This is a whirlwind tour through five anime series. The Irregular Reconnaissance scouts have gone out, surveyed the land and formed their opinions.
What’s to consider? Some anime shows start off well but then nosedive towards nonsense or rush to get the story told before the series ends. It happens less often, but some shows start off weak and then get better. As a (sometimes broken) rule, your Irregular Reconnaissance scouts try and watch at least three episodes of an anime before writing it off as a waste of time.
Another challenge the Irregular Reconnaissance scouts face is tracking down the show. Anime titles move around as franchise rights are bought and sold. This issue of Irregular Reconnaissance leans heavily on Crunchyroll as we’re catching up with a big long watch list that built up during our hiatus.
The most significant challenge, perhaps, is the number of scouts. There’s so much anime (yay) available now and so little time. Have you seen anything we should know about? Let us know in the comments.
Episodes 1 to 65
This is a popular anime; a rival to replace Bleach or One Piece if it can keep on going. It borrows from both as well as Naruto but after a few episodes (like Naruto) it’s relentless stubbornness becomes charm and wins you over.
Everyone in this world has magic power to some degree. At the top of the pecking order are magical knights who protect the realm and they, in turn, are lead by the Wizard King. The original Wizard King was a young boy who appeared from nowhere to save the world from demons.
Our hero is Asta. He’s unique in that he has no magical powers at all. However, for reasons not fully explained by the time we get to episode 65 and likely to be the backbone of at least a hundred episodes, a very rare anti-magic grimoire picks him. Asta can enter the magic knights, and our series of quests begin.
If you like action shounen set in a fantasy world, then this is for you.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Episodes 1 to 10
This is a lovely show. Morioka Moriko is a single, 30-year-old woman who plays computer games rather than deal with the real world. Her online character is a popular male knight.
In 10 episodes, we manage to untangle some of Moriko’s protected NEET life and gently discover the real-life people behind her favourite online adventuring parties.
Could there be romance? Could there be a disaster? Yes, to both. Why is IRL so complicated?
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
Episodes 1 to 12
The anime is set in an old school that seems to insist on skimpy uniforms for class but somehow produce excellent wizards as a result. The ‘Bastic Magic Instructor’ is a new teacher there who, shock horror, has a hidden agenda.
In no time at all, after meeting the girls, we have all sorts of terrorists and magical assassins running around the campus. The instructor’s secret history gets woven into a threat involving the pupils.
There’s a little more depth to this show than fan service, though. It could have been a very different atmosphere had the same story been told differently. As it stands now, those 12 episodes will sail past, you’ll not improve yourself in any way but will probably enjoy the tale.
Record of Grancrest War
Episodes 1 to 24
I enjoyed this show much more than I thought I would after the first couple of episodes. It’s a fantasy realm in which a wedding is torn apart by a demon attack and, as a consequence, the realms go to war rather than unite. Precisely as the demons wanted.
We follow some of the fringe characters who end up being significant power brokers in the following battles and diplomacy. It’s a story straight out of a very cleverly told fantasy RPG.
There are layers to everything, betrayals and powerful human motivations. It’s frustrating, then, that the last few episodes take us quickly to the conclusion. It’s not that they’re rushed, so to speak, just that the powers behind the nations at war could have been kept hidden for years and years.
Garo – Vanishing Line
Episodes 1 to 24
The first episode starts off with a different tone to the rest of the series. There’s lots of dark scenes and an evil demon composed of boobs for our mysterious hero to fight. Sounds ridiculous? I guess it’s that weird sweet spot only anime exists in when a boob demon can be made to be menacing and terrible.
Demons versus defenders is true, as a concept, throughout the rest of the show, there’s lots of fighting and vile threat, but the tone lightens as we get to know the characters.
The larger than life characters start to feel necessary and entirely healthy when compared to the greater sins of ambition or of capitulation that the rest of humanity seems to divide equally into.
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