The last season came as a bit of a pleasant surprise, considering how much bad luck I’ve always had in past summer seasons. Heck, 2021 has been a bit of a kooky year for me as a whole, both as an anime follower and in real-life, and I can only hope that the shows I have chosen for this last anime season of the year will be good.
The Aquatope on White Sand
Studio: P.A Works
(Available on Crunchyroll)
This show continues on from when it began in the summer, where Kukuru was trying her best in saving Gama Gama, a failing aquarium in Okinawa that was due for closure to begin with. As the first cour went on, we saw how her own nostalgia and stubbornness got in the way of common sense, as well as the health and welfare of the marine life. With Gama Gama now closed, it left us room for what the cast are up to now, and with this new poster for the second cour (above) having been released, it’s given us some ideas of what happens.
Well the last episode showed us that Kukuru, along with other Gama Gama employees, decided to accept Tingaara’s job offer. It was really good to see Kukuru realize she was doing more harm than good in these desperate attempts to keep a failing aquarium open. Fuuka went back to the mainland to finish school, but decided not to accept that movie deal. Even Karin decided to quit her pretty decent job in the tourist office to work for Tingaara. So some time will have passed since Gama Gama’s closing, I’m sure, but after what we saw in episode 12, what kind of direction will The Aquatope on White Sand really go into?
Interesting how we haven’t had that much in the form of mild fantasy that the show initially promised. We have been given small glimpses and flashbacks at best, like when Kukuru gets to see moments with her late parents. So will we get any more of that in this second cour? What can Fuuka do to help Kukuru on her journey? And can we handle any more of the beautiful Okinawan countryside that we see on a regular basis each week?
There’s a lot of directions that The Aquatope on White Sand can go on, just like a lot of past 2-cour P.A Works shows have done. We’ve had new locations, time skips and cast changes. Maybe we’ll get all three of those here in the Fall season.
Komi Can’t Communicate!
Begins: Thursday. October. 07 (October. 21 overseas)
(Available on Netflix)
When the news came out that this show was to go to Netflix, so many of us were very surprised. I’m sure some of the Crunchyroll/Funimation fans got pretty upset as well, considering how much people were looking forward to this adaptation. So just like one other incredibly-hyped show this season (Blue Period), Komi Can’t Communicate! will be a Netflix exclusive.
This is a huge step for them if they genuinely want to seen as a player in the anime streaming scene. The only other show they have ever simulcast is Violet Evergarden, and even that wasn’t able everywhere – the US and Australia had to wait until the show ended in April. In my opinion they have missed out on so many chances to simulcast some great shows: Carole & Tuesday, Kakegurui, Little Witch Academia, Dragon Pilot: Hisone & Masotan…and that’s only the ones I can think of right now. But while Blue Period will be simulcast, Komi Can’t Communicate! will not.
At an elite private high school, Shouko Komi finds herself overwhelmed by people wanting to be her friends; her stoic beauty and elegance has made her stand out immediately. Meanwhile the timid and incredibly average schoolboy Hitohito Tadano is someone who for the most part likes to keep to himself. One day, this all changes when he finds himself alone in a classroom with Komi. There he discovers that there is far more to Komi than people thought. She suffers from extreme social anxiety, and has great trouble communicating to anyone. And so with baby steps, Tadano decides to make it his mission to help her overcome her problem.
This is a story that particularly stands out to me, as I suffered from extreme social anxiety as a high-schooler and college student myself. Studios have made attempts to adapt other stories dealing with main characters with similar problems. While the most famous one would be Watamote, the one that I prefer the most would be Hitoribocchi, a show I reviewed here on Otaku Theater a while back. It’s a show that combines harmless school humor with some more serious and relatable moments, as opposed to Watamote which made the main character’s problems a joke.
I don’t really know that much else about the story of Komi Can‘t Communicate! though. I do notice some reviewers of the manga call out the humor in the show, so I wonder if that will be reflected here in the anime. This has been long-awaited it seems, and while a lot of people will feel somewhat disappointed that Netflix have acquired the license for it, I believe that they are beginning to learn and listen to what anime followers really want, and that is to watch shows as soon as humanly possible.
