7 votes

What have you been watching / reading this week? (Anime/Manga)

What have you been watching and reading this week? You don't need to give us a whole essay if you don't want to, but please write something! Feel free to talk about something you saw that was cool, something that was bad, ask for recommendations, or anything else you can think of.

If you want to, feel free to find the thing you're talking about and link to its pages on Anilist, MAL, or any other database you use!

9 comments

  1. [4]
    BajaBlastoise
    Link
    Started watching Frieren this week. That kind of anime is usually not my cup of tea, but I decided to check it out as I've heard really good things. It's such a beautiful show, the storytelling,...

    Started watching Frieren this week. That kind of anime is usually not my cup of tea, but I decided to check it out as I've heard really good things.

    It's such a beautiful show, the storytelling, art, and animation honestly feel like a Ghibli production at times. The soundtrack is also amazing, the whole package just feels like a really cozy and relaxing watch so far.

    I'll have to check out the manga afterward ad I've hear the art in that is super good as well.

    8 votes
    1. CptBluebear
      Link Parent
      Frieren is not just hype. It just really is well paced storytelling. The fighting scenes are the weakest part of the manga and the anime improves on that too while adapting all the other manga...

      Frieren is not just hype. It just really is well paced storytelling. The fighting scenes are the weakest part of the manga and the anime improves on that too while adapting all the other manga stuff faithfully and sincerely.

      6 votes
    2. chocobean
      Link Parent
      I love Frieren. A lot of it is the pacing and tone. I like Ghibli too but Frieren is better As a long time fan of Ghibli (Totoro!), I would even say that it's better than a lot of Ghibli films:...

      I love Frieren. A lot of it is the pacing and tone.

      I like Ghibli too but Frieren is better

      As a long time fan of Ghibli (Totoro!), I would even say that it's better than a lot of Ghibli films: their character motivations aren't always very clear; there's a lot of terrifying and ugly characters and scenarios; and always this sense that something darker and sinister is lurking beneath..... I actually actively dislike Spirited Away because of this......tone....or a kind of world view that it's dark and scary and unpredictable, that the comforts of what you see is just a shiny fragile vaneer, and that the world is populated with mostly selfish or evil people.

      When I visited the Ghibli museum in Japan, i was an idiot and took my young child to see the short film that you can only view at the museum. It was really ugly and really scary, about warty evil witches, but upon reflection, the short film is very very them.

      That's not to say Frieren is cozier than Totoro, but what I mean by tone is that when things are scary in Frieren, they very clearly tell you that the world isn't supposed to be like that, that Himmel actively faught against a world like that, and that you will always have young people rise up to keep this kind of thing at bay, even if it's at a very high personal cost.

      In many Ghibli films, the MCs are lucky they stumbled onto the one good magic helper to navigate out of a dark and scary world.

      I don't usually finish watching a Ghibli film with a sense of glowing optimism for the human race and for our planet, that's for sure. Goodness seems incidental, instead of universal.

      Anyway :D glad you're joining us on this journey. The manga hasn't ended yet, just heads up.

      2 votes
    3. redwall_hp
      Link Parent
      I also started Frieren recently. The theme and slow travel remind me a little of Spice and Wolf (which is also returning soon), with some Ghibli vibe to it. The arc with the scale was especially...

      I also started Frieren recently. The theme and slow travel remind me a little of Spice and Wolf (which is also returning soon), with some Ghibli vibe to it. The arc with the scale was especially great.

      It's also nice to see the vote of confidence of a two cour season instead of the single cour that's become more of the norm.

      2 votes
  2. chocobean
    (edited )
    Link
    My favorite Anime of 2023, a year super stacked with epic classics, surprisingly, turned out to be #Skip and Loafer Such a pure slice of life. I've always been a fan of Slice of life: Fantasy...

    My favorite Anime of 2023, a year super stacked with epic classics, surprisingly, turned out to be

    #Skip and Loafer

    Such a pure slice of life. I've always been a fan of Slice of life: Fantasy slice of life, such as Kono Suba or Dungeon Meishi or Nichijou or Wolf Children; little more grounded such as Azumanga Daioh and Honey and Clover, and ultra grounded like Miyazaki's From Up On Poppy Hill or Only Yesterday. I like them all.

    Skip and Loafer is going straight to the top of one of my favorites of the genre of all time.

    No dark drama that drags on forever, no extended arc about a school bully, no season long family trauma to uncover, no obvious tear jerkers like Your Lie In April like that. It's YOUTH: yours, mine, everyone's, how, if we had been our best selves at 15, it could have all played out.

    The main character isn't super pretty or ultra smart or somehow amazingly whatever. She's probably one of the most Plain Jane femalen MCs ever but you'll see why she's so dazzlingly special after the first episode.

    There are no trope archetype characters, no fan service, no obvious overplayed arcs: just genuine human beings at their best. It makes me hopeful if even a small percentage of our youth are actually this good.

    The story telling is superb: a masterclass in show don't tell. Like I said, watch the first episode.

    ep 1 spoilerIt tells you exactly who the MC is and why the hottest boy in their year can't take his eyes off her: someone who's willing to take off her shoes and socks and RUN for something as mundane who cares as first day of school; someone who memorized a speech so hard she could read it if she strains her eyes hard enough; someone who threw up all over the teacher from sheer adrenaline and yet holds her head up and is ready to move forward and to make friends with others.

