All, New Anime

Winter 2022 Impressions: Vanitas no Carte S2, Futsal Boys, Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to

Vanitas no Carte S2

Short Synopsis: A bunch of vampires, vampire hunters, a vampire doctor, and some spooky clowns go to fight an ancient monster, only to get time warped and fight each other.

Armitage: It’s kind of strange to see vampire anime making such a return to the mainstream all of a sudden. I have been known to bemoan the lack of representation for bloodsucking white people in this medium but lately I have been feeling spoiled for choice. Sure, most of them are still your standard fare and barely better than mediocre. Your Vlad Love and your Kyuuketsuki (Mars Red is good tho, fight me) and it’s easy to see Vanitas no Karte belonging to the same crop. But it really does do enough to stand well and above the rest of its clan. Its light-hearted colorful exterior is an affront for a philosophical, dark core and it isn’t afraid to tear its own chest apart to give us a glimpse of its beating heart. It’s good stuff, to put it shortly. And while this season 2 premiere doesn’t necessarily kick things off in blistering fashion, it has earned enough goodwill from me in its previous season to be fully onboard with what comes next. I see this following in the footsteps of Golden Kamuy and building up on a first cour that laid the groundwork to turn into something truly special as it goes along.

Potential: 80%

Amun: Well that was pretty weird. No secret that Vanitas’ first half didn’t have the strongest ending – but the second half has certainly started off strangely. Our merry band of frenemies (and legitimate enemies) goes out to find this “Beast”, only to get time warped. Alright then. I’m getting tremendous Re:Zero S2 vibes from the timeskip, the snow, and the mysterious new goth girl. Which isn’t really a bad thing, but a bit unexpected from our buddy French vampire show. The fights and animation still look great, so I’m along for the ride – but I’m concerned that the story is starting to wander.

Potential: 75%

Futsal Boys!!!!!

Short Synopsis: Two high school boys put some mean ol’ bullies in their place with mad futsal skills.

Mario: I admit that I had reasonably high hopes for this original sports show, and as a result I was let down by the first episode. But while the premiere isn’t a standout by any means, It’s still a functional one. In the span of 20 minutes it establishes the basics of futsal, introduces the team and the personalities of our main characters. The only issue with that is that by doing so it forcefully creates a mock-match and pushes the drama in all directions. The production is subpar for a sports show, unfortunately, hence we get a fair share of still screens even in this first episode. I’m still intrigued to see how the team will shape up so I will be checking in for the next few episodes, but as with any sports show my concern is whether or not they could end this conclusively in a cour.

Potential: 30%

Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to

Short Synopsis: Two guys are whisked away from their mundane lives to live in a fantasy world, but one of them loses an important package in the process.

Wooper: Congratulations to the makers of this show for waiting until the 20 minute mark to display a midair menu detailing the main characters’ stats. I know it’s hard not to replicate every trope of reincarnation anime immediately upon summoning your protagonists to their new world, so the fact that Fantasy Bishoujo was able to delay such a well-loved staple for so long is proof of its rookie director’s patience. I hope to cultivate the same sort of patience within myself as I wait for this isekai romcom, which has already hooked me after a single episode, to air each week. It will take a determined heart and a diligent mind not to read ahead in the manga and find out whether these thirty-something men, one of whom was cursed with the body of a teenage girl, will confess their feelings for each other. But damn it, if a first time director can master her impulses and put the focus on her characters before feeding us those oh-so-sweet video game menu screens, I can surely restrain myself for seven days at a time. Those week-long waits will make each new episode that much better, I just know it!

Potential: 0%

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