2022 Fall animes ranked from my favorite to least favorite (Part 1)

Oh baby, it's time for another ranking.

This season has been a bountiful one. Suffice it to say that I wasn't sure how much I was gonna like the lineup for this fall, due to the fact that none of the anime previews that I watched before the season began impressed me at all. But, after having finished all the shows right now, I can say, I like them.

Before I get to the actual ranking, I have to say two things.

First, while I did really like Call of the Night the previous season, so much so that I now personally consider it one of my favorite romance animes of all time, I will say that even the best entry on this list can't compare to it.

Call of the Night was just, simply put, too good. And comparing anything to it would be a bit much, as the bar that it set is very very high, and it probably won't be cleared for years to come.

Second, while I watched only five shows this season, the original plan was to watch six, actually. Issue is, the sixth show that I wanted to watch and which, ironically, had the most interesting looking preview out of all of them, was called Pantheon, and it was set to stream on HiDive.

Pantheon looked interesting at first, but I never got to watch it due to the fact that HiDive didn't seem to want to make it viewable in Europe at all. And this is annoying because HiDive, unlike Crunchyroll which has the decency of telling you in which regions of the planet it's allowed to provide that show in, HiDive hides this information from you. The preview for the show was available to me without any restrictions so I, naturally, assumed I could watch it. But no, I couldn't, only the preview was available. When I tried to access the show itself, it finally told me that I wasn't allowed to, from my country.

I suspect they only licensed the show to show it in North America, which, if true, would be a very cheap move honestly. And it is a shame, since the preview made it look like a very cool sci-fi TV show with interesting social commentary and nice drama built into it. I would have really liked to view it.

You may say, “Well, you're already using a VPN to access HiDive from Romania anyways. Why not just switch your VPN server to an US one and watch the show from there?” and that would be a fair point. I definitely could watch it, if I really really wanted to, that's true. But, the fact is, I have a personal rule not to consume content which is not already sold to me.

If HiDive licensed that show to stream it only in North America, then I see no reason why me, as an European, should watch it. They never payed for the show to be streamable on my continent so using a VPN to bypass the geo-restriction, while technically possible and even legal, is morally ambiguous enough for me to say that I don't want to do it.

So yeah, there you go. Instead of the six shows I originally planned on watching this season, I only got to watch five. Oh well.

Now, let's get to the ranking!

1. Urusei Yatsura (2022)

Ataru grabbing Lum by her horns

Before I go into any details about the plot, I have to clarify that what I'm about to write about is the Urusei Yatsura anime from 2022, animated by studio David Production. I have to say this because there's also a separate anime under the same name, adapting the exact same manga, back from 1981 animated by Kitty Films, studio Pierrot and Studio Deen (if you're wondering, yes, it's the exact same Studio Deen that animated the very first Fate/stay night anime, the one back from 2006).

Yes, the manga this show is adapting is very, very old. Hell, it's older than me.

And this surprised me, given that it's been so long since the manga already stopped being published. I couldn't wrap my head around why they decided to make a new adaptation of such old material right now. And not only that, but they decided to animate not one but two seasons worth of content, which basically makes this almost a 24 episode anime (although it might be a bit fewer since the first season only had 11 episodes).

The seasons run back to back, which means no wait time for season two. There was only a one week pause between the airing of the last episode of season one and the first episode of season two.

But enough about that! Let's get into the meat of it!

The plot revolves around a young high school boy named Ataru Moroboshi.

He's a particularly unlucky individual, given the fact that he was born on a Friday the 13th, also in the worst day of the Buddhist calendar, immediately following an earthquake and after a black cat walked into the hospital room where his mother gave birth to him.

He is, what a monk in the show describes, as “bad luck incarnate”.

Ataru is not only chronically unlucky though, but he's also very lecherous.

He constantly wants to take peeks at naked girls, looks after women doing jogging around the city and is just a complete pervert whenever he gets the chance to be one.

This usually lands him in hot water with his childhood friend, Shinobu Miyake, who Ataru is infatuated with and tries to get into a relationship with.

Shinobu is an uptight girl who hates that part of his personality, but still wants to remain his friend and tries to guide him on the correct path, although he always goes astray.

