Irregular Reconnaissance: Anime is a compilation column of reviews. You’ll find five spoiler-free light-touch write-ups here.
In the name of avoiding spoilers, these reviews don’t get into plot details and instead describe the shows in broad strokes and whether or not the writers and animators successfully bring to life their vision. You’ll find you still should get an idea of whether or not the anime series might be worth your time.
You can track the progress of a series over time. You’ll see which episodes the mini-reviews are talking about under the shows’ headings. Then, at the base of the blog post, you’ll find show-name tags to help link up to previous mentions in earlier Irregular Reconnaissance reports.
Lastly, but not least, Irregular Reconnaissance: Anime is a panel for you to become an anime scout and report your own (spoiler-free) verdicts in the comments below.
In this Irregular Reconnaissance;
DOTA: Dragon’s Blood
Episodes 1 to 4
I’ve never played DOTA 2 and only know about it by researching cosplay posts. I’m liking the anime so far, and I’m halfway through.
As usual, for an Irregular Reconnaissance review, we’re not going to get into the specifics of what happened. I can’t compare this plot to the game mythos and tell you if it overlaps, but I can tell you we’ve a high fantasy world with some interesting tensions.
The action kicks off as human knights try and take on a dragon. Well, it’s really one guy doing all the fighting as the rest can’t keep up. It’s in the aftermath that they come to suspect an elder dragon is sleeping nearby.
That’s the event that gets our knightly hero caught up in a battle between gods and dragons. From there, we meet other characters, also caught up on divine plot strands, and it’s not always clear who you should be supporting.
Dragon’s Blood is well animated, cleverly paced and surprisingly enjoyable. I was expecting less.
Season 2, Episodes 5 to 11
Most of the quirky science, odd-ball animation asides, and rah-rah feel good that makes Dr. Stone enjoyable that we got in season 1 can be found in season 2.
That said, season 2 isn’t as strong as season 1. It feels like less happens. We’re supposed to be getting the Stone Wars, but that’s not how our heroes fight, and I guess I should have seen that coming.
While I don’t need a fight to enjoy Dr. Stone, I need a sense of purpose, and that target was moved around quite a bit in the last few episodes.
Thankfully, it’s the last episode that pulls everything together and finally hints at the best mystery of them all. Why did everyone turn to stone? The news gets even better as the show contains a teaser for the Age of Exploration, which will be season 3.
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!
Episodes 6 to 13
Aww, bless. Chunibyo is the Japanese term for teenagers who wrap themselves in fantasy life rather than tackle real-life head-on. As the title hints; somewhat delusional.
The characters in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! have (or have had) it strongly. As a result, they’re all lovely, and I relate to each one!
As these slice of life shows often do, the plot edges from whimsy and back to the harsh reality the rest of us have to deal with. Just what is it that’s frightening the teenagers away from the real-world?
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! keeps it together, thank goodness. None of the characters is ruined with their confrontation with reality; some are even improved.
I’d even argue that the show takes the route less well-trodden to finding its conclusion, those the “bonus” episode at the end is needed and yet does a deliberately poor job at pulling together loose threads.
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town?
Episodes 3 to 12
I’m sorry to report that Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town? is a disappointment.
I get the gag. I like the joke. The kid doesn’t know how strong he is, and he’s strong because he grew up near the final dungeon. As I mentioned in my early review, I was worried that there was enough material for the season to hold up.
There’s not enough material, and the season doesn’t hold up.
Instead, the titular kid remains gormlessly clueless and is hard to relate to or even have any sympathy for as a result. The word “hero” doesn’t seem right at all.
The so-called goodies are equally likely to manipulate and lie to the kid as the baddies. The show literally ends when some people give up and go home.
Status: Below average.
Episodes 20 to 24
I hope there’s more Jujutsu Kaisen. It’s really an action show rather than a horror, although the demonic curses the trainee sorcerers go up against are generally nastier than many anime baddies.
Generally, even though there’s a whopping 24 episodes here, we only really get a hint at what’s going on behind the scenes. The worst of the baddies are the most human.
The humans may be the worst of them all.
Jujutsu Kaisen also manages to inject a good deal more jeopardy than most fighter animes. How long did it take for Naruto to kill someone off? Yes, the character may have been the obviously introduced sacrificial pawn, but it works. It feels like people might die in some of these fights.
There’s something about how they’ve animated magic, the blue glow of power flowing into a punch that makes Jujutsu Kaisen look different too.
Best of all is the curse in our main character. It’s sly, powerful and seems to be entirely in control.
As customary, the column wraps with an invitation for readers to get involved. If you’ve discovered any anime which are hit or miss, then consider letting us know in the comments below or in the Geek Native Discord.