I only kept up with 3 new shows from this season, but all three were excellent. The other 2 I tried watching but ultimately abandoned.
3. A Place Further than the Universe
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️
Four girls team up with the dream of joining a civilian manned expedition to Antarctica.
Shirase's mother was on the first expedition this team made years ago, but she did not make it back. Since then Shirase has become an outsider at her school viewed as crazy by her peers for her single-minded drive to go to Antarctica, the place where she lost her mother.
Mari has never done anything exciting with her life and its eating away at her. When she meets Shirase, learns of her dream, and reads the book her mother wrote about Antarctica "A Place Further than the Universe" she decides she's going too.
Hinata is a dropout who wants to do something big before entrance exams put her back in school & Yuzuki is a child actor with a ticket for the expedition but no desire to go until meeting friends her own age who actually want to go.
This anime captures the excitement of chasing after a goal with no actual plan. The exhiliration of defeating the odds. And the resistance and scrutiny you meet after announcing your pipe dream to the world.
What drives all these people to go to Antarctica, the barren, dangerous, frozen continent? Especially the Japanese section which is particularly inaccessible due to their position after WW2.
And if Shirase manages to get there, what will it mean for the way she mourns her mother?
This anime is jam packed with friendship, a sense of wild adventure, and awe for the natural world. Even with its young protagonists,it feels like a mature anime with higher emotional and physical stakes. As a viewer you really hope nothing will go wrong when the crew smiles and claims everything is fine.
2. Yuru Camp
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
I was really excited to watch this anime and it did not let me down. I don't even like camping, but I enjoy being out in nature (even in winter) and solitude, which are themes this story plays with.
The friendship between the girls of the outdoor club takes time to form, but by the end they have a solid group.
The joy of the show leading up to that point is the shots of natural settings. Learning little camping tidbits. The jokes the girls text message each other. And the food they cook.
The main story surrounds the friendship of Rin, a diehard solo camper, and Nadeshiko, the bubbly, ditzy, new girl whom she stumbles upon at a lookout of Mt. Fuji. Nadeshiko becomes enthusiastic about camping as a result, but Rin is not in the market for a partner.
This show is super relaxing just as the title, Laidback Camp, would imply. I would like to read the manga now as well.
1. Hakumei to Mikochi
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
This is a slow, methodical, fantasy story about tiny girls who live in a tiny fantasy woodland realm. They care for their home, go into town, work, & eat and drink.
The animation is so pretty and tranquil, often slicing out a panel from the scene to linger on the screen. It reminds the viewer that this was originally a manga & is a story meant to be enjoyed slowly. The situations they get themselves into show off the unique way they interact with a world much too big for them.
The fantasy realm is also populated by cats, and badgers, beetles, birds, and skeletons brought back to life...yep. Watch it to to see for yourself.
Another great feature was the music. I've been listening to the soundtrack ever since.
This really feels like a children's story made for adults. Like a Little Bear or a Busytown, Franklin the Turtle -- you remember those types of shows, right?
The only objective being to soothe and keep our attention as we watch these tiny girls enjoy a simple life well lived, winning quiet victories along the way.
I loved this anime. I will post a full review to promote it further.
Watched: 6 episodes
I wasn't sure what to expect from this romance anime, but it was not the kind of romance plot I was looking for.
I was expecting more of a clash of wills and temperament between Yuzu and Mei as they're forced to share a new life together, followed by growing romantic tension. What I got was a lot of people forcing themselves onto others devoid of emotional involvement.
I watched six episodes of these two not communicating, acting without clear intention or repercussion for their actions, not being emotionally honest.
By episode six there was a glimmer of hope that an actual healthy relationship could possibly develop between them. Yuzu helped a family member of Mei's, and then Mei stood up for the bad behavior of Yuzu to the school President, but I was not convinced enough to stick with it.
My favorite thing about a romance plot is how characters behave leading up to their confession or first romantic interaction. And this story didn't appeal to me because they both acted like jerks.
The animation and character designs are super pretty though.
Watched: 6 Episodes
Really cute idea. Great marketing plan to get new fans & also remind old fans why they fell in love with the characters and the brand.
Unfortunately, I found this anime to be a lackluster watch. Boys who like Sanrio meet more boys who like Sanrio. Each boy remembers why they love their favorite character. Some are embarrassed of this hobby. And the outsiders looking in all have their own opinions on the matter.
Whenever they visit the Sanrio store or theme park the animation becomes a funky photorealistic setting.
It just didn't do it for me. When conflict arises their love of the Sanrio characters & the friendship among the boys gets them through it, and while they're all very nice, I got bored. It needed something else going on.
If they make another anime, perhaps the other Sanrio Boys manga with the reverse harem plot, I'll give it a try.
Did you watch any of these anime? What did you think? What else did you watch this season?
Thanks for reading,
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