There are at least two types of anime reviews here on Geek Native.
Sure, you can get the traditional one anime per article approach in which several hundred words are spent describing the possible attractions or dissatisfactions with a show.
Then there’s the Irregular Reconnaissance series. The goal here is to avoid spoilers, be quick and precise. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know the drill; every so often, we’ll loop back to an episodic show (or occasionally pop in a whole film) and write up the mood. Is it still holding attention? Is it beginning to drift? Those things can be discussed without wrecking the plot.
Finally, at the end of just a few short paragraphs about the latest episodes (or however far we’ve got), we’ll end with a rating. There’s enough space to do that five times, which means one quick scan of the page can help you discover or avoid anime of interest.
In this Irregular Reconnaissance;
Attack on Titan
The Final Season, Episodes 60 to 66
I don’t think it’s a secret to say that Attack on Titan had a wobble after a strong season one. It pulled back significantly in season three. Season four is a huge gamble…
… and I think it’s working.
When you send monsters to fight people, you risk turning those victims into monsters too. The skill and sheer deadliness of the human warriors, with their razor swords and their air gear of agile grappling lines, has become a formidable thing. After all, if they weren’t world-class, then they would be eaten by giants.
Who do we want to win now? Can there even be a warrior?
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
Episodes 2 to 15
I suppose the kind thing to say about Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is that the show may be taking a long term view. So far we have three young semi-demon friends wandering around fighting demons.
Why? Well, it just seems to be what they do.
Meanwhile, everyone else in the world seems to be part of a grand plan for world domination and incapable of mustering sufficient force against the half-demon siblings.
The show has become a monster of the week within the even more narrow constraints of failed-attack-of-the-week.
And yet, those hints of bigger things to come (and the show’s history) keep that flicker of hope alive. Right now, it seems as likely to get worse as it is to get better.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Season 2, Episodes 24.9 to 26
Our hero died in our world, was reincarnated as a slime but with the ability to absorb other people’s powers – usually those he dissolves with his own body.
Season two starts a bit weirdly. Season one finishes with a tangent where our slime hero goes off to teach kids. Season two promptly says “enough of that” and returns us to the monsters’ attempts in the region to defend themselves from adventurers, bandits and organised armies.
We’ve already seen what happens when a demon lord wades in. Are we really going to try the exact same threat again?
… probably not. I get the sense there might be a bit more politics this time. Let’s hope so because That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime had a really successful season one and there’s just a hint that it might be resting on its laurels for season two.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episodes 178 to 183
I’m enjoying Boruto. There is so much history to the Village Hidden in the Leaf that every other scene benefits from hours of backstory and significance.
The characters are fun, powerful but flawed, uncertain and yet not whiny. We know that they’ll develop if they survive, as the anime progresses as well.
The new set of baddies are exciting and make good use of the strange technology of the setting. For example, they have computers and medical scanners, but using a balloon to lift an aerial higher to transmit a signal to a neighbouring village is considered hi-tech.
Despite it all, there’s a sense of foreboding. Naruto was dominated by the impact of curse marks – and there are strange markings in play again – and by treachery. What’s going to happen this time?
Oh, and while the immediate baddies are certainly formidable… the opening arc of Boruto reminded us; there are worse things to come.
Episodes 15 to 20
I’m pleased to say that Samurai 7 is now living up to the promise hinted at during the first few episodes. All we had to do was get through the team building and foreshadowing and get to the village’s attempted defence.
Seven samurai and some plucky farmers against mechs, machine guns and menace. How do you think it goes?
The show gets better awards too. It’s the consequence of the attempt to defend the farmers from those overwhelming numbers that becomes important, and that’s where the slightly slow build-up pays off.
I suspect the body count can only get higher.
We’re well into the first wave of new releases for 2021. What’s got your attention in the right way in the world of anime this year? What would you suggest people give a miss?