Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I could talk about three 2019 winter anime that have recently finished (and were honestly very good).
NOTE: This review contains some spoilers so read at your own risk.
Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run with the Wind)
This series actually began on Fall 2018, which makes it quite long, but making it a 23 episode anime proved completely worth it in more ways than one. Although it’s true that Run with the Wind is a sports anime about running, that’s not all it is. It’s a show about personal growth, about pursuing your dreams, about letting the past go, about friendship. Run with the Wind is a show that teaches you winning isn’t everything; instead, it focuses on what running means. The message this series conveys is beautiful and, of course, the music and animation play an important part in this. What truly shines, however, is the character development. Seeing each of the characters’ evolution throughout the series was truly a delight. Kakeru started out as a
thief grumpy and arrogant dude with zero fucking comradeship who later cared a great deal about his teammates and broke the freaking running record of the Hakone Ekiden. Haiji basically forced everyone into running but started feeling remorseful later on and proved to be an amazing leader; not to mention that his dream of running at the Hakone Ekiden despite his ruined knee is freaking inspiring as it is heartbreaking. Prince is the best fucking character because he’s just SO RELATABLE and a lot of the things he does and says are extremely moving; he doesn’t even like running but doesn’t regret getting dragged to do it because he found true friends there. Shindo is a fucking inspiration because dude literally risked his life to run at the Hakone Ekiden so that he wouldn’t disappoint his teammates NOR his family. King is another relatable character because he always feels out of place no matter where he goes, yet he finds true peace in running since he’s alone when doing so but not alone in spirit: he has a team. I could go on but, honestly, all the characters are wonderful. Maybe the twins are the only ones who don’t get that much development and even get used as comic relief but, eh, no show’s perfect.
Overall, this series was amazing. I love sports anime but it’s not often that I manage to find a true gem. Definitely a must watch.
Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue (My Roommate is a Cat)
Cat lover or not, this series is an absolute must for those who like heartwarming stories. It may have its exaggerations here and there, but it’s guaranteed to give you a smile. After having lost his parents to an accident, Subaru (a successful yet socially awkward mystery novelist) starts living alone. Soon after, he finds a stray cat (who he later calls Haru) that he adopts mainly because she ‘breaks’ his writer’s block by giving him inspiration for a new novel. Apart from the fact that adopting Haru changes Subaru’s life forever (and for the better at that), what’s truly interesting about this show is that each episode has 2 points of view: Subaru’s and Haru’s. Subaru’s point of view is, of course, that of a human’s 😆 and his recurrent feline troubles are a knowing wink to those who have cats
like me (since it may remind them of similar experiences). This also allows Subaru to bond with several people (some who he already knows and others who he meets because of Haru) and slowly start changing his unsociable persona. He even comes to appreciate how loving his parents were when he was alive, which is both beautiful and tragic; the episodes focusing on his parents are very sad yet heartwarming. When it comes to Haru’s point of view, we see that her way of thinking is that of a ‘protector’ since she used to care for her little brothers when she was a stray. There are also instances where we think, in Subaru’s point of view, that Haru may be thinking a certain something when, in reality, her thoughts are completely different 😆 and it’s hilarious. For instance, how sometimes it seems like she’s hungry when, in fact, she wants to feed Subaru her cat food because he sucks at taking care of himself lmao. Haru is a bit of a tsundere (though aren’t all cats a bit tsundere? 😆 ), at first, but she comes to truly care for Subaru the same way he comes to care for her and, in the end, they become a lovely family of two.
Overall, this series is very sweet. It may not be super amazing and the animation is nothing out of this world, but I think it’s more underrated than it should be. If you love heartwarming stories, you’ll love this one (a plus if you like cats).
Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland)
A new mystery shounen series has arrived! To be honest, I much prefer this one than Attack on Titan. The Promised Neverland tells the story of a group of children living in an orphanage with their “Mom” that will, eventually, get adopted by a family and leave the house. Ha! All lies. The horrible truth beneath all that seamingly great life is that the orphanage is actually a farm and the children are all cattle waiting to be shipped to demons for their consumption. The first episode shocked me so much (in a good way) that I went ahead and read the manga until around chapter 98. As many manga-readers tend to mention, the anime adaptation cuts some things but, truly speaking, I don’t think it’s bad. Yeah, sure, it may be a bit more fast-paced but the story is essentially the same. I think a lot of people are really unfair when it comes to popular manga adaptations. Seriously, they’re NEVER satisfied. I’ve even read things like “this character’s face was drawn like shit in the anime! I preferred the one in the manga!” which is not really constructive criticism, just pure hate because it doesn’t meet their ridiculously high standards. Personally, I think the adaptation was very good. Maybe not EXCELLENT but still very good. The voice actors did amazing jobs with the characters and the animation was okay. There’s a bit of controversy regarding the inner thoughts since the anime took them out almost completely. In my opinion, it wasn’t a bad decision; in fact, it added more suspense. Plus, let’s be real here, it’s not the same to tell a story with manga than with anime. With a comic, you just read. With anime, you have the sound, the voices, the music, the animation, the colors, the lightning… so many things!! And it’s not very often that we get to see an anime that purposely prevents us from knowing what the characters are thinking internally but does so by other means!! The cut content from the manga wasn’t truly significant but I do have a critique for the anime. As we know, at first, there are only a handful of kids who know the truth about the orphanage yet, little by little, more characters learn about it. The problem I found in the anime regarding this is that, at a certain point, certain characters were shown making gloomy or troubled expressions that
kind of gave away that they knew SOMETHING was amiss. In the manga… the fact that they know the truth comes as a total SHOCK and it’s brilliantly presented. Still, the way in which the remaining kids find out the truth was managed well in the anime too. The first arc in The Promised Neverland, the escape arc, is rather “tactic-heavy” so there isn’t a lot of action yet, which is why some people may find it boring. Instead, there is a lot of thinking going on, which not only involves the escape plan but also mind games between the protagonists and the villains (Isabella and Krone). As regards the characters, my favorites are definitely Norman and Emma. Ray is also great, but I find the other two to have a more interesting personality (particularly Norman).
Overall, I think it’s a very good adaptation. Not perfect, but very good. In my personal opinion, cutting some stuff from the manga was actually positive due to the fact that the first arc is rather “thinking-heavy” so there isn’t a lot of action. Rather, there is more planning and mind games. Had the first season been longer, it would have probably felt slow-paced to some. Anyway, a second season was announced for 2020 so I’m really looking forward to it!! The story just gets better and better.
That’s all folks! Thanks a lot for reading until the end, feel free to comment and see you next post!! (≧∇≦*)/
PS: I’m planning to make a first impressions’ post about Caligula Overdose so that I can later continue with Ashen Hawk (the game is pretty long after all and I still haven’t finished it).