No. 6 for Sci-Fi (post-apocalyptic), Blast of Tempest for fantasy (in a contemporary setting). Blast has a number of fights early on IIRC, but it’s more a mystery/drama overall. Both are pretty short and complete. Been a while since I watch either, so I’d say look them up for a good plot synopsis and see what you think. I enjoyed both and intend to rewatch them in the near future.
I’m finally getting back into my backlog of Anime/VNs, starting with Classroom of the Elite. I found it to be a decent shakeup to the typical slice of life/rom-com highschool genre. The drama stems from the students being cutthroat in their attempts to advance, and I didn’t feel most of the characters weren’t completely one-dimensional, which is usually a well deserved criticism of these kinds of shows. You can see just about every twist and wrinkle forming a mile away, but from scene to scene the execution of how plot even unfolded kept me entertained. One comedic gag in the “obligatory beach/pool episode” had me rolling pretty good. Overall, it was refreshingly above average as it benefits from the semblance of a plot, although that might not be saying much.
FLCL Progressive. If you recognized my avatar here, you’d guess I’m a fan of the original 2000 series. I’d been putting it off all this time because I was worried about how Progressive and Alternative would turn out. To be honest, FLCL isn’t really a show that needs a sequel of any sort: The original doesn’t have “filler.” It’s exactly as long as it needs to be, and not a minute more. Part of the show’s charm is that break-neck pacing, the cryptic dialogue, its ridiculous presence, premise, presentation, and symbolism. From the various character’s “Bats” (guitars), to the underlying representation of “paths” that Mamimi and Haruko suggest… I could write a book on the original alone. It was among the first true anime I’d seen that wasn’t your typical Sunday cartoon shouen affair. Even now, it’s unique approach remains largely untouched. I remember a strong feeling of accomplishment and closure by the end. I still had questions, but I felt I could determine my own answers with a second, closer look, and so I did.
Where does that leave us with Progressive, then? The question is: “Can Progressive stand alone as a good show in its own right?” I’d say it does… for the most part. Yes, it ditches some of the charm and purposely confusing mystique of the original by actually slowing down to explain certain bits of lore and backstory. Progressive opts to tell a more straightforward story with it’s almost entirely new cast. Although it retains some goofiness, it’s a much more direct approach than before, and I’d say it’s two leads, Hibajiri and Ide were very one note as compared to Naota and Mamimi. It unfortunately boils down to a clunky love story and Haruko as a pointlessly obsessed and power hungry teenager. Again, a major part of the original was that character motivations were very unclear, and you had to piece them together afterwards. That doesn’t happen really happen here: what you see is what you get, primarily. (But then again, nothing ever really happens, does it?)
That being said, Jinyu was an excellent addition, the way her character presents itself is much more in the vein of the original. Her comments on Haruko, and their mutual feelings towards Atomsk, and of course Atomsk himself(itself?), retain the more cryptic and symbolic presentation of the original, just enough to give a small peek behind the curtain without letting you stare too long. That’s pretty much my only major complaint, I think Haruko should have been in more of a cameo role, to keep her mystique intact while also letting someone like Jinyu take her place, giving a different perspective to things like Medical Mechanica and Atomsk. Ultimately, Progressive is a good compliment to the original; funny, entertaining, but slightly unnecessary with a “filler” vibe to it. I’m not complaining, but it didn’t blow my mind for the second time, and I didn’t expect it to. I’ll likely be going into Alternative with the same mindset, although I’m not in any hurry at this point.