To me it felt like finally fall season was a strong quarter of new anime again! It seemed like it was relatively balanced regarding different genres and to some extent a couple of new seiyuu were able to make their debut. I will list the shows that I’ve enjoyed the most this fall. That said, I’m not including DAYS since it’s basically a summer leftover but I enjoy it so very much nevertheless, therefore I must lose a few words on it before I get started.
I usually get invested in every sports anime there is, somehow they always seem to be able to get me at least a little bit captivated. Of course, there are those I enjoy more than others but in general, I’m always happy to see a new kind of sports adapted in anime. The fall season did offer not only one but six!! new sports anime and nevertheless the one I’m enjoying the most is still DAYS from the previous season. I believe what draws me in with this series is not necessarily the football maneuvres but rather the interesting characters and how their relationships in- and outside the team develop and change. Surely DAYS doesn’t re-invent anything we haven’t seen before, but the character designs are interesting – not too flashy and not overly realistic either. The 24 episodes merely guided us through the protagonists journey from the starting line to the first serious tournament that puts their team on the line, particularly the third-year members for which this is their last chance to rise to the top. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to read the manga yet so I will excitedely dependen on the sequel for now.
Not too long ago I approached an animated show for children that already aired 9 years ago: Happy Happy Clover. It’s a very straightforward slice of life story about the every day adventures of the bunny girl Chima and her friends in Crescent Moon Forest. Of course, my main motivation to watch Happy Happy Clover was strongly influenced by the fact that Koyasu voices a character in it. It is a bunny called Tabiusagi-san (which literally translates to “traveling bunny”, but I read that his localised English name was in fact Rambler).
A his name suggests, Tabiusagi-san travels many different places and when he comes by Crescent Moon Forest the animals always ask him to tell them all about his wonderous adventures. He does have a healthy amount of self-confidence on him and appears to be much older than Chima and her friends, but nevertheless he’s still just a bunny and therefore really cute most of the time. Especially his voice is cute, Koyasu did a wonderful job of portraying this character headstrong and charming and at the same time perfectly adorable and calm, regarding his tone. There was a scene when Chima, who has a crush on him, comes to wake him up in order to challenge him to a race and he’s just so annoyed because he wants to sleep a little longer. That might have been one of my favourite moments because cutesy and pouty Koyasu is something I absolutely adore but don’t get to hear that often compared to other voices he does.
Happy Happy Clover itself isn’t particularly good, nor is it completely bad. It’s leightweight entertainment with a good cast and decent character designs but if not for my bias, I propably wouldn’t have watched all 13 episodes. Interestingly enough there were some pretty sad topics too, e.g. how Tabiusagi-san mentions he doesn’t have a home because his forest was burnt down by humans, together with his parents. That’s rather harsh, is it not? Obviously they didn’t elaborate on this very much because of the audience it’s directed at. Tabiusagi-san must have suffered a lot in the past, although he seems fine in the series. I keep wondering if the directors had something deeper planned for the plot or if they just needed some tragic background story. Another thing that pleasently surprised me was how Tatsuhisa Suzuki was voicing the prankster fox named Charaku. Tatsun was the last person I’d expect to show up in this anime but naturally he, too, did a great job at portraying his character. In general, this show was really interesting in regard of hearing a handful of seiyuu with slightly younger voices and a range different from their usual one.
Takehito Koyasu, the seiyuu ruling over my heart. Come rain, come shine, come snow, come sleet, for Koyasu the show must go on and I’m willing dig into all of his work. Here I will list my impressions.
This time I’ll comment on Kapaeru from Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera.
Kapaeru, like his name and appearance suggest, is a Kappa youkai who works as an informant. Like most of the male characters in the most recent adaptation of Dororon Enma-kun, Kapaeru is a rather lecherous individual that happily joins in when it’s about chasing skirts. In the 2011 anime he is reduced to the role of the team’s mascot character and comedic relief, but when he does appear he does his job well. As much as I adore Koyasu’s deep voice, his comedic voice acting is fantastic as well and just stresses his amazing range. And although he is matching the pitch according to the humour of the situation, for Kapaeru he mostly uses his high cutesy voice with a Kansai dialect. Recently he hasn’t taken too many roles with higher, more child-like voices, so in Dororon Enma-kun it’s always a comedic delight to listen to him. In episode 7 there is a scene where Yukihime and Kapaeru are ice skating but then he gets slapped away by a youkai. He flies away shouting “Triple axel~!” in a graceful, defeated voice but in the next scene he suddenly comes back, completely pissed off, asking who kicked him in the face and the sudden shift from his cute to his angry voice à la Bobobo made me laugh so hard-I will be forever grateful for that moment.
With the rest of the cast he also produced the hilarious character song album “Showa Hit Studio” that partly served as the anime’s background music. In the trio song “Enma’s real, real hard work” with Kappei Yamaguchi and Minoru Inaba he sings in his Kapaeru voice while in his solo song “Affair” he switches back to his deeper voice he often used when performing songs like “Sora no Soko” (Weiß Kreuz). The contrast is hilarious and especially when regarding the fact that Kapaeru is supposed to sing the song, the whole situation becomes twice as overdramatic. If Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera is a good anime or not is another question I won’t get invested in today but the Koyasu audio material we got from the series was definitely something I’m not complaining about.
Takehito Koyasu , the seiyuu that has gradually become my favourite seiyuu. I can be lured into watching anything with him in it just so that I may be able to hear one line of his beautiful voice, ranging from hentai to shoujo genre and whatever else is out there. Here I will list my impressions.
This time I will talk about Koumei Shoukatsuryou from Koutetsu Sangokushi.
He is the protagonist’s master and from the first second you see him you know, he’s either the bad guy or at least has some evil intentions. But the only one who doesn’t seem to notice that is his disciple Rikuson who greatly looks up to him. And if Koumei isn’t the target of jealousy or loathing from the enemy empire he is like the almighty item in this anime. Everybody wants to gain his respect, serve him or belong to him. He is also so powerful that most characters make him out to be untouchable/invincible. With his graceful appearance he easily fools the people around him, hiding his scheming nature. He just really enjoys toying with people apparently. Everybody wants Koumei, but he doesn’t accept anyone (except his disciple in the end for whom he becomes “the darkness” but Rikuson still decides to sacrifice his life for his master; that’s true love for you). The voice pitch Koyasu chose for Koumei is the one I usually call his “calm bishounen voice“, it stays deep and in control, doesn’t really range much, maybe gets a little flirtatious every now and then and is usually used by him when voicing beautiful, androgynous men. It fit Koumei a lot because his character was truly always in control of the situation and seemed to know what the outcome would be like at all times. I liked Koumei because of his sly nature and was glad that he didn’t die at the end. The way he makes everyone gay for him is outstanding and yes, that Koyasu voice was music to my ears…!
Anime spring came with a lot of easy-going shows, additional seasons and a few surprises mixed in. The shows I was anticipating did not let me down so far but the anime I’m enjoying the most at this point are somewhat unexpected choices. I’m going to talk a little about those series that have caught my interest the most so far.
Favourite Anime of Spring Season 2016:
Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou (とんかつＤＪアゲ太郎)
Agetarou works at his family’s tonkatsu restaurant to succeed it one day, but the routine bores him. One day, a delivery leads him to a club where he eventually gets hooked on DJing and now he is determined to master both being a chef and a DJ…