“What is this feeling, so sudden and new”

Finally created anime, game, and reading tags, in order to filter these things in or out. On the other hand, I tend to post about multiple topics in the same posts, so…. Well, it’s a start.

The entirety of the rest of this post is Fall 2023 anime season chatter, with a few asides into past season stuff.

The fall anime season is starting off better than the summer (Undead Murder Farce aside), though I’m still only committing to a few things at once.

Undead Unluck: I don’t feel super invested, but it’s an action show, and my bar is pretty low. It’s also nice for me and my spouse to each pick a show this season, because I tend to pick a lot of them otherwise.

I’m Giving the Noble Lady I Rescued a Crash Course in Naughtiness: My pick. At first I thought “why did they translate that as ‘naughtiness’ and not ‘mischief’, because what they’re doing is definitely mischief.” But it seems like the double entendre / “way more wholesome than it looks” thing is actually a running gag. I’m enjoying it so far – it’s mostly cute and fluffy, the animation is fine, and it’s not isekai. 

Three episodes in, what this series looks like is a fairy tale-influenced slow-burning romcom. A Cinderella type is falsely accused of treason and flees into the forest, where she meets a Beast type and enters into a Snow White-style “if you clean for me, I’ll hide you” arrangement.

Beast Type, however, is a weirdly cheerful young sorcerer who recognizes that Cinderella Type is a brainwashed saccharine fairy-tale heroine, and sets out to build her up to be less self-effacing and passive. He does this by “teaching her how to be naughty,” as in:

  • eating a lot of cake
  • working out with a punching bag
  • making decisions for herself 
  • going on shopping sprees

…you know, being a person and not a doormat.

All of which is mostly* charming and sweet. Cinderella Type recognizes the elephant in the room, which is that they’re attracted to one another, but she’s too meek to acknowledge it; Beast Type absolutely does not recognize a damn thing, and is cartoonishly oblivious. To the point where he does not realize why his heart is pounding when she tries on a cute outfit. Dude. Dude… dude.

That’s the setup. We’ll see how it goes; a lot is going to depend on the pacing and whether it advances its slow burn or just spins its wheels on running gags.

*There is one gross moment in the first episode where Beast Type manipulates Cinderella Type to stay with him by laying a death curse on himself. Not cool. They haven’t repeated that bullshit yet, thankfully.

And the theme of encouraging a woman to actually think for herself / have opinions / express a full range of feelings is … It shouldn’t be surprising, but it is. The bar, as ever, is in hell. So far, this show seems like it might actually have some psychologically healthy content. Do you know how rare that is? It’s rare.

So that’s that one.

I’ve dropped Endo and Kobayashi for now, because after a few episodes it was Just Fine. I might loop back sometime when I’m bored.

Will definitely watch Frieren, but haven’t decided definitively whether it’s going to be a group watching pick for our gaming group. It’s hard finding a series that everyone will like, but haven’t already seen.

After-School Hanako-kun is so short that we’re going to watch it all at once when it’s done.

I tried out Migi & Dali, and ….wow. So. The tone of this is very strange, and I think I dig it. It comes off as a deadpan dark comedy / psychological thriller? A pair of teenage identical twin brothers get adopted by an older couple who think they are one single, extremely attentive kid. Instead, it’s both of them, pulling a Prestige for…….reasons. Revenge, it looks like.

In practice, this plays out as the brothers executing elaborate, acrobatic stunts in order to do extremely ordinary things, like eat dinner or give their new dad a shoulder massage. All while looking like they’re about to murder somebody. It’s unique. I like unique.

[Edit: I forgot about Spy x Family! We’re 3 weeks behind on that because we started with the dub in the first half of s1 and liked it. So that, as well.]

In the backlog, we’re still slowly making our way through Natsume’s Book of Friends and Restaurant to Another World 2. Streaming, man. In my day, etc. etc. (And I wasn’t even around for the tape-trading days. I got into this stuff in like 2000, in the “buying box sets at Suncoast” era.)