Think there’s a daunting number of homegrown shows to watch this season? Pfft. Try sifting through the tidal wave of anime rolling along for Fall 2016. Or better yet–don’t. That’s our job. We’ve already suggested a few choice cuts for this time of year, but these titles are specifically some of the most promising of FUNimaion’s next slate of “SimulDubs.” If you like watching your anime in English, and the sooner the better, then you’ve got a lot to be excited about with this set. Look ’em over. Consider your options. And happy streaming!
Many “quarter life crises” are marked with regrets, and wistful wishes of what one might do differently (if, say, living high school over again were actually an option). Here, a 27-year-old does get to live that out. Well, to a degree. This isn’t a time travel story. Our aimless lead agrees to participate in the titular ReLIFE experiment after he quits an un-fulfilling job, and his wealth of free times gains an even greater surplus, because the procedure “de-ages” him a solid ten years. At 17 again, the guy promptly re-enrolls in high school. But can he get it right this time?
While this basic premise has been a familiar one since at least the days of Peggy Sue Got Married, what’s interesting about this take is that the twist of fate actually has an outside organizer. If a third party examined your life, could they pinpoint the precise moment it went wrong? Or chart the degrees by which you started drifting beneath your potential? Such deep existential questions look to be explored with real humanistic warmth in this fun sci-fi dramedy.
Izetta, the Last Witch
An alternate history! Royals on the run! Witches at war! This shows interjects a whole hierarchy of high fantasy into the antebellum years leading toward WWII, starting with a tense crisscross of conflict between the nations of Brittania, Germania, and Elystadt. The princess of the third country is reluctantly due to marry the prince of the first so their nations can ally against the second’s warmongering fiends. However, the Germanians are always eager to strike first, so the princess needs rescuing from the get-go. And who comes to save her but the young sorceress for whom this series is named?
To distill the specific style of fancy that’s flying here, let’s simply state that Izetta’s magic broom is actually a rifle she rides on. And the witch is quite trigger happy while in the air. Yes, it’s that kind of alternate history. Oh, yes.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
No. The hepcat with the groovy shades and the wild, pink ‘do in the promo image above is not, in fact, the Mad Mod. As you might’ve surmised from the title, his name is Kusuo Saiki, and his predicament is perhaps the opposite of One Punch Man’s–and all superhumans with a secret identity, really. Despite being born with every kind of spectacular psychic power you can think of (telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation… you name it) young Saiki just wants to keep a low-profile and live as normal of a life as he can.
Indeed, there’s an almost Kafka-esque quality to his dilemma, since the high-schooler goes to comically awkward lengths to keep his abilities under wraps. He reads people’s mind, but only so he can figure out how to avoid confrontation with them. He keeps the spiffy shades on at all times because his direct gaze will turn others to stone. And he wears the dorky antenna to dampen his constantly ramping power. On top of all that, he has a mean older brother, and their rivalry actually revolves around who has more super powers. Never have a metahuman’s psychological complexes had such comical… complexity.