Like most otaku, I have a Crunchyroll subscription. While I do appreciate the variety of content it provides, I wanted to check out some Sentai Filmworks series that are no longer available on that platform. For that, I decided to check out streaming on Hidive, which has a small but focused selection of series. With the company picking up some exclusive simulcasts, here’s a list of series you should watch this season. (Just in time too, since there’s a free 7-day trial if you sign up now!)
I’m not into vampires and romances featuring them, but Call of the Night shows some new blood to the genre. Ko Yamori is a listless middle schooler who develops insomnia and goes on nightly walks. In his journey to find purpose, he meets Nazuna Nanakusa, a gregarious vampire who instantly strikes up a conversation. After spending a night on the town, Ko realizes that he has a new goal: To become a vampire himself. The problem is a vampire must love their target before they turn them into one. What transpires is a “not really romance” with slice-of-life vibes featuring the two in nocturnal adventures.
What I appreciate about Call of the Night is that it’s remarkably refreshing in how it portrays vampires. It’s a voluntary act of love to turn someone into a vampire rather than one of malice. In addition, the first few episodes have low stakes, but it doesn’t detract from the overall execution. Ko and Nazuna have a legitimate friendship that seems transactional but has some deeper meaning to it. The addition of Ko’s apartment mate in later episodes alleviates some of the weirder implications of the dynamic as well. The animation works very well for this series too, and the opening number is a treat to listen. The season isn’t over just yet, so please stay tuned for a full review soon here on Miso!
I’m into weird slice-of-life premises, and “talking dog with girl during the apocalypse” counts as this. Half Donyatsu, half A Man & His Cat, this original net animation features a nameless Master and her dog Haru. The two go on low-key adventures that range from scavenging to food to getting lost in a forest. It’s nothing too high stakes, but I appreciate the banter between Haru and his Master. The light palettes for the episodes are fun and inviting too, which is odd concerning… well, the apocalypse.
The series is a set of shorts adapting the 4-koma stories of the original manga. While it’s a problem with something like Way of the Househusband’s anime, here it makes sense. It’s cozy and the 4-koma format means that you can cram in multiple strips in a short minute and a half. While it does focus on the two main characters, there’s still time to flesh out the cast as well. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and made me chuckle frequently (two great pros of a 4-koma series). The short length of each episode means you can fit it in a very short lunch break. This is one series that I’m keeping my eye on for when the manga comes out in the west next year.
The male idol duo ZINGS is struggling to succeed, not helped by the fact that Yuya Niyodo doesn’t want to cooperate. While his partner Kazuki Yoshino is trying his best, a duo can’t succeed if one of them is lazy. Enter Asahi Mogami, a popular idol singer who died a year ago in a tragic car accident. After meeting Niyodo by chance, the two realize that only he can see her apparition. Additionally, Mogami has another trick up her sleeve: She can possess Niyodo’s body to help him with his career. Considering Niyodo’s only in it for a quick buck, this symbiotic relationship goes off without a hitch. Of course, there are some complications with this arrangement. It’s up to Niyodo and Mogami to work together to change the fledging reputation of ZINGS!
I’m not into idol anime, but I can appreciate a good deconstructive take on it! Streaming on Hidive, this anime is a peculiar simulcast that surprisingly has a lot of heart. It’s also cool to see how the industry works from a male’s perspective. I’m impressed with how the contrast between peppy idol and bored employee work in this series. It reminds me of Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan (a series featuring a disillusioned adult in a wacky TV show setting). It’s cool to see older (well, relatively) characters getting representation in shonen and shojo anime. I can’t wait to see what else the series has in store for the singers!
Ya Boy Kongming! (First Season Streaming on Hidive)
As a bonus, here’s a series that wrapped up last season that is exclusively streaming on Hidive. Honestly, Ya Boy Kongming! is THE reason to grab a free trial at the very least. It has a hilarious premise, amazing opening theme song, and a lot of heart.
For history buffs that are into the Three Kingdoms, this is a series for you. After famed strategist Zhuge Liang (aka Kongming) dies, he gets isekai’d into… modern day Japan? Surprisingly, he acclimates well into the nightlife scene, making friends with budding star Eiko. While he works on marketing Eiko’s talents, Kongming utilizes his unique wisdom to manipulate the playing field. Digital marketing be darned, he’s got a strategy for every situation!
I read the debut volume of the manga a while ago and was impressed with how fun the premise was! It’s just the right amount of crazy and wholesome with Kongming and Eiko’s friendship. Using the Stone Sentinel Maze strategy to keep the party going on a stage? Hilarious and historical! Hidive doesn’t have too many exclusives yet, but this is a definite recommendation if you’re looking for a quick watch.
Anything we missed that’s streaming on Hidive this season? Sound off in the comments below! Stay tuned for more anime recommendations here on Miso!