With me trying my best to catch up on KiraKira Precure a la Mode before the release of Hugtto Precure, I wanted to write a bit about it along the way. I watched the first cour before I went on my over half a year long break from the show, so now I figured I’d do a 3-part series of short posts, where I write down my feelings on how things are progressing after each cour.
So part 1 is going to be about episodes 13-25, part 2 will be episodes 26-37, and part 3 will be the rest: episodes 38-50. Warning: Will contain spoilers, though I’ll try to keep them light.
Last time I wrote about this show was back in my Spring mid-season post, meaning the middle of May. The sum up my thoughts as I just re-read them: A good show that feels like it’s missing something that holds it back from being a great show, and that keeps it lagging behind Go Princess and Maho Girls. That’s a decent summation of my thoughts on the first cour. Have my feelings changed after the second cour? Well…
New year, new animes! We’ve finally put 2017 behind us, though there is of course no guarantee 2018 will be any kinder to us. I feel like we’ve said “surely it can’t get worse” for quite a lot of years in a row now.
But at least in terms of entertainment media we’ve been doing alright, and 2018 seems to be off to a strong start with its anime line-up. While it is far too early to declare that any of the new offerings are definitely better than the best of last Winter, it does seem like there’s a larger number of good shows this time. Who knows, maybe a significant number of them will turn out to be absolute bunk by the halfway mark, but I’m at least allowing myself a bit of hope. It wouldn’t do to become completely jaded.
Maybe among this season’s collection the Anime of the Year lurks. There’s certainly a few that have the potential to be strong contenders.
Let’s get the early impressions going then. As a reminder: All of these comments are from only watching the first episode of each show. That’s how I’ve done it in the past 3.5 years, and I’m not about to stop yet. I’m still keeping the recent segmented structure, with only a summary in this post, and links to pages that contain the full text.
But before all that, let’s start with what ended up on my ban list for this season.
[A/N: So we return to more Love Live Sunshine this time. This idea I actually had a burning desire to get started with, someone recently realising their polyamorous feelings, and trying to figure out how to deal with that, but I struggled with it as it went along. I’m not entirely happy with it, but I spent several days going between working on this, procrastinating, and doing nothing else useful, so I at least want to show something for it. I think it’s decent overall, and there’s certainly bits in here I love, but it doesn’t feel like my strongest effort. I was almost tempted to scrap it, but at this point I’d hate discarding this amount of work more than I’d hate posting something I think could be better. Maybe it’s the best I can hope for in the middle of winter. I don’t have the same energy levels and patience as I do the rest of the year.]
Watanabe You was nervous. She was currently in the room with the two most important people in her life, and for some reason her heart seemed to be even harder to calm down than usual today. Something had awakened inside her recently, and it was getting increasingly tough to deal with.
She loved Chika. Her dear childhood friend, who had always been there for her, with whom she had shared so much. The wonderful girl who shone like the sun every time she smiled. Who could sometimes feel so lonely and frustrated because she didn’t want to bother other people with her problems. Because she was head-strong, determined, and kept having to be reminded that it was okay to ask for help. You had always admired Chika.
And she had always loved Chika. But had she always loved loved Chika? She didn’t have a good answer for that.
[A/N: I haven’t really had any burning ideas lately, any flashes of inspiration I’ve just had to write. But I’ve hit the point where I feel like if I don’t write anything, I’m at risk of falling off the wagon. So I rooted around a bit in my drawer of lesser-formed ideas to find something to at least turn into a short fic. And I settled on this Maho Girls Precure idea that has been floating around for a month or two. I really love Mirai and Riko a lot.]
As usual, Riko woke up before the alarm went off. It seemed to come naturally to her, and there weren’t many mornings she was woken by the actual alarm itself. But she had to set it, just in case. Being late was not tolerable.
She disabled the alarm before it had a chance to go off. No need to disturb the other person in the bed, after all. That one didn’t like getting up as early. For a moment Riko was tempted to stay. Mirai had just gotten back from her business trip last night, so they hadn’t had a lot of time together yet. She pretty much fell asleep right away, as well. Riko was really tempted to stay here longer. But only for a moment before she pushed it out of her mind, and sat up.
I promised I’d do this post, so here it is.
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, or Yuki Yuna is a Hero, came out in 2014, and was my anime of the year back then. Not the first deconstruction of the magical girl genre, but personally my favourite. I have watched Madoka, shortly before I started Yuuki Yuuna actually, but it didn’t grab me in the same way. And the way Yuyuyu wrapped up was beautiful, and left everything on a note of hope.
So when official talk of the second season surfaced, I feel like I can claim with some certainty that the general reaction was: “What, why?” That was every reaction I saw, at least. Including my own. Sure, the ending hinted at a few mysteries still remaining, but how do you follow up something so expertly put together? Everything in the original fit together amazingly well to create the full picture of the narrative that would unfold. Everything that happened was in service of the greater whole, including what the “camera” would focus on during otherwise hectic scenes.
Following that up would be a daunting task regardless. So how did they do? Eehhh… I will try to not go into too many spoilers, but I might not be able to avoid it entirely. So consider yourselves warned.
Disclaimer: I’m sorry for how long this got. You may want to take a few breaks if you want to get through it all.
Well, this has been a hell of a year. In a lot of ways regarding a lot of things, but in terms of anime it’s (mostly) not meant in a negative way. There’s been a lot of good stuff out this year, and it was harder to decide what wasn’t worth bringing up, rather than what to include. There’s still a lot I can’t in good conscience leave out though. Last year’s post was long, and this one is unfortunately not any shorter.
It’s not all been good though. This is the anime industry we’re talking about, and like any entertainment industry, there will be some absolute garbage. The difference this year is that some of it was so bad that it made me change my rules for how I engage with a new season. I allow myself a small ban list now, when it’s things I’ve heard enough about to not even want to attempt to look at. Heck, sometimes seeing the title is enough. But we’ll get to the reason for that soon enough.
I’ve also become more open to doing separate posts detailing something for a single anime, like if I want to get into something spoilery, or there’s something special I want to highlight. Instead of just shoving it all into the lists. That trend might continue going forward.
[A/N: The end of the year is always a busy time, with the holidays happening, best of the year lists to be written, and preparing to get started with January. But by checking well in advance, I learned that Kurosawa Dia’s birthday is on 1. January, and I’ve been preparing for that. Been trying to come up with a good idea all month, and I think I’ve gotten there. Went on longer than I expected, though. Unfortunately there were two other birthdays I missed. Fate’s Nero Claudius on the 15., and Symphogear’s Yukine Chris on the 28.. I really hate that I wasn’t able to do anything for the latter especially, but I simply didn’t have the time or energy. At least I have this one.]
It was New Year’s Eve, and Dia was feeling nervous. And excited. Though she was doing her best at remaining calm, and her best was very good indeed.
It would be five years since they graduated this coming Spring, and since she, Kanan, and Mari parted ways. Today they were all getting together again. It wasn’t like she had never seen them again since. Mari had come back for a short time after she graduated college, and her and Dia had shared a brief moment before Mari had to leave again. And she had seen Kanan just this past Summer. She assumed the two of them had met at some point as well. But this was the first time since they graduated from Uranohoshi that all three of them would be together again.
It’s the end of the season, and also the end of the year, but as per tradition that means two separate posts rather than one collected one. So we’ll start with the season wrap-up. Considering LL Sunshine ended the day before New Year’s Eve, I barely managed to get this one out before the end of the year. The best of the year list is coming a few days into the new year.
Though with Yuyuyu getting delayed a week, I’ll make a small separate post with my final thoughts on that. So it won’t be appearing on the end of year list either. Heck, depending on how it wraps up, maybe it wouldn’t have made the cut even if it finished on time.
I would say there was another surprisingly strong lineup this season like the one before, which is going to make said end of year list a pain to put together with all that good stuff to consider. But for now let’s just give this season its send-off.
I guess that’s all the lead-in I’ve got. You can check out the season’s early impressions here, and my mid-season thoughts here. I know a lot of you wait until a season is done so you can watch the shows without having to wait for the next episode to release.
[A/N: So this idea came to me while playing Fire Emblem Warriors, and watching some of the scenes that play out there. And it was probably also partly inspired by some Camilla/Hinoka fanart I saw. Camilla seems like she’d be a good fit for various F/F pairings, and I love the idea of the two princesses getting together. Slight spoilers for the end of FE: Fates Revelation.]
Princess Hinoka was a Hoshidan royal through and through. A serious woman. Always focused on her duties, and never paying much mind to suitors or courtship. She hadn’t had time for such things while her goal was to free her lost sister Corrin from the hated Nohrians who had stolen her away.
So how had she ended up in princess Camilla’s bed?
She had always been an early riser, and had woken up at dawn as usual. Except at first she hadn’t been able to remember where she was. Until she had rolled around, and seen Camilla’s sleeping face. Now she was sat up in bed, and groggily looking around.
So back in 2014 a little show called Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita, or just Locodol for short, aired. Highly underrated show, and one of the first darlings I came across when I first started doing this anime shenanigans “full time”. While a second season is (most likely) never happening, they managed to make two excellent OVAs that aired in 2015 and 2016.
Why are we talking about this? Well, I decided to re-watch the show earlier this month. In part to prepare for a fic I wanted to write, and in part because I was curious to see if it held up. Three years could be enough to give me some rose-tinted glasses about the whole thing, and I kept unfavourably comparing Action Heroine Cheer Fruits from earlier this year to it. After the fact I wondered if that was unfair, since the two were probably about as good, and I just had big nostalgia for Locodol.
But after re-watching the whole show and the OVAs, the conclusion I came to is that Locodol is just that good. I enjoyed myself so much that I feel confident in saying it’s even better than I remember.