Rest In Peace, Anime Strike.

The year has only just started and already we have some anime news. Anime Strike is now no more, and all of their shows will be put straight onto Amazon Prime Video, thereby removing the double paywall that US fans have had to put up with. I don’t think Amazon will give up on the anime bandwagon though; they will just see this as a lesson learned perhaps. Also I didn’t actually expect Netflix to release Devilman Crybaby in its entirety on Friday; I had anticipated they would release episodes weekly. Oh well, Netflix had originally given us mixed messages on whether they would even release Violet Evergarden in the West this winter, but it turns out that they will after all (but not everywhere). Maybe this is another lesson learned after they held back the release of Little Witch Academia until the end of June last year (either that or that was their original plan).

Anyway, onto the shows I’m reviewing this season…

I begin with Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san/Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, and I’m not entirely sure where to start.

Its premise is that the viewer (and through the eyes of the hopelessly stupid Yuu), sees Koizumi as a cold beautiful and anti-social transfer student who has a unexpected passion for ramen and ramen shops. We learn that her personality almost does a 180 as she tucks into every ramen bowl she orders either on lunch or after school, and is more than happy to go into great detail about the regional kinds of ramen available.

Koizumi ends up almost like that friend you have who tries out world beers, and then keeps some kind of record or book or blog on them. Yuu’s own infatuation with her ends up turning stalker-ish and I think it could be the cause of me feeling a little down about the show, because after watching a lot of gourmet shows (some very informative, others downright lewd), I have felt that any distraction from the food itself can make a show not so enjoyable to watch, and Yuu’s own behaviour is not helping, despite it likely being quite central to the show. Although here is hoping that the other two characters (Jun and Misa) are more rational as this show goes on. From what we’ve seen of them, they appear so.

As for Citrus, well I am very glad to see it come to the screen at last, but a part of me feels just a tiny bit disappointed. Is this that feeling that one has when you’ve read the manga and have high expectations?

If you don’t know the plot, fashionista gal Yuzuko transfers to a strict all-girls school full of sheltered kids when her mother remarries to a man who is absent in this show. At the new school, she stands out like a sore thumb and immediately makes an enemy of student council president Mei, who we later discover is to be her new step-sister. Yuzu is an okay character, presented both as light-hearted and slightly philosophical. She can’t get Mei out of her head, it irritates her that she is to be there in her home all the time, however this irritation only leads to curiosity. Mei, on the other hand, is a little too soon to judge, and so I hope that in upcoming episodes, we’ll get a better picture on how the writers have decided whether to make her screen version a good one.

Someone asked me whether we should be believing the hype when it comes to the Citrus anime, well my answer to them would be…I don’t know yet. It’s too soon to say. Citrus is yuribait trash, and there is no doubting that…but it’s yuribait trash for the yuribait trash-loving fans. The end scene with Mei’s assault on Yuzu is seen as less of a seedy sex scene that is put together to please the pervs, and more of a actual assault, although more mental than physical. With Yuzu taunting her on her witnessing that kiss with their homeroom teacher, this scene is framed as Mei proving a point and shutting Yuzu up, instead of being framed as some lurid kissfest, like some of us had secretly hoped it would turn out as.

The first episode has certainly teased me into keeping a close eye on this, and while I know that it won’t tell everything that has happened in the manga (so far) in the space of 12-13 episodes, I’m pretty confident that Citrus will deliver and keep us all happy.

I also learned today that the director of this, Takeo Takahashi, also did Yosuga no Sora…yes, that incest show.

My chosen classic/out-of-season show for this season was Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, and today I learned that it is available in many more places than just Crunchyroll and on home video; Hulu apparently also have it. After watching some heavy classic shows like Haibane Renmei and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, it’s been rather nice to turn to something much…simpler.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this; I missed Chiyo, and I missed Nozaki-kun. It was that bicycle scene that got me hooked to the show from the beginning, and watching this again has kind of done a reset for me, as I can effectively ‘begin again’ with being introduced to the rest of the cast: Mikorin, Yuzuki, Kashima, and co. ‘Beginning again’ is actually quite pleasant as, even though I know the show and the characters, I can laugh at all the jokes I ‘sort of’ remember from when I originally watched this back in 2014, and at the same time find new good things in this.

Watching this again has also led to think on what the manga was actually like. You may or may not know that I only read manga when it’s highly rated (any manga-related questions can go to the others here at OASG 🙂 )

In next week’s post, I begin Darling In The Franxx and the short show Takunomi. I’m not actually expecting much from Takunomi, however I’m pretty certain that Franxx will give us something rather special.

What are you planning on watching this Winter season? Do you think it’s good to see Anime Strike go? How do you feel about Netflix’s new shows? Feel free to air your opinions in the comments below…

(…except anything related to Pop Team Epic…that show is pure trash…I lasted 2 minutes before I had to switch it off…)