I will end up watching more shows than I thought this season.

When I began drawing up a list of shows to do for OASG, I was a bit stumped, having only 4 on the list: Just Because!, Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World, Love Live! Sunshine!! season 2, and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Anitwitter has, however, made that list longer, and so please don’t be surprised if some new show ends up cropping up on here. In the meantime, though, I’ll stick with the three I originally chose…

Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (which I will refer to as just Kino’s Journey from now on) was precisely what I was expecting it to be. Lonesome traveller Kino goes from country to country with talking motorcycle Hermes, stopping for only three days before moving on. Episode 1 brings them to a walled Wild West-style country where murder is not prohibited (while other crimes are). As they notice its citizens open-carry weapons, they realise that just because murder is not prohibited, it doesn’t mean it is permitted. Kind of hard to explain, so I’ll just leave you to watch the episode to understand.

(Bear in mind that although using the masculine pronoun frequently in conversations, Kino is in fact female. Crunchyroll messed up on the translation this episode; we’ll see if they correct themselves next week.)

Kino’s Journey is a very mature show, and its focus on its sole main character (well two, if you count Hermes) actually works. As you watch this, you don’t seem to mind that each episode will only have passing characters and no-one else that is really in the ‘main character’ department…well…for all I know, that could change, and Kino & Hermes will end up in constant touch with fellow travellers or something. I’m not totally sure if you could call this a sequel to the original Kino’s Journey show, or a remake/rework, but even if it was, I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen so far.

I was sort of expecting Just Because! to be pretty plain, and it didn’t disappoint me there…in that it truly is very very boring. Either that, or it’s just got off to a very very bad start.

A transfer student arrives back in town after 4 years of being away. He reunites with one of his old male friends, and they practice baseball. Aside from short scenes of some of the other main characters (trumpet practice, cram school, photography club), that is it. I’ve even forgotten their names. I’m assuming that one of the girls will romance him and they’ll all squabble with each other for about 11 episodes, until they realise that they’ll be graduating soon, and that the time they have at school is getting shorter as each day goes by, and that they should put all their differences aside.

If I’m totally wrong with the plot in this (bear in mind that this is an original show, and not an adaptation), I will be eating my hat. Sadly, that’s not even my only complaint with Just Because!

The animation looks so sloppy, and I cannot decide whether it is intentional or not. The characters seem to shuffle across the screen lazily, and none of them have really given out any emotion either. This is a seriously bad start to a show that, from watching the PV, looks incredibly plain and bland. Could this be the show I drop this season? I did do that Twitter poll asking whether I would actually drop a show in the Fall season, and it was a unanimous yes; I’m pleased to see you have so much faith in me 🙂

And now from that, to this…

Aqours returns! When I completed season 1 of Love Live! Sunshine!! I was a little put-off; I think this was down to that the ending was a little open-ended, and that a second season seemed too far away. Well, I’ve had to go and rewatch season one before I began with season two, and I’m glad I did, as I have so much more appreciation for the nine girls now. I was probably too attached to μ’s that I was looking for holes in aqours. Even though I’m expecting 12 mini-stories culminating in Dia, Kanan and Mari graduating at the end, I’m also expecting all of them to have richer storylines.

The main plot of the show is set up in episode 1: the decision has been made for the school to merge with a nearby one, regardless of what result aqours end up getting at the next Love Live! event. Totally undeterred, Chika decides to work for a miracle to happen in order to get the owners (Mari’s parents, who live in America) to change their mind. Something of a far-off miracle, but this is Love Live we’re talking about here, and there will always be a happy ending, no matter what. The Love Live fans don’t like to see their favourite girls upset.

Nothing much has changed in terms of comparing this to season 1 so far but I suppose that if there is one thing I missed in watching Love Live, it’s their not-so-great editing. In past Love Live shows, characters disappear and reappear in-between shots, and so I am expecting to see some pretty terrible editing this season. If it were any other show, I’d be complaining, but since I’m so used to seeing it in the Love Live franchise, I don’t even care anymore. I will, in fact, welcome it when it crops up…

Lastly, moving on to my classic/out-of-season show, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. To be totally honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I had never ventured into Lupin III territory before. I wasn’t sure if this show was the best one to start with either.

Oh well…I’m finding it a pretty fun ride so far.

I’m assuming that each episode will have a mini-story where Fujiko Mine is the main focus. A thief and con artist, she finds herself stuck in episode 1 when she infiltrates a cult where she hopes to steal its hypnotic formula. Seeing that Lupin is there for the same reason, the two decide to have a contest on who will get it first. Ultimately, neither of them win, as the whole lot spills into the ocean.

I was very surprised by the animation style which, despite going madly psychedelic half of the time, looks fresh from the manga. My research tells me that this has few wacky hi-jinks of previous Lupin III shows, and instead goes down a more darker, more mature and more sensuous route.

I have been told that this was a worthwhile choice for an out-of-season show, so I’m really looking forward to what kind of dark routes The Woman Called Fujiko Mine will go down on…especially as it didn’t shy away from nudity right from the equally psychedelic OP song.

So despite the major hiccup in Just Because!, this fall season is a refreshing change, in that I was originally going to watch only a couple of shows, but am ending up watching loads more. I intend to check out Land of the Lustrous, Black Clover, season 3 of Food Wars! and a couple of others too.