Chihayafuru is back!! also these animes are airing!!!!
God I love this anime. I've watched the episodes that are out multiple times. It's thematically and visually lush and inventive, it's fun and every character is so good. UGGG
It's Orange, the 3DCG studio that made Land of the Lustrous, working off of a manga I haven't read but I'm gonna read it now Lol.
It's about a high school in a society of anthropomorphic animals, and starts off with the murder of a herbivore by a carnivore. It starts by alternating between a gothic horror mood and a surprisingly cheery romance. Leads are shy but powerful wolf, and a rabbit who's been slut shamed into being an outcast.
The mangaka calls Beastars a human drama with animal actors and that's a good way to approach it.
In LotL Orange took an approach of starting scenes with the 3D character models in mind and filling in the rest with 2D art, and they've done an even better job this time. There's a ton of incredibly cool lighting and reflection effects, applied in a way that's engrossing instead of distracting. Anytime they pull off a split screen I freak out. UGG GOOD ANIME GIVE IT A SHOT
Unfortunately it's stuck in Netflix jail, you can only watch it by grabbing the fan subs. I'll post when they put it all up at once.
Blade of the Immortal
New adaptation of a long running samurai revenge manga, about an immortal swordsman who can piece his body back together, leading to tons of bloody sword fights where his limbs get hacked to pieces lol. I haven't read the manga but it's apparently going through it really fast, yet it's not hard to follow and it's still super stylish. It's cool, if you're down with something just wildly bloody.
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
There are billions of these another world (or isekai) series, and this is far from the first parody one, but I like it. It's carried almost entirely by the main character, a goddess who summons a hero who is like, exactly what the title says. He's overpowered but cautious. He uses end game magic on slimes in the starting area. The goddess sees this and makes funny faces and yells. Like really funny faces. It's a good bit.
It gets more grim than you would expect, which is a weird layer behind the gag that I like but I feel it works. I feel I should warn tho lol
The first episode of Stars Align plays something of a trick. It lulls you into a well made standard sports story before getting progressively darker, then ends with a shocking scene that kinda pulled my heart out. I'm not gonna be coy, it's a domestic violence scene, but I think it's trying to get to a point about people hiding pain inside themselves that I think will work in the long run.
Anyway, I do think I'm hooked. It's got this soft feel to the characters that contrasts with the pointy drama, and the sport (soft tennis) is weird in a way that informs the characters. I love sports anime and I think the show gets why people like sports anime so much, and it's using that to upend expectations.
I have a feeling that the show might piss me off in the end, but it'll be show worth getting mad about.