Ataru wants for her to consider a serious relationship with him but, given that he constantly ogles other women, Shinobu always ends up dumping him.

One day, this routine of theirs is interrupted, though, as a technologically advanced alien race with people with horns on their heads calling themselves “Oni”, arrive and prepare to invade Earth.

Earth's military is no match against them, and they will not be able to win in a fight.

Luckily for them, the Oni don't outright take over the world immediately: they have a rule that they will not invade any planet until they win in a game of tag against a randomly computer-chosen person on that planet first. If the randomly chosen person gets to catch the daughter of the Oni's leader by her horns in a game of tag, then they will refrain from invading the planet.

And, much to nobody's surprise, the unlucky person that gets chosen to protect Earth by participating in this game of tag is Ataru.

But before Ataru can decide whether he even wants to participate in this game or not, the daughter of the Oni's leader arrives at his home on Earth: a scantily dressed very attractive young woman named Lum.

Upon seeing her sexy figure, Ataru immediately agrees to participating in this game, without even wanting to hear about the details of it.

As far as he's concerned, all he needs to do is catch Lum by her horns and then he wins.

He agrees to this and then, the next day, he's in the middle of a giant stadium, surrounded by spectators, both from Earth as well as Oni, each cheering for their own party to win.

The rules are simple: if Ataru manages to grab Lum by her horns within the next ten days, from sunrise to sunset, he wins and the Earth will not be invaded. If he doesn't, the Oni will conquer the planet.

Ataru, being as simple minded as he is, immediately dashes towards Lum, thinking that he just needs to grab her body.

But as he is getting closer, Lum immediately escapes from his grap by flying into the air.

It's at that moment, when Ataru realizes that Lum can fly very easily. And not only that but she can also send electric shocks through his body if he does get in contact with her. Things he was never told about.

Enraged that they hadn't told him this before he had agreed to play the game, Lum casually replies that he never should have agreed in the first place before learning all the details about it, including about her powers.

After a long day of struggle, Ataru ends up being defeated. And then he loses the second day as well. And then the third. And so on, until the ninth day, when Ataru is again, bested by Lum's flying abilities. Now, Ataru has only one day left to catch her.

At this point, all of humanity lost hope in Ataru winning.

His parents are sad that he'll most likely end up as a social outcast due to dooming the fate of Earth with his incompetency, and Ataru is losing his mind, trying to think of a way to not lose the next day as well.

Seeing no other means of motivating a growingly desperate Ataru, Shinobu approaches him and promises to him her hand in marriage if he wins the game.

Renewed by the prospects of marrying his childhood friend, Ataru becomes reinvigorated with motivation and renewed energy for the next day.

The tenth day arrives and now, Ataru is more motivated than ever to win.

He focuses his mind on only one thing: Shinobu marrying him, and with that one goal set in his mind, he manages to actually summon enough strength and speed to surprise even Lum, all this time while chanting the word “marriage” like a maniac.

With this new motivation, he manages to grab Lum's bra and remove it from her body, embarrassing her with the display of her naked breasts to all the spectators on that stadium. Lum, becoming immensely embarrassed, stops focusing on the game at hand and lunges after him, trying to get her bra back and, in this moment, Ataru uses her bra as bait to fool her, get on top of her and grab her horns. And, after doing that, he immediately yells, “I'm getting married!”, very happy that he won.

After being congratulated for saving Earth from invasion and after all the festivities are over, Ataru is finally preparing to enjoy the end of that day until Lum suddenly gets close to him and tells him that she's ready to marry him, in front of the audience and the TV cameras everywhere.

Ataru, very confused at first, doesn't get it until, she clarified, that she was taken aback by his spontaneous marriage proposals in the last day but, alas, she became smitten by him. It was then when Ataru remembers all the times he had mindlessly chanted “marriage” and the “I'm getting married!” at the end, when he realized that Lum had misunderstood his intentions back then and she thought that he had proposed to her.

Before he could correct that mistake, though, Lum grabs ahold of him in a public display of affection, which enrages Shinobu who was nearby and then, she immediately cancels off her plans of marrying him, thinking that he had cheated on her once again.

Now, Ataru is stuck being married to a weird sexy alien, all while having to deal with even more vitriol from his childhood friend.

