Aoi Hana (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

For the final anime of the 2021 Merry Days event, we have Aoi Hana. Obviously, this is the most well-known anime of all-time, among the levels of Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, or Astro Boy. A legendary series that is guaranteed to bring the fans to my blog to chatter about its well-documented history and analysis among the community. I just had to end the month with a bang.

Ah, apologies. I had set my sarcasm gauge to high levels. This is a semi-obscure Shoujo-ai story that a lot of people seem to find very boring. My friend liked it quite a bit, though, so that’s good enough of a recommendation for me. Plus, a pleasant foray into a slower story consisting of interpersonal relationships with a gentle touch can be nice. Really, I tend to gravitate to these plots more than, say, isekai or grand-action series. People are interesting.

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Arakawa Under the Bridge (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Won’t put too much into this post. With the Christmas season approaching, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Also, wanted to put it out there that Arakawa Under the Bridge will be the second-to-last anime I watch this month. The last one might be a film, just because of the time constraints.

Anyway, this is something of a momentous occasion: This anime was actually brought back from the dead. After a long wait, Arakawa Under the Bridge finally got the recognition it rightfully deserved within my mind. Not that I was particularly vouching for it beforehand, but I was assuming it wouldn’t be terrible!

(Quick disclaimer: This is just the first season of the series. I did not watch its second season: Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge.)

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Denki-gai no Honya-san (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Cover image looks a little like doodoo garbage, but what can you do? Denki-gai no Honya-san seems to be a not-popular-enough attraction for high quality images and assets.

Nevertheless, this anime has been mildly interesting to me for a number of years for one reason: it’s by the same author as Aharen-san wa Hakarenai, which I quite like. (And just found out is getting an anime in 2022.) Surely if I like one work, I’ll like another one of a similar nature, yeah? Yeah… About that…

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Vampire Knight (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Sometimes you just want to watch trash. I get it. You look through my anime-viewing archives and you’ll see many titles that would make you think, “Why would he watch this thing?” Opportunities for delectable cuisine of hilariously bad anime are kind of hard to come by. When the mood strikes, I answer it. Why deny it anymore? Which is why I have now consumed seven episodes of Vampire Knight before dropping it outright. Happy holidays!

(Just going to provide a small disclaimer in case it was not clear before: This post will only cover the first seven episodes of the original Vampire Knight series. I did not watch its second season, Guilty, nor do I intend to.)

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Princess Principal (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Not the best cover image ever, but I’m working with what I have. Princess Principal is something of a long awaited watch, as it’s been on my radar since around the time it began airing. Something about it seems… unique. Why I never watched up to this point may have been because of a number of things—it looked maybe too self-important, top reviews on MyAnimeList didn’t paint it in a great light, etc.

In the spirit of the holidays, I went ahead and gave it a shot. No, that phrasing was not initiated due to the clear pistol present in the cover image.

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Casshern Sins (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Watching this was actually a rather nostalgic choice. Not that I have any history with the franchise or its original rendition from the ’70s, but it coincides with a particular instance in my life that changed me (for the better?). We can get to this with time; for now, I’m going to implement a “less is more” approach to writing this entry. Casshern Sins thinks that philosophy is stupid.

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Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

To start the festivities off, I wanted to go with something recent. It’s no secret that my commitment to anime has been very, very aloof in recent years, so I wanted to take a small sample of what current selections had to offer. While searching through options, I was met with Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S, which I had actually forgotten about. I quite liked its first season and it had just finished airing in late September. Perfect choice!

Still, doubt lingered. I viewed its first season back in 2017, shortly before it finished airing on television. The time between then and now is rather great—I’m not the same person I was then, nor did I have the mental capacity to recall the more intimate details of the series. Watching the second season was both a desire to see how the series would proceed and a test to see if its pleasant nature still appealed to present me. How does it fare?

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Updated Thoughts on Prodigal

I should specify that the “Updated” in the title is due to already having a Prodigal review published on another website. This post will cover all that the linked review did not, which includes content added since the game’s release in late 2020.

Let me also specify that my thoughts / opinions on this title are not influenced by my good standing with the team behind it. My goal is to be as objective as possible, regardless of whether or not I have an NPC modeled after me in-game.

Now, some close to me are already aware that I enjoy Prodigal quite a bit. It was my Game of the Year in 2020 and is currently my fourth-most played game on Steam in terms of total playtime. Discovered by complete chance, the impact it’s had on my life is a rarity that I try not to take for granted. Games that fit your preferences almost effortlessly well do not come along often.

Quite a bit of content has been added since my initial review—which, until this past week, I had never gotten around to playing. Extended story elements, lots of postgame content, and menacingly difficult challenges make up most of what’s now on offer. At this point, Prodigal feels truly complete. Did it carve out a fate worth diving into?

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