Hi readers! My apologies for the delay in releasing this article. I spent the entire weekend working on my deck, trying to get it refinished before Monday’s snow. I managed to get it done just in time. I’m going to do something a little different this week. I don’t have a lot of new things to talk about, so I thought I might post some more in depth review of some of the summer season anime that I’ve been watching. Let’s get started!
Let’s start with Elegant Yokai Apartment Life. This was an anime that I originally thought would be a fairly run of the mill occult high school anime. In the end the story took a much more mature take than I had anticipated. The first surprise that I encountered was the relationship between Yushi Inaba (the main character) and Hase Mizuki (his school friend). The typical pattern in anime would be for Yushi to have a female childhood friend who would act as his emotional support. In this case, however, the primary role of emotional support is played by a male friend. The first season has started to explore their relationship, showing how men can be supportive of each other. This show is actually doing some important work in deconstructing toxic masculinity and helping to destroy some of the bad tropes that exist in other media. Yushi relationships with the residents of the Kotobuki-So also show a more nuanced style of writing than is typical in seasonal anime. Yushi returns the kindness and respect of the other characters, but is also chartiable, even to those who try to cause him harm. He also does not suddenly get some idea that he is any sort of “chosen one”; he only sees himself as a person who happens to be in a place where he can make a difference. There is a second season currently airing in Japan, but as of this writing, there is no announcement of simulcasting in the US.
Next, is Restaurant to Another World (Isekai Shokudo), which is likely the least isekai series to come out in recent years. Conversely, it actually includes “isekai” in the title. Very misleading. In honesty, the series is much more focused on food and cooking, using the “isekai” concept to introduce characters who are unfamiliar with the types of food they are about to eat. There is very little plot in this series; each episode revolves around a new character eating a food, usually something they have not eaten before. As a bit of a food lover, I enjoy this type of show; but I can understand that I am in a small niche.
That’s all for this week. Next week, I’ll start to discuss the seasonal anime that I’m watching. Until then, game on!