Tag Archives: First Watch

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: “The Strongest Maid in History, Tohru! (Well, She is a Dragon)” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Dragons are some of the most powerful mythological beasts ever imagined; they are gigantic creatures that breathe fire and have strong scales. Whether depicted in movies or video games, they are massive beings that are not to be trifled with. In today’s anime, things are slightly different. The dragon in this anime is still powerful and can bring destruction down on people, but she can also transform into a human maid with horns and a tail. Instead of an expressionless demeanor and urge to attack anyone that comes close, she instead has fallen in love with a human girl. And, of course, she has a ginormous rack. All in all, it could be worse.

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Onihei: “Tanbei of Chigashira” (Season 1, Episode 1)

I have always been interested in samurai. There is something about being able to wield a sword that is so satisfying to see. Of course, in today’s world carrying a sword looks more foolish than anything, but in feudal Japan, not only were swords a part of everyday life but they were taken seriously and a skillful sword-wielder was highly valued and for a time was looked up to.

Series like Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Champloo show us the fascinating tales that samurai could have. Sure, it is not realistic, but it was fascinating to see the world and people interacting with each other in that era. A good samurai show has not come along in a while, so when I started watching Onihei, I thought about the possibilities of a series on the level of Rurouni Kenshin making a comeback. So is Onihei that show?

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Powerless: “Wayne or Lose” (Season 1, Episode 1)

The Marvel and DC universes have expanded into the territory of television with several small incursions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.DLuciferLegion, Legends of Tomorrow, and Gotham have either been off-beat explorations into well-known properties or original perspectives on well-established universes. The thing is, though, all of these shows have stayed within a few degrees of their original genre. Even Preacher, which adds a tinge of what I refer to as the “AMC quality” (some perfect blend of drama and action, character study and story arc),  keeps to the dramatic side of the genre-spectrum. While I’ve personally been a fan of the more comedic comics, a la iZombie, they are a rare find on television. DC has found a way to add to it.

Here’s a show I’ve never mentioned in the same paragraph as a DC property: Better Off Ted. The offbeat, nearly fantastical series that’s on every Netflix Top 50 list worth its salt seems to have inspired the newest DC entry. Powerless is a straight-up comedy that takes place in one of Bruce Wayne’s companies that attempts to improve people’s lives through technology. Alright, the plots are similar, but what else could they share? The art direction, the writing, and the general tone of the series were all so similar, I spent twenty minutes trying to find shared producers and writers. There were none.

Better Off Ted has been a favorite of ours at Tonight’s Watch, which puts Powerless between a soft spot in my heart and a hard place in my criticism. Will it measure up and go a full two seasons without getting axed, or Ben Queen’s fourth series be Powerless to stop it?

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Santa Clarita Diet: “So Then a Bat or a Monkey” (Season 1, Episode 1)

A lot has changed since the virulent strain of zombie media first made the leap from movies to the small screen, but we are nearly a decade in from day zero of the zombie apocalypse and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to find the cure any time soon.

In the early days of The Walking Dead, there was nothing quite like it. Viewers being able to spend more than two hours with the protagonists before they either succumbed to the zombie horde or found a way to live peacefully with their zombie best friend for the rest of their days? Who wouldn’t be compelled to see average human beings struggle against the living dead and continuously persevere? There have been a handful of shows that have tried to pry the baton from The Walking Dead‘s hands (including a spin-off), but like the creatures it is named after—the show continues to trudge along, even after it had been pronounced dead by many professionals. So, while the zombie copycats might have stopped rising from the pile of dead ideas in the last few years, the virus has mutated in ways that we might not have thought possible in the early days of the outbreak.

The zombie mutagen has transformed into everything from zombie medical examiner to zombies dealing with racism to whatever it was Z Nation was, and now? Now, we’ve got a small suburban family trying to stick together while mom has developed an insatiable hunger for human flesh and the delicious, meaty organs that lie beneath.
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Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Season 1, Episode 1)

Ever been fat? Made fun of for being fat? Maybe want to get some revenge by getting jacked and showing those people how good looking and awesome you are? Or maybe a crush dissed you when you were fat and you want to show them how hot you can truly be? Well, have I got the anime for you.

Lets face it, we have all at one point thought about bettering ourselves in order to get revenge on those that ridiculed us and made us feel terrible. The problem with these scenarios is that our emotions tend to change after a while. Maybe we are motivated for a time, but we either lose interest or the situation changes. In the world of anime, however, we can see someone take that sweet revenge that we all yearned for at one point. This is Masamune-kun’s Revenge.

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One Day at a Time : “This Is It” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Reboots are in fashion. It’s quite possible the machine that consumes existing novels and plays for the small screen has run out of fodder and is beginning to cannibalize its most successful excrement. Okay, it’s more than possible. It’s likely.

This isn’t meant to disparage the art of adaptation, though. Television tends to mirror society, and society tends to repeat itself in cycles; in short, television has its own cycles. One Day at a Time addressed the issues of its time by exploring the challenges a single mother faces in the only tone that would be palatable to middle America: comedy. One Day at a  Time—currently—throws race into the mix of issues to address by writing the family as Cuban. As far as television goes, this counts as progress. Progress, at any rate, is a good thing even if it is only coming One Day at a Time.

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Little Witch Academia: “A New Beginning” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Little Witch Academia has had a bit of a history. It originally was an animated short that was shown in Japanese theaters in 2013 before finding its way to YouTube. It was popular enough to get a Kickstarter to release a sequel in 2015, this time titled Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. The series also saw two manga releases in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Now here we are at long last with its most anticipated anime debut. How does it fare?

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