Top 5 Anime I’m Anticipating For The Spring Season

Tuesday's Top 5

I was asked by DMWonder on Twitter whether I was going to do a anime I’m looking forward to post for the Spring season. As a general rule I just kind of wait until the season starts because when I do look ahead, I get excited about an anime and then realise it didn’t come out somewhere I could watch it anyway which leads to disappointment. That or I get hyped for something that then fails to deliver and again, disappointment.

So to avoid disappointment, I have taken the bury head in sand approach to seasonal viewing and while it is impossible to avoid hearing some of the titles coming out as other bloggers and anime fans on twitter share their thoughts on the upcoming season, I don’t go digging for more information until the season starts. Still, after I was asked this question, I got curious.

To make a not so thrilling story shorter, I went and had a look at MAL’s list of what was coming out in the spring and so here we are with me listing the top 5 anime I’m anticipating. If they don’t come out on services I use or they suck, I never made this list. Just saying.

However, though a lot of my readers have already shared their lists on their blogs, I’d love to know what Spring titles you are looking forward to, so be sure to leave us a comment below.

Honourable Mentions:

There are a few. These are titles that I kind of thought might be interesting but until you see how the first episode goes there’s really no way to tell. On this list I’ll add: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Fairy Gone. Both look like they could be really interesting, but they could also both fall completely flat depending on how the ideas come together.

Fairy Gone

Number 5: Shoumetsu Toshi

I don’t know what it is that is really grabbing my attention about this one. Maybe it’s just the opening line of the synopsis where it says a city just disappeared. Whichever way, something about this one kept grabbing my attention. That said, it lists a game as its source and that may or may not be a problem, but I’m still going to be hopeful about this one.

Shuometsu Toshi

Number 4: Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin

Alright, this one is just asking for it to flog big time, but the write up on this one looks interesting and that supernatural label always gets my attention even if I sometimes regret it after the fact. Throw in youkai and potential exorcists and you at least have me looking for your first episode ready to enjoy. Whether I will or not remains to be seen but this one seems like it should be right up my alley.

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin

Number 3: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3

While this isn’t one of my favourite franchises, Bungo Stray Dogs has enough fairly awesome moments (particularly the start of season 2) to keep my attention. Visually it is always a spectacle and the powers are really cool. While I’d like a bit more from the story some times and find the focus on Atsushi a little less than thrilling when there are so many better characters in the show, I must say I still had a bit of a smile when I saw this was coming back.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3

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Fruits Basket Collector's Edition, Vol. 1

Number 2: Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

Weird that I thought I’d be dropping Attack on Titan when season 3 started. But part one of this managed to get me really excited for the story again and even made me appreciate a lot of the characters more and so here I am getting hyped for a part two. Let’s hope it holds up because this one has got a lot of hype around it and just being okay won’t really be enough to stave off disappointment.

Attack on Titan Season 3

Number 1: Fruits Basket

I was completely in love with the original series of this, though always found the art style and the incomplete nature of the story a little frustrating. This was one that I looked up the manga online because I had to know what happened next but ended up realising there were quite a few changes. With all of that said, this one had been on my list of anime I wanted a reboot for, for a very long time and finally getting a reboot is incredibly exciting. I will definitely be watching this anime during Spring.

Fruits Basket

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Top 5 Military Focused Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

I’m not the biggest fan of military movies or war focused stories (at least not realistic ones). I find them a little bit depressing to be honest. There are exceptions, usually science fiction or fantasy is enough of a hook (such as Starship Troopers), and I’ve definitely noticed a soft spot for anime that brings in the military (though being told something is military focused isn’t the draw).

Today I’m looking at my favourite military focused anime. Authenticity isn’t a concern. I don’t care whether the ranks and positions are wrong, whether characters would actually be able to behave in certain manners in a real army, or whether the military exists or is part of an entirely fictional setting. I’m just concerned with anime that I really ended up enjoying that had a strong military focus. As such, I’m sure there are many great military anime that aren’t going to get a mention and I’d love to know your favourites so feel free to give them a shout out in the comments below.

