AnimeZone

My experiences watching Japanese anime

Continuation of my original blog post.

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I'm back and I'm ready to talk about some more anime! This time around I've decided to talk about not just my top three anime TV series which I've watched this season, like I did last season, but, instead, I'll talk about all the anime TV series that I've watched the past three months and rank them according to my favorite to least favorite. And boy, is there a lot to talk about! Strap yourself in and get yourself a cup of warm coffee because this will be a long one!

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People don't usually realize this that much but even anime has its periodical trends that it follows. Trends which are dictated by popularity from the core audience.

This usually happens because a lot of anime produced nowadays is simply adaptations of other works from some other medium, like manga or light novels.

In fact, I'd argue that, in the past decade, for any length of time you take, more than 80% of all anime TV series produced in Japan is an adaptation of some other form of entertainment, be it manga, books, visual novels, radio dramas, you name it. Hell, even smartphone games in Japan are getting anime adaptations.

The anime industry is slowly turning into the world's largest and most expensive ad industry of all time, in which they promote the source material of whatever is being adapted. You're writing a light novel about a protagonist that gets reincarnated into another world? Well, if your book becomes popular enough, some animation studio might get in touch with you to secure the rights to adapt your work into an anime TV series. And if they do and they're lucky enough to purchase a lucrative time slot to air the new show (preferably during the daytime when there are people who can tune in to watch it on the TV) then your work will be propelled to even greater popularity because of the new exposure your work is getting.

But, as there are so many light novels out there to be adapted, there's only so many of them that can be adapted by the only a handful of studios in Japan. Obviously the studios themselves would only want to cherry-pick to adapt the stories which have the most potential of giving them as large of a return in investment. After all, it'd be a very bad business decision for you, as an animation studio, to adapt the work of a light novelist that has a pretty crap story, uninteresting characters and a mediocre setting that would barely attract a viewership for your show. If you do that, chances are you'll be burning millions of dollars to make an adaptation that nobody will wanna watch, people will stop watching from the first episode, nobody will be buying the merchandise for your show and you'll end up with the short end of the stick. In the end, animation is very expensive. And anime is the pinnacle of this. Creating an anime adaptation of anything is one of the most expensive endeavors there is. You have to pay scriptwriters, directors, story board artists, voice actors, managers, buy time slots on channels to air your show, invest in physical merchandise to earn back money and, most importantly of all, you have to pay animators. Animators which will be hard at work actually creating the frames that will end up making the animation itself.

Make no mistake, this is a very expensive process, especially at the standards that Japanese studios hold themselves up to.

So, naturally, animation studios only want to pick the best of the most popular light novels for any given period of time to adapt. If you're a new author that wrote his first novel and you're just barely starting out, chances are nobody will approach you to adapt your work unless it is exceptionally good and it gets nominated as best novel of the year. And even then, it's a gamble for a studio to approach you.

This is why you see a lot of anime adaptations which follow predictable trends, especially recently. Trends which reflect the popularity of light novels, as only the most popular light novels get chosen by animation studios to be adapted in the first place. And a saddening fact of that is that there's a lot of animes which are adapting isekai animes, particularly power fantasy animes.

Now, for the record, I have no issue with isekai by itself. A lot of good animes can spawn from an isekai origin and they can be of good quality.

One of my favorite, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, is one of my favorite animes of the past decade. It's got an exceptional story, very good world building, interesting characters with varied backstories, engaging plot twists and credible and heart warming romances. It's great.

Or how about KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World!, a light novel adaptation that follows the sad and pathetic life of a NEET that got reincarnated into another world because he was almost hit by a truck. This show is also one of my favorites, with very funny developments and a cast of rich and amusing characters.

No, my problems isn't with isekai by itself. My problem is with power fantasies though.

