Anime mini-reviews are the name of the game with Irregular Reconnaissance.
In this column, you’ll find a collection of spoiler-free reviews about five episodic anime on Crunchyroll. Good news too, this week all our shows are worthy of consideration!
That’s not always the case. Irregular Reconnaissance isn’t exclusive to Crunchyroll, other streaming platforms get a look in too. In days of yore, we even had spinning optical disks.
Nor is the case that all the ratings are positive. If an anime isn’t holding my attention, I’ll let you know and rate it accordingly. Hopefully, though, I fill my weekends up with good choices of shows to watch and therefore rarely have anything to gripe about.
In this Irregular Reconnaissance;
Episodes 3 to 5
I enjoyed the first two episodes of Onyx Equinox but was hesitant to give it a rating.
Why? It was invoking a dark tone. We had blood gods and even bloodier sacrifices. Yet it looked like a Sunday morning American cartoon, and I wasn’t convinced it could maintain the mood.
Three more episodes in and the show’s maintaining the mood, there’s blood, discomfort and people with vulnerabilities make mistakes.
We’re in the group building half of the show, and the dynamics between humanity’s unenthusiastic heroes reminds me precisely of a barely functional D&D adventuring party. That seems spot on to me!
Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You
Episode 2 to 12
By the moon! Here’s a romantic comedy that I actually like. Nothing happens, not really. That’s the meta-gag running through the unlikely premises.
As a reminder, after a fateful encounter, a young man asks a pretty girl out on a date. She agrees, but only once they’re married and then she leaves. I can’t tell you why, as it’s a spoiler, but it’s worth finding out.
Years later, he’s still moping about her. Then, on his birthday, she turns up at his door with a marriage certificate.
I know nothing about relationships, so when I say “this feels like a flimsy basis for a life together” take that with a pinch of salt.
I’m Standing on a Million Lives
Episode 2 to 12
Thanks to the success of shows like Log Horizon and Sword Art Online there are no shortages of anime in which people from our real life end up in computer games.
That’s the premises for I’m Standing on a Million Lives, except in this case there’s an annoyingly incomplete Game Master handing out quests that put limits on what people can do as well as giving the would-be-heroes reason to do anything at all.
To try and find some space between itself and the many clones out there I’m Standing on a Million Lives hinted at potential dark twists. The result is a lead character or a lead male at least, who isn’t particularly likeable and I have to wonder whether he’s becoming a monster.
Iwakakeru -Sport Climbing Girls-
Episodes 6 to 12
What’s even less likely than a romantic comedy anime to hold my attention? A sports anime.
Yet, Iwakakeru -Sport Climbing Girls- holds my attention as securely as a well-tied rope around a piton.
I was worried that the show would become nothing but an excuse to show close-ups of contorted female bodies. It’s not that kind of show, despite the odd second or two.
Iwakakeru manages a rare success of showing people conquering self-doubt, friendships under strain and dogged determination without becoming annoying. There’s no whiff of Mary Sue either.
I hoped for the best, took a punt and was rewarded.
Episode 6 to 12
I’m not sure if this is the smash hit of the season I was predicting, but I’m sure it’s a success for Crunchyroll, and I’m enjoying it.
Our interest is with a small school of Jujutsu sorcerers and their tussles with a rival school and, of course, the dangerous curses haunting humanity.
These curses become monstrous creatures, invisible to ordinary people and yet deadly to them. At the start of the series, I thought Jujutsu Kaisen might become a relatively straightforward collection of fights and action. I think it’s more subtle than that.
Curses, in particular, are a bit more complicated than we thought. I think comparisons to Bleach aren’t entirely off-piste.
Which anime are you watching that you think we should know about? Good or bad, why not leave a spoiler-free review in the comments below?