Honourable Mentions:

Honourable mentions this time around go to the entire Gundam Franchise, which I continue to have a love/hate relationship with as the various entries either really grab me and pull me in or I end up abandoning fairly early on, and Heavy Object. Now Heavy Object is an anime in general that doesn’t get enough conversation so I really wanted it on my top 5 list, but the numerous flaws with the show prevented me from putting it above anything on the list. That said, I really liked Heavy Object, a lot more than I expected.

Number 5: Attack On Titan

Now, I won’t deny that season two of Attack on Titan saw my patience wearing thin after a fairly big slow down in the second half of season one. But, the early episodes of season one really grabbed me and while the titan at the wall was a big part of that, so was Eren and crew’s original military training. It is such an integral part of the show and the characters and those early episodes were really good. Season three also picked up a lot of things and part of it is the power structure of the world including where the military fits into that. All and all, while this isn’t one of my favourite of all time anime, the military influence is quite strong and some of the better moments comes when the story focuses on these elements.

Attack on Titan

Number 4: Full Metal Alchemist and Brotherhood

Whether it is FMA or FMA Brotherhood, the military focus of Armestris is pretty clear. Love the uniforms, as impractical as they appear, and a lot of the drama in the show comes from the higher ups withholding information from subordinates. Also, characters are regularly compelled to act against their own nature because being in the military does mean following orders. Both versions of Full Metal Alchemist really do an excellent job of showcasing both the problems of large military organisations as well as the camaraderie and loyalty that can grow between soldiers working for a common cause. All and all, a solid anime with a military focus to sink your teeth into.

Full Metal Alchemist - Military

Number 3: Code Geass

Right, so we’re really moving away from realistic here, but I love Code Geass. The ongoing war, the terrorist tactics, the military responses and escalation of weapons of mass destruction… despite the mechs and the fantastical political scenario so much in terms of the themes and ideas are incredibly relatable but it ends up being over dramatised and becomes pure entertainment. From Lelouche’s flamboyant persona as Zero to the amazing feats Suzaku pulls off, everything about this story is great entertainment, even if a little tragic if linked back to reality.

Code Geass
Okay, I couldn’t find a nice picture of the military uniforms, but the school uniform is pretty military like.

Number 2: GATE

This one had to be on the list. In fact, this was where I started and I felt for sure GATE would end up being number one. Alas, I remembered something better, but for now I’ll just go through why I love GATE. It reminded me a lot of the early Stargate episodes with the military going through to other worlds and Daniel Jackson trying to talk with the populations why they looked for resources and the like. Yet, it had all the crazy anime trapping we’ve come to expect from isekai with elf-girls and magicians, and of course Rory Mercury… Want to see the Japanese military face off against a fire-breathing dragon? Helicopters taking on bandits storming a fortress? GATE was great fun to just strap in and watch.

GATE

Number 1: Full Metal Panic

Lastly, we get to my number one entry on this list. When thinking of military focus of course I thought of the number one military maniac himself, Sousuke Sagara. I absolutely loved Full Metal Panic’s ability to balance a fairly serious military style story with hired mercenaries and various agencies as well as the high school comedy aspects. It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense if you stop and think about it, but it absolutely gets the fun factor right and some of the fight sequences and the tactics they come up with are incredibly impressive.

Full Metal Panic

And there you have it, my top 5 military focused anime. As I said, I’d love to know yours so leave me a comment.

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ARTFX J MY HERO ACADEMIA 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: KATSUKI BAKUGO
ARTFX J MY HERO ACADEMIA 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: KATSUKI BAKUGO

12 Days of Anime Characters – Eren Jaeger

12 Days of Anime Title Image

Here we are at Day 6 of the 12 Days of Anime. Yesterday we looked at a character who possessed poise and grace as she moved through her unrequited love (Sayaka from Bloom Into You) but today’s pick couldn’t be any more different. A shounen protagonist who throws himself at everything with the same bull-headed attitude, it is Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan Episode 9

Now, Eren Jaeger is a character who I really haven’t liked for a lot of the three seasons and yet as season three progressed, I found myself finding a new appreciation for him. Admittedly, I’m not exactly joining the Eren fan-club anytime soon, but season three managed to see him going through some fairly well deserved character development – or maybe he just finally grew up.

