Attack on TitanAggretsukoAikatsuJapanese
Anime 1st episodes 2021: A
Including: 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team, 23-ji no Saga Meshi Anime, 86, 100 Years of Work in Japan, 180 Byou de Kimi no Mimi wo Shiawase ni Dekiru ka?, ABCiee Working Diary, Aggressive Retsuko, AICis the Supernatural, Aikatsu Planet!, Ajisai no Chiru Koro ni, Alice Gear Aegis: Doki! Actress Darake no Mermaid Grand Prix, Amaim Warrior at the Borderline, Anehame: Ore no Hatsukoi ga Jisshi na Wake ga Nai, Amemiya-san, Anette-san to Liliana-san The Animation, Animation x Paralympic: Who Is Your Hero?, Aoi Hane Mitsuketa! Sagashite Miyou Mijika na Tori-tachi, The Aquatope on White Sand, Otona no Bouguya-san II, Artiswitch, Assault Lily Fruits, Attack on Titan: Final Season, Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Series: Anime 1st episodes 2021 >>
Keywords: Attack on Titan, Aggretsuko, Aikatsu, anime, hentai, boobs, rubbish, SF, fantasy, favourite, historical
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 23 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 17 October 2023
Listed under "B": Baby in Charge, aka. Akachan Honbuchou
Listed under "G": Alice in Deadly School, which I think is linked with Gekidol
Listed under "I": I'm Standing on a Million Lives, aka. 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru
Listed under "M": Mrs. Warabi, aka. Ankoku Kazoku Warabi-san
Listed under "Q": The Quintessential Quintuplets 2, aka. 5-toubun no Hanayome
It's Chinese: Ai Zai Xiyuan Qian 2nd Season, aka. Immemorial Love For You 2nd Season
It's Chinese: Ancient Girl's Frame, aka. Dou Shen Ji
They're movies: Aria the Benedizione and Aria the Crepuscolo, both released to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Aria the Animation anime.
It's a movie: 100-nichikan Ikita Wani, about a crocodile living a normal life, unaware that he is due to die in 100 days.
It's a movie: Argonavis the Movie: Ryusei no Obligato, a compilation of Argonavis from BanG Dream! with new cuts.
It's a six-minute OVA bonus episode: Azur Lane: Bisoku Zenshin! Hokorashiki Bokou ni Shukusai wo
Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley bu
2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team
2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: sports anime
Apparently, this show's quite good. (It's also darker than Haikyuu, a recent and better-known volleyball anime.) It is, though, a sports anime. With boys. I'd be unlikely to watch a volleyball anime about girls, so this one's pretty much a non-starter.
That said, though, the episode's fine. Kimichika Haijima (aka. "Chika") is a transfer student, moving back to be reunited with his old friend from kindergarten (Yuni). He's also, though, a rude dick. (He bullied another member of his former team into attempting suicide, so one could use stronger words.) There's a bit of volleyball talk and practice, but not too much. The episode's perfectly okay.
23 ji no Saga Meshi Anime
23-ji no Saga Meshi Anime
Season 1
Episodes: 10 x 30 seconds
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: animated adverts for Saga Prefecture
They're on YouTube, but I wouldn't bother if I were you. They're just short animated depictions of food, with no plot or characterisation. People say "delicious" and there's the sizzling of food being cooked. A squid's still moving even while it's on the table and being eaten, which might creep you out if you've never seen that kind of thing before.
eighty six
Seasons 1-2
Episodes: 21 x 24 minutes (with eps.22-23 being delayed to March 2022)
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: SF war/racism
I've since finished it (both seasons) and it's bloody brilliant.
Most of the episode is set in a smooth, elegant, sophisticated SF world that's at war, but in an ethical way. They only fight with spider tank drones, which means no human casualties. These drones definitely don't contain humans. Certainly not, no, sir. Major Vladilena "Lena" Milize has a habit of including the fatality figures in her reports, which is inconvenient because those officially don't happen. Her superiors suggest nicely that she stop doing this.
Those drone pilots aren't human twice over. In addition to officially not existing, they're also regarded as sub-human. "This flight has no seats open for pigs."
Towards the end of the episode, we see the pilots' lives. It couldn't be more different from the world we'd previously been seeing. They live in a rusty hangar and keep chickens. Also, when they're injured on the battlefield, they shoot each other. I hope that chap was beyond hope and the bullet was a mercy kill.
It's very good indeed. Dark, intelligent and I like the characters. I'm looking forward to this.
