2024 spring animes, ranked from my favorite to least favorite (Part 1)

We got 8 new entries to talk about. Let's get to it!

OK so, we're at the end of a new season of animes, and it's time to wrap things up again with a, as is tradition on this blog, with a new post ranking the shows that just ended.

This season has been quite a nice one, and it had a lot of shows that I particularly like. Even the worst ranked show on this list, I can say, wasn't very bad, objectively speaking; I just didn't like personally, on a subjective level.

Overall, I felt very happy with this lineup. This season had a lot of very good stuff and I'm just itching to write about them.

As always: all the shows in this ranking are available on Crunchyroll from Romania. Some of them may be unavailable to other regions of the world, due to licensing differences. Please keep that in mind.

So let's get started with the ranking!

1. Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again

Grandma with pom-poms on her hands

This is a very innocuous title.

Generally, most people wouldn't think much of a TV show with a title like that. I certainly didn't, when I first saw the description, on Crunchyroll, for the show.

It looked like a very boring and uninteresting idea, the idea that an old married couple turns young again, and shenanigans ensue. That's a very cliched and overused plotline in fictional media, and I didn't care much for it.

I was absolutely not expecting much from such an entry, especially since Crunchyroll didn't even have a video preview for what the show would be like.

I generally like to use video previews for upcoming TV shows, to gauge what the style and humor of the show would be like, and I tend to avoid watching shows that don't even have that preview on Crunchyroll.

But, even so, even with the lack of such a video preview, and even with the overly cliched premise of the show, I listened to my gut feeling and decided to go ahead and watch it, nonetheless.

Honestly, I am so glad that I listened to my gut.

This show was very much worth watching. Is the premise cliched? Yeah, it is a bit. However, this show proves that, even with an overly cliched premise, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is execution. And this show executed this premise flawlessly.

What's the first episode like?

An old couple are tending to an apple tree orchard that they own when, one day, they find a golden apple on the tree that they had been growing since they were young.

Tempted by the delicious looking golden apple, the couple decide to eat it.

The next day, they wake up young and healthy once again, almost like they are in their 20s (although they still retain the gray hair from their old age).

They are amazed by this development but, still, they decide to go about their next days as if nothing had happened.

The episode then covers the people around them acting absolutely astonished at the fact that they had become young again, especially their adult children who are incredulous at the fact that their geezer parents had become younger than themselves.

Running gags include how the granddaughter becomes overly attached to grandpa, which causes uneasiness in everyone around them, how the now-young-looking-couple absolutely obliterate the competition in a sports festival where there victory seemed already won by the opposing side since they had young people participating for them and other such gags.

That's kind of the gist of episode 1.

This might seem like a sparse summary of episode 1, but that's because this is simply how the episode is structured. Not only that, but all episodes are structured such that they are just a series of running gags, sequenced one after the other.

The reason I'm praising this show as much as I am is because of how wholesome the show is.

The humor is very innocent and simple, where the main idea is that the couple can now do things that they couldn't do before, now that they are young again.

The show explores topics like them playing video games again, celebrating Halloween with their grandchildren, participating in overly exerting sports or physical activities, or even just going on a honeymoon and visiting a new city.

This might seem like it would date the show quite a lot, as it's introducing stuff that feel very specific to this time, but it's honestly surprisingly timeless.

The couple is open to trying new ideas, they never shy away or try to preach how the old times were better or how the youth has lost their ways, as I'm sure less inspired writers would immediately attempt with this premise.

Instead, the show simply jokes about it, but also makes them particularly capable and adaptable to the new times and allows them to be good at things they wouldn't otherwise be capable of doing.

I liked that.

But, more importantly, disregarding the constant gags that run all the time, the show is timeless in a different way, in which it talks about old and new romantic relationships all the time.

The couple, despite turning young again, seem just as attached and happy with each other as they had been while being old, which makes it very nice. There was an idea that was played with, in one episode, where grandma suffered a concussion and temporary amnesia, where she had lost memories of being married to her husband and now grandpa needed to make her fall in love with him again.

It was an interesting idea, that I really liked, and I also liked that the show didn't shy away from claiming that love would happen again, even if they had to start over again.

There are good ideas in this show.

Also, there's another background romance between their granddaughter, Shiori, and another boy from her class that she just happens to be interacting all the time with, Shota.

