Recently, while watching the latest episodes of the fresh Winter Season of anime, I noticed that I just kept thinking, “This anime is really good, But, if I could change one thing it would be . . .” The thing is, the new anime that I’ve been watching really is very good. The art work has been so pretty, I just want to stare at it for hours. The humor has been so funny, I’ve gotten the giggles long after watching the episode, just thinking about it. Characters so likable I just want to cheer when they are on screen. There’s no doubt, the Winter Season of anime is really, really good! But with each series there’s just one little (at times totally insignificant) thing that I would love to change about the anime. Things that at least in my mind would nudge the series from a really very good anime series to a great anime series. When I talk about one little thing to change, I’m not talking about swapping out the entire cast of characters, or changing the whole setting for the story. What I mean is, if only that character would have done that one little kind gesture, or if only the art work had been just a little different. So for just one day, I’ll take the anime director’s seat, and make one little change in these anime series that (at least for me) would make all the difference!
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale
The anime Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is a sweet story about an aspiring candy artist that is going on a journey to travel across country to attend a candy making competition. Her mother recently died and the main character Anne wants to win the competition in her memory. It’s a dangerous road to get to the competition, so Anne decides that she needs a guard to escort her there. And the best guard money can get is to buy a fairy warrior. The fairy nation was over thrown and enslaved by the humans long ago and now humans control and use them via tearing off one of their wings. Though Anne does save a fairy that was getting stomped to death earlier in the episode, when she goes to buy her guard, she seems to just go along with the status quo. She seems to just accept that the way to work with her new guard is to keep his wing and not give it back until they get to the candy making competition. The one thing I would change about this anime is – Give the flipping fairy wing back! It seems naive to the point of almost being childish that Anne honestly thinks she can be friends with her fairy guard while holding his wing hostage. If she had just given his wing back to him, right at the beginning of the story, she could have still guilted him into being her guard and protecting her along her journey. After all, she had already saved him from that awful fairy seller. The outcome would have been the same, but with less icky kidnappy undertones.
The Tale of Outcasts
The anime The Tale of Outcasts is an Ancient Magus’ Bride-esque fantasy about an orphan girl that meets a demon while she’s begging on a street corner. In general humans can’t see demons, so this demon (Marbas) is quite surprised when the little orphan girl can see him. Little by little they start chatting with each other and the demon becomes a kind of big brother figure for the little girl. One thing leads to another, some bad guys do bad things, and Marbas decides to take the little girl in and see the world with her. I haven’t seen many episodes, but so far it’s a pretty good story, especially if you like the Ancient Magus’ Bride. But there is one little thing that I would change. Though most of the character designs are actually pretty good, particularly the human main characters, but the main demon Marbas, I hate so say it because I’m sure a mangaka worked really hard on designing him, but he kind of looks like someone put the head of a cute cuddly pokemon (like pikachu or eevee) on the body of a tall gentleman. The effect is kind of odd. I’m just not sure what they were trying to express with this character design. Were they trying to make a more anime-ish Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but went a little too kawaii? Did they originally plan on having Marbas be a cute kid demon, but later decided to make the character an adult and aging the character just didn’t work very well? I’m just not sure.
Chilling in My 30’s After Getting Fired from the Demon King’s Army
The anime Chilling in My 30’s is kind of a fantasy slice of life adventure, that is down to Earth enough that most viewers could totally relate to some of the stuff the main character is going through. Much like the title indicates the main character Dariel was a middle manager in the demon king’s army, but one day there was a shift in the leadership path of upper management and Dariel got down sized. Like many people experience when they are let go from their jobs after spending a large portion of their lives in a somewhat successful career, Dariel wandered aimlessly in the woods feeling that he had lost everything. He had even lived in employee housing in the demon king’s army, so he didn’t just lose his job, Dariel lost his home too! Thankfully, after saving a damsel in distress, he is taken in by a friendly village and is encouraged to take up the new career of being an adventurer. This really is a very charming story, and for anyone that has felt a bit underappreciated at work it can be amazingly healing, but there is one little thing that I would have changed. There is maybe a little too much fan service in this anime. This series is by no means extreme in fan service compared to other fantasy/isekai, but it does become a bit annoying after a while. The thing is, the story and characters are so appealing, this series doesn’t need to resort to that kind of tactic to keep the viewers attention.