Recently at UFC 274, new #1 contender Charles Oliveira called out Conor McGregor to compete for the vacant lightweight title after losing his title due to not weighing in at the proper weight. I understand that Oliveira is chasing the PPV dollars that come from challenging The Champ Champ, but in the long run of his career, it is a big mistake. In my opinion, Oliveira would be killed if he stepped into the octagon with McGregor due to one key factor. This factor is Oliveira’s terrible eyesight. Oliveira is a world-class level fighter, only being relinquished from his title due to missing weight, however, one thing that not many fans may know is that Oliveira must wear glasses outside of the ring due to his compartmentalized vision. This obviously affects him in the octagon, as he cannot wear glasses. Against most of his other opponents, this hasn’t jeopardized his career entirely, however, we have seen Oliveira be grounded by pure strikes like in the Gaethje fight where he got dropped by a nice uppercut. Against McGregor, a striking genius, Oliveria would be down and out in the first round; of my life. I believe that Oliveira’s jiu-jitsu gives him a chance, but McGregor’s takedown, defense and range would really restrict his game to only haphazard striking, which is not the optimal plan of attack against a world-class striker. For these reasons, I believe Charles Oliveira should not have called out Conor McGregor, but regardless it’s impossible to know until the fight happens, so until then, we’ll see.
Many anime in the anime world tend to be boring, or just plain in some way; it’s a seemingly unexplainable phenomenon that separates great anime from the boring ones. If I had to describe what made this separation, I would describe it as the overall vibe. A perfect example of an anime that is great despite lacking a super intriguing story that draws you in is Space Dandy, an anime I’ve recommended before and an anime I’ll recommend again. It’s one of Shinichiro Watanabe’s masterpieces, in my opinion, creating a perfect ambiance with a mixture of charismatic characters and unique settings. Space Dandy is also accompanied by a masterpiece of a disco soundtrack and unparalleled animation. The show is above all else, consistent with its entertaining environment, continually drawing in the viewer despite lacking an incredibly unique or special plotline. Space Dandy is an anime that holds a special place in my heart and I should hope that everybody that watches a decent amount of anime will have watched it.
Noragami is an incredible show that is shrouded in the world of Gods, Demons, Human Souls, and living Humans. This anime follows a trio of eccentric people, one, is a girl who discovered the world of souls, demons, and gods through an accident and was helped by the other two men in the trio. The other men are a fighting duo, a fighter, who is a god known as Yato, and his Regalia (weapon), Yukine, who is a lost human soul. The show consists of excellent fight scenes, the discovery of mysterious and forgotten pasts, and fictional mythology. I would definitely recommend this show to somebody who has watched a decent amount of anime.
Assassination Classroom is a show that drops the viewer into a unique classroom, one where the students, known as academic failures, are tasked with the job of killing their extraterrestrial teacher. Their teacher known as Koro-Sensei encourages them to kill him as well as further their education and physicality, as many normal teachers would do. Killing Koro-Sensei is no easy task as he is an alien that can move faster than the speed of light, fly, and even become an indestructible ball for 24 hours. This anime follows the teacher and students as they mature, grow a relationship, and become deadly assassins. I would recommend this show to anybody that enjoys anime, or any newcomer to anime. It perfectly combines comedy, intensity, and strong emotion, definitely a must-watch.
In the anime world, new anime can be hit or miss. Regardless of the title or studio a new anime with a large budget can crumble and burn, like anime such as Gundress, or Berserk (the newer version). The spring 2022 anime season is looking a little dismal, with most of its new anime looking generic and unentertaining, however, I do believe some of the new anime coming out will be great.
Spy x Family
Spy x Family follows an interesting man who’s especially good at his job. Based off of the title of the anime, you could probably guess this occupation he was practically made for, is being a spy. This spy who possesses an incomparable intellect for the nature of his job, is emotionally inept, thus making the show intriguing when the man is tasked to make a believable family infiltrate a school in a few weeks. This light-hearted show has shown elements of action, comedy, and entertaining psychology, as well as just being all-around entertaining. Only 3 episodes have been released so far but the show is invigorating, making me wait on the edge of my seat to see the next episodes. I believe this anime will be a big one.
