The long arduous journey of Okabe Rintaro and the dire consequences of time travel has been the focal point of the original Steins;Gate, and later revisited in this year’s Steins;Gate 0. Through the exploration of the beta world line, where Okabe fails to save Kurisu Makise from death, the latest anime goes to deep, dark places before a ray of hope emerges for our tortured hero. It has been quite the trip in Steins;Gate 0, which recently aired its final episode for the series.
As the last remnants of summer fades away and autumn gracefully appears in all of her magnificent and colorful splendor, the days have been growing shorter, the rhythms of life relaxing into a steady hum of regular schedules and routines. September and October tends to feel like the calm before the rush of holiday obligations and preparations that come right after them. Summer has been a particularly busy time for me this year with vacations, trying new things for the first time, and entertaining myself with Netflix or games that caught my attention based on my mood at any given time. To give summer a proper sendoff, here are just some of what I’ve been busy with in the last few months.
With the advent of streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, summer has been the prime time to watch shows and movies during those months when major network shows are on break until the new season starts up again in September. Even though there’s now an overwhelming amount of options of shows and movies to add to our watch lists, I do like the accessibility and ease streaming sites give us to watch very specific genres at any time. This particularly applies to anime, and I’ve been using much of my summer to watch a handful in the past few months.
The recent release of the anime Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, the sequel to the beloved Cardcaptor Sakura series, has been a delight to watch from episode to episode. Clear Card has so far managed to effortlessly build upon what’s already established about the world and its characters, while giving fans a whole new story about gathering a new set of cards without it feeling contrived. The strength of the sequel lies mostly with its charming characters, both new and old, and continuing their development from where we last left them. One of the best ongoing character developments since Clear Card’s debut is Syaoran Li.
The year has been good for anime so far. Thanks to making a recent decision to upgrade to a paid Crunchyroll subscription, I’ve been able to take advantage of the many new series being simulcast with the Japanese broadcast. I watched or added a few series to my queue list, like How To Keep A Mummy and Persona 5. In addition to new anime, it has also been the year of sequels to beloved original series that have ended many years ago. Among those sequels have been Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card and the newly released Steins;Gate 0.
Every once in a while you’ll stumble upon an anime series completely by accident. Sometimes you won’t have much of a premise to go on other than some short clips from episodes you saw on your social media feed. It’s not often that I’ll choose to spend time watching an anime I know nothing about. But with a combination of select scenes being promoted on social media to having an overall weakness for anything cute and adorable, I spent one weekend afternoon watching How To Keep A Mummy and it’s the surprise gem of the year so far.
The year 2000 concluded the story of ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto’s journey to capture the magical and mysterious Clow Cards and seal them back in the book she opened in her basement with the guardian of the cards Cerberus (Kero) guiding her along the way. CLAMP’s delightful Cardcaptor Sakura manga, from which the anime is based on, has enchanted fans all over since its release in 1996. Now almost 18 years later, CLAMP reopens the Clow Book once more in their new manga series Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card with a brand new anime to naturally go with it.
The anime Yuri!!! On Ice, about a Japanese ice skater named Yuri Katsuki, who is at a crossroads in his life after facing a crushing defeat during the Grand Prix Final, and the renown Russian figure skater Victor Nikiforov, who is inspired to be Yuri’s coach after seeing secretly recorded footage of Yuri skating in the rink, has been the runaway hit series of 2016. It’s also one of the rarer anime series to prominently feature a positive same-sex relationship between two men. I had the pleasure of finally finishing all 12-episodes of Yuri recently on Crunchyroll, and I’m definitely excited for more of this delightful show. Whenever Yuri comes back for a Season 2, there’s a number of things I hope to see in the new season. There will be some light spoilers about the anime, so read at your own risk.