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Summer 2024 Impressions: Quality Assurance in Another World, Tower of God S2, My Deer Friend Nokotan

Quality Assurance in Another World

Short Synopsis: A player tries to save a village with a bugged strategy to kill a dragon.

Mario: There’s more to Quality Assurance than it lets on, at least for the good first 15 minutes of this premiere. I’m pretty sure everyone would consider “the twist” a legit gamechanger (pun intended here), as it opens up more layers for both the story and the main character Haga. For me personally, it comes off as a bit clunky. How can Haga have so many resources in the first place, and how did he bring them all there by himself before his showdown with the dragon? Does this also mean he witnesses Nikola and the villagers die every time, but only this time Nikola comes back to life? I reckon the show will address the second point later on, as there are still many ambiguous circumstances that await Haga and Nikola on their journey. For now, the character designs remain mixed as well. I really enjoy the designs and costumes that remind me of Kemono no Souja Erin and the Bookworm anime, but the Dragon design is a bit off (are they… dragons?). And the concepts of “debugging” and “non-player character that becomes a main character” aren’t something new anymore. This one does delve into a darker theme and more serious tone, which is always a welcome change, but I suppose we will get a full taste of it in the next episode – when Haga and Nikola explore the world and figure out a way to get Haga back to real life.
Potential: 40%

Amun: That was not what I expected. I thought we’d get something similar to the other Dungeon show (Working!! Dungeon edition). Instad, we’ve got something of the SAO stuck-in-VR setting meets To Your Eternity – not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good. I agree with Mario, those dragons are…not good. The overall story I guess is fine, and the characters are at least mildly engaging. I don’t personally love the designs or most of the visuals, but I’m a bit interested in the premise and the mystery of the world. The twist is fun, so I’m interested in this for at least a few more episodes. Not expecting anything great though.
Potential: 50%

Tower of God S2

Short Synopsis: There’s a tower that grants whoever climbs it fully whatever they wish for. Also, when betting on yourself, make sure to not go into debt so much that you have to sell your organs.

Amun: Ah man, four years since the last Tower of God, and I vaguely remember what was going on (just remember blonde girl is worst girl and something or other about Jahad). This definitely feels like a soft reboot, introducing a new lead. I guess it’s okay since Bam filled the role of the energetic newbie last time, but it just feels like a step back, storywise. I don’t entirely mind, I guess it’s okay to bring in new characters who I won’t remember in four years. I’m not sure I love our new lead, but I’m willing to give him a chance – everyone sitting waiting by the elevator was really funny. The action wasn’t super snappy, and the characters feel more….normalized than season 1. I really liked the first season since it was something a bit different than we usually see – a self-contained world with different factions, powers, and rules (something of a more serious DanMachi). This feels a little more standard fair (especially the character designs), but I’m still interested enough to carry on. I don’t have very high expectations though.
Potential: 50%

Lenlo: So this is where I have to be a bit of a negative nancy. I know a fair number of people were looking forward to this, that they enjoyed Tower of God, both the WebToon and the anime, and were excited for Season 2. But personally? I’ve always found this to be one of the series’ weakest sections, which is saying something for how bad it gets. It wants to do this “Who is he” mystery with the cloaked FUG member while simultaneously making it incredibly obvious that it’s just Bam with a new edgy coat of paint. It also tosses in a bunch of new characters that never really come into their own, but are shoved center stage because Tower of God doesn’t want to reveal anything with Bam after just reintroducing him. It’s just… Narratively it’s unsatisfying, always has been, and the only worthwhile thing I can see coming are the fights. Yet even those don’t seem very promising judging by what we got this episode. Maybe Tower of God has something coming, there are a fair number of fights in this arc, and Kevin Penkin’s OST is always pretty good. Just don’t expect anything great from it.
Potential: 5%

My Deer Friend Nokotan

Short Synopsis: A high school girl befriends a transfer student with antlers growing from her head in the hopes that her violent past won’t be exposed.

Wooper: I was originally holding out for fansubs on this one, since the official subs suffer from constant formatting errors, but we’ve got impressions posts to write, so I bit the bullet and watched what was available. Having seen it now, I don’t think spiffier subtitles would change my evaluation of this premiere by much; My Deer Friend Nokotan is supposed to be dumb fun, but instead it’s just dumb. I like non sequitur humor, which is most of what this show has to offer, but my issue is that this episode doesn’t establish a sense of normalcy that it can go on to break. Sure, there’s a school setting, which is probably good enough for some viewers, but from the moment Shikanoko transfers into said school, she speaks with a squeaky voice, causes property damage, and violates the laws of common sense at every possible turn. Even giving her a teenage speaking voice, rather than a babyish drawl, might have helped to establish some sort of mundane baseline against which her more bizarre actions could be contrasted. We never got that baseline, but this show isn’t totally without hope – there was a scene near the end, where a pair of characters flattered the main girl with progressively outlandish praise, that demonstrated some solid comedy fundamentals. That was the only moment where I cracked a smile while watching, though, so I don’t think I’ll be back for round two.
Potential: 5%

Lenlo: Look, it’s a meme show. There’s no other way to put it, Nokotan is a meme that lives and dies by its absurd comedy. If something about poorly composited CG deer and stupid physical/gross out gags from her deer-horned classmate sounds fun, then have it. I have plenty of friends who are raving about this thing because this sort of humor is right up their alley. Personally though, I was bored out of my mind this entire episode. None of these jokes are particularly clever, and I feel like it will run out of material by episode 3 at the latest. So yeah, as with most slapstick gag manga, this is a hard pass for me.
Potential: 0%

The post Summer 2024 Impressions: Quality Assurance in Another World, Tower of God S2, My Deer Friend Nokotan appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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