Love LiveSherlock HolmesYuru CampLupin III
Anime 1st episodes 2021: L
Including: Laid-Back Camp: Seasons 1-2, LB Commerce CM, LBX Girls, Let's Make a Mug Too, Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan, Ling Long: Incarnation Final Chapter, Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table, Love Live! Superstar!!, Lupin III: Part 6
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2021 >>
Keywords: Sherlock Holmes, Log Horizon, Love Live, Lupin III, Yuru Camp, anime, SF, fantasy, MMORPG
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 9 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 28 October 2023
It's Chinese: Liang Bu Yi, aka. No Doubt In Us
It's Chinese: Li Linke de Xiao Guaner, aka. The Dining of Link Lee
It's Chinese: Lie Yang Tiandao II (67 minutes)
It's Chinese: Liu Xing Huan Jian (60 episodes, 12 minutes), aka. Meteor Magic Sword. Twenty years after the war between immortals and demons, the Three Realms have reached a state of delicate balance. It was at this time that the young man Ye Bugui, who was carrying an important secret, broke free from the protection of the Sword Spirit Island and appeared in front of everyone. His appearance broke the balance and the conspiracy that had lain dormant since the end of the war resurfaced. While trying to protect the world, Ye Bugui is aware of his own destiny. His life journey is full of dangers, with people joining and leaving him along the way. The meaning behind his name, "Bu Gui" - "no return", may just be his fate.
It's Chinese: Ling Long: Incarnation Special
It's Chinese: Ling Yun Daima (20 episodes, 15 minutes)
It's Chinese: Lie Huo Jiao Chou, aka. Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire (12 episodes, 20 minutes)
It's Chinese: Luo Xiao Hei Zhan Ji: Zhongsheng Zhi Men
It's a movie: The Laws of the Universe: Part 2, aka. Uchuu no Hou: Erohim-hen (119 minutes)
It's a movie: Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note Special (52 minutes) A letter is delivered to Lord El-Melloi II informing him of a Clock Tower reunion. One morning, as the reunion's date draws near, Lord El-Melloi II takes a look in the mirror and reels in shock. He is suddenly a full decade younger! Lord El-Melloi II has become Waver Velvet, his former self! Believing himself to be in the grip of a powerful, magically induced delusion, Lord El-Melloi II immediately begins investigating how this could have happened. On the day of the reunion, he makes his way to the gathering of his contemporaries, planning to confront whoever transformed his body and hoping to reveal their intentions. However, when Touko Aozaki arrives, things take a sudden turn...
Laid-Back Camp
Yuru Camp
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: tentatively, but yes
One-line summary: girls go camping
I've since finished it and... it's more of the same, which is praise even if it's a little weaker than Season 1.
This show's first season was charming. It was one of the surprise breakout hits of 2020... but I'm not convinced that they'll be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice. It's very lightweight. Schoolgirls go camping. They're nice. Not much happens, although you'll learn interesting tricks and facts about camping.
That's it. This episode follows the template and it's nice. They eat food, start a camp fire, discuss what to do on their days off from their part-time jobs, etc. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing to grab you by the throat either. I'd probably love it if I watched it back-to-back with a Season 1 rewatch.
What the hell. I'll keep going.
LB Commerce
LB Commerce CM
Various lengths
One-line summary: animated production showcases from LB Commerce
I've no idea who LB Commerce are, or what they sell, but I was surprised to find that they have a habit of making animated commercials. They're on YouTube. They don't have a story, but they're well made and I get the impression that the animators were given a generous budget.
Well, except for the one that's a five-minute song with no animation whatsoever. We're looking at a still picture. A schoolboy and a schoolgirl look off-panel with some high-rise buildings in the background. (The song's okay.)
Soukou Musume Senki
LBX Girls
Soukou Musume Senki
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: toy commercial for LBX robots, except that they're cute girls
Little Battlers Experience (aka. LBX) is a model robot gaming franchise that's been running since 2011. It even had an anime (called Danball Senki), which appears to have been successful and continued in English after Japan stopped making it. This is its first Japanese anime revival since 2014.
I quite enjoyed the beginning. Two girls from the boonies visit Tokyo and brag feebly to each other about how often they've visited the big city. It doesn't take much to astonish Riko. "You're amazing, Mana! I could never change trains."
Then, though, they visit an LBX convention and learn that Riko's the only person in the world who's not amazed by these toy robots. Mana suggests she buys some as a present for her dad. Eh? Riko does. Eh? She's then transported into another world, where Action Girls are the only warriors who can resist the alien invaders! A teenage girl will have a transformation scene into a CGI 3D animated model of herself, whereupon she has battle scenes through which you'll be fast-forwarding! What's her battle outfit? Why, it's a robot-ish battle suit with a miniskirt and minimal bust armour. Also, the end credits involve a miniskirted girl walking and running on the spot near a camera at ground level.
That said, though, the scene with Action Girls sitting around and eating is more worth watching. After that, though, Riko thinks she can get her friends to take her home just by giving them directions through this (ravaged, war-torn, alien-riddled post-apocalypse) Tokyo. Riko, this might not be your plane of reality. She's not very clever.
Yaku nara Mug Cup mo
Let's Make a Mug Too
Yaku nara Mug Cup mo
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 15 minutes
Keep watching: probably not, but it looks nice
One-line summary: four schoolgirls do pottery
It's pretty good. It's charming, it has emotional depth (in only fifteen minutes!) and I like the cast. It is, though, about schoolgirls doing pottery. Clay. Wheels. Making pots. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and I'd wholeheartedly support anyone who does that for a hobby, but it's not intended as performance art and I'm not expecting this to be the most thrilling anime in the world.
