Working as an ESL teacher at a university in China… you don’t really get much time off. Work is constantly there. So, once I learned about the fact that I was going to get an entire week off with no teaching and hardly any students to deal with, it’s safe to say I was quite happy.
Now, I am still very much in my student life mindset. I sleep all the time, I don’t cook, I live on a university campus… The only difference for me personally is the fact that I’m on the other side of the lecture podium, so to speak. So, that all being said, what is the one thing I’m going to do when I have an entire week away from work?
You guessed it. As y’all know by now, anime was a crucial part of my student life. I watched it all the darn time. So, in my lovely week off of work, that’s what I did. I spent the majority of my time sleeping, snacking and watching some anime and it’s the anime that I’m going to be talking about today in a very quick overview, wrap-up style of post. There’s no doubt that I’ll be revisiting some of these to make actual review posts further down the line, so I’m going to try and keep things a little more snappy and try to not give too much away.
During this spring break, I’ve managed to somehow fit time in for eleven different shows. Now, that sounds impressive until you realize that six of those shows are the shows that I’m watching for this season. I do have some opinions on these shows that I want to share, but I’m going to be saving those for my mid-season impression post coming in the next week or so. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the five remaining shows that I’ve been watching during this short vacation.
Highschool of the Dead – Action, Horror, Supernatural, Ecchi, Shounen
Oh, boy… Where do I start with this one? Usually, I say that in a positive light, but honestly? There was nothing too positive about my experience with Highschool of the Dead. I remember watching this very early on in my anime journey and being scarred somewhat like a very naive 15-year-old girl. Of course, I soon dropped it and didn’t really touch it again, until I decided this year to try and complete some of the anime on my on-hold and dropped lists. I wanted to find some sort of enjoyment in this, I really did. It’s loved by so many people, after all, but, quite frankly… This show is ridiculous. Not quite scarring as younger me thought it was, but it’s certainly ridiculous. I’m not going to talk about it too much here because I am planning to do a post in a few weeks time about why I didn’t like it, but it’s certainly twelve episodes and an OVA that I kinda wish I hadn’t watched.
Bartender – Drama, Seinen, Slice of Life
From one extreme to the other… Highschool of the Dead is ridiculous, sure, but at least it wasn’t boring. Bartender, on the other hand, could do with some zombies in order to liven things up a little bit. I don’t really want to dedicate an entire post to this, so I’ll basically give a quick review here. For those of you who don’t know, Bartender is set in a bar called Eden Hall – a bar operated by Ryuu Sasakura, a bartender who is said to make the most amazing cocktails anyone has ever tasted. The concept of the anime is that different customers come in and talk about their problems and Ryuu suggests a cocktail of some sort, talks about the history of the cocktail and it’s just the same formula for every single episode. I did think this could be quite interesting, and it certainly receives a lot of praise, but this is not gaining my attention whatsoever, even six episodes in. The animation isn’t great, the voices are somewhat monotone a lot of the time and the content is just, well, more boring than my anthropology lectures at university. No offense to any anthropologists, of course. The one word I’ve used to describe this is ‘snoozefest’, which is just as well, really, because the only time I watch it is just before I go to bed. Disappointed with this one, I will admit. But hey, not every show can meet expectations.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos – Action, Adventure, Drama, Magic, Military, Shounen
Man, how many genres does one movie need? I haven’t even included all of them! Eh, whatever. Now, as I’ve already mentioned this week, I am a sucker for the Fullmetal Alchemist series. Whether it’s the original or the Brotherhood reboot, I don’t mind – both are great! But one area where I have been disappointed twice now is the Fullmetal movies. I always wondered why nobody really talks about them and, well, now I know. Let’s focus on the one at hand here. The Sacred Star of Milos movie is set during the Brotherhood storyline, but it is far from the same level in terms of enjoyment and story. The movie follows the Elric brothers as they investigate what seems to be another Philosopher’s Stone situation, which is fine, it’s pivotal to the story, but the thing is… The movie is just like any piece of filler with the same story to it within the show. As a movie, I expected more and it just didn’t deliver. I’m not going to talk about this too much because I am debating whether to do a separate post on both Fullmetal Alchemist movies but I really don’t recommend them. Just watch the series and then the theatre specials. From where I stand, that’s all you need in terms of the anime.
BanG Dream! – Music
This post, so far, has been rather negative and, well… it doesn’t end just yet. For me, BanG Dream! is probably the biggest disappointment here. It hadn’t always been disappointing to me, though. I did watch some of the series when it was airing back in Winter 2017 and I was loving it! However, I only managed to watch four episodes before slowly forgetting about it. Why? Well, I don’t particularly like the characters, if I’m honest. Everything I said back in Winter 2017 still applies – I love the music, I love the animation – but the characters just lack a lot of potential development. There’s not really anything to them and I think that’s such a shame. Being interested in the characters is probably one of the biggest reasons why I stick around to watch a show, so forcing myself to finish BanG Dream!, a show with underdeveloped characters, was just torturous. I was torn, I really was, but ultimately, for me, the show just didn’t turn out to be the best music show of Winter 2017 after all. I definitely think, after watching this, Idol Jihen was certainly underrated that season. However, I’m willing to give things a second chance, as we’ve seen with Highschool of the Dead… To anyone who saw the second season of BanG Dream! during the last season, is it any better than the first one? Should I give it a shot? Let me know!
Fate/Zero – Action, Supernatural, Magic, Fantasy
Let’s end this post with some positivity, shall we? As usual, I’m a little bit late to the party, but I have finally dive into the world of Fate! Now, the only reason why I began watching this was out of pure curiosity. I know a lot of people are interested in Fate, but I’ve always brushed it off as “yet another action show I’m not going to be interested in.” 2019 has so far been the year where I do try to watch things I wouldn’t usually watch, so Fate seemed perfect to slide into the mix. Admittedly? I was pleasantly surprised. I’m still halfway through the series, but I am absolutely loving the show so far. I really like the story, I like the designs, the tone… It reminds me of the sort of TV programme I would watch when I was in high school, so I don’t really know why I was so avoidant of it in the first place. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a show before you start watching it for yourself… Lesson learned!
So, they are the shows that I’ve been watching recently. Like I’ve previously mentioned a couple of times in this post, I will be revisiting some of these titles to give them their own dedicated reviews, but I think this ‘little’ wrap-up sums everything up quite nicely.
Now, what about you? Have you been watching anything recently? Perhaps you’ve been watching something you wouldn’t usually watch? Feel free to let me know in the comments!
Until next time!
– Amelia x