I love my job, blogging about the anime industry and watching out for new currently-airing series that are worth introducing to J-List’s customers in this blog. One thing that sometimes makes me sad is the way the “80/20 rule” dominates anime, ensuring that 20% of the shows will steal 80% of the viewers — I’m looking at you, Kaguya-sama and Princess Connect! — leaving some otherwise quality shows to end up getting ignored by most fans. So here’s a post highlighting four anime you won’t be watching this season…though we hope you do.
Gal & Dino
When I saw that there was a new anime about a “gal” (gyaru), those hyper-stylish Japanese girls who are popular with anime fans, I was excited. But I’m not sure if Gal & Dino (alternate title from the manga: My Roomie is a Dino) is going to be a smash hit with fans. It’s about a flamboyant gal named Kaede who brings a dinosaur home one day, and ends up living with him. It’s a slice-of-life about the adventures Kaede has with her new dinosaur boyfriend, and the show explores how their relationship unfolds, despite the irony of a girl dating a dinosaur who looks like Cookie Monster. The episodes use a combination of CGI animation and live-action, so it’s certainly unique.
Recommendation: it’s a charming show. Give it a watch if you like “gal” characters or dinosaurs!
HameFura: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
Another show I’m enjoying is HameFura, or My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, about a 17-year-old Japanese girl who’s an avid player of otome games, girl-centric romance games. She gets “truck-kun’ed” on her way to school and wakes up in the world of a game called Fortune Lover, in the body of a girl of noble birth named Catarina Claes. Catrina is destined to be sought after by several handsome male characters, but this isn’t a good thing, since she knows that the game she’s trapped in has nothing but hametsu furagu (death flags) in which she’s doomed to be killed or exiled.
Recommendation: I found this anime to be adorable and laugh-out-loud funny at points. It’s a classic isekai, with the main character possessing extraordinary knowledge of the world she’s in, and her struggles to change her fate are great to follow. Despite offering some quality escapism for female fans, I know that anime about or derived from otome games can be hit-or-miss in terms of popularity outside of Asia, so we’ll see how this does in the West.
Bungo to Alchemist
Another anime based on a popular mobile game, like Princess Connect!, but this one is aimed at female fans who love works of literature by Japan’s top writers. The anime features many famous writers as characters from the early 20th century from Osamu Dazai to Ryuunosuke Akutagawa to Ango Sakaguchi. As usual, expect a lot of handsome bishie characters and literature references that will likely be lost on Westerners.
Recommendation: while I love me some Japanese literature, I’m not sure how accessible this anime will be to most international fans. If you watched Bungo Stray Dogs and enjoyed it, give this show a chance!
Nami Yo, Kiite Kure!
Whenever I hear fans complaining that anime has been taken over by isekai, idol and “moe-blob” shows, I always scratch my head, since there are many examples of completely fresh ideas every season. That’s the case with Nami Yo, Kiite Kure! (Wave, Listen to Me!), about a fiery 26-year-old waitress named Minare who spills out her frustration about a recent break-up to a random man in a bar, only to hear her recorded words being broadcast on the radio the next day. When she goes to the radio station to complain, she’s offered a job working in radio on a show giving romance advice, and starts her new career as a late-night radio talk-show talent.
Recommendation: I found Nami Yo, Kiite Kure! to be a completely fresh and fun, and the character of Minare will totally bowl you over. At least it’s an anime made for adults doing normal grown-up stuff, and not yet another school romance with characters
half one-third my age preparing for their upcoming school culture festival.
Thanks for reading my list of four anime you won’t be watching this season. Will you be watching any of these? I hope you will give them a chance!
It’s Golden Week in Japan right now, a collection of various holidays that were placed near each other to give families an opportunity to relax and get away from work for a while. Although it’s been sort of “cancelled” but the current crisis, we wanted everyone to enjoy a little Golden Week spirit…and so we’re having a limited $20 coupon off $100 or more through May 6. Have fun, stay safe, and pick up something nice from J-List for yourself!