Covers the week of January 29 2023 to February 4 2023.
I got a lot of notes on this one.
I was excited when this show was announced. I never read the source material, but I know that it’s about a dude waking up as a girl and that it originated as someone’s side project on Pixiv. Getting to see something like that get an anime adaptation of this quality was intriguing, to say the least, so it was on my radar for the winter season. Sadly, I didn’t the chance to watch it weekly during January due to my time being dedicated to binging Bungou Stray Dogs.
Now that I’ve finally taken the time to binge the show… it’s okay.
The story of Mahiro waking up girl is just your average gender-bender anime. I wouldn’t say it’s a “trans narrative” either since this show is clearly aimed at a more *types into Google* cis audience. For the record, I myself am a straight cis male, so I’m not as well-versed in these topics, but I feel like this is less focussed on the trans experience, and more on the hijinks of “woah, I woke up as a girl”.
It’s also not that funny 80% of the time. Do you love jokes where someone does something mildly embarrassing and then overreacts when someone walks into the room? Don’t worry, ONIMAI will make that joke multiple times, as well as every other anime or ecchi cliche you can think of.
Also, oh my lord, the first episode. I wouldn’t say this show is “lolicon bait” like everyone says it is, but I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that from watching Episode 1. ONIMAI has a habit of sexualizing a lot of its characters, even more so than the manga from what I’ve heard. This gets toned down in future episodes, but ecchi scenes will still happen from time to time, so be warned.
One thing that didn’t leave me disappointed was the presentation. The animation, the backgrounds, the color palette, the character designs, everything in ONIMAI looks beautiful. It’s crazy how such a nothing show has so much substance in the visuals, even in the smallest details.
The few jokes that actually work in this show tend to be subtle visual gags. For example, in Episode 2, Mahiro is seen playing Guilty Gear as Sol Badguy, who has a more masculine design. Later in the scene, she loses to a Bridget main, a canonically trans character. It’s such a small detail, but it’s funny to see that even video games are a reminder of her current situation.
I think I know why this show is getting this treatment of great visuals paired with over-sexualization. ONIMAI is the directorial debut of Shingo Fujii, an incredibly talented animator who’s worked on Naruto, Mushoku Tensei, and even Pokemon. Along with being a respected member of the Japanese animation industry, he’s also known for being VERY horny online. I just checked his Twitter while writing this, and he’s spent the past few days reposting risque ONIMAI fanart, even some age-restricted content. I think it’s clear how the show became what it became with him behind the wheel. Not to mention the contributions from other accomplished yet horny animators, like Kay Yu, animation director for River City Girls 2 and frequent Hololive collaborator.
As much as I question my life choices while watching this show, I can’t deny the love put into its creation. I still wish that it had more substance in its story, but it’s entertaining enough to keep it in my schedule this winter. I’m also planning to rewatch the first four episodes when I make my next Top 10 episodes list because, again, this show looks beautiful.
6/10, better than Ayakashi Triangle.
Bungou Stray Dogs S4 #5
Binging Bungou Stray Dogs instead of watching seasonals was surprisingly the best decision I’ve made last month. Season 4 is looking to be my favorite season of BSD and it’s not even halfway over.
I want to talk about how good this episode was, but I forgot to take notes while watching, and I don’t have time to rewatch it right now. I wouldn’t want to spoil what happens anyway.
The season’s currently an 8.5/10 for me.
Cool Doji Danshi Episode 16
(Couldn’t find a good image, sorry)
Cool Doji Danshi is a show about clumsy dudes. It’s obviously aimed at a more female audience, but I still found the show to be pretty fun and heartwarming. Not every episode is all that memorable though, and this episode is no exception.
Seriously, I remember Episode 15, but not Episode 16.
Yeah, you can probably tell I started blogging a week ago.
The show’s currently a 7.25/10 for me.
One Piece #1049
I already talked about this episode a lot in my Top 10 episodes of January list, so I’ll keep this section short.
It’s an okay episode by itself, but it’s much better paired with Episode 1048. It has some nice bits of story, but it’s visually unimpressive outside of the immaculate final two minutes.
Delicious Party PreCure #12-18
I didn’t have high hopes for this season, and I still don’t have high hopes for this season.
