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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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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Thoughts on In Stars And Time (Steam Next Fest Demo)

It truly is the era of quirky RPG games… and farming sims… and 2D collectathon platformers… Y’know, there is a lot from every type of genre if you think about it. Anyway, I came across this latest RPG adventure by chance while going through the #SteamNextFest tag on Twitter. In Stars And Time, as its title would suggest, has a lot to do with stars (the characters) and time (time-loop antics). Immediately taking to the expressive art style of the game, I decided to give the demo a go.

It truly is the era of… no, I won’t make the time-loop joke in text.

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Thoughts on Cassette Beasts (Steam Next Fest Demo)

It did not take much convincing from Cassette Beasts for me to be completely all-in on its synopsis. A turn-based RPG game where you explore a 2.5D world of monsters that you can collect and fuse? I’ve been wanting that in a mainline Pokémon title for years! All the better that the pixel artistry and promise of intense character customization drive home the uniquely expressive part of great RPG games.

Though I had no specific ranking for which game demos I was most excited for, this was one I was very intrigued by. Will it live up to the promise that its trailer showcased?

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Thoughts on Vernal Edge (Steam Next Fest Demo)

Story time: Back in 2020, I was a games journalist for KeenGamer. One day in June, I decided, “Hey, I like giving some publicity to indie games. Let’s write a post on games I think are worth checking out on Kickstarter!” So I did. Among the games in that article was none other than Vernal Edge, which is, assuming you read the title, the subject of today’s post.

What was the point of that information? Just to showcase that I’ve known of this game’s existence for a couple years now. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally able to try it out for myself in demo form.

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Thoughts on Dewdrop Dynasty (Steam Next Fest Demo)

Prior to learning of the existence of Dewdrop Dynasty, I would have never imagined a scenario in which you play as a bee with a gun would fit well into the search-action (metroidvania) genre. Thankfully, the game’s demo has given me hope in a future in which the world’s worst insect carrying America’s most debated-upon tool can prove to be a fun venture. Have I mentioned that I despise bees?

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Thoughts on Spy x Family

Anime’s latest talk of the town! Spy x Family has assumed its position upon the top of the medium’s most beloved properties in the last several years. Everywhere I went, particularly on Twitter, it was Spy x Family this, Spy x Family that. At one point, it was within the top 5 highest-rated anime on MyAnimeList (#27 now, as of writing). With all of this hullabaloo, my own curiosity grew too large to ignore, so I took the plunge to see if this family was all that they were hyped up to be.

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