Power fantasies are stories where the protagonist is a hero that is blessed by the gods with abnormally bountiful qualities and abilities, power beyond measure and he uses these as arsenal to easily defeat and win against anyone foolish enough to challenge them. Usually stories featuring such heroes show them as overly confident in themselves, sometimes with the protagonists even building a harem of love interests surrounding them, and whenever someone, anyone challenges them, they easily and without a second thought obliterate them in the most humiliating ways possible, usually without any challenge or worry from the hero's part.

Overpowered protagonists is a trope that I deeply dislike. I'm of the opinion that if you make your protagonist so powerful that the threats that he encounters in your story don't even register to him as threats, I simply lose interest.

Like, why should I be worried over your hero's well-being in the face of danger if the hero in question isn't worried at all? If the main character shows no emotion, why should I?

Examples of such shows include Overlord, How NOT to summon a Demon Lord, The World's Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat, The Misfit of Demon King Academy and so many others.

It's become a trend in the past couple of years to have such stories floating around. The protagonist simply becomes a super-overpowered monster, in human form, capable of turning the world upside down with his magic at the snap of his fingers, he begins to excel at whatever he does and humiliates anyone that stands to confront him (usually a corrupt individual or simply a bully that needs to receive his come-up-ins). And all without even batting an eye.

This has been a very unpopular trope even before light novels in Japan started to make it mainstream in an entirely different fandom: that of fanfiction. A lot of fanfiction has self-insert heroes that end up having godlike powers in their world, obliterating anyone that stands in their way but while making sure to look cool in the process.

Yes, people like to read such power fantasies (usually teenagers that like to self-insert themselves into such positions).

And before anyone asks, no, this isn't a male thing either. As an example, another recent anime from the past year or so, In the Land of Leadale, had the exact same setup but with a female heroine too. So this isn't confined to males only.

Honestly, I'm sure there are many that like these shows the same way they like junk food. None of these shows are interesting because the conflicts the heroes face don't really pose a challenge to the overpowered deities that drive the story, so there's never a point of the conflicts at all, much like there's never significant nutritional value in junk food either. People just like junk food because its delicious, cheap and fast.

And I don't wanna blame anyone for liking what they want. You watch what you like and don't let anyone make fun of you for the things you enjoy! But I'm personally sick and tired of these premises so I know for a fact I'll be avoiding them in the future.

I was once someone that didn't mind the power fantasy elements, too, even. Back when Sword Art Online came out, I liked the idea of a power fantasy, and seeing the protagonist, Kirito, be invulnerable against his enemies' attacks was somewhat of an awesome scene, initially.

But it got boring really fast, really quickly, and I soon came to the conclusion that I have now: that if the hero doesn't care, neither do I.

Granted, Sword Art Online at least tried, at various points, to introduce bigger and bigger threats for Kirito to tackle so that he was at least coming up against greater challenges that even he couldn't single handedly defeat anymore.

And I appreciated that.

Other times, there are shows which try to add a twist to making their hero over-powered. One Punch Man relies on the comedy of the situation, having the protagonist be a laid-back Average Joe that just doesn't give a shit about the world ending calamities around him. The entire point of that story is throw larger and more insane enemies at him and showing off how he still, every time, humiliates them or obliterates them with one single punch all the time, in greater and even more incredible feats of power.

The point of One Punch Man isn't whether the protagonist is going to win a battle or not, it never is. Saitama just isn't in any danger ever and the show doesn't even try to fool you into thinking otherwise.

No, the purpose of the show is to have you wonder in what spectacular and eye watering way Saitama will defeat this new enemy. The show is all about showing off the protagonist's power, never whether he will win or not. Because he will win. Always.

And I like that twist. It's a pretty fun idea.

I guess some might argue that the entire point behind shows like The Misfit of Demon King Academy is very similar to One Punch Man, that it's never about whether the protagonist wins or not, but how he wins. But, even if that's indeed the case, these other shows never managed to impress me like the way One Punch Man did.

