Anime Review Blog (January, 2024)

Michael Reynolds
6 min readJan 10, 2024

It’s the new year already! As usual, it just does not feel right to say 2024 yet. This post was meant to be right at the tail end of 2023, but I had some internet issues that were not solved until the new year, so apologies for that. Next blog will be 3 months from now, so that will be sometime around mid to late March, so look forward to it!

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is one of the hardest shows to sell to somebody. I can talk about how it is wholesome, heartwarming, tear-jerking, and a great coming-of-age story. But how do you get around the fact that the name sounds like it’s something for cannibals?

The only thing I can really say without spoiling the movie is that the two main characters are very aloof, and this is a joke between them. As relevant as this joke ends up becoming in the story, I do feel that this naming convention really holds a lot of people back from trying an otherwise very good movie. I’ve known about this movie for years, but I’ve never taken the plunge before now because of how weird the name sounds. Go out on a limb, watch this movie, and witness an amazing story that hits the highs and lows of life. There is very little I can say without actually spoiling the whole movie, unfortunately. The characters are very wholesome and relatable.

Verdict: A-

Beyond the Boundary is an interesting fantasy show that offers some unique ideas. Compared to many other fantasy shows, there is more banter and other anime tropes thrown into it. This is largely because it is made by Kyoto Animations, who usually do slice of life shows, rather than action, drama, or fantasy.

Frankly, I don’t have a lot good to say about Beyond the Boundary. The characters have overused lines that pop up 3 times an episode, half of the main cast are legitimate perverts in their free time, and the characters and early story generally feel shallow. The mid section of the story is alright, but not amazing, lacking some depth and development. However, the final few episodes are egregiously bad. Character A sacrifices themselves for character B, B gets pissed at A, B goes into another realm where A is still alive in spirit because, yeah may as well just be able to do that, they interact like normal for one episode, A dies, B cries, and then right at the end A just comes back to life, and even B says “How?!”. This is one of the most dissatisfying endings I have ever seen. The whole final sequence of episodes is supposed to make you care about the sacrifice, but then it all just gets undone to artificially add a happy ending. Unless all you care about is characters that had a crush on each other reuniting, this ending breaks everything that was set up. Sacrifices should mean something, but three times over, the sacrifice is just undone because a character is selfish. Oh yeah, and the main bad guy? He just disappeared. We saw him in the middle of a fight, but I guess we don’t have the budget to animate that. He gets 1 line saying that he is gone, and that is that. It is explained later what happens to him in the follow up movie, but having a show end like how it did, only being rectified by a movie that came out a whole TWO years later, put a bad taste in my mouth. To me, it is just the next day, but imagine you are a fan of the show on release and you have to live with that ending, yikes.

If you need something different to watch, this is by no means a horrible anime to watch. But if you want anything more than generic fights where the main character has 2 attacks, melee and ranged attack, or semi-wholesome banter, this show will not offer much. It is cliché in all the wrong ways, and fails to break the mold while also destroying its own story and adding way too much convoluted mess. If you want budget Persona, this is very much budget Persona.

Verdict: C-

Shogi has always been interesting to me, especially since 2020 when I got into the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series where it is a minigame in every release. When will Ayumu Make His Move? is an interesting shogi anime that has some solid moments. It is the spiritual successor to Takagi-san, which I rated quite highly, and both of the shows have similar feels to them. However, the dynamic is quite different, and there are a few iffy episodes. Ayumu is also a bit too stalwart on the outside, and it makes some interactions pretty awkward. We learn through his thoughts that he is more than that, but his very disciplined and studious attitude makes him a flat character who can’t express much sometimes. The ending was also a bit of a bait, which sucks because they genuinely could have wrapped this up in 1 season. Of course, I know its based off of a manga that has more to adapt, but still, it was set up to be the final episode and we get psyched out at the end. Overall though, this show looks decently promising and I look forward to seeing where it is going.

Verdict: B+

Carole and Tuesday offers a glimpse into a dystopian future with the trends of AI, and yet also manages to remain wholesome and fun throughout the majority of the story. We follow the two artists Carole and Tuesday who are just trying to make a living as artists in a world where 90% of songs are AI generated. The 15 or so artists are pretty much the only people trying to push the boundary on that and make authentic music, and it was really cool to see a lot of styles and backgrounds portrayed through the music. Frankly most of the world looks like if Elon Musk created Cyberpunk 2077, and in a good way. I know its hard to find a good way to bring him up, but genuinely a lot of the creations feel like stuff he would implement, not to mention that this all takes place on Mars after Earth becomes a wasteland.

We also get a dive into how bad the singer industry can be, and in a more western view too. Similarly to how Oshi No Ko portrays idols in good and bad ways, Carole and Tuesday does that for singers. We see drug overdose, social media influence, rising stars, cold and calculated managers of talent, genuine fans who are pushed aside, and so much more through the well written story.

Really my only complaint is that the singing portions are always dubbed. I get why they did that, since it focuses a bit more on a global industry, and just like how we like hearing Japanese voices with subs, many Japanese people like hearing English voices with subs, and this is one area where that is used. It does make it jarring to go from a Japanese voice actor to an English singer once or twice per episode, but it’s a pretty good sign when that is the biggest complaint that I have.

Verdict: A

I know that the start to 2024 hasn’t been amazing so far, and it’s probably going to end up looking pretty ugly as well with the US election coming up in the fall, but I find that those times of strife or disaster are the times where we can delve the deepest into fictional media like books, games, and anime. So through thick and thin, I hope to bring you all some good reviews that will encourage you to give a series a try. And from wherever this was shared, feel free to give me any feedback. Thanks for reading!

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Michael Reynolds

I write blog posts about anime reviews and other miscellaneous things that interest me.