Six more anime shows are subjected to quick-fire scout reports. Are they worth watching? Did they start off strong but then get weird?
Irregular Reconnaissance is Geek Native’s catchup with the large and weird world of anime. There’s no shortage of shows these days, which is a great thing, but it presents a scheduling challenge. Which series are worth watching? Which are worth avoiding?
We’ve hit episode 40 of this collection of mini-reviews. If you fancy wallowing in nostalgia then this teleport link will take you to another, entirely random, Irregular Reconnaissance article. Can you make your way back here?
Before you go, though, you might want to whiz through this collection of anime write-ups and check out what’s weird and what’s wonderful.
Episodes 1 to 9
Imagine if Japanese companies used secret and brutal street fights to determine who won which contract. That’s the premise of Kengan Ashura.
The anime picks up when a businessman foolishly spies on a street fight. The winner of that brawl turns into our action hero – a man who wants to win to prove he’s the best. The businessman turns into our other hero – a man who just wants to see tomorrow.
There’s a host of street fighters, some pushing the supernatural with their formidable skills, and businessmen (and occasional women) to meet and nearly as many animation styles. Most of the time Kengan Ashura is illustrated in Netflix’s CGI-style ala Knights of Sidonia or Ajin but sometimes moves to illustration and sometimes a coloured pencil sketch. The latter tends to be used for fighters we’re about to meet and beat but watch for sucker-punches.
Weirdly, there’s a bit of a hidden plot in Kengan Ashura that makes it quite watchable. If you’re not a fan of brutal street fights, though, you’re going to turn away from this particular show.
Status: Watchable testosterone perk-me-up.
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
Episodes 1 to 12
A ‘Death March’, when you work in the gaming industry, is that final push the programmers have to go through to get the computer game over the line and ready for release.
In Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody, we re-visit a very familiar trope wherein a programmer and unsung hero in the company finds himself in the game he was making. Or a version of it. He ends up with great power and girls, some of whom look very young.
This anime can stray to the creepy side now and then, mainly due to some of the characters. I watched on Crunchyroll who will censor at the drop of a hat and so didn’t feel too worried the plot would ever cross that line and become full of weird.
It’s not the best ‘now you’re in a game’ anime, but it passes the time.
DARLING in the FRANXX
Episodes 1 to 24
This anime has been a big hit with its skilful blend of mecha and romance. It’s the future and humanity as screwed up. We’ve retreated to crawling cities, moving around to find any resources left on the planet while the Earth spawn Kyoryu monsters to fight us off. It’s not going well.
We use children, in pairs, to pilot mecha and try and fight the Kyoryu off. The mecha are controlled by mental links which require the children, one male, one female, to get into the right wavelength and sync together. Plugsuits are worn, and the couples adopt a chariot and driver pose within the mecha.
The hero (perhaps) is a child known as 016. He’s about to quit when he discovers a mysterious girl called O2. It turns out that not only is he one of the few people who can pilot a mecha with her, a FRANXX, but she’s half Kyoryu and humanity’s secret weapon.
To Be Heroine
Okay, I know we’re supposed to watch three episodes of a show before making a decision on it. I think I was so stunned after episode one that my brain purged the show from my memory so I wouldn’t have to worry about it again.
We have a young woman called Futaba who, guess what ends up in a strange world after being unhappy with ours. There’s a bit of panty fanservice, but most oddly this world is filled with talking babies.
Futaba gets caught up in the babies’ politics and drama. If I watch any more of this, it will be just to see whether or not the rest of the 7 episodes are like the first.
Status: Uuuh? I doubt it
Lord Marksman and Vanadis
Episodes 1 to 13
Anime can sometimes be accused of pandering to teenage male fantasy. I suspect Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a prime suspect.
An honourable young nobleman does well on the battlefield but is captured by the big breasted enemy warrior queen. She, of course, takes a fancy to him.
The plot, such as it is, progresses with the young man flipping between the sometimes dominant woman and going on a quest to be a freedom fighting warrior and being beloved by everyone.
The anime has been pulled from Crunchyroll and Funimation in the most recent license move, and I don’t suspect they fought too hard to keep it.
Status: One to save for a bored weekend
Episodes 1 to 3
I do watch some slice of live animes and enjoyed many of them. I gave Tsukigakirei required three episodes for an Irregular Reconnaissance review and then gave up.
Why? Nothing was happening.
It’s a story about a shy geeky guy who meets an athletic girl. Romance, I assume, starts to happen.
If you’ve watched more of Tsukigakirei and can let us know whether anything plot-like actually happens, please let us know.
Check out the comments below to see what other Geek Natives think.