Guess who wasted her first few days of 2017?
Not long ago, I’ve gone back to binge watching anime. It was something I’ve miss doing since my high school days. After discussions with Shufei, I thought I should write down some of my thoughts cos trust my goldfish memory to forget them after some time.
(Warning: Some spoilers ahead!)
1.ユーリ!!! on ICE / Yuri!!! on Ice (I rate: 5/10)
I’m sure this anime is all over the internet right now due to its immense popularity that seemed to centered around the (romance or bromance?) relationship between its two main characters, Yuri and Victor. It has also shed some light into the world of men’s figure skating which I’ve never paid attention till now (I’ll get onto this in a later bit). Main reason I got into this anime was to see for myself what the fuss was about and unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed.
The 12-episode-series was enjoyable but I wasn’t able to comprehend why the majority was going nuts for. Majority being the fujoshis (most likely) and this is coming from a fujoshi herself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not hating on this anime or its fans. I just wasn’t that attracted to the ‘suggestive’ chemistry going on between Yuri and Victor. It was good entertainment but not great.
One thing I wasn’t a fan of was the quality of the animation during the skating performances which got sloppy and repetitive as the series progressed (click here for more illustration). It was unbearable to watch. At a certain point, I just skip those scenes. If there’s a season 2 coming, I think the studio needs to work on this. And the costumes! I was expecting a variety but another let down in that department.
I’m not ashamed to say I’ve only came to know more about men’s figure skating because of this anime. I don’t get the necessity for Netizens to bash on newbies like myself or for its crazy fans to constantly try to associate the anime with anything that has to do with figure skating. I mean, for me, I appreciate both the anime and the real life sport separately.
Speaking of which, Yuzuru Hanyu is just… and yes, I know the anime isn’t based off on him.
2. 氷菓 / Hyōka (I rate: 7/10)
I was looking for a good recommendation on slice-of-life-anime and this was what Google search spitted out. I was particularly intrigued because the series didn’t focus so much on the hinted romance between Hotaro and Eru. Another aspect I like was that they didn’t portrayed Eru as the typical shoujo heroine. She was unique in her own ways. It’s difficult to find animes with heroine like Misaki from Kaichou wa Maid-sama or Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club these days.
Some of the “わたし きになります! / Watashi kininarimasu! / I’m curious!” scenes.
(If you watched the anime, you’ll get the joke 😛 )
Among its main characters, my favourite would have to be Satoshi. It was nice to see a realistic portrayal on the competitiveness and struggles in his friendship with Hotaro; how he’s actually jealous of Hotaro’s capabilities. It shows the audience that it’s human to be jealous of others, but it’s important to not let that jealousy take over.
Hyouka was a pleasant journey because the episodes are mostly brain teasers which puts your critical thinking to work. You’d be surprised that sometimes, the little things can turn out to be important clues. Kinda like Sherlock’s science of deduction.
3. ハイ☆スピード! / Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (I rate: 10/10)
This was by far the best anime I’ve watched in a long while. The animation was well done even during the swimming scenes. The plot was surprisingly well-written albeit I wasn’t keen on Rin’s dramatic outbursts in season 1. Unlike the aforementioned animes where I would reach a lull midway as the series progresses, I was absorbed in each episode here. There were laughter, amusement and serious moments which would make you go (pardon the weeaboo reaction), ” Oh, my kokoro!”. My favourite episode has to be Free! Eternal Summer Special/episode 14. The ‘watergun survival game’ was just hysterical!
When I first saw the commercial video from Kyoto Animation which subsequently lead to the creation of this anime back in 2013, fangirls were losing their shit over it (quite like the reaction for Yuri on Ice!). I didn’t want to be swept into the hype and so I put it off on my watching list till now and boy, have I not watched this, it’d be a regret!
Sadly I can’t seem to find Rei’s… 😦
Visually, I thought my bias would be either Haru or Rin (he’s an Aquarius, yay!) but unexpectedly, I came to like Rei’s character instead. Specifically, his noble act of clearing the air between Haru and Rin even when there was a threat that his friendship with the group might weaken since the others go way back. Also, initially, I thought he’d be a cool megane character like Kyoya from Ouran High School Host Club but turns out, he’s actually comical like Grell from Kuroshitsuji.
Muscles galore! (Kinda makes you wanna tone up as well right?)
One anime that is for sure on my current must-watch list is another one from Kyoto Animation called 聲の形 / Koe no Katachi / A Silent Voice. The male lead is voiced (no pun intended) by 入野 自由 / Miyu Irino who was the seiyuu for Syaoran from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, a show I was super into back in the 2000s.
Well, there’s my short list of recent watch! I’d recommend Free! to anyone who wants a good piece of entertainment followed by Hyouka. I’d say watch Yuri!!! on Ice to judge for yourself whether you think it’s worth it or overrated. じゃあね!