This Is Actually A Post About Anime (Whee!)
Happy New Year, all!!! Did you miss me?
I know, I know, I haven’t posted anything on this blog in forever. My last review was posted on July 5, but I know things have been slow on the blog for much longer than that. *sigh* I’m sorry I’m not providing regular reviews anymore. But I realized, sometime during the past few months, that I’m just sort of… done… trying to regularly review books. At least for the time being.
The truth is, I’ve been feeling kind of burnt out, not only on reviewing, but on reading in general (apparently that’s a thing???). It’s a feeling that’s been creeping up on me since around June, I think, but it really came on strong the past few months. I binged New Adult books for a while, which became my happy place (seriously, I read ~40 New Adult books in a row during July/August). They were quick to read, and light and fun for the most part, which made them perfect for my burnt-out self.
After that, though, not even New Adult could keep me glued to a page. September/October were very light reading months — and I actually haven’t finished reading a book (just for fun, that is) since October 28. That book was the novella Superior (which was super fun and you should totally read it). But then… well. Something pretty great happened.
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know how in love I am with the anime Yuri!!! On Ice. I discovered YOI in late October/early November, and it was one of the greatest things to happen to my 2016. YOI is the first anime I’ve ever really gotten into, and since then, I’ve been devouring pretty much all the anime I can get my hands on. It’s been wonderful. The anime train hit me just as I started to consciously realize how burnt out I was on reading, and honestly? I am super grateful that it did, because it’s brought me so much joy lately.
I’ve been having an absolute blast researching different animes to watch, getting recs from people, chatting with other fans, and generally discovering this new (well, new-to-me) form of storytelling that I didn’t know I needed in my life. I recently realized that I haven’t been this excited about something since I discovered that YA books were A Thing. It’s a really, really wonderful feeling.
SO! All that to say — I obviously need to write a post about my new obsession. A post on my blog. My book blog. …Shut up, I do what I want. ;) I’m going to do short little writeups for the anime series I’ve completed so far, and then probably just list all the others that I’m currently watching (or have at least tried/started watching). Where possible, I will link to the anime’s page on Crunchyroll, where you can watch a whole ton of anime series for free (yes, free! and legally! Crunchyroll is the best). The ones that aren’t on Crunchyroll are available on Hulu, and I’ll provide links to those too.
So, without further ado…
Here’s what I’ve watched over the past two months!
Yuri!!! on Ice | Sword Art Online | Haikyu!!
Yuri!!! on Ice — 1 season (so far) / 12 eps — — The anime that started it all! :D This show is ACTUALLY FLAWLESS, you guys. There is just… too much to love. If you’ve heard anything about YOI, you’ve probably heard about the ship, which IS spectacular. But one of the other main reasons I love this show is for its genuine and thoughtful portrayal of a character with anxiety, who grows so much and yet remains himself through it all. That portrayal means a lot to me, personally. ♥ Anyway, YOI focuses on Yuri Katsuki, who’s the top figure skater in Japan. Except he did really badly in a string of competitions and has decided to take a bit of a break — but then his skating idol, Victor Nikiforov, shows up in his town to be his coach. Yuri and Victor are the main characters, and they are so fantastic, but honestly every other character is also wonderful (except the ones who are fun to hate — shout-out to Chris and JJ!). This anime is just great on so many levels, and if you enjoy wonderful things, you should watch it.
Sword Art Online — 2 seasons / 49 eps — — This one is pretty good. It’s about a virtual reality game set in a fantasy world, and the players all get trapped there. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but… if you die in the game, you die in real life. O_O SAO was the first anime I ever watched all the way through, thanks to bingeing it in its entirety before YOI S1 was done airing. The first half of the first season (which is the first story arc) was REALLY REALLY GOOD; the second half, I did not like; and the second season was sort of hit or miss — some eps were really good, some were meh. I’m still a superfan of the first arc, so I’d recommend that for sure; but if you watch it, go into it knowing that the rest… will not be as good.
