Quick Reviews – Winter 2022 season

It’s that time of the year again. Where one season of anime seamlessly blends into the next one and you need to start figuring out what you want out of the new season before you’ve fully looked at everything you’ve missed the last season. Well worry not, I’ll give you five shows that just finished that you should watch. Six if you count next week’s review of Ousama Ranking, but that show deserves an entire post dedicated to it. As usual, I’ll be ignoring sequels for this post, so if you’re a big fan of Attack on Titan or Realist Hero then you’re in the wrong place since I will not be talking about those. I didn’t watch a ton this past season, but some of what I watched was very good, so let’s not waste anymore time and let’s get to it. As usual, this post will contain some spoilers, but nothing major that ruins the story.

Slow Loop

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence and we’ll never see Koharu again.

I’m a sucker for a good slice of life. Yuru Camp is one of my favorite manga and anime. It’s peak slice of life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the more mediocre slice of life shows. Not every show has to be a perfect hit. Slow Loop is just that. A nice, good slice of life show that doesn’t overstay its welcome. The story follows Hiyori, a young girl who loves fishing as she meets another girl called Koharu. They meet on the pier because Hiyori is meeting her new step family and she’s fairly nervous. By a wild coincidence, Koharu is also meeting with her new step family today. Who would have thought those two events would be happening at the same time, what a coincidence! What? Oh, it’s the same family? Turns out they’re step siblings now. With very different personalities the two still hit it off immediately and Hiyori starts teaching Koharu all sorts of things about fishing. Koharu is a great cook and prepares the fish they catch. This story goes into experiencing loss and does a wonderful job of making the episodes feel light most of the time yet serious when it needs to be. The characters are believable and fun to watch, and I think fishing and camping are some of the most slice of life-esque things I can think of, so it makes perfect sense to write a story like this. Contrary to Breakwater club, which aired a while back, this show was actually a real joy to watch and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants something slow paced to watch.

My Dress-Up Darling

Are you sure you’re not just thirsty?

There’s not a lot I’ll have to say about this show I think. It was everywhere you’d look. Easily one of the most popular shows of this season, if not in a while, that isn’t a sequel. Dress-Up Darling follows Wakana Gojou, a high school student, traditional doll appreciater and all around loner. One day he gets talking with his classmate Kitagawa Marin, who’s one of the popular people in class. She spots him sowing and is immediately interested in getting his help with her hobby. Turns out she’s really excited about the idea of cosplaying. Seeing him work with fabric so expertly makes her want to rope him into her hobby. Gojou doesn’t exactly have the charisma to decline and capitulates easily. Soon he’ll have a half naked girl in his room being measured for her first cosplay. The two very quickly fall for each other, and it’s easily the highlight of the show to watch Marin fawn over Gojou. She’s such a fun character. I will have to be honest about this show. Where it shines is definitely the animation quality and the fan service. If that puts you off, or is just something you’re not interested in, then this might not be the perfect show for you. Even if you’re a little on the fence though, I would still recommend giving it two or three episodes. It’s well made from start to finish and really fun to watch. One of the shows I was looking forward to the most each week. 

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform

This show’s art is so pretty, holy shit.

Akebi’s Sailor uniform is a slice of life show about Akebi Komichi, who grew up in a rural town and went to a tiny school. Now she’s going to a prestigious junior high school with the goal of making many friends, since she didn’t have any growing up due to there simply not being any other kids. She wanted to go to this school because her mom went there too and the uniform they wore back in her day was this adorable sailor uniform that Akebi absolutely loved. She had her mom make her one only to find out on the first day that the uniform has since changed. The headmistress still allows her to wear it though since it’s technically an official school uniform and she can see the obvious excitement to wear it in Akebi. The show follows Akebi making friends with her different classmates who are all eccentrics in their own way. This show gets really wholesome towards the second half and I was definitely emotional during some of the episodes. In a good way of course. But there’s one thing I haven’t talked about yet.

