The verdicts are in, and they all look disappointingly lackluster.
Actually, to be honest, I don’t really care. I’m busy, these weren’t my top picks as far as expectations going in, and I’m sure everyone has better things to watch in general. I’ve got RuPaul to check out, you know? Because I’m super short on time these days, I won’t be writing exhaustively about any of these shows (hey, just be glad I’m giving you more than bullet points), so here are my extremely brief hot takes on what’s aired so far this winter anime season.
Hakozume: Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu/Police in a Pod
Due to a poor sense of comedic timing and pretty uneven pacing in general, I wasn’t overly impressed with what this series had to offer in its premiere. I feel like the series would’ve done way better as a straight-up sitcom than a sketch comedy, if that makes sense – it works better as a slice-of-life, office politics kind of show, but not as a jokey one that sets up punchlines, mostly because the jokes themselves aren’t very good. Also, granted, the image of police officers (specifically, koban police officers) in Japan differs greatly from how they’re perceived in many other countries, but nonetheless, I deeply question the wisdom of releasing an anime about police at this particular point in history. To that end, some of the content came across as borderline offensive, so be wary of that going in.
Leadale no Daichi nite/In the Land of Leadale
Oh look, it’s an isekai show based on a series of light novels in which the lead protag is wildly OP. Who’d a thunk it? To be fair, there’s nothing that struck me as terrible about this show in particular, and I do absolutely give it props for featuring a female lead, which as far as isekai goes, is (somewhat depressingly) unique. (I mean, it’s been done before, but not a whole lot, at least that I’ve seen.) There’s also little to no fanservice that I saw based on this premiere, so points for that too. Otherwise, it’s a fairly fun yet cheap-looking show that I have no personal interest in, so I spend the majority of the episode politely bored.
Tokyo 24-ku/Tokyo 24th Ward
Speaking of bored. I have the least to say about this show because I truly was incredibly bored – to the point where I actually didn’t make it all the way through the first episode, so feel free to take whatever I say with a grain of salt. This show looked and behaved generic af. I disliked most of the characters on sight, I disliked the art direction (you’ll know what I mean if you watch only a few minutes – the style may appeal to some but it’s just not my cup of tea), and I finally quit about halfway in because I had other stuff to do. I thought about going back later to at least finish off the premiere, but… nah, my willpower isn’t that strong these days. Bleh.
Enjoy browsing my site? You can support Otaku Lounge by buying me a coffee!
5 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Police in a Pod, Land of Leadale, and Tokyo 24th Ward”
@Police in a Pod: It’s better than I thought it would be, which still isn’t very good. I’m not familiar with how people view police in Japan, and the American take isn’t something I have an intuition for, so I didn’t see anything particularly offensive. I actually currently tend to sympathise with the police, as around here (Austria) they have to inforce stupid pandemic rules against even stupider vaccine skeptics… Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place with no good way forward. In any case, I was mostly fine with the show, but found it incredibly forgettable.
@Leadale: To be honest, I’m surprised you even clicked start on this one. I moderately liked it. Female protagonists in isekai seem to be on the rise (recently we had Ascendance of a Bookworm, So I’m a Spider so What?, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Killing Slimes, and now this – I think it’s a trend; Bear and Slimes are forming a sub-group with this one, I think).
@Tokyo 24 ku: I’m not sure what’s going on here. So much about this show is stupid. They bring up the trolley problem only to ignore it? He rescues the girl just by… grabbing her, while her foot was trapped (without damage? at that speed?). I’m supposed to sympathise with our main character who wants to be a fools-rush-in hero and punches people with saner voices? And then the building collapses selectively, to max drama points? But it wasn’t all bad: I liked the Teppanyaki Art scene. Also, is it just me or is the camera and character design combo overemphasising the female form? It’s a weird type of fanservice (if so), that I haven’t seen all that often; more subtle than usual, but annoying in aggregate. Might be just my voyeur eye, though, so maybe I’m annoying myself and blaming the show? Unsure, and I don’t really want to rewatch.
In any case: You have top picks? I looked across the chart and found… nothing but sequels. I’m sticking with Ranking of Kings, which is exceptionally great in its fairytale style, and Vanitas, which I had tons of fun with, but I haven’t found anything to look forward to among the new shows (hoping for pleasant surprises).
I currently live in New York, and around here, the police are typically the ones not wearing masks and then violently shoving people aside/out of the subway for daring to point this out. (And on another aside note, having lived in Japan for 6 years as well, I’m not ignorant to the fact that police there often target foreigners for looking “suspicious”, just because they can.) But the bigger picture is, I’m just not able to divorce myself from the reality of this current socio-political climate, especially for the sake of not-funny gags about the po-po.
I did briefly try out Ascendance of a Bookworm (yawn), but other than that, I don’t think I’d tried any female-led isekai anime before (or at least, not that I can think of off the top of my head). Anyway, inoffensive but boring, I’d say.
It wasn’t just you, I promise – there was some very strange camerawork going on in Tokyo 24-ku, and I wasn’t impressed with any of it. Of all the shows I’ve watched so far, this is the one I found the dullest – and that’s really saying something.
I’m not basing this on anything at all, but just as far as premises go, I’m most looking forward to checking out the premieres for Baraou no Souretsu/Requiem of the Rose King, Sasaki to Miyano, and Koroshi Ai/Love of Kill.
None of the recent female protag isekais are ones I’d be recommending to you (maybe Spider); it’s just that I think Leadale fits the trend pretty well.
I’ve now watched the previews for the shows you mentioned. Sasaki to Miyano is the most inconclusive (very short preview); Koroshi Ai won me over during the short run of the preview; and Baraou no Souretsu was probably my favourite – it looked just so fab (now it just has to deliver; that sort of show has around a 50 % chance of losing me, but when they hit they really hit). We’ll see. (I tend not to look very closely at preview shows since I tend to try almost everything I’m not explicitly ruling out.)
Me neither – I prefer to keep my expectations low and (hopefully) be pleasantly surprised by something than look it up exhaustively beforehand.