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!
The Fall 2020 anime season, and 2020 as a whole, has finally come to an end (to our displeasure and our delight, respectively). As was the case with the beginning of the season podcast, we came to the conclusion that there was STILL too much anime! That said, it was a blessing, and we took some time to chat about the highs and lows of the season, as well as the hits of the whole year.
Kyle was unfortunately not with us for this recording, but that didn’t stop us from slamming this cast full of stuff. Our highlights include gems like Zack cackling over Matt’s trip into the pit of Hypnosis Mic (easily one of the best shows of the year, fight me), coming down from a heavy-ish discussion about Wandering Witch by way of Love Live!, some legitimate (maybe?) hot takes about some of of the hits(?) of the season, and reassessing some of our takes from the beginning of Fall 2020 cast. There’s a bunch to see, and we had a blast with this one, so hop on in!
Okay, so here’s the thing: this was initially supposed to be a “Top 10 Anime of 2020” post. I had every intention of doing that, but then someone made a dumb joke about 2020 and 20 anime and I am also dumb, so I resonated with that and ran with it. So here we are now. You have made it to General Tofu’s list of 20 great anime series from 2020 – congratulations!
I was absolutely not about to rank 20 different series, so what I have instead done is that I have organized them by the season that they initially released in. I have also not necessarily organized this as a list of only the absolute best anime – there are definitely shows that I watching this year that I have rated higher score-wise than some shows that appear on this list. I am quite sure that plenty of the shows that did not make the cut for this list have been talked about to death on other end-of-year posts, so y’all probably don’t need to hear about some of them again on this one. Instead, I focused on picking shows that I would readily watch again, because I felt that that would be a more enjoyable list to compile, honestly. The list is pretty beefy already, so for the sake of brevity, let’s get this show on the road!
As another selection from the Mystery Garbage pool, we ended up watching We Rent Tsukumogami, a slice-of-life historical mystery show. If you haven’t heard of it before and don’t know what a Tsukumogami is, then you’re exactly in the same boat as we were.
This show packs a lot of decent surprises, in that not only is the show pretty well-done for what it’s made out to be, but it also does a serviceable job at providing a lot of decent storylines and integrating its characters into the story without making the show boring or uninteresting to watch. Plus, you get to see a talking comb! Who doesn’t love that?!
We ended up enjoying the show rather a lot and hope that you might give We Rent Tsukumogami a chance after listening to our discussion of it!