Himeno's just moved back to her late mother's home town. Her dad's employer went bankrupt, so now he's starting a new business of his own. He's going to run a cafe and she's got her first day at this new school. She's going to discover a neighbour, a slightly manic but fun new classmate and the school's pottery club. What's more, Himeno has faint childhood memories of the smell of clay.
I liked everyone and I liked the episode. The material about Himeno's mother (who died when she was four) feels just right and I liked the emotional resonance. "This is where she used to sit." I'm currently assuming that I won't watch this series, but it does look nice and I might change my mind one day.
Uramichi Oniisan
Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan
Uramichi Oniisan
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: inappropriate children's presenter
On a children's TV show called "Together with Mama", the presenter Uramichi Omota keeps saying depressing truths about his life to pre-school children. That's it. That's the joke. I found it unpleasant, for two reasons. Firstly, he's likely to be upsetting some of those children. (The ones we see tend to get puzzled rather than tearful, but that's no excuse.) Secondly, I couldn't even believe in it, since surely anyone like that would get fired.
This kind of thing's been done before, of course. I remember Hale and Pace's Billy and Johnny in the 1990s, for instance. They were funny. This one's an accurate parody of ever-smiling, vapid Japanese children's TV presenters, but that doesn't make it fun. (For me.)
Ling Long Incarnation
Ling Long: Incarnation Final Chapter
Season 3
Episodes: 3
Minutes: 39 + 47 + 42
Keep watching: no, but I was tempted
One-line summary: SF eugenics dystopia with monsters
I'd previously passed on Seasons 1 and 2, but they'd been good. I'd only dropped the series because my "to watch" queue of Japanese anime stretches from here to Mars and I hadn't felt in the mood to add ten hours of macho Chinese CGI to the list. This, though, was strong enough that I considered returning to the start of Ling Long in 2019 and watching the whole thing from the start.
I won't, but I thought about it. It's very good. This episode made me want to watch the next one and find out what happens next.
Everyone loves Captain Marc. He smashed the Dawn Hall. He's doing a victory parade, thus refuting the rumours of his death. No one seems to mind that he's grown to the size of a horse and is completely hidden under a grey cloak. When the cloak gets pulled off, though, everyone sees that he's turned into a grey demon and the mob decides to burn him to death.
The evil bastard bishop in charge of this Warhammer 40,000 future passes a death sentence. Marc's fiancee-to-be tries to defend him from everyone. There's a really cool entrance for Marc's old squad. It's epic, dramatic, gut-wrenching stuff. Very bad things happen, some of which are gruesome enough to warrant a content warning at the start of the episode. Almost no sense of humour whatsoever, except for the tiniest moment from Light Relief Soldier Bloke, but this is pretty impressive stuff.
Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table
Log Horizon: Entaku Houkai
Season 3
Episodes: 51-62
24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: politics in a fantasy game world
I've since finished it and... it's fine. A bit dull in places. Probably not as good as Seasons 1-2.
I enjoyed seasons 1-2, but that was 2013-14 and I hadn't been expecting a continuation after all that time. The light novels are still going, though, so the show's returned too. There will be a lot I've forgotten, but here goes.
The Round Table's breaking up, maybe. This involves politics, discussion, tax, the wealth of trading guilds and whether or not they own their own premises. (That's very Log Horizon.) They're also investigating the Fairy Rings that are unpredictable teleport zones in this world. They might also be communicating with the Moon. Meanwhile, someone's been told that she's going to get married and she doesn't know how long she'll be able to stay in Akiba with her friends. She doesn't have the option of refusing her suitor.
There's nothing exciting in this episode, but I don't mind that. I'll continue.
Love Live Superstar
Love Live! Superstar!!
5th season of Love Live!
1st season of Superstar!!
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirl idols
I've since finished its first two seasons and... yes, it is indeed the best Love Live! to date. I'm waiting for the promised Season 3.
It's the best Love Love! opening episode yet. I loved it. It has a memorable cast and it's funny.
There's a girl called Shibuya Kanon who loves singing, but gets crippling stage fright and can't perform in public. She failed to get a place on her school's prestigious music curriculum. (She also has a pet owl. Owls are cool.) She's a bit grumpy and she absolutely refuses to be an idol, but she'll defend a total fruitcake when under attack from the Hardline Killjoy Who's Obviously Going To Become One Of The Gang Eventually.
There's a half-Chinese girl called Tang Keke, i.e. that total fruitcake I was talking about. She loves idols. She wants to start a school club. She's like a small, brainless, overenthusiastic dog in human form. She's wonderful.
There's a subversion, in that Yuigaoka Private Girls High School is famous for music... and as a result, counterintuitively, it's going to be almost impossible to persuade anyone to become a school idol. That sounds frivolous, especially when Keke's bouncing around like a mad thing. Everyone's focused on their specialism.
Seriously, that was really good. It's lots of fun. I wouldn't be surprised if this became the best Love Live! series to date (although that's not a particularly imposing bar).
Lupin III: Part 6
Season 6, or 7 if you count The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Lupin, i.e. thieves
I watched ep.1. I probably should have watched ep.0, though, which is a tribute to Daisuke Jigen's voice actor, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, as the last episode that he did before retirement from 52 years of voicing the character from the start of the franchise in 1969.
Anyway, Lupin has an army of worldwide fans... but I'm an anti-fan. I don't like him. I don't see the point in watching a professional thief do his thing. This series is set in modern London, which is faithfully reproduced by the animators and distorted by the scriptwriters. Guns. Tanks. Sherlock Holmes, Mrs Hudson and Inspector Lestrade. (He doesn't look like my idea of Sherlock, mind you.)
The episode's well made. The Sherlock angle and the plot make it a bit more interesting than just another Lupin caper. If you're a Lupin fan, I'm sure you'll love it.