2022 has shaped up to be… an interesting year. February of this year alone has already proved to be the hardest and worst month for me ever, and the world situation has had plenty of ups and downs. Thankfully, anime has been on the up and up recently, with many bangers coming out recently. I also stepped up on how many shows I watched after a 3-month break in the last part, so there is extra content here for you all!
As a reminder, here are what the tiers stand for: A tier is for great shows, B tier is for good shows, C tier is for OK shows, D tier is for below-average shows, and F tier is for shows that I didn’t finish. And S tier is for my favorites out of the top of A tier. Just because I didn’t finish or didn’t like the show doesn’t mean that the show is inherently bad, it just means I didn’t get as much enjoyment out of the show compared to others on the list. The vast majority of the shows out there can be enjoyed by certain types of people depending on their tastes, so keep that in mind when reading these entries!
So in the previous post, I had watched the first half of Nisekoi. Overall, I put it in B tier. Now having finished the show, I’m very conflicted about where to place it. This show has a really great premise, great animation quality, and multiple very good moments that made me laugh or have a great time. However, the areas between these great moments are boring, very tropey, or extremely generic. Season 2 did no favors by steering the direction of the show away from the original premise and into a more generic harem-esque show. So ultimately, the rating got lowered a significant amount because of season 2. But keep in mind, this show is very polarizing, and if you need another slice of life rom-com show to fill your endless void of all things cute, this is a decent option.
Verdict: Updated to C+
We come back to season 2 of the show that I am extremely biased towards, being DOTA: Dragon’s Blood. Spun from the competitive, deep, and toxic multiplayer game DOTA 2, this show takes a leap into the lore of the series seen through character bios and makes a whole world with them. Season 2 is pretty much just a continuation of season 1, with the exact same strengths and flaws as season 1, which is disappointing. The show continues to be extremely fast-paced, blitzing through 3 entire storylines in just 8 episodes, which means we the viewers have a hard time keeping the information in our head since the cuts between action and story development is very quick and the amount of story development they drop is often massive. The show does still have great morality, where the bad guys are not necessarily all that bad, and the good guys are also very flawed and have problems of their own. This show has a very “Gray” sense of morality, where everyone’s point of view has merit, but also flaws as well as plenty of character flaws. This leads to an interesting dynamic, since there are now 3 points of view, and vying for power with their own greedy ambitions. If you are looking for something similar to the early seasons of Game of Thrones, this show is a good option, with its more medieval setting and aforementioned morality, however, do keep in mind the ugly noses and incredibly fast pacing.
Verdict: Staying at B
After watching Dragon’s Blood, I had to watch its premiere competitor, Arcane. Both are the byproducts of a MOBA with lore, but the similarities stop there since they are entirely different shows. As such, while many viewers and critics will say that Arcane is better than Dragon's Blood, I think that is an unfair comparison to make. It would be similar to comparing an Isekai to a Shoujou, they are just completely different in premise, tone, and theme. Now, that being said, Arcane is simply amazing! It is not strictly better than DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, but you cannot deny the fact that this show has insane visual quality compared to Dragon’s Blood. And it makes sense, this show had a lot more time to develop and a much, much larger budget, as well as being backed by the official developers in Riot, whereas Dragon’s Blood is not backed by Valve, who simply just puts the characters and skins in the game. The dynamic between so many of the characters in Arcane is really genuine and a breath of fresh air in an industry full of profiting off of reusing characters in different situations. Arcane also did the exact opposite of Dragon’s blood, as their episodes are much longer than the average anime episode in order to account for the amount of lore, dialogue, and plot exposition going on. Even though I personally still think that DOTA 2 is the better game, I can’t help but admit defeat when it comes to the animation and story progression. And with Arcane, I guess this blog is now an “Adult animation Blog” rather than an anime blog, since, by technicality, Arcane is not an anime. I do plan on adding this to the tier list, as well as some other shows in a similar format to anime but are not animated in Japan or the rest of East Asia, such as RWBY. I hope you all understand, and if it doesn’t get too much flak I will still call this an anime blog, but if needed, the technical term was mentioned above. Anyways, yeah Arcane is insane!
As a long-time fan of the Witcher series, I was really intrigued to find out that there was an anime based on The Witcher series. The quality isn’t the best out there, but it is solid and tells a unique story: the tale of Vesimir, a wise older Witcher present in the games and books. Just like with DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, this show was made by studio mir, however, I can’t help but feel that The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf had much higher quality in terms of animation and pacing. It’s a tough world out there for us Dota loving weebs. This is just a short movie but it was still cool to get a taste of witcher content after being left out to dry ever since they finished up Witcher 3.