Yeah, so that's the synopsis of episode 1.

The plot may sound very absurd at first and that's because, well, it is absurd.

But that's the general gist of the show: it's comedy through absurdity, especially through wacky characters.

Urusei Yatsura is, at its core, a comedy. And if what I just described to you sounds funny to you, and you'd like to watch that, chances are you'll like this show as a whole, because that's what this entire TV series is like: just the protagonist being a simple minded idiot that does something stupid, him struggling to overcome some challenge of supernatural or alien nature, and then him getting his comeupins, in the end.

I know that not everyone likes comedies that base themselves off of absurd plot points (and hell, even I thought I hated nonsensical comedies before) but this show managed to turn me around and show me that, when done right, this type of comedy can be very effective.

The absurd nature of the show cannot be overstated enough, in my opinion, as you'll later get to episodes where a rich boy arrives at his school by means of parachuting down from his private jet, a duel on school grounds, where the participants have to use a giant canon to shoot apples off each other's heads, a crazy shrine maiden that is so bad at exorcising evil spirits from people, she ends up inflicting curses on them instead, and an interdimensional portal hidden in Ataru's closet at home that teleports him to Neptune, of all places where he meets with one of Lum's childhood friends.

Oh, and there's also an episode where a love rival of Lum's ends up cloning Ataru, just so that she could distract Lum enough so that she can seduce her husband, to get back at her for having stolen a former lover of theirs in the past.

This show is very creative in the setups that it does for each episode and, it's important to note, almost all of the damages or headaches brought about by each encounter end up creating problems for Ataru, one way or another. But none of them are without cause, and Ataru is almost always responsible for the problems that end up simply biting him back in the ass.

This show is first and foremost a comedy, and it's important to keep that in mind going forward, because the main character, Ataru, is extremely unlikable. He's very lecherous, he tries to throw Lum out of his house after she tries to move in with him, tries to get back with Shinobu at every chance that he gets, despite still being married (or any woman for that matter except for Lum) and he just acts full of himself and is short of temper. The fact of the matter is, I never understood what Lum sees in him.

He does things which almost always cause problems for those around him, including himself, he tries to brush them off but the problems just keep getting worse and worse and, it always eventually culminates with him being the one to bear the brunt of his own actions.

If there's any moral to this show, it's that actions always have consequences. Ataru is almost always used as the example of what not to do in life.

So, don't expect to sympathize with him throughout! Most of the time, he's just an asshole for the sake of himself and satisfying his always-hungry libido.

But, I am of the belief that you can have a good TV show even with a very unlikable protagonist, and this show is proof of that!

The absurdity is just too delicious to pass up, and while I normally don't like shows where the protagonist feels like he never learns his lesson and ends up repeating the same mistakes over and over again, ultimately, I did enjoy this one just for being so insanely unhinged at how much it likes to punish its own characters.

And yes, as much as I hate Ataru as a character, after seeing through how much bullshit he has to go through all the time, I can at least admit that he is very unfortunate.

But, while this show is mostly a comedy and Ataru is mostly used as an example of how not to be in life, there are some heart warming moments between Ataru and Lum sometimes. In fact, I can remember two episodes when they did have tender moments as a couple, when Ataru is being an asshole and unfair to Lum, her getting fed up with him for acting that way to her, and then Ataru realizing that he was in the wrong and coming to terms that she deserves better.

It's not much, but I found the moments between them to be quite heartwarming and cute, even though this never evolves into being a romance. And it did have good lessons to teach about relationships and valuing what you have, while you still have it.

If you're ever in the mood for a funny comedy that is unhinged and has zero grounding in reality, be my guest and please give this a view! Watch episode one and see if it is to your liking. I've never watched a show as fun as this one in quite a long time, and I absolutely think this is worth a try!

The best part about all of this is that, thankfully, there's at least 11 more episodes left of this show for me to watch, so you might hear me writing about this next season, too! Stay tuned, folks!

2. Chainsaw Man

Denji confronting a zombie Oh boy, I've been waiting to write about this one for a long time now.

This show, is simply amazing.

Chainsaw Man is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, which began being drawn by Tatsuki Fujimoto and published by Shueisha, beginning from December 2018. You might recognize Fujimoto's name from a different manga series called Fire Punch, which he is also the author of.

