Backlog Busting – My January 2023 Watches

Hey all, I’m back with another (hopefully) interesting post, and it wasn’t several months between the last one this time! it’s a Backlog Busting post this time, but with a little bit of a different, shorter format than before! 

I didn’t really have anything really thought-invoking this past month of anime watching, but that doesn’t mean that these shows weren’t talking about! Not everything has to be the next Evangelion of anime after all, plus I like sharing my thoughts about shows in a more open, fun way sometimes, so I thought this would be a great way to do it!

Thus, this format was born: a new form of Backlog Busting post! I hope that this format works a bit better for when I’m watching shows that I have a bit less to say about, but still want to give them a mention and talk a little about them, for better or for worse! 

So, let’s start diving into these shows then!

Initial D (Season 1)

I said “let’s dive into some shows”, but maybe I should have said, “let’s drive into some shows” instead… (Tofu vetoed this one, but I put it back in! Take that!)

Well anyway, everyone knows about Initial D just because of the Eurobeat music and the associated memes that were put into the show. Honestly, though, there’s a reason that it’s one of the biggest parts of the show for most people. If someone asked you to name one of the biggest anime that represented the 80s/90s in sound alone… Initial D has got your back, simply because of the Eurobeat tracks used within the show. If you don’t know what kind of genre Eurobeat is, just imagine it’s EDM/Dance/Electronic music, except made in the 80s/’90s instead of the modern day. I present one of the most iconic examples below of an iconic Eurobeat track with a scene from the first season.

Yes, the drivers are fast and furiousthat their sweet sportscars are getting punk’d by what’s basically a Corolla

So now imagine this: a show entirely about driving fast, street racing various kinds of cars, and the experiences of a bunch of teenage antics, and that’s basically the Initial D experience. It’s a whole show about racing cars and pushing them and their associated vehicles to their limits. A lot can be said about it being a sort of coming-of-age show since most of our main three characters grow into adulthood through their racing antics and learn a lot more about themselves and about life’s experiences in the fast lane.

Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about it beyond that, except there are a lot more seasons of this show, and it’s a pretty old anime in general, but the quality still holds up over time; that’s saying something coming from me that dislikes most older art styles as well. I think it’s worth it if any of the above sounds even remotely interesting… it’s basically a racing/sports anime with some kick-ass music behind it. I’ll definitely be watching more of it so y’all will definitely get to hear about it more as I progress into the show.

As a side note, try to listen to a Eurobeat song if you have a commute to work or are taking a long trip at some point. You’ll really feel like you’re a character in the Initial D anime and it’s pretty invigorating. Just maybe don’t try to do some extreme drifting like they do…

Chainsaw Man

It might come as a huge surprise to you that I ended up watching Chainsaw Man almost right after it aired! It should, because this isn’t typically the sort of show I would watch, but ended up being coaxed into it by some co-workers/acquaintances of mine to at least give the show a try… so I did! This was surprisingly… pretty good. It didn’t blow my mind or anything, but it was a relatively fun watch and I thought that maybe someday I can read the manga, so I thought it was interesting on at least some level!

I know there was a fair few people on social media that thought the show was just an average show, but honestly? I thought that was fine for what it was. It was just different enough from the shounen formula to stand out and the characters acted interesting enough that it kept me wanting to watch more of the show every episode, and I don’t think a show really has to do more than that. Was it “blow my mind” amazing? Not really, but if you love this stuff, you’ll love it because it’s just fresh enough of a story to keep you enthralled as you watch it. 

I don’t really have much to say about Chainsaw Man from my perspective, except that I feel like it has a great storyline basis from the first season and I would love to see a second season of this! MAPPA did a pretty fair job with the anime, so I don’t really have any complaints there (except all the things about MAPPA as a company, of course). It probably wouldn’t be my first go-to anime of this kind, but it’s just a solid, modern shounen show and I’m interested to see where it goes!

Bocchi the Rock

Yes, this is what everyone was waiting for, right? There is no way I was gonna pass up Bocchi the Rock when Bocchi was literally me at a point in time. There probably isn’t really a lot to talk about the show (except maybe the animation, A+ tier), but while I thought the show was just a solid show of its genre, I can’t emphasize enough how much heart that these characters have, especially since I relate to Bocchi so much.

I’m sure everyone’s had Bocchi-like moments, so it can make it pretty comical at times, but sometimes it’s also hard for someone like me to not cringe at some of the moments in this show because I know have done some of the exact things she’s done, especially in high school, and the thought process is the exact same. It’s kind of uncanny, but sometimes you really do feel like turning into a blob and screeching at the top of your lungs in a really traumatic scenario. Or at least I can relate, maybe the feeling isn’t like that for everyone. 

But even putting Bocchi as a character aside, I love the other girls too. Kita, for example, is a pretty great character, considering she’s basically meant to be a sort of well-liked popular girl, but then seeing moments of her where she’s completely embarrassed by something silly like the pun that her name creates just really hits all of the right notes for that sort of character and allows her to connect with Bocchi on a level. The same sort of thing goes for Nijika and Ryo too. There’s something so relatable to all of the characters that just makes this anime shine in its characterization and how they all just understand Bocchi without giving her a hard time about her struggles, mostly because they all have their own struggles themselves…

Well, in some way or another at least.

With that said, there was obviously just a lot of effort put into the show’s animation and style, and, dare I say that Cloverworks nails it yet again (except Wonder Egg Priority, let’s just forget about that one). 

The animation and the music are literally the stars of this anime… you know, beyond the Kessoku Band themselves. There are so many moments where the songs and the animation are so creative or mind-bogglingly out there that it just always keeps you interested, even if the anime does have its more serene and “cute girls” anime moments that might be a bit rehashed. That’s fine though because there’s just so much to the show that you can focus on beyond the plot itself and it’ll keep you interested in the show.

Bocchi the Rock is just a stellar anime in terms of everything that makes an anime enjoyable for me, and I’m glad I got to binge-watch it right after it ended. A great experience that I would definitely recommend to everyone trying to watch. There’s truly something for almost everyone to relate to or enjoy, and that’s honestly one of the charm points of the show. I will support Bocchi until the end of time, even though sometimes she is an emotional disaster that needs to calm down…


That might not have been a lot of shows in one month’s worth of time, but it was a great way to push through the backlog while also staying up with some more current shows that I haven’t gotten to enjoy yet as everyone else had!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this rapid-fire, condensed version of Backlog Busting! Hope that I can find some more winners in February!

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