16 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!

20 comments

  1. [5]
    dubteedub Link
    I just watched the first couple of episodes of Jojo Bizzare Adventure this week. The show seems to be bouncing all over the place tonally, going from a show about young posh English lads, to a...

    I just watched the first couple of episodes of Jojo Bizzare Adventure this week. The show seems to be bouncing all over the place tonally, going from a show about young posh English lads, to a show about super jacked english dudes, vampires, Jack the Ripper, and some kind of magical essence.

    I am really enjoying the completely over the top dialogue, but it felt like a bit of whip lash so far. I am interested to see where the show goes from here, I can only assume its going to get more insane as this progresses.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      gyrozeppeli (edited ) Link Parent
      [No/very minimal spoilers ahead] The first part was really out there. Remember that it came out in 1987, and Araki I guess didn't have a lot of experience writing yet. So it gets introduced as a...

      [No/very minimal spoilers ahead]

      The first part was really out there. Remember that it came out in 1987, and Araki I guess didn't have a lot of experience writing yet. So it gets introduced as a basic plot of "kinda generic evil vampire guy vs wholesome good guy". It's not bizarre at all yet. ;) Also the art style is generic super buff guy.

      Part two is a refinement of the first, where the protagonist actually has an interesting personality. I still enjoy watching this part, and it's really short at 12 episodes anyway.

      Part 3 is where it becomes, truly a bizarre adventure, and has 48 episodes, split into two parts. The mechanics of the powers in the Jojo world completely change, but this is the part that defines Jojo's for a lot of people. Hell, on reddit the jojo's subreddit is /r/stardustcrusaders, after part 3's name.

      So I recommend watching them all still (I love part 3 personally, and it has the best music imo, but is kinda a slog at first), but Parts 4 and onwards are where it gets really creative and interesting. Part 5's animation is coming out weekly right now and I wholeheartedly recommend it. The art style from part 4 onwards is also much better since it's no longer just super buff guys with basketball shoulders.

      If you like reading manga, then I suggest catching up and reading Part 7 because that one is sublime.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Grawlix Link Parent
        I love the chapter structure of JoJo's. It's a great way of avoiding the problems that plague other long-running battle shounen, and let Araki shake off ideas that were old tropes or would have...

        I love the chapter structure of JoJo's. It's a great way of avoiding the problems that plague other long-running battle shounen, and let Araki shake off ideas that were old tropes or would have worn out their welcome to try something new. It's like you can watch his growth as an artist as it goes along. Without going into spoilers, that's what happens when the mechanics of the powers significantly change, and I like to imagine Araki at some point realizing all his protagonists were comically buff. :p

        I'd also agree with the folks saying part 3 is around when the show finds its own groove. It's like how Star Trek: The Next Generation figured out how to be something other than The Original Series with a new cast somewhere around season 2—only in JoJo's case, it was more or less trying to be like Fist of the North Star.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          gyrozeppeli (edited ) Link Parent
          Right. If Araki had continued after Part 2 with the same story/mechanics, it would have become like any other stereotypical shonen where power levels are always absurdly increasing. That's why I...

          Right. If Araki had continued after Part 2 with the same story/mechanics, it would have become like any other stereotypical shonen where power levels are always absurdly increasing. That's why I dislike DBZ, Naruto, etc.

          Someone else put this really well, but essentially Jojo's avoids the shonen training + power level stupidity due the unique new mechanics in Part 3. Training is no longer necessary; It becomes more about wit, ingenuity, and steely resolve rather than well, "I trained under X for 10 years". "I can't beat this person until I go to Y mentor and train and learn a new ability". Even Jojo's isn't immune though, part 2 had training... In the original context of manga (based on real life martial arts), it makes total sense, but it just doesn't work well beyond 1-2 seasons of a show usually. It wouldn't work with Jojo's either probably, if the protagonist were always the same. But Araki is a madman that makes likeable main characters and then only features them for 1 part.

          That said, even with Part 3's mechanics, some abilities are still absurdly overpowered. I would really like to discuss further but it's really tough to do so without major spoilers.


          One Piece also handles this fairly well, since it's not just training based abilities or skill. But I can't stand Oda and his need to draw women with ridiculous bust sizes, especially Boa Hancock. And you know, inexplicably making the female protagonists' tits way bigger after the big timeskip. Such a cool universe, ruined by Oda being a perv.

          1 vote
          1. Grawlix Link Parent
            Exactly. If it's just a single-axis power level, it's extremely limiting and repetitive. With varied powers, there's a lot more going on, and even a powerful character can be threatened by an...

