once a season, we just get a little slavery as a treat. And it’s really upsetting. It’s always upsetting. And it’s always a little…

PETER: Is it just a little slavery as a treat? I feel like every season now there’s at least two or three. [Chuckles]

CY: Oh, God! Oh, yeah, yeah, okay, it’s more than a little.

PETER: Literally the next title up is Strongest Exorcist, which perfectly replicates the Rising of the Shield Hero subplot where the girl chooses to continue being a slave. She doesn’t want to be freed because she loves her master so much.

CY: What is wr—? [Chuckles] Ugh! Okay, so it’s like a Golden Corral of slavery. It’s just like a buffet of the worst trope— And like I said, maybe I’m very biased because I’m Black and live in America, but I—

CAITLIN: I think you’re allowed to be biased about that.

PETER: Yeah, yeah, biased against slavery, I think, is… [Chuckles]

CY: [Chuckles] That’s my hot take: I’m biased against slavery; I don’t think it’s good! Yeah. Yeah. Maybe the plot twist of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale will be that… I think his name is pronounced “Chawl…” will just, like…

CAITLIN: It’s “Chall.”

CY: Shall [pronounced “Chall”]. Maybe he’ll just fully reject her. [Chuckles] He’ll just be like, “Thanks for my freedom. Deuces! I’m out. I’m gonna start a revolution.”

PETER: Yeah, I was gonna say, lead a bloody revolution.

CAITLIN: I mean, she’s already freed him.

CY: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe he’s just playing some weird long con. I don’t like that any better. [Chuckles] But…

So, we’re moving on to The Reincarnation of the Strongest Exorcist in Another World. Jesus Christ, [obscured by crosstalk].

PETER: I feel like the only thing I might have said about that, I already said with the Shield Hero thing. And typically we don’t really talk about Pit of Shame titles anyway. Although, is it worth discussing Onimai in particular?

CY: I… I…

CAITLIN: Uh, no. No.

CY: [crosstalk] I was gonna say, I think we could pass by it.

PETER: Okay.

CAITLIN: Chiaki’s been doing great tweet threads about it, very balanced.

PETER: Are they balanced? [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: I mean, Chiaki’s one of the few people who I trust to talk about this. But you know what I mean. Listen, Chiaki’s got some problematic interests, but she’s doing a very good job about talking about the elements of it that draw trans people to it, about the euphoric elements, while also not eliding the lolicon elements, you know? They’re good tweet threads.

CY: My only comment is I stand by what I’m quoted as saying on Wikipedia.


CAITLIN: Same! Same here.

CY: Fully stand by it.

CAITLIN: You want to hear our thoughts, go to Wikipedia!

PETER: [crosstalk] I’ll throw your names on that article.

CY: I have a whole paragraph!

PETER: Red Flags.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Let’s keep it moving.

PETER: Yeah, we’ve got Ningen Fushin, which… I don’t think… I’m the only one who even is… can watch the show.


PETER: Ayakashi Triangle, which is just a big old bomb. Angel Next Door, nobody’s watching. Trigun Stampede, which was on our requests list.

CAITLIN: Okay. So, I’m behind on everything because…

CY: Life.

CAITLIN: Life. From a feminist perspective, but specifically talking about how women are depicted… I watched the original. I don’t have super clear memories of it, but I love it a lot. One of the big anime from when I got into it. The conventions were crawling with fascists. From a feminist perspective, it’s very, very frustrating to see the two major female characters— One is removed entirely and replaced by a grizzled old man, and one’s personality has been removed and is the audience surrogate, because Meryl and Roberto, thus far in the narrative, exist 100% for Meryl to go “What’s that?” and then Roberto explains. And that is it. That is all they do. Meryl has not shot a gun once. It’s not… not great.

PETER: [crosstalk] Yeah, I’m curious about that. She was in the manga, right?

CAITLIN: I haven’t read the manga, but I assume so.

PETER: [crosstalk] Okay. Yeah, I’ve never read the manga, so I don’t know if she was in the manga as Derringer Meryl like she was in the original anime, famous for having 100 derringers. And now she has not a single gun.

CAITLIN: So, yeah. But so, I am coming from the perspective of knowing the original anime, of loving the original anime and, honestly, very, very deeply preferring the original anime, because… and I know it’s partially because of the shorter run times, but the new Trigun is just… it is hammering out those plot points. There’s no joy to it. There’s no playfulness. There’s no mystery. Everything gets revealed pretty much right away.

CY: Let me ask, because I’m someone who’s never seen Trigun and I was really hesitant to start Trigun Stampede because I wasn’t sure. Is this a sequel or is this a remake?

CAITLIN: It is a retelling.

CY: Okay. Aw, okay. [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: So, yeah, it’s… I mean, I’m still enjoying it. I’m watching it with Jared, who hasn’t seen the original and he’s really enjoying it. And every time I’m like, “There’s no mystery to it,” he’s like, “Well, that’s because you know everything. I don’t feel like I know everything that is happening in the story.” So, it might be a better experience to people who didn’t watch the original, who don’t have the expectations. I will say, though, it is stunning! It is such a beautiful show. Orange really knocked it out of the park visually.

PETER: Orange once again pulled an Orange.

CAITLIN: Oh yeah. It might be their best-looking show at this point. They’ve got all these painted backgrounds and… You know, I feel like with CG anime historically, their facial expressions have been very stiff. And not an issue at all here: super expressive. They just really, really nailed it visually. I like the new character designs. I think Vash is super cute. Wolfwood is not causing 500,000 sexual awakenings simultaneously like the original one did, but since this is more similar to the manga, it’s probably better that way, for reasons that I… you know, I won’t spoil them.