But Komi Can’t Communicate! won’t quite be a simulcast show like some of us thought. Instead it’ll have a 2-week delay, to cater for creating dubs in various languages (not just English) along with a handful of subtitles. Some followers will be very tempted to torrent this, which I of course will not be doing, and will not be encouraging either. My coverage of the show in the column begins when it starts on Netflix on October. 21, meaning I may also probably be talking about the show going into 2022.
World’s End Harem
Studio: AXsiZ/Studio Gokumi
Begins: Friday. October. 08
(Available on Crunchyroll)
Ohhh, why did I pick this? Curiosity maybe? It may well be that curiosity that will get the better of me when it comes to a show that has already gotten people talking, and not all of them in a positive way.
In the year 2040, Reito Mizuhara decides to go into cryostasis with the hope that there will be development in the future to cure a rare disease he suffers from. When he awakens five years later, he discovers that a highly contagious virus, the Male Killer virus, has wiped out 99.9% of the world’s male population, leaving approximately one million left, most of them in cryostasis themselves. On top of this, Reiko finds out that he is one of the very few people in Japan who have developed a natural immunity to the virus. As a result, he has been ordered to take part in a government program to deal with the world’s population problem. And well, you can kind of make out the rest from there…
While I am expecting most of this show to focus around this ‘population problem’ program that he has to take part in, the more ‘serious’ part of the show will be about how he finds out about the MK virus itself, and where his past girlfriend, Erisa Tachibana, disappeared off to.
You’re still asking why I’d choose a show like this when I could find something a little less ecchi? Well I’ll say that there were three other shows that were on the list, but decided to forego instead. I suppose one question we could all ask ourselves is whether a harem show set in a semi-apocalyptic world would actually translate well on screen. The harem genre already has it pretty bad, with followers calling out more negatives than positives. And so a show with two pretty contrasting genres might well be something followers and critics will jump on straight away. As for me? I want to give this the benefit of doubt. This could be the most cringe-worthy show I’ve watched in a long time, but I won’t know until I find out. I guess that’s the best defense I have for picking this.
Now I want to make one thing clear before I get into this: World’s End Harem will likely be a very ecchi show. This means I’m going to have to be careful with how I talk about each episode, and how I get screencaps for them too; heck, I even had trouble finding decent enough screencaps for this post. I don’t think Crunchyroll would be so foolish as to pick up the license for something that could end up being so controversial, it ends up being axed or dropped (like what happened with Funimation and Interspecies Reviewers). Then again, they did decide to license EX-ARM, so stranger things have happened.
I’m just going to let this run along and see what will happen as each episode goes. Of course if more steamy moments come, I won’t go into them. And if by chance anything does happen and the show will be axed or dropped by either Crunchyroll or Japanese TV networks, then I will find another show to watch instead.
I’m going to regret choosing this. I’m really going to regret it. But I know I definitely won’t say that about the out-of-season show you folks picked for me.
Studio: Studio Kai
(Available on Funimation)
Super Cub came out in the Spring season, and because I had important real-life issues to attend to then, I missed out on this completely. I kicked myself for doing so too, as so many people I know have told me how sweet and wholesome it is.
Koguma is a lone girl living alone with no hobbies or interests. Her life revolves around waking up, making lunch, going to school, going home, and that’s it. It’s only when she sees classmates on motorbikes when she finds something worthwhile to do. And so with her used Honda Super Cub motorbike, she finds some level of freedom, and later on meets some fellow classmates with the same interests.
Super Cub is an iyashikei show at heart, which was the main reason why it ended up appealing to me, and as I said, I kick myself that I missed it in the Spring season. Then again, I had other things that ended up being more important, and anime had to take a back seat. I’m really looking forward to watching this on an episode-by-episode basis. It’s a show that, as I understand, was a bit of a sleeper release; season 5 of My Hero Academia and To Your Eternity caught peoples’ eyes more, I think.
Alright, let’s go. One continuing show, one Netflix show, one iyashikei show I missed out on, and one risqué harem show that might be awkward to talk about at some points. 2021 has already been a turbulent year for me when it comes to watching anime, and if the shows I picked are anything to go by, I might as well end the year with a bang.