2021 Summer Season Anime Preliminary Review part 4

In this part of my preliminary reviews, I will be revisiting the anime I reviewed in part 1 of this series. Just to recap the anime I will be looking at are: Vanitas No Carte, All Routes Lead to Doom, The Detective Is Already Dead, Re-Main and Remake Our Life. Since I would have covered four episodes of each show this is the stage when I make a decision on whether a series should be dropped or kept. Anything that is five or below risks the chop.

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Vanitas No Carte

The thing that is beginning to stick out in this show is the character Vanitas. I mentioned he was a flamboyant/showman who always craves for attention. Well, I will also add that he is a smart and crafty fellow albeit arrogant. I don’t know whether the guy is ballsy or just likes to create drama but there are numerous moments throughout the two episodes that left me scratching my head wondering: what is this guy doing? Whatever he is trying to pull, he is an entertaining character and is the biggest draw to this series so far.

The banter between Vanitas and Noa remains as good as ever and it is amusing to hear their powerplays as they try and one up each other. The biggest difference now is we get more characters who join the fray to mix things up. And with two of these additions being women it seems that a romantic dimension has been added to the pot. Whilst it is only hints at this point, I feel things could blossom into something more substantial.

Going beyond the characters and the strong chemistry, the past two episodes have largely focused on the plot. The issue of curses that plague vampires being more imperative than ever. On the topic of curses there seems to be a fundamental widespread misconception in regards to the origins and cause of the curse. This all feeds into the mystery element of the show. Who, what or how this curse is derived from and what is causing it to spread are the chief questions that Vanitas No Carte poses on the viewer.

Overall, the last two episodes have stepped things up a notch and this series is beginning to show even more potential than I thought before. The series has given us an interesting selection of characters who gel well plus the plot is progressing quite nicely. The only bummer is the animation not being up to snub but all things considered this is a series worth watching. 6.5/10 or even a 7 from me.

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All Routes Lead to Doom!

Looking at the next two episodes it would seem the show has taken a somewhat more serious tone as we get what seems to be the first story arc for the season. It is a decent but short arc that is contained within two episodes. The recent developments hint that the people introduced will become recurring cast members. More than that however there is even the possibility that these characters could even be additional rivals/antagonists which would be quite something considering the roster is packed already.

As for the episodes, things get off to a fairly tense start but any tension there gets quickly diffused by Katerina’s obliviousness. This is turning into a recurring gag where Katerina is always slow on the uptake of ANY development much to the chagrin of those around her. The scenes were amusing for the most part but this latest episode could suggest that a degree of Flanderization has set in. I feel this ongoing stupidity of Katerina while amusing could be a sign that the supply of jokes is running dry. The other issue I see is her continual obliviousness will be off putting to some viewers as it has now gone on for a considerable length of time. Despite this shortcoming however she still retains her charm so whilst frustrations do exist, she does have redeeming qualities to counteract this.

What was good about these episodes was the powerplay that took place which so far has not really been touched upon which, when you think about it, is surprising considering pretty much the entire cast consists of nobles. It makes me wonder if this theme will continue or was this just a flash in the pan scenario.

From watching the first four episodes I can see that All Routes lead to Doom is a good series but the start this season has not been as strong as season one. Still, it has been a decent ride thus far and it is very possible things will get better from here which would allow it to catch up with season one in terms of value as I know that season got stuck on a relative rut around the fifth episode. I will give this a 6.5/10 for now and will keep this anime on my watchlist.

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The Detective Is Already Dead

If you heard my scathing review the first time round well my opinion of the series has not changed after watching the next two episodes. The big issue I have with this is The Detective Is Already Dead wants to do three things, namely be a mystery, romance and harem anime. Unfortunately, it simply does all three badly.

For example, in the third episode we are introduced to another mystery case which, on the surface could be a good thing but again the same dynamic used in the first episode is applied here to resolve the mystery. That is the show takes a bunch of innocuous scenes, adds a significance to them that isn’t really there and uses that to explain away the mystery. It all depends on making an assumption that could be explained in multiple ways but off course our protags make the right guess. It is frustrating and simply lazy writing.