In the previous paragraph for Dress-Up Darling I talked about how the animation was good. That show is being handled by studio CloverWorks. And so is Akebi’s Sailor Uniform. And they performed amazingly on this show. The animation is very, very good but it’s still outshadowed by the art. Some of the frames in this show look like pure art. I’ll put some examples below this post, but this show is gorgeous from start to finish and it really elevates it to the next level. I highly recommend this show as well.

Sabikui Bisco

How are you not immediately arrested when you look that menacing.

Akaboshi Bisco is currently a wanted criminal. It’s never quite explained what his exact crime is but the epithet of maneater kind of speaks for itself in this case. He’s what people call a mushroom keeper, a clan of archers that shoot mushrooms and cause havoc all over. They’re all considered criminals for spreading a disease called rust. When he gets to the sprawling metropolis that is Imihama things start to get a bit weird.

Meanwhile doctor Milo, aptly named doctor Panda, is helping out people deal with the rust situation best he can. He’s trying to find a cure to help his badass sister Pawoo with her case of rust. Pawoo is a motorbike riding pole swinging badass of a woman that quickly gets into a fight with Akaboshi. Through a stroke of chance, Akaboshi and Milo end up traveling together after this, in their attempt to find a cure for the rust pandemic. Meanwhile Imihama governor, Kurokawa, is working behind the scenes to make our main characters’ lives as miserable as possible. I do wonder why that is.

The main thing that anyone should consider when watching this show, is the other show it reminds me of. You see, there was a little show called Dorehedoro a few seasons ago that was just absolutely crazy. There were coincidentally also a bunch of mushrooms in that show, just like there are in Sabikui Bisco. The aesthetics are similar in that it’s a more gritty, weird show. The characters are a bit out there, the art has rough edges to it, and there’s crazy stuff happening like a crab as a mount, people living in the husk of a giant titan and a government department wearing bunny masks. It also spawned the now famous clip of Gigguk giving his approval of this show seconds before the trailer takes a turn for the weird. If you like the idea of a strange show with a lot of heart, then this show is perfect for you. Highly recommend it.

Police in a pod

You poor, innocent thing.

Out of the five shows I’m writing about today, this is probably the most memorable. The female officer Kawaii is about done with working at the police force. She’s only just started but it’s just not what she thought it was going to be. Right as she was about to give up she met her new female superior officer, Fuji Seiko. Together they go back on patrol as Kawaii decides to give it another try. With an entire police force on their side they face everything from the most mundane to the most extreme crimes.

See, she’s got ulterior motives!

And that immediately gets me to where the show shines. This show gets really dark and confrontational. The first half can be something silly that involves our characters being overworked, bored or just messing something up in general. And then the second half they get called in on a very real suicide attempt, a deadly car crash or a sexual assault case. Then the next episode has two grown men play out the sexual assault case which is obviously something that has to be done but also quite comedic in the way it’s being portrayed. And this show doesn’t hesitate for a moment when it jumps from a joke to something extremely serious. It’s given me borderline whiplash at times where I’m laughing one moment and just looking on in shock the next. The anime is based on an ongoing manga by Miko Yasu. It has almost 200 chapters and it’s on my plan to read list now. From what I’ve understood, the author used to be in the police force and takes a lot of inspiration from her time on the force. I think that’s what makes this show feel so real. This show definitely requires some warnings in that it has serious content like sexual assault, death and suicide, but if that’s something you can watch then I highly recommend you to give this show a watch. It’s definitely something I’ll think about for quite a while, and there’s a lot of shows that don’t stick with me at all, so that’s saying something.

And those were five out of my six recommendations for this season of anime. With the next season quickly upon us I’m finishing up watching what’s still left and next week I’ll be talking about my absolute favorite show that just finished airing; Ousama Ranking.

But what about you? Do you think there are any great shows I missed? Do let me know in the comments down below and as always; thanks for reading.

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