Anime 1st episodes 2020: N
Including: Natsunagu!, Neko Neko Nihonshi, Nekopara, Ninja Box, Ninja Collection, Nintama Rantarou, Noblesse, No Guns Life (season 2), Norimono Man: Mobile Land no Car-kun, number24
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2020 >>
Keywords: anime, SF, fantasy, historical, ninja, rubbish, detective
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 10 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 22 September 2023
Listed under "A": 22/7, aka. Nanabun no Nijyuuni
Listed under "J": Japan Sinks: 2020, aka. Nihon Chinbotsu 2020
Listed under "S": The Seven Deadly Sins: Imperial Wrath of the Gods, aka. Nanatsu no Taizai: Kamigami no Gekirin
Listed under "W": Wave, Listen to Me!, aka. Nami yo Kiitekure
It's Chinese: Nu Wushen de Canzhuo II, aka. Cooking with Valkyries II
Sod it: Ninjala
Sod it: Neko Konogoro
Sod it: Neko no Robu
It's a movie: Neko Neko Nihonshi Movie: Ryouma no Hachamecha Time Travel ze yo!
It's a movie: Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu, aka. A Whisper Away
It's an OVA: Null Peta Special
It's an OVA of a 2019 show I dropped: Nakanohito Genome (Jikkyouchuu): Knots of Memories
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirl trying to contact her friend
I've since finished it and... there's not much to it, but it's quite nice.
WARNING: if googling this show, don't accidentally search for "Natsunaga". That's what I mistyped and the resulting search results were work-inappropriate.
This episode wasn't amazingly fantastic or anything, but it looked okay and the show actually seems to have a plot. A schoolgirl (Natsuna) has an online game friend (Itsuki) with whom she suddenly loses contact one day when the game shuts down. Could they meet offline, perhaps? It turns out that Itsuki suggested this four years ago, but Natsuna never followed it up.
Now, she does. This isn't a complicated idea and the episode doesn't have a complicated story, but it has stuff happening and a last-minute reversal. These are only mini-episodes, so I'll stick with it and see where it goes.
Neko Neko Nihonsi
Neko Neko Nihonshi
Seasons 4-5
9 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Japanese history retold with cats
In the random episode I watched today, they've reached the arrival of Commander Perry's Black Ships in 1853. The cat observations can be interesting or mildly amusing, but the history being told isn't a great fit with the show's style. No warlords, samurai, battles, etc. I didn't stick with the episode.
neko para
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 22 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: cat girls
Nekopara is short for "Neko (i.e. cat) Paradise". It started out as an adult visual novel series, i.e. porn games. This is an all-ages TV anime based on it. I'd heard that it was ecchi, but the people saying that would probably put curtains around table legs. (One cat girl kneads another's boobs offscreen. That's it, unless you have a fetish for girls talking about wetting themselves because of waiting too long for the toilet.)
Also, more importantly, it's almost empty. The episode has no story and the girls have almost no characterisation. They'll have one trait each, so Coconuts is stupid, Cinnamon can't wait for the toilet, Chocola loves food, etc.
The girls work in a patisserie. There, I've just summarised the plot. (Well, almost. One of them finds a small stray girl.)
What's mildly interesting is the world-building. Cat-girls are common in anime, but these ones are more catlike than usual. They'll wash their faces by licking their paws, etc. They're also integrated into society and not allowed out without their owners, unless they're wearing a bell. (Mind you, that's also the only bit that clashes with anything you'd recognise from real cats. To me, it felt like fantasy-pandering.)
The show's not offensive or unpleasant. Everyone's nice to each other and I'm sure it would be easy to watch this and become fond of its cast. Dramatically speaking, though, this episode is a blob of generic cute girls with no further content.
ninja  box
Ninja Box
Season 3
Keep watching: no, but it's quite funny
One-line description: kiddie comedy with ninja child heroes
Our hero, Tobita Hiroto, has Naruto rejects in his "secret base". (Where he reads manga. I think he built it out of cardboard boxes. Hiroto looks about eight years old and his idiot ninja squatters might be about five.)
These children go looking for another ninja called Chinki, whose head is either an electric appliance or a garage. I'm going to guess the latter, since they want to build him a garage. (Would that be an improvement on cardboard boxes?) They find him... and then the episode gets surreal. The ninja can duplicate themselves, but Tonkachi's duplication is amusingly flawed. There's a huge stupid one, a grey-faced senior citizen, etc. After that, they have to find the right Chinki by opening up all the duplicates' garage-heads... and after a while, they're finding little families inside there, or shrines to the dead.
This episode made me laugh. It's a show for small children, yes, but it's funny. There's also some less shallow content as they tell Chinki they just wanted to be his friend (although friendship is admittedly the worn-to-glass basis of gazillion shounen anime)... but then Tonkachi gets stamped on by a giant. He's next seen bandaged like a mummy. You could do a lot worse.
Ninja  Collection
Ninja Collection
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: like Yamishibai, but with ninja
I'd heard that this was a spin off of Yamishibai (which I enjoy), but this wasn't a spin-off in any sense I recognised.
It's following its format, mind you. Four-minute episodes, horror tone, negligible animation. The difference, though, is that here a ninja schoolboy saves our hero and then four ninja boys pose for the end credits. Nope, not for me.
Nintama Rantarou
Running non-stop since 1993
8 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's show about ninjas
That was moderately funny. Our three ninja child heroes (i.e. idiots) are playing with grenades. As you do. They drop some. No chance whatsoever that this might be significant later in the episode.
Takie's depressed because Takamaru made his messy hair pretty. He was proud of that hair. It made him a friend to birds and insects. Takamaru, on the other hand, appears to be a hairdressing ninja and wants to persuade Takie that having beautifully styled hair is an improvement.
Takie's friends tell Rantarou, Kirimaru and Shinbee to be careful and not let off those grenades. The dimwit boys misunderstand.
I laughed.
Season 1, but it's a sequel to a one-episode 2016 OVA (which I haven't seen) called Noblesse: Awakening
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: emotionless badass pretty boys at high school
It's a Japanese anime based on a South Korean manhwa. When I did an internet search for "Noblesse anime", the first two Google-suggested questions were:
1. Does Noblesse have an anime?
2. Why is Noblesse anime so bad? I wasn't expecting much.
It starts like a parody of bad anime. Soldiers get killed, helicopters get shot, baddies lick their knives to show how evil they are, etc. It's boring and terrible. Someone clearly thought it was important to start with action scenes, even though we have no context and we don't care.
After that, we visit a Japanese high school. There are some pretty boys with AMZAING POWRES!!!!! and no personality, although girls drool over them anyway. (Someone mentions memory erasure, so it might be plot-significant that they're boring.) In contrast, there are also some schoolboys who actually have some life to them and are reasonably fun to watch. One of the super-people hangs out with the kids and learns about phones, emails and emoji, but not how to emote.
No Gun Life
No Guns Life
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no, although admittedly I watched Season 1
One-line summary: hard-boiled private detective with a gun for a head
It's the kind of show that's brilliant for an episode or two. Inui Juzo's head is a gun. (He can still talk, eat, smoke endless cigarettes and live his life of hardboiled noir pastiche.)
This episode, though, demonstrates the problem I had with Season 1. It's not character-based. The plot's not personal for anyone, except for one surprising line from Mary. It's a cynical swirl of data, terrorists, hostages, etc. Mind you, it looks cool and I liked the observations about how it's society as a whole, not just the Evil Corporations, that have profited from covering up evil.
Oh, and do Tetsurou's powers really work like that? Does it mean anything for Mary to stand in front of him with outstretched arms?
In short, no. I watched Season 1 and this smells like more of the same, except with worse theme songs and end credits that resemble a computer game. The show's not bad, but I'm satisfied with the amount of it I've seen.
Norimono Man
Norimono Man: Mobile Land no Car-kun
5 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line description: a bit like Bob the Builder, but without humans and it's not stop-motion
Car-kun is a delivery worker on "Mobile Land" island, where everyone is a vehicle. This week, he delivers tyres to an elderly tractor.
A curious thing about this show is that it has far more vehicle detail than the target audience will know or care about. Car-kun fills up with petrol, sees a sports car, uses a satellite navigation system, has windscreen wipers that emerge from his nose and has a magical gear-change lever that appears in the road beside him. Yes, he's manual, not automatic. (Over 90% of cars in Japan are automatic, so the fact that they've carefully included gear-changing makes this a bit of a petrol-head anime.)
Car tyres are embedded in the hills. They look like giant discoloured cheeses.
number 24
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: university rugby club
It's a fun, lively exercise in character interaction for a boys' love fanbase. One boy gives another boy lessons in acting cute. (The opening credits lay out the show's priorities. A team of hunky and/or pretty boys, muscles, semi-nudity... oh, and eventually some rugby.)
Our hero is Natsusa Yuzuki, who has a motorcycle crash at the start of the episode. Six months later, he's being released from hospital and has decided to become a manager for his university's rugby club. Actually playing is out of the question, but this should be okay.
The rest of the episode is about him, his clubmates, his drawbacks as a manager and the problems of loving rugby. I enjoyed it. This is partly because they don't play any rugby, although I don't expect the anime to keep that up. There's a chance that this might be a sports anime to appeal even to people who aren't that keen on the genre.