The reason One Punch Man works is because it pulls no stops. When it goes into battles, it goes all out. Explosions, fire, destruction of epic proportions, everything is there and in glorious, fluid animation. It's a spectacle for the eyes. The Misfit of Demon King Academy is more talk than interesting battles. There's constant talking that explains how the protagonist bested the opponent, how his ingenious strategy actually outsmarts him (even though it's not that impressive as it just relies of pulling out a new plot rule that magic of type A allows one to nullify magic of type B) and that's it. No explosions, no fire, no destruction, just boring talking. Why should I care?

How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord is in the same boat as all of the others except that, to its defense, I like it because it doesn't put all its eggs in one basket. Instead of having people be impressed by Diablo's overpowered nature, the show also has comedy, highlighting how Diablo is actually a nerdy NEET inside of the avatar he's playing as but how that always comes across as him appearing powerful and demonic to everyone around him.

Or how that show goes the extra mile to also be an ecchi harem anime that occasionally delivers on fan-service. Granted I've always argued that fan-service should be a weak reason to follow a show but, at least, I'd also argue it's still a better reason than just catering to power fantasy-hungry teenagers.

But I digress.

Needless to say, I wish this power-fantasy trend would just die already. I understand that many people like it and I can't fault anyone for liking the stuff that they do. But, with that said, I will be trying to avoid these types of stories from this point on.

If I see another show like these again, I'm definitely giving it a skip.

Hell, even the current season I'm writing this in, Crunchyroll is already streaming a new show called Engage Kiss which has some of the overpowered elements that the other shows, I already mentioned, have. But at least this one seems to tone the protagonist down, making him less likeable, giving him a pretty unpalatable personality and also nurfing his abilities, to some extent. Whenever this guy fights I don't feel as much like he's in control of everything as some of the other shows I already mentioned, do.

Hopefully Engage Kiss won't turn out as bad as the other ones I already discussed. Only time will tell, I guess.

Last time I posted on my blog how In the heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki was my favorite anime of spring 2022. It was fun, exciting, funny and energetic. Exactly what I hope most anime would be like.

Today, I'll talk to you about my least favorite anime of spring 2022 (at least my least favorite that I could pull myself to actually finish): this (dis)honor goes to a TV series called Shikimori is not just a cutie.

Now, before anyone says anything else, I want to point out that this anime TV series was very popular on Crunchyroll. People were talking about it like it was the greatest anime that would drop in 2022. They were saying it was an exceptional piece of art, that nobody could surpass it and that it would be not just the best anime of the season, but the best anime of 2022.

I don't get it.

I watched it, finished it and I will say it's definitely not that. It wasn't the best anime of spring 2022 for me, hell, it was literally my most disliked series.

I actually was at some point, tempted to just drop watching near the end, that's how little interest I had in this show.

Many people say “Give it a fair shot! Don't just abandon a TV series at the first episode. There are many shows that get better over time” and, as much as I hate to admit it, I do agree with these people. But I gave this show not one, not two nor three episodes, but I watched the entire series (at least season 1 of it, as that's the only season that's available as of the writing of this blog post), mainly because I was trying to discover the secret that everyone was already in except for me. I needed to find what was so amazing about this show and I was just dying to discover why people were selling it like it was the next Bleach.

And now, after properly finishing it, I can safely say now “I still don't get it”. What was the appeal of this show?!

The only thing about it that I could find which was above average was the art and character designs. For what it's worth, it was a very pretty and colorful show to look at. I'll concede that much about it. But, if art alone was the only thing that mattered for an anime TV series, Sword Art Online would be considered the masterpiece of the last decade. And it's not, mainly because most people also look at other things in a series, not just the art, to determine how good it is.

What else does it have going for it? The music, while pleasing, is quite forgettable. I finished watching that series just a couple of weeks ago and I can't hum you any song from the show right now even if you put a gun to my head.

The story is just your typical slice of life high school comedy generic story that so many other shows have. The only thing that sets this one apart is that the male protagonist is in an established relationship with the heroine since episode 1. OK, that's kind of cool but that, alone, isn't that incredible.

