I must say that I really enjoyed having a long holiday weekend! Point of disclosure: I am a lapsed anime fan who has been hemming and hawing about getting back into watching content regularly. This past weekend was perfect for jumping in head first and not only watch a few classics but find some new shows that just started in 2018 to follow as well. Below are a few shows that longtime fans as well as new fans alike may enjoy.
First aired: January 5, 2018
Plot: The show starts off with 2 great houses about to unite at a wedding, between Alex Deux and Marrine Kreischewhen, but it’s ruined by a demon from a dimension of Chaos. The houses, so anxious to get power and crests (which is what they use to fight off the demons) they wind up going back to war with each other while fighting the demons. This show follows Theo, a knight and Siluca as they try to bring an end to the war between the nobility and stop Chaos.
The Good: For those looking for a show to scratch that Game of Thrones itch, this may be up your alley. There are a fair number of characters as well as your usual plot and intrigue archetypes in these types of shows. So far, for a high fantasy type show it’s fairly grounded and mostly easy to follow. The opening scene with the Chaos demon ruining the wedding will really get your attention, whether or not the rest of the show keeps it remains to be seen.
The Bad: One issue is that the animation is not particularly great but it’s not unwatchable. The bigger issue however is that the first episode never really does much to explain how Crests are earned as it seems like it is key to defeating the demons. Also, the whole idea of Theo all of a sudden going from a wandering lord to a knight with his own castle and land in the space of half an episode seemed a bit rushed. The setup seemed like it was shoehorned in just to find a way to have him and Siluca to come together.
The Bottom Line: This show has potential as long as it explains a few of the concepts of what is happening. I am really curious to see how these Crests are obtained and what he and Siluca, who is an inexperienced mage at best, can do as a team against Chaos.
First aired: January 7, 2018
The Plot: In this surreal absurdist comedy, two teen high school girls bounce from one pop culture reference to another in this 4-koma random comedy.
The Good: From the “WTF am I watching?” files, this absurdist comedy is chock full of pop references that hit you at a rapid pace. A few I got and a few I missed but if you understand what’s going on, they make for some really good laugh out loud moments. I am sure most of you will get the Skyrim and Pokémon ones.
The Bad: Your miles will definitely vary depending on your degree of understanding of the references throughout the show. But don’t worry, there are probably a few hardcore fans that won’t understand everything…and that’s just fine.
The Bottom Line: Pop Team Epic is just the show that one needs to unplug and laugh out loud. It’s absurd, crude and right on time. Not every one will get it but it’s rapid delivery makes sure there is something for everyone. This possibly may be a contender for 2018 hit of the year.
First aired: January 6, 2017
The Plot: A businessman gets his faith tested by the divine by being killed in an accident. He is reborn as a girl in an alternate version of World War I. At the age of nine, Tanya enters the Mage Division and each and every time she tries to find a short cut to making life easier, Being X (God), tests her faith.
The Good: Although this show has been around for a year, most of my friends have stated that they have not watched as of yet so after watching 6 episodes, it’s one of my top favorites. I love the concept with this being the opposite of the story of Job. To put it into context, in one of the forums I was reading, a viewer was asking why was God being such a dick? Trust me if you know about the suffering of Job, what Tanya goes through is nothing. But the concept is still the same; what does one have to go through to show their faith in God?
Also along with a tight story so far, the animation is top notch especially during battle scenes.
The Bad: So far nothing is bad about it, but I think this story will only be as good or insightful depending on the beliefs that one may or may not have.
The Bottom line: The Saga of Tanya the Evil is one of the few anime series that comes along that even a casual viewer can pick up and watch that will generate conversation. The plot is easy enough to follow and there are times you will find yourself simultaneously rooting for and against Tanya as she looks to outsmart Being X.
These are my picks so far, if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments section below.