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Friday, June 22, 2018

Anime Hype: What We've Been Watching

Here's a list of some of the animes we've been watching. Hopefully, you've gotten into the series and can spot them as cosplay at Anime Expo next month or can see them before the convention to chat with other fans about them. Some are coming to an end fairly soon as new summer animes are just about to come out in Japan. So, maybe you can binge one or two before AX. All are available on Crunchyroll.

Dubbed and subbed

What's It About: A yakuza, Nitta, for no real reason encounters a young girl, Hina, trapped in a weird sort of metal egg when she just appears in his upscale apartment. After being ignored for an entire night as though she was a bad dream or Nitta seeing things, Hina eventually she gets out of her metal shell. Hina turns out to have telekinetic powers and forces Nitta to take care of her. This bizarre situation eventually grows into a father daughter relationship and becomes ever more strange as the people in Nitta and Hina's live get pulled into their weird lifestyle, but some are already weirdos from the get go.

Why We Love It: You'd think it be the telekinetic tantrums of middle school girls, but really it's the look on people's faces throughout this anime that could become instant memes or warning signs of any culture to leave, be afraid or that you suck.

Then there's the great comedic relationship of Nitta and Hina. As Hina is a lazy slob who doesn't really care or understand the basic world plays off a guardian who is a yakuza, who just wants to picks up chicks and drink, you get a lot of great moments.  Moments like taking your daughter and her friend to a hostess club. They're are a mismatched pair that perfectly work as a team of total airhead and terrible Dad that entertain us for our own pleasure at their displeasure.


What's It About: Lupin is back, yet again to steal our hearts and occasionally our wallets. Known since the 70's as an anime about a master thief that goes around the world pulling off major heists, the series comes back updated for the modern times. Lupin III is the latest iteration of the series that brings back the samurai Goemon, top-shooter Jigen and the lovely Fujiko on Lupin's crew. And Inspector Zenigata is back on their tail. All new high stakes robberies are happening.

Why We Love It: In the first arc, Lupin has had to deal with the current internet age by having to save a young hacker girl while being hunted by everyone with a smart phone as a game was created by his enemies to track him anywhere in the world. The same arc featured the "dark web" trying to kill Lupin with an assassin game. It still felt like the 70's with the designs of all the bad guys gunning for Lupin being ridiculous.

It's not just one, but different directors will be tackling the series and some episodes take out of the current time frame. Two episodes so far have featured a different colored-jacket Lupin, that's how you tell which series is going on, so they were written and look like they were made back in the 70's. So far, they've been the most fun.

Golden Kamuy
subbed and dubbed

What's It About: It's Japan, sometime after the Russo-Japanese War, which you don't know much about, because it's not taught that much in public school here in US. It's the early 1900's and we're on an adventure to find gold with the Immortal Sugimoto, dubbed that named for not dying in some of the wars bloodiest battles. He's joined by a young Ainu girl, Asirpa with her wolf companion. Ainu are sort of like our version of Native Americans. They have to track down 24 escaped prisoners with tattoos on their backs that combine into a map that shows the hidden location of tons of gold. Some of the prisoners aren't that friendly and former soldiers and criminals have come together in the pursuit of the gold as well.

Why We Love It: It's like watching some bloody action fights mixed in with PBS episodes on cooking and history. As murderous and psychotic as some of the baddies are on the show we have internal monologues or thoughtful explanations on how to hunt different game to how the fishing industry works. The same goes for our main characters. Asirpa, the young Ainu girl will explain how to hunt and then go over the best way to cook any creature in the woods. Anyone want some squirrel brains?

The anime mixes these concepts of a PBS documentary show with horrendous violence quite well, even if people keep talking about getting boners over hunting and seeing their own brother being eat by a boar. One minute Sugimoto could be praising how well a meat is cooked, the next we could see a man's face barely being still attached to his head after a bear mauls him.

Darling in the Franxx
subbed and dubbed  

What's It About: Only kids called Parasites can pilot two person mechs, called Franxx against creatures called Klaxosaurs, monsters that look like techno music loving dinosaurs. Cities are now encased in giant mobiles fortresses called Plantations. We follow a group of young pilots as the battle the Klaxosaurs. The main story is about Zero Two, a girl with pink hair and horns and Hiro's relationship in and out of the Franxx. When battling Klaxosaurs their teamwork is far better than any other Parasite team, but it seems to be costing Hiro his life and Zero Two doesn't seem to be an average girl.

Why We Love It: This is the anime where the controls for a mech come off your partner's ass, like your driving them. It's such a ridiculous concept that does get played around with sexual and pervy undertones...or maybe overtones, it's really quite funny to see for the first time.

There's a number of mysteries and intrigue coming up throughout the series that have drawn us in. As per usual, why are kids/teenagers the only ones that can operate these bizarre anime girl looking mechs? "What's wrong? Something's way wrong.," is something we might utter to ourselves as we learn more and more about this world. And what starts out as a show about young kids piloting  pervert mechs to save their home, grows darker after every victory. Even with a classic beach episode you get in comedy anime you just feel a subconscious sort of dread. And you just want to know what's gonna happen next.