Haikyu!! — 3 seasons (so far) / 60 eps — — Haikyu!! is currently tied with Yuri!!! on Ice for the title of my favorite anime. THIS SHOW IS EVERYTHING. If you watch anything from this post other than YOI, watch Haikyu. I’m obsessed. I’ve watched the first two seasons twice already, and I’m gearing up for another rewatch soon (I actually also just bought the manga that this anime is based on. I am in too deep, send help.) I love love love these volleyball nerds with the fire of a thousand suns, they are SO PRECIOUS TO ME I can’t even handle it. The friendships in this show are just amazing to watch grow and develop. Like YOI, Haikyu has an incredible, large cast of characters — if anything, Haikyu!! handles its large cast even better than YOI, but that might just be the product of its having more episodes out than YOI does, so far. There is something to love and adore about literally every single character (except Oikawa, he is pure evil — lol kidding, just seeing if Sydney is paying attention :P). Please, please, please watch this anime.
Ouran High School Host Club | Fruits Basket | Days
Ouran High School Host Club — 1 season / 26 eps — — (I watched this one on Hulu.) This is possibly the… oddest anime of the bunch, lol. It’s really silly and a bit ridiculous but it’s also super self-aware (the characters talk about the show itself, and themselves as characters in the show) and the humor was right up my alley most of the time. Also the main character is a girl pretending to be a boy, which is a trope I will never not adore. And THE SHIP IS SUPER CUTE so obviously that’s a plus. If you like shows that laugh at themselves, but also have a lot of unexpected heart, watch this.
Fruits Basket — 1 season / 26 eps — — (Available on Hulu.) I am SORT OF UPSET ABOUT THIS ONE because the anime did NOT resolve things adequately in the last episode (I have a feeling I need to read the manga…), but overall, Fruits Basket was really sweet and entertaining and funny (though some characters were fairly dark, which surprised me but I liked it; I’m a fan of painful emotions in fiction okay leave me alone). I think I shipped the wrong couple though, so I’m halfway sort of not wanting to read the manga and just stay in my happy “these characters were totally endgame, la la la I can’t hear you, canon” place.
Days — 1 season (so far) / 24 eps — — This one is SUPER PRECIOUS TO ME. The main character, Tsukushi, is just… a little ball of unstoppable sunshine. I love him to bits and pieces. He gets in wayyyyy over his head when he befriends a guy on his school’s soccer team and then decides to join himself (he’s never ever played before), but this little guy is just… you can’t knock him down. Would highly recommend.
Free! | Poco’s Udon World | Yowamushi Pedal
Free! — 2 seasons / 25 eps — — This was an anime I found during my quest to find shows that were similar to YOI or Haikyu. It is similar, on the surface, but it didn’t have quite the emotional “pull” as my faves. It’s about a high school swim club, and deals with new, old, and lost friendships. It’s good, and the seasons (there are only 2) are short, so it’s a quick watch. Would recommend!
Poco’s Udon World — 1 season (so far) / 12 eps — — This anime… Oh man, you guys. This anime packs a punch. It’s beyond cute, but it’s also full of emotions that I just… alsdfadf. I adore. The main character, Souta, has returned to his hometown in the country in order to clean up and sell his family’s old house and udon restaurant, which his father used to run. Souta befriends a little boy, who turns out to be a tanuki (a little fox-like shapeshifter). This anime is all about family — found, friends, and actual relations — and it is… really beautiful. Also, did I mention, super. freaking. cute. I highly, highly recommend this. Please watch it and then come cry with me over its cuteness and beauty.
Yowamushi Pedal — 2 seasons (S3 in January!) / 62 eps — — I just finished bingeing this anime, and it’s AMAZING. It’s so so so so good. Definitely in my top three along with Yuri!!! and Haikyu!! (Can you tell I like the sports anime? I really like the sports anime.) The main character, Onoda, is a huge fan of anime and when he gets to high school all he wants to do is revive his school’s anime club so he can make friends (my sweet baby!!), but he ends up joining the bicycle racing club, despite never having ridden a racing bike in his life. I have a LOT of love for Onoda, along with all the rest of the misfits in this club. One other cool thing about this anime: From what I’ve seen, most animes have “next time on ____” previews at the end of each ep which can usually be skipped. But DO NOT SKIP THESE in Yowaped!! The “next time” clips are extra, small character moments that happened off-screen sometime during the ep, and they add SO MUCH to the show, it’s kind of mind-blowing. Watch this anime, please, and be prepared to binge multiple episodes per sitting because you will not. be. able to. stop.
Chihayafuru | Erased
Chihayafuru — 2 seasons / 50 eps — — I just finished watching this one today (Jan 1), and it’s great. It took me a little while, because it’s not one where I needed to watch the next eps right away, so I sort of interspersed these episodes among the other animes I’ve been watching. Chihayafuru is also a sports anime, but the sport is a traditional Japanese card came called Karuta. (You… just have to watch. It’s totally a sport.) It’s got really great characters, and I’m sad that I’ve now run out of episodes, because the ending didn’t wrap things up as nicely as I would’ve liked. It was still totally worth watching, though. Would recommend!