PETER: Yeah. I definitely get what you’re saying about how it’s kind of joyless. I really felt like… At least my recollection of the original Trigun… It was a 24-episode series and I feel like Stampede is probably going to be 12.


PETER: 26? Geez. So, in the first half, it was primarily just hijinks. There would be some bad cowboy and Vash would beat them and eat doughnuts, and there would be a lot of goofs and the characters would kind of hang out and spend time together. But in a reduced—

CAITLIN: But there was also all this foreshadowing!

PETER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every once in a while, you’d hear a villain talking. Yeah, in this one they just… Like, Legato Bluesummers showed up in episode 4 or something.


PETER: Episode 4 or 5. It just feels like they just got it— I mean, the second half is just like everything falling apart, lots of depression, misery. And I feel like that’s just being frontloaded. And you know, I haven’t read the manga, so maybe it just is that dark all the way through and the anime was really the thing that kind of made it more uplifting and funny (the original anime, that is). But yeah, this one has felt, for me, very dark by comparison. I’m not getting any of the fun that I got in the original series. They just have to move right on to the Vash-and-Knives contest.

CAITLIN: Which is such a shame because in the first episode Vash is still a pretty fun character. You know, I think about that “What rope?” joke and I smile. Or the way he cackles while he is hanging upside down in the desert.

PETER: Yeah, that was such a good intro! And Meryl got to goof with him, too.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] He’s such a goofball in that episode.

PETER: I think that’s the goofiest Meryl’s been, as well.

CAITLIN: And that’s the Vash that I love.

PETER: Yeah, yeah, same. Also, I’ve noticed it more this time… I can’t remember if the original Trigun had… There’s definitely the Rem element, but this one has the new mentoress from the Plant after the crash who kind of just becomes Rem 2. And I don’t know if that’s in the manga, but it does definitely feel like Trigun has this kind of holy mother thing that’s going on that wasn’t so in your face in the original anime, that I’m not quite sure how to feel about, specifically because it’s somebody that Knives kind of menaces as a way to drive conflict between the two of them. So, that feels odd. I don’t think she’s a character in the original anime. I’m not sure about the manga. But it’s interesting that just someone who filled the narrative role of Rem appeared almost immediately after Rem died.

Definitely, yeah, gorgeous, good fights. I do really like Vash when he gets to be the Vash that I know and love. But yeah, does kind of feel like a lot of the charm of the series has taken a backseat to just narrative development.

CAITLIN: All right, what’s next?

PETER: Tomo-chan.

CY: I was gonna say, Tomo-chan.

PETER: Yeah, yeah, which is also another requested title.

CY: So, I just want to start off by saying that Sally Amaki is queen and does Carol so much justice.

PETER: Oh yeah.

CY: [Laughs] I love her so much!

PETER: In both languages!

CY: Yeah, I did watch the dub, because I was like, “Oh, I want to hear how this sounds,” and Carol is the funniest part of the show. Protect her at all costs.

PETER: Yeah, it’s funny, too, because I feel like she really fills kind of a common trope in this kind of series, so you kind of expect a very rote portrayal of her where she’s just the one who always is buying really expensive things and doesn’t really think about money and makes the other characters kind of feel uncomfortable for being poor. But they really developed her out. In fact, I’d say for the first half to two-thirds of this series, basically the reason I kept coming back to the series was because of Misuzu and Carol. I feel like they’re the real strong characters.

CY: Yeah.

PETER: Yeah, they’re both kind of tropes, but they really are fully developed characters. I like that Carol acts the way you would think a dumb character acts but she is not dumb at all.

CY: Yeah, she’s super smart!

PETER: Yeah, she’s very smart. And she and Misuzu scheme against each other sometimes. And I really like how they’re coequal in that way. I also think Carol’s really charming because in the beginning, I guess she didn’t have too many friends, so now that she has friends, she’s super touchy-feely, which of course Misuzu hates. But one of my favorite tropes in the series is her intentionally saying something to make somebody annoyed enough to put her in a headlock or something.


PETER: So you see Tomo’s got her in a headlock, but she’s just goofing and she’s enjoying being in a headlock. I really like that.

CY: She’s just such a wonderful character. I liked her from the moment I saw her. And then when she did that headband, returning the headband to [obscured by crosstalk] …

PETER: Oh my God.

CY: That scene [Chuckles] had me on the floor!

PETER: That was so good.

CAITLIN: Yeah. I do want to talk a little bit about how the show handles specifically Tomo’s gender presentation and her relationship with Jun, because I feel like…

PETER: Yeah, for sure. That’s the thing.

CAITLIN: Yeah. So, I feel like that is complicated because Jun has been attracted to Tomo for a long time, right? That’s the whole thing, is that the reason he doesn’t treat her like a girl is because he very much recognizes that his feelings for her are changing and he’s super freaked out by that. And in the last episode I watched, which is not the most recent episode, because once again, I am behind on everything, Misuzu talks a bit about how “We keep trying to change Tomo to make her more girly, but that’s not helping her.” That’s not what Jun is looking for, because he likes her for her, and I think that’s great. But I also feel like there are moments where it’s like, “Oh, we’re gonna give Tomo a makeover,” and Jun is like, [Babbles incoherently, as if emotionally overwhelmed]. So, it feels like it’s not being fully consistent to me about it. Because I love the whole thing where it’s like Tomo doesn’t have to change; he likes Tomo how she is. And I also like if Tomo wants to be a little bit more fluid in her presentation. I also think that’s fine. Tomo shouldn’t feel like she is pigeonholing herself. She should be able to move back and forth. I’m sorry: did this just turn into a therapy session for high school Caitlin?


CAITLIN: But I just feel like it’s not fully consistent and it’s kind of hard to get a draw on it. Which, I mean, also they’re high school students experimenting, so that’s not totally wrong.

