Archive for aprile, 2020

Ok, so, what’s this?

This is a list I’ll keep updated during this year about anime series/movies I really enjoyed during 2020 (some… well… in certain ways: looking at you, Scum’s Wish) and that I decided it will be worth rewatching in the following years (maybe before a new season will come out).
It does not contains:

  • series or movies I’ve rewatched this year (all of SAO first and second season, Guilty Crown, etc.)
  • series or movies I’ve enjoyed, but I’m not willing to rewatch again in a near future (like Code GeassAttack on TitansTrinity Seven, etc).
  • series or movies I will for sure rewatch multiple times, like SAO or EVA.

So, here’s the list, in purely alphabetical (in English) order, with some small comments. Related movies, OVAs, etc. are to be considered included by default (live actions not included). To see the original title in Romanji, hover on the Japanese title:

  • After the Rain [恋は雨上がりのように].
    Simple, delicate, gentle, small love story. Why not?
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor [ロクでなし魔術講師と禁忌教典].
    I usually don’t like magic and stuff, but this was fun. (waiting for season 2!)
  • Are You Lost? [ソウナンですか?]
    One of two funniest series of 2020 so far (the other being Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It). Many thanks to the owner of FullMeta for suggesting it to me! (waiting for season 2!)
  • Boarding School Juliet [寄宿学校のジュリエット].
    Another Romeo and Juliet alternative story. Lightweight, fun, enjoyable. (alas season 2 seems like it’s not gonna happen…)
  • Golden Time [ゴールデンタイム].
    This is rather good but a bit complicated. Worth watching by the way if you like the genre.
  • My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU [やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている.].
    Another rather good serie but not exactly lightweight. Definitely worth watching if you like the genre. (waiting for season 3!)
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai [青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない].
    Ok, this was probably the most enjoyable serie I’ve seen this year as it’s a good mix of comedy, science, psicology, social matters… You have to see it!
  • Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend [冴えない彼女の育てかた].
    Characters are so badly matched it’s so funny to watch… mind that this is an otaku-oriented serie, by the way. (waiting for season 3!)
  • Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It [理系が恋に落ちたので証明してみた。].
    This was, along with Are You Lost?, one of the two funniest series of 2020. Definitely science-oriented, but definitely a must see.
  • Scum’s Wish [クズの本懐].
    That. Was. Hard. It hurt. Badly. Maybe it was just me, after all…
  • Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku [ヲタクに恋は難しい].
    Another, funny, enjoyable, otaku-oriented serie. This one with adult relationships.
  • Your Lie in April [四月は君の嘘].
    I’m not gonna lie: it’s a beautiful story, but if you’re just a little bit sentimental, you’ll cry a lot (the good part: I’m not gonna cry for the rest of 2020 since I’m out of tears for the whole year thanks to this serie).

This list will be updated not so regularly… expect some new entries during the summer.

… that is, the point of view of an Evangelion fan.

Last night I finished rewatching Guilty Crown. I went to bed at 3:30 am but I could not manage to sleep because I wanted to listen to that song again: Departures – あなたにおくるアイの歌 – BOOM BOOM SATELLITES remix.

I’ve seen Guilty Crown [GC] for the first time in 2013. At that time, I was really into EVA [1] and GC, that is produced by the same Production I.G. of Ghost in the Shell [2], really struck me for both the similarities and the differences with EVA.

So, after finishing the rewatch, I thought I’d better write down what I think about one of the member of the “Triad”, as I call a group of anime in which the World is constantly on the edge of falling apart [3] because of a deadly mix of science, magic and religion, the other two members are Neon Genesis Evangelion, of course, and Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion.

So, this is not a review, but just my “two cents” about the show.

Cover of the DVD's box art of Guilty Crown

Shu and Inori, for reference…

The initial setting is common to many stories: something really bad happened in Japan in 2029, life goes on, but there is an organization – some United Nation’s entity (not NERV) – that manages the country which isn’t anymore a sovereign state.
Instead of the Second Impact, Japan (actually, Tokyo) has to deal with the aftermath of a pandemic, caused by a virus named Apocalypse. The city in 2039 is more or less back to how it was ten years before except for some areas, like, for instance, Roppongi.
A group of people known as Funeral Parlor (or Undertaker in the italian fansub) came together with the goal of making Japan an independent nation once again.
In this scenario, our main character, Shu Ouma, accidentaly encounters Inori Yuzuriha, the lead singer of Egoist, a very popular teen music group which endorses the goal and methods used by Funeral Parlor. Inori‘s not only a singer, but she’s actually a member of Funeral Parlor. Also, Egoist is a pop music duo which actually exists because it was formed to create the theme music for GC.

Shu is constantly going through rought events, losing friends, self esteem and many times the will to go on. But Shu has his own good Lelouch [4] moments, especially when his friends’ life is at risk.
You don’t love him, you don’t hate him. He’s probably just an average main character bound to a cycle of events he’s absolutely not prepared for. He’s not your typical Shinji Ikari by the way. Shinji almost always run away, but when he doesn’t he seldom think about what he’s doing.

Inori at first seems your tipical Rei Ayanami, but she questions more about herself, who she is, what she likes, who she loves, pretty early. She’s doing a risky job, she’s ready to die, but she’s not the one who will die just because someone ordered her to, à la Gendo Ikari for instance.
Also, no, she’s not related to the main character’s mother in any way [5].

A lot of sad and bad things happen during the story. Villains are not just bad, they’re infamous and shameless, ready to sacrifice everything for their personal goals. Friends sometimes turn into foes, but no foe turn into friend (unless he/she was a friend before, that did something despicable, usually for a not-so-despicable good reason tho).
The plot is linear, there aren’t hidden meanings in what the viewer see. You just watch it to get to the end, while experiencing a visual and musical top-level class production.

Watching GC after seven years, given my memory, was almost like watching it for the first time. You know it was great, you know you like a certain character – in my case Ayase Shinomiya, you know things will turn bad, but you don’t remember why.
Given the length of just 22 episodes, I decided to take it slow at about two episodes per night, until last night when I decided to watch it till the end starting at episode 17.

GC is not an emotional roller-coaster like Scum’s Wish or Your lie in April, but when it ends, it leaves you a sort of bittersweet feeling, something not every story leaves you.

And that’s the reason why you should watch it if you already haven’t

1 I’m still into EVA, as of 2020, and I’m still waiting for the fourth and last installment of Anno’s Rebuild of Evangelion.
2 and a lot of other high profile movies and series.
3 and well in many ways it actually does.
4 Lelouch is the main character of Code Geass, usually the one who outsmarts everyone or by the way comes out with a plan that works.
5 …but ██████ ████ ███████ ██████ █████ █████ ████ ██████.