My first encounter with Gundam was as a child, in my cousin’s room, admiring his gunpla collection. Years later, I watched my first Gundam anime: Gundam Wing. Yes, I know, but it was amazing when I was 12 because it was Gundam. Ditto for my second Gundam anime, Gundam SEED, which was my introduction to the world of fansubs. It was at this time that I learned that Gundam was a serious series about how bad war was and the human propensity for conflict. And over the last few years, I dug up the UC shows and OVAs and faithfully followed the new shows that arrived. And then I watched Gundam Build Fighters because it was Gundam and it was just what I had to do, even though it was going to suck. Well, what it did instead was suck out everything I’d learned about Gundam over the past decade and brought me back to the foundation of my Gundam fandom: plastic robots are awesome.
The combination of Yowamushi Pedal with all the cycling talk in municipal politics did induce me into picking up a bike of my own. The fact that cycling is something that even a lazy nerd like me can get into is very appealing to me. Of course, the first time I tried cycling downtown and then to campus (about a ten minute ride), I collapsed once I reached the library and I had to lie down on a bench outside because trying to move made me feel nauseous. This makes Onoda’s journey from nerd to cycling nerd all the more impressive. And as we have learned from Yowapeda, cycling nerds are adorable.
Two high school students inadvertently discover a different side of the other than they usually present to the rest of their classmates and now they’re both in on the secret. At first, it’s just fun as they discover more and more about what the other person is really like. This all very naturally segues into a cute romance as the relationship grows. It’s all very nice and fuzzy and funny and adorable—mostly. It’s really easy to forget that the dorky Miyamura that we’ve gotten to know is someone who, when we first meet him, is someone who’s given up on other people. So occasionally, we’re treated to some delving into his past which serves as a reminder of how far he’s come. Like everything else in this manga, it’s not heavy-handed and it all comes together naturally. You really can’t help but feel glad that he’s managed to find a bit of happiness now.
Nagi no Asukara was a pretty show about racism and involved an intricate love polygon. You had your fish people and your land people and MC-kun in love with naive girl who was in love with the land boy who loved the sea and you had MC-kun’s best friend who was in love with the mature girl who was in love with our brash MC. We’d all seen this before, we knew how this was going to go down. Of course, we didn’t and our collective boat sank to the bottom of the ocean, but in its place, I got an amazing to ship to sail on.
Samurai Flamenco is about a model who wants to be a superhero who meets a cop. They become really good friends and fight evil. What exactly evil is changes over the course of the show, but Masayoshi stays the course in his idealism about being a hero while Gotoh is there to bail him out whenever he gets way in over his head. The show as it presents itself at the beginning gives us something fun and interesting enough to be satisfied, but whoever wrote it clearly was not. This show goes places with the force of a rocket headed to Alpha Centauri. But even as we’re hurtling past the stars, the show remembers what’s important: Masayoshi and Gotoh being moe together.