The show is mostly about human relationships, more than anything else. It talks a lot about achieving your dreams, having regrets over things you never got to accomplish, how timeless romance can be but, at the same time, the fragility of life and coming to terms with one's own death.

Given the theme of family that this show hovers around with, I want to say that the closest anime that I can think of that I can compare to this would be Clannad: After Story, as the two shows seem to draw a lot of parallels.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that this show is anywhere close to being as good as Clannad was. However, the way it talks about life and family feels, if not similar, at the very least inspired to how Clannad talked about these things, in a generally timeless manner.

I respect this show a lot for that.

One last thing I want to say, but this show also had a very nice and profound ending.

The ending was left ambiguous over what it implied, leaving the audience to imagine if it was a sad or happy ending, but I will say that it was done almost perfectly. It left me wondering and even a bit scared, but I am glad that they ended on the note that they did.

I would have liked for them to go the 'sad ending' route, just because I'm a fan of those, but they left it ambiguous to not be overly depressing, and I get that.

Overall, this was a perfect anime that talked about life, romance, family and, most importantly, age. I love everything that this show did and I couldn't get enough of it.

Absolutely worth your time to watch it.

2. Spice and Wolf: Merchant Meets the Wise Wolf

Lawrence meets Holo

Honestly, I didn't know what to think of this, when I learned that they would be doing a remake of this anime.

For those that don't know, Spice and Wolf is a still ongoing light novel series, being written by Isuna Hasekura, that originally began being published since February of 2006. The light novel series is quite old but it was chosen to be adapted by ASCII Media Works into a manga from September 2007, and later on it was also chosen to be adapted into an anime by multiple studios, which got to air from 2008 to 2009, was directed by Takeo Takahashi (the guy that also went on after this project and also directed Yosuga no Sora, So I Can't Play H!, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, Citrus and some other anime as well) and got a total of 24 episodes and two OVAs animated for it.

So, to put it mildly, this intellectual property is well established. Not only this but that aforementioned anime also became a cult classic and is seen as one of the most influential staples of the romance genre from the anime community, to this day.

And, personally, I did like the anime, although I will admit that I did not finish watching it. I remember watching that anime many years ago, and stopping after finishing the first season (after the first 12 episodes). I planned on continuing to finish it and watch the second half as well, but I never got around to it.

From what I heard online, the original anime never finished adapting the story and left a lot of viewers hanging although, since I never finished watching it myself, I could never confirm this, so take it with a grain of salt.

Still, I was very much surprised when I saw this entry pop up a couple of months ago, animated by Studio Passione and claiming to be a remake.

Takeo Takahashi was returning as the director for this remake as well, although this time having a co-director named Hijiri Sanpei also co-directing along with him.

This was a big thing, and I didn't know whether I was liking the idea of a remake of the original or not. On the one hand, the original anime felt adequate enough and I believed that it was entertaining enough and had enough heart to it that I didn't feel that a remake was necessary in the least.

On the other hand, though, I did eventually drop the original midway through, so maybe it wasn't as enticing and entertaining as I remember it being.

Maybe the remake could fix that?

Either way, here we are, midway through the remake as well, and now I'm going to convey my thoughts on this show and tell you what is it about it that makes it worth watching.

The show starts with a traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence who's visiting a pagan village to buy some of their wheat and who plans to sell it for a higher price to other merchants.

The village he's visiting is known to have a bountiful harvest of wheat and he also has good relations with them, as he had been a customer of their wheat since many years before and, as such, he stands to negotiate good prices for it.

He enters the village in the midst of a festival that they are having, in which they are celebrating their new harvest while also mentioning Holo, the name of their pagan wolf god who is said to be the reason why their harvests have historically been so bountiful.

After buying some of their wheat, Lawrence leaves the village, planning to travel in the night on his carriage as he is in a hurry to deliver his goods to other towns and cities nearby.

After leaving the village and settling down in the middle of nowhere, for the night, Lawrence discovers a strange girl with wolf ears and a large tail sleeping and hiding in his carriage. Once she awakens, she reveals herself to be the wise wolf Holo, the god that that pagan village worships.

Holo claims she decided to abandon her village, and so she took the liberty of hiding in his carriage while he was passing through.

In disbelief, Lawrence asks for proof that she is the real god Holo, otherwise he would turn her in to the church who would burn her for claiming to be a god.

