52 Anime in 52 Weeks: January

An anime from start to finish every week is a deceptively simple anime challenge. The deception lies in simplicity. My week starts on a Wednesday and ends on the following Tuesday. So I keep telling myself I have time and then I blink and it is Monday. Here is how the first 4 weeks of the 52-week challenge went for me. 

Week 1: 5th – 11th January

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou - 13

For the first week of the 52 in 52 anime challenge, I rewatched Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest). Season 2 was set to be released on the 13th of January, and I wanted to refresh my memory of all of the key events. 

There were a few key aspects that I had forgotten about this anime, including character names. I do still support Yue as the main love interest for our main character, Hajime. I had forgotten that the bunny girl, Shea, is basically a walking, talking sex joke waiting to happen. I do still enjoy the antics of the dragon, Tio. The CGI animation for the ‘boss-battles’ still makes me want to cry at how hard they are to watch. But overall, I am now used to the animation style, and for most of the anime, it is not bad. The rewatch left me expectant for season 2. I was really glad that I had completed the rewatch and that season 2 had picked up as if there had been no pause. 

Week 2: 12th – 18th January

Megalo Box Anime challenge

For the second week of the challenge, I took on Megalo Box, both seasons one and two. It should not have been an issue with only 26 episodes between them. However, I procrastinated watching it. I completed Season 1 by the 18th. I watched Season 2 on the 19th. So I am going to consider this a success, although also a cheated success. 

I love the music in this; it fits the narrative and the tone perfectly. Once I actually sat down and made the effort to watch it, I really enjoyed it. It fully expresses the down, the out, and the forgotten. I love that the whole thing felt plausible. Nearing the end of season 1, I was asking why there was a season 2. I was quite happy with the way season 1 wrapped up. I was sad that Yuri had removed his gear (I understand why) and how he was, in the end, felt somewhat unfair, but he seemed content.

For a brief moment, Season 2 had me thinking we were following another character. Then my brain kicked in. Joe had really grown up since season one. Season one ended on a high note, so what happened? This season was definitely more about redemption and acceptance than boxing. The depiction of the past events made me sad. From the ages of the characters, I tried to figure out what the timeline was. At points, I thought 5 years had passed and then I thought 7. I was trying to figure out the character’s ages too. Figuring out the ages also distracted me from the series a tad. Overall, I really enjoyed the full story of season two.Watching an older cast with a different story angle was nice too. Yes, boxing was still included, but the anime proved to be about much more than punching. 

If I had known that this series was much more than boxing, I would have watched it ages ago. I do want to know, though, why, whenever you look for images from this anime, it is basically one screenshot across the board, Joe with his gear? If I had seen various screenshots, I would probably have picked this up sooner.

Week 3: 19th – 25th January

Saga of Tanya the Evil (Youjo Senki) - S01E04.mkv_snapshot_10.18.682

Week 3 was meant to be 4 seasons and a special episode of the anime Working!! However, as I was about to start the announcement posts and watch the anime, the power went out. Le fiance then took out his laptop and searched for an anime to watch, Saga of Tanya the Evil. I knew I had this on my planned list of 52 anime for this challenge. So now week 3 has me watching Youjo Senki season 1, the movie and the seasonals. 

If Tanya stopped scheming, she would probably have an easier time. I had forgotten so many of the details in this anime. I am glad I rewatched it and had a refresher. The special episodes were cute to watch. I did get distracted during the movie, though. I am having a tough time deciding whether the movie was an expansion of what happened in the light novel or what is to come in season 2. Or if it was just to generate interest, since it does touch on the daughter who had gifted the gun-no, I do not know her name.

I do feel bad for Tanya, and I admire her stubborn resolve. Being X also makes it fascinating to see how far he is willing to go to get Tanya to admit defeat. Although, I do feel sorry for all of the other people who are getting involved in their business. But to be fair, the country was already at war before she got there. She just unintentionally helped lead the way to get the world involved. 

Week 4: 26th January – 1st February

Week 4 I unoficially took on the anime Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun (Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun). This made it my second sports anime for the month of January. I had watched this before but had not completed it. I finally managed to watch all 12 episodes. This is more a slice of life than sports, in my opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this. I took on this particular anime and did not announce it because I had joined my mother and her aunts on holiday and had very little access to the internet for the week. 

Firstly, I need to say, I adore the chibis and the timing for them was near perfect. I loved the last five minutes of each game we got to watch. I enjoyed seeing Aoyama get serious about the game and put other things out of his mind. The antics of the characters gave me a lot of joy, and with the business of my week, I was glad for a calm and quick anime to watch. 

Musings on the 52 anime in 52 weeks anime challenge:

The past four weeks were fun for me, although it became increasingly obvious I needed to prioritise a couple things. Falling behind and then suddenly binge-reading became the trend way too quickly. I also really fell behind in my Detective Conan challenge. 

Between work starting up again, reconnecting with friends, family responsibilities, and a few unexpected turns in the month, January was intense. Plus, trying to complete this challenge, watch Detective Conan, the weekly releases, and keep on top of reading a book a week and keep on top of all the manga updates, I was spread thin. There was not a single week where nothing happened.

Going forward, I need to plan and really find a rhythm and routine. I also want to tackle more anime that I have not seen, rather than rewatch or watch to complete a series. I am also watching the anime I have on hand rather than finding new titles. In February I want to delve into the romance titles available as well as continue with a sports anime or two. 

Are you joining me in my 52 anime 52 weeks challenge? How is it going for you? I am following the #52anime52 tag on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest and Gettr, if you would like to share your journey with me and others.

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