Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is a delightful non-harem harem that’s genuinely not actually a harem, and wow, it’s a great time! This is one of the few shows where you’ll hear us complain about the show, but it’s only because there wasn’t more of it.
In this installment, join us for hot topics such as Matt forcing Zack to make hot takes “for content” and then berating him, the pair talking about the importance of ample development for side characters, and the intriguing quandary of “meta-gaming” a series years after it’s been released.
The Winter 2021 anime season was, scientifically speaking, both the longest and shortest season of anime in recent history. We were with these shows for what felt like ages, and they were gone before we knew it. Parting with anime is After taking the Spring 2021 anime season off because it would have burnt us out beyond all repair, we’re back for the newly-minted (and much less densely-packed) Summer 2021 season! Although there is nowhere near the amount of must-watch absolute bangers as last season, take it from us – this season is going to still be delightful, and a lot less hard on your plan-to-watch lists.
While that is the case, there’s still a good few shows that Matt and Zack have picked out that you should absolutely be watching this season. Strap in for Matt’s undying love of continued Love Live! franchise entries with Superstar!!, the desperate hope that Girlfriend, Girlfriend could be the next Gamers!, talking different anime tastes via The Case Study of Vanitas and The Detective Is Already Dead, and the reveal of sleeper hits of the season, such as Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan and The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace. Get yourself a nice boat drink and set your sails, because The Backloggers are driftwood for the summer season, baby!
This past anime season, counting holdovers from the Winter 2021 season, I watched 26 anime. Of those, I completed 22. Normally, we at the Backloggers would do an end-of-season podcast covering a select few shows in the hopes that we can get some good discussion for those handful of titles and not have a days-long episode on our hands. However, with our sort-of-official-but-not-really-announced two-month-long anti-burnout blog hiatus, we didn’t exactly have that structured outlet for putting our seasonal thoughts out in the open.
For everyone involved except for me, this was a mistake. Without the set three-to-five-ish shows per end-of-season podcast restriction holding me back, there is nothing that can stop me from talking about 26 anime from this season, which I will do, in no particular order, starting RIGHT NOW.
The Winter 2021 anime season was, scientifically speaking, both the longest and shortest season of anime in recent history. We were with these shows for what felt like ages, and they were gone before we knew it. Parting with anime is always so bittersweet, y’know?
This go-around, Zack and Matt narrow down the huge field of anime from this season to just a select few Backloggers’ Choice Shows™ for you to chew on (along with some honorable mentions and a real stinker). Join them as they talk some big ideas of the season, like what makes Re:Zero so good, season after season, why does the high school setting work so well for Horimiya while it feels stagnant for others, and what on EARTH happened to The Promised Neverland? You’ll just have to hop on in to hear about these and more!
In the past month, I have experienced the events of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk’s most widely-adapted arc, “The Golden Age,” no less than four separate times through three entirely different adaptations of the series. You might ask, “hey Tofu, what the hell?”, to which I would also say, “yeah, I know, what the hell?” When it comes to media consumption, I’m not exactly a person who frequently revisits series that I love, and I don’t really fixate on thinking about them once I have finished them. I’ve watched what might arguably be my favorite anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, in its 112-episode entirety about three times, though each watchthrough was separated by a few years. I’ve done the same for Psycho-Pass, as well – many watches, but it’s a series that I come back to every now and then. For these and some of my other favorite series, I have watched them, loved them, and been satisfied with simply the experience of doing so. But, for some reason, Berserk is different. Ever since watching the 1997 anime adaptation a month ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, and frankly, I doubt I will be able to any time soon.
Let’s just skip the preamble and get to the bottom line – Berserk is a masterpiece, and you owe it to yourself to experience the series for yourself.
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun is a bit of a weird pick – weird number of episodes, weird cast of characters, and a lot of weird, questionable directing choices. Somehow, despite all of that, we have come out of watching it…pretty pleased, overall?
In all seriousness, Iruma-kun is a heartwarming school comedy about a bunch of demon dumb-dumbs (and their secretly human protagonist buddy), and coming hot off the heels of White Album 2, this was, overall, a pretty refreshing little break. Hop on in as we talk about cozy, nice protagonists, some delightful goofs, and a surprising amount of “who thought this was a good idea”s.
Anyone hanging around the AniSphere recently has probably noticed an uptick in discussions about Virtual YouTubers, AKA v-tubers, and their unavoidable presence on social media platforms. While v-tubers initially became popular in recent years due to the introduction and popularity of the Kizuna A.I. Channel, the COVID-19 pandemic has vastly increased their presence as a topic of discussion, as well as a form of entertainment. Widely known groups such as Hololive and Nijisanji have continued popularizing the idea in Japan and overseas more and more every day, which has resulted in a cultural explosion across many regions of the world.
The idea of v-tubers has mostly been popularized by Hololive’s EN branch but has been popular since the introduction of v-tubers familiar with the English language. Because of these v-tuber talents primarily living in Japan and being backed by Japanese-based agencies, there have been various ways that the companies have decided to market them to different demographics across the globe. Each agency also handles its talents and branches differently by giving their management and talents varying levels of control, but also by having them under policies and conditions, as most businesses do. Of course, there also are a fair share of independent v-tubers that have borrowed ideas from these agencies and use them to create their own platforms, as well. There’s a whole spectrum of things to consider when it comes to being a virtual YouTuber talent in 2021.
Ages ago, Matt added White Album 2 to our pool of randomly-picked shows to watch, and after years of sitting on the list, we finally rolled it. I struggle to say that this was entirely a good thing, because my god, White Album 2 HURTS.
In fact, White Album 2 hurts so much that Matt and Zack end up spending close to an hour talking almost exclusively about the sheer agony of watching it! We aren’t even kidding. If you think you’re ready for White Album 2, then trust us – you’re not. But hey, you can at least swing in here and help us work our way through it! That would be really kind of you.
After five or so years of working on projects as part of The Backloggers, I think I can, with full confidence, say that I’m cursed. When you hear “cursed,” you likely aren’t thinking of it in relation to an anime blog or blogger. Sure, maybe a blogger is reviewing some “cursed” content, or maybe the content being put out by the blog is “cursed,” but that’s all in the fun, jokey, colloquial use of “cursed.” It’s never, you know, the “you got on a witch or demon or whatever’s bad side” bad cursed.
Folks, I mean I am the bad cursed. And it’s all because of fucking Hand Shakers.
Hey folks, there’s a whole dang lot of anime in the Winter 2021 anime season. And I mean a LOT of anime. It’s almost as if the Winter season is consistently and objectively the best anime for seasonal shows, year after year (editor’s note: It is!).
Since we’ve been blessed with another season chock-full of bangers, Zack and Matt have a whole lot to geek out about in this installment. Whether it’s the incredible sequels such as Attack on Titan’s Final Season, Re:Zero Season 2 Part 2, or a whole slew of newcomers like Sk8 the Infinity, Horimiya, and Wonder Egg Priority, we’ve got you covered on all of the must-watch shows of the season. Fortunately, we also have you covered on what you should absolutely *not* be watching (I’m looking at you, Ex-Arm). It’s an absolute smorgasbord of great anime, so hop on in and see what’s up in our fireside chat!