The isekai genre has certainly become almost like the big blockbuster tv anime genre of recent years. Each season is racked with a new isekai show, if not more than that, all in an attempt to capture the money making and popularity of something like Sword Art Online or Re:Zero. Why wouldn’t they? It has been proven to work. Yet with the influx of more and more shows within the genre there becomes an issue with quality control or rather coming up with a specific schtick to differentiate it from the crowd. Sometimes that means throwing in a smart phone, sometimes it is meta humour and sometimes it is taking a NEET and shoving them into a game world where they are all powerful yet lack any social graces. How Not to Summon a Demon Lord has an idea similar shows before (this year mind you) and decides to go for a more comedic route.
This is a series that has had me perplexed on my feelings in the past. The premise of following a villain in a fantasy world as he tries to conquer it is compelling especially in the situations that can arise from it. The problem arises when this overlord is merely a Japanese businessman from another world, offering an interesting balance between putting on an image for his subordinates and keeping his own morality intact. The first season focused heavily on Ainz (the poor sap who was stuck in the game) and his adventures of learning the land. I can’t say I enjoyed the first season so much as it boasted a large cast that grew in each event and incident without really offering us much behind any character besides fleshing out Ainz. This second season however takes the show down a different path of delving more into the world. Does this new focus in the show make it more watchable or will it still pale in comparison to more engaging fantasy contemporaries?
It always has to be time travel doesn’t it?! I honestly never thought I’d see Naruto tackling time travel to be able to have him be in an adventure with the Fourth Hokage, Minato. I can’t honestly say that I thought a Naruto film has jumped the shark yet, though there is a high chance that this one will. I mean I fear that my best Naruto films are behind me, not even the Will of Fire’s visual flair was enough. I am in a bit of a drought, and a Naruto film about time travel is not exactly instilling me with confidence. I am starting to almost regret my decision to go through each one in an attempt to capture some essence of why I enjoyed Naruto as a child. So while I am down and out does the Lost Tower manage to reinvigorate my investment in this marathon or am I still going to careen ever so slowly off the cliff of spin-off films?
The Will of Fire has certainly taught me something. Upon watching the third Naruto Shippuuden movie, the Will of Fire, I realized that I was watching something akin to a sparknotes version of Naruto. It taught me all of the motivations up until that point and really allowed me to understand their Will of Fire. What is the Will of Fire you might ask? Well it is Naruto’s 10th anniversary film that talks about people discussing what they have been taught over the course of their ninja careers (or their Will of Fire so to speak). I even was taught to learn how to write this opening paragraph thanks to the Will of Fire because no matter how old you are you can still learn and be taught some new things and further develop your own Will of Fire. In some ways one could say I found my own Will of Fire and perfectly understood the message this movie, The Will of Fire, was trying to teach me quite well. So does the Will of Fire sound as repetitious as this opening paragraph or is there something beyond just repeating the exact same thing over and over again?
Sasuke, the bane of most of Naruto’s plot. This character for those who watched Naruto is what defined the term “edgy” for them as anime fans. Personally I think he is later on a big problem with the series despite having one solid moment in particular (but then again you could constitute that to the other character involved). So why am I talking about Sasuke when Sasuke has not even played a role in the past four films and a minute role in the first? Well let me just say that Sasuke, is a part of the reason why this film is called “Bonds” as he does play a role. Hence why this film in particular stuck out to me as a red flag, and I am hoping it can overcome all of my negativity and prove me wrong about Sasuke! HAHAHAHA! Who am I kidding…it probably won’t happen, but does Sasuke hinder this film to the point of it being a bland retread of the Naruto chasing Sasuke parts from the manga/show?
This is a post I honestly never thought I would make when I heard Naruto was having a continuation called…Boruto. I mean that naming sense alone gave me reason to worry. I had worries such as if the formula will change enough to give the show its own identity or will it forever be chasing the popularity of its predecessor. There are many reasons why this show is no longer in the mainstream as much as it used to be primarily because many watched Naruto and had a bad taste in their mouth because of the ending, the filler, or how much it seemed like they were milking the franchise. There isn’t a lot of positivity within anime fans who didn’t grow up watching the show and that’s quite understandable since Shippuuden was all over the place in terms of quality. It left Naruto off in a very problematic and tempestuous place that trying again with a younger generation only gave off the feeling of them still trying to metaphorically “beat a dead horse”.
Boruto has a lot of ground to make up when most people look at the legacy of Naruto and that is where the indecision comes in. The character design is a bit too similar, it feels like the same shenanigans Naruto would have gotten in or maybe it’s that opening moment from the show that had an older Boruto looking edgy as all get out. There are many ways one could look at this show negatively from the outside, and in this day and age who wants to keep up with a long running show very often, especially one that is from a franchise that has a lot to prove to non-believers like myself.
So why am I advocating for more people to watch Boruto?
Here is my positivity post of the year! YAY POSITIVITY! Let’s not get used to positive Schizoidmouse since it doesn’t happen all too often. I am quite the sourpuss you know.
With that aside I didn’t think going meticulously through why you shouldn’t watch some shows like in the past would be quite interesting and too long-winded (my posts can become that). Then again with these days of recovery I don’t have time to recap and try to reason with myself (a fight I always lose) why after watching a bunch of shows I am only going to possibly recommend 10 of potentially 30. I don’t have time for that, you don’t want to see me ramble on like the lunatic that I am as cynical as always and we save a lot more time if I just comb over my top recommendations to give a shot. It feels better on me to not trash a few shows and instead praise or awkwardly recommend shows I either enjoyed, loved to dislike or just plain think I didn’t get it but some others might. So here are 9 shows I think you might like this Winter 2018 season based on the first three to four episodes of each.