My Senpai is Annoying is an interesting take on the business genre, as there are quite a few of them around nowadays. It was great to see a main character who has a very normal amount of male “density”, in terms of how they see situations. They weren’t like a lot of MCs who are as dense as bricks and can’t tell if a girl is hitting on them or walking past them. Instead, he is slightly oblivious but otherwise very competent. The actual workplace shenanigans are pretty standard, as are most of the out-of-work scenes, but the animation quality and writing really carry this show, so that even if it is a bit generic, it is very memorable.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is, by no surprise to anyone, an amazing show. I’m convinced that anything KyoAni studios makes is a guaranteed hit, the story writers combined with the animators bring these shows to life and to the top. The first season is a bit on the generic side for the majority of the show, with some hints of freshness to them. But the second season is chiefs kiss. This show is everything and more that you would want from your slice of life comedy, not to mention that there is a surprising amount of depth, FIGHT SCENES in a slice of life, which is just unheard of, and funny and cute characters that are hardly matched. Simply put, this show is a breath of fresh air in the cutesy slice of life genre. All of the generic slice of life shows are enjoyable to watch, but few try to innovate in the way that Dragon Maid does.
Speaking of top-notch slice of life shows. Komi-san Can’t Communicate. One of the “big 3” in the recent slice of life adaptations of successful manga, along with Uzaki and Nagatoro, Komi comes packed with just as much wholesomeness and some educational information on social anxiety. As someone who suffers from social anxiety (though not nearly as bad as what Komi has), this show resonated with me a lot and I ended up enjoying the show a lot more because I was rooting for Komi to overcome her problems. It also gives a lot of perspective on introversion vs extroversion, and how that ties into social anxiety. Many stereotypically “introverted” people or traits are actually a result of social anxiety and can affect anyone. We see this when Komi, who has never had a friend before episode 1, actively wants to have friendships throughout the entire show, and never says no to someone when they want to hang out. This is a likely indicator she’s, ironically, extroverted, and just had a hard time expressing herself. Anyways you probably know this show already, cute girl making friends and potentially a love interest while struggling to beat her social anxiety. Good stuff.
I was totally expecting Hundred to be one of those trashy low-tier shows that I know will not be that good but are still amusing anyways. To my surprise, this show isn’t THAT trashy. Like yes, it is trashy. It’s very cliche sometimes and it absolutely sexualizes the living daylight out of its cast. But the story and some of the plot points were actually decent, and despite being similar in nature, I enjoyed this more than most mecha anime. So if you’re looking for another power fantasy show, Hundred is not too bad. Just don’t expect there to be 5 minutes without a horny moment.
86 is one of the most intense, emotional, and impactful shows that I have ever watched, and I’ve watched the likes of Clannad, Arcane, Stein;s Gate, and Bunny Girl Senpai. This show gives an extremely in-depth view into the aspects of racism, government corruption, military strength, and fake news. Which are very heavy topics for an anime to be sure, and in hand with that, this show offers no fan service. Zero characters with unrealistic boobas, no ecchi comments, and no horrible camera angles that only see a girl's legs. This show genuinely gives us a story with no distractions. We see different forms of government, each with its pros and cons (though generally, we see more cons than pros for each), how people act when they are effectively war slaves, what the battlefield does to a person, how fake news can put up a facade of peace, and how corrupt the military can (potentially) be. This show left me in awe and I was always craving more. The ending at the end of season 1 part 2 is also just, so wholesome.
Even though Shin Nouzen seems to be the most average protagonist on the surface, the only average thing about him is his character design. The depth of his character is immense and his goals are absolute. He was such an interesting character to watch and to see grow. Speaking of growing, our other main character, Lena, had insane character growth, something akin to if one of us transitioned from our lives to a military general. With the war that is happening in Ukraine as I am writing this, this show gave me more bone-chilling shock and awe when someone died, death numbers were tallied, or when propaganda was made.
Tl;dr: Watch this show. No seriously, I recommend this to literally everyone. I think only Stein;s Gate tops this show overall. It is that good in my eyes.
Takagi-San season 3 continues to steadily improve, and by the end of season 3, we finally see our end goal in sight. Season 3 had a lot of interesting and unique scenarios that many other romance/slice of life shows don’t feature, which was nice. Only a handful of episodes were in the class, which is a nice change in pace compared to season 1 which was primarily in the school. If you enjoyed the previous seasons you will absolutely enjoy season 3!
Verdict: Still A, but moved up 2 places.
There were many shows that were hyped up this season, but few met the success that My Dress Up Darling received. It became an instant hit, with a lovable girl and a different premise than what we are used to seeing with other slice of life romcoms. And yet, I’m actually not the biggest fan of this show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine, but I don’t go crazy over it like some others do. I don’t think this is the smash hit of this year, or even the best waifu. The animation is excellent, the premise is indeed unique… but I think the character design of the 2 main characters was pretty lousy, in my opinion. Gojo was really whiny for a lot of the season, having multiple episodes where he is unironically screaming and I couldn’t help but cringe a lot of the time. In some episodes he is fine and even a decent MC but 3 episodes spread throughout the season he was just horrible. And Marin, who has quickly become best girl of 2022, is a pipedream to me. She feels… artificial to me. She is created to check off all the tropes guys want, all the interests they want, without being a very believable character. There are girls who are genuinely interested in the same things she is, but the way she acts and looks suggests a totally different lifestyle. It’s never really sat well with me. Again, I don’t hate her, I just feel like this dichotomy is off. So there we have it, my hottest take in regards to anime: My Dress Up Darling is mid, off the back of 2 protagonists I don’t really care for. It’s just my opinion though so if you like hopping on hype trains this is a decent show for you.
