Quick Reviews: Fall 2022 Edition

Spy x Family isn’t on this list because it needs its own dedicated post. The second opening ‘Souvenir’ by Bump of Chicken is easily my most listened anime song of the season. They nailed it, like they always do!

Happy New Year everyone! I know this post only goes up on the second of January, but it’s the first one I’m actually writing in 2023. It is currently 10 AM on January first and I’m going to be in that optimistic phase for a little while so I might as well make the best out of it and do a lot of writing early on. I took December off from writing, only writing a couple things here and there. So now it’s time to get back into it. Other seasons I would split my quick reviews up into a few different posts but I’ve decided to just start making one post for them each season. Part of it is because I have a lot I want to write about and I don’t want twelve Mondays out of a year to be quick reviews and another part of it is that I didn’t watch that many interesting shows this past season, so it’d be one or two posts at best anyway. Putting all of that aside, let’s dive into the anime of fall 2022 together. As usual, none of these will contain big spoilers for the shows themselves, so feel free to browse through the posts.

Bibliophile Princess

Watching the prince enjoy chatting with another woman from behind a window. Poor Eli. She doesn’t have the social skills to figure out what’s really going on.

Coming out of the gate swinging, Bibliophile Princess has comfortably made its way into my top 10 anime of the year and will be featured in that list later this month. It tells the story of Eliana Bernstein, a nobleman’s daughter who loves books. She’s been engaged to the crown prince for a couple of years in a sort of sham engagement where she gets to read the books in the royal library while he gets to fend off other suitors that he’s not interested in with a good excuse. A few years have now passed and Eliana sees the crown prince getting friendly with another girl in the palace courtyard. She laments the fact that her access to the royal library might soon disappear as the prince might find a replacement for her. To her own surprise she’s more sad about this than she expected. The story follows Eli and Prince Christopher as their romance slowly grows. Misunderstandings and intrigue never outstay their welcome and as the show continues our main characters get more depth to them. If you’re a sucker for sappy love stories that really don’t have too much substance to them, then this is the show for you. It was definitely a guilty pleasure for me this past season and it’s a shame that it’s not rated higher than it currently is. 

Bocchi the Rock!

Embodying the true introvert, the idea of doing some activity every single day sounds absolutely awful.

I’m not going to be the biggest advocate for this show. Hitori (Bocchi) is a young girl with pretty solid guitar playing skills. She’d love to join a band and perform with them one day but she has the social skills of an anxious worm. She almost accidentally finds herself joining a local band and the story follows her shenanigans with her new friends. Bocchi has severe social anxiety. The show does a really good job of portraying this, both in storytelling as well as in using wacky animation to really emphasize certain situations. By all accounts, Bocchi the Rock is a good slice of life show. But I couldn’t really enjoy the show. For starters; Bocchi’s anxiety is so well done that it sometimes started to give me flashbacks to my own past. My social anxiety isn’t terrible these days, but it used to be really, really bad. It probably wasn’t too far off of what Bocchi is like in the show. That’s not an enjoyable experience to relive. At other times I also felt like the show was moving too slow and in the busy November and December months I found myself playing some of the episodes at 1.5 speed, which is something that is normally only reserved for One Piece. For those unfamiliar with the One Piece anime, it often feels like a 24 minute episode covers about seven pages from the manga and realistically, that’s not even that far off. If you like good slice of life anime, then Bocchi will probably fit your taste. I didn’t really like it the same way I didn’t really like The IT crowd. I recognize its merits, it’s just not made for me.

I’m the villainess, so I’m taming the final boss

Aileen is definitely nailing the look of villainess, I love those colors and the design of her dress here.