Hataraku no 100 nenshi
100 Years of Work in Japan
"Hataraku" no 100-nenshi
One-off ONA
2 minutes
One-line summary: historical overview of salaried workers
It's basically an advert for SmartHR (whoever they are), but it's quite interesting. Officially, it's "a brand film to reflect upon how work styles have changed with time over the past century." Here's what it says in its two minutes:
"The 'salaryman' type of office worked first appeared in Japan about 100 years ago. '20s: birth of 'salaryman'. '30s: rise of working women. They were hard workers, persevering, no matter how difficult the times. '40s: commuting during WWII. '40s: transitioning into postwar era. Dizzying changes have come to Japan and to the way people work. '50s: lifetime employment and seniority-based wage systems. '60s: one-day trips became possible between Tokyo and Osaka. '70s: commuters at Shinjuku. Sometimes these office workers pushed themselves too hard. '80s: working late at the office. But they always strove to adapt to the work ethic of their time. '80s: revelling on a Friday night. '90s: getting paged. '90s: office digitization. Society continues to evolve, creating a recurrent cycle of change. 2010s: working remotely anytime, anywhere. 2010s: communicating via chat apps. As times change, the things we take for granted change and our work styles shift too. 2020s: working during COVID. 2020s: a "new normal" work style. So, what's coming next?"
The animation style is 1990s computer pixels. You could have made this on an Atari ST, if you were really good. It's a trip through the decades, basically, and I quite enjoyed it.
180 Byou de Kimi no Mimi wo Shiawase ni Dekiru ka
180 Byou de Kimi no Mimi wo Shiawase ni Dekiru ka?
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: incomprehensible
"From the mouthwatering chewing in mukbang to the relaxing whispers of voice acting, ASMR has steadily grown in popularity in recent years. As such, many people around the world enjoy it, and high schooler Akari Sawake is no exception. Sporting her trusty headphones, Akari explores the various ways ASMR can stimulate her senses and shares with others the plentiful wonders it can offer."
"Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), sometimes auto sensory meridian response, is a tingling sensation that usually begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. A pleasant form of paresthesia, it has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia and may overlap with frisson. ASMR signifies the subjective experience of 'low-grade euphoria' characterized by 'a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin.' It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control."
A schoolgirl gets turned on by cleaning the ears of something in her room that's either a statue or an unusually shaped speaker. She likes the sound. What the hell? No plot, obviously. This one shot so far over my head that it's in orbit.
Abciee Shuugyou Nikki
ABCiee Working Diary
Abciee Shuugyou Nikki
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-lne summary: short-form workplace comedy set at a TV station
It's set in a world of sentient pondlife. Our enthusiastic hero, Abciee, is some kind of unidentified pink thing with a beak and fins on the side of his head. I think. The art style's too simple to be sure.
This week, a famous pond snail actress arrives at the TV station and wants to go to the green room. She demands that Abciee take her there and no one dares mention that he's new and doesn't know the way. I hate these idiots already. Abciee wanders blindly and keeps taking this VIP to the wrong place. The stupidity's got worse. He leads her outside, then up to the roof. She then gets all sentimental about being young and clueless and a miracle saves Abciee... but then he blows it all by being rude. Aha, stupid and obnoxious!
Yes, I understand that this is meant to be just a light, amusing throwaway. It didn't work for me.
Aggressive Retsuko
Season 4 of the Netflix ONA series
Episodes: 10 x 18 minutes
Keep watching: no, but it's a good show
One-line summary: cute animals in a brutal workplace comedy where the stressed-out heroine vents by screaming death metal
Aggretsuko is a strong show and I'd recommend it, but personally I quit it about a season ago. Just not my thing. I also watched this latest episode on mute, because it only had an English dub.
This week, Retsuko appears to be moving house. We meet her friends, annoying colleagues, hopeless would-be boyfriends and dreadful bosses. The episode looked pretty good, as you'd expect, but it doesn't look as if Retsuko's sorted her life out yet. I'm not expecting that ever to happen.
Inou no AICis
AICis the Supernatural
Inou no AICis: ESP & High School Detective
Season 1
Episodes: 15 x 11 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: schoolboy detective and a mobile phone app that gives you superpowers
A girl finds a possibly dying boy in an alleyway. This scene appears unrelated to the rest of the episode. It's also barely animated, with only lip flaps to distinguish this from a montage of still images. The episode's most important character is a boy who can shapeshift to look like anyone he likes, for five minutes. (He likes turning into girls.) He achieved this superpower thanks to an app called "AICis" that he downloaded to his mobile phone., hang on. A phone app?