CY: But I get what you mean. It’s interesting because on one hand, Tomo is still held to the same expectations of Japanese women and Japanese teenagers in terms of her identifying as a cis woman and a cis girl. But then, yeah, there are those moments where Jun is just flabbergasted that Tomo, a girl, is a girl. And it kind of… I don’t know. As it’s going on, the joke is kind of starting to sting more and more, because it’s just like… [Groans annoyed] [Chuckles] [Groans, annoyed] “Jun, get it together, dude. I know you’re in high school, but also…”

CAITLIN: I just think the conversation around it needs to have… You know, I don’t feel like I can make a call around it being all good or all bad or even… Either way, I think there needs to be a nuanced conversation around it.

PETER: Yeah. So, I actually… I read all the manga to research the title because I’m working on the series. So, my hot take on the series is that literally it was just the gags from the first episode when it started out, and I don’t think the author really figured out the show’s dynamic or Tomo-chan (er, I guess I should just call her Tomo) as a character until maybe the flashback episode, because Tomo seems kind of inconsistent before that, and I think it’s much better realized after, I don’t know, maybe the person figured out how Tomo was as a kid, like the weird incident in middle school and then what happened afterward, at which point I liked Tomo a lot more, and also the central conflict where it was… I do think the series tries to come back around and say, “No, it was Misuzu saying Tomo to be more feminine that really fucked everything up.” And Misuzu specifically states that. And I feel weird because I guess Misuzu straight-out said it already in the anime at this point. It becomes a bigger plot point later on, but I don’t know how much we should be discussing things that haven’t happened yet! [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: Probably.

PETER: Yeah. So, I feel like it ended a lot stronger and the author really figured out what they were doing with the entire plot after the fact. So, I’m interested to see how you both would feel once the story’s completed.

CAITLIN: All right.

CY: Because I still feel invested in this because I like Tomo; I just kind of wish… I don’t know if it’s weird to say I wish the show respected her a little bit more for who she is. Because I think there needs to be space within femininity for women and girls who are cis but present more masculine. And yeah, it just keeps rubbing me weird that sometimes that joke will creep back in and you’re like, “No, no, no, get out of here. Go! Go away!”

CAITLIN: Yeah. Listen, like I said, this is a series that does hit home for my high school self. Because when I was in my mid-20s, I did have a turnaround. I’m like, “Maybe there will be days where I want to be more girly. You know, actually, dresses are great because you just put them on and then you’re done, and they can be really comfortable.” But for all of high school, I was like, “I don’t wear makeup. I don’t wear dresses. I don’t wear pants. I don’t do any of that girly stuff.” And, you know, it doesn’t have to be a “not like other girls” thing. Because that’s how it always gets framed now. It’s just like, “Oh, you’re going through your ‘not like other girls’ phase.” But there are cis women who just have a more gender-neutral or masculine presentation. And I think that deserves to be… That is something that I have searched for a long time, you know, where the plotline isn’t “She needs to learn to be more girly.”

PETER: Yeah, I wish we talked about this show either at the actual midseason or directly after the next episode.


PETER: But I think this is going to be a fun discussion once the series is over, because, yeah, I do feel like the author intended to kind of reverse on the original direction and kind of respect Tomo in all of her tomboyishness. As far as execution, I’m really curious to see how you both felt the series pulled it off.

CY: Yeah, I’m really excited to circle back around to this one.

CAITLIN: Anyway…


CAITLIN: What’s next?

PETER: What do we got? Spy Classroom. I dropped out after three. No one else is watching it.

CY: Yeah, I was gonna say I dropped that one, too. It’s boring.

CAITLIN: Such a nothingburger.

CY: It’s boring.

PETER: Saving 80K.

CY: Wish I could be! [Chuckles]

PETER: Revenger is the next one.

CAITLIN: I started watching that one with Jared. It is apparently an early Gen Urobuchi script.

PETER: Oh! It’s from early in his career.


PETER: [crosstalk] That makes so much sense.

CAITLIN: So, this was one of the first things he wrote, which is why it’s just such…

PETER: Edgelordy?

CAITLIN: It’s pure, just all of the hallmarks of his work without anything else to filter it through. I’m going to be real with you: the big appeal of Revenger for me is “Boy hot.”

PETER: [crosstalk] Yeah, yeah. No, that’s definitely it.

CAITLIN: Usui is really fucking hot. And Sensei? Don’t like his beard, but also, wouldn’t kick him out of bed. You know?


CAITLIN: That’s all I can really say to it! It’s really stupid action! It is pretentious and the women suffer disproportionately. And yeah, that’s Booch. That’s the Booch.

PETER: Okay. Yeah, I was watching, going like, “Man, Urobuchi’s really channeling his teenager edgelord in it,” but it really might have been teenage edgelord Urobuchi that wrote this story in the first place! Yeah, it definitely does that. I know we’ve had a lot of discussions among the team about how the series is kind of interesting because it’s focusing on this almost (what do you call it?) wish-fulfillment-of-the-downtrodden thing where there’s some sort of system of justice in place, extrajudicial justice, but also it really seems to revel in the way that people suffer and are abused. Who’s the kid character?


PETER: Yeah, when it gets into his backstory about, I guess, just being the protege of a circus clown pedophile and this plot that it had with, I don’t know, men who are kidnapped and drugged with opium so they could dress in women’s clothes and serve as prostitutes for monks who didn’t want to make their bodies impure by having sex with women, it’s very… Maybe there was something he could have done with that, but I feel like he just wrote it because he thought, “What’s the most fucked-up thing I could possibly write so that they could be 100% justified in killing these people?” And I feel like that’s where it lands most of the time. It’s not really about whether the suffering is realistic or based on some sort of historical truth and wants to look at how those people were taking advantage of. It’s more about… it’s place-setting so that a dude can cut somebody in half or they can get shot with a big bow and arrow and you’re just like, “Yeah! That bad guy really got hurt.” It’s kind of like Gotham City for Japan, where they’re all super criminals and maybe the ideas are based in reality but they’re just now completely divorced from reality. And the series itself is only interested in showing you justice getting served by vigilantes.

