Winter season has just kicked off, bringing new shows to our favorite streaming services—in our case, it’s CrunchyRoll and Funimation. The subscriptions are primed, the simulcast is in, and we’re settling down to find new series with which to fall in love before inevitably being left in the “please give us a second season!” rut. It’s a vicious cycle and oftentimes a heart wrenching gamble that only occasionally pays off, but we certainly get to experience some wild storylines in the process.

This winter season boasts a pretty fair mix of new and returning shows, including a second season for one of those inevitable loves of the previous year, Snow White with the Red Hair. Hooray for making it out of the rut!

We’re delving into the anime season this week with a look at 3 currently airing shows currently running their 3rd episode. We’ve chosen three pretty different series in order to find a sampling of what’s available at the moment, but we can’t wait to add a few new series to our rotation. On that note, suggestions are not only welcome, but highly encouraged! Secondly, these selections are being watched as an anime only–that is, we haven’t gone and read the manga (when applicable). That’ll probably change once the anime season ends and we inevitably need more, but the series followed here are strictly watched blind.

 

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Here’s the blurb:

Satoru Fujinuma is a reclusive part-timer with no plans for the future. What sets him apart from the other slackers in his town is an involuntary time travel ability that allows him to jump back several seconds in time in order to prevent accidents and even deaths. As incidents around town begin reminding Satoru of a childhood trauma he’d sooner forget, he finally begins to question what caused his ability to surface and whether or not it’s powerful enough to change the past.

Consensus:

What begins as a slice of life melodrama chronicling the goings on of one Satoru Fujinuma quickly twists towards the paranormal with the reveal that he jumps back in time to stop catastrophic events. This anime twists and turns on itself in several big ways all within the first 3 episodes. It only took one to get us hooked, as once grown-up Fujinuma finds himself thrown backward into his childhood–far further than he has ever traveled before, setting him on a course to not only prove a wrongly convicted man’s innocence but to save no less than two lives in the process. His ability to utilize hindsight finds him trying to befriend Kayo, a lonely girl with a dark home life–one of three children kidnapped in Fujinuma’s childhood. His determination to save her and expose the terror she is living in

So far, this anime has been a fascinating watch, full of heart-wrenching and surprising moments. It’s a mystery as well as an adventure, for while we know that terrible events are looming just over the horizon, we also get to experience the sweetness of Kayo and Fujinuma’s burgeoning friendship and the little thrills that come with making new connections.  Despite these cute moments, however, the show deals with some incredibly heavy things. Within the first three episodes, we have dealt with the long term implications of murder, the fate of the wrongly convicted, and learned of a horrific case of child abuse, seeing it firsthand in its full brutality. I have a feeling this won’t be the darkest thing we see, either. We’re looking forward to following this one to completion, and a little antsy to dig into the manga for more detail.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

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Here’s the blurb:

From A-1 Pictures, the studio behind Fairy Tail and Sword Art Online: When Haruhiro awakens, he’s in the dark surrounded by people who have no memory of where they came from or how they got there. As the darkness fades, a fantastic new world called “Grimgar” appears before them and their adventure begins—but first, they’ll have to choose their guild, class, and special abilities.

Consensus:

The premise here is fabulous. Our characters wake up with no recollection of a past life and a kind of resigned acceptance that this is just how it is now. A tale much in the vein of shows like SAO or Log Horizon, Grimgar is structured and operates much like the world of today’s MMORGs. Kill enemies, gain experience, get gold, increase power. The first episode walked us slowly through the world these characters now inhabited, introducing us and allowing the necessary character building without worrying too much about plot. The animation was lovely and the characters seemed interesting.

The second episode really started asking questions about the grinding gamers around the world so mindlessly engage in, starting to explore the repercussions of killing living creatures while hinting that the goblins our main group hunt are not at all mindless spawn who exist only to help players level.  And then they dropped it in favor of slow group building. This trend continued into the third episode, which had a few fun bonding-esque moments but overall lagged. It seems like the show can’t decide if it wants to be RPG battle adventure or a slice of life story about their home life. Either way, the split is tedious and we get so very little movement in each 23 minute episode.

Half of this duo has unceremoniously thrown in the towel, opting to leave this series behind in search of more compatible viewing options. The other half is still hoping for an uptick, but isn’t particularly keen on dregging through another episode like 3 for no payoff. Probably turning to the light novel to figure out if it’s worth continuing or not.

BBK/BRNK

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Here’s the blurb:

In the world of BBK/BRNK, It’s been ten years since Azuma Kazuki has been in Japan, and upon his arrival he is taken prisoner by a group of armed men. Azuma is saved by his childhood friend, Kogane Asabuki, thanks to a living weapon she wields on her right hand, known as a Bubuki. Learning about these weapons, Azuma becomes a Bubuki wielder himself and sets out on a journey.

Consensus:

YES. Into it. There’s so much more we want to know, and see, and experience. The first three episodes flew by, and we can’t wait for more. They’ve introduced a lot of really interesting concepts and a few mysteries we have nothing to go on yet, but the show so far has been set up to make following along and making discoveries an enjoyable ride. Plus, we know enough background/simple points to watch on without being too lost or disjointed.

Also. Must cosplay all of them. All of them.


What are you watching? What should we watch? We’re always looking to expand our horizons, and constantly starting new shows–we’re usually up for anything!

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It's all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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