            Exactly. If it's just a single-axis power level, it's extremely limiting and repetitive. With varied powers, there's a lot more going on, and even a powerful character can be threatened by an enemy they're weak to or can't figure out. (And if you want to discuss further, there's always PMs!)

            And I know what you mean about One Piece. I was never super into it, but from what I did see, the depiction of women really stuck out. Between the huge busts and skinny wastes, I don't know how they all didn't have crippling back problems.

  2. girl Link
    Yakusoko no Neverland. Super compelling, very solid characters, great world-building, chilling, high-stakes conflict, amazing OP. Highkey recommending to everyone I know. I'm watching Rising of...

    Yakusoko no Neverland. Super compelling, very solid characters, great world-building, chilling, high-stakes conflict, amazing OP. Highkey recommending to everyone I know. I'm watching Rising of the Shield Hero and Mob Psycho 100 II and they're also good. The new season of Mob is just gorgeous.

    3 votes
  3. gyrozeppeli Link
    RIght now I'm: Trying to read Mob Psycho 100 in Korean. I already completely read the web comic in English. Watching Jojo's Bizarre Adventure–as you might've guessed from my handle. Part 5 is...

    RIght now I'm:

    • Trying to read Mob Psycho 100 in Korean. I already completely read the web comic in English.

    • Watching Jojo's Bizarre Adventure–as you might've guessed from my handle. Part 5 is airing right now, and is excellently animated, as usual from David Productions. That said, I hate that english localization is changing names to avoid copyright. Sticky Fingers -> Zipper Man, Beach Boys -> Fisher Man, Kraftwerk -> Arts and Crafts, are you joking..?

    • Going to re-read Jojo's part 7 manga since I burned through it so quickly the first time. And probably catch up to part 8, but I hate waiting for new chapters to come out, get translated, and then colorized...

    2 votes
  4. guts Link
    Mob Psycho 100 and Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken.

    Mob Psycho 100 and Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken.

    1 vote
  5. OberstKrueger Link
    Serial Experiments Lain. This has been on my too-watch list since shortly after it came out, and I've somehow just now gotten around to it. I'm really enjoying it, despite how different it is from...

    Serial Experiments Lain. This has been on my too-watch list since shortly after it came out, and I've somehow just now gotten around to it. I'm really enjoying it, despite how different it is from what my expectations were.

    1 vote
  6. [4]
    Durinthal Link
    Golden Time — includes spoilers There are parts of it that I really liked around the character relationships, but the core focus of Banri having amnesia was frustrating more often than not. I...

    Golden Time — includes spoilers

    There are parts of it that I really liked around the character relationships, but the core focus of Banri having amnesia was frustrating more often than not. I would have much rather focused on Kouko's insecurities and the group dynamics along with Banri moving on from his amnesia which I know was the point of Ghost Banri and all but not handled well from my viewpoint.

    I also knew going in that there was a character named Nana that was a reference to the punk rock girl by the same name, but I expected her to basically be a cameo rather than have the role she did. Not that I'm objecting to it, I loved both NANA and the analogue in this show.

    For other characters, I most liked how Linda was developed outside of the late-game triangle between her, Yana, and Oka which really deserved more attention since I was enjoying that in parallel to Kouko/Tada. I'm amused by the tea club girls; while I wouldn't have been interested in what they were doing at all when I was in college they seem a lot of fun in retrospect.

    And now for the obligatory comparisons to Toradora since they're from the same author.

    One reason I can immediately point at for enjoying Toradora significantly more is that Banri's amnesia is basically a supernatural cause of drama that's external to the group while Toradora's is entirely driven by the characters themselves. And that's sad because I like the college setting more as a general premise and Kouko, for all her flaws, was a more interesting female lead to me than Taiga at the start of both series.

    I didn't mind the smaller similarities in tropes and themes that I picked up on since they're all aspects that I enjoyed in both, including the music being from the same composer. The characters are all distinct enough that I couldn't point at any two from both shows and call them the same archetype with minor differences, which is more than I can say for a lot of anime that are completely unrelated.

    Overall it had amazing potential for me, but faltered by handling a central theme in an aggravating way.


    Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative — includes spoilers for that and other Universal Century Gundam anime (0079/Zeta/ZZ/CCA/Unicorn)

    I never had a strong opinion about Newtypes in Universal Century entries, I mostly accepted it as some odd space telepathy with occasional extra unexplainable powers while focusing on the politics and mecha. I get that the general Newtype concept is about the evolution of humanity to a more sympathetic and understanding place, but that's not the part that I'm concerned about here.