CAITLIN: The character designs are pretty. I mean, that’s basically what I said before, but… I don’t know.

PETER: They’re good. I really like Bow-and-Arrow Man.

CY: [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: Sensei.

PETER: Yeah, yeah. Oh, they literally just call him Sensei? No wonder I couldn’t remember his name. Okay.

CY: Oh wait, is Bow-and-Arrow Man the one that I keep seeing on Twitter that rips through his clothes?

PETER: Yeah, yeah.

CAITLIN: [overjoyed] Yeah!

PETER: Yeah, he’s got such a big draw on his bow that his shirt just explodes every time he fires an arrow.

CY: Oh no, maybe I gotta watch Revengers.


PETER: I mean, it’s Urobuchi, so it’s definitely super stylized, kind of weird with it, ultraviolent. And yeah, it’s just like the hot boy revenge squad, so…

CAITLIN: Yeah, there was an episode where some rando came out, was like, “Who are you?” and Jared was like, “Oh, bro! You’re wearing historically accurate clothing! You are in period costume! You are not gonna survive this encounter!”

PETER: Yeah. [Chuckles] “What are you doing?”

CY: That’s so funny.

PETER: Okay, Reborn to Master the Blade. I mean, I guess I’m the only one watching it, so… [Chuckles] It is a 70-year-old man in a teenage girl’s body. Every once in a while, it likes to remind you of that.

CY: Oh!

CAITLIN: [deadpan] Oh, fun.

PETER: And it really takes you out of it. But otherwise, it’s a really fun series where she’s like a blood knight and likes to punch things without consequence. But then it’s like, “Oh, yeah, but this is a reincarnated guy who died of old age,” so… At least he’s not… The things he says are creepy. But (what am I saying?) it could be creepier. That’s not a very…


CY: I feel like anime keeps waking up and choosing violence. I would like it to not.

PETER: Mm-hm. Handyman Saito, nobody’s watching. Ars, nobody’s watching. Chillin’ in My 30s, it says I’m watching but I’m not.

CAITLIN: [singing] Walking pair of boobs!

PETER: UniteUp.

CY: [Gasps] [Laughs] Okay, I do have thoughts on UniteUp, which is it continues to be really good. It continues to be really realistic. And yeah, that’s it.

CAITLIN: Yeah. UniteUp, like I said, in my ANN review for the first episode, it seems like a really, really good show that I’m just not super interested in watching.

CY: That’s okay.


PETER: NieR. Am I the only one watching this one?

CAITLIN: So, I haven’t played the games. I plan to play the games. So, you know, tell us what you think but also don’t tell us anything.

CY: Yeah, because I was gonna say, I just got onto a new route, so, like, no spoilies. [Chuckles]

PETER: Do you know the central thing about the game that made it so… I don’t want to say “revolutionary,” but how it’s got the multiple paths?

CY: Yeah. Yeah.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Mm-hm.

PETER: Okay. So, the thing I was really hoping for and, I believe, is in fact what the anime is doing, which is just classic Yoko Taro, is I think it’s approaching the story as like this is yet another path in the video game thing, so it’s not a rote retelling of the story.

CAITLIN: That’s kind of the sense that I… Well, no. That is what I assumed, and that is why Jared told me that I’m not allowed to… Jared doesn’t tell me what to do, to be clear.

PETER: [Chuckles] Suggested.

CAITLIN: But [Chuckles] Jared told me that I am not allowed to watch the anime until after I play the game.

PETER: Mm-hm. I don’t know if that’s necessary, but I think that will… As someone who beat the game and now am watching it, I think I am enjoying it a lot because I’m specifically seeing things that didn’t occur in the game, and in the way it’s going off script I feel is what’s the interesting part about the anime. So, yeah, there’s that. So, they’re already doing things that didn’t happen in the game, and now you’re getting… In addition, there were always asides in the game where in some of the cinematics you follow the life of one of the robots as they kind of became sentient and then have a little story that’s very sad. They’re doing new ones in the anime, too, so there’s more of these Yoko Taro robot asides. And they’ve also had some flashbacks to NieR Replicant. So, now we’re wondering if it’s going to… I mean, the stories, we already know, are semi-related. They’re in the same universe. So, we don’t know if that’s going to further tie the stories together, if it’s going to wrap around into Replicant, the fact that we’re seeing characters and environments from Replicant… They create a lot of questions. So, it’s a very interesting watch as a Yoko Taro fan.

CY: Okay. So, see, that might actually change me over to actively watching it now that I know, because I do know how the entire arc of the game goes. I’m just kind of experiencing it for myself. But I like that they’re taking it… it’s kind of just another path. I think that’s probably the best way that this anime could have done it, instead of a straight-up, very one-to-one adaptation of things.

PETER: Yeah, if it was just path A or path A through C or something like that, I couldn’t watch it. It’d be so boring. [Chuckles] So, yeah, it’s really interesting. Lots of interesting things are happening.

CY: Nice.

PETER: Next is Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari, which I wish other people were watching because I’m kind of enjoying it.

CAITLIN: I liked the premiere. It just didn’t feel like a priority to keep watching.

PETER: Okay. Lots of hot guys and gals in suits fighting…

CY: I do like hot people in suits.