We’ve had a couple of Isekai anime where a girl gets transported into a visual novel and has to change the outcome of the story now and it’s a genre that’s very hit or miss for me. A great example is “My life as a villainess” which I really enjoyed until the second season started and I was just kind of bored. I think the problem with this genre is that the initial problem can be very engaging and well written, only for the story to devolve into something much more generic that feels on par with mediocre Isekai shows. This time around, I’m the villainess manages to evoke that same feeling in me in less than a season. I enjoyed the first few episodes quite a lot. Aileen has to prevent the demon lord, who is the current prince’s half-brother, from going berserk. She works together with humans and demons to try and figure out this delicate situation. After the strong start, the following arc was incredibly boring. I just couldn’t find myself caring about the characters involved most of the time and honestly the only reason I remember the characters’ names at all is because of how generic they are. It picks up a little bit towards the end but I found that at that point I’d mostly lost interest. 

Reincarnated as a sword

If a strange sword starts talking to you in the woods, it might be trying to get you to join a cult. I’m just saying, you have to be wary in these situations. This particular sword is fine though, it’s just a middle aged bloke from earth.

Maybe I’m not a good judge of what anime I should be watching, but this season has been a nice big pile of mediocre shows for me. Of course I also watched a bunch of the exciting sequels, but we’re not here to talk about those. Reincarnated as a sword follows a man who, well, reincarnates as a sword. He turns into an excalibur-esque sword that’s stuck in the ground somewhere in the middle of nowhere. As he’s hoping to find a wielder, a young catfolk girl named Fran finds him and the two start traveling together. Fran’s goal is to evolve, which is something that catfolk rarely get to do. My main gripe with this story is that early on it seems slavery is a common thing but as soon as we get to the cities we see no slaves. There is no real elaboration of this system and it kind of feels like a plot device. Fran is a fine character, so is the sword itself, and the story never get particularly dull, but it also never gets particularly exciting. If you like generic Isekai stories with a twist you could consider this one, but if not, just skip it.

Shinobi no Ittoki

I wish we could have seen more of her story, she was definitely one of the more interesting characters in the show. but with a one-cour runtime, we had to mostly stick to the kids’ story

I was debating if I should talk about this show, but I decided to give it a quick mention in the end, before closing off this post. Shinobi no Ittoki follows a high school student who finds out that ninja’s are not only a real part of society, but his mother is the leader of a large ninja clan called the Iga clan. Iga has beef with the Koga clan and the story follows Ittoki and his friends as they get embroiled in a clan war between the two clans. The story has an interesting premise but pretty quickly lost me on its execution. It has some interesting characters but then there’s also some really annoying characters who picked their motivation one day and then just stopped to think about it. There’s a traitor whose betrayal is never quite explained well, there’s some strange things behind the scenes that seem to just be there to move the plot ahead and Ittoki just isn’t a very good character. All things considered, this is probably a show you should avoid. It’s interesting how polarizing this studio is. Studio Troyca, the studio that made this show, is also responsible for bangers like Re:Creators and Aldnoah Zero. On the flip side it’s also responsible for the second season of Aldnoah Zero and now this show. It seems like they have the winning formula, just only sometimes they make a show.

Just watch Chainsaw Man. And remember, it’s the quiet moments that make a loud show shine.

And that brings us to the final roundup of shows that didn’t make the list. Putting sequels aside, there’s a few shows I haven’t talked about yet. Beast Tamer was too bland to talk about. I didn’t hate it, but I’m fairly certain I’ll have forgotten it by early February. Chainsaw Man was very good, but everyone is already aware of this and if you really want to find out more about it I suggest you check out Gigguk’s latest video on the subject. Lastly there’s Isekai Ojisan, which was plagued by delays and has yet to finish. I believe we have one episode left and I will probably do an individual review on the show when it finishes, since I quite enjoyed it. Oh, and I will be talking about Spy x Family on its own later this month. There you have it. Let me know if there’s any shows I missed out on in my list that I should really check out, or if you disagree strongly with any of my opinions. But for now, I have a lot of writing to do as well as catch up on some older anime – I’m currently watching Record of Ragnarok – so I’ll leave it at this. Thanks for reading and leave a like or comment to make my day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s