A Certain Magical IndexChihayafuruCardfight VanguardJapanese
Anime 1st episodes 2020: C
Including: Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Cap Revolution Bottleman, Cardfight!! Vanguard: Shinemon-hen, Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: If, The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, A Certain Scientific Railgun T, Chibi Maruko-chan, Chihayafuru Season 3, Chou Futsuu Toshi Kashiwa Densetsu R, The Chronicles of Rebecca, Condom Battler Gorou, Crayon Shin-chan
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2020 >>
Keywords: A Certain Magical Index, Chihayafuru, Cardfight Vanguard, Crayon Shin-chan, anime, SF, fantasy, historical, detective
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 31 August 2023
Listed under "I": THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater: Extra Stage, aka. Cinderella Girls Gekijou: Extra Stage
Listed under "S": Smile Down the Runway special: Chiyuki no Fashion Check
It's a movie: Crayon Shin-chan Movie 28: Gekitotsu! Rakugaki Kingdom to Hobo Yonin no Yuusha
They're a pair of compilation movies: Choujigen Game Neptune: Hi Light
It's a four-minute OVA: Chinzei Hachirou Tametomo
It's an OVA: Chuubyou Gekihatsu Boy: Otoko ni Umareta Shukumei Dakara
It's Chinese: Chuan Shu Zijiu Zhinan, aka. Scumbag System
It's Chinese: Chang An Huan Jie
It's Chinese: Chu Feng: Yi Dian Zhi Zi
It's Chinese: Chueog-ui Geomjeong-gomusin
It's Korean: Catch! Tiniping
It's Korean: Chuldong! Animal Rescue
Mushikago no Cagaster
Cagaster of an Insect Cage
Mushikago no Cagaster
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 30-ish minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: post-apocalypse-ish Netflix CGI anime about a plague that turns people into insects
It's another grey, dumb SF Netflix CGI anime! The visuals aren't too bad, actually, with the faces being quite good, although you'll laugh at some of the shots of people walking. Even so, though... CGI. Netflix. The year 2125, thirty years after the discovery of a disease that turns people into bulletproof insect monsters. We already know that this is probably a "no".
Our hero is an Exterminator, acting as the bodyguard for a looter of the dead who calls himself a merchant. (Fair enough. If insects are going to massacre people, it makes sense to retrieve the goodies.) The important thing, though, is that this duo:
(a) aren't smart enough to shut their jeep's doors when attacked by giant killer dragonflies
(b) fight a skull-faced insect whose head is nearly the size of their entire jeep. They survive, but against all the odds and you'd expect them to be a bloody smear nine times out of ten... and this was an avoidable battle. They deliberately went off treasure-hunting in the wilderness. I don't believe that these people would have survived more than a few days in that line of work.
They meet a dying man who tells the Exterminator to look after his daughter. I was surprised to discover that he was taking this request seriously (since the anime didn't give this emotional beat any weight), then later was surprised to learn that he thought all his responsibilities evaporated if the child wandered off by herself. (Admittedly, she's being stupid... er, irrational, but even so.) Also, a desert community in this world doesn't think to check potentially sick visitors for Insect Plague. "He's just a bit car sick." No, you idiot, of course he's not car sick and of course he's going to turn into a man-eating insect monster.
I like the setting, which is a bit Middle East. The children towards the end were more likeable. This is, though, by-the-numbers and somewhat stupid Netflix CGI.
Cap Kakumei Bottleman
Cap Revolution Bottleman
Cap Kakumei Bottleman
Season 1
Episodes: 25 x 5 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: merchandise-driven anime based on a toy
The episode I watched had an American dub. With lines like, "I'll show you the power of this bottle man!" Ouch ouch ouch stop it.
A boy called Kouka Kouta wants to be the world's best Bottle King at the Bottle Battles in the virtual Drink World. They fight with bottle caps. Yes.
"Let's see my cap revolution!"
Cardfight Vanguard Shinemon hen
Cardfight!! Vanguard: Shinemon-hen
Series 7
Random episode
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: the greatest power in the world is trading card battles
It's quite good, for Cardfight!! Vanguard. It doesn't have endless card game battles. (At one point, our hero's about to have a battle with a customer... which gets him in trouble with the boss of the store he's minding, so that gets called off.)
It's still Cardfight!! Vanguard, of course. It's a world where trading card games are televised and happen in a packed stadium. Football players complain to each other that it's those trading card nerds who attract all the best girls. The episode opens with two men looking at a pack of cards, saying, "I want to learn what hidden powers that deck might have! For all our futures!"
On the other hand, though, we're not being choked to death with card fights this week. Instead, we have mysteries and interesting stuff. Chrono appears to be a toddler! No idea why, but it's definitely him. Can't mistake that stupid hair. I don't know if this is a prequel series or if he got trapped in a time-reversal field. (I'm sure this wouldn't be a mystery if I'd seen all the intervening episodes, but I haven't.) There's also a brother who's been working at a top-security laboratory with guards and barbed wire. To get there, our heroes drive through the rain after dark.
In summary: inherently silly, but less so than usual. I know we'll get more card fights, though.
(NOTE: I might have watched the wrong series. This might have been Cardfight!! Vanguard: Zoku Koukousei-hen, but I can't believe it matters.)
Cardfight Vanguard Gaiden If
Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: If
Season 14
25 x 24 episodes
Keep watching: I don't believe I'm saying this... but yes. I'll quit if it gets Cardfighty.
One-line summary: alt-universe Cardfight!! Vanguard
I've since finished it and... it's not very good, but it's imaginative, playful and light on Cardfighting. It goes downhill in the second half, though.
Cardfight!! Vanguard is a glorified advertisement, ahem, anime where small boys live, breathe and probably dream of marrying this trading card game. The idea of watching it is absurd if you've got a double-digit age.
This, though, was quite good.
It stars a grumpy git (Kouji Ibuki) who needs to learn some manners and two small girls (Emi and Shuka) who are cheerfully and tactlessly aware of this. "So he's the kind of person who acts like a jerk while hiding his true self?"
Apparently Ibuki was an antagonist in a Cardfight!! Vanguard movie, while I'm pretty sure this episode's villains have been heroes in previous series/incarnations. He gets given some instructions to change the future, which involve putting a card deck in someone's shoe cupboard at school. Emi and Shuka are magical girls. Proper old school, with magical transformations, frills, etc. Oh, and also the ability to confirm that they've visited the future by looking at their phones.
It's possible to spy those trading cards, but I loved the episode's ending. Ibuki has to have a fight. He draws his deck for a Cardfight!! and immediately gets blasted, while Emi and Shuka call him an idiot. Cardfights aren't fights.
I'd definitely be interested in seeing whether this Cardfight!! series manages to keep up this subversive level of anti-Cardfight!!... but that'll depend on being able to find it. This franchise doesn't normally travel much beyond its pre-pubescent target audience. Finding the other episodes might take some digging. I'll give it a go, though.
Case Files of Jeweler Richard
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard
Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: sort of detective-ish
It's about two dull men talking. There's also an interesting-ish mystery that gets uncovered, but Richard has no personality and Seigi comes across as a bog-standard nice young anime chap. He's fine. You'd happily invite him to dinner, but I don't feel the need to watch twelve episodes of this duo, though, especially when Richard's business and conversation is all about precious stones.
I quite liked the history that's being uncovered, though. Seigi's grandmother was a single mother and a pickpocket, but both she and her victim are embodying the limited choices available to women in that era.
This is an anime for adults. No demons, SF, supernatural, action or anything like that. I've nothing against more grounded shows in general, but I suspect that I might find this one a bit boring.
Toaru Majutsu no Index
A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T
Season 3 of RAILGUN
Season 7 of the franchise (INDEX + RAILGUN + ACCELERATOR)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: a city of superpowered teenagers
I enjoyed the episode. It made me laugh. Kuroko is still funny (especially with Satomi Arai's vocal performance), it's nice to catch up with Misaka's other friends and seeing the clones is always great even if (as here) they're just buying cake. Their rock-scissors-paper moment was funny.
This is an excellent franchise... in its first season. That's INDEX 1 and RAILGUN 1-2. However I've long since bailed on it, after the pain of INDEX 3. RAILGUN is the best of its versions, but even so I have no interest in this franchise's long-term direction. Even this episode ends up with idiots fighting, then the end credits sequence promises yet more superpower fights. (Misaka using her railgun powers is cool, though.)
For what it's worth, Academy City is having a seven-day all-schools sports festival. A tournament, in other words. Uh-huh.
Chibi Maruko chan
Chibi Maruko-chan
1000+ episodes
24 minutes
Keep watching: n/a
One-line summary: children's anime
It's based on the bestselling autobiographical manga by Sakura Momoko, which she drew from the age of about 20 until her death of breast cancer in 2018. The anime's been broadcast in more than 60 countries. I watched a random episode on YouTube because I have no idea which episode was the first of any given year and I'm sure it doesn't make much difference.
The main character has the same name as the manga's author, but everyone calls her Maruko. It's a crudely drawn but charming series about her daily life and the trouble she gets herself into. Here, she gets hold of a magnifying glass. Can she burn stuff? With a bit of effort, sure, but most of what she does is harmless. I quite liked it.
Chihaya furu
Chihayafuru Season 3
Episode 13 (or 64): "Yet it is I who withers and wilts"
Keep watching: yes, absolutely
One-line summary: sports anime about karuta
I've since finished it and... yup, still love it. Unfortunately, though, this will probably be its last season.
I love Chihayafuru (and its mental protagonist, Chihaya). I'd heard that it was good, but it took me ages to get around to it because it's a (mind) sports anime about the impenetrable-to-Westerners card game karuta. Also, it has 75 episodes.
Everyone was right and I was crazy to have waited so long to watch it.
This week, it's the King and Queen Challenger matches. The older generation are taking on the youngsters. Harada's being deliberately abrasive and his contemporaries hate him, as always. Inokuma's in it too, with her children and her worries about whether her time has passed. At the end of the day, though, it's also lots of karuta and all the mind games that go with it. If you've been following this series, you'll be riveted. I swear to you.
Chou Futsuu Toshi Kashiwa Densetsu
Chou Futsuu Toshi Kashiwa Densetsu R
Season 1
Episodes: 10 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: non-animated "comedy" shorts
There's stuff about twins separated at birth, two characters being villains, etc. but all presented in a silly random way that doesn't suggest there's any reason to care. Also, there's no animation. Character movement is either: (a) their mouths, or (b) static images being moved across the screen like cardboard cut-outs. It probably took about an afternoon to make this episode.
Also, there's a character called Tegatoro Vagina. (They romanise it as "Vageena", but...)
The Chronicles of Rebecca
One-off mini-movie
24 minutes
One-line summary: family troubles in 19th century Maine, USA
Once upon a time, there were three sisters: Miranda, Jane and Aurelia. One of them married a man called Randall, who fathered seven children with her, then died and left his family in poverty. Miranda volunteered to take in one of Aurelia's daughters, despite being an obnoxious old bat who still hadn't forgiven her sister for marrying a despicable useless loser scumbag good-for-nothing. (As she openly calls him in front of the young daughter she's adopted, while also saying she hadn't wanted to be sent little Rebecca but instead her better-behaved sister.)
I hated Miranda. Jane's nice, though.
This is a warm, happy story. After Miranda goes too far, Jane will give her a talking to. (Meanwhile, Rebecca will try to run away from home but be talked out of it by the town's cuddly old coachman, Mr Cobb.) If I'd been there, I'd have told Miranda she actually had to deliver the apology verbally... but this will do.
Condom Battler Goro
Condom Battler Gorou
Season 1
Episodes: 4 x 57 seconds
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: gag comedy
Our heroes wear condoms on their head and shoulders as armour. But you should never wear two condoms at once! It's ripped! Goro wins!
I was amused, but not enough to go hunting down the other episodes.
Crayon Shin chan
Crayon Shin-chan
1000+ episodes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's cartoon
All the characters are drawn as if by a drunken four-year-old. Shin-chan is young enough to wet the bed and get Japanese words and phrases muddled up all the time. He's rude. I wasn't wild about his silly conversation with his mother, but his kindergarten sleepover is funny. The adults are worse than the children. The teachers have bets with each other about whose class will have more homesick, crying children, while the headmaster tells the children a late-night horror story. (They like it and want another one. He goes to sleep on the floor among them.)
"Have you ever peed in the bath before?" asks Shin-chan, in the public bath. His classmates react with immediate suspicion and fear.
This is a mega-franchise, with over a thousand anime episodes and a manga that's been running since 1990. I like it. We have some DVDs of it at home for the children to watch. It's irredeemably vulgar, but that's the point. I've no idea when the episode I watched was made, though, since I just watched a random one on YouTube.