Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata + ♭ (Re-Watch) (Merry Days of Anime 2022)

For those unaware, I do actually have posts on both seasons of Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (or SaeKano), as well as its movie finale. This is why I marked this as a “re-watch” in the title and didn’t for Sakurasou before this.

This is a series I remember being rather fond of. The way it played with the tropes of its genre and the spirit of its character roster were a cut above the rest upon first viewing. My younger mind was impressed by the self-awareness of the script and how it seemed to poke fun at itself with most situations, even if it was also heavily indulging in sexual fan service all the while.

I am no longer a “noob” with anime. I’ve seen close to 500 series at this point in my life. Plus, I’m no longer as cynical (I hope?). If anything, the expectation would be that I can appreciate the series all the more upon re-watch, right? …Right?

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Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo (Merry Days of Anime 2022)

A decade ago (yeesh), I was very fond of J.C. Staff. They had created my favorite anime at the time in Toradora! and had a distinct style to their visual approach that I was fond of. Even if not all of their series were to my taste (Hidan no Aria and Zero no Tsukaima come to mind), I would still heavily indulge in whatever they would choose to release with each passing season. Even now, per the data of my MALGraph profile, J.C. Staff is the studio I have seen the most works from.

Around this time ten years ago (yeesh), I followed along with today’s subject, Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, as it was airing. Seemingly without any effort, it checked all the boxes from what I wanted in a series: romance, drama, and a strange cast of characters. T’was Toradora! all over again. I happily gave it a very high grade and moved on, satisfied with how it ended.

Time marched onward, and as my taste in things began to shift with my developing ego and experience with the medium, I began to wonder. An 8/10 for Sakura-sou seemed… high. For years I’ve been meaning to go back and re-watch it at some point. Turns out, it would only take nearly ten years! The 2022 Merry Days of Anime shall begin with a long-delayed revisit.

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Dudunsparce Is Pokémon’s Greatest Joke

There comes a time in most players’ lives when a fellow connoisseur of gaming will inevitably ask you: “What is your favorite pokémon?” How can you not have one? Everyone’s at least heard of Pokémon, if not invested several years of their lives playing through the franchise’s long list of titles. As common as it is to have people proclaim that Charizard or Pikachu or the various evolutions of Eevee as their favorite, mine is a little more benign.

Dunsparce, my favorite pokémon ever, got an evolution in the latest generation of games in the franchise, Scarlet & Violet. Having learned this, I immediately grew very concerned. Yet my fear was short-lived—Dudunsparce is not only a great new creature to discover, but its existence cements Game Freak as a comedy powerhouse that will stop at nothing to amuse itself by dashing the hopes of fans everywhere.

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Twitch Streamer Shoutout: An Ode to lunriilu

As a short precursor, my past experience with this particular streamer came when they were streaming under a different name. Shortly before Autumn this year, she decided to completely revamp her entire channel to become a Vtuber, deleting all of her past clips, broadcasts, and anything else that may reveal her physical appearance. Going forward, I will detail my experiences primarily with their prior identity, but note that such is no longer the case, at least in appearance.

Earlier in the year, I played quite a bit of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. I quite liked the game, considering it among my favorites, if not the favorite of mine from the franchise. As such, I lingered within the game category on Twitch, finding anyone that could provide some fun background noise with it. I ended up finding that and quite a bit more.

Introducing (now known as) lunriilu. (← Link to her Twitch channel.)

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Twitch Streamer Shoutout: An Ode to Mondo16bit

The events that shape my history on Twitch have begun to slow. Since making a home on the site back in late 2020, I’ve sort of exhausted the positive effects of connecting with people as my life begun to turn inward. Though the decline was inevitable, I still carried on with my habit of searching game categories and picking out streamers that looked interesting to me.

August of 2022. Soon I would turn 29, yet my life was slowly dwindling as my jobhunt continued fruitless. On a whim, I felt the urge to discover, so I went down the Super Mario Sunshine rabbit hole. It’s had good results in the past. A face would greet me then, one with a sort of simplistic filter that highlighted the shades and color of the human head. Triggering a “This person has some semblance of knowledge on how to stream,” sensation, I dove in.

Introducing Mondo16bit. (← Link to his Twitch channel.)

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Twitch Streamer Shoutout: An Ode to MollyNotTheDrug

The prior entry was a substantial step back from current times. With today’s subject, we’re at the very least within the current year. Ironically enough, how I stumbled upon this streamer and the one linked prior was the same: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. (Might be one of my favorite games to watch.)

Mid-July. It’s been several months since I became unemployed and desperately searching for something to ease the bleeding of my finances. Discouraged from the lack of opportunities, I again turn to Twitch to find something entertaining to distract me from my pessimism. Usually, avatars are more likely to pull me in to a stream, but there was a particular whimsy to one streamer’s name that had me hooked just from the absurdity of it.

Introducing MollyNotTheDrug. (← Link to her Twitch channel.)

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Twitch Streamer Shoutout: An Ode to CraftyKaname

Let’s go back in time. Not too far, but just enough to make one think that it could have felt like yesterday: August of 2021. Just over a year ago, I did what I occasionally like to do while on Twitch and browsed game categories to see who might be playing some of my favorites. It’s a tad more commonplace nowadays, but seeing a blue-haired anime girl with a flashy smile was certainly more rare to me than random-meme-image-number-8945. I gave it a click.

T’was rough. Clearly had a time and a half trying to get everything situated, the model was a little janky, and the overlay was sort of a bleach for the eyes. Despite this, the host was cheerful and almost naively energetic, a youthful innocence and endearment that had left my soul for some decade or so. I immediately assumed she was a child. (Still not entirely convinced she isn’t.) As a sort of shrug that conveyed a laissez-faire attitude, just before disaster, I clicked the “follow” button.

Introducing CraftyKaname. (← Link to her Twitch channel.)

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Entries From the Dead: Urusei Yatsura (2022)

I’ve seen my fair share of anime series in the last ten years. In fact, it’s been just over ten years since I began to consume anime at a severely unhealthy pace (previously referred to as my “Anime Renaissance”). In that time, all sorts of characters have flashed before my eyes (“flash” being a deliberate term), but one that always stuck out to me by virtue of its absurdity was Lum from Urusei Yatsura, what with her tiger-striped bikini and boots combo, shiny blue-green hair, and horns.

Then, about a year ago, I got wind that Urusei Yatsura would be getting a modern-day anime adaptation, just over thirty years after the original series began airing. “Okay,” I thought to myself. “This would be a good chance to see just what the series is all about with a nicer sheen to its presentation.” Granted, I had some hesitation about a reboot of a cult classic, though with no real affection for the first series, I went into this with basically no expectations. May as well try it out.

I lasted one episode.

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