PETER: Yep. It’s got kind of an interesting thing— I don’t want to compare it to Tsugumomo, but it kind of works off the same idea. There’s some kind of stuff going on with the main girl. Her spirit bodyguards are all items from her dowry, which is why they’re intrinsically tied to her. And she of course has some sort of “hidden power that could upset the whole spiritual world” kind of thing going on. So it kind of has… It’s more of a classic trope, but the one that comes to mind right now is Fushigi Yugi, just all of your spiritual protectors (I don’t really know where the plot’s going yet, but…) protecting her as she’s navigating “spirit world meets real world” politics kind of thing. I think it’s interesting. It could get a little perilous with the whole— I don’t know how I feel about the dowry thing. But it’s been pretty neat so far, especially in… It kind of does the Natsume’s Book of Friends thing where sometimes they’ll do asides about items that have awakened into kami and the relationships they had with the people who used the item, like a grinding stone for example, and then them wanting to become an individual or continue existing within the real world after the item that created them has broken them, and normally they would return to… I don’t know if it’s the spirit world or nothingness. So, interesting stuff going on there.

CY: Nice.

PETER: Legend of Heroes, nobody’s watching.

CY: Nope. It’s such a bad adaptation.

PETER: [Chuckles] Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible.

CY: I was watching and I dropped it because I just got tired of it. We have finite—

CAITLIN: I legitimately don’t even remember what, one you’re talking about…

CY: We have finite minutes on this earth, and I have to use them responsibly.

PETER: [Laughs] Wow. All right.

CY: [Through laughter] Sorry, Kubo fans!

PETER: The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague. Are either of you watching this?


CY: [crosstalk] I’ll admit I fell behind on it, but I do still like it. I think it’s really cute. Okay. Oh my God…

CY: I think it’s really cute.

PETER: It’s one of our requested titles!

CY: Whoops. Yeah, I admit I fell behind on it, just because time and life, but I do really like it. I think it’s really, really cute. I like the dynamic. Fuyutsuki is my… I actually really like her as a female character.

PETER: Yeah. Same.

CY: Yeah. Himuro’s also really cute. [Chuckles] He’s just adorable. Such a sweetie.

PETER: I think, yeah, it’s [a] pretty sweet series. It does kind of… I’m of two minds because I think Fuyutsuki’s kind of the active one in the relationship whereas Himuro is too shy and ends up being very bashful and kind of reactive to the ways that she reaches out to him, although sometimes there’s an interplay. She’ll get embarrassed about stuff, so it’s not completely one-sided. I do think it is a bit strange, though, since they’re both adults who are working in an office, that they are obviously interested in each other, they’ve all but gone on dates so far, but they’re still not in an official, any recognized relationship. It’s really existing in this twilight realm. [Chuckles]

CY: It’s interesting because this is another case where something feels really chaste.

PETER: Mm-hm, yes.

CY: Because it’s super obvious that Fuyutsuki and Himuro like each other. There’s no question. But there’s this “We can’t, but we want to, but we can’t” kind of vibe about it.

PETER: Yeah, except there’s no “can’t.” They just don’t. There’s no reason they shouldn’t. It never explores their internal dialogue where they’re saying, “Well, what if they reject me?” Even fear of rejection has not appeared as a reason why they wouldn’t ask one another out, you know?

CY: Yeah. And my hope is that by the end that’ll be significantly… it’ll just be gone.

PETER: Yes. Please.

CY: Because that tug-of-war where it’s really only a one-sided tug-of-war is not satisfying! [Chuckles] Especially because there’s no reason that these two adults can’t just make a decision today, and should it progress further, assumably in this universe in Japan, someone will move to a different office or to a different department. It’ll be fine. But it is frustrating in a simmering way to be like, “Come on. Come on, kiss or something! Hold hands and be affectionate. You want this relationship. Just go into it! It’s okay.”

PETER: Yeah, like, please do something.

CY: Yeah. Because it isn’t slow burn so much as it’s like a glacial kind of…

PETER: Yeah. But at the same time, they exchange gifts under a Christmas tree. Everybody’s always letting them go off alone. So it’s like they’re doing relationship stuff already.

CY: Yeah. They just haven’t put a label on it. And this is a case where I’m like, “Oh, I would really like them to,” because they’re basically acting under the auspices of being in a relationship. It’s just that it’s not… And maybe behind the scenes, there’s some rule in their office that we don’t know of as the viewer. [Chuckles] But also… yeah.

PETER: Oh, yeah, yeah. It’s kind of like “Are office romances illegal?” because that doesn’t seem to be the case, because everybody’s doing it now.

CY: Right! Yeah, I like it a lot. I like it a lot, and I think it’s good, just kind of like… It’s kind of like the warm bowl of soup of anime. It’s just kind of satisfying on a base level because you kind of know what to expect, and I think sometimes it’s just nice to have a show where the plot twist is just that you enjoy it.

PETER: Yeah, sweet and uncomplicated.

Ice Blade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World.

CY: Ugh.

PETER: I’m actually… I’m kind of enjoying it.

CY: Has it improved?

PETER: It’s a really bad fantasy, but also it’s kind of like Zelda, where everybody just seems like a typical trope character but the moment you spend any time with them, you realize they’re a freak who is obsessed with bugs or does 1000 squats in their room every day. It’s like Twilight Princess.

All right, High Card, I’m the only one watching. Farming Life in Another World, nobody’s watching. Campfire Cooking… I don’t— Is there anything to discuss?

CAITLIN: [Sighs]

PETER: [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: You know, the anime is probably not going to get to it, but I did find out some spoilers for the novels—

CY: I swear to God, if you say slavery… [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: I won’t say slavery.

PETER: [Chuckles]

CY: So it’s—

CAITLIN: I mean, I won’t say anything. I won’t say slavery.