I heard great things about this manga and, after watching this TV series, I can definitely say that I now see why it was so popular.

The story follows a young boy (around 10 years old-ish?) named Denji who, soon after his father's death by suicide, is confronted by a member of the yakuza who informs him that he will be inheriting his late man's huge debt towards them and that he should start sending them money soon or they will come after him, despite his very young age.

Being from a very poor family and having no relatives or friends to rely on, Denji is at a loss and unsure how he can collect the necessary money to give back to prevent the yakuza from killing him.

Just by pure chance, though, he meets a young dog-like creature named Pochita, who is a chainsaw devil.

Devils exist in that world, and are supernatural beings, usually very powerful, who draw their power from their own infamy. The more popular and infamous a particular devil is, the more powerful they become.

Pochita has a small chainsaw on its head, which is very deadly. This gives the young Denji an idea of a way to make the money that he needs.

Fast-forward to present day, when Denji is a 16 year old teenager, and we find him living with Pochita (now his pet) in severe poverty. It turns out that soon after having met Pochita, the young Denji decided to become a Devil Hunter for the yakuza, someone who kills evil and dangerous devils for a living, which in turn is making him a modest income. Due to his very high debt to the yakuza, though, almost all the money that he's making from his Devil Hunter job goes to them, and he has to live in complete poverty by eating very meager meals, living in a modest apartment by himself and constantly wishing for a better life.

He tells Pochita that he desires a simpler life and of finding a partner.

Soon, though, the yakuza boss that he is directly in-debted to, asks him to fulfill another demon killing contract that the yakuza took, and instructs Denji to go to a secluded location to destroy the said demon target.

Already used to this job after so many years, Denji sees nothing out of the ordinary with this contract, and proceeds to the aforementioned location.

However, as he reaches the abandoned warehouse where the devil was supposed to be hiding, the yakuza boss that had hired him reveals to him that, in fact, the part of the yakuza that he oversees have actually made a deal with a very powerful devil there called the Zombie Devil (which was supposed to be the target of Denji's contract) and that they have intentionally brought Denji there, under his orders, to trap him.

The Zombie Devil had become aware of Denji's role as a Devil Hunter for the yakuza over the past couple of years, and sought to kill him so that he wouldn't pose a danger to him anymore.

Then all the yakuza members in that warehouse turn out to have already transformed into zombies and, at the Zombie Devil's command, all attack Denji and dismember him brutally, before piercing his heart and throwing him in a garbage container along a very injured Pochita.

Denji's warm blood just so happens to drip into Pochita's mouth, though, and that revives it and it activates its Devil instincts, prompting Pochita to make an offer to the dying Denji.

Pochita tells Denji that he will replace his destroyed heart, fuse with his body, and give him the powers that he needs to escape from that warehouse alive. In return, Pochita wants Denji to fulfill the wish that Denji had said he had, which is to live a peaceful life and find a partner.

Afterwards, Denji is brought back to life from Pochita's influence and grows back his missing limbs before transforming into a human-devil hybrid monster (called Chainsaw Man) with chainsaws bursting out of his forehead and his two arms.

With an almost endless amount of stamina and strength, along with incredible healing abilities that even allow Denji to regenerate lost limbs from scratch and even survive having his body torn in half, this Chainsaw Man proceeds to tear the zombies into pieces, savagely slaughters all of them and then murders the Zombie Devil in a show of pure gore.

The next morning, the warehouse is visited by a special division of the Public Safety Devil Hunters, which is an organization of government-sanctioned Devil Hunters, whose duties is to eliminate devils whenever they become strong enough to pose a serious danger to public safety.

Their leader, a girl called Makima, finds a weakened and almost fainting Chainsaw Man on the ground, and hugs him, which makes him transform back into Denji's regular body.

After seeing the remains of the zombies in that place and the now dead Zombie Devil, Makima offers him to come with her coworkers back to their base and offers him free food, while also comforting him. Denji, after having lived his entire life in poverty, immediately takes her up on her offer of free food.

Later, it is revealed that Makima, not only is willing to offer Denji a free place to live in, she is willing to offer him a job as a Public Safety Devil Hunter with a decent wage for himself and a comfortable life.

