First Impressions Fall 2020 (Week 1)

Welcome! The Fall 2020 anime season has started, and though I’m only watching about six shows, I’m quite excited and optimistic about what it will bring. Every Monday, I will post my brief thoughts on four seasonal anime series. These are Higurashi, The Journey of Elaina, The Day I became God, and Ikebukuro West Gate Park. This week, the former two are not yet available. So you’ll have to be content with Higurashi and Journey of Elaina for now. Here goes!

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry) (2020)

Episode 1

Warning: Spoilers for the 2006 and 2008 Higurashi anime series

In my opinion, the more the better when it comes to Higurashi. I must have watched the 2006 version a dozen times, and read most of the manga, though that was a while ago. So while my opinion on this first episode is mostly positive, and I want to see more, there were quite a few things I found strange or different.

First of all, it’s a bit puzzling that they use the same voice cast in a complete remake. I appreciated the new voices in Fruits Basket when its remake started last year. That being said, I adore the old cast, and it was great to hear them all acting again. Similarly, the music soundtrack is the same or very similar to the 2006 version.

As for the animation, well, I was expecting something better, but this style is still decent. To be honest, I think things looked much better in Higurashi Kai (2008) and the OVAs Higurashi Rei (2009). This remake is going to lose some viewers because it’s not up to date with what a 2020 anime should look like. Luckily, I don’t really give a damn about that myself.

Finally, a few of the story events were different. I enjoyed this because, after all, the Hinamizawa world has many variations. I missed the card scene, but this variation was funny as well, with Rika’s comeback to Satoko’s trap. After the credits, we see Rika watching the junkyard with glowing reddish eyes. I’m guessing this is the way she’ll be depicted when she is her “other self.” I’m not sure if I like this change, since it makes things too obvious. But my opinion so far, as I stated, is that Higurashi 2020 is enjoyable.

Majo no Tabitabi (The Journey of Elaina)

Episode 1

Well, holy shit. I loved it. With an amazing first episode like this, it’s hard to imagine the show will be ruined by later events, but we shall see. I picked this anime because I love stories like Kino’s Journey where the protagonist travels to new places each episode. And I’ll be damned if I didn’t stumble on something fantastic. The visuals were astounding, with vibrant colors, good CG effects, and a general style of character design that I enjoy.

I didn’t catch much of the music, but I can tell the voice-acting is going to be wonderful as well. Elaina is voiced by Kaede Hondo, who I recognized from Zombieland Saga. The well-known seiyuu talent Kana Hanazawa played Fran the Stardust Witch. There’s already a lot to love in this new anime, including the strong messages of independence and assertivenes shown through Elaina’s mom as well as Fran. This one’s a keeper!

Kami-sama ni Natte Hi (The Day I Became A God)

Episode Not Yet Aired/Available. Check next Monday!

Ikebukuro West Gate Park

Episode Not Yet Aired/Available. Check next Monday!

Thank you so much for reading my work. Come back and visit soon!


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