Off-topic post: Anime I watched and am watching (ninth post)

This is my ninth post on the anime I’ve watched. It has been a while since I last posted about the anime I’ve watched, but this time I won’t be posting full reviews. However, I will give a quick overview of what I thought about these anime in this post. Note that there may be unmarked spoilers ahead.

Spring-Summer 2017

The one anime I watched that continued from spring into summer was Sakura Quest. Overall, I found it to be very good, especially admiring its depiction of the troubles small towns in rural Japan face as the youth of Japan flock to the cities in search of a better life. To ensure the survival of Manoyama, the characters not only had to devise ways in which to attract people and revitalise the town, but also had to solve their own internal issues and conflicts. I would go over these issues and conflicts, some of which date back 50 years, but I won’t for the sake of brevity. The ending showed the main character, Yoshino Koharu, moving to other places to help in their revitalisation projects, which is in stark contrast to what she initially wanted to do at the start of the story (that is, stay in Tokyo and find a job there, something she was not successful in), and something I found rather fulfilling; it had shown that she had grown as a character.

I would say more, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I would give this an A+. On an unrelated note, the second volume of Oribe Ririko no Gyōmu Nippō, which follows Ririko, will be released on February 9, 2018.

Summer 2017

This season featured the second season of New Game!, and in my opinion proved to be better than the first. With the release of Fairies Story 3, it was time for Eagle Jump to move on to a new project, which in itself brought a new set of issues and setbacks. The addition of new characters did not hinder the storytelling; in fact, it provided new avenues for character development (in particular, Nene’s development was partially driven by Tsubame, who initially thought that Nene got into the company through her relationship with Umiko, rather than through skill and talent).

Overall, I would give this an A+. On an unrelated note, the official guidebook for the second season will be released on December 27.

Autumn/Fall 2017

So far, I’m watching three anime, two which I’ll mention here, and have a fourth in my backlog. I’ll only post in-progress grades and a quick one-sentence overview of my impressions, though.

For Blend S, while I did find many parts amusing (including the characters screwing up their attempts at romance), there are some areas which could be improved. My in-progress grade is an A-.

Now, the second season of Yuki Yuna Is a Hero has proved to be very impressive, to say the least. Some of my thoughts are echoed in this Anime News Network article, and overall I found both halves helped explain some parts of the first season. My in-progress grade is an S-.

Future anime

I already mentioned some of the anime I’ll be watching for the Winter 2018 season in the previous post, so I won’t repeat that here. However, I will add that I’m considering three or four other anime to watch in that season.

I won’t post the cast lists for Yurucamp and Slow Start here; they’ve largely become old news, and you can easily find this information on ANN or Wikipedia. However, here are some of my thoughts:

  • I noticed a trend within the Manga Time Kirara adaptations to cast relatively new and obscure voice actresses (and in some cases even those whose total number of anime roles can be counted on one hand) to play the main characters. This probably started from the Spring 2016 season (I didn’t recognise any of the names of the voices of the three main characters of Three Leaves, Three Colors, and the only names I recognised from the main cast of Anne Happy were Yumiri Hanamori (who was at the time just 18, but I knew her from some of her earlier roles) and Hibiku Yamamura (to an extent; she played a Precure character)).
    New Game! largely continued this trend (I hadn’t known Yūki Takada before then, and I only recognised one name out of four), while Magic of Stella and Urara Meirochō only gave the protagonist role to a newbie (the former had Madoka Aoi Yūki in the main cast, while the latter had a member of μ’s (Yurika Kubo) in the main cast), while Blend S once again gave a fair proportion of the roles to relatively unknown voice actresses.
    Yurucamp largely has established voice actresses in the main cast (including Yumiri Hanamori), while Slow Start cast lesser-known voice actresses as (some of) the main characters.
  • I found it a bit funny that FuRyu cast Yumiri Hanamori in a Manga Time Kirara Forward adaptation again (they were also the producers of Anne Happy).
  • I actually expected Maria Naganawa to get the role of Kamuri Sengoku of Slow Start (especially since she played a certain “loli dragon” in the Winter 2017 season). I believe the similarities Kamuri has with Kanna of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid were referenced by Yuiko Tokumi herself on Twitter.

And finally, a few days ago, the latest issue of Manga Time Kirara MAX announced the main cast of Comic Girls:

  • Hikaru Akao (赤尾 ひかる) as Kaoruko Moeta (萌田 薫子)
  • Kaede Hondo (本渡 楓) as Koyume Koizuka (恋塚 小夢)
  • Saori Ōnishi (大西 沙織) as Ruki Irokawa (色川 琉姫)
  • Rie Takahashi (高橋 李依) as Tsubasa Katsuki (勝木 翼)

While this continues the “newbie as protagonist” trend, the other cast members have actually had roles in other Manga Time Kirara works:

  • Hondo played Kon Tatsumi of Urara Meirochō.
  • Ōnishi played Akari Kuzehashi of Kiniro Mosaic (second season).
  • Takahashi played Miki Naoki of School-Live!, and will play Ena Saitō of Yurucamp.

If you can read Japanese, the cast comments are posted on the official site, as well as (with screencaps) on Twitter:

The second PV will be shown at the Winter Comiket.

That’s all for now. To send you off, here’s Kaori Hanzawa’s take on Alice Cartelet in a Santa outfit, as featured in Kirara Fantasia.