Tonikawa, Over the Moon for You is also an anime TV series available on Crunchyroll that featured the couple being together from episode 1 and that show was at least 10x better because it followed the life of the main couple and showed how their relationship grew over time, which was actually interesting.

This show, while it follows the life of the main couple, is not as exciting because their relationship feels stagnant, to put it mildly.

Beyond just claiming that they're together and acknowledging this to each other, the main couple doesn't do anything even remotely romantic until, literally, the very last episode. Instead, the show decides to focus on their high school life. Which is boring.

They don't flirt with each other. They don't kiss. They don't even sweet talk to one another. They don't face challenges together that much (or at least not beyond what they're already facing along with their friends) and their relationship doesn't shine through in almost any episode.

What's the story, you may ask?

The male lead of the show, Izumi, is a chronically unlucky individual. Wherever he goes he brings along with him a huge amount of bad karma that causes him to get injured, lose the possessions he usually carries along and, sometimes, even ends up with his life in danger.

Shikimori, his girlfriend, acts like a divine guardian that tries to counteract his bad luck by looking out for him, protecting him and preventing his death, half the time.

She's like his guardian angel, in human form. That's the basic premise of this story.

I have to admit, this premise did sound intriguing to me, at first, and that's the reason I decided to give this show a go. I thought maybe something interesting would happen, some plot point will eventually explain why Izumi is so unlucky, maybe add a fantasy element to it, or maybe it would explain, at least, why Shikimori herself is so infatuated with Izumi in the first place.

For the record, Izumi's bad luck is never actually explained in the show, outside of the barebones excuse that it's simply genetic from his mother. There's no fantastical or mystical element to it.

And Shikimori's reason for her attraction to Izumi is also very barebones as well. They just met, one day, at the beginning of their high school life, Izumi's unlucky nature causes him to lose a slip of paper that's very important to him, that piece of paper gets blown by the wind up a tall tree nearby and Shikimori, when discovering this and seeing how desperate he is to get it back, decides to climb the tree to get it for him.

She succeeds without injuring herself, gives that piece of paper back to Izumi who is very thankful to her but she, internally, is scared that he would see her as very unattractive and unfeminine because of her having climbed up the tree.

Izumi acts kind to her, instead, letting her know that he's impressed by her performance and this causes her to fall in love with him.

That's literally it. You might be mad that I spoiled the plot point of one of the episodes but you have to understand that if this sounds boring and unimpressive to you as you read this, then you'll know exactly how I felt when I watched the episode with my own eyes.

There was no grand backstory to their relationship, she just wanted to be complemented by someone who saw her as feminine. This is something most men would do, which doesn't set Izumi apart from anyone. Why she's so infatuated with him, I don't know.

But she is. And that's the entire premise behind the show.

Everything else is about their friendship with their peers, a possible love rival that threatened to steal Izumi from Shikimori and various shenanigans that take place at their school.

Izumi and Shikimori's relationship should be the highlight of each episode but their very formal interactions and lack of chemistry is absolutely grating to me. I never once thought to myself “These two are meant to be together”. And that's an issue when it comes to romances. You need to have the main couple have chemistry, otherwise, the entire thing falls apart.

Izumi is just kind towards Shikimori. And Shikimori is simply kind to Izumi, in return. That's it. That's their entire relationship summed up in just two sentences. There's nothing more to this.

They never have a quarrel or any disagreements whatsoever. Their relationship is never actually put to the test. They never encounter an enemy or a hardship that makes them question their bond to each other.

They're simply together because the plot needs for them to be together. And that feels so flimsy.

And maybe I don't need that. In fact, I would have been fine with it if they ever evolved their relationship at all.

Don't get me wrong, not all romances need conflicts in them. Even just watching the couple grow together as they discover each other's preferences can be enough to keep me invested. But they don't even do that.

I understand that this is supposed to be their first ever relationship and they're taking things very slowly. I get that and it only makes sense for things to be like that. But I'm sorry, having a virgin couple taking things slowly is not grounds for a good show. It's grounds for a very boring and by-the-numbers show.

