April Anime Review – What Did We Do to Deserve So Much Win? (And a 4-Year Spring Retrospective)

[Part 1 of my plan to totally cover a season for once. This post isn’t going to say much in spite of being so many words, but I’ve taken a liking to these little things that keep my thoughts on the shows intact across the season. I guess I’m learning the appeal of episodic blogging.]

Screenshots from random current shows that I haven't gotten to use.

Spring 2007 was my first season watching anime fresh from its release, and over the years I’ve continued to think of it as the best major season I’ve been around for.

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Astarotte no Omocha 3 – Another Keystone in the Kugimiya Arch

Episode 2 of C was a letdown for the most part, but that’s okay because Steins;Gate and Astarotte no Omocha are putting up strong showings as easily my favorite shows this season. I can’t contain my fanboydom for either!

Astarotte ep 3 was so good it hurt, and Asuha in animation is the cutest god damn thing this side of planet Earth. At this point—unlike with Ao no Exorcist—I’m so far beyond the changes from the manga (which have gotten pretty major) that they barely register now. This anime is much better than the manga, not just for the already true reason that Okama’s art design is spectacular, but also because it’s written by the pens of gods.

I like to refer to Toradora as a sort of keystone in the Kugimiya Rie loli arch. Everyone and their grandma has known since 2007 that Kugimiya is best known for playing “tsundere” lolis, especially in J.C. Staff shows, and it’s only grown more true over the years, with this season’s (fucking terrible) Hidan no Aria reaching almost so-terrible-it’s-like-a-meta-commentary-on-the-overuse-of-Kugimiya levels of Kugimiya overdose.

Why is Toradora the keystone? Because it takes the character type, all too known for it’s inability to grow and develop and for being perpetually misunderstood, and then the whole purpose of the show is allowing the character to do just that through 24 episodes of the best melodrama in anime. Now we’ve got Astarotte no Omocha, which accomplishes something similar in the span of three episodes.

Obviously it’s not a replacement for Toradora because that growing process is important the way Toradora does it, but it’s also a very cool new animal to see the character so easily understood, and seeing how she’ll grow in that environment. It’s like Naoya is the father to Astarotte that Ryuuji was the lover to Taiga.

Plus the show is so fucking god damn adorable, I want to hug Asuha TO DEATH. Cute girls haven’t done this many cute things since Ichigo Mashimaro.

Astarotte no Omocha 1 Exceeds My High Expectations

While making my season preview post, I noticed that Astarotte no Omocha was based on the manga Lotte no Omocha by Haga Yui, a porn artist that I really like, so I decided to check out the manga. I really enjoyed the manga, and the anime has shown itself to be an excellent adaption as of the first episode.

I’m going to get this out of the way now: I don’t really care what you think about this show. I know that this series has a big target painted on it, but there’s no deep or interesting reason I’m expecting anyone to have for disliking it. So please, if you don’t like this show, just don’t comment on this post. Don’t talk to me about the show. I don’t want to hear it. I like the show, I’m going to talk about why, and if you disagree, I really don’t care to argue about it.

What I was worried about with this adaption was that it wouldn’t capture the mature air of the manga that plays a big part in why I love it. Lotte no Omocha is cute and fun, but it’s also very intelligent, which is what separates it from expectation. (Mind you, I don’t make high demands of manga, but I also don’t read anything just for the fanservice. I’ve dropped manga with much more attractive characters and artwork because they were stupid as hell.)

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