For this last week, I wanted to skip out on the Anime and save some good ones for the spring, so instead, I am going to talk about a show I binged Sunday night. A Million Little Things is a drama on ABC that explores the facets of adulthood friendship after the suicide of a close friend. It tackles issues like suicide, depression, relationship troubles, passion for work, and self-sacrifice. And while this show did make my eyes water and my heart hurt at times, it was also very inspiring and comedic due to how the characters handle their issues.
The show currently has two seasons out, with the third season airing its first episode on Nov. 19. The show is available to stream on Hulu and on ABC’s own website abc.com/a-million-little-things.
I think something this show does well without even getting to the plot is how it tackles diversity. It has representation that is not forced or used to progress the plot; it just is the characters. However, the show does not throw these facts by the wayside either. One example is Rome, a black man struggling with clinical depression, being at odds with his family because, in his culture, they just do not talk about that stuff. The character explains in a handful of scenes that in his house, being sad is just part of life and you get over it.
With the spooky season having made its pass this semester, I wanted to turn to a more comical show for this week. “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!” or “God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!” (typically, just called KonoSuba) is a parody show that takes a number of anime cliches, such as reviving in a fantasy world, and twisted them into a comical situation.
At the start of the show the main character, Kazuma Satou, dies after having a heart attack thinking he is going to be hit by a truck, which turned out to be a scooter. From there, he is offered a chance to reincarnate as the hero of a fantasy world and was allowed to bring one thing with him. He asks to bring the goddess (Aqua) speaking with him, assuming her to be all-powerful and a cheat to the end, but once they arrive, he learns how horribly weak she is. From there, Kazuma collects more people into his party and tries to save towns and the world from threats in his new life.
To wrap up the Halloween anime, I want to talk about “Owari No Seraph,” which means “Seraph of the End” in English. This show is a post-apocalypse anime about vampires, humans, demons, angels, and the wars and dependencies between the four of them.
In this work, a disease broke out that wiped out everyone above the age of 13, and the vampires offered humans protection from the virus and the monsters of the outside world the “Horsemen of John.” Over time, the humans have become unhappy with this arrangement, and wish to break free from vampire rule.
In comes a group of kids of the Hyakuya Orphanage, spearheaded by the main character Hyakuya Yuichiro and Hyakuya Mikaela (called Yu and Mika for short). These children decide they no longer want to be cattle for the vampires and Yu and Mika attempt to escape. They make it a fair bit, only to learn that Ferid Bathory, a vampire progenitor, was waiting for them to think they made it to confront and slaughter them. The only two survivors are Yu, who runs away and makes it to the outside world, and Mika, who sacrifices himself and is assumed dead until it is revealed that another vampire, named Krul Tepes, turned him and saved his life.
“Kimetsu no Yaiba,” also called “Demon Slayer” or “Blade of Demon Destruction” took the anime community by storm in 2019. Produced by studio Ufotable, Kimetsu no Yaiba is an exciting action-fantasy with man-eating demons in human form. The show features stunning 2D and 3D animation and visual effects, a beautiful soundtrack, sympathetic villains, and interesting, fleshed out characters.
“Demon Slayer” begins with Kamado Tanjiro, a teenage boy who takes care of his mother and younger siblings after the passing of his father. One day, he travels into town to sell charcoal for his family and has to stop for the night at the request of a friendly mountain dweller. When he returns home the next morning, he finds that his family had been slaughtered by demons that night before. Soon, he finds his sister, alive by a hair’s breadth, and carries her down the mountain in search of help.
After a discussion during my Horror and Haunting Class, I decided I really wanted to focus on vampires this week in light of the pending Halloween season. I figured I would go with my favorite vampire anime, The Monogatari Series. Now, most of the shows I have talked about so far have been, in my opinion, shows that are very easy for people new to Anime to join, but the Monogatari Series may not be as easy.
The series, produced by Shaft, follows the high schooler Koyomi Araragi, but I cannot say the show starts at the beginning. The anime was released out of chronological order, similar to the light novels it is based on. The first season ever released was “Bakemonogatari,” which begins at the meeting between Araragi and his girlfriend, Senjougahara Hitagi, but this is not the start of Araragi’s story.