    Unicorn, however, pushed power creep to a new level following the miracle that was the Axis Shock event in CCA. And now Narrative focuses entirely on that part of the franchise, leaning heavily on the post-corporeal aspect in particular along with making the battles more super robot than ever before. And I'm not really a fan of that.

    The villain was sloppily written with some justification as a Cyber Newtype which I wish had more of a parallel with the main trio's story. Using a rehash of the Sinanju and Neo Zeong from Unicorn was just lazy though.

    I did like how they weaved in aspects of the earlier UC entries, from the Sydney colony drop (which was something to see in a theater) to Zeta/ZZ's Cyber Newtypes and the one old pilot drawing comparisons to personally seeing the Axis Shock. Too bad Mineva and Banana only had a minor amount of screen time but at least his custom Silver Bullet was cool.

    Overall I'm still not sure what I'm going to rate it. I love the continuity (not a movie you could walk into unprepared and I'm fine with that) and it was an entertaining watch overall but with the Newtype focus it's not something I'm particularly invested in.

    With one odd happening the end of Unicorn explained here as time manipulation, I have to wonder if they're planting the seed for a timeline split so they can fully disown the Late UC part of it instead of trying to force plotlines to conform to them as an end goal. I know they've been pushing the "UC NexT 100" thing with promo visuals including F91 and Victory but for as much as I enjoy F91 (and hate Victory) it's going to be difficult to reconcile Unicorn and Narrative with those. An alternative look that someone pointed out but I failed to notice in the theater was that the Phenix is undoing what Unicorn did along those lines by using the time manipulation to remove the psychoframe from the Narrative and Neo Zeong, essentially resetting the power level from where it had been.

    All that said, I'm still looking forward to Hathaway's Flash next year.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      Whom Link Parent
      I'm curious how Banri's amnesia feels external to the characters to you. It's a core element of one of them that's always present and its only meaningful impact is on those relationships, it...

      I'm curious how Banri's amnesia feels external to the characters to you. It's a core element of one of them that's always present and its only meaningful impact is on those relationships, it doesn't really spin off into its own thing and to me feels functionally the same as the wrench Ami throws into the dynamic in Toradora. Though spoiler, I love them both dearly :)

      (Of course "it just feels separate" is a totally valid reason and response, but I'm curious if you have reasoning beyond just that.)

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Durinthal Link Parent
        It's something that the characters themselves have no control over, it just happens. Usually at the points that will cause a high amount of drama. Ami knows full well what she does through the...

        It's something that the characters themselves have no control over, it just happens. Usually at the points that will cause a high amount of drama. Ami knows full well what she does through the course of the shows and deliberately prods at the other characters to motivate them.

        1. Whom Link Parent
          I suppose I just don't see what the difference between personality traits that someone doesn't have control over and something like Banri's amnesia is. To me they feel equally like things that are...

          I suppose I just don't see what the difference between personality traits that someone doesn't have control over and something like Banri's amnesia is. To me they feel equally like things that are just givens for who the people are.

          Thanks for explaining, though :)

  7. maze Link
    I recently discovered Samurai Champloo. Not sure how I missed it all these years, but I'm glad to see it now.

    I recently discovered Samurai Champloo. Not sure how I missed it all these years, but I'm glad to see it now.

    1 vote
  8. Cosmicalpac4 Link
    may be off-topic but... can someone recommend a page for reading manga?

    may be off-topic but... can someone recommend a page for reading manga?

    1 vote
  9. marcytomyris Link
    Been keeping up with Kaguya-sama Love is War since I've been following the manga for ages. I'm loving how far they've taken the original manga and adapted it into its own force. I'm very happy...

    Been keeping up with Kaguya-sama Love is War since I've been following the manga for ages. I'm loving how far they've taken the original manga and adapted it into its own force. I'm very happy about it.

    Also following Mob Psycho this season and it's really great. I haven't read the webcomic yet (I'm one of those people who start with anime and finish with anime) and I really love this story. It's so good.

    1 vote
  10. apoctr Link
    Hmm. It's not manga but a webcomic, but in the absence of ~comics I think this is the best place to put it as ~books seems more suited to...books. I've recently re-read the first two printed books...

    Hmm. It's not manga but a webcomic, but in the absence of ~comics I think this is the best place to put it as ~books seems more suited to...books. I've recently re-read the first two printed books of Kill Six Billion Demons since buying them on a whim a while ago. The plot itself is good, but what makes the series great IMO is the level of worldbuilding that's gone into it. First chapter starts here.