Seeing no other way of convincing him, Holo eats some of the wheat that Lawrence had in his carriage to transform into a giant wolf beast, who scares him.

This incident convinces Lawrence to return to the pagan village and seek to stay the night there, where he and Holo talk.

Holo claims that the villagers of the pagan village have grown skeptical of her existence and have been losing faith in her over the years, mainly due to the occasional poor wheat harvests that she produces every once in a while, to protect the village's soil. In recent years especially, with the advent of new farming techniques that seem to have bolstered their wheat output, most villagers have started to abandon their faith in her and turn towards the more mainstream faith in the one true god that the church is promoting everywhere.

Seeing how the village she has been protecting over so many generations have become disbelieving towards her, Holo had decided to abandon this village and currently plangs to go towards the north, to a different village where she had been born in, where it's much colder and the winters are longer.

After hearing her story, Lawrence agrees to allow her to travel with him in his carriage for a time, provided she can end up paying for her own expenses.

Holo agrees, claiming that as the wise wolf god, she is more than capable of making profits through her business-savvy knowledge, moreso than most other people, so she can earn her stay by his side.

And so, the traveling merchant Lawrence and the wise wolf Holo become traveling partners, as they travel across the country to make a living for themselves. During this time, they need to avoid attracting attention onto themselves, as the very influential church in that world would surely want Holo burned if they were to ever discover her existence.

Thus ends episode 1.

So, right off the bat, I could very much sense the similarities between this remake and the original anime as well.

Granted, I haven't watched the original in many years, so my memories of it are a bit fuzzy, but I remember it enough that, in broad strokes, I feel like the first episodes match somewhat well with each other.

This show also seems to have a very technical focus towards economics and the life of a merchant, talking about negotiating prices all the time, buying products when they are lower value and selling them at higher prices to make a profit, exchange rates between different currencies, the seasonal values of certain goods and so many other stuff in this area.

I liked that, both in the original and in this remake.

It feels like it makes the world that they inhabit have a realistic feel to it, filling it with a sense of genuine lore that makes it believable.

Moreover, despite this being set in a land that is made to replicate medieval Europe, from the looks of it, it didn't fall for the common temptations of adding magic or quests, dragons or other supernatural entities into the plot in any ways.

After the deluge of isekai anime from recent years, seeing an anime be set in, what looks to be medieval Europe, and yet still resisting the temptations of adding unnecessary superfluous fluff to that universe felt like a breath of fresh air.

In this world, gods are prayed to and believed in by the general folk, but, with the sole exception of Holo, they do not make appearences or fly down onto the Earth, there is no magic or potions in this world, prayers are not miracles in any way but mere chants that have little practical effects and the people feel like they are part of a genuine medieval society. These are all good things that make everything feel down to Earth, almost historically accurate even.

Granted, I know that this is the style that the light novels were most likely going for, as the time when they started being written and set the style for themselves was way before this isekai anime craze and before any of these tropes even became popular to begin with but, still, it's refreshing seeing this type of world building.

And, for what it's worth, I also liked seeing all the humans in this world. They all felt realistic in their portrayals, all of them having genuine emotions, wants and needs and also affiliations and loyalties.

Honestly, this is what I liked the most about this anime: it's its sense of grounding in a medieval setting. There's no magic, no quests, no treasures, no kingdom wars or demons or demon lord fights, no enchantments of buffs or skills or levels or any of that; just life as a merchant trying to make money for yourself.

And, the economics being talked are genuine and they are dumbed down in a way that I feel like most laymen without degrees in economics can follow without much issues. I liked how accessible the story was.

But, aside from that, this anime is mostly a romance between Lawrence and Holo. And, to put it bluntly, I liked the chemistry that these two had.

Granted, there are some cliches that pop up every now and then, like betraying your loved one when you're desperate, which I don't particularly like.

Still, I like how they played Holo's wise wolf personality in this anime, as they make her very cunning and clever, somewhat manipulative even when she needs to be, while also staying loyal to Lawrence for helping her out.

Lawrence himself isn't a stick figure either, as he learns over the travels to be somewhat more selfish when the time comes and also learns how to better negotiate with people that he interacts with, as well as adapting to hard and difficult situations.

Really, there is character growth in this show, and I liked both of them a lot.

Granted, my one complaint about this show is that the romance is quite slow, and I feel like there are times when I feel that it's unnecessarily stagnant even, but I'll be waiting for the second half of the show before I can make a proper call of how this will end.

