25 January 2018

Anime I'm Watching & Loving!

Good morning, Honk

It's a new year so time for some new anime recommendations! Honestly I feel like I'm never going to catch up on the latest seasons because last season alone several of my favourite anime released another season and of course there were all new ones I was interested in as well as older anime series that have been recommended to me I still needed to watch, so at this point it feels like even if I watched one series a week I'd still never put a dent in that watchlist! But the good thing is I won't be short of new series to introduce to you all this year so I hope you enjoy these and the ones to come....

Kageyama Shigeo (a.k.a. "Mob") is a 8th grader with powerful psychic abilities. Mob keeps his abilities suppressed due to the negative attention he receives and if he lets his emotions reach a level of 100% he experiences dire consequences. Mob is surrounded by unusual spirits and strange organisations that want to utilise his powers but all he wants is to make friends and live a normal life. The opening of this anime is so colourful and crazy and I really enjoyed the overall animation style as it resembled some of the older artwork I used to enjoy seeing in manga.  Mob Psycho 100 also has the same author as One Punch Man and there are a few similarities in the protagonists not only with looks but their immense powers which they both don't really enjoy as they want to enjoy a simple life. I enjoyed the characters a lot in this anime especially the spirits, so it's definitely one to add to your watchlist.

Fukuzou Moguro is a travelling salesman who deals in things that give his customers their heart's desire, Moguro's customers are often lonely and he asks for no money in return only wanting to fill that emptiness in their hearts and see their satisfaction but things are not always what they seem and often the customers are left with terrible repercussions, especially if they break the rules of his deals. I love an anime that questions human nature and this anime reminded me a bit of Hell Girl in the way it was structured as you often see the customers falling prey to their own desires, but unlike Hell Girl this was a more humorous, light-hearted take on the subject. The animation style reminded me of ones I watched in my childhood and this may be because it comes from Doremon's co-creator Motoo Abiko which I found an interesting fact. Some of the stories had a clear moral to them while as others left me a bit confused and wondering why these people were being punished but this may have been a cultural thing as I know Japan has a lot of rules/etiquette I'm not familiar with and they're pretty strict about them. I also found Moguro maybe a bit too manipulative and pushy towards the customers at times which made me question if the customers are really the ones at fault or not? But either way the anime provokes some interesting thoughts and discussions.

Kousei Arima excelled at piano until the trauma of his mother's sudden death took away his ability to play. Kousei leads a monotonous life until he meets an unconventional violinist named Kaori Miyazono who encourages him to play and live again. I've heard a lot about this anime and I actually watched the live action movie first but the movie was a bit disappointing to say the least so I wasn't sure if I'd actually like the anime or not but thankfully I gave it a go and I loved it! The animation and the music is just so beautiful and even though I kind of knew what was coming there was so much more emotion and nostalgia put into in the anime compared to the movie that I couldn't help but shed a few tears.

地獄少女 宵伽
I mentioned Hell Girl earlier and to my delight found that they recently released a 4th series YEY!! So this series pretty much follows the exact same formula of the past 3 seasons but I do enjoy the episodic nature of seeing different people's stories, their struggles, the thirst for revenge, and the eventual consequences. Hell Girl is a lot more darker and heavier than The Laughing Salesman and more on par with a series like Death Parade, which you NEED to watch! If you've been following Hell Girl for a while though you might get a little bored of the repetitive nature because this series doesn't really add anything new or exciting to Hell Girl/Enma Ai's overall story, in fact compared to other characters she probably gets the least screentime and after over a decade since the first series was aired and 8 years since the last one you kinda want to see something a little new or different. Overall though I did enjoy the series, the stories were quite interesting albeit nothing new and it was nice to have Hell Girl back for another and possibly last season. I definitely recommend you checking out the previous seasons of Hell Girl if you've not seen them already as it's one of my all time favourite supernatural anime series.

Neo Yokio follows Kaz Kaan an upper class resident of "The Greatest City in the World" as he struggles to balance his decadent, fashionable lifestyle with his demon hunting duties. So... I wanted to mention this series as it's a bit of an interesting one with it being co-produced between Japanese anime studios, Studio Deen/Production I.G and Ezra Koenig that premiered on Netflix and is voiced by some pretty well known western celebrities! I'm not sure if there's ever been an actual  "American anime" before and I was intrigued to see what it was like and honestly I don't know what to say as I'm kinda divided. I suppose I would describe it as Japanese style with a very Americanised storyline and while it looks like an "old skool" anime the story line and characters are like something from Gossip Girl. I think with it being only 6 episodes it was hard to really get a feel for it and I think because I recognised so many of the voice actors it was a bit distracting although I did enjoy the fact that they were so similar to their characters, Kaz Kaan voiced by Jaden Smith and the famous fashion blogger voiced by Tavi Gevinson to name a couple. I think when it comes to anime what I enjoy the most is the deepness and the metaphors but with this one it was just completely vapid and shallow which was pretty much a reflection of the world of Kaz Kaan and maybe that's the whole point. It was quite humorous though, I did enjoy the satire and it also gave some nods out to other popular anime series but my favourite thing about the series was the Mecha butler Charles who was voiced by Jude Law which I feel like was a perfect match. I'm just not quite sure if it worked or not but I will say check it out if your intrigued as it's a super easy watch and let me know what you think about it in the comments.

What Anime have you been watching lately?
Love & Waffles

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