Aimless Wanderings 20: Spent too much time trying to think of a title
You may have picked up on the trend that I really enjoy when a new season of anime starts; this is for a few reasons, even more so now that I write this on a regular basis. On one hand it brings a refreshing change to the pool of anime with every new season with all the new shows starting, on the other hand, it gives me an opportunity to be lazy because it means I don’t need to look as hard for stuff to talk about. With almost all of the anime starting by this point, after watching the new shows I thought it would be nice to go over the ones that caught me by surprise, in addition to the ones I’ve already told you about. So without further ado, here they are:
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru follows Hikigaya Hachiman, a misanthropic codger of a high school student with a somewhat warped view of the world. He simply doesn’t believe that happiness can exist, and everyone has an agenda; because of this, he doesn’t have any friends. This catches the attention of one of his teacher who brings him to the volunteer service club, in order to help with his lack of social skills. He soon discovers that the club has only one member, Yukinoshita Yukino, who is herself a very cynical and distrusting person, despite being the prettiest, and therefore most popular, girl in the school. Now they must find a way to work together to help their classmates with their personal problems.
This was a show I was a little on the fence about at first, to be honest. I’m not entirely sure what it was, but I really couldn’t get interested in the story, from the various synopses I saw around the internet. The synopses don’t mention the third character, however, that ties the show together. In the anime, she’s the first student they help out after Hachiman joins the club, and she just makes it work. The show is, at its heart, a romantic comedy, and the second girl brings a whole new dynamic to the inevitable relationship between Hachiman and Yukino. I’ll say it’s not for everyone, but I will be looking forward to future installments in the show.
In an alternate dimension, the Devil King Sadao nears victory in his conquest of the world until the hero, Emilia, raises the humans in a revolt and overthrows him. Beaten, Sadao flees through a portal to another world, where he can bide his time until his triumphant return to his world to once again attempt to rule over all. If you haven’t caught on by this point, the world he flees to is ours. With only limited magic power remaining, and no apparent source in our world, Sadao and his surviving general must find a way to replenish their powers. But, to do that, they need to live, so they get a run-down apartment and start working, all the while searching for a possible source of magic on Earth.
Such is the story of Hataraku Maou-Sama! and it makes for an interesting watch. It’s an odd show, to be sure, but the majority of the comedy is derived from everyday life. Eventually, Emilia shows up again (calm down, it’s not a spoiler; it happens in the first episode), and begins to monitor the pair to make sure they aren’t going to do exactly what they’re trying to do. If you enjoy slice-of-life comedy, but with a twist, I can easily recommend this one.
This last series for this issue, Photokano, is one that I wasn’t even aware was being made until it showed up in my feed while browsing completelylegalstreamingsite.com and I was excited to say the least. The story is honestly nothing new: Kazuya, a painfully normal high school student, receives his fathers old digital camera after he purchases a new one, so he decides to take up photography. The fact that he brings the camera to school catches the attention of the two competing photography clubs at the school, and they both attempt to recruit him. There’s romantic subplots galore with various girls at his school as well.
It is at this point where this series gets interesting. I am familiar with the manga that this anime is based upon, or I should say mangas (I’m sure that’s improper form, but I needed to differentiate the singular from the plural, so the -s stays). Photokano has two separate manga series telling roughly the same story, but with different girls. The point of divergence of the two is at the point when Kazuya makes his decision of which photography club to join, and the story unfolds from there. This is probably one of my favorite plot devices in anything, when used properly; it neatly removes a large chunk of the “What if?” questions that pop up when reading or watching a series (a few shows of note that use this well like Yosuga no Sora and Amagami SS, a harem anime where a couple episodes are dedicated to the pursuit of each girl, with a “reset” in between). This is one show that I will be watching closely to see which direction they take it.
And so ends another sort of late-ish installment of Aimless Wanderings. May your anime always be entertaining.