Overall though, this was a very fun and, for the most part, entertaining anime.

Do I regret seeing it over the original? Honestly, I don't. I never planned on dropping the original in any ways, it just so happened back then, but now, I definitely won't be planning on dropping this one, and I still plan on finishing through all of its currently airing episodes.

I don't know how this remake is planning on adapting the entire plot, seeing how the light novels are still ongoing, and probably won't stop being published any time soon, but I do hope to see a proper conclusion to our characters' struggles and a final happy ending to their love story.

Here's hoping for a nice ending, for the next half of this story.

3. KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! (Season 3)

Kazuma lamenting his life decisions

How could I make such a ranking without Konosuba making it in the top 3 spots?

Truthfully, I wasn't sure how to rank this show and Spice and Wolf, as they were pretty much tied in my head this season.

I enjoyed these two shows almost equally, so it was very difficult for me to pick one over the other.

In the end, I had to make a choice, and I chose Spice and Wolf over this show but it was very close, I'll say that.

When's all said and done, it came down to which genres I like more: romance or comedy, and that's how I made my choice. Spice and Wolf was not a very good romance, but it was a romance, nonetheless, that had a lot of other good qualities to it, whereas this was a very funny comedy.

However, if I were to reverse the ordering of these two shows in this ranking, I wouldn't necessarily find it wrong, nor would I cry about it.

Honestly, I could talk about Konosuba right now, since I've never addressed the show in my rankings before outside of Megumin's own spinoff but, really, who doesn't know about Konosuba already? It's among the most popular isekai of all time, and for very good reason.

I'll just very briefly try to describe episode 1 of season 1, just to give you a hint of what the show feels like.

So, in episode 1, this teenage guy named Satou Kazuma ends up in the afterlife talking to Goddess Aqua, who tells him that his previous life as a boring NEET had ended abruptly when a large truck almost ran him over, the scare of which gave him a heart attack in the moment and caused him to die on the spot.

Aqua laughs at Kazuma's misfortune, and acts disparaging towards him knowing that he was a shut-in with no social life in his previous life but offers to reincarnate him in a parallel medieval world filled with magic and monsters, where he has to defeat the Demon King as an adventurer.

After deciding on the specifics of this arrangement, Aqua tells Kazuma that he can take with him anything of his choice to the new world, that might aid him in his quests.

Seeing how disrespectful and mean Aqua was to him, Kazuma makes the 200 IQ decision to choose her to bring with him, which prompts Aqua to be replaced from her role of overseeing the afterlife with another goddess who promptly teleports them to the new world.

As such, Kazuma now has to defeat the Demon King of that world to bring peace to it and also to attain a great deal of money and fame for himself.

However, he soon realizes that despite forcing her to come with him because of his decision, Aqua seems to be pretty useless in this world, as she seems to have only very limited healing magic abilities and knows some party tricks to entertain mortals with.

Seeing how useless Aqua is to him, Kazuma decides to take matters into his own hands and register as an official adventurer in that world, forming a team with Aqua, in the hopes of at least earning enough money to be able to buy food for themselves, much less defeat the Demon King.

There's more than happens in the first episode but that's pretty much the main gist of it.

In short, Kazuma has zero knowledge of how to be a good adventurer, is very poor because he started out in that world with no money on him and has only a bunch of low level skills like “Steal”, that allows him to steal items from a different person, as well as having very high luck.

Aqua, his companion, has very limited intelligence but a lot of fortitude and specializes at healing but is overall quite selfish, reckless, and dumb (and also an alcoholic). Moreover, she had lost her status as a god when Kazuma had chosen her as the item to bring with him, which means that they have to defeat the Demon King now for her to return to being a god again, which is obviously what she wants now.

And so begins their journey together, at defeating the Demon King of that world.

That's the summary of it.

Honestly, there's a lot of stuff that happen after that, especially once Megumin and Darkness also enter the stage as new companions, but I won't go much into details. Suffice it to say, this isn't as much an isekai anime, as it is an isekai parody, more than anything else.

Yes, sometimes this show takes itself seriously and yes, it has good action sequences from time to time, but almost everything in this show is played for laughs.

Kazuma is selfish and a scumbag, at the end of the day. He isn't the ideal hero by any traditional meaning of the word, except that he is very adaptable and reliable most of the time.