Plastic Memories tells a heartbreaking tale of a dystopia where robots are given human personalities and memories, only to be ripped of them in a decade when their hard drives reach maximum capacity. This is one of those famous tear-jerker shows, even when you know it is coming. This isn’t the most amazing show out there, the whole plot was hinted at in episode 1 and pretty much laid out in episode 2, but it is a decent ride to a known destination. Death is never an easy topic and we see how multiple characters in multiple scenarios cope with death and loss. With a bit more of a twist or a longer plot, this show could’ve easily made A tier, but as it is it’s a decent middle-of-the-pack show.
Tsurezure Children is a unique take on the overdone but popular genre of highschool romance. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of anime out there depicting young love, but the key difference maker is narrative direction. Rather than follow a single couple and their whims on life, we follow multiple couples and get to see more realistic issues. We see how couples who are just starting out struggle, we see the need for acceptance, finding your identity, finding common interests, and more. Even the character that I thought was going to cringe all over the floor only did so for about a minute before he became an acceptable level of cringe and acted like a human being. Over the hundreds or thousands of romcom shows, I would recommend Tsurezure Children to the lonely, hurting, or heartbroken, so you can see how actual relationships are played out, and not how they are fantasized.
You ever just watch a guilty pleasure show? Well for me, Girlfriend, Girlfriend is just a guilty show. We are once again struck with horrible MC syndrome, now with too much spine and boldness! But in all seriousness, this is actually a good case study on why polygamy doesn’t work for 99.9999% of people. Jealousy. And honestly, these characters are handling it pretty well, but at the end of the day, they are jealous of each other and feel they will never be good enough. As for the actual show, it’s not very good. If you like trash, this is some good trash, but otherwise, it’s just a clear reminder to only get involved with 1 other person romantically.
Fruits Basket is a classic show that got an amazing remaster within the past 3 years, and I figured it was finally time to give it a shot. As usual, I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually like the premise but then was proven that this show is quality. I’ll start with what I didn’t like. My main disappointment was that the show’s pacing was a bit all over the place. We would go from 4 slice of life episodes to 3 action/drama episodes to 6 backstory episodes, and repeat that cycle a few times. This is especially the case in season 1, while seasons 2 and 3 had a much clearer theme. Really besides that though, this is an amazing magical realism-type show, depicting a Chinese (I think?) urban legend in the real world. There was a really good sense of world-building and character development, and we could always see the characters slowly improving themselves and their state of mind. If you are ready for steady but frequent tone shifts in a partially wholesome, partially dramatic story, Fruits Basket is an amazing fit. Also if you love pretty boys, WOWEEE there are a lot of them here.
From one classic to arguably one of the greatest classics of all time: Samurai Champloo. If you are a diehard anime fan, you know this show. It isn’t recent, in fact, it’s probably the oldest show here on my list. But this show is one of the greats from the pre-2010 era when anime was less standardized. This show is just so DIFFERENT than other shows, and it feels good whenever one of these gems comes around. For example, the Hip-hop music which absolutely goes hard and sounds amazing, as well as a very important part of history that has almost no anime about it somehow (the end of the samurai era + the influence of the west on Japan). At times this show gets pretty repetitive, for example, Fuu is taken Prisoner or captive in at least 8 different episodes which is nearly a quarter of all the episodes in the show. Admittedly there is only so much you can do with her character, and this shows when Mugen and Jin are given very different and specific roles throughout the majority of the big fights or action scenes. All in all, this show is a vibe. I don’t smoke but I imagine that this is the type of show you could relax and take a smoke or a vape or watch drunk or watch high, really this show just fits that archetype. And even if you don’t do any of those things like myself, this show is just super chill where you can watch men be men, women be women, and anime be anime.
I think Mieruko-Chan is supposed to be a scary show but I’m not too sure, this show felt like it was trying a bit too hard to me. It definitely was disturbing, but rarely scary. And I’m not exactly good with horror, I would say I am average at best, but only twice did this show actually make me somewhat scared. The show also was very distasteful with the camera angles, which ended up sexualizing Mierkuo for absolutely no reason at all. Mieruko was a distressed girl with average proportions, so why are we given multiple shots of her bare legs or her butt? I guess anime tend to be like this at times. Other than that it was average. Left off on a cliffhanger so I suppose there is more material for a season 2 or 3. I wasn’t super impressed with this show but it wasn’t a bad experience for the most part either.
This season had a lot more anime compared to last time! I was just in a much better mood for watching shows and I had a few downtimes where I needed a lot of content to watch (social distancing in my house, some power outages, and me recovering from Kidney Stones T_T). I’m glad I took a break when I did, because a lot of great shows I had been waiting for finally came out and I was able to watch most of them. This upcoming season also has a ton of season 2 and 3s that I’ve been waiting for, so expect a LOT of slice of life in the next blog lol.