    She is who I aspire to be at this age, when I grow up

    Bonus: It also has one of the most respectful portrayals of a trans individual I've seen in anime.

    (Im being sneaky and classifying Frieren as 2023-2024....)

    5 votes
  3. ADwS
    Link
    I (previous to this week), got into Berzerk. I randomly started reading it when I saw someone share a free website that had all of the issues translated and easily viewable. A couple of weeks...

    I (previous to this week), got into Berzerk. I randomly started reading it when I saw someone share a free website that had all of the issues translated and easily viewable. A couple of weeks past, and I had finished the Golden Age arc, and realized I needed to read the rest, but wanted to do it properly.

    I bought the first 8 Deluxe Edition collections last week. I had read (roughly) the first 4 online, and started where I had left off. I am currently halfway through the 6th book of the collection.

    The art, story, world building, characters (mostly), and overall package of everything has been amazing. I go from being disgusted, to intrigued, to surprised, to amazed, all on a regular basis. I can easily see why this is considered one of the best manga ever made. It feels like every single page (no matter how minor) had so much thought and effort put into it. The whole style just oozes with pure passion.

    I am enjoying every part of the journey, and am so excited to continue it. I’m taking my time, or at least as well as I can, when I’m not getting sucked into going to the next page to see what happens.

    4 votes
  4. [3]
    Starman2112
    (edited )
    Link
    (No spoilers) I finished Wolf's Rain last night https://myanimelist.net/anime/202/Wolfs_Rain It was pretty good. I was obviously going to like it because it's early 2000's. I really liked the...
    (No spoilers) I finished Wolf's Rain last night

    https://myanimelist.net/anime/202/Wolfs_Rain

    It was pretty good. I was obviously going to like it because it's early 2000's. I really liked the soundtrack. I'm gonna reiterate my earlier comment about it feeling a lot like Last Exile, despite them being nothing alike. I can't really put words to it. The pacing feels similar, the Noble Families remind me of the Guild, the story is largely inscrutable until nearly the end of the series. I'd say for reasons that I can't really express, if you liked Wolf's Rain, you should check out Last Exile.

    The only part I really disliked was the four entire recap episodes... I wish I could go back and tell myself not to waste my time watching them. They're especially frustrating because there are exactly four episodes that released after the series ended, and aren't available on Crunchyroll. I had to turn to... Less than scrupulous methods to see the actual end of the series. Why didn't they just not make the recaps, and release the whole series as 26 eps?

    Minor spoilers for Wolf's Rain

    Speaking of, those last few episodes are rough, no pun intended. The rest of the show isn't exactly bubbly and cheerful, but those last few episodes were bleak. I felt my rating of the show going down right up until the very end, where it jumped back up to an 8/10. Kind of a reverse Banana Fish, the last 30 seconds saved my score instead of killing it.

    Boogiepop Phantom

    The dice landed on Boogiepop Phantom next. I'm two episodes in and I already know this is like nothing else I've seen. I'm reading conflicting comments on the watch order. Some say watch in release order, some say watch the 2019 series first, and others say skip the animes and just read the LNs. Now I have to decide whether I'm going to interrupt the 2000 series with the first few episodes of the 2019 series to set up a baseline understanding of what's going on, or finish the 2000 series and then watch 2019.

    On the one hand, release order is the order most people would have seen it. Surely it can't be that bad. On the other hand, I'm thinking back to A Certain Scientific Railgun. If I'd watched Raildex in release order, my favorite story arc in anime wouldn't have been nearly as good. So maybe I shouldn't listen to people saying to watch in release order just because that's the order they were released in. If people who've seen both series say that it's a better experience watching 2019 first, I should listen to that.

    I've talked myself into following my own advice. If the prequel that came out later made me love Railgun as much as I did, then the prequel that came out later will surely make me appreciate Boogiepop more.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      brews_hairy_cats
      Link Parent
      I've watched half of the 2000 Boogiepop Phantom, and it starts out making no sense, but makes more and more sense with each episode. I wonder if they did it that way on purpose to give it more...

      I've watched half of the 2000 Boogiepop Phantom, and it starts out making no sense, but makes more and more sense with each episode. I wonder if they did it that way on purpose to give it more mystery. I didn't know about the 2019 series, the whole presentation gives it definite rewatch potential, I don't think the order matters that much. It's not the type of storytelling I'd strive for full understanding the first time through

      2 votes
      1. Starman2112
        Link Parent
        From what I've read, the show happens very much out of chronological order. It absolutely bears rewatching, and the copy I'm borrowing has an audio commentary track that I'll be listening to on...

        From what I've read, the show happens very much out of chronological order. It absolutely bears rewatching, and the copy I'm borrowing has an audio commentary track that I'll be listening to on the rewatch.

        The 2019 series is wildly different from 2000, at least in the first few eps. Jumping back into 2000 after 3 episodes of 2019 is gonna give me whiplash, but I've experienced worse.

        1 vote