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Spring 2024 Impressions: Bartender: Glass of God, A Condition Called Love, Yuru Camp S3

Bartender: Glass of God

Short Synopsis: A hotel seeks out a Bartender capable of making the perfect drink. Can they find such a man?

Lenlo: Bartender is in a weird place. I was really expecting a more episodic, “People come in and talk about their problems and the bartender basically gives them therapy via conversation and alcohol” kind of story. However instead it seems to have an actual… plot? With goals? And challenges? The thing opens on a bloody exam arc as employees at a hotel seek out a suitable bartender for the bar, failing every applicant because they can’t make the “Glass of God”, only to stumble upon our lead who is useless at everything other than bartending. And you know what? It kind of works. I don’t drink, so a lot of it flew over my head, but I enjoyed the detail that went into selecting and putting together the drinks. Making something light for someone who hasn’t eaten yet? A low alcohol Highball using hard ice so it isn’t watered down despite having less whiskey? The care that goes into every action? It feels like whoever wrote this is passionate about their drinks, because they put a lot of care into this stuff. Now sure, the animation and everything isn’t great. It has a few shots here and there that look decent, nothing amazing. But I would say Bartender is good enough to be worth checking out if you’re interested in passionate niche hobbies like bartending. Maybe it will go somewhere unexpected!
Potential: 60%

A Condition Called Love

Short Synopsis: The hottest guy in school falls for a plain-looking girl after she uses an umbrella to keep the snow out of his hair.

Wooper: There’s been a miniature wave of good romance anime released in the past last year – Skip and Loafer, Yamada-kun to Lv999, last season’s A Sign of Affection – and I thought A Condition Called Love (Hananoi-kun to Koi no Yamai) might continue that trend. Despite my optimism, however, it seems Lenlo did the right thing in excluding it from the season preview, because this was a poor start to what feels like an ultra plain high school romance. “Plain” applies to nearly every aspect of the show: the character designs (especially the female lead), the animation (the brief lap-running scene was pitiful), and especially the premise (pretty boy falls for girl he’s never spoken to because she was nice to him one time). That ‘romance ex machina’ criticism is one that got lobbed at a lot of shoujo romcoms back in the day, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a series that deserves it more than Condition. After the protagonist shields Bishounen-san from the snow one afternoon, we cut straight to him asking her out the very next day, and it only ramps up from there. He continues inserting himself into her life at every opportunity, cuts his hair and stops wearing earrings to please her, and even goes back to school at night to sift through the snow in search of her missing hairpin. The second he said he could “die happy” if he got to see her smile, we passed the point of no return. Even hardcore shoujo fanatics should skip this one – leave it for the kids just getting into the genre.
Potential: 1%

Lenlo: Let this be a lesson Wooper, I’m always right. Maybe not immediately, but eventually time proves me right. And that’s exactly what happened here. I could tell by looking at the studio and staff behind Hananoi-kun that it was going to be mediocre. And here we are. Being serious for a moment, Wooper sums it up well. Everything about the lead is kind of just creepy. Dude completely changes his life, everything about himself, and forces his way into a girl’s life, all because she held an umbrella over him once while it snowed. That a healthy relationship does not make! On top of that, it also just doesn’t look good. As said above, it’s plain in every sense of the word, never doing anything to try and stand out nor catch the eye. As someone who was surprised by Yubisaki last season, pleasantly so, this does not measure up at all to what we just got done watching.
Potential: 0%

Yuru Camp S3

Short Synopsis: Rin goes on yet another solo camping trip, while back at school, the other club members plan a minor outing of their own.

Wooper: I did a little bit of Yuru Camp blogging in early 2021, and since this sequel has an all-new staff behind it, I figured I’d pop in either to encourage or warn off fellow fans from watching the new season. Happily, the transition was a seamless one, as this premiere felt like coming home – or more appropriately, returning to a favorite campsite. We’ve got the same well-lit backgrounds, the same talking pine cones, and the same rustic soundtrack as before (musician Akiyuki Tateyama is one of the few key staff members to have made the jump between seasons). New director Shin Tosaka has no prior experience with the franchise, but he made a great first impression, smoothly linking one of Rin’s present day Mt. Fuji viewings with her memories of her first camping trip with her grandpa. The DIY alcohol stove experiment in the second half provided the opportunity to show off the series’ new character designs – if I had to make a comparison, I’d say they make the girls look a smidge younger and more naive than before, but they’re so similar in motion that I can hardly count it as a negative. There’s also a post-credits scene where Nadeshiko’s childhood friend Ayano can be seen texting Rin from within her own tent, promising a future meet-up between the two sightseeing fiends. Oh, and the OP has some truly excellent shot transitions, making use of a borderless art style that’s quite refreshing – I’d recommend checking it out, even if (for some reason) you’re not a fan of this soothing series.
Potential: 60%

The post Spring 2024 Impressions: Bartender: Glass of God, A Condition Called Love, Yuru Camp S3 appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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