His party is even more useless than him, which makes a lot of the adventures that they go on end up in very humorous situations.

The show makes fun of a lot of isekai and fantasy tropes almost every episode, with its selfish but still endearing characters and its tongue in cheek humor.

This season, the show will cover various arcs of the story, most important of which is Kazuma finding an infinite money making magical item, himself getting kidnapped by the princess of the kingdom and becoming her “big brother”, and a new arc concerning Darkness and her noble origins.

There's a lot of stuff to discuss but, I am glad to say, the colorful cast and the charming wholesome humor make a great and very welcome comeback once again.

I already mentioned how, in my previous review of KonoSuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World!, Megumin's spinoff TV series, I found the humor to be a bit lacking and repetitive, and how I longed for the return of the main cast into the story.

Well, here the main cast did return and, boy did I miss seeing them.

The humor made a nice return to form, almost every joke landed quite a lot, with new improvements this time, with them making fun of arranged marriages in the nobility, the innocence of a child princess that gets to be body-swapped with Kazuma and, last but not least, Kazuma unlocking the ability to change voices at will.

Needless to say, a lot of chaos ensues.

There's not much more I can say about this show that will do it justice.

I will say that I feel like this season was more plot focused than the previous ones, which lent itself to fewer jokes, sadly, but the jokes that they do do are very funny and worth staying for.

I also would have wished for more romance moments between Kazuma and his love interest but those got sidelined in favor of the plot. Oh well.

Still, if you liked the first two seasons of Konosuba, there's little reason why you wouldn't like this one as well. All the charming moments are still there, the wholesome humor and the quirky characters make a full return, and it was such a treat.

It's worth seeing.

4. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Season 2, Part 2)

Monster attacking Rudeus

And today we'll be covering the second half of season 2 of this TV show, in this entry.

You can read about my thoughts of the first half here.

This is simply a continuation of that, as nothing much changed about the pacing or the story of the show since then.

I'm not going to talk much more about Mushoku Tensei, as I personally feel like it's among the most renowned isekai anime in existence, and most people already know about it.

This second half of season 2 continues with Rudy's journey after finally deciding to marry the love of his life.

Before the marriage can happen, though, he needs to secure himself a house for their family. Then, he has to think about children with his new wife.

But as most things go, trouble eventually rears its ugly head even during these happy moments of his life, when Rudy will receive an ominous letter informing him that his mother was finally found, many years after she had disappeared during the mass teleportation incident, but she needs to be saved.

During her rescue, another character from the past will reappear, and Rudy will have to make many difficult decisions along the way.

So yeah, that's the general gist of this second half.

Season 3 was already announced as well, so I'm also looking forward to that too.

Honestly, this season was pretty satisfactory, all things considered.

I disliked the slow pacing and the fact that not much was happening, in the beginning, because I thought that things were starting to look up for Rudy and were becoming quite boring overall, seeing how now he needed to settle down with his wife and look forward to a new life as the head of a family, but that quickly changed when the letter informing him of his mother was received.

So yeah, there's more story to be told.

To some extent, I did dislike that there was even a continuation after the first half of this season, as I felt that they ended on a very good note, with him deciding to marry who he decides to marry, he already fixed his health issues that he was concerned about and he had gained a place at a prestigious university.

All things considered, I thought that was a good place to end on.

Especially given the small side quests that seemed to become prevalent in this second half, in the beginning, I felt that most of this was just an after story, and I was getting bored, since I felt like the meat and potatoes of Rudy's life had already been covered and detailed.

But, apparently I was wrong. There's way more than needs to happen, and I'm happy to say the story took me by surprise at how dark and gloomy it became, towards the end.

Granted, the plot became a bit cliched at some points, here and there, like how Rudy got the news about his mother at the worst moment possible, how he's the only one that can save her, how he arrived just in time to save a particular recurring character, at the very last moment and how said character falls in love immediately with him.

There's a lot of that that I found to be cheesy.

Then, there's the fact that the show suddenly decided to go in a different direction than what I wanted, and went with a harem route.

Don't get me wrong! I don't dislike harem animes, nor do I have any issues with them, but this felt like it was ruining, what could have been, a very sweet and nice love story. Rudy was already married and happy, he already had a child on the way, the fact that the story needed to shoehorn in another love interest in the middle soured my mood quite a bit.

And the reasoning for it taking that direction also felt very weak and unjustified for me.

