Round Two of Which Series Do I Bother Downloading Again In Bluray, Denote Something Good About Them, And Maybe Have People Consider/Reconsider Them Worth Watching?
We’re getting into lengthier territory as some series actually need to be introduced and more explanations following the whys and the whats that explain my personal reasoning on why I have these series saved. Recall in Part 1 on how I mentioned I will most likely be talking about newer series since they’re ever so slightly more relevant (ain’t that a big surprise) and also because they’re smaller in memory with how most series are usually relegated to 12-13 episodes.
There are some exceptions to that of course and the ones that fall under that category will of course will have more to talk about. For now, here’s the next five series that I keep around.
Dusk-Maiden: Ain’t this one new face on this site? Dusk-Maiden or whichever title you want to call it is a mystery-romance series revolving around Kanoe Yuuko, a ghost who is bound to an old school building after her untimely death around 60 years before the series starts. Our protagonist Teiichi is somehow the only person who can interact with her and she becomes attached to him as she wishes to experience the jubilant life of a highschool girl, an experience she was regretfully robbed of with her unfortunate passing. Teiichi is joined by two other girls: Okonogi, who passionately helps him around uncovering the mysterious events in the school while being completely unable to perceive ghosts and Kirie, Yuuko’s descendant (read: niece) who is able to perceive her. The trio along with Yuuko go around their school to uncover the school’s secrets as well as the truth behind Yuuko’s death, while the latter mostly wants to spend time with Teiichi and experience love.
First and foremost, the series’ artists specializes in other lewd publications and while Dusk Maiden does not contain such things, it makes no shame in showing Yuuko’s attractiveness. I don’t disapprove of it because the series is addressing the fact that Yuuko hasn’t had a proper highschool experience, at least in romantic terms, and the love story between her and Teiichi is fun and heartwarming to see. The series’ main plot involves the circumstances leading to Yuuko’s death and the regret of not being able to live as well as the hatred towards those who were behind her death that coalesces into two “versions” of her. While not as fleshed out as the manga, I enjoyed the adaptation and the story it brought with a cute romance.
Date A Live: Everyone has a series in their collection that is not always favorably viewed upon but cannot help but love out of their own personal feelings for it. This usually goes back to the first series they watched or whatever series that brought them back into the medium but DAL isn’t any of that for me. If anything, it’s one of the first few light novels I read and I didn’t it find it all “amazing” per say but entertaining for me to follow it. Date A Live’s adaptation of the first season is probably one of the most well-made harem-antics series I’ve seen, and that’s honestly not saying much but the amount of production value put into it is pretty staggering if you look at other series similar to this. Now I say the first season because it’s second season is lack-luster in many ways which mostly involves the shifts in studios and the lack of funds to make it as polished as its first season. The first season’s Blurays not only added scenes but was released with a Director’s Cut version with at least 30 more minutes of added content while its 2nd season’s Blurays didn’t get a Director’s Cut but got around 20 minutes of added content. There’s definitely a big following on the series and I dare-say is one of the newer series I really enjoy. I probably couldn’t tell you the exact reasons but it mostly likely has to do with tsunako’s art and the self-awareness that series has towards the sub-genre it tries to parody.
To be more precise, I always enjoy something structured but not something that follows the most basic tropes. DAL’s girls take their place and conventions off Hebrew mysticism which more or less determine how many “primary arc girls” their will be. This isn’t inherently a good thing because this spreads the developmental areas too thin since developing every single one of these girls basically means keeping them relevant most of the time or having them get developed over two volumes, which actually have happened for a few of the girls. Hell, plenty of series have enough trouble developing their main damn heroine so developing around 10 girls equally is all sorts of absurd. But this can still be remedied by ample character interaction which the series is thankfully rife of.
Jojo: This should be no big surprise. Rewatching Jojo is always fun but is usually more for watching other people’s reaction to Jojo because the uninitiated reactions are usually the most rich to experience. I plan on talking about DiU adaptations after it ends and I realize I didn’t really speak too much of Parts 1-3. Without a doubt, as Part 2 is overall the best part out of the three and I think I mentioned this bit a while back before DiU was announced. To make things short: Part 1 and 3 are the introductory Parts (that all strangely involve Dio) that set the stage for their successive and usually superior Parts. Part 2 played off the idea of the Stone Mask, brought a much more workable, less one-dimensional protagonist. Part 3 introduced Stands but remained mostly rudimentary while the later Parts involving Stands become a lot more abstract and puzzle-like.
That being said, my personal enjoyment actually falls like this. Part 2 because of it’s well-rounded characters, Part 1 because it’s just so straightforward and short, and Part 3 because it unfortunately feels like the weakest part since it’s pretty basic like Part 1 but at least 6 times the length. There’s so many fights in Part 3 that I would rather not really re-experience and the anime did a great job in making those said fights a bit more exciting from when I read them. Granted, there’s a handful of great fights in Part 3 that kick Part 1’s fights out of the water but there’s a lot more mediocre fights that outnumber the good ones.
Shomin Sample: This series’ adaptation is only a year old and the light novels have finished with a girl that not everyone liked won. Even then, the series reminds me of a simpler time of highschool antics filled harem series instead of it just being associated with super special academies that revolve around fighting. While nothing completely revolutionary or something that constantly made me laugh, it was a breath of fresh air when it aired since there were countless battle harems adaptations released before it while at least 3 were airing in the same season with it. I can’t say for sure if it will be a permanent addition to my extended collection as the days go by but I will say it was something I was fairly interested in but after learning of its ending, my interest is certainly dwindling. The Blurays don’t exactly fix it’s overly soft looking visuals either. Honestly, I think I only keep it around for Karen’s thighs as well as the cuter moments with Hakua. I’m still angry at how the 2nd chapter focusing on her wasn’t adapted.
Barakamon: This series is one that I seriously contemplated on doing a full-blown review for but honestly, everything profound that could have been said and scenes to be interpreted have already been done. I came late to the party but that didn’t detract me from enjoying what this series showed to me. There’s a lot of personal inspiration and finding one’s path in life thematics going on that I always enjoy seeing but also a lot of comedy that didn’t fall into overdone character tropes. There’s nothing really profound about what this series tries to convey but how it’s done with its comedy and genuine character interactions is fun to say the least. It’s a very relaxing show with some common but relatable lessons in humility and soul-seeking that still hasn’t gotten old with me.
But as much as I liked it, it didn’t really compel me to finish its prequel which is honestly tough to consider it a prequel in the first place. Sure it features the same main character in different places in their lives but the core of Barakamon is Handa living on the island and I hesitate to consider Handa-kun a prequel since the stuff that made Barakamon Barakamon isn’t really in Handa-kun aside from Handa himself and his family.