Spending a large number of the episodes tied up and gagged was something I initially found amusing because in the absence of Eren yelling at things, it felt like we could finally see some of the other characters in action without him and let them shine. And that was true to a point, but what I didn’t expect was that when Eren finally got to speak, that for once he wouldn’t just be that angry, shouting little boy we’d endured for the previous seasons.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 3

Suddenly, we had an Eren who was reflecting on the power he had and how he’d received. An Eren who was thinking about the long game and while he was also a little defeatest, understood that he wasn’t necessarily the one who was going to save everyone. Yet even at his lowest point, when push came to shove, Eren acted to save the other scouts. Even after that, he didn’t suddenly let it go to his head; instead he remained aware of his own individual insignificance and was working his hardest to contribute what he could.

Yes, season three of Attack on Titan gave me new reason to think about Eren’s character and the journey he has been on. While I’m still not the biggest fan of Eren, and I still don’t like shouting protagonists, it really was like watching someone grow up right before my eyes and the transformation felt natural given the circumstances, and earned, given what he’d gone through. Now I’m keenly looking forward to where his character goes from here, though given it is Attack on Titan I’m guessing he’s got more pain and misery headed his way.

Attack on Titan Episode 11

For a character I don’t normally talk about, I really felt this year he stepped up and so I definitely wanted to include him in this list of twelve characters as I counted down to Christmas.

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ATTACK ON TITAN JUNIOR HIGH MOFU MOFU MINI TOWEL: EREN
ATTACK ON TITAN JUNIOR HIGH MOFU MOFU MINI TOWEL: EREN

Attack on Titan Season 3 Series Review

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Sasha

Less Shouting, More Plot, Still Great Action – Yes!

It’s taken awhile for me to get to this review and it isn’t because I didn’t enjoy the anime or that I didn’t have a strong opinion. It was more that the anime ended at a weird time of season and I’d already finished drafting my Summer anime reviews and scheduled them but I hadn’t yet gotten in to my backlog of anime to review and so Attack on Titan season 3 went on the list to catch up on at a future time and then I got busy.

Attack on Titan Episode 5

But, now that I’m writing about this anime again, the only thing I can really think is ‘wow, I really had a lot of fun with season 3’. If you recall my pre-season thoughts, I was pretty pessimistic about Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin). Season one started great but meandered. Season two did whatever it did. I guess we did get an amazing reveal but it really felt like the plot was lost and we spent a lot of time just kind of reacting to things or rushing from action show piece to action show piece. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were cool, but it felt like the plot was lost or stalled.

Well, season three has come along and it has brought us some wondrous things. Levi getting into the action as Kenny attacks his squad in the early stages of the season is a solid and exhilarating beginning to season 3.One that captures the adventurous spirit as well as the danger and idea of life being pretty cheap very well and reignites enthusiasm for the series in a way that was badly needed (at least in my case).

Attack on Titan - Season 3 - Episode 2 - Levi

Sure the fight across rooftops and through the streets of the district is over the top and from a physics point of view highly improbably(how dead is Levi if he actually attempted those stunts), but it is beautiful,fast paced, the sound perfectly complements it, and everything about the sequence just works from a raw emotional point of view. And it opens up the characters of Attack on Titan to us in a way we’ve never really had the chance to explore before.

From Eren and Historia, to the Ackerman’s, the  false King, Eren’s father, Kenny, all of the cast get some life breathed back into them as we take a break from riding around on horses and fighting and actually look at what is behind all the mystery and intrigue. Do we get all the answers? Well, it is Attack on Titan so not really, but it brings together a lot of the plot threads, the half hints and ideas, and it seems to throw them back into forward motion in a way that ends up being immensely satisfying.

Attack on Titan Episode 10

While I’m at it, I’ll mention that the OP this season is fantastic. I get that when you first hear it, or if you hear it without watching the show you will be wondering what that song is doing attached to Attack on Titan, but the opening perfectly captures what this season aimed for and ultimately accomplished. We see that the characters have grown up but that their pasts haven’t disappeared. Who they were and what they have been through has shaped them and continues to have an influence over their lives even as they try to find their own paths. The song and the visuals that go with it capture that, as well as the relationships these characters have formed. It really works and there’s a reason it ended up on my list of favourite OP’s for the year.