Tomodachi Game is a manga series being adapted into anime, and just like Spy x Family, the manga is very well renowned. Tomodachi Game is a survival anime that has a psychological thriller genre. In this anime, 5 friends are thrown into a game that involves trading and paying back debt. With the topic of debt, the friendships are being held together by a thread, and the point of the game is to ruin their friendships. The anime has shown great elements of intensity, but also some moments were a little odd. Im excited to see what this anime has in store, and I hope it’s not ruined by bad story writing and bad animation.
Mob Psycho 100
This Anime is a classic. If somebody were to ask me “What anime should I watch?” and I knew they were new to anime, Mob Psycho 100 is one of the first anime I would think of. It should be one of the first anime that a new anime watcher should see. It has a funny, upbeat, yet deep, and meaningful story as well as unique and awe-inspiring animation. It has a plethora of characters that represent many walks of life, and many types of people. This show about a talented young Esper is incredibly entertaining, and it brings up big issues with the perception of oneself. Mob despite his talent and power, is timid and bullied, because he is different. This show has spirits, curses, and more espers. I would absolutely recommend this show to anyone who hasn’t seen it.
Magi is another anime I would recommend to anyone. It’s a fantasy anime with dungeons and djinns. Dungeon Capturers attempt to get through dangerous dungeons to gain access to the power of djinns. Djinns are massive magical beings that are kept with metal vessels on the dungeon capturers body and giving them magical powers. This series is split into three shows, all of which are incredibly creative and enticing. Magi perfectly uses magic powers, overpowered characters, and war politics to create a cohesive and congenial anime.
Other than rewatching and still going through Hunter x Hunter and One Piece, I have been pretty invigorated in anime. Although the subculture has not been filled with the best new anime this year, I am finding shows that I am loving. Some of these shows might not be for everybody but they are all unique and great in their own way.
Ranking of Kings
This anime from 2021 is special. It follows a decently simple design with its fable format. This anime is made to resonate with real-world emotions and difficulties that many may face such as depression and hopelessness. It opens up the world to disabilities and the difficulties of trying to work around them. The protagonist in this story Bojji is both deaf and mute, as well as is especially weak in a world sanctioned by power. Despite his setbacks in life he decides to work to become the best version of himself. This feel-good story is accompanied by a unique animation style that is enticing to the highest degree. The show has not ended yet but I am highly anticipating the finale.
Hajime No Ippo
This anime is a story of a rising superstar. A hard-hitting boxing talent is known as Ippo Makuonochi, and his journey to the Flyweight Title of Japan. This show is made for fans of boxing, bringing in-depth details of fighting, training, and experience in the fighting world. It’s a feel-good anime with an almost dangerously optimistic outlook on brain damage in the sport (until it’s explored at the end of the second season). I personally enjoyed this anime because of the evolutions the characters go through. The anime and the sport are both about harnessing talent and power to become something unintelligible. I would definitely recommend this anime to anybody that is a fan of boxing.
Space Dandy, although not being a show that I’ve recently seen, it is something that I feel I must recommend. This show follows a classic blueprint similar to that of Cowboy Bebop, where a group of three eccentric characters travels through space collecting aliens from around the galaxy. This layout can feel overdone or boring to some, however, I don’t believe this to be an anime based on its plot, but rather on its animation. Every episode is created with a different director, writer, animation director, and storyboard director. This show about “A dandy guy in space” became grounds for many animators to build careers for themselves in the anime/manga world. This mysterious show about mysterious characters makes you ask questions with seemingly no answer other than weird space jibber-jabber, but every episode still finds its way to leave a viewer incredibly satisfied with the 20 minutes they spent watching an episode. The show is fantastic and I recommend it to anybody and everybody (I also recommend not skip the intro song as it is fire.