The only progress they try to make with their relationship is literally at the last episode of season 1 where, I don't wanna give anything away, they go on a date together and try to take a step further. And without spoiling anything, I will say, the climax is not worth it. It leads you to think that they will do something at least semi-romantic but they cheapen out and decide to half ass it. The climax of the episode is very disappointing.

That episode was not worth the 11 episodes that came before it and, frankly, it was so disappointing that I felt like I had wasted my entire time having watched that series up until that point. I regretted the time I have spent watching all the episodes to that point, saying to myself “Why did I even bother with this show?”. And, I'm sorry, when that's the feeling you're left off with at the end of a season, maybe that show is kinda crap.

Or maybe it's just not for me. I don't know.

The comedy was also weak. It focused entirely on Izumi's unfortunate nature, how he's always unlucky, and on Shikimori's very possessive and jealous personality, even towards Izumi's male friend, Inuzuka, who her boyfriend constantly gets along with quite well.

The idea of having an overly possessive girlfriend be jealous of her boyfriend's best friend is an interesting concept but there's only so far you can go with that idea before it becomes stale. And that's the entire dynamic of their group of friends.

To say that I feel like I should have dropped this show from episode 1 is an understatement. I just don't see the appeal. Yes, it's pretty to look at, but I'd argue that there are much better animes that look pretty that you can watch instead.

You could maybe argue, if you really want to, that this show is “groundbreaking” by the simple fact that it has a very feminine male lead who's constantly reliant on his girlfriend to protect him, challenging the “damsel in distress” cliche and making a point that women can be protective of their boyfriends too, if need be, but that's not enough to make me give it much credit. If that feminist viewpoint sounds nice to you and is enough to justify you watching the show then sure, by all means, go ahead.

But I'd counter argue that the male lead in this show is almost a cliche in itself. He has no personality outside of being polite, weak and extremely unlucky. He is devoted to his girlfriend, true, but he never has that commitment to her challenged ever. It's almost like the author of this envisioned the most cliched damsel in distress you can ever imagine, without any personality or unique traits, but then went ahead and swapped her gender to that of a male and called it a day. There you go, that's literally Izumi. A woman in male's clothing.

Nothing interesting about him, he just is feminine and passive. Hell, Shikimori is more masculine than he is and she's almost just as much a stick figure, the stereotype of a strong woman in anime. Which would be fine if she had an actual character besides simply being Izumi's girlfriend. But she doesn't, she simply is the girlfriend that has to protect her boyfriend from his own misfortune. That's all there is to her.

I think I've rambled enough for one day. Suffice it to say, I did not like this show. Out of all the spring 2022 shows I watched, this is the only one I felt betrayed by, to the point I even regretted having watched it.

If season 2 for this show is announced I'm not watching it. I probably won't even watch an OVA for this, I'm just that burned out on it.

Even if season 2 might contain their relationship advancing to the next level beyond just holding hands, I'd argue it's too little, too late to convince me to watch.

If a show has the best season 2 in existence but has a lackluster boring season 1 before it, I'd argue that, regardless of how good it is, that season 2 is simply not worth the watch

Yeah, this season's anime listing was pretty baren, all things considered.

Honestly, I've looked at most of the shows this season and I only selected a couple of handful to watch for myself. Most of the stuff I watched was on Crunchyroll, which is to be expected. There was only one show I watched on HiDive, which was The Executioner and her way of life.

Leaving aside the fact that HiDive pulled a dick move on me very recently and stopped servicing Romanian customers (after like an entire year where they've streamed to Romania and allowed subscriptions from Romanian customers), The Executioner and her way of life was not as great as I hoped it would be, with the finale ending in a very anticlimactic ending that, admittedly, did make me want more but also it made me think that I've genuinely lost my time watching the show, as very little progress was made plotwise.

