Welcome, all, again. This is another “initial thoughts” post while I give all the new anime series 2-3 episodes to get themselves in order and on track. Sadly, Black Clover has already fallen off my viewing list. All respect to Mr. Horie, but even his talent couldn’t redeem that cacophony: Asta’s voice just could not be more grating. So, one down. But today I bring you two dark horse candidates, TwoCar and Anime-Gataris. And I say “dark horse” with reason: one is about a sport unknown to many, while the other is about a non-anime watcher’s introduction into anime. Heavy stuff, here.
We’ll begin with TwoCar, which follows a high school’s girls sidecar racing team as they compete with other teams and with each other. So, sidecar racing. . .yes, it’s real. My first introduction came courtesy of the TV program World’s Dumbest, so you can bet that the folks whom I watched were NOT doing it correctly! Anyway, it’s basically racing with a motorcycle that has a sidecar attached, and the driver and passenger must shift their weights in relation to the vehicle and each other in order to provide the best turning, course traction, etc. However, “sidecar” is apparently a very fluid term, as some motorcycles seem to have only variations of a basic platform for the passenger’s use (hence the sport is also called kneeler racing). While this is obviously more dangerous, it also allows for greater flexibility of body placement and thus weight distribution. Again, this is a real thing, as is the Isle of Man TT mentioned in the first episode (a race of roughly 113 miles, thrice around the island’s famous Mountain Course). So, learning. Oh, and it helps the story immensely that the school’s star two-girl team are currently at each other’s throats because of competing crushes on their coach. The same coach who’s already resigned and left to race on the Isle of Man. BAKUON!! this is not. But I’ve got nothing against fast bikes and fistfights, provided I don’t have to personally participate.
Moving on, we have Anime-Gataris, a show about a non-fan’s sudden introduction to anime and its fandom. It seems that as a child, Asagaya Minoa watched a memorable scene in an anime series she’s since forgotten; the school’s Anime Club seeks to jog her memory! So far it’s pretty cute, an effortless watch for easy laughs rooted in instant recognition. Of course, that’s also the danger to this approach–with anime’s growing popularity, curiosity is more prevalent now, making the show’s premise a not uncommon situation IRL. To wit, while the show is fun to watch, isn’t it even more fun to subtly (and good-naturedly!) mess with a real friend as you introduce them to real anime? I’m looking forward to watching our protagonist wade through her viewing list and her new acquaintances, and can’t wait to witness her interpretations of anime’s abundant genres. But the real fun so far is watching this total newbie’s reactions to the classic tropes with which her club assails her! My only fear is that, because this one’s preaching to the proverbial choir, it will probably be all or nothing–either a hilarious romp or a dry and dusty flop. I’ll hope for the first!
*For more about Anime-Garatis, please visit 918thefan.com and see my review in my monthly column, The Wandering Witch: [http://918thefan.com/2017/the-wandering-witch-explores-anime-gataris/]