CY: Okay. [Chuckles] Oh no! Not the cooking anime! Okay.

PETER: Buddy Daddies. Another requested.

CAITLIN: So, this one did win me over.

PETER: Okay. Yeah, I’m curious what you think of the portrayal of the little girl.

CAITLIN: So, first episode, didn’t love it. It was like this child is just wandering tearfully through a gunfight. She is clearly in peril. Children don’t always have the best self-preservation instincts, but they have more than this. So I was not big on it. After that point, Miri did start to feel a lot more like a person. Or, she felt more like a child, but then also kind of like an agent of chaos. And as the series has gone, she has felt more and more like a person, which could correspond to how Rei and Kazuki see her. I don’t know if, necessarily, that’s a deliberate choice. I don’t know if that show is intelligent enough for that, because it’s a pretty doofy show. It is not particularly smart about anything. There are some really contrived plotlines. It does have a fridged wife.

PETER: Oh my God! [Chuckles] Yeah, that plotline.

CAITLIN: But also, I do love Miss Anna. It’s like, yeah! No, that’s a…

CY: She’s so good!

CAITLIN: She’s very real. That’s the job. That’s what I do. That’s how I talk to parents. Well, that’s how I try to talk to parents. I’m not the best at talking to parents. It’s kinda one of my weak points in my career. But, you know… So, here’s the thing. It’s not gay at all.

CY: Yeah, no. No.

CAITLIN: It is the most sexless coparenting I have ever seen. There is not an ounce of heat between Kazuki and Rei. Now, if that’s not what you’re looking for, that’s not a bad thing. You know, two dudes heterosexually raising a child together. We should all be so lucky. But if you’re here to be part of the migratory fujoshi fandom, which we all know is a thing, you’ll still find your people. I looked at AO3. There’s over 200 fics, which is a pretty solid number for a seasonal anime that no one is going to care about after it ends. Let’s be honest here.

CY: [Chuckles] Brutal.

CAITLIN: This one does not have staying power. But yeah, it’s fun. Miri’s pretty well-written. Got some angst in the last couple of episodes. We got some backstory. Kazuki’s wife gets exploded…

PETER: Most ridiculous fridging I’ve ever seen.


CAITLIN: I laughed—!

PETER: I laughed.

CAITLIN: I laughed.

PETER: It was so— Yeah.

CAITLIN: She literally got exploded!

PETER: Yeah, there was a car chase, and you know, it’s the classic movie… like, hit a gas tanker, and she just happened to be standing—

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] And she was just standing there!

PETER: —on the same street at the same time! [Laughs]

CY: Trying not to laugh about it right now! But, like…

CAITLIN: Okay. Was she pregnant at the time? Because Kazuki’s got these memories of— Oh, yeah, that reminds me. Also, on the topic of gender in this, it does fall into very classic parental roles. Even if they’re both men, Kazuki is the mom.

PETER: Oh yeah.

CY: Yeah.

CAITLIN: And I can kind of construct justifications of it, because clearly he was ready to be a parent. He had domestic skills. He wanted to be a father, he was going to be a father, and then he didn’t get to be a father. But now he does. But, you know, he runs around in an apron, in his horror fantasies of messing up raising Miri and she turns out to be a delinquent. He uses very feminine body language. And to be fair, the series is also very honest, like, he’s doing a lot of work that’s not getting reciprocated.

PETER: No. Not at all.

CAITLIN: Or appreciated. And so, I am glad that they do acknowledge that. But it’s not a gender-revolutionary series. It’s very…

CY: No. It’s… it’s what it is.

CAITLIN: Yeah, it is what it is. You know, I didn’t have super high… I had low expectations and exceeded them at least. But it’s not a smart or nuanced series. And that’s fine. It’s goofy.

PETER: I have no additional thoughts. You pretty much…

CAITLIN: Much like the show.

CY: [Laughs]

PETER: Nice. Oh, Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady.

CY: Yeah.

[Three seconds pass in silence]

PETER: This series is crazy. [Chuckles]


PETER: It’s crazy.

CAITLIN: There was a long pause there because we were all just kind of like, “Boy, we could probably honestly do a whole podcast about this one.”

PETER: Yeah, the plot is so… The main character’s just like, “I’m just chilling. I like this girl. My brother divorced her, so I got her hanging out in my area where I just do crazy mad-science experiments, and the plot just keeps coming after her, man! She can’t escape it.”

CAITLIN: I love Anis so much.

PETER: Yeah. She’s good.

CAITLIN: She does take meth to make herself stronger in battle.

PETER: [Chuckles] True.

CY: [Laughs heartily] What?

PETER: I mean, she invented meth, so…

CAITLIN: Yes, she did invent meth.

PETER: It’s not like she’s distributing an illegal drug if she’s the only person in the world who has the drug.

CY: Not her creating the crystal. That— Oh, God, okay.

PETER: No, I think that’s a different thing. That’s a dragon crystal. Yeah, yeah.

CY: Oh, okay, okay, I don’t know much about drugs.

PETER: She’s, like, snorting a pixie dust or something.

CY: Oh my God. [Chuckles] Well…

CAITLIN: I did really appreciate the care that the story really gave to Euphyllia’s emotional process. I have to make sure I don’t say Euphemia because that’s Code Geass. Because, when Al rejects her (what a silly name for a prince) … when Al rejects her… I mean, she didn’t want this marriage. It was a political marriage. They didn’t like each other. But that was what she was expecting. And so, when Anis rescues her, she’s gonna have a better life than she would have otherwise. She’s gonna be happier. But she still kinda has to go through this depression and grieving process, just because her life got so upturned and what happened at that ball was so hurtful to her and so saddening. So, I thought that was just a really beautiful little touch to include that. Even though she knows that she’s going to be happier than she would have been, she still has to get through these feelings of sadness and rejection.