I don't know, I kind of dislike the direction that the plot is heading in. Had the show ended at the first half of this season, I would have been more than satisfied with the story and would have considered it perfectly serviceable.

As it is, it feels like it's adding unnecessary fluff just to appeal to a particular demographic.

But I digress.

The ending didn't fully rectify any of these flaws, mind you, but it did leave me impressed that it, at least, left things on a down-to-Earth note.

Usually stories like these want to end on a happy, overly sugary note, trying to be as saccharin as possible to leave the audience overly satisfied. I appreciated that the show pulled back a bit and said “No, that's not how real life works”, and left us on a sober ending, instead, where there is a component of a happy ending, sure, but a lot of things were left uncertain and heavy losses had been incurred already.

What I like the most in this story is the fact that all the characters feel human, relatable, flawed and even selfish, at times, but never to a degree that's unrealistic. I like the heavy conversations that they have, how difficult certain moments are and how sober and honest certain life lessons can be.

Overall, I feel like the show did what it needed to do. I do regret seeing the story go in the direction that it did, as I hoped it would end at the place where I felt was most fitting for it to end at, but I do understand the need to continue the story to tie up the loose ends that remain hanging.

Overall, outside of Konosuba, this still remains my favorite isekai anime of all time, and I will contend that it's among the best implementations of the genre, that I've ever seen. It's absolutely worth a watch.

5. Viral Hit

Hobin wearing a clown makeup while smiling for Pakgo's audience

It's time we look at a show about fighting.

Generally, I'm not much into anime TV shows that cover fighting as their main selling point, but I'm personally glad that I still gave this show a look.

This is an animated adaptation for a manhwa that's being released as a web comic.

The author for this manhwa, Taejun Pak, is also known for a different manhwa titled Lookism, which I heard was semi-popular in South Korea.

I don't read manga in general, much less manhwa, so I don't know much about Lookism personally, but, with that said, this show is pretty cool and I like the direction that it took.

So, let's talk about episode 1.

Yu Hobin is a high school student that always gets bullied in his class by a guy named Pakgo and his cameraman, nicknamed Snapper.

You might think “Why does a high school student need a cameraman?”. Well, the reason is because Pakgo is a famous Newtuber (Newtube being this world's version of our YouTube) and he's trying to make a living for himself, and uses Hobin in his videos to attract an audience. Secretly, Hobin is being bullied to appear in his videos as a willing participant but, behind the scenes, he's effectively treated as a slave and he makes no money out of it.

We later find out that Hobin's mother spends her entire time in the hospital, being treated for cancer.

She's fighting for her life against the cancer but the treatments that she's undergoing are incurring hefty medical bills that Hobin has to cover.

As an only child with no father (or, at least, his father is never mentioned in the anime), Hobin is forced to make money working as a part time employee for a fast food restaurant.

The low wage that he receives barely covers for his mother's medical expenses, and he's constantly struggling to survive and is in desperate need for more money.

One day, after hearing how much money Pakgo is making from his Newtube career, both Hobin and Snapper decide that they should make their own channels to start making money.

Pakgo tells Snapper that he is incapable of doing this, though, as he's still technically a minor and, as such, he cannot legally have a bank account to have his videos' revenue sent to.

Knowing that his parents would not allow him to use their accounts, Snapper decides to, instead, rely on Hobin and use Hobin's mother's bank account, instead.

Not wanting to suffer more bullying from Pakgo, Hobin agrees, and sets up a new Newtube channel for Snapper and also connects his mother's bank account to it, without her knowledge.

At some point, later on, while Hobin is working on his shift at the fast food restaurant, he makes casual conversation with a coworker around his age named Choi Bomi.

Hobin has a crush on Bomi, but he keeps that to himself.

Pakgo comes into the restaurant with his smartphone live streaming everything to his Newtube channel and then, to gain popularity and also to ask Bomi out, he comes to the counter of the restaurant where Bomi asks for his order and he then claims that his audience is asking him to challenge her.

He gives her a picture of a large burger that she'll have to make for him in half a minute and, if she cannot fulfill this challenge, she'd have to give him her phone number as a penalty.

Not wanting to be rude to him, since he's a customer, but also troubled by the prospective of having to give him her phone number, Bomi is visibly distraught, which Hobin picks up on.

