Spring 2014, Week 8: Highlights of the Week

Welcome to Week 8!

The Irregular at Magic High School, Mahouka

When God speaks, the people listen.

Hunter x Hunter, Episode 131: Oh, you want me to say something about Hunter x Hunter?

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

I’m not touching that with a 1000m Nen radius.

Nisekoi, Episode 20 [END]: Ah, so must we part, fair Nisekoi! I’m planning to get out a full review for the show somewhat soon, but for now, lets talk about the ending episode. Despite the little nods to Tsugumi and Marika (and a bigger nod to Onodera), this episode was (obviously) all about Chitoge. And she shone in the spotlight, as she usually does, dancing through the different twists and turns of her personality. Like I said last week, it actually makes me a little sad that Onodera and Marika are such one trick ponies, because I want Chitoge to actually win, not just win by default. But I can deal with that kind of boring set-up as long as they keep giving her moments like the ones she got in this episode. The play itself turned into a riot of unbridled ridiculousness–verisimilitude? what’s that?–and I enjoyed every minute it off it, particularly Raku’s strategy game against Marika and the duel against Claude. All the pieces were there, and they worked together well. This was Nisekoi at the top of its game, letting loose and letting the clichés fly. When it does that, or actually does real drama, it can be a very good show. And, of course, obligatory best girl gallery. #TeamChitoge. Come back soon, Nisekoi!

selector infected WIXOSS, Episode 8: Allow me to quote something I wrote on the CR Forums after episode 5:

The whole game is a kind of ecosystem. When a Selector becomes the (an?) Eternal Girl, she gets her wish for a while (or not at all) and then eventually becomes a LRIG.

LRIGs, on the other hand, are released from the cards to be real humans if their Selector becomes a LRIG. That would explain why the LRIGs would withhold information from their Selectors, because they have their own goal of being released from the card and if your Selector gets scared off of battling because you told them their life could be ruined, you’re stuck.

And it looks like if the Selectors lose, the LRIGs are finished.

The exact application of the details might be a little finicky, but I do think Mari Okada and J.C. Staff did a really great job of raising questions,selector infected WIXOSS dropping hints and eventually bringing everything to a head in this episode. WIXOSS has definitely stabilized quality-wise, and it’s turned into a good watch every week. I’m now wondering if to truly get your wish, you have to make it through as a LRIG (which someone this week pointed out is “girl” spelled backwards–a totally pointless touch seeing as everyone is a girl, but whatever). Hitoe drawing Yuzuki as her next LRIG is nuts, but I’m hoping there is a cause-effect relationship of some sort there, not just random chance. Ruko still is a wild card in this whole thing, and it’s almost not even her story anymore.

One Week Friends, Episode 8: I wrote an actual write-up this week for this beautiful show.

The World is Still Beautiful, Episode 7: Last time I wrote about SoreSekai, I lamented the show’s inability to hold tone and the negative effect it has on the series. Well, it’s still a problem, and every intense moment that showed up this episode just highlighted how much of a sad issue it really is. Livi’s rage at the end of the episode was, well…pretty out of left field, but it’s a reminder that he’s still young and still, despite Nike’s influence, incredibly volatile. I didn’t really think it was out of character for him to react the way he did, but it still didn’t feel consistent with the rest of the episode. This is the same guy who was crossing dressing and dancing at a festival earlier in the episode? SoreSekai could be something special, but it keeps dragging itself down.

The World is Still Beautiful

Ah, bishounen…*doki doki*

Tonari no Seki-kun, Episode 21 [END]: And so passes the best comedy anime I’ve ever seen, one that is truly a piece of comic genius. With the final appearance of the robot family, Tonari no Seki-kun has completed an incredibly impressive run: 21 episodes without a single slip. I would like to say that this episode of the anime was emblematic of the show as a whole, but that’s a fundamentally useless statement, because every episode of this show is basically a summary of the show. It’s the perfect formula, coupled with perfect execution. It was fun to see a little more of Yokoi’s life outside the classroom, but it seems that Seki’s influence now follows her even to her home. Take that as you will, all you shippers.

Tonari no Seki-kun

Yokoi’s greatest weakness.

Love