But, with that said, The Executioner and her way of life did have a simple style of narration that hooked me up and left me wanting to constantly see what the next episode had in store for its viewers. The cliffhangers it would always end its episodes on always left me longing for more and the world building was half decent, creating a world that felt genuinely believable but also not dwelling too much on its presentation and simply allowing the world to exist in the background and presenting the audience with the bare minimum of information to understand the plot points of the current episode.

I liked this. Even though I consider this show to be mediocre, at best, it did provide me with sufficient entertainment each episode to make me feel satisfied for the week I watched it in and left me thinking that I was not disappointed for having watched the show.

Besides this odd entry, the other shows I've consumed were all available in Romania on Crunchyroll. They were: Miss Shachiku and the Little Baby Ghost, The Dawn of the Witch, Love After World Domination, Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie and, finally, In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki.

If you want to know my favorite one out of the entire spring season of 2022, I'd definitely pick In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki as my favorite, by far.

There are various reasons for that but I feel like the most important one is that this particular show had a very simple premise and a very simple promise to its audience. The premise was that the main character, Tsubaki, is a teenage girl living in a village in the middle of the forest along with other teenage girls, all kunoichis, being trained by an older woman that they all simply call “Sensei”, away from society and the intervension of men.

These girls are trained by their Sensei in the arts of ninjutsu, where they practice various ninja techniques so that they can become accomplished and venerable warriors. Tsubaki is a top model student among her peers, diligently following Sensei's advice and trying to keep her own teammates (Sazanka and Asagao) in line, while constantly training with them.

The premise was very simple, but the most important aspect of this story is that there are no men in their village and Sensei tries to instill fear in her students, telling them that men are creatures to be feared and never be underestimated, for they are dangerous foes. The reason why she tries to brainwash the fledling kunoichis and have them fear men is revealed later on in the series.

That's the premise of this series. The promise is that this is primarily intended to be a comedy of sorts. And the simple fact behind this show's success, in my eyes at least, is that it delivers on this.

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki is based on a manga series drawn by Sōichirō Yamamoto. He is the same mangaka that drew the manga for Teasing Master Takagi-san and this influence is obvious in the characters' design features, particularly the enlarged foreheads.

The reason I put this show above all the others I watched this season is that it simply delivers on its promise without any compromises: each episode if funny, action packed and, most importantly, is fun.

Yamamoto-san takes full advantage of all the possibilities of a teenage kunoichi series which is heavily inspired by the Naruto universe could bring, and runs with this premise, milking it for its maximum potential.

All the girls in this series are lovely and cheerful, each with their unique personalities and quirks and all equally funny.

Their lack of knowledge in men is a highlight focus of many episodes, with many of them developing a caricature of what men must be like, while also making fun of them in many ways, a natural consequence of them living in isolation from other men.

Another point of focus for the show is Tsubaki's natural inquisitiveness and affinity towards learning more and more about men, to the point of even risking actively disobeying rules, in an attempt to better understand what men are like.

The show keeps men in the shadows, deliberately omitting their presence until the very last episode, to present the audience the world that these kunoichi live in, as well as give us a glimpse in their chaotic daily lives.

And it's an absolute joy.

This show doesn't focus much on fanservice, despite the fertile grounds that such a plot would offer, instead having a very clean focus on comedy. While nudity does appear very rarely, it's never done in a lewd manner and it never focuses on it, instead, brushing it off as simply another angle of these girls' lives.

The main characters' personalities are also very fun and rich: Sazanka is, for whatever reason, infatuated with Tsubaki and tries, at every opportunity, to impress her and make Tsubaki reciprocate her feelings of affection and Asagao is just a glutton that's overly optimistic most of the times but has a kind heart and is usually full of energy. Sazanka and Asagao rarely get along with each other, which always forces Tsubaki to try to coordinate and micro-manage them to the best of her abilities.

I would go even more in depth over this series but, suffice it to say, I genuinely recommend it, for anyone that's interested. Go ahead and watch it! It's more than worth your time, if you're looking for a cute, overly energetic but wholesome TV series about a bunch of kunoichi living in isolation from men. It's got a lot of hijinx, to say the least.