There's a schoolboy detective and a storyline that's reasonably okay, for ten minutes, but it looks as cheap as hell and I struggled to buy the central plot device of a magic phone app.
Aikatsu Planet
Aikatsu Planet!
Season 5 of Aikatsu
Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: don't be ridiculous
One-line summary: schoolgirl idol show, half live-action and half anime
It's Aikatsu, so it's likeable garbage about schoolgirl idols. With some good music.
First reaction: what the hell was that? Idol anime have a default level of "worthless", while Japanese live-action TV dramas often have painful acting. This starts as a live-action show about a howling void of nothing (aka. idols), then halfway through has our live-action heroine meet her animated avatar on Aikatsu Planet.
She needs a Dressia to make her dress complete for an idol contest (i.e. a song-and-dance stage number)! She goes to a land of fairy beings and talks telepathically to a My Little Pony with wings and a rainbow mane. This winged horse can transform itself into her dress. She then sings and dances.
No no no no no no no no no. Also, no.
Ajisai no Chiru Koro
Ajisai no Chiru Koro ni
1 episode
16 minutes
One-line summary: hentai
Some hentai are romantic and sweet, with a heartwarming ending. This is not one of those.
Shinomiya Natsuha has a nice boyfriend (Yuuta Yamano) and a flashy, girl-chasing classmate she doesn't even like (Oga Masaru). Yuuta is the narrator. Oga is a swaggering dick with dyed blonde hair who's rumoured to have slept with half the girls in school. Oga's hand goes for Shinomiya's arse even when his girlfriend's standing next to him.
Shinomiya has romantic sex with Yuuta... and then dirty, nasty sex with Oga. She's turned on more by the latter, so she puts Yuuta on hold. "Yuuta, you can definitely have me back when you're able to satisfy me. But until then, sorry!"
Alice Gear Aegis
Alice Gear Aegis: Doki! Actress Darake no Mermaid Grand Prix
20-minute OVA
One-line summary: anime adaptation of the 3D smartphone shooting game Alice Gear Aegis
It's mental. It's turning nonsense into an art form.
The M1 Tag Team Grand Prix is a beach race event with a 10 million yen prize. Why the beach? Er, swimsuits. Three pairs of girls are competing, plus one ego.
The race starts with everyone running across the sand... except for Little Miss Ego, who announces that, "Battles are all about tactics. You can't just rush forwards and expect to win." (Maybe, but running forwards is probably an advantage in a sprinting event.) Her plan is to use ninja magic, which backfires and generates a giant toad that eats her. But don't worry, she'll be back.
Two other girls transform into a superhero and fight the toad. Next, there's a banana jet boat. One pair dismantles the backup boat they've been given to build another one instead from its parts. This takes no time and moments later they're neck-and-neck with the front-runners again.
Next, the race area is hit by a natural disaster (Cyclone Z) that appears once every few centuries. Also, their weather forecasters didn't know it was coming. Fortunately, the girls can overcome this by singing with an idol. "With the power of song, gear and everyone here combined, we can destroy that cyclone!"
Then, after the credits, we're promised more of the same... BUT IN SPACE!!!!
It made me laugh. It's good fun, e.g. the extreme reaction shot from Little Miss Ego on hearing that her teammate helped an old lady across the road. The characters are amusing, with the idol who can't be bothered and the girls' mismatched motivations for wanting to win 10,000,000 yen. "Internet shopping!" "A 3D printer!" "My celebrity!" You certainly can't accuse it of being boring, anyway.
Kyoukai Senki
Amaim Warrior at the Borderline
Kyoukai Senki
Season 1
Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: bwahahahaha
One-line summary: right wing wank, with mecha.
That was hysterical. Trash-divers shouldn't miss this. If you ignore its politics, mind you, it's a normal mecha show (with hand-drawn, non-CGI mecha!!!) that would have merely bored the arse off me if I'd tried to watch multiple episodes of it.