However, while the world and characters are being fleshed out there is a trade off. If you are after continuous bouts with Titans you may find season 3 a little bit of a disappointment. For me though, they more than made up for the lack of number of Titans early on by the sheer grotesqueness of the titan they fight just after the mid-season. And of course, by the end of the season we are back to many titans.

Attack on Ttian Episode 9

Still, the greatest accomplishment of season 3 is that it finally made me appreciate Eren as a character rather than merely tolerating him. As a shouting protagonist type, one of my least favourites, Eren has always been a sore point for me with Attack on Titan. While I joked early on in this season that gagging Eren helped immensely, when the gag came off, I found that Eren had finally moved forward as a character. Sure, there are still some stupid moments with him, such as his fist-fight with Jean, but Eren managed whole moments of character introspective later in the season without a single shouted line and with thoughts that I felt I could relate to and understand.This was quite the break through moment for him.

There are negatives of course. As I mentioned, there are less fight sequences this time around and so there are a lot of scenes of people standing or sitting around talking. There’s also a lot of characters from the political groups and military that you probably won’t be all that attached to getting a lot of screen time. And some of these moments could have been trimmed a little, though mostly I enjoyed it. The other thing of course is that we are still unfinished so now we’re back to waiting yet again.

Attack on Titan Episode 11

Attack on Titan really does like to keep us waiting.

Overall though, I’d definitely recommend continuing with season three if you made it through one and two. In my view, this was the best Titan has offered us so far and I’m looking forward to see where they go from here.

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ATTACK ON TITAN 2
ATTACK ON TITAN 2

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12: And Now We Wait Until Next Year

Attack on Titan Season Three Episode 12 - Erwin and Levi

Well, once I found out this season was going to be split in two, any hope for an actual resolution of any sort this time around when out the window so I guess I’m not actually disappointed. And despite last week being a bit of a snooze fest and this week just plunging us into a cliff-hanger with a during end-credits tease, season three has still become my favourite Attack on Titan season yet, though I’ll get more into that when I do a whole season (half-season?) review.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Hange

This week we get the higher ups talking some more and recapping things for us so that we know where we’re going next and why. Other than the over use of brown in this scene it works well enough and at least we’re clearly set on a course of action for now. That’s probably the best thing they did. Even with the gap between now and April next year when part 2 is supposed to come out, this episode gives us a clear direction which is something the end of season one and two lacked.

Attack on Titan Season Three Episode 12 - Eerwin

We get an interesting scene between Erwin and Levi that might have more significance and people who have read the manga probably know what that is but for me I’ll just file that under interesting and wait until the show chooses to maybe get back to it.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Sasha

However, it was the second part of the episode that really got things going as we saw Sasha at her food craziest yet before Jean and Eren get into a ridiculous fight. It was kind of nice to see a little life in Eren even if he very nearly reverted into shouting idiot Eren. I think they played this nicely with him trying to have a bit of energy but inside he’s still kind of broken. Plus, we then got a Mikasa, Armin and Eren moment that was kind of adorable and brought us back to where these three started (as the OP has been all season) and it was just kind of nice to see this again even if it felt like tragic death flags were being raised all around (or maybe that’s just me because I’m used to this show doing that to us).

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Jean and Eren

So yes, this episode works and as a mid-season point it is pretty solid. As the last episode we’re going to see this year I just have to shake my head and remind myself it is Attack on Titan. This isn’t the worst thing they’ve ever done to viewers.

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ATTACK ON TITAN ANTHOLOGY (ENGLISH) HARDCOVER

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 11: Aw, He’s Special

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 11

Well, we knew we were moving on from the previous arc but this episode felt like yet more transition and catching people up on how things fit together rather than actually moving onto anything. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing given the three seasons have been spread over a large period of time and we’ve recently been hit with a whole stack of revelations so the characters taking time to process and giving the audience time to process is kind of nice, even if it doesn’t make for exactly compelling viewing.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 11

I am actually starting to like this new and subdued Eren. Honestly, I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t ‘snap out of it’ anytime soon because a thinking Eren who contemplates and actually tries for others rather than going off idiotically and brashly while shouting his ideas is a lot more bearable as a character (again, not quite as interesting given he doesn’t tend to do much, but there are other characters who can fill that void).

