Getting Back Into the Anime Groove

One of the very first posts that I wrote when we launched this blog site was all about how I loved watching anime way before it reached the mainstream heights it has today. That was almost an entire decade ago and, since that time, I have started watching less and less anime. It’s not like I quit cold turkey as I have sporadically watched some shows like Food Wars! and Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out. But I haven’t been watching with the same voracity as I had so many years ago.

I can’t really put my finger on it but I think the biggest contributing factors would have to be me not having a lot of free time then and I just didn’t feel the newer anime were up to the same caliber of the anime I watched early on. Remember, I started watching classic anime programs like Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo!, Vision of Escaflowne, Kimagure Orange Road, Cowboy Bebop and many more. My standards were pretty high after that.

I have found myself watching more and more anime now. Now, I can’t really say if these animes are better or at least on par with the “classics” that I’ve mentioned. However, what I can say is I can feel my interest in the hobby reigniting because of how many shows I’m watching now and how many I actually plan to watch in the future.

Now, it does help there are a couple of animes I watched before are returning this season. Those would be Komi Can’t Communicate and Kaguya-Sama: Love is War. I did fall in love with Kaguya-Sama: Love is War a ways back because of the silly premise of a couple who actually know they like each other but are both unwilling to admit it first because that would mean “losing” in the relationship. I do feel that, in later episodes, the focus has shifted away from that quite a bit and more on the dynamic of the entire group. It’s not a bad change as the new gags are still hilarious in their own right. But I do kind of miss the times when the two leads would have these “epic” duel of wits against each other in the hopes of tricking the other into admitting their feeling first.

When it comes to Komi Can’t Communicate, the trailer itself didn’t pique my interest. It looked like your typical slice of life story where the dweeby guy and the perfect girl everyone pines for get together. There have been so many animes like that so I didn’t think it was going to be all that compelling. However, after my partner on the site Robin wrote a piece regarding the differences between the official Netflix subtitles versus the fansubbed version, I just had to see what it was all about. And I’m glad I gave Komi Can’t Communicate a second chance because the story is much more charming that I thought it was going to be.

I knew it was going to focus on Komi and her goal of making a hundred friends. That was very apparent in the trailer. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the secondary characters and the rather ridiculous situations they all get into because they put Komi on a pedestal. These are generally all very mundane and everyday tasks but, because of Komi’s inability to talk as well as how people idolize her, some of the gags do become hilarious.

The anime that I’m surprised to be watching is Ya Boy Kongming. I will admit I started watching it out of some rather morbid curiosity because of the wacky premise. Basically, the show has a brilliant tactician named Kongming who died during the Romance of the Three Kingdoms era reincarnated in modern day Japan. He visits a club and listens to a singer and gets so entranced by her musical ability. From that day, he vows to help the singer become more popular by using the wartime strategies he’s developed.

The reason why I said I had a morbid curiosity regarding Ya Boy Kongming is because I actually thought it was going to be bad. I thought it was going to be this dumb fish out of water story with Kongming blundering around the modern world but still using old-time strategies to help out the singer. Thankfully, Ya Boy Kongming doesn’t fall into that trap. Instead, he proves to be able to adapt to the situation very quickly and he does use some really smart tricks to help her. I do find it clever how they used these strategies and give them a modern twist.

I guess the biggest anime I’m watching now is the much heralded Spy X Family. The thing that really got me hooked wasn’t all the hype surrounding it. I was interested in seeing it after watching the trailer because, for one, it’s gorgeously animated. Everything looks really full of life and detailed. But the second reason is the screwball premise.

When I saw the title, I thought it was just going to be a group of spies having to go undercover as a family. Spy X Family is definitely not as basic as that. It’s all about a spy in a foreign land sent to infiltrate a school in order for him to get close to someone who has ties to the school. He then has to adopt a child for the child to enroll there. But what he doesn’t know is the kid can read minds. He then continues the charade by getting into a fake marriage with a woman. But what he doesn’t know is the woman is an assassin working for an underground organization. So, basically, the “family” in Spy X Family has a secret they’re all trying to keep from each other. It does feel a little like Mr. and Mrs Smith but the anime twist of having a telepathic but rather innocent child adds a lot to its charm.

I’ve already detailed four animes but there are still some that have grabbed my attention and I have yet to start. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Shikimori is Not Just a Cutie as well as The Executioner and Her Way of Life. But I still haven’t started on them because, well, I still don’t have enough time to watch any of the episodes. Life still seems to get in the way. However, I am glad that I’m getting back my anime groove, so to speak. It’s been a while but it’s great to be back.

What other anime would you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

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