Vrai, Mercedez, and Alex celebrate the 10th anniversary of the industry-changing magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, with a rewatchalong!
Category Archives: Alex Watches
What’s it about? Jahy is a formidable demon in the Dark Realm, until a pesky magical girl destroys the crystal that supplies all its evil power. Jahy then finds herself transported to a place called Earth, stripped of her magic and trapped in the body of a tiny girl. Jahy is determined to gather enough crystal shards to restore her kingdom… but sidequests like “paying rent” and “needing groceries” keep getting in the way.
Does The Great Jahy have basically the exact same premise as The Devil is a Part-Timer? Yes, but I’m trying not to hold that against it. Honestly, I think the “reverse isekai” is a relatively untapped genre, and with the constant influx of power fantasies where an Ordinary Boy gets to be a hero in a Euro-inspired fantasy world, it’s pretty fun to explore the opposite situation: a Supreme Villain having to learn to be ordinary in modern-day Japan. It’s the kind of fish-out-of-water supernatural comedy that made the good parts of Dragon Maid good, and can be quite charming if its pulled off right.
The Great Jahy doesn’t quite cast a spell on me in this premiere. Perhaps it’s the style of comedy itself: there’s a lot of yelling, to the point where characters reacting to things loudly is the whole joke some of the time. Perhaps it’s the characters: I’m on board to sympathize with Jahy’s plight, but neither she nor the two human characters were that enjoyable to spend time with. Perhaps it’s my brain instinctively putting distance between itself and a show where an immortal woman is turned into a child-sized girl with no pants on.
Let’s look back at spring, a season so full of good stuff that there wasn’t space to recommend everything we liked!
Content Warning: stylized gore, sexual assault
What’s it about? 800 years ago, monsters and demons ran rampant on Earth, only defeated by gods called the Idaten. The Idaten gave their lives to seal away the demons forever, leaving one of their own behind to tell the tale and train any other deities that might appear. Eight centuries later, the world is peaceful—until a foreign military defrosts a demon, leaving the inexperienced new generation of Idaten to deal with it.
There’s potentially a lot of fun in this premise. Superpowered, indestructible beings destined to fight monsters yet stranded in peacetime is an interesting idea. There are already rifts where different Idaten deal with this in different ways: protagonist Hayato is cocky and bored, whereas his friend Ysley is content to use his immortal life to study. There’s also a girl called Paula who… I’m not really sure what her deal is, unfortunately. Ostensibly she has the same super strength and speed as the two boys, and can defy gravity by walking up walls, but she spends an awful lot of this premiere needing to be rescued while the wind blows up her skirt. We’ll come back to that.
What’s it about? Teen idol Fuka has quit the music industry and is all set to travel back to her hometown, but at the last minute changes her ticket and flees to Okinawa instead. There, she finds unexpected solace in the Gama Gama Aquarium: an almost otherworldly underwater place that charms her so thoroughly she asks the young director, Kukuru, if she can stay and help the struggling business.
Disclaimer: I am writing this review in a landlocked city in the middle of winter, so if I start waxing poetic about the ocean, it’s beach-nostalgia peeking through. Bear with me.
The Aquatope on White Sand was my most-anticipated premiere this season, and it did not disappoint. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous and the character work is satisfyingly slow and steady, providing a couple of flashbacks and moments of narration but otherwise doing a lot of showing-not-telling. Fuka is deftly characterized within the first few minutes: poised and graceful yet one emotional injury away from completely curling into herself, graciously and smilingly bidding farewell to her idol kouhai and former managers but ending up in the airport looking drained.
What’s it about? In the fantasy town of Kalta, Reiji runs a pharmacy where he sells potions, elixirs, and remedies with the help of a wolf who is sometimes a girl and the ghost who haunts the building.
For a show with “slow life” in the title, I was expecting a premiere with much more chill. A slice-of-life vibe, maybe, lingering on the day-to-day details of running a shop in a fantasy world and the ins and outs of herbology and alchemy. Drug Store in Another World is, instead, a high-energy slapstick comedy. It moves lightning fast, introducing its characters via name cards and narration rather than any kind of organic exposition, then flinging the viewer into the zany shenanigans that make up the episode’s series of interconnected skits.
What’s it about? A young scientist and a pair of freelance programmers/inventors/paranormal investigators are brought together over a series of mysterious radio signals. There are theories that they may be related to UFOs, but they come from a guy who’s poured his life savings into building a giant robot, so he would say that. All parties shrug the strangeness off… until a monster descends from the sky and starts wreaking havoc.
Godzilla, the legendary cinematic kaiju, has stomped his way onto Netflix in a brand new incarnation co-produced by studios Bones and Orange. Or, well, the star of the show hasn’t stomped into view just yet, but the premiere is slick enough that I can only assume the big fella’s eventual entrance will be spectacular.
No use crying over cracked eggs. Vrai, Mercedez, and Alex perform a postmortem on the most potentialful disasterpiece of 2021, Wonder Egg Priority!
January – March gave us some real delights in the anime world, from supernatural thrillers to cosy-as-can-be hobby shows! Read my and the team’s recommendations here!
What’s it about? Witnessing her death from overwork, a kindly goddess takes pity on Azusa and reincarnates her as an immortal witch in a peaceful, pastoral environment. Azusa is determined to live the slowest, chilliest life possible, gathering herbs, gardening, enjoying the countryside, and slaying the occasional slime for resources. After three-hundred years of killing low-level monsters, however, she becomes the most powerful witch the land has ever known—and once word gets out, every hero worth their salt wants to challenge her.
Slimes feels like a love letter to those of us who play fantasy RPGs on Chill Mode: avoiding the main quest to collect every single flower in the compendium, raising cows instead of slaying dragons, and finding escapism in just living a day-to-day pastoral life in another world. After literally working herself to death in an office, Azusa takes her new slow existence in stride, and is understandably distraught when challengers start appearing at her door threatening to turn her life into an action-adventure game when she’s content playing a farming simulator.