This episode gives us a brief look at Historia as a Queen who seems to be taking a very hands on approach to working with the masses which is fine and all but it does leave you wondering who is making the actual big administrative decisions while she’s doing manual labour. It does however at least give us some sort of hope that things might improve inside the walls (which is probably just so they can later dash that hope into small pieces).

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 11

We then transition to a scene with Eren and his crew eating soup very slowly and the other recruits making a bit deal of how much they’ve changed in the months since they became scouts. It took me by surprise to given for me its been years and the change seemed really slow, but I guess in the in story time it isn’t that long. This also leads Eren to figuring out that the training commander guy knew his dad so Levi, Hange, and most everyone who has remained relevant ride out to the training grounds for story time.

If I seem a little flippant about this it is because while it eats a large chunk of the episode time, we essentially don’t get much from this guy. I really quite like Hange’s reaction to his story. While I’m kind of certain that maybe something he said will later become relevant (now there’s a clear sentence), it all just felt like a very drawn out red-herring.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 11

So yeah, I’m not overly sold on this episode even though there are some nice ideas and touches in it. Really it will depend where this goes as to whether this works or not (another case where maybe binging would improve the story – or maybe it wouldn’t, hard to know until later).

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Attack on Titan LEVI

Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Characters That Creep Me Out

Tuesday's Top 5

Here we are and it is October and this year I’m going to be running Halloween themed top 5’s all month long (not that Halloween is actually a thing where I live but any excuse to dust off some of my favourite anime and characters). Starting out with this list of anime characters that I just find disturbing or unsettling for whatever reason. I will admit, it was a tough list to narrow down but I’m pretty happy with the final list. But as always I would love my readers to join in the fun and share their top 5 creepy character lists in the comments below. Hopefully you like my list.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Miki (Parasyte) and Tsukiyama (Tokyo Ghoul).

Number 5: The Millennium Earl (D Gray Man)

The Millennium Earl - D Gray Man

Look, the guy has a permanent smile that is almost bigger than his head and the deals he offers people are worse than any deal you could make with the devil. He’s responsible for so much misery and pain and he does it all with that ridiculous grin and a laugh. So many characters claim they are going to destroy the world but I actually came to believe the Millennium Earl would eventually succeed in D Gray Man and given the story isn’t finished let’s just say he’s currently winning.

Number 4: Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter)

I probably don’t need to explain why I consider Hisoka a creepy customer but right from the first time he graced the screen in Hunter x Hunter he left me unsettled. He’s a little bit violent, a little bit sadistic, gets way too in to his pursuits, and seems to be entirely indifferent to any kind of moral code outside of his own. That and his fixation with Gon at times is very creepy. Still, I’m thinking if I ever end up in an anime world and see someone who even looks vaguely like Hisoka coming I’m running for it (not that it will do me much good mind you, but it might make me feel better).

Number 3: Urado (Ghost Hunt)

Urado.jpg

Probably not a well known character given Ghost Hunt isn’t the most popular anime out there, but while most of the ghost stories the characters encounter in the various arcs are more interesting than scary Urado is one character who could definitely leave you with nightmares. That’s probably because unlike so many of the other stories, Urado seems to be based off of tales of real life figures like Elizabeth Bathory and the like so with a more familiar context, and a lot of blood, Urado managed to really get under my skin for the brief time he was in the story.

Number 2: Megumi (Shiki)

Shiki - Megumi

No surprise Megumi made the list. It isn’t that I’m actually scared by Megumi, but there’s that scene where she slides out from under the bed and no matter how many times you watch it, it is still unbelievably creepy. That and Megumi is just so incredibly malicious in the way she attacks people as a vampire. She well and truly earned her number two spot.

Number 1: The Colossal Titan

Titan-Wall

Right, so future revelations in the story may have reduced the impact, but The Colossal Titan appearing behind the wall was one of those moments where you just kind of stared at your screen and froze. They really just nailed the perfect combination of factors to make this character someone who would lodge in your memory and haunt your dreams well and truly after watching the episode. For me, no other titan since has had as much impact, not even that insanely creepy smiling one.

There you have it. My top 5 anime characters that creep me out. Now it is your turn so remember to share below.


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Cave Story Nintendo Switch US Version