getting back into anime…or does one ever truly leave?

It’s been a while since I’ve revisited this old haunt. In many ways, the convenience and instant gratification offered by platforms like Twitter have only hastened the dying ancient craft of long-form writing. But I still find great comfort in the solace of putting thought to paper (or thought to keystroke) in a much more sedately manner, in a quieter forum that allows time for contemplation and thoughtful discussion.

At the time when this blog was winding down, I was in the transition of major life changes. And now, nearly five years later from my last substantial post, I find myself entering yet another period of transition. I will be graduating from medical school this coming May. And in less than 13 days, will finally know where I will be training as a resident physician (think trainee-doctor who is fully licensed but not yet able to practice independently yet) this summer. I’m in the twilight period of my medical school education and while I still have a few more elective rotations left under my belt, I am freed from the obligations of intense clinical rotations and boards studying

Which actually means I actually have time for anime again. At least for a little while.

That isn’t to say that I ever really left. Relationships change. We fall in and out of fandoms. Even as a 30-and-some-change adult, I’ve been more comfortable with making anime a part of my regular routine. It is at the very least a weekly if no longer daily ritual.

Some anime I’ve been following this season that have caught my eye and depending on how much free time and energy I have, I may follow up with another post.


You had me at flash grenade ring proposal.

Technically this anime concluded its second season and thus is no longer a current watch but I find myself revisiting episodes frequently. It’s so rare to find an adaptation not only is faithful but also improves on the source material. The manga on its own is a delight to read – but can be sparse in its storytelling. However, the anime gives every little arc its own space to breathe and the chemistry between all members of the Forger Family (spy dad, assassin mum, telepathic daughter, and clairvoyant canine) is harmoniously hilarious and the characters are so charmingly self-effacing that I fell in love with them again and again. I’m so weak for found families and this is a very wholesome and welcome watch.

Welcome to Demon-School! Iruma-kun! (魔入りました! 入間くん)

Speaking of wholesome watches, I’ve also really enjoyed Iruma-kun, which alleviated my fears of outgrowing the school genre, or the well-trodden path of boy-goes-to-a-school-with-students-with-magical-powers. Overshadowed by its edgier, darker cousin My Hero Academia, Iruma-kun can feel almost childish and simplistic in comparison. But it’s not trying to be edgy, epic, or offer extended social commentary on implications of societal outcast demons “returning to origins”, that is, ditching societal niceties and manners to plunge society into anarchic chaos. It’s a story about a human boy who finds himself more at home in a realm of demons than he ever did among his own kind, and how he finds the resolve to do everything he can to stay, even if that means becoming the King of Demons himself.

The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Young Genius Lady (転生王女と天才令嬢の魔法革命)

I haven’t been impressed with a yuri anime since Yurikuma Arashi back in 2015. Do you know how often it is to find an anime that actually treats the LGBTQ+ couple like actual human beings? A depressingly low number. Anisphia and Euphyllia feel and act like real people. They have ambitions and hopes and dreams that are not tethered to their relationship: Anisphia loves magic but is tragically incapable of performing it organically without the aid of a magical tool; Euphyllia is naturally magically gifted but due to a drastic change in social circumstances, becomes ostracized by society and seeks a way to clear her name. Their shared reverence for magical research and their kindred spirits brings them together in a relationship that feels organic and balanced.

Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill (とんでもスキルで異世界放浪メシ)

Isekai has been unanimous with anime for a while now, or at least the modern iteration that we have come to know. It’s a genre that sells and like most capitalist-driven industries, the animation industry has become an isekai factory with studios underpaying animation artists and staff to pump out as many bestsellers without impunity, attention, or care for storytelling quality.

Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for MAPPA (they’re a younger studio, and although they’re now established enough to take part in bigger, more mainstream projects like Attack on Titan Season Maybe Finale, I love that they still have a commitment to try quirkier, off-beat projects, including originals). Campfire is very much your standard isekai but with a twist and a resolute attentiveness to things that many isekai anime tend to skip. While food is a welcomed respite from the drudgery of monster grinding for most isekai, it is the heart of Campfire, which follows the shenanigans of Mukohda, a salaryman with a cooking hobby. Unlike his other summoned compatriots, he’s the only one who has an actual job – the rest are impressionable, eager high school students who fail to see what the summons actually is – a draft by a king with unquestionably dubious motives. Mukohda, like any sensible working adult, can smell a bad deal a mile away and hightails it out of court and country as fast as he can before getting roped into sociopolitical bullshit and warmongering propaganda he has absolutely no interest in and is content to cook his way through his travels and live a simple but comfortable life, a goal aided by the power of Amazon Fresh. Although I have a suspicion that his efforts to stay incognito will ultimately be in vain–you can’t make a 5-star-meal out of orc carcasses in the wilderness and not gain some sort of reputation–the unhurried pace of the narrative as well as the extensive food porn, are things to be savored.

5 thoughts on “getting back into anime…or does one ever truly leave?

  1. Congrats on (almost) finishing med school! That’s a huge accomplishment. I also gave up on a lot of TV when I went through grad school to become a teacher — it was odd to come back to it but definitely felt nice to have free time for it again. Wishing you the best of luck with your final months and your upcoming residency!


    1. Thank you! I definitely felt some dissonance returning to it again but yes, it’s lovely to just enjoy the storytelling and think about something for the pleasure of it, and not for an assignment.


    1. I have really missed long-form writing. The process of transforming impressions and thoughts into a record I can look back on and see “ah, this is how I felt” – it’s so satisfying.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry, just finally read your more recent word here. I hope I haven’t been too naggy on that Magi post thread LMAO

    Congrats!!! :)) I wish you all the best in real life!


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