It is October, which means pumpkins, falling leaves, Halloween, and scares. So, this week I am going to highlight a few anime that can help you get into the spirit. Not all of them are going to be scary, but all are anime that I enjoy, and think can fit the autumn spirit.
Firstly, let us start with an anime called “Soul Eater.” This show is just over 50 episodes long, and each episode is roughly 20 minutes long. This show is produced by studio Bones and has a pretty stand out art style. The series (both the original manga and the anime adaption) has a style that embodies Halloween, from witches to demons (Kishin) and even to Death and his son.
Normally, I write about the thrilling action animes I have been watching or would recommend, but this week I want to write about something low and slow. Some slice of life anime that warm the heart and just make a sad day better.
This article is titled after the first anime I want to talk about. It is one that almost hits too close to home and when it first came out a few of my friends actually pointed out that the main character was a lot like me.
“My Roommate is a Cat” is pretty straightforward in plot. The main character, Subaru Mikazuki, is a novelist who lives alone with severe social anxiety and social awkwardness. One day, he decides to adopt a cat who has gotten lost. The show bounces back and forth between the two characters, showing how they interpret their interactions with one another. Haru, the cat, is a kitten who thinks she is tougher than she is and often finds herself shocked that while Subaru can offer her a life of luxury, he fails to keep himself in good health, often collapsing from exhaustion and skipping meals.
This week I want to talk about a longer show that is currently airing and has stocked up over 140 episodes. “Black Clover,” produced by Studio Pierrot, is a fantasy adventure anime based in a magical world of four kingdoms: Clover, Diamond, Spade, and Heart, where each country has its own magical style. The story focuses on a set of wizards (or mages, the translation mixes the two) in the Clover Kingdom, who use grimoires as a focus for their magic and cast specified kinds of spells through it. One example is the character Yami, who uses dark magic. Another is Yuno, who uses wind magic.
The magic is not limited to elements or objects, however, as there are characters who can also create and control mirrors and light, as well as the Wizard King who can control time, amongst other unique magics. Additionally, there exists the sinister demon magic, as well as the unique and dangerous antimagic, possessed by one of the two main characters.
Originally, I wanted to save the more spooky, scary, or Halloween-y shows until closer to October, but then I realized that there are so many to choose from that it would not make much of a difference. So, this week I am talking about a newer show titled “The Promised Neverland.” I want to disclaim before I go much further that due to the nature of the show, it is going to be impossible to avoid spoilers, so if you do not want minor or major spoilers, you have been warned.
October marks the start of the new anime season for Fall 2020, and while that sounds like it is a while away, it will approach as quickly as midterms. So, for this issue, I looked into some of the upcoming anime and will be talking about some of those that caught my attention.
Firstly was an anime called “Jujustu Kaisen.” A supernatural anime that deals with dangerous and ancient demons as spiritual powers, Jujustu may be a great anime to start around the Halloween season. This show centers around Itadori Yuji who acquires supernatural powers through plot means and uses his new strengths to battle Curses, supernatural manifestations of negative emotions, alongside his new partners.
This week, instead of talking about an airing or noteworthy show, I want to talk about the band Man With A Mission. They are a Japanese Rock band that has dabbled in creating Anime soundtracks as well as other projects. Their sound has a pretty wide range, but they could be described as something akin to Fall Out Boy, and many of their songs are in English, or a blend of English and Japanese.
Formed in 2010, the band has been going strong with consistent members. Tokyo Tanaka, Jean-Ken Johnny, Kamikaze Boy, DJ, Santa Monica, and Spear Rib make up the band. They have been on tour in Japan, the States, Korea, the UK, and other countries and have performed with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and have even had Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy work with them on the song “Dead End Tokyo.” They had been planning on going on a 10-year anniversary tour this year but due to Corona, they have canceled it until further notice. They have released three anniversary albums with many of their famous singles and covers from earlier in their career, however.
Manhwa, Korean webcomics, also called webtoons by some, are exactly as the name suggests: comics found, and read, online. This week I caught up on the anime adaption of the God of Highschool webcomic. The anime version of God of Highschool brings the third of major name webcomics to the animated screen. Produced by Crunchyroll, this is the second adaption of 2020 and brings one of the longest and biggest titles of webtoon to anime. The other was Tower of God, released earlier in the Spring of 2020.