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Animedragon

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Animedragon last won the day on March 8

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    Clannad, Cardcaptor Sakura, Fushigi Yugi, Magic Knight Rayearth, You're Under Arrest, Yuru Camp.
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    Sci-Fi
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  1. So, here's my comments and thoughts about the new series I watched in 2023.

    Insomniacs After School For me this is the best series of the year. An interesting and enjoyable series about a couple of high school students who both decide independently of each other to use their school's abandoned observatory to catch up on the sleep they can't get at night. This leads on to them restarting the school's astronomy club and going out at night to take photographs of the night sky with a lot of help from a former student. I liked the way the relationship between the two main characters developed, although this did mean that the focus shifted more towards their activities with the astronomy club but that I think was a good thing.

    The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten. In anime when a series has a title like that you're never quite sure what you're going to get! But in this case the "angel" is just an ordinary girl-next-door who has acquired the nick-name "Angel", which she hates, at school. The story is another Slice of Life romance, but the way the story unfolds with the growing friendship between the two main characters and their relationships with their families and friends along with the excellent artwork and animation are what really lifts this series above the rest.

    Kaina of the Great Snow Sea is a Sci-Fi series with an amazing and imaginative piece of world building. In a world where a small number of people live high up in the canopy of the great trees while the rest live on the surface on islands separated by a sea of snow and are at war with each other a girl from the surface and a boy from the canopy meet and embark on a mission to change the world. The series sort of stops short leaving the story hanging. However, the story continues in the movie which is impressive and action filled with a well paced story that provides a good ending to the series.

    BanG Dream! It's My Go. The latest release from BanG Dream, the huge multi-media franchise about high school girls forming bands and doing concerts. Earlier series featured friends getting together and overcoming difficulties and forming their bands. What sets "It's My Go" apart is that it centres on a group of girls who were members of a band that broke up when one of their members left. Some of them want to form a new band, others want to re-form their old band and others want nothing to do with bands any more. This leads to quite a bit of conflict between the girls  which creates an interesting and engrossing storyline which to my mind lifts the series above the usual "girls form a band" series. What I liked about this series is that the interactions between the main characters is more at the centre of the story than the band, the band side of the story is still there, but much more in the background. The series also has what I think is the best song of 2023 "Haru Hikage" ("Spring Sunlight") the lyrics of which hit home on so many levels.

    The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses. The trailers for this series promised so much, but the series delivered so little! The titular girl who forgot her glasses was an interesting character, but sadly the guy who liked her was a wishy-washy non-entity who had no character development throughout the series. With a stronger male MC there could have been a much better interaction between the two main characters and been quite a decent and interesting series.

    16bit Sensation Another Layer. This one had an intriguing storyline involving time travel, but it wasn't the usual time travel storyline as it had an interesting twist to it. I thought the story started well, but as it progressed more and more complexities were added and towards the end some those were unbelievable which I felt dragged the story down with the result that it tried to pull everything together in a rush in the final episode which resulted in something that had been presented as an important plot point being forgotten. I think that if the events of the final episode had been spread over two episodes the series would have had a much better ending.

    MF Ghost.This is a story about a half English half Japanese guy who arrives in Japan to find his family roots and take part in the MFG street race. As this is a motor-sport themed series the car racing takes up a large percentage of each episode, and it's certainly packed full of dramatic action race scenes. There is a story somewhere in there but it's rather left in the pit lane, hopefully it will become more prominent in series 2. Yes, there will be a series 2 it was announced at the end of the final episode, which ended on a cliffhanger. The only issue I have with the series is the amount of fan-service, the MFG Angels, grid girls, are clad in bikinis and I do wonder just how many close-up shots of their backsides are really needed.

    Shy. From what I'd seen in the trailers I wasn't expecting much from this series. With a main character who is nervous, introverted, lacking in confidence and seriously shy I thought that it didn't really have a lot going for it, but I was wrong. With the aid of her friends our shy heroine's character starts to develop into someone much more capable, although still not quite sure of herself but still able to rise to the occasion and do what is needed. In the series she's referred to as a "Hero", but I think she has all the requirements to be a "Magical Girl", she has a magic item with which to transform into her "Hero" outfit, she has a Special Attack and she even has a mascot creature. However, as the series progresses the visuals and storyline are more along the lines of Madoka Magica than Sailor Moon. Much to my surprise I quite enjoyed watching this series, which has quite decent artwork and animation quality and an intriguing storyline. The final episode ends with a cliffhanger and a second series is apparently coming.


    This post turned out to be a lot longer than I intended, and well done for making it to the end, but I wanted to say more about each series than just "I liked this" or "I didn't like this".

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