For those of you who don’t know what you’re looking at, this is PreCure, a magical girl franchise that is popular with kids in Japan. While not nearly as popular in the west as it is back there, PreCure still has a niche fan community due to the high production values this show tends to reach. Since Toei is known to pay their newer animators better than other studios, some of the best key animators in the industry tend to get their start in Toei, and PreCure has been somewhat of a showcase for new talent.
While it looks like your average magical girl anime, it’s more comparable to Power Rangers, where the power of friendship is intertwined with the power of kicking ass. You can find multiple examples of top tier fight choreography, including work from the previously mentioned Shingo Fujii. However, for Delicious Party, the recently completed PreCure season, there hasn’t been as much buzz in the sakuga community about it, besides maybe their final episodes.
I’m 40% into Delicious Party, and believe me, it’s not that great. It feels much cheaper from a production standpoint compared to what I saw from previous seasons. It doesn’t help that every fight happens in the same environment, making every fight feel the same as a result.
Delicious Party’s story doesn’t get interesting until Episode 15 either. The first 15 episodes are just, “uh oh, the bad guy makes a certain food item taste different. Uh oh, giant monster shaped like a whisk. Uh oh, the monster’s defeated, everything’s good now”. The villains, named the Bundoru Gang, are super unthreatening, though that was by design with the context of later episodes. Still, even when the show tries to implement a serious villain, I still can’t take them seriously when they start every evil mission with a fistbump shouting “Bundoru! Bundoru!”.
Long story short, I’m getting bored of watching this, and I would have dropped it if I had anything better to watch in Januaruy. I will most likely be dropping it this month though.
I also want to point out that a week after this season ended, the first episode of the next season dropped, and it looks SO MUCH BETTER that Delicious Party already.
Currently a 5.75/10 for me.
Vinland Saga #1-4
Dang, I’ve been missing out.
The first episode immediately dragged me in, and the next three episodes followed it up perfectly. I usually don’t care about historic dramas, but I think my lack of Viking knowledge helped make this show more interesting. These characters feel less like historical figures and more like characters from tall tales that have been given a sense of humanity.
I loved Thors’s character, a former warrior who has decided to stop killing, living in a world where being a warrior was a mark of pride. However, his son Thorfinn, our protagonist, is a firm believer in the world’s kill-or-be-killed outlook, and his ideals clash with his father’s. Maybe it’s because of the studio behind it, but Thorfinn reminds me of a young Eren Yeager, at least from what I’ve seen.
Honestly, I thought I would have more to say here, but I don’t. I can already see why this show gets the praise it gets from its opening moments. I don’t know if I can finish it by the end of this month, but I’ll sure as heck try.
Rewatching One-Punch Man #1-6
It was wild hearing my dad say “hey, want to watch One-Punch Man?”
I’ll keep this short; it’s One-Punch Man. It’s great. It doesn’t hit as hard as it did when I first saw it back in high school, but it’s still a must-watch for me.
Back when the NieR: Automata anime was airing, my cousin offered me a chance to play the game for myself when I came over to visit. I have been playing NieR: Automata every time I visit, and after roughly 16 hours of gameplay, I can confirm that the game is better than the show.
I’m too tired to go into detail about why I’m loving this game, so I’ll leave with this:
There’s a side quest where you watch Romeo & Juliet with 3 Romeos and Juliets (each) murdering each other. During the carnage, they are shouting expletives in Shakespearean forms, such as the phrase “Pisseth off”.
I don’t think I need to say anything else to tell you this is one of the best video games ever created.
It’s a good movie, I think. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the original Black Panther, so I don’t have a good point of comparison.
As a certified white person, I will refrain from mansplaining the themes of the film. I’ll need to watch this film again to really digest it, but I don’t know when that will be.
8/10, maybe higher if I watch it later.
I’m not that confident with my music criticism, so here are the scores I gave the albums I listened to this week.
Gloria by Sam Smith: 6/10
Diamonds & Dancefloors by Ava Max: 6.75/10
After the Magic by Parannoul: 8.5/10
RUSH! by Måneskin: 4.5/10
Okay, the weekly roundup is over. I’m tired. See you next week.