What’s Wrong with Arifureta?

Hajime, the protagonist of Arifureta

Readers of isekai light novels have been hyping up Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest for several months, and there was considerable excitement for its anime adaptation airing this season. That was, of course, until the first episode aired.

The Arifureta light novels have a score of 8.03 on MAL, which is reasonably high, and the manga isn’t far behind at 7.74. The anime also started off with a similar score, but it went downhill soon after the series started airing.

Most of the reviews are also negative, and it has received critical coverage from several prominent YouTubers in the anime community. General consensus is, it has become the dumpster fire of the Summer 2019 anime season. But what went wrong?

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Farewell, Golden Wind

From the moment I started watching the first episode of Phantom Blood, I fell in love with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The characters were well-written, the Victorian England setting was relatable and the interactions between Jonathan and Dio really fueled my emotions.

I marathoned all nine episodes in a day, and finished Battle Tendency that same weekend. I’ve seen plenty of shounen anime, but none touched me as much as JoJo. The idea of an adventure across real world locations resonates with me as a regular traveller, and the show’s quirkiness fits my sense of humour to a T.

A few months later, the manga volumes started releasing in the UK and I made sure to pick them up. They did not disappoint – we really are incredibly lucky to have beautiful hardback editions of such an iconic series.

After becoming so invested in the series and adoring the first four parts, I was somewhat apprehensive about the fifth: Golden Wind. After all, it was so different to the previous parts in terms of art style, characters and setting.

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First Impressions of the Summer 2019 Anime Season

A collage of anime airing this season (Arifureta, Dumbbell , Cop Craft, Fire Force)

Introduction

We’re now two weeks into the Summer 2019 anime season, and I have seen enough to say it has one of the best lineups of the last few years. We have a few long anticipated manga adaptations as well as some original series from a large variety of genres, and I’m watching nine currently airing shows.

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest

The elephant in the room that I should address first is Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. This is an isekai light novel adaptation and is probably the biggest disappointment of the season. The source material has a cult following, so I was rather excited to see how the anime would play out, but I’m afraid the first episode was a bizarre, poorly directed, confusing mess.

Arifureta‘s anime adaptation begins in the other world, unlike the manga and light novel, and the show utterly fails to explain how the protagonist ended up in his situation. The show constantly uses flashbacks in poor attempts to explain what’s happening, and the CGI animation actually made me laugh out loud.

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Getting Into Gundam, for Beginners

Getting into Gundam

Gundam is one of the most iconic anime franchises, and I think every otaku should watch at least one Gundam series – but there are so many and it can be difficult to know where to start. You might be wondering whether they’re all connected, or whether they hold up as standalone entries, but fear not – all will be explained in this post.

While some Gundam series are connected to each other, there are several different timelines and most of them hold up as standalone watches. Don’t worry, there’s no need to watch all 900+ episodes that have aired since the 1970’s!

That said, the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979 isn’t a bad place to start. Its 43 episodes long, the budget was clearly low and the pacing can be a little slow, but you’ll learn the basics and get to see what Gundam is all about. If you don’t want to commit to watching too many episodes, there are three movies that cut out all the filler.

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My Anime Viewing Journal #1

Today I would like to write about the anime series I’ve been watching over the past few months, some quick thoughts on them and whether or not I recommend them! This list will be a mix of classics as well as currently airing shows. So, without further ado, lets get started!

Back in September I picked up The Vision of Escaflowne on DVD from the Anime Limited stall at MCM Comic Con Scotland. This is a massively popular mecha/fantasy series that first aired in 1996, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. The pacing is slow at times but its a fun watch that does romance well and has a beautiful soundtrack. 7/10.

Another old anime I got round to watching is Full Metal Panic!, seasons 1-3. I bought the Blu-Ray releases and watched the English dub. I love it when anime gets political, and this series provides the perfect mix of epic fights, high school comedy, military madness and governmental woes. It sounds like a weird mix, and the story is nothing spectacular, but it made me laugh and it would make a solid introduction to anime. 8/10.

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