It’s time for another irregular (although recently it’s been semi-regular) reconnaissance report from the world of anime.
What’s worth watching? What’s best skipped entirely? What gets better in time, and what fades away? These are the questions that you can help readers with by sharing your own mini-review in the comments below.
One thing, though, one crucial thing. Irregular Reconnaissance avoids spoilers. Think of these as initial scout reports; we just see the shape and direction of things, not the details.
The five anime reviews you’ll find here take the approach of sharing in broad strokes what the anime is trying to do and whether it’s doing it. We can answer whether the plot came together without getting into the details of the plot itself.
Each of these anime reviews then boils down to just two things; should you watch it (a rating in as few words as possible) and how you can do that (likely a link to a streaming platform).
In this Irregular Reconnaissance;
Record of Ragnarok
Episodes 1 to 3
Right, I’ve seen reports of manga fans not rating Record of Ragnarok and some patchy animation scenes. I’m only three episodes in, don’t know the original, but I am happy to defend the anime so far.
It’s a fighting anime. If you expected much more than god versus human matches, and if the show carries on in the same format, then I think you’ll be disappointed. But why would you expect that?
The animation has been okay. Sure, we don’t have wonderfully illustrated rainstorms, the natural dance of crops against the wind, but characters move realistically, look complete and pack energy.
In particular, the facial expressions on Zeus and Brunhilde are brilliant.
Storywise, we can’t possibly get thirteen detailed fights. We’ve spent three episodes on the first, and we’re not done yet—a Chinese champion, of sorts, for humanity.
We, humankind, would have been doomed had it not been for the delightfully manipulative Brunhilde. She’s the eldest of the Valkyrie, half-human, half-god. I would never turn my back on Brunhilde.
However, because of Brunhilde, I think we’ll get an actual story and maybe even surprises from Record of Ragnarok. I’m absolutely looking forward to the next episode.
Episodes 1 to 3
While the media attention has been on Record of Ragnarok, the best anime from Netflix to pop on the Irregular Reconnaissance report this week is the Philippine folklore-inspired adventures of Trese.
This is a mature show. Yes, it’s a police procedural and a literal monster of the week, but these are monsters blessed with history and good for gamers to learn about. It’s not for kids. Episodes with their 18 ratings earn them without any debate.
Alexandra Trese is a cop who has inherited her father’s legacy of policing the supernatural and how it interacts with the human world. If the police think a crime was committed by something unnatural, then Trese gets the call.
We find out why and how Trese has this responsibility through flashbacks interwoven with the monster of the week format.
Seven Knights Revolution: Hero Successor
Episodes 9 to 12
I’m glad I stuck with Seven Knights Revolution and found out Nemo’s secret identity.
It’s been a struggle at times, and this is mainly due to the anime not deciding whether it was a “magic friends at school together overcoming challenges” or a “dark show about the burden of legacy and betrayal”. I think it was trying to be two things in one.
Spot the irony. The characters in Seven Knights Revolution are literarily two things in one; the heroes of the past and today’s youngsters. The former we meet less often but are far more interesting.
I’m a World of Darkness fan. I would have gone full dark with the show.
To Your Eternity
Episode 6 to 8
At the start of To Your Eternity, I speculated just how compelling having a magic pebble as the main character would be. It quickly became clear that the narrative is the pebble travels, and the people it meets are the points of interest.
It works well, but there’s a catch. The pebble tends to take on the physical appearance of the dead.
Therefore, the game that To Your Eternity plays is to guess which of these exciting people are soon to become ex-people and die.
It’s not always a straightforward answer, so encounters aren’t always pre-spoiled by the premise. Which is good.
What’s even better is that the short story format works very well with some really engaging characters and delightful parables.
B: The Beginning
Season 2 , Episodes 4 to 6
Oh, that’s it!
If season 1 of B: The Beginning felt like two different stories stitched together, then season 2 feels like half a story. I wonder if they could have distributed these better or whether season 2 was an unexpected gift to the writers.
It’s not as if season 2 is without resolution. It’s just not The Resolution. The story advances, we learn more about the characters, and perhaps more importantly, we’re drawn further into the growing mythos.
Mythos, I think, is the right word. The characters are increasingly angelic or demonic in appearance, and the entangling web reaches deeper into the human world than we might suspect.
I’m rating B: The Beginning as “Average”, but I feel more invested in the collective as a whole.
Seen anything terrible recently? Watched anything great? Share your discoveries in the comments below.