Its politics, though... hooo, boy. It got banned in China, which for once isn't an unreasonable Chinese response. According to this show, Japan was on the brink of destruction in the mid-21st century. Failed economic policies, an ageing population, a falling birthrate, etc. The international community tried to help, but somehow this led to Japan being colonised by (GASP!!!) FOREIGNERS!!! who partitioned Japan among themselves and then trashed it in a Boundary War. So, in other words, it's modern right-wing paranoia applied to 19th century European colonialism. In the near future. Japan is being crushed under the iron boot of FOREIGNERS!!! They wear United Nations blue berets, but are the bully boys of an apartheid regime that lets them arrest ordinary teenagers and accuse them of terrorism. They also get dialogue like this:
"You little brat! How dare you touch my clothes with your filthy hands?! You're able to live a safe life thanks to our protection! You Japanese should stay in the corner, cowering in fear!"
Our hero will defeat those cowardly FOREIGNERS!!! in his manly, virile Japanese mecha! (He's gloomy and negative, which is mildly interesting and fits the setting. "I often wonder if there's any point in living." He reluctantly befriends a chatty, entertaining AI called Gai.)
"You do not have the right to remain silent. You do not have the right to an attorney."
"Kill him if he resists."
Anehame: Ore no Hatsukoi ga Jisshi na Wake ga Nai
Episodes: 2 x 17 minutes
Keep watching: it wouldn't be absurd
One-line summary: hentai
It's an incest hentai... but a nice, well-written one. (Apart from the obvious, needless to say.) Rio and Akira feel like real siblings. When Rio walked in on Akira masturbating, his deadpan "knock first" made me laugh and then their down-to-earth discussion of what he's doing was both surprising and funny.
They even discuss her boyfriend.
Amemiya san
1 minute
It's on YouTube
Keep watching: if I find them
One-line summary: cute little throwaway
It's reminiscent of Nichijou, a mildly surreal 2011 comedy anime I'm rather fond of. It's by the same manga-ka (Keiichi Arawi) and I immediately recognised his art style. Apparently he's releasing these YouTube videos himself and even doing their voice acting.
This one stars a blue-haired girl called Amemiya, who wakes up in the middle of the night because the rain is scary. She gets a flashlight, which gives her courage (represented visually by samurai armour). She finds a food-eating ghost.
It's charming.
Anette san to Liliana san
Anette-san to Liliana-san The Animation
28 minutes
One-line summary: hentai
Theoretically, this is part of a series. It's a sequel to Wagaya no Liliana-san The Animation (2019) and Tonari no Ie no Anette-san The Animation (2020). (I seem to remember that at least one of those had a bit more story than this.)
In practice, though, it's pure cardboard. Plot: zero. Characterisation: minimal. A bloke has sex with a girl who at first protests mildly that he's being too forceful, but then cheerfully gets down to it. Then the same thing happens again with another couple who I'd have honestly assumed were the same people if the title hadn't told me otherwise. Anette and Liliana might be clones of each other for all I know. Then, at the end, they double up to service the same bloke together.
Animation Paralympic
Animation x Paralympic: Who Is Your Hero?
Ani x Para: Anata no Hero wa Dare desu ka
The 12th in a series of short animated films produced by NHK
One-line summary: promoting the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo
I couldn't find the mini-films themselves, but I did see a promotional video for them. It looked quite good, with exciting electric guitars. It was very proud of the famous sports mangaka they'd lined up to write and draw it. These films started in 2017 and they're still going here, with this 2021 one being Para table tennis.
Aoi Hane Mitsuketa
Aoi Hane Mitsuketa! Sagashite Miyou Mijika na Tori-tachi
Season 1
Episodes: 6 x 5 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: ornithological fantasy for children, based on a picture book
One day, Hayato finds a beautiful blue feather. Hayato's sister Hina suggests that he look for its owner, but then a talking crow appears, grows to the size of a roc and invites to take them to the birds' world. If you're looking for a bird, you need to know more about them, right? The episode then ends with an educational bit about one of Japan's native birds, complete with the sound of its cry.
The art style is unusual and refreshing for anime and must be based on the picture book illustrations. The crow, on the other hand, looks completely different (but in an interesting way) and made me wonder if it was CGI. The show seems harmless and pleasant. I'd watch more episodes if I stumbled across them.
Shiroi Suna  no Aquatope
The Aquatope on White Sand
Shiroi Suna no Aquatope
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: an aquarium in Okinawa
I've since finished it and... it's thoughtful and nice, although I don't imagine I'll rewatch it.
This episode has two protagonists.
Fuuka has just quit her dream of being an idol. Well done, girl. Welcome back to sanity. She's not without regrets, but she's officially said goodbye and she's off to get on a plane. At the airport, though, on a whim, she chooses one she hadn't been planning to to catch. Result: she goes to Okinawa. Well, at least she'll have tropical weather.
