July 2020: Bikeraptor

How the hell did I not think of calling this video series Bikeraptor until now?

Aggregate final scores: sometimes a friend, sometimes a foe. They can help you decide if an anime is worth watching, but they can also be indirect spoilers. If an anime appears to be significantly overperforming its final score, you know it’s only a matter of time before it fucks up. Such was the case with Sarazanmai. After a very impressive start, I had to ask myself what this show would end up doing to deserve an unimpressive aggregate final score. Well, it turns out the show straight up copies & pastes about a third of each episode. It’s still pretty good, but file it away as being a victim of one of the three F’s: Filler, Flashbacks, and…ummm…Facsimile.

Kaguya-sama season 2 was great, but could it have been better? Asking such a question is the unappreciated burden of the asshole critic. My opinion is largely the same as with season 1: the show is incredible when the two main characters are going at it, and everything else is somewhere between ok and still pretty good.

Ultraman is the Japanese superhero that no Western fans need and few deserve. Much like Doraemon and Sazae-san, Ultraman is a household name in Japan…and only in Japan. These shows’ respective genres are already saturated in the West, leaving these shows with little or nothing to bring to the table despite not being objectively bad. The new Ultraman series tries to modernize the classic hero, and in doing so merely becomes a different kind of generic. Oh, and I forgot to mention in the video that much of the show is set in a fictional Shibuya, which was kind of the whole point of biking and filming there.

Dwindling options on Japanese Netflix are pushing me into anime I normally wouldn’t find intriguing based solely on the premise and/or length of the title. Bofuri (I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max out my Defense) turned out to be a pleasant surprise—almost too pleasant. There isn’t a single unpleasant character in the show, which is simultaneously amusing and enraging. The show somehow makes up for the complete lack of personal conflict with surprisingly acceptable game mechanics and a catchy insert song.

Shimoneta (A Boring World in which the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist) is a **** with so much **** that I **** my ****. That’s a typical Shimoneta joke. My comprehension of dirty Japanese is even worse than my regular Japanese, and Shimoneta bleeped out so much that it did little to make me better. You’ll probably want to watch this one dubbed.

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