PETER: Yeah. And I think she’s really confronted with the fact that she still is going to have to live her life for herself now, which is just totally alien to her because she’s been so dutiful up to this point. So, even if it’s like you’re free now, if you don’t know what to do with that, it definitely… I thought it did a good job of showing how lost she felt. Like, “What do I do? What do I want to do? I don’t know. My entire life was scripted.” So, yeah, I thought that was a good, I guess, first story arc? [Chuckles]

CAITLIN: Mm-hm. Yeah. You know, those two are just such great gals being pals, in a totally heterosexual way.

PETER: Such pals.

CAITLIN: Wait, I can’t say that. It’s gonna be taken out of context. This show’s gay, y’all.

PETER: Yeah. Very.

Kaina… I suppose I should talk about this— Am I the only one watching it? Okay.

CAITLIN: All right, keep it brief.

PETER: This is— There are— Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I was gonna say it’s Nihei… Actually Nihei and Oshii… This ties into Fire Hunter, so I can say it. I think both of them are making their most Miyazaki anime ever right now. They both seem to have super environmentalist themes. It’s kind of hard to tell where it’s going, especially because Nihei makes such alien worlds, where he’s gonna land with all this, but it does seem really directed toward that end. I will say—

CAITLIN: Now, for context, who is Nihei?

PETER: Tsutomu Nihei is a famous mangaka. He authored Blame!, Knights of Sidonia, Biomega. He’s really known in the cyberpunk science fiction sphere. He went to an architectural college, so his environments are— A lot of storytelling initially was done through environments, and I feel like the more he introduces characterization to it and relationships and stuff, you really kinda see the holes in his writing. He has, ever since Knights of Sidonia, relied more and more on… we’ll call them tired anime tropes. This show just recently did a scene in a sauna where somebody’s towel fell off, which is kind of disappointing. So, I don’t know. I can say I’m not too enthused about the series from that perspective. I do want to know what the story with this weird, fractured world he’s trying to tell is and if it has anything to do with us screwing up the environment and causing all this and if he has any kind of solutions in mind or where he wants to go with that. But yeah, I wish he would just stick to having lone individuals exploring vast, unfathomable environments and letting that be the main thrust of his narrative, though, because when he did that, he was peerless and didn’t do creepy anime shit. So, that’s that. I’ll check back in on that one.

CY: So, let’s see, we’ve got Endo and Kobayashi.

PETER: Also requested.

CAITLIN: I haven’t been watching this one.

CY: I think… I think none of us are.

PETER: Oh no!


PETER: We messed up. It’s okay.

CY: [Whispering] Sorry!

PETER: For end-of-season, we’ll have to get somebody… [obscured by crosstalk].

CAITLIN: Yeah, because I won’t be on end-of-season.

CY: It’s one I want to watch, but once again, it’s just when life happened, I did have to kind of prioritize.

PETER: Technoroid.

CY: So, I do want to say a few words about Technoroid, because this show is wild. Because it’s striding this really interesting line between androids that are becoming idols to pay for their electric bill in their upkeep, because they do not have an owner or any kind of caretaker that’s an adult, versus social upheaval due to technophobia. [Chuckles] It is much more than I thought it was ever going to be. This show is really aware of… we are coming on a future where probably, within all three of our lifetimes, some sort of android can probably be realized. And this is a society that… it’s an active climate dystopia. The oceans have risen. Humans can’t go out without wearing some kind of protection on their skin because of the sun. And androids and robots fill in these gaps. But there is just this rampant, very big January 6 energy in a lot of the recent episodes towards androids and this fear of them. And then sometimes you just get an idol song. [Laughs] Yeah, it’s jarring but it’s interesting. Also, at one point, the robots do get caught by not being able to clip a Captcha code because they’re robots.

PETER: Oh my God. That’s—

CY: It’s really funny! It’s quite funny. Yeah, so that’s Technoroid.

PETER: That kind of humor makes me know that they’re thinking… they’re galaxy-braining on the plot, so that’s actually… [Laughs] Maybe that more than anything else has me interested! More than anything else you said, has me interested in the series.

CY: Yeah. Fair, fair. So, Ippon Again?

CAITLIN: So, once again, I am behind on this one. It definitely offers a lot of what I’ve been looking for in a girls’ sports series. They are treated seriously as athletes without having their boobs bouncing everywhere. It’s got some real nice yuri vibes to some of the relationships. I do have to say, I have a hard time telling the characters apart sometimes.

PETER: Yeah, the main character’s hair keeps changing, especially in the last few episodes. Her hair’s changed like three times, which I’m like, “Who is this new character?” And it’s just her.

CAITLIN: Yeah, it’s really, really… I’m fine with more grounded character designs. You know, I don’t need neon hair. But… Oh, what’s the name of that character designer? They did Run with the Wind and Haikyu! That’s kind of what I think of as… I know I always bring these shows up as some of the gold standards for sports anime, but it is what it is! And those are also things that do a really, really great job of having the characters look like real people, ish (some of them have funky hair colors, but that’s because they dye their hair), but also being very, very easily distinguishable, whereas the girls in Ippon Again!, they have different facial features but they all have the same build, they all have kinda pudgy faces, which is not a bad thing. They just all look really similar, and they all have brown or black hair. So, it’s just really, really hard to tell them apart sometimes. But I’m also enjoying the series, because, you know, judo is cool, and the writing is fun, and it’s really cool seeing them actually be athletes.

PETER: Yeah. I think it’s also interesting, since it’s a sports series where the main character’s probably the worst of the group at the sport and she’s just trying to catch up the entire series, it seems like.

CAITLIN: That’s not that strange for a sports series.

