Ongoing Investigations #100 marks a milestone for the blog! To celebrate, this time around we asked Twitter to suggest the titles for us to check out.
Ever since I finished Cross Game, I have been itching for more baseball anime, and truly I find myself more and more engaged in sports series overall. Major is a damn long and famous series that we finally started to explore. Major has a dual story taking place, the next stage of the career of an aging baseball player and his son the growing, passionate young baseball dreamer, Goro. As with other baseball series, death seems to stalk the cast, but you can see it coming, though this doesn’t make me any happier to say good-bye. Since Goro is too young to really be the star yet, we follow the dad as he pursues a new road on his team. This is an excellent way for us to experience Goro as a child while still getting plenty of baseball tension. At this point I am more excited about the dad’s future but Goro is a good a kid and things seem promising. And as a popular title, and currently hitting its 6th season, the animation is quite nice. For me, Major exuded a lot of heart and I fell in love with it easily. Liked this show so much you can expect to see a full review soon.
Major was suggested to us in a roundabout way by Ed Chavez. Apparently he was never a big fan of the manga but suggested we sample the series anyways as part of a proper Shonen Sunday education. When Bradley C Meek suggested it on Twitter for our 100th Ongoing Investigation we had to watch it. I had mostly heard of the show for the fact that it follows the professional career of the main character, Goro Honda, from his early childhood days when he really gets into the idea of playing professionally to his playing the major leagues. The series starts with it being the story of Goro’s and his potentially career ending injury. Seeing his father’s struggles inspires Goro to aim to be professional ball player himself. So far Narutaki and I have been intrigued by both Goro’s fathers struggles and his romance with Goro’s teacher. Eventually Goro’s dad will have to step out of the spotlight as Goro gets older and the show focuses more on him but we have been enjoying the show so far. The first 3 episodes we watched did not have the opening so the picture of the cracked baseball helmet does not seem encouraging especially since we are getting this bad feeling about Goro’s dad. I am curious to see were the series goes and how Goro grows as a character.
I love magical girl shows, why hadn’t I watched Shugo Chara! then you ask, why because of its sleazy manga-ka, but I have become a true believer, I love this show. The themes in the series including believing in yourself, being proud of who you are, and making friends which are all things of standard fare. We meet Amu who winds up with three mysterious eggs which turn out to be three different personalities. When she transforms she can defeat the darkness and doubt that manifests in other people’s hearts. At first, I was wary of Amu cool girl popular self, who just keeps getting cooler even when not trying, and then to add these Chara’s which basically let her do even more cool stuff. However, it came together in episode 3 when she learns the valuable lesson that popularity doesn’t equal friendship and that is really what she wants. The cast is cute and zany, especially as we learn more about each’s Chara. Shugo Chara! makes me smile, and that is pretty much what I look for in a magical girl show.
Shugo Chara! has been suggested to us by literally a dozen people but I have always been hesitant to watch it because I have despised everything Peach-Pit has ever done. But I was reassured many times that Shugo Chara! was different. In the defense of those people Shugo Chara! is very different from Peach-Pit’s previous works. So far it is a solid if standard magical girl show. Amu does come off as a Mary Sue in the fact that she seems to be beloved by everyone despite the fact that she is never happy with herself. We do see as the series goes on that she is a flawed character that wants to grow but she still does come off as a bit TOO prefect at times. I was surprised we only got one real fight against a monster of the week in 4 episodes and fight itself is rather quick. It does mean we have mostly been setting up the characters and how things work which is never a bad thing. Shugo Chara! is a fun show that has a lively kick to it. I have been enjoying HeartCatch PreCure! a bit more as a magical girl show with similar themes but compared to PeachPit’s previous works this is a timeless masterpiece. It fact this leads me to believe that the theory that Peach-Pit does not write their own manga is true. It seems that their series like DearS are the product of editors that are horrible human beings.
So Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari was more of a wild card since I had never even heard of it. But just as I blurted out that this guy was about as good looking as Tenchi, it hit me all of a sudden. This OVA starts out with some robot action, but quickly deteriorates into harem hijinks and throws out a lot of world building nonsense at you. I feel like the mysterious aspect of being dropped in the middle of a situation can work, and certainly we did a lot of speculating about what was up with the dudes in this world, but if it goes on for too long without any answers I find myself tuning out. The cast is what you would expect from Tenchiinanotherworld so there is a lot of girls fawning over this guy who hasn’t really done anything except exist. Some are mean to him, some are sweet, some are horny ladies, yeahyeahyeah, though I was surprised about how little nudity was involved since it is an OVA. I remember original Tenchi fondly from my early fandom, but I am pretty sure if I saw it for the first time now I wouldn’t be so easy about it, I’d probably feel like I do about Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari.
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is so obviously from the creators of Tenchi Muyo! that the main character is named Kenshi just so there is no mistaking the two shows are connected. The fact that Kenshi looks like Tenchi’s long-lost brother only compounds the fact. Other than that Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is a standard sort of fantasy harem show but it has mecha battles to make the harem more palatable. But make no mistake this is a harem show. Kenshi is a good pilot but he is a bland guy in all other respects. All the girl was to “ride Kenshi’s mecha” because male pilots are so rare not because he is cool in any way. The girls pilot in skin-tight outfits and are constantly getting into compromising or fetishistic positions. Sheentaku recommended it to me as a show with great strong female characters. The female characters so far have not been weak but I am not sure I would call them strong either. They are all sort of subservient to the main character for no good reason especially after he tired to kill some of the cast in the first episode. It is not a bad show. It is just not a show that hooked me in any way. If you want a harem anime that has mecha but is not objectionable Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is a good watch. But other than that it is an instantly forgettable branch of the Tenchi universe.