When many are told to think of sports that need extreme technicality, many people’s first thoughts would go to sports like golf, fencing, or F1 racing, however, my first and undisputed choice would be MMA. It is most definitely the most technical sport in the world, requiring multiple Olympic skills as well as multiple martial arts that can take years to learn. MMA doesn’t necessarily require profession in every single useful style of combat, but to stand a chance in an octagon, one must have mastery of some striking technique as well as a grappling technique. If a person enters the cage with a heavy background in wrestling and is completely lacking in defense and striking technique, they’re most likely leaving the cage with some fractured facial bones. The thing is, is that this would be the most likely outcome, but in a fight, nothing can be predicted. If the wrestler who only focuses on his wrestling is able to take down his opponent successfully he has a chance. If he lands a few punches in the ground and pound, as well as tiring his opponent on the ground, he has an even greater chance of submitting his opponent. MMA can go any way, it is a constant game of chess where every movement changes the possibilities of the match. One bad movement, with bad defense, while a fighter is fatigued can end a fight in a moment, but that’s only if they get caught in their blunder. This makes MMA a technical sport, however, if you want to make it more technical with advanced striking techniques like creating efficient combos where no movement is wasted, connecting the ending of one punch or kick, with the starting movement of your next strike, as well as taking into account the reaction and movement of the opponent. Things such as feints and reactions to feints can’t go unnoticed. Sharp observers and champions such as Isreal Adesanya and Sean O’Malley are masters of taking advantage of their opponent’s reactions and body language, while more instinctual fighters such as Kevin Holland, Jon Jones, and Jose Aldo are great at taking advantage of their opponents in quick thinking exchanges. It’s a brutal yet beautiful sport, that perfectly ties together technicality and intensity.
Anime is something that represents all walks of life, from sports players to everyday salarymen, everybody has some representation in this animated world. This connection that people can make to the characters in the anime allows for a deeper viewing experience. One genre of anime known as Isekai follows a normal everyday person as they are transported into fantasy worlds with magic and magical beasts. This list will be my top 3 Isekai anime that I think everybody should watch.
(Picture not included because WordPress sucks)
This anime follows a shut-in boy to a new world where he is proficient in magic. This visually stunning and comedy-packed show is meant for a viewer that can resonate with the immaturity shown as well as more serious realizations that were made by the characters. This show seems to go deeper into the psychology of the protagonist Rudeus Greyrat than other Isekai’s I have watched. This interesting aspect of the show as well as the complex world and characters that are introduced create a fantastic anime, worthy of my #1 ranking for animes made in 2021.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
The classic Isekai anime usually shows a character or a few characters transported to another world with their newfound talents and special affinities; Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash is different. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash takes a new and unique view on the anime, with the characters facing a world of magic and monsters with a realistic sense of fear and gore. The characters in this show all wake up in a haze and are asked to join the Reverse Army, where they kill monsters and get paid. The strongest people all team up together leaving several weak and fearful men and women to make a lousy team. This team does their best to persevere in such an unforgiving world, and this unique perspective of the Isekai makes it especially intriguing. (Also most definitely not a children’s show due to the gore … and the sexual implications)
The Rising of the Shield Hero
The Rising of the Shield Hero is another excellent anime, falling into a similar category of Isekai as Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash. This show also takes a unique perspective of the Isekai genre where (without giving too much away) the protagonist of the show is scapegoated in a community he was summoned into supposedly as a “Hero.” This show attempts to teach a lesson to the viewer, to never give up, especially in the face of adversity. The main hero of the show has nothing to keep him going, so he relies on the power of spite to fuel himself. This oppressed man wants to prove that he is the strongest and most useful hero to spite those who deceived him into a downfall of public standing. This interesting mindset allows the hero to cut corners in some areas where others that call themselves heroes would have to tread lightly. The Rising of the Shield Hero is an incredibly unique anime that is sure to entertain most viewers.
Underrated is probably a gross overstatement. Most of these animes can be found near the top of the MyAnimeList charts, but I still notice that not a lot of the people I know who watch anime have not seen these. And should most definitely see these as they are far better than some of the Sword Art Online’s of the world that preside near the top of MAL charts.
Starting with the only anime that has ever got me to sit through a single one-hour episode, let alone ten of them. Hellsing: Ultimate is an adaptation of an older anime called Hellsing. The show has all the same characters and even has the same start to the plot. However, this anime is a world of difference. First of all, the animation and art style are so nice. Everything about it is so clean and fits the general vibe of the show so well. Not only that, but it has some of my favorite characters in all of anime: Alucard, the first Vampire ever born, and Lady Hellsing, the leader of the organization and the coolest female character ever. She is the hottest and only hot British person ever. Add that to one of the only good Dubs in anime and you’ve got a certified slapper. I’m not gonna tell you how the plot unfolds, but it is a beautifully drawn anime with a great plot and characters. If you’ve seen the original Hellsing and it deterred you from Ultimate I fully encourage you to watch it, it is a completely different level of quality.