PETER: I don’t know. I guess in most of them, they reveal some sort of secret talent really early on.

CAITLIN: Oh, yeah. Like maybe they’re untrained but they have an aptitude.

PETER: Yeah. And the main girl just really wants to get an ippon. Just really wants to throw someone right on their back. Yeah.

CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I mean, who doesn’t?

PETER: I’m enjoying it, too. Yeah. [Chuckles] But yeah, it’s fun. One thing I did want to bring up, I— I don’t know how to— It seemed like they were trying to set up the joke where the girls accidentally mistake their teacher for a man since they were playing that game where you romance your teacher just before their introduction. But I don’t know if I just missed something or they just decided maybe that’s a bad idea and just didn’t do it, because nothing came of it.

CAITLIN: I don’t know. I think they just got excited— I mean, to me, it just felt like they were excited that they had a supportive teacher—

PETER: Yeah. But I think there was that moment where—.

CAITLIN: —rather than the one that they thought they were gonna get. You know, and maybe they’re gay.

PETER: Well, either way, they didn’t do the bad thing, so I guess it’s for the best.

CY: So, I’m going to… we’re going to close it out with a Fire Hunter.

CAITLIN: So, I dropped Fire Hunter, after three episodes.

CY: So, I’m curious why, because I’m on the fence about it because it sounds interesting but I keep going back and forth.

CAITLIN: So, the direction is terrible. The animation looks like… At first, it seemed like maybe they were doing something intentional, but I think the animation is just really, really bad. And the writing… I don’t know. I know there’s a source novel. But here’s the thing: Oshii is doing the script, Mamoru Oshii, director of Ghost in the Shell, the Patlabor movies. He did a bunch of episodes of Urusei Yatsura. He did that one bad vampire anime that no one watched.

PETER: [crosstalk] Vlad Love.

CAITLIN: Yeah. I don’t really like him as a writer. Now, I don’t know what the source novels were like. But he is cold. He has said that characters are his bottom priority when it comes to writing.

CY: Oof.

CAITLIN: He is wordy. He is given to characters monologuing about concepts in ways that don’t build on their relationships or their personalities. I saw Ghost in the Shell: Innocence in the theaters. Worst mistake ever. So boring. So boring. And so, I find the lack of— I would love to read the source novels. Super interesting world. I think I’ve watched three episodes. I love Benio. Don’t know she sticks around. But loved Benio.

PETER: Is that the girl who doesn’t want to get married?


PETER: Yeah, she’s main cast.

CAITLIN: Awesome! Love her! Would read the fuck out of those source novels. But the anime is just not good! It’s just not good!

PETER: Yeah, well, [Chuckles] I love Oshii’s work, personally. But it’s really hard to tell, for me, how much of this is just they don’t have money. Because, it seems like the animators really wanted to bring back that early-00’s anime type feel, that era, and I do not think they… You just can’t do that in the modern era, especially if you’re not part of a big project that has a ton of resources. So, I don’t know how much of this is potentially creative decisions or decisions just to cut corners because they can’t do what they actually want to do. Which makes this kind of a fascinating production because, yeah, certain parts are ugly as hell. The animation looks really bad. They do a lot of those postcard memories, all the time, to emphasize scenes.

CAITLIN: At really inappropriate moments, too.

PETER: Yeah, sometimes they’re just like, “Why did they do that? They could have just held the shot.” The picture-in-picture stuff, because they don’t want to fully animate movement over an entire screen. It’s kind of fascinating in the way that it’s so janky.

But yeah, I’m in agreement with you that the world it’s building is really fascinating. It’s got, again, as I was saying, the Miyazakian environmentalist themes with this world where the ability to wield fire has been taken away from mankind. It’s got a really interesting cast of characters. It’s kind of hard to tell where it’s going at this point, especially because they just introduced these spider guys who, I guess, can wield the fire and what their relationship is with normal people and maybe the potential reason why mankind isn’t able to use fire anymore. Which, I think all of those revelations are really going to affect the tone of the environmentalist themes, or maybe not, in the later narrative. Yeah, it is kind of a show that you kind of have to appreciate around [Chuckles] the visuals a lot of the time. Although, I do think the postcard style is really cool. It’s got this light-sparky kind of visual to it that I think is really cool. The postcards are cool even if I am fascinated by some of the decisions about where to put them.

CY: So, I’m gonna say I’m gonna actually give it a try based on both of those comments, because, so far, I think the novel series is four novels but of course we don’t have it in English. So, this is kinda the only way to engage, so I’ll give it a fair shake.

PETER: Mm-hm. Opening and earnings are great, too. Super great.

CY: Okay. So we got any…? I think that takes us through the entire list thus far. It’s a lot of anime, oh my gosh. Anybody got any last thoughts? Or should I segue us to close now?

CAITLIN: There’s a lot of series that are just good enough, is my feeling about this season. There’s a couple of real standouts, but most of the series… I feel like I’m watching a lot, but also, most of the series, I’m watching and it’s like, “Yeah, it’s fine.”

CY: And I have to wonder if this is just the fate of anime seasons, is because there’s so much coming out.

PETER: One thought I had is that the new character in Fire Hunter is voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya, who is also Wolfwood, and it is a very good season for him. He’s one of my favorite voice actors.

CAITLIN: It’s got a really good voice-act cast. It’s got Akira Ishida. It’s got Maaya Sakamoto. It’s Mamoru Miyano. That’s a great cast. Saori Hayami… Toss some Miyuki Sawashiro in there and that’s like a dream team. Oh, and Aoi Yuki. Anyway. Sorry. That’s a good cast.

CY: It is a good cast. So, I’m gonna close us out.

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Thank you so much for joining us, AniFam. Until next time… I don’t have a witty sign-off! But have a good day!

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