Not wanting to make her go through this ridiculous setup, Hobin takes it upon himself and does his best to fulfill the challenge in her stead, successfully making the burger that Pakgo had requested in 30 seconds.

Thus, Bomi did not have to give Pakgo her phone number.

Bomi is happy about this and she does appreciate Hobin's assistance.

Later on, at Hobin's house, Hobin has Snapper come over and use his desktop PC to live stream a video game Let's Play for the Newtube channel that he had set up previously.

While Snapper is making the content at the desktop, Hobin is in the kitchen making him food, at his request.

Hobin laments the state of his life and how miserable he is for being used by everyone around him, especially since Snapper isn't paying him any money for everything that he is doing for him and his new channel.

As he walks with the ramen that he had made for Snapper to the living room, Hobin trips on the power cord for the PC, while Snapper was playing, and also accidentally pours the hot ramen on Snapper, which enrages him.

Hobin apologizes for everything, but Snapper starts beating him up, yelling at him for tripping on the power cord and causing the PC to shut down, which abruptly ended his live stream and caused him to lose significant revenue.

At one point, Snapper says that Hobin's clumsiness is why his mother has cancer, which finally pushes Hobin over the edge and angers him enough that he finally decides to fight back and start hitting Snapper, turning their squabble into a full on brawl in his house.

The next day, Hobin wakes up to a phone call from Snapper in the early morning, with Snapper yelling at him to delete the video of their fight from his Newtube account.

Hobin is confused at first, since he had not recorded, much less uploaded, their fight to the internet.

Snapper claims that the live stream had recorded their fight through his desktop's webcam but Hobin doesn't understand how that could be since he had accidentally tripped on the power cord and disconnected it, last night.

That is until he realizes that the power cord that he had tripped on wasn't the desktop's power cord but the monitor's power cord, which was the reason for the screen going black and fooling both Hobin and Snapper into thinking that it had turned off and the stream ending when, in fact, the desktop continued to be on all the time and the live stream continuing to go on in the background while they fought.

Realizing this, and knowing that only he had the password for that Newtube account (as he had been the one to set it up for Snapper), Hobin listens to Snapper's request and attempts to delete the video, until he realizes from the comments on the video that he made a very large sum of money, just from that one video, because of the high number of views that he had gotten.

When Snapper returns to school, he realizes that everyone around him is making fun of him, as the video of his fight with Hobin had already become viral and everyone is now aware of it.

Tragically, Snapper now discovers that the pecking order in their class has changed, and he is now the runt of the class, since no one can respect him anymore after taking a beating from the lowest loser like Hobin. Not even Pakgo is willing to defend him anymore.

Enraged by this state of affairs, Snapper later confronts Hobin and asks for half the revenue of that video, but Hobin refuses, since he is in full control of the money, due to the fact that the money is in his mother's bank account.

After another fight between the two of them, Snapper eventually tries to reconcile with Hobin, and makes him an offer: rather than fight for that one video like they were already doing, he proposes a collaboration between the two of them: Hobin would become the star of their Newtube channel and be featured in all the videos and Snapper would simply be the cameraman and the producer for their videos (since he already has experience in those fields and the recording equipment, for having worked already as a cameraman for Pakgo).

Snapper initially proposes a 9:1 revenue share between him and Hobin, respectively, hoping that Hobin would agree to it, as he had always done up until then, and also hoping that this would restore the pecking order in his favor.

Hobin, however, finally grows a spine and refuses.

When realizing that his proposals don't work, Snapper keeps changing the split until it reverses to 1:9 instead, to which Hobin finally agrees to.

The pitch of their new joint channel will be Hobin calling out bullies and fighting them, since that has already proved successful when Hobin had fought Snapper and becoming a viral hit.

And so starts Hobin's attempt as a fighter against bullies.

So ends episode 1.

So yeah, that's the pitch.

To tell the truth, I found this to be an interesting start to what seemed to be a fresh idea.

Generally, I haven't seen many animes talk about school fights that much, so I've found this to be quite a nice and original idea.

Of course, I did watch Bucchigiri a while back, which I already talked about here, but while that show is about fights and is also very action packed, Bucchigiri focused more on gang fights while this show is more one-to-one fights, instead.

I'm not the biggest fan of the underdog trope in animes, but I will commend it when it's done well, and here I feel like it's been done well enough.

I will praise this show for keeping things simple and making the character not become an overpowered god like I was initially afraid it would do.