Afro Samurai is one of the shorter animes I’ve seen and easily one of my favorites. Even though it isn’t ranked high on my list, it is easily the anime I have re-watched the most and the only anime I’ve ever watched in one sitting. This anime has everything. Compelling storyline and Villains? Check. A great main character and comedic relief? Check. I mean it’s all about one headband but somehow it’s one of the most complex storylines with a great backstory and fight scenes. And it has Samuel L. Jackson. What more do I need to say. If you haven’t seen it yet or are just getting into anime, this is the one to watch.
Another is an anime that I rarely ever hear about. It definitely is one of the more peculiar horror animes I’ve seen and honestly has quite an interesting storyline. This kid goes to a middle school in which there is a curse, one that he reactivates on accident. The show basically follows him trying to figure out what the hell is going on or even what the hell he did wrong even though he’s the only one in the class who is morally right. The whole show and the plot are great in my opinion. The art is very nice and it is overall just a clean anime. It doesn’t shoot for more than it’s capable of and it doesn’t suffer from an underdeveloped plot. I would definitely watch this if you have Crunchyroll.
Terror In Resonance was a very refreshing anime for me. I had been on a streak of pretty mediocre shows and I had finally stumbled onto this one which I had been continuously told was very good. So I watched it and it still stands as one of my favorite animes ever. Every character fits into the show perfectly. The plot unfolds seamlessly. It is a very dark and very real anime. It actually caused me to think about my life a little after I watched it. Terror In Resonance is a beautiful anime, if you haven’t seen it, you are missing out on the best short-length anime ever made.
I ate the chip.
If you have no clue what I am talking about, you probably aren’t put on. It’s cool though, I’ll put you on. Last week I wrote a blog that laid out the chip challenge I orchestrated for my podcast which you can read here: ( https://ovsjournalists.com/2022/02/08/pre-chip-journal/ ).
My Pre-Chip Journal was full of joy, wonder, excitement for the journey I was about to embark on. I had a ton of ideas that were good in theory: many wheels, games, tests, goofs, and gaffes. Some worked some didn’t. We spun the first wheels and ate the chips in the order decided upon by the wheels. The problem arose when we went to play feud before our next wheel. We staggered our chip eating times, my co-host ate, 30 seconds later the editor ate, and 30 seconds later I ate. This led to my co-host being in a hiccup fit when I began playing. My tonsils and ears started burning, I felt my cartilage melting like some sort of Ear Nose Throat doctor’s office diagram-shaped candle. All concerns about the order and plans I had made went out the window. Eff the spelling bee. Eff feud. I. Am. Done.
I frantically mashed click on the computer connected to the tv behind us, spinning the wheel that decides what we get to drink. My co-host couldn’t open his chocolate milk. My editor opened a milk carton like it was a Christmas present. Milk went EVERYWHERE. I finally got to my chocolate milk and had a drink.
Sweet relief overcame my mouth, I was back to normal!
(please watch this, I am using this as a sentence)
The pepper was dancing on my grave. It was back just as strong as before.
We spun the next wheel, I got lemon juice, which in my panicked state I poured into my chocolate milk, leading to a sour, coddled, sweet beverage that went down terribly. From here on out I don’t remember much. I was dying. I bit into a lemon, which actually really helped, something about the acid canceling the capsaicin.
I then went to lay on the floor. I zoned out on the floor for a few minutes, and when I came out of my pepper trance, I was feeling fine. The burning had moved down to my upper chest, which hurt far less than my mouth. I then ate roughly 7 mini muffins and the infamous wet bread. Wet bread, for those who yet again are NOT put on, is wonderbread with club soda. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.
At that point, the wheel had gone out the window. I began eating a whole onion, my co-host had the entire lemon turned inside out in his mouth, and my editor was still dying.
Our teacher, throughout this whole experience, was anxiously crossing his arms, pacing, and looked like he was about to collapse out of the fear a student’s stomach lining would rip open in front of him.
The podcast is super funny, which I am proud of. I am more pleased though, with the fact my editor had firey diarrhea the whole night, the best form of payback.