Fall 2020 Anime Seasons: Alyfox's First Impression
Just First Impressions to start, as I've been VERY excited for this anime season. Curiously, all of them are on Funimation, though for most of the past year, Higurashi was showing up as being on HiDive. Not sure when that changed, but I'm sure Sentai can't be happy about it.
Higurashi no naku koro ni Gou
2 episodes, Funimation
Better art style and animation than the original, though only somewhat so - it looks nicer, but not as big a step-up as I'd hope. The environmental visuals still look great though, as do the blood effects.
I hadn't realized at first that this was a sequel to the original 2 seasons, because I hadn't looked at the full name. As such, the first scene of episode 2 kinda caught me off-guard. In hindsight though it makes more sense - it gives away a lot of things that newcomers to the series might find spoilery and/or confusing.
New OP and ED, which I would have expected had I realized it was a sequel. Towards the end of EP1 they do briefly bring back the original series OP song, which was a nice touch.
The also brought back the original Voice Actors, which was a nice touch. That being said, I found I liked the VAing in the first 2 series better... not sure why. Maybe its because the VAs are 13 years older now? Not sure.
So far I give is 6.5/9 foxtails. Looking forward to seeing Shion!
Hanyou no Yashahime
1 Episode, Funimation
As a sequel to Inuyasha I expected to go into it not really knowing who any of the characters were, and since most of the first episode was dedicated to a "What happened after Inuyasha but before the start of this series" subplot, I wasn't disappointed. Or.. was. I'm not sure. a bunch of the original characters at any rate, with the new protags showing up briefly at the end.
The three new characters all have interesting designs and I like their VA's. So far I'm a bit of a fan of Setsuna, though we'll see where things go. Definitely one I'm going to come back to.
6.5/9 foxtails for the fox-demon-family
Majo no Tabitabi
1 Episode, Funimation
Ok this one is *really* pretty, very nicely animated and the character designs are pretty great - Elaina especially. I always new cute anime girls were a soft spot, but white haired purple eyed witches seem to be a particular weakness. Voice acting was really good, I found the dialogue easy to follow (though, I didn't necessarily understand it, at least it was enunciated decently!), and the music was nice.
The story seems like it could be interesting, if perhaps a little basic... I suppose we'll have to see how that goes, it's just too early. It's basically, "Elaina is a witch now, and goes travelling the world to see everything and keep a diary about it, like this famous witch of old". If the things she encounters out in the world are interesting, then the show should be a keeper.
7/9 foxtails. <3 Elaina
Senyoku no Sigrdrifa
1 double-length episode, Funimation
Ok I really, really hope the series explains more of the background as things go proceed - we're basically dropped into the plot in the middle, kinda, with no idea how things started. It reminds me a lot of Muv-Luv Alternative, another anime that is decent if confusing. Also, in the modern age, why are the Valkyries flying WW2 aircraft??
The animation was fairly average overall, though the air battles were decent. VA'ing was fairly average as well, so far. I hope it gets better.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
1 episode, Funimation
Based on the mystery novel series by the same name (yes, novels. Not light novels, not manga. Actual novels!). Apparently it had a live action television drama at some point, and a manga adaptation. Anyways, it seems like it could be interesting - I'm trying to think of a good analogy of its premise in western entertainment, but that will have to wait until I've seen more than just 1 episode.
That being said, the animation and art is pretty good - not as good as Majo no Tabitabi, but at better than the other 3, reminiscent of late 2000s/early 2010s with a dash of 80s, but it looks nice and flows decently. No real opinion on the VA, seems fine and the main character could grow on me. Will have to see, this is just a first impression don't forget :)
Assault Lily: Bouquet
1 episode, Funimation (episode 2 was delayed)
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this series. The premise sounded kinda average, the preview art looked pretty nice. The name and the images hint at maybe there being some yuri, even subtext yuri, to the series.
After 1 episode, I really liked it. It has this vibe of being a combination of Revue Starlight, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, and Madoka Magica/Magia Record that I'm digging. The character designs are really cool so far, the voice acting has been pretty good. I even liked the OP (I missed the ED, was distracted) and in-show soundtrack.
There were a couple of battle-scenes and they were very nicely animated and choreographed, which was a pleasant surprise, given the overall track-record these days - they felt good, kind of reminded me of Re:Creators, the aforementioned Revue Starlight and such.
My only complaint so far is the large cast of characters; I've watched Revue Starlight twice and I still barely remember who is who, and I anticipate it will be the same here sadly. Also there were a few predictable things, and some character tropes that highly mirror other series like Yuyu and Riri, who really feel like Homura and Madoka analogues seeming to become friendly early on. Heck, Yuyu even looks a lot like Homura O_O, but also somewhat like Hikari from Revue (slightly different hair colour) and both exhibit similar lone-wolf personalities. Ah well, character tropes aren't always bad right? Goddess I hope not, otherwise I'll have to scrap a lot of my original writing....
I just really, really hope it doesn't do the yuri-bait-and-switch on us, like so many other series have. If it does I will be probably fairly crushed.
7.5/9 foxtails so far.
Adachi to Shimamura
1 episode, Funimation
I decided to leave the best for last, and I was right, it was definitely the best of the 7 I'm watching. Adachi to Shimamura (A2S in the future) is adapted from the light novel series, though it has two manga adaptations as well (why two? I don't know). Going into it I'd read the first 2 chapters (i think?) of the first LN, and was enjoying it! Its slower than the other series, being a high school slice of life more than anything else, but I don't consider that a bad thing really, not yet at least. We'll see at the end of the season?
The art style and colours are really really pretty, the animation is smooth and natural feeling and the voice acting for the main two characters is really quite nice - we don't see enough of Shimamura's other 2 friends for me to be able to get a good impression yet, but so far so good. The character designs were nice, I kinda feel a little nicer than their descriptions in the LN, which is fine really. I loved the colour for Adachi's eyes, a kind of turquoise-y teal similar to Theresia from Release the Spyce and a few others. Probably one of my fave colours :)
I very much enjoyed the OP, the ED I'm more neutral on for now though in my defence that's how I started with YagaKimi as well (in the end, Hectopascal is tied for Best Song in Anime for me). Speaking of YagaKimi, had I not known the genre of this series going into it, the OP and the internal symbolism of the episode would be screaming "YURI YURI YURI" into your ear. It reminds me a lot of YagaKimi in that way, which doesn't bother me at all, and gives me hope that the producers won't water it down somehow. Not to mention the scenes from the "Next episode" blurb at the end O_O.
One thing that does confuse me, and this goes back to the LN and the... basic premise. In Japan, students have to work to get into High School, not everyone ends up going. They have to take a test! So then, why the heck are these two first year students just... skipping everything? Put all that effort into getting into a HS and then slacking? I don't understand.
7.75/9 foxtails. I'm trying to avoid getting TOO hyped so being a little conservative to start with. If it continues to go well though, I could see this going up a full point.