Hobin is initially a very weak character, who is extremely malleable and has trouble even against the lowest thugs. And, even as the show progressed and he became stronger, he still encountered enemies that were constantly more difficult to deal with and were causing him issues, making him feel uncomfortable and even wonder if he would win.

I like it when the opponents keep becoming more and more difficult to deal with, and this show did it in a realistic manner.

Moreover, I also appreciated how down to Earth this show was with its fights. It never went cartoon-ish with it and it still kept things simple and easy to follow. The show will also explain what techniques Hobin used to become better in fights, how he strategizes how to deal with specific opponents and fighting styles, and how he deals with each situation on a case-by-case basis. The analytical focus of the fights and how he plans on handling them was quite intriguing.

It's from this show where I learned a bit about Taekwondo and about sumo wrestling, how to fight a regular thug or how to fight multiple people at the same time. It's got good lessons and, while I cannot vouch for how realistic any of these lessons are or how practical they are to follow since I'm not a fighter myself, they did appear to have a genuine feel of authenticity to them, to the extent where I feel like regular people can use the stuff they see here and put it to good use in real life (although I'm definitely not suggesting you should take fighting lessons from a fictional TV series, by any means).

There were issues that I did have with the show, though, such as how lawless the world that they were in appeared to be, or how very cliched and one dimensional all the villains in this show were.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect for minor characters to care about what the protagonist is doing at any point, especially if they are strangers to him, but in this world it looks like every random stranger on the street wants to take your money at any moment's glance. Or how the school was fine with a lot of stuff where the students could pretty much beat each other up with no consequences whatsoever.

Like, doesn't law enforcement exist in this world? Or any kind of authority for that matter?

I know that the story calls for Hobin to have to defend himself, but it feels kind of ridiculous how everywhere he goes, there's someone around the corner that wants to steal his money or ruin his life forever and he has to fight them.

And then there's the issue with how the internet is portrayed. I know that, to some extent, there is a certain feel of novelty when thinking that being a content creator on YouTube can give you a lot of money, and that is indeed true for a minority of people on the platform but, realistically, I find it genuinely hard to believe that anyone could make a career out of fighting bullies on YouTube. There's a very good reason why, when you go there, you don't find that many videos of that type of content, and that reason is because YouTube uses demonetization on videos that contain violent content, especially fights which are from real life and wouldn't be staged.

Had Hobin's channel been real, YouTube would have immediately demonetized all of their videos, if not outright deleting his channel altogether for the kind of content that he's making.

Given how even swear words aren't allowed on YouTube videos without the algorithm significantly punishing the video makers for it by removing it from the recommended section, I find it unrealistic how actual real fights would become popular on it, at all, especially to the extent where someone would make a lot of money out of it. That just doesn't happen in real life.

Then, there's the issue of how certain content creators in this story do some horrible things, on stream, live, and seem to get away with it, such as beating people up on stream and, at one point, even putting a girl's life in danger from a prank that almost caused her to be hit by a car. That type of stuff would be enough to get people arrested in real life, had there been any semblance of consequences in that world. And even if the police wouldn't get involved, with the current online climate of cancel culture being a thing, real audiences are extremely unforgiving for any type of content that's actually morally reprehensible in this way. If a video maker would be shown to bully someone in real life, and their audience became aware of it, his subscriber count would go down the very next day and no amounts of apologies or pretend crying is gonna be enough to save his channel. His persona would forever be doomed on the internet, from that day onward and his social media will be filled with negative comments that will stick with them permanently.

Basically, this world is too lawless and forgiving, is what I'm saying. The internet isn't the wild wild west nowadays, like it used to be. This type of stuff wouldn't fly in modern times.

But aside from these inconsistencies, I liked the story.

I liked the friendships and relationships that Hobin managed to build over the course of this story and, to some extent, there were some opponents which got to be humanized a little bit, and the story tried to show their side of the story as well (although I still think that most of the bullies in this show are very shallow).

Overall, I think this was a good watch. There were times when I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how Hobin will recover from that, or how he was gonna win when all the cards were stacked against him.

I think the show is good, and worth a watch. As far as slice of life action shows about fights with an underdog trope go, this one is definitely a good one, and I would recommend for people to watch.

I'm definitely up for a season 2, if one were to ever get announced. 🤞

This is only part 1 of this ranking. For part 2, click here.