Welcome back again everyone as we take a second look at some anime airing this summer and explore them for fans who maybe have been out of the loop for a while or are interested in seeing what popular anime is like these days. This article is also meant to be helpful for those who are suffering from Anime Burnouttm. Whatever your reason may be for coming back to the fold, this article and Honey’s Anime is here for you. Please be aware that these are suggestions which means that they are subjective. However, we do feel that there can be parallels drawn between the shows to older classics. Last time, we talked about Jikan no Shihaisha and Aho Girl. This time will be a little bit different as well as we try to touch on different genres. Let’s go!
Kakegurui is here today and for good reason, the show is rated #1 among summer shows on various sites across the internet, and to be honest, it belongs there. Kakegurui is about gambling. No, not like Kaji or another amazing classic like that, but it is decently close enough. You see, in Kakegurui, there is a school called Hyakkou Private Academy. While the school is very prestigious, it is not famous for academics or athletics. Rather, the academy is famous for gambling. While the students do study, as soon as their studies are over and they have even a modicum of free time, they gamble. Not gambling in the sense of a few dollars here or there, this is tens of millions of yen. Needless to say, there is a lot at stake and there is a ranking system as well. If you are in the bottom 100, you are a “house pet” and looked down upon by the entire school. One day, after Ryouta Suzuki is defeated and relegated to house pet status, a new girl, Yumeko Jabami, transfers into the school. She really likes gambling and Mary Saotome preys upon her by challenging her to a duel almost immediately. Thus, her tale begins.
You learn very fast that Yumeko is twisted. However, good or bad, that is her personality. Another two hit series that jump out almost immediately are the Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni series as well as Mirai Nikki. Now true, with each route in Higurashi, each character has different issues that they need to work through which tends to break them mentally and emotionally, but if one character had to stand out, Rena would be #1 to be just like Yumeko. At times sweet and others dangerous, the two are a perfect mirror of each other. Another few underlying to points to also note are 1. NAILS. 2. There is a lot of questioning why characters do what they do. You really do not learn a lot until the end of Higurashi what is going on and while we do have a few explanations from Yumeko, we do not fully know who she is or why she acts the way she does. 3. Both are thrillers. While gambling may not seem as thrilling as Higurashi, there have been moments that will make your heart start to beat fast like it does when watching Higurashi. Yuno Gasai too as well from Mirai Nikki is similar to Yumeko, however we do not yet know why Yumeko does what she does other than the thrill of winning or losing helps her enjoy gambling while Yuno was all about Yuki. Another setup of a popular anime that springs to mind is Kill la Kill. While Yumeko is not about to get in some sexy outfit, transform, and then fight others with superpowered outfits, it’s very clear that the academy, run by the student council, is corrupt and clearly up to no good. Whether Yumeko is the hero or anti-hero of this story, someone is going to have to go up against the student council. The ofter fun point to note is that if you watch the OP, it has a whole xxxHOLIC feel to it. While the whole anime may not be this way, there is still plenty to enjoy.
2. Princess Principal
Princess Principal is another isekai anime where our main character is transported to a world full of lolis who are obsessed with cake and pizza..., just kidding. PP takes place in what appear to be the 19th century. It does have solid steampunk vibes and is straight up victorian. Set in a city called London, but a country named the Kingdom of Albion, five girls attend an uppercrust academy where they spend their days dining on cucumber sandwiches and sweets while enjoying tea. There, the girls learn, but what they learn is quite different from what you would expect. They are contracted spies. You see, the city of London is split into an East and a West side much like Germany was post-WWII. As such, there is a demand for more seedy work. Therefore, these girls learn not mathematics and history, but rather, deception, infiltration, car chases, assassinations, and more. There are times when their friends may need them, but there will be more times where their country needs them to serve. Dive into the rabbit hole of this Noir fantasy!
First thing right before we get started, I have only seen three episodes, but this feels like a better Joker Game, mostly because everyone is not boring and can lead a double life, and an improved 91 Days because everyone is all around interesting and not simply one dimensional. Now these anime were only from last year, so it is not fair to compare the two when those suffering from Anime Burnout™ have most likely not seen them. You can watch them, but know that they are not going to be as good as Princess Principal is thus far. Princess Principal could go downhill, but it has not yet been released in full, so it is difficult to predict that. Another series though that really jumped out, and it sounds a bit stereotypical, is Noir. You have the spy aspect as well as strong female leads that do not need to rely on men. Sure, soft spots for certain people will crop up, but they are not an end-all. Mercilessly and efficiently killing is shared between the two shows as well. Now, if the above shows mentioned are just too far apart in age/era, then let’s shoot straight for the middle with a more classic show: Baccano! Both the characters in Princess Principal and Flying Pussyfoot leave a trail of blood and carnage wherever they go. Baccano! does have its supernatural elements, and Princess Principal has that orb thing that allows them to control gravity which is very useful. Regardless though, the steampunk just has viewers coming back for more each episode. If I had to think of any other shows that spring to mind, Gosick and Le Chevalier D’Eon (a masterpiece) are also very similar and fans of those series will also enjoy Princess Principal. The only thing I think I am worried about getting sucked into is if we get a 10 minute conversation about sweets unless it is a metaphor for some assassination. All in all, Princess Principal is well worth the time investment.
We hope you like these two more shows that we recommend for fans looking to dip their toes back into the anime pool and not be swept away or inundated by the amount of current shows. There are, of course, many anime that are turning out to be very good this season and hopefully they will outlive their initial hype and turn out to be more satisfying than what we had last season. Here is to more shows like these each season that keep our attention and have us coming back weekly for another dose!