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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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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Thoughts on Cursed to Golf (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

Let me tell you an objectively correct fact about life: Golf in real life is boring; golfing video games are awesome. My history with the Mario Golf franchise almost overtakes the time spent on mainline games, and other golf franchises like Everyone’s Golf and Outlaw Golf were favorites growing up. Around the start of Next Fest, I saw this on Twitter. How can I not include Cursed to Golf after such a splendid display?

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on Paper Trail (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

If the numerous amount of posts about demos prior to this have shown, I fancy myself a puzzle-solver. Paper Trail was shown during the recent Wholesome Direct showcase and immediately enthused me with its concept. You must solve puzzles by moving the environment around like folds of paper. Discovering it would have a demo soon after, I eagerly downloaded it without hesitation! Perhaps I should have had some hesitation…

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on Re:Call (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

Two years ago, I played a game called Evan’s Remains for my former place of employment. An emotionally evocative story brought down by its rather straightforward gameplay loop, I decided to keep tabs on its developer to see what more they could create. It did not take long for them to announce that work on their next title had begun. Now, in mid-2022, their next game in Re:Call was given a demo for Steam Next Fest. Ended up being quite a time.

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on Overbowed (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

Okay, I’ll admit it. You’ve shaken it out of me. Sometimes games just appeal to me because they look and sound really cool. But c’mon! It’s a visual medium. We look with our eyes and interpret potential with them. If something clicks with us based on aesthetic pleasure, why fight it? Overbowed was one such case—the simple, cartoon-y pixels, the chiptune beats, and the smooth green color palette. Gameplay was just set dressing to the love I developed within seconds.

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on Dead End City (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

Growing up, I was really fond of Gradius III. That sort of side-scrolling shoot ’em up game, combined with the exhilarating soundtrack, made an impressionable impact on my gaming preferences. Taking a quick glance at Dead End City on Twitter on the first day of the Steam Next Fest, I was immediately reminded of those days of blasting things to bits to an intense beat. How could I decline?

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

Animation is pretty cool. Good animation is a rarity, especially hand-drawn animation, ever since the rise of conglomerates putting a heavier emphasis on 3D CGI. That’s why whenever I get the chance to experience some sweet energy put into animated form, I will gleefully indulge. A chance encounter with a trailer for The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo on Twitter last week was an easy decision to include in my gargantuan haul of demos to try.

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

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Thoughts on Master Key (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)

A sleek black-and-white look. Obvious homages to classics of old. Dropped off into an unfamiliar world as an unfamiliar figure. A rekindling of a more rigid, challenging time of video games brought to life once again. Master Key spoke to me without needing to say a thing, and the demo made sure to remind me of how games used to be. Whether or not that’s a good thing heavily depends on your disposition.

Quick structure disclaimer: Given this (and all the others) is only a demo, I won’t be too in-depth with my coverage, and will only reflect on the good and the bad. No overly long personal history or filibuster. No nonsense. That said, I will provide a synopsis for the game below.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Master Key (Steam Next Fest 2022 Demo)”