    1 vote
  11. FreeLunch (edited ) Link
    I'm still behind on Hinomaru Sumo and Promised Neverland, I've been busy this week preparing for a D&D session I have on Saturday and finally playing through the Witcher 3. So far this week I've...

    I'm still behind on Hinomaru Sumo and Promised Neverland, I've been busy this week preparing for a D&D session I have on Saturday and finally playing through the Witcher 3.

    So far this week I've been up to date with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Vento Aureo. We got to see more of White Album's abilities, though with a lack of Ghiaccio screaming about irrelevant topics which I was a little sad to miss. His monologue the week before about using localized names in titles was really funny and gave some interesting insight into his character. We also got some intense bonding between Giorno and Mista which was well worth the watch!

    That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime saw some more forward movement in the story, with Rimuru going off to follow up on Shizu's regret. He met another "otherworlder" from Japan and they shared some stories about what had happened in some manga that both characters read. We also met a group of kids that Shizu was teaching in this other world, and it is now Rimuru's task to take care of them. We'll see how that goes, they look pretty spunky! I just hope their arc is better than the children's arc from Log Horizon, I thought that was pretty slow and a drag on that story. We'll see though, and I have high hopes since the tone here is much different than that of Log Horizon.

    The Rising of Shield Hero was much less about any hero with a shield, than it was about a travelling merchant who saves towns from disaster. He happens to look just like the shield hero, and even has a shield of his own! Who could this mystery person be? Well, we all know its the shield hero, and he's out clearing his name while still being a general stick in the mud. I don't blame him though, he entered this world with terrible luck. Here's hoping that things go well for him in the future!

    Ooops, forgot to continue with what I've been reading this week!

    I've gotten caught up in Vinland Saga, I started reading it last week so I've just blown through the story- ITS THAT GOOD! I'm really interested by the newer character named Garm. He's got an interesting fighting style with a two-part spear that separates into two smaller spears. He's quick like our boy Thorfinn, and I hope that Thorfinn can show him the error of his ways. I hope Thorfinn can impress upon his uncle Thorkell as well, but I'm afraid that might be a lost cause. Thorkell definitely strikes me as a character that is meant to be static through the story so others can change in response to him.

    I'm trying to find my place in Tsugumomo again. I enjoyed the anime adaptation, and read a bit of the manga afterwards but I've now forgotten where I was at since I took such a long break! Right now I'm re-reading a portion about some tsukumogami (physical items imbued with spirits) that have formed their own society inside of a house-type tsukumogami. The manga has some strong ecchi themes, so be aware if that's the type of thing to turn you off to it.

    I also got through the first chapter of Dorohedoro this morning, and I'm TERRIBLY interested in this world already. Why does Kaiman have an alligator head? What is the system of magic that these people use? How can a magic user be revived from just an egg? What is life like in the Hole? What are these doors that the magic users use to enter and exit the Hole? I can't wait to see where this goes!

    1 vote
  12. zigzagzig Link
    Zombie Land Saga - Pretty funny anime about Japanese idol girls who die and become Zombie's and work to become idols after their deaths. Episode 5 is one of the funniest episodes of anime I've...

    Zombie Land Saga - Pretty funny anime about Japanese idol girls who die and become Zombie's and work to become idols after their deaths.

    Episode 5 is one of the funniest episodes of anime I've ever seen. Highly recommend!

    https://myanimelist.net/anime/37976/Zombieland_Saga

    1 vote
  13. indi_n0rd Link
    I started City Hunter few weeks back and I am currently at episode 22. Ryo Saeba a.k.a. the sweeper keeps the city clean from vermins. He is an excellent marksman who never misses his target. But...

    I started City Hunter few weeks back and I am currently at episode 22. Ryo Saeba a.k.a. the sweeper keeps the city clean from vermins. He is an excellent marksman who never misses his target. But his biggest weakness? Beautiful girls and he behaves like an idiot around them.

    City Hunter is an episodic series i.e. each episode has its own standalone story and there are no recurring characters save for the main cast. I believe most of you might be either familiar with City Hunter either as an anime or the movie starring Jackie Chan. For a series which was released in 80s, the animation style still feels fresh and the music in ED and OP will make you fall in love with the series more.

    As for manga, I recently finished Bonnouji. It's a sweet and short mature romance series. What I liked about this series that the plot felt more realistic than other love stories which is inundated with useless fanservice and drama.

    1 vote