I’So much of Remake Our Life! evokes nostalgia: while I was only in high school in the late aughts, I still have these vivid memories of my dreams of working in the anime and manga industry. Of course, like a lot of fans, I eventually put them on shelf. Unexpectedly, I’m here now, working in the industry in multiple ways, whether that’s as a journalist, an anime review, or as a J-E localizer. I have fingers in as many pies I can, and much like Kyoya’s second chance, my own second chance feels like a dream.
Episode 5 is… hard to watch, largely because Ayako’s story feels drawn out of real-world struggles with disordered eating and diet culture that are afflicting teenagers both in Japan and across the world, which are often born from institutions that seek to regulate and discipline female bodies. I cried when I read this arc in the prequel manga that Kageki Shojo!! draws from, and I teared up here as Ayako tried to do her best, but the floodgates well and truly opened when Mr. Onodera knocked on Ayako’s door and reminded her of her worth because… who hasn’t needed to be told that they matter, that they have something to be proud of, in spite of their body?
As the fourth episode out one of two cours, it’s… still somewhat sluggish, though it does a lot more in terms of setting up future plotRevered and feared (and with an endless supply of claret wine), Jahy had it all… until a magical girl absolutely wrecked Jahy’s day. And as silly as that is, it was enough to make me full out guffaw because of its The Devil is a Part-Timer! meets Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle energy, which is promising for future episodes.
Vrai, Mercedez, and Alex celebrate the 10th anniversary of the industry-changing magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, with a rewatchalong!Chatty AF 144: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rewatchalong – Episodes 1-6 — Anime Feminist
As the fourth episode out one of two cours, it’s… still somewhat sluggish, though it does a lot more in terms of setting up future plot elements, especially around Fuuka. It’s tempering my expectations and turning this into the slow burn I crave as the summer heat turns extra balmy ahead of August and even more episodes of aquatope. And as an avid fanfic reader, let me tell you: I love slow burns, and this series has the makings of a slow burn so leisurely that I’ll be on tenterhooks until the end of this year since thankfully, aquatope’s cours are consecutive. (And it’s great!)
It’s not often that you see such a candid exploration of abuse in anime: it’s even less often that you see someone actually have to pay penance of sorts for being a problem. And like I said, it’s definitely not perfect: Ai is still living with her trauma, Mr. Stalker Otaku still retriggered her and ultimately can’t undo stalking her even if it was for an apology, and there’s a ways to go before Ai is able to reconcile with her own past and ongoing trauma.
I’m not sure I’d call Remake Our Life! good: at least… well, not yet. It has a lot of potential, but as it stands, things are One of the most intriguing things about Remake Our Life! is how it’s starting to really explore Kyoya’s studies. It’s hitting those Shirobako-esque notes I mentioned wanting way back in the premiere, though…to compare this to Shirobako is a disservice to both series. They’re different, and that’s good. Shirobako feels like watching adults find their footing in a field they’ve got experience in: Remake Our Life! feels like watching my past self fumble through college and trying to be young adult.
The stunning thing about The aquatope on white sand isn’t the story—honestly, the story is pretty straightforward—but how well it’s executing the plot and the tropes it’s playing with. Sometimes, simple is best, and aquatope is proving that having solid characterization, beautiful animation, excellent music and sound design, and solid pacing (for now) can make even the simplest story feel out of this world. I’d much rather have a simplistic narrative over a complex story that ultimately can’t deliver.
I’m not I have high hopes for Kageki Shoujo!!, and feel confident that my gut feeling that this will be Summer 2021’s IIt’s still too early on to make any predictions about aquatope’s the larger story. What we get in episodes 1 and 2 is compelling, though I’m not sure if the magical realism elements will dominate the show, or if the production will find a happy balance as aquatope finds its sea legs. What’s ultimately clear from certain events so far is that there will definitely be a magical, otherworldly element to this series: I just hope that it won’t come at the sacrifice of Fuka and Kukuru’s tender, tentative friendship and potential relationship.
I have high hopes for Kageki Shoujo!!, and feel confident that my gut feeling that this will be Summer 2021’s strongest show will play out like a grand ballet: fluidly, thrillingly, and beautifully week to week. That’s thanks to PINE JAM‘s animation, as well as the stellar voice acting from Sayaka Senbongi (Sarasa) and Yumiri Hanamori (Ai), both of whom convey just who these two girls are at their core. Those elements, combined with the other voice actresses, the music, animation, and sound design, really elevated Kageki Shoujo!! in my eyes, and make it an easy, “Why aren’t you watching this?!” kind of recommendation.