That was my favorite show of spring 2022, by a long mile.

Second place is taken by The Dawn of the Witch which is, technically, a sequel to another anime TV series called Grimoire of Zero.

I can't remember if this is true or not but I believe Grimoire of Zero is also available on Crunchyroll. If it is, I definitely recommend watching that first before The Dawn of the Witch, otherwise you would end up being very confused about the latter's plot.

Watching the first show before the sequel, in this case, is almost mandatory, as almost all the characters from Grimoire make a reappearence and, without understading their backstories and the setup of the world itself, you wouldn't understand almost anything in the sequel.

The story revolves around an amnesiac teenager that's studying at a magic school in an attempt to become a proper mage called Saybil. He's struggling at the current school he's learning at due to his very poor control of his own magic. One day, Saybil is called by the headmaster and asked to participate in an expedition to a nearby village with two other students at the school as well as a professor called Loux Krystas Laos, where they are to integrate with the community in that village, provide them with magical services on the school's behest, as part of a project the academy is undertaking to improve on human to witch relationships. This village is to function as an experiment ground, of sorts, to see how such beneficial relationships would evolve.

The story follows this particular team as they make their ways to the village, only to then discover that a plot from higher ups in the church is underway to sabotage the experiment and kill the witches in that village.

This one is more or less a straightforward What you see is what you get experience. This plot pretty much describes the entire series in a nutshell.

Along the way Saybil will discover parts of his own past that he had forgotten about due to his amnesia and, slowly, he will find his path as a proper mage. His classmates will also slowly find their own paths to becoming better mages in this journey, all guided by professor Laos.

It's a very barebones coming of age story, with a bit of twists here and there but nothing particularly amazing. Still, it had some nice moments and the main character's lack of any understanding of social aspects leads to many comedic situations where he embarrasses women in general.

The show was a decent watch and worth the investment.

Finally, the last show I want to talk about of this season was Love after World Domination.

This takes 3rd place in my favorites of this season. The premise is even simpler than before: a group of superheroes equipped with advanced technology called Gelato 5 (think Power Rangers) is fighting against an evil organization called Gecko, who's trying to take over the world. Gecko employs really strong military units and henchmen to act as their underlings, as well as very talented and powerful women to fight under them called Princesses. They also usually employ the usage of forbidden medical and scientific experiments to transform their princesses into human-animal hybrids to confer them more power and even creates monsters and abominations to control in order to subjugate the world.

Sounds like a cliched setup for a really cheesy action series, right? Well, there's a twist: the leader of Gelato 5, Red, one day, confesses his love to the Reaper Princess from Gecko while they are having a one-to-one combat alone. There's no particular reason for this, Red just fell in love with her at first sight.

And, worse, the Reaper Princess, very shy and fidgety from that confession, agrees to enter a romantic relationship with Red, despite knowing that the world would never accept their relationship. And so, Reaper and Red have to navigate all the obstacles that their relationship entails, trying to have secret dates and advancing their love to the next level while also keeping this secret from their teammates and the world at large.

Yes, this is a comedy and yes, it's awesome. It's both wholesome and funny as hell, with many moments having you gasp in shock and wonder what the next episode has to offer.

Almost every joke in this show works. Red's obsession over his own muscles, Reaper's love for girly things and feminine side even though she's part of an evil organization, the cluelesness of everyone around them not figuring out what is obviously in front of them and a lot of cheesy, corny, superhero VS super villain antics. It's just amazing.

Go watch these shows! If nothing else, I, at very least, recommend you give Kunoichi Tsubaki a try! It's definitely a worthwhile show.

The Dawn of the Witch is a bit weirder and, unless you are willing to watch the original Grimoire of Zero first, I wouldn't recommend it. But if you are, it's a fun experience that for the most part is wholesome although it does get dark at certain points.

And Love after World Domination is just pure amazing bliss. This show just wants to make you laugh and it doesn't come across as forced ever. I would absolutely recommend it!