Beyond the Boundary
Beyond the Boundary is a 12-episode supernatural anime surrounding the troubles of Kanbara, a high school student that is half-youmu (e.g. half-spirit creature) which makes him effectively immortal. One day he meets Kuriyama, a transferred “bespectacled beauty” who nevertheless repeatedly tries to kill him. Turns out she is part of a cursed Spirit Warrior clan that makes a living killing youmu and selling the “spirit crystals” that they drop. Problem is, Kuriyama can’t bring herself to actually kill any youmu aside from Kanbara, much to Kanbara’s immortal dismay.
The series develops a more serious side as time goes on, and there are some more intricate shenanigans going on behind the scenes. The jokes were amusing, the animation stellar, and the plot perfectly serviceable. If you are just looking for something to watch and kill time, Beyond the Boundary is not bad.
One Week Friends
One Week Friends is a rather endearing 12-episode anime that explores the somewhat novel friendship of Yuki Hase and his classmate Kaori Fujimiya. After building up some considerable courage, Yuki finally tries to ask Kaori – whom never seems to talk to anyone – to be his friend. After a week passes, Yuki learns Kaori’s secret: she loses all memories about her friends every Monday. The rest of the series deals with Yuki’s efforts in trying to get Kaori to remember him, and how they handle their relationship starting over every seven days.
I considered this anime to be well worth the watch. The premise is pretty interesting and the burgeoning relationship between Yuki and Kaori satisfying in its development.
Kimi no Iru Machi | A Town Where You Live
A Town Where You Live (hereafter Town) is a roughly ~260 chapter drama/real life/romance manga that I really enjoyed. It follows the early high school life of Haruto as he experiences perhaps the standard harem-esque tropes of this genre: panty jokes, comical misunderstandings, and every female of child-bearing age falling instantly in love with him. Except… not really. Whether it was intentional or not, Town seems to mature in tandem with the growing age of its protagonists. There are still jokes here and there, but the background subject matter becomes as serious as the relationships it contains.
As mentioned, I really enjoyed reading Town, especially given its character progression and closure. There is a little bit of fan service sprinkled in (especially for the chapter 200 “alternate-ending” celebration), but it is not especially obnoxious about it. If you can get past the main character being a real dumbass when it comes to unintentionally leading women on, I think you’ll find it difficult to put down.
Just a quick note that I have finished my transition of decade-old anime reviews from my 2003 AngelFire (!) website that was, inexplicably, still online – people weren’t kidding when they say there is only one internet. While some of reviews are cringe-inducing, I am nevertheless impressed by the exhaustive thoroughness of some of the others written in my youth. If you want to read a nearly 2000-word treatise on Evangelion or 1500 words on Now & Then, Here & There, well, now you can.
I (un)fortunately stopped writing anime reviews halfway through college, and thus none exist for some of the other popular works like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and the like; it is unlikely that I will go back and write some up, just like I have little interest in importing the 60+ RPG reviews I wrote back in the day when I freelanced.
Anyway, I have pretty much decided to not feature anime reviews in the post feed proper (i.e. here), and instead periodically mention when several go up at once. So, well, several additional anime micro-reviews are also up, including Sword Art Online, Elfen Lied, and so on. Just click on the Review button along the top bar and navigate your way down to the Anime section.
My goal with these is simply to give you a quick overview of what to expect with the show, and to perhaps help decide if it’s worth watching. At this point, I am basically choosing shows at random as I am too far removed from the culture to know what to look for. If you happen to have some suggestions, perhaps in the form of a website or podcast you follow, by all means let me know.