We’re doing another Things I’ve Seen Recently! Woo.
BY THE WAY, THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR ALL OF THESE SERIES HERE.
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Bungou Stray Dogs Seasons 1 and 2:
So, since the end of Bungou Stray Dogs came out recently I decided to watch all of Season 1 and 2. First of all, this show is definitely one of the more normie anime I’ve seen. It’s basically an X-Men kind of world but with cooler powers and more of an appeal to younger audiences.
This strongly strikes me as something that 12 y/o me would have really loved. As it is, I definitely feel the effects of plot armor, crappy animation, and edgy characterization.
That said, it was still fun. The animation was kind of crappy, but I’m a total sucker for the over-saturated, near-KyoAni style of art. If I started thinking about the plot much, I kind of realized how flawed and childish it was, but the show was engaging enough that I didn’t think too hard about things.
I personally liked the first season more than the second. The strongest parts of the show, to me, were where Atsushi was going on an episode-long adventure with somebody. It also made it interesting to see how he battled paired up with different characters.
The whole second season’s story arc was more strongly present, and I don’t think the plot was grabbing enough to make me accept it in lieu of the more episodic adventures of the first season.
Oh, and the Agency boy who’s super strong reminded me a lot of Kousaka from Genshiken which made all of his lines way funnier than they should have been.
Baby Steps Season 2:
I had originally seen all of Baby Steps Season 1, but I dropped the series part way through Season 2. My mother loves tennis, so since we’ve been watching anime together, we ended up watching through all of Season 1 again and then I got to see all of Season 2.
My biggest concern with Season 2 of Baby Steps I think is that it was coming out so slowly that I had forgotten it by the next time an episode came out. Rewatching it at a more rapid pace was really great, and I’m reminded of how good of a sports anime Baby Steps is.
The downright atrocious animation doesn’t do it any favors, but I don’t think any other sports anime is as realistic in its characterization nor as interesting in its story arcs as Baby Steps is.
Well, maybe Ping Pong, but that’s a whole different story. Anyway, now grabbed by the plot, I found myself really happy to see Natsuo’s confession scene and surprisingly engaged by how awesome Maruo got by the end of the show.
I love all of the emphasis on making tennis into a career the story has. The most inspiring stories, to me, are ones where someone works as hard as they can and are rewarded by becoming a professional in the career they want to pursue the most. That’s effectively what Baby Steps is about, and it does a damn convincing job in engaging me in its narrative.
I’m not expecting a third season given how little critical success Baby Steps has had, so I’ll probably pick up the manga from here on out. Good recommendation, though, Digibro!
I loved the first arc of Trigun. Actually, my criticism of it is similar to that of Bungou Stray Dogs. In my opinion, the best episodes of Trigun are the episodic ones, and as a result the second half of the series suffers massively.
How the series goes full edgelord doesn’t help things, either, since I really get impatient with shows that try to be edgy. If it’s legitimately dark like Texhnolyze, that’s a different story. It’s a fine line, and I don’t think Trigun balances it well.
That said, I like the character arc of Vash in the second half. I don’t like the story, but I like the character. Vash confronting his own morality is an interesting subject and feels precisely like what I would imagine an immortal character’s story arc looking like.
The best parts of the show, to me, are by far where Vash is able to succeed in saving the day through his off-the-wall antics. I really was able to buy in to the comedy and I was largely satisfied with the upbeat mood of the show.
Best for last. I loved Paprika. It’s by far the best animated thing I have seen in a while and has a really fucking cool plotline using the familiar dream device we’re already familiar with.
Honestly I feel like I can’t say much about this movie until I watch it again. It’s such a visual experience and delves into some really cool psychology. I’ll talk about it more at another time when I have more finalized feelings about it.