Hello readers and welcome to another anime themed edition of Shoot the Rookie! Today I’m going to be updating you on a few shows that I have had the pleasure of completing recently. Be warned, I may try and convince you to watch them too!
In the last couple of months I’ve finished quite a few anime series, each of which I have enjoyed very much in different ways and for different reasons.
One thing I believe wholeheartedly is that there is an anime out there for almost everyone. There are of course lots of people who simply don’t watch anime for whatever reason, but I do wonder sometimes if they are aware of the variety of options that exist in the medium. The shows I’ve got for you today serve as good evidence of this so I hope you’ll find something in here that grabs your attention.
Let’s get down to business shall we?
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Alrighty then! What the hell is this show all about? I initially wrote about Dusk Maiden way back in May when it featured in my article One-Chance Anime Party where I gave a bunch of shows one chance to impress me. Since I’m writing about it again now I guess that means it did impress me, but it was most certainly not plain sailing! Up until episode 9 I was still considering dropping it, but I’m glad I made the effort to stick with it. So it obviously didn’t win me over right away, but what was wrong with it? Well, I think it is just that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting much more horror and much less ghosts in swimsuits perving on pretty high school boys. Erm, so, yeah, that sounds rubbish right? So why did I continue watching it and what did I like about it? First of all, it is hilariously funny and features a large number of ‘wtf?!?’ moments that I’m glad I didn’t miss (particularly the episodes featuring the anatomical dummy…). Secondly, when it gets going, it really is a good horror show and is genuinely quite frightening. It takes a while to get to the crux of the story but once we find out more about our ghost and the reasons for her current situation it becomes quite compelling and towards the end each episode leaves you wanting more. The end itself was something of a disappointment (I won’t say why because spoilers), but overall the show’s mix of horror and high-school silliness is worth experiencing for yourself.
My Roommate is a Cat
You know how I said that there is an anime for everyone? Well if you like cats, this show is for you. Even if you don’t like cats but like humans (or, in fact, dogs) then this show has something wonderful to offer. I truly adored My Roommate is a Cat and it surpassed all of my expectations. What were my expectations then? Well…I thought this was a fluffy cute anime about the daily life of a normal guy living with a cat. It would be cute and funny but not necessarily anything else. If you like cats then that may well be enough of a draw, but it actually has something much deeper to offer. In its essence this is a show about two connected ideas – the bonds that can be formed between pets and their owners and an exploration of one man’s response to loss. It is also a great study in personality and by the time it finished I had a deep respect, sympathy and empathy for protagonist Subaru (and of course Haru the cat). Overall, if you like cats, are interested in human nature or are just looking for a funny slice-of-life show to binge, then this one comes highly recommended! Meow!
I watched this after receiving a recommendation from one of you nice people having indicated that I enjoyed the show Akagi which is by the same artist (Nobuyuki Fukumoto). As it turns out, this was an excellent recommendation! Eponymous hero Kaiji is bad at making decisions and even worse with his luck. As soon as things start to go wrong for him he enters a downwards spiral into the dealings of an organization in the criminal underworld. Needless to say things don’t go well and he gets increasingly embroiled in the goings on at the organization as he tries to scratch his way to freedom. Kaiji himself is a very likeable character despite his failings, and his desire to beat his situation is quite compelling to watch. Whilst it has many humorous and heartfelt moments this is not an easy show to watch, containing many instances of quite extreme violence and torture, which at one point were nearly too much for me. Overall though, if you have a stomach for such things, Kaiji is an extremely rewarding watch from start to finish and unlike Dusk Maiden, the ending definitely did not disappoint!
Yuri on Ice
I’m obviously a bit late watching what was the smash hit anime of 2016, but I have a good reason. I initially started watching this forever-a-go and gave up after just two episodes as I wasn’t sure it was going anywhere. Having a bit of free time recently and feeling like watching something fluffy, I returned to the series and proceeded to binge watch it in two sittings. Something of a sports anime, Yuri on Ice takes an in-depth look at the life of professional ice skaters and explores the bonds and relationships that exist between them. Where it really excels is in character development. It has a reasonably big cast roster but by the end all of the main skaters (and some of their entourages) feel believable and understandable, which is quite a difficult thing to accomplish in just 12 episodes. It is very funny, very beautiful looking and just plain lovely, so if you are looking for some heart warming fluff to watch this winter then definitely check it out!
Restaurant to Another World
This one took a few episodes to grow on me but it turns out that this is an absolute gem of a show. Each episode focuses on a different customer at the restaurant from the title. It explores their different cultures and circumstances, and culminates in them going to the restaurant to enjoy their favourite food. It is a simple concept, but the stories are good, it is full of humour and the customers reactions to their allocated dishes are just wonderful. There are a few oddball elements to this show that I absolutely loved – from the basic concept of the restaurant only appearing once every seven days to some of the waiting staff who may-or-may-not be dragons, and the music from the ‘next episode’ feature is still in my head now. Even if you are not particularly into the episodic nature of this show, it is worth watching for the food alone – I’d definitely like to try some kind of cooking challenge based on it! Overall, if you like food and enjoy a relatively light-hearted adventure then this is a good show for you!
So, that’s all for now. Did any of these shows take your fancy? Maybe you’ve finished something recently you’d like to recommend to me? Either way let me know below the line!
Thanks for reading,