Erased — 1 season / 12 eps — — This is another one that I… literally just finished watching today. (I keep having to update the draft of this post, guys, this is getting ridiculous.) Anyway, Erased is a sci-fi murder mystery/thriller, and it’s super intriguing. (Also a bit dark, so fair warning.) The main character has this phenomenon happen to him where he spontaneously goes back in time a few minutes and is able to stop tragedies from happening. Well, something happens to someone close to him, and he goes back 18 years, to when he was 11 years old, presumably to stop the chain of events that leads up to what’s happened in his present — the thing is, a string of kidnappings and murders are also about to happen in the time he’s gone back to. (Dun dun dunnnnnnn.) As I mentioned, this has some darker themes, but holy crap did I love how this anime played out. Wow. I’d definitely recommend this, as long as you are not in the mood for fluffy cuteness. (Also, the English title is Erased, but the original title is also translated as The Town Where Only I Am Missing, which honestly fits the show much better than Erased, imo.)
Animes I’ve started watching but not finished:
- Ace of the Diamond — 1/126 eps watched — This one is a sports anime about baseball, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue with it. I found the MC kind of annoying… But there are 126 epsiodes?? It’s got to get good if it lasted that long, right??
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood — 3/64 eps watched — I will watch this series. It’s been recommended to me by almost literally everyone I’ve asked for recs so far, so I’m pretty sure I’ll really like it… I just… got interrupted… by other animes……. I’ll get back to it, I promise!!
- Yona of the Dawn — 4/24 eps watched — I’ll also be continuing this series (it’s fantasy! there’s a reverse harem! yes please!!), but I need to be in the mood. So far it’s kind of slow, but I know it picks up later, and I’m excited for when it does.
- Kuroko’s Basketball — 6/75 eps watched — Another sports anime, but I don’t find the characters in this one super engaging… yet? Hopefully ‘yet.’ I’ll continue watching, because it’s entertaining in small doses, but I’ll probably make progress fairly slowly unless things pick up character-wise.
- Your Lie in April — 18/22 eps watched — I’m almost done with this one, but I’m not sure what I’ll rate it. It’s good — it’s about a young prodigy pianist with a super sad past, who befriends a genius violin player. There’s great music, and the main character (the pianist) is really interesting. But it’s got major manic-pixie-dream-girl issues, which I don’t like. *sigh*
- Code Geass — 11/50 eps watched — This one was recommended to me by a few people, and it sounded SO GOOD. It was a pain to find, since it’s not on Hulu or Crunchyroll, but I finally found the DVDs at myriad branches of my library and had them brought to my local branch. I’m sort of sad about this one though, because I wanted to like it… and I’m not liking it. :( It’s very plot- and action-oriented, and that’s fine, but it seems to me like that’s hurting any meaningful character development (plus I don’t like the main character), so I’m finding it hard to get invested. I have to return the DVDs to the library tomorrow, and I’m not sure I’ll be checking them out again. *sadface*
- Fate/Zero — 1/25 eps watched — All I know is there is some kind of fight-to-the-death that’s gonna happen between 7 different mages, who are each able to summon the spirit of a legendary fighter (like, King Arthur) to help them. It seems like this one is going to be dark and intense and I am ready.
Wow. Wow, wow wow. Putting all that down in writing is sort of… intense. I can’t believe I watched all of that in less than 2 months. O__O But I’ve been having a wonderful time, so I definitely don’t regret it. I watched most of these based on excellent recommendations from friends, so if you watch anime and have any other recommendations for me based on what I’ve enjoyed so far, please feel free to comment with more recs!
Finally, thanks for putting up with me and this very non-bookish post. I’m still trying to figure out how to jump back into reading and blogging after my burnout. The next few months are going to be super busy for me personally, so for now, most of my bookish updates will likely remain on Twitter and Goodreads for the foreseeable future. But I do hope to be utilizing this blog in some way this year — I just have to figure out a way that works for me. :) Thanks for your patience! ♥
PS: OH LOOK I FORGOT ONE: Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s a movie, but still.I’m pretty sure I was the last person on the planet who hadn’t seen this before, but if you still haven’t, FIX YOUR LIFE PLEASE.