Hi, my name’s Randy Hsiao. I’m a huge anime and video games fan. I watch anime while exercising, and I play games when I have free time. I especially have a soft spot for retro games. I spend more money on figures, goods, and games than I care to admit. Otaku inside out. I used to put hobby-related posts on my personal blog Air Combo, but I’ve decided to create a dedicated website, hence AnimeRetroGames.com is born. I’ve transferred a few relevant posts from my old blog to this site as a start. Another reason for the site is to get to know people who share similar interests, so please leave comments in the blog. Also feel free to introduce yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear any suggestion and make friends!
Bummed I didn’t attend Anime Expo this year (first time in many years). I watched a lot of anime at home over the July 4th weekend to make up, and this is another all-anime post. Few words on where we left off (here, and here). To get our blood pumping, let’s start with the sports genre.
Yowamushi Pedal (YowaPeda) season 3 will air in January 2017! To get a refresher, there are 3 movies (2 compilations) to check out. Additionally, there’ll be a film adaptation of the Spare Bike spin-off manga in September.
No words on season 4 of Kuroko’s Basketball, but 3 compilation movies, one per season released so far, are coming: Winter Cup Compilation ~Shadow and Light~ on September 3, ~Beyond the Tears~ on October 8, and ~Crossing the Door~ on December 3.
Season 2 of Haikyu!! (Haikyuu!!) has concluded (sooo good), and season 3 is scheduled for October. Does Karasuno really have a chance against Shiratorizawa? Can’t wait to find out!
In other anime news, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! season 2, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!, has started; so has the next arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, subtitled Diamond is Unbreakable. While I still like it, I think this arc is a bit weak compared to the phenomenal Stardust Crusaders. The main characters just don’t seem to have as much personality. Ushio and Tora has concluded with season 2, while Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma season 2 started on a high note with fantastic and funny cook-offs. Fairy Tail‘s latest arc, Fairy Tail Zero (detailing the origin of the guild), concluded a while ago and was pretty good, but it’s a long wait while they work on the next season. Assassination Classroom season 2 has also concluded, but I’ve yet to watch it, so don’t spoil it! Lastly, apologies for ending on bad news. Attack on Titan season 2, which was supposed to have aired already, has been postponed to next year 🙁 At least there are 2 compilation and 2 live-action movies if you can’t get enough like me.
Let’s look at some new series. Only 3 to recommend this time. First is KONOSUBA (God’s blessing on this wonderful world!). The series follows a teenager who died in the real world and was transported to an RPG world. He found party members in a narcissistic goddess, a stubborn magician, and a masochist crusader. Misadventures ensued. It’s meant to be a comedy, and when it’s funny, it’s really funny, but most of the time the jokes felt cliche. Maybe I’m just jaded. Still, the story and characters are interesting, and it has introduced the term NEET to me, so I’m gonna keep watching. Season 1 (only 10 episodes) has concluded, and season 2 airs in January next year.
Next up is GATE (The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in That Place). A portal “gate” appeared in modern day Tokyo, and soldiers and monsters from a fantasy world emerged to attack the city. With unquestionably superior technology, Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) easily pushed back the enemy through the gate and forced the empire of this other world to open peace negotiations (hmm, still holding a grudge against Matthew C. Perry after all these years?). Main hero, a 33-year-old otaku and a JSDF soldier, is of the unwilling-hero-answering-call-to-greatness trope. Despite lacking ambition in his career, he has leadership qualities that draw people both within JSDF and from the fantasy world to him, and he has a knack of getting into and out of sticky situations. Honestly, the series feels a bit like shameless self-promotion for JSDF — I mean, seriously, in what world can JSDF possibly defeat elite forces from western nations (around ep. 9 or 10)?? But propaganda aside, the show has a good story and very memorable characters. Demi-goddess Rory Mercury alone turned every fan into a gothic lolicon. Contains some mature content, with a generally comedic vibe. 24 episodes, concluding a story arc but not the main story. Don’t know if there’ll be a next season.
Finally, we have Re:ZERO (Starting Life in Another World). Again, main character is a young male otaku in the real world, who was mysteriously teleported to a fantasy world of swords and sorcery (circumstances unclear). The twist is, when he dies in this new world, he wakes up to a previous point in his adventure, retaining all his memory up to his death, while everyone else is none the wiser. It’s akin to a “check point” in a video game. It’s then up to him to find a solution to avoid the certain “death” and get to next check point. Of the 3, I think this one is the most interesting. The fact they like to end episodes on cliffhangers makes it even more compelling to continue watching. Similar to GATE, the show has some dark moments, but it’s generally upbeat. Only 15 episodes aired so far, and believe me, you won’t want to stop after you start watching.
It’s interesting all 3 series involve a guy otaku who finds himself in a familiar fantasy world because of all the games he played, manga he read, and anime he watched. In the fantasy world, he can use his otherwise useless knowledge to his advantage. That just seems to be a popular trend in anime right now. Probably resonates with most anime fans. Certainly does with me. BTW, all 3 series have fan service.. well, maybe not as much in Re:ZERO, but you’ve been warned.
That’s it for now. Do you like my recommendations? Please add yours in the comments section below! Oh, I also want to mention that One Piece and Naruto Shippuden have become good again. The Dressrosa arc of One Piece had been dragging, but I really liked the concluding episodes. There were moments that brought tears to my eyes, as the theme of freedom was revisited. It’s one of the big reasons I fell in love with the series. It’s also good to see Naruto can still be humorous in the middle of an epic battle, and now we’re onto the story of how the ninja world got started, which is at least a lot more interesting than the usual filler episodes. I do hope the series concludes this year. It’s been long enough. :p