Bewitched by her feminine charms and the possibility of living a comfortable life outside the poverty he's been enduring up until that point, and now that the yakuza he's been indebted to are all dead and he owes nobody anything anymore, Denji accepts her offer and agrees to work for Makima, ready to start a new and far better life for himself.

He still mourns Pochita, though, as the small devil that used to be his pet now functions as his heart, and no longer lives as anything more than an organ to him.

OK, so, now that the synopsis is out of the way, let me say why I like this show so much: it's the action and copious amounts of gore in it.

If you're squeamish about blood, decapitation, dismemberment or other very graphic body injuries, I sincerely recommend you don't watch this show, because this story loves to include all those.

This feels like what an R-rated movie should be like but in a TV series package instead: it's filled with unadulterated violence, extreme amounts of deaths, both from good and bad characters alike and heavy themes about mourning others and responsibility to society all around.

I can't recall the body count that this show has but all I'll say is that if you do plan to watch it, don't get attached to any character, because they can very easily die at any point.

While this type of story would normally be ripe to paint by numbers cliched settings like a “monster of the week” formula that would make the show become very bland and boring after a certain number of episodes, this plot resists this temptation and opts for a more dynamic approach to story telling.

While I can't say too much without going into spoilers, I will say, that this show doesn't do that.

It's not just Denji going against various devils every week, trying to figure out how to defeat them and all that boring stuff like I feared it would be. Yes, there's a bit of that in there but that's a very small part of the story.

It quickly becomes about a grand conspiracy planned by an evil organization that's trying to kill Denji specifically, political games at which Makima is the head of and a plot about revenge against a devil entity so powerful that it killed more than 1 million people in the blink of an eye, called the Gun Devil.

It's also revealed that while the Makima character is, at first, shown as a very feminine and charming character that Denji becomes bewitched by and even sets his goal to make her his girlfriend, it's very soon implied that she can have ulterior motives of her own as well, and that she might be far more cold blooded and scary than anyone could have ever imagine.

This show also includes scenes in which the characters (even the good guys) engage in stuff that wouldn't be OK to include for younger audiences such as alcoholism, government authority, the role of the yakuza in society, smoking, french kissing, guns and more. It's clear that this manga was intended for adults only, and this is something you simply have to accept about this story: it's not geared towards children, nor even teenagers. This is full blown adult entertainment, and the only thing this show lacks is sex.

And yeah, there's gore. I'm not going to sugarcoat this, there's a lot of explicit gore in this show. At one point, Denji's body is even ripped apart in half. In another, grown men have their bodies twisted until they explode in a shower of blood.

This is one of those shows that I can very easily see polarizing a good deal of people: those that like gore and those that don't.

If you like gore or don't mind it at all, give this show a watch! The story, the characters, the heavy themes in it, they are such a treat to enjoy.

However, if you do have issues with gore and don't like excessive use of it, you might want to avoid this show. I wouldn't recommend you watch it at all!

All in all, it was a treat for me and, especially since this was in the last anime batch of 2022, I feel comfortable enough in saying that this takes the cake as the best action TV series anime that I've watched this year! Before, that cake would have been held by Engage Kiss but now I can say that this is superior to it (mainly because of the story, as this is way more cohesive and intelligent than Engage Kiss even hoped it could be, but also because the gore is just so much more delicious in this one).

I really want this show to have a season 2. If nothing else, I would definitely be buying the Blu-ray edition if it ever comes out in my region.

If you're in the mood for hefty amounts of blood and carnage but that also is backed by an intelligent and well written story too, give yourself a treat and watch this show! You won't regret it!

3. Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

Amiya looking straight into the camera This is a continuation of my thoughts of this show back when it first began airing back in summer. I posted that in my summer's blog post. If you want to read on my thoughts of part 1 of this show (i.e. the first 12 episodes of it), you can read all about them here. Now that I've actually finished watching all of it, I feel like I can better discuss some of the things I liked about it and some of the things I disliked about it.

But now you may wonder: now that I watched the other half of it, do my criticisms of its first half still hold up? Well, yes, they still do.

I talked about how the show was plagued by technical issues that were very jarring, particularly the jagged and choppy animation that would appear every so often throughout the show's episodes. And, as much as I hate to say this, this issue still persisted even in its second half.

It's very clear that this show did not get a very big budget and they had to cut a lot of corners everywhere they could get away with it, just so that they could finish this project. And this is very apparent, the more you watch the show, particularly during its fighting sequences.

I'd like to say that this isn't too big of an issue but, sadly, I really can't. Particularly during the last couple of episodes, when you'd expect for them to dump most of their animation money in, this problem emerged once again, ruining a lot of scenes.

At some points, the animation was so choppy and poor that it was literally distracting, as I couldn't believe how much they were half-assing it.

This is one of the worst animated TV series I've seen in quite a few years. Usually I let things like this pass, as I just see it as a problem with the animation industry as a whole, but this suffers from this problem so badly that I simply cannot ignore it.

Even when I was deliberately trying to turn a blind eye to this issue, some scenes just kept bringing my attention back to it, it was that bad. And I'm sorry, when I can't enjoy your show because of how distracting and cheap the animation looks, you're doing something horribly wrong.

But yes, if you're still willing to go out of your way to let this pass and still want to watch it, it is quite an enjoyable experience.

The story progresses even further and we slowly reach the end of Animus' golems.

The knights slowly destroy all of his golems and, eventually, they have to fight Animus himself to prevent total destruction of Earth.

There's nothing more I can say about this story without going into spoilers, so I'll stop here.

What I will say, though, is that, thankfully, this is a finished story. Yes, the show has 24 episodes but, at the end, it has a very nice and satisfying conclusion to the knights' stories.

Like I said before, not all of the knights will live through this story, some will die along the way. But those that do survive to the end will be rewarded with their own conclusion, as the last episode of this series will feature a time skip that will show us how all of their lives ended up 10 years into the future.

I liked the time skip ending. It felt like it was leaving us on a sweet note, now that all the drama and suffering is finally over with. If I had one gripe with the time skip ending, it's that I felt like it was a bit forced how all of the knights still ended up so tightly knit together and how they still interact with each other, almost on a daily basis, even after 10 years have passed since the events of the show took place, but I digress.

That and, we learn from the time skip, that certain knights get together and become a couple despite there being absolutely no precedent for this relationship set in the regular timeline of the show.

I would have liked for the show to do at least some setup to these relationships so that, 10 years into the future, it would have made sense for them to bloom as much as they had. I say this because it felt like certain relationships were completely shoehorned into the ending, where no precedent had ever been set before for them, the characters involved in those relationships never had any chemistry on screen together or hell, I don't believe they even spoke that much to each other during the course of the show at all, if at all. It just felt like some of those relationships were added just to make the ending feel more fulfilling than it should have been.

But yeah, moving on.

I suspect the only reason that this show exists nowadays was because some higher up that had sufficient influence in studio NAZ, grew up with the manga that this show is based on, and really wanted for them to animate the story.

So he pulled whatever leverage in the studio that he could, eventually convinced other higher-ups to take on the project, but he was afforded only a limited budget to cover a standard 12 episode anime to produce.

There simply was no way to fit the full story of the manga in a single 12 episode anime. That much was obvious to anyone, so the natural expectation from everyone involved would have been that only half of the manga's story would actually be animated in a season 1 TV series, and then, if and when this season would become popular enough to warrant the continuation of the story into a season 2, then they would proceed to do that as well.

The problem was, the manga had already ended more than a decade prior, so the popularity of this story had already waned quite a bit. Had they gone this route, there was the real danger that only season 1 would get animated, very few people would watch it and buy merchandise for it, it would soon become apparent that there simply wasn't enough interest in the general population for them to continue and a season 2 would never get greenlit, as a consequence.

Had this happened, the story would have been left in infinite limbo, never to be completed, much like many other anime projects that had so much potential but never got to be continued due to lack of interest in them.

Whoever wanted this project done must have known all of this, or at least suspected that it was a very real danger, and so they opted for a different solution instead: try to squeeze as much additional money as they can to animate this and try to animate the full story in a single 24 episode season, rather than the 12 episode concept that they had already received money for.

And so, this is how we got this show. This is the reason why the show seems to be financed by a really limited budget, as, originally, it only had enough money for 12 episodes only, money that was then stretched to accommodate the production of 24 episodes instead.

This might also explain why the show had such a fast paced story progression, since they knew the most they could produce was 24 episodes and they needed to finish the story in this episode span, without any further stretching.

They had no guarantees that a season 2 would ever be greenlit and so they did their best to squeeze the whole story in one season only.

This is just a hypothesis, mind you, and I could very well be off base, but this feels like the most realistic scenario to explain what we got here.

And when I say that the story progression for this show is rushed, I really mean it.

Had I personally had unlimited budget at my disposal, I would have allocated at least 40 episodes for this show, not the meager 24 that it ended up getting. It really feels like the story needed way more screen time to let some of the characters breathe and evolve at a more natural pace.

Too many things felt very rushed, to a degree that actively hampered my enjoyment of the story.

All the battles felt very underwhelming due to how quickly they needed to end, so that they won't take up too much valuable screen time. There was never enough strategizing or planning in any of them.

The protagonist eventually ended up evolving and becoming very powerful very quickly, without any explanation either. I really felt like more screen time needed to be allocated to him training, focusing on improving and forcing himself to grow.

As the show stands, he simply ended up looking like he was a complete and pathetic wimp that somehow ended up turning into an overpowered maniac in the span of just 3 episodes. That felt very jarring and unnatural to me.

That and also, there are times, especially towards the end, where the knights talk about camaraderie, how they trust each other very much and how they all bonded together and grew stronger together, even though this has never been shown before at all.

Had the show had more episodes to show us, they could have used that extra screen time to actually show us how they bond together, how they interact in their normal day-to-day lives, how friendships will sprout between some of the knights or, maybe even, some romantic connections. Had they had the time to do this, this might have made the 10 year time skip ending that I talked about earlier feel way more natural, as then I would believe that these people would continue to stay friends and partners for that much longer into the future.

I genuinely believe that this show needed more time to develop the characters and let the story simmer and evolve at a slower more natural pace.

But alas, that's not what we got. And while it's very easy for me to pretend that I know exactly what's wrong with this show and how easy it is to fix it, had they done this one simple thing, or had the studio heads been more generous with the amount of money they were willing to spend with this project, at the end, it's all just speculation.

I don't know what happened behind the scenes and, even if all my speculation is true and I predicted everything correctly, the fact of the matter is, sometimes a studio just isn't willing to spend inordinate amounts of money on someone's dream project. And that's perfectly understandable.

This world is filled with limitations and it's sometimes impossible to have all the resources needed at your disposal to accomplish your dream exactly the way you want to. Sometimes, you have to compromise on your dream to make it happen. And I suspect this was one such case.

Do I wish the animation was way better? Sure, I do. Do I wish the story progression was much slower and there were more episodes dedicated to this show to let the characters grow naturally? Absolutely.

And, if this show really went with the multiple seasons route, and only got 12 episodes animated per season, at a time, there would have been a real chance we could have gotten a slower pace, more character driven story that would have been far better.

But, there's also the real risk that only 12 episodes would have been animated and the rest of the story would never have been animated at all, leaving us with an unfinished tale that never got a proper conclusion.

You might say that that's unlikely for this to happen but, realistically, this has already happened so many times in the past, with so many other fictional properties, particularly in anime TV series, that I feel it's 100% reasonable to be worried about this.

And I genuinely feel that that would have been a worse outcome than what we ended up having now.

So yeah, at the end of the day, despite my complaints and ramblings, I am still grateful that we got the show that we got, as flawed as it is; because I am not a manga reader and I, realistically, would never have picked up the manga to read the end of the story, regardless of how good the 12 episode anime would have been, had they gone with the multiple seasons route and a season 2 never got greenlit. And, because of that, I never would have been exposed to this amazing story, with these great characters and this satisfying conclusion.

So yeah, I'm glad that this got animated the way that it did. And I'm glad I watched it all the way through!

Kudos to studio NAZ for taking up the mantle and adapting this great story, when so many others ignored it up until now! They really do deserve our gratitude!

And kudos to Satoshi Mizukami for creating this amazing story! Despite its flawed animated adaptation, it was still enjoyable!

Part 2 of this blog post can be found here