Winter/spring 2024 anime nerd notes

We’ve made it to the Winter 2024 / Spring 2024 cusp somehow, and somehow or other I’ve been watching more anime than usual? Not necessarily new stuff, either.

Winter 2024 Series Watched

  • ‘Tis Time for “Torture”, Princess – My sleeper favorite of the season?? I went in expecting food porn and got that, but also a sweet, goofy comedy about an evil-in-aesthetics-only demon army, which is a trope I probably should have known I needed. Particular note goes to the Demon Lord, an absolute chad who is relentlessly supportive of his family and minions.
  • Mr. Villain’s Day OffCute, and I enjoyed pretty much all of it, but it dissolved out of my brain like cotton candy. On the other hand, it gets points for quietly being about work/life balance and boundaries around one’s free time.

Winter 2024 Marked, Not Watched Yet

  • A Sign of Affection

Backlog Watched

  • Revue Starlight – Wears its Utena influences on its sleeve (along with the common ancestor of the Takarazuka Revue), so of course this was directly up my alley.
  • Spice and Wolf – A bit before the new series premiered, I decided to rewatch the mid-00s adaptation, and my spouse ended up watching with me. …Y’all, I love this series so much. I think it even jumped up my mental rankings; it’s fighting it out with Fruits Basket 2019 for the #3 spot.
  • The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent – Recommended by a friend of my spouse’s, turned out to be an isekai I don’t hate. Hooray! The main character can be hilariously dense at times (a dazed “what does he mean by that?” was our household meme), but otherwise it was refreshing and cute.
  • Isekai Izakaya – I liked it slightly less than Restaurant to Another World, but mostly because of the variety in Restaurant‘s fantasy side. Otherwise they’re…kind of the same show.
  • My Dress-Up Darling – Some hard stumbles around fanservice — not so much the leads, I can accept that because it’s a romcom and the gaze is from the leads’ POV — but around two of the side characters, one of whom is like 13. Extremely gross. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I enjoyed this series enormously and would even put it on my List of Straight Romcoms I Actually Liked, albeit with an asterisk.
  • Bullbuster – Scrappy construction company pivots to exterminating small kaiju with mechs, unravels corporate conspiracy. Solid show. No notes, really.

Backlog Still in Progress

  • Natsume’s Book of Friendswe’re currently midway through Season 4. Continues to be sad/sweet and creepy/sweet in turns.

Attempted and Quit

  • RoOT: Route of OddTaxi – I hate to say this, because Crunchyroll’s comments are melting down with people incensed that live-action exists. I don’t think this show is bad, and I don’t care if there’s live action on CR. I just feel like I could rewatch OddTaxi instead of watching this.
  • HIGHSPEED Etoile – By midway through the first episode, my spouse and I were wondering aloud if we missed something and this was a spinoff of a video game, because the show had no interest in making us care who any of these characters were. It finally introduced the protagonist with about five minutes to spare. None of that bodes well.

Spring 2024 Watchlist

  • Spice and Wolf: MERCHANT MEETS THE WISE WOLFAll caps titles are one of my least favorite things, and this is a reboot of one of my favorite series; oh well. I held off starting this one until we finished the original adaptation (above). I am on the edge of my seat.
  • Train to the End of the World – Extremely My Kind of Weird. I’m in.
  • Laid-Back Camp season 3 – Apart from the weirdness where the movie already leaped forward in time beyond this, I’m in. The thinly filtered live-action backgrounds are hella distracting, though. Sorry.
  • Tonari no Yokai-san – Reverse Natsume’s Book of Friends? Maybe, maybe not. I’ll give it a shot.