[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.
[A/N: I had a different story in mind a week ago, longer and more ambitious, but my bipolar disorder decided to fuck up my brain, so writing has been tough. This isn’t exactly my greatest work, but I just felt such a desperate need to write something, to finish something, that this will do. So this is my fifth and (probably) final Christmas story. I don’t think I’ll have time to do any others between now and New Year’s. This is supposed to be the same YouHane pairing that I did for Yohane’s birthday roughly six months ago.]
Watanabe You was waiting outside of the door to Yohane’s room. In spite of their relationship status, the fallen angel had insisted on changing outfits on her own. Something about it being too distracting to have You in the room, so she had agreed to wait outside. Maybe seeing her all dressed up would be like a nice surprise.
“Okay, you can come in now,” Yohane’s voice said from inside.
You allowed herself a small grin, opened the door, and headed inside. There Yohane stood in a Santa outfit: Red sleeveless dress with a white trim along the hem, a red cap with a fluffy tip, red gloves, and thin, dark stockings. You had made it herself, though it wasn’t quite finished yet. She still wanted to embellish it some more, and she had some boots she was working on. But first she had wanted Yohane to try it on, and see if it fit right.
[A/N: For our fourth Christmas themed story, we’re going back to Symphogear for more Chris, Hibiki, and Miku. I’m such a sucker for those three, and I’m not sorry. The inspiration for this one is two-fold. First there was a piece of fanart I saw on Twitter a while back, and secondly I learned that Takagaki Ayahi, the VA for Yukine Chris, has done a cover of All I Want For Christmas. It’s amazing.]
Yukine Chris couldn’t sleep. This was nothing new, but this time it wasn’t for any of the typical reasons. No nightmares, no haunting trauma, no crippling anxiety. Well, maybe you could call it anxiety in a way. What was occupying Chris’s mind so much was a kiss.
[A/N: I am not exactly sure what made me suddenly remember Locodol, nor why I wanted to do a fic about it in the first place, but because of those two things, I ended up re-watching the series (highly recommended, one of the most underrated shows of 2014). It has a very lovely relationship dynamic between the two leads that grows as the show goes on, and they are very comfortable and intimate in a nice way. So now I’m here to try a writing of it, based on episode 14. For a show that probably has a fanbase in the double-digits. I hope you still like it.]
It’s starting to get quite cold as I’m making my way home from the party. It has to be past midnight by now. Happy birthday, me.
I don’t hate these parties. They’re pleasant enough, and I understand the point of them. Plus I have Su-chan there with me. But they can get tiresome, and at times I feel like I have more important things I’d rather do. Maybe not today, but getting home this late kinda sucks. At least I’m right by the building now.
“I’ve had enough.” I hear a sad, familiar voice speak up, as if the words are a weird mirror of my own thoughts.
I look down, and have to double-check I’m actually wearing my glasses. It’s… “Nana-chan?” Sitting there at the bottom of the stairs in front of my building is the sweetest, cutest girl in the world: Usami Nanako. She looks up at me. “What’s wrong?” I ask her. Why is she here, and dressed like Santa?