On the character level much of the cast seems awkward and unnatural. Our main guy Kimihiko is not a particularly likeable guy who seems to give off a not interested vibe. He just wasn’t appealing to me and Nagisa, whilst her tsun tsun traits were thankfully toned down she still seems to act in an unnatural manner particularly towards Kimihiko which is ironic considering the supposed role she plays. I think her indecisive and flippant comments is supposed to be cute but to me it just comes off as forced. More significantly I feel her role in the story is questionable. I honestly don’t see the point in her being there except to provide eye candy. As for Yui Saikawa, she simply resorts to constant name calling which is something that has been done before. She is cute I will give you that but her personality like Nagisa leaves something to be desired.

The main positive for this series is that the animation is good and the girls, at least aesthetically, are pleasing to watch. If that is your thing then perhaps you can get more mileage out of this than I did. But really, if you are after mystery look elsewhere as the Detective Is Already Dead does not deliver on that. If you want a cute harem series watch All Routes Lead to Doom. If fanservice is your thing there is Peach Boy Riverside. All those shows, which are out this season, do a better job in delivering that type of thing than this show. 3/10 DROPPED!

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Remake our life!

At the end of the second episode Kyouya Hashiba and his team were in a bit of a bind due to a blunder in their project leaving everything on a knife edge. It was never revealed what the solution for their conundrum would be and this was simply presented in episode three in dramatic fashion. I got to say the solution out of their jam was actually pretty creative and good. Props to Kyouya for thinking outside the box and it is pleasing to see such creativity seeing as this is a show that focuses on the creative arts.

This good resolution sets the tone for what is to come next as the show really begins to deliver on its initial premise. I can say with confidence that the last two episodes were considerably better than the previous episodes. Going beyond this resolution the episodes also added some good character development in Aki Shino and in particular Nanako Kogure. The fact Nanako’s development was foreshadowed sends the message that I need to pay close attention to what happened to Aki as while she got her moment nothing was elaborated as yet.

Beyond the character development there was drama and a good chunk of fanservice. There was even a beach episode! But this fanservice element was balanced and never dominated or got in the way of the overall narrative. It looks like Remake Our Life can cater for a range of viewers and if this level of standard is maintained for the rest of the shows running then we could be in for a good to very good series. One plus point I will add is the skills and maturity demonstrated by Kyouya thus far makes it very believable that he could command a leadership status. He has often been the voice of reason when things go wrong or when characters overreact. He is a strong lead and the show is all the better for it. Score so far would be 6.5/10 and this looks to be a keeper.

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Re-Main

If you can recall in my previous review, I called out the water polo team for being a boisterous bunch. Let me add shameless to their list of admirable traits. :p You see, the third episode essentially amounted to whole team whoring the club poorly. Worse yet the focus of their efforts would leave you face palming numerous times throughout the episode. I just had to chuckle when someone called them out on their BS. Don’t get me wrong what transpired wasn’t a bad thing on the shows part. It was all played for comedic effect. But damn! I just wonder how those members of the team could pull the stunts they did with a straight face.

Beyond the funny yet cringeworthy scenes we also get a bit of drama thrown in towards the close of the episode. You could probably guess what happens… Yes! It is a good old fashioned swimming contest! Cue the training montage and the actual race. The race itself was actually pretty dramatic and I believe you would enjoy the conclusion to the contest.

The next episode has the water polo gods pulling another trick. I didn’t mind this personally but it could leave some bemused as this is already the second act of God. I did feel for the most part the fourth episode was the weaker of the two but it had its good moments. For most of this episode the focus continues to be on team and character development. On that score the characters are appealing enough although I don’t know about them garnering universal appeal.

In the end we are also treated to more pool action and with it coming so soon after the previous contest it does suggest the show is beginning to shift gears with the focus going from the character development to it becoming more plot driven. This is a good thing considering this series will only be 12 episodes long and at this point we are already a third of the way through the series.

As far as sports anime goes this seems like we have got off to a decent start. There is potential for good things to come plus character development has been good. The bit I am a bit concerned about is the plot which has not progressed a great deal. On the other hand, there are signs things are beginning to pick-up on that front so perhaps those fears are unwarranted. This anime maintains the 6/10 from two weeks ago and I will keep this on the backburner.



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