Kukuru is a schoolgirl with a job. (This is why she doesn't attend school often enough.) She needs to work on her maths and she finds fish more interesting than boys, but she can give her teacher educational lectures about squid. Whether he likes it or not.
The episode's third star is the magical world of Okinawa itself. It's beautiful. It's capable of impossible aquarium dream visuals and at one point I wondered if some creature walking past was meant to be a legendary supernatural entity or just a child in a weird hat. Overall, I was charmed. The gullible Fuuka does her best to get scammed by that fortune teller, but she avoids it amusingly. I like the way she identifies with a fish. I like the aquarium, because aquariums are great. Apparently, this is the third anime in P. A. Works "Girls Working" not-a-series, after Shirobako and Sakura Quest. I enjoyed both of those shows and I'm expecting to enjoy this too.
Otona no Bouguya san
Armor Shop for Ladies and Gentlemen II
Otona no Bouguya-san II
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 6 minutes
Keep watching: I might as well
One-line summary: shop selling risque armour in a swords-and-sorcery world
Season 1 wasn't great, but I watched it. This episode wasn't great either, but I suppose I'll continue.
It's not as naughty as it thinks it is, though. Our heroes find a talking amulet that calls them all perverts, because they briefly hold a suggestive pose and someone holds up a pair of knickers. Mind you, I was surprised by the episode's second half that goes black-and-white, hypothesises a movie version of this TV series (!) and introduces a Holy Movie Fairy.
Artis witch
Season 1
Episodes: 6 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: girl goes shopping for dresses and cosmetics
Here's the official blurb:
"There was a rumour among the young people in Harajuku, Tokyo. There is a place called Ura-Harajuku somewhere in Harajuku, and it seems that there is a shop run by a witch. The witch's name is Nina. A young witch with a chameleon and a pig fulfills the secret wishes of her guests. Her method is to invite her to a mysterious space and look into the 'real feelings' deep inside her heart. Customers are sometimes excited, sometimes hurt, and make their own choices to fulfill their wishes."
It's CGI animation, but well done and often beautiful. The faces are good and the compositions and colours can be flamboyant. A girl runs up multicoloured stairs in an alleyway to find multicoloured garbage bags. As for that shopkeeper, though, she's strong-arming her new customer into wearing some lipstick. Yes, she's also challenging the customer's definition of "it's not like me" and the outcome is good, but even so I didn't like her. Her attitude rubbed me up the wrong way.
Assault Lily Fruit
Assault Lily Fruits
Season 1
Episodes: 2 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: mini anime featuring characters from the Assault Lily franchise.
Super-deformed versions of anime heroines do silly things for a couple of minutes. Riri loses her not-a-wedding ring. The show becomes even more super-lesbian. I don't mind the parent show, Assault Lily Bouquet, but to be honest its cast isn't that distinctive beyond Obsessively Blatant Lesbian Kaede (who's always fun). I'm expecting this show to be vaguely amusing in a "have it on while you do the ironing" way, but unmemorable.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan: Final Season
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
Season 4
Episode 64: "Declaration of War" (Sensen Fukoku)
Keep watching: obviously, yes
One-line summary: apocalyptic man-eating giants
The first thing I noticed is that the show appears to have started doing a Nazi Germany metaphor. It's in the title sequence (as is a nuclear apocalypse), in the suits and hats and even in those armbands. There's also a panzer squad and an internment zone. The only thing that doesn't fit is the reassuringly multi-ethnic crowd at what could otherwise have been a Hitler rally (although the existence of Titans has given this world a very different kind of racism).
Someone stands on a stage and announces that "the complete truth will be revealed now for the first time." This might well be true. We certainly learn a lot. We return to the very first episode and explain, for instance, why Titans attacked and why Eren's mother got eaten.
Also, Eren's really not the man he used to be. We might have a new Big Bad.
Azur Lane
Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!
Azur Lane: Bisoku Zenshin!
Season 2 of Azur Lane
Episodes: 12 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: schoolgirls who are battleships
No content. No drama. No meaning. It's just cute girls and a bit of fanservice. (Brief shower nudity, an off-the-shoulder outfit, arse cleavage peeping out from above a skirt, etc.)
Azur Lane's first season was trying to take its "anthropomorphised battleships" premise seriously and tell a story. It failed and it was a rip-off of KanColle anyway, but that was the intention. Here, there's nothing unless you want to watch a cartoon girl wiggle her backside.