Welcome back to another article in the Irregular Reconnaissance column.
In this series, we quickly round-up five or six anime titles and after just a few short paragraphs get to the point. Is this a show you should still be watching?
Anime episodes can be reasonably brief, sometimes only containing 20 minutes or so of original material. However, for Irregular Reconnaissance, I try and give any title at least three episodes to win me over before I abandon it. That’s an hour, at the very least, of time saved.
Right, with that said; let’s get on with the anime mini-reviews.
Season 3, Episodes 1 to 3
Season 2 finished with the apparent death of the big-bad, and I think the gods of plots and conclusions would have been appeased if Castlevania had ended there.
We have season three, though, and it’s the longest yet, and that’s a sure sign it’s the most expensive as well.
I’d argue it is a fairly slow start, while lovingly animated, I was worried we would have an age of Alucard living a Disney lifestyle among the birds and rabbits. Thankfully, by the time we hit episode 3 (edging into 4) we’re given a new plot arch for the anti-Dracula.
Meanwhile, Belmont and Sypha are living like over-powered adventurers and loving it. I fear pride comes before a fall.
In the background, odds and ends of the last season, all those treacherous Dracula allies (former) are manoeuvring, and I’m sure will manifest as this season’s villains.
Status: Promising, a lot to live up to.
Somali and the Forest Spirit
Episodes 1 to 3
Somali and the Forest Spirit is a high profile newcomer to Crunchyroll and, at the time this mini-review is written, is overwhelmingly rated on 5/5 on the platform.
It’s gorgeous too.
But I’m abandoning it. It’s a feel-good encounter of the day format, and one that’s geared towards a younger, or more chilled crowd than me. I need some action.
The world is post-human, and monster races are living in almost harmony in the returned to nature countryside. Humans? Myths and food. Except for Somali, a girl child, who turns up in the forest one day. A human kid with no parents or guardians around. So the golem-like ‘forest spirit’ adopts her and sets out to find her parents.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Season 2, Episodes 4 to 12
There are 2 and a half stories in this season. The two stories are both good, and both expand on the politely warring familia.
The familia are the groups of stalwart adventurers who swear loyalty to the gods-who-walk-among-us, explore the dungeon together and compete with one another.
Busty Hestia has Bell’s loyalty, but there are threats of a love triangle throughout the series. It may just be used to show the emotional side of the characters outside the duels and scrapes they get into. Rival gods and goddesses are less enamoured with her and both of the two complete stories here deal with full-on familia conflicts.
The half-story? The legend of the Black Dragon? That seems to be boldly setting up season three.
If you enjoyed season 1 then despite there not being very much dungeon action in season 2, I am sure you will enjoy it.
Episodes 4 to 7
A noble’s daughter awakens her magical talents and enters the ranks of the paladins, thanks to her mysterious tutor. A tutor who is actually an assassin.
There is a mix of combat and mystery in Assassins Pride that keeps my attention. The characters, however, are less compelling. I mean, what could Kufa Vampir’ surprise be… maybe he’s not entirely human. Is there a chance that the tutor might be, wait for it, a vampire?
It’s a shame that, so far, the unique world in which Assassins Pride is set seems to be incidental to the plot. The last of humanity is, in effect, trapped in a lantern of the city surrounded by night. The monsters in the darkness are overpowering.
What’s keeping me watching is whether we’ll get into that background and what the truth being Melida Angel’s heritage really is.
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun
Episodes 4 to 14
Episode 14 is an important one. Up until now, I’ve been watching Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun as my ‘turn off brain and fall asleep’ bedtime show. Now, the plot has my attention.
So, what’s up? The main character is a human hiding in plain sight in hell; in a school for young demons. His adoptive grandfather/kidnapper is the headmaster and they get along well.
Through a series of events designed to keep your attention, Iruma keeps on passing tests and convincing the world that he’s a powerful demon.
What’s so special about Episode 14? We finally get a look at the grand plot designs and the very real chance that the wheels might come off the wagon.
Status: Average with possibilities for improvement.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts
Episodes 7 to 8
It’s rare to have an anime swing back and forth between exciting and dull like this.
I had such high hopes for To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts which were quickly dashed. I very nearly quit the show. Then, all of a sudden, it pulls off a mid-series confrontation that reset the parameters.
As a result, political tension is back. The sidekick character is currently the main character and has a host of possibilities. While I suspect the monster-of-the-day approach will probably continue, at least now I know that each monster is a pawn on the chessboard (or a bigger piece) and so what happens to them matters.
Do you agree with the conclusions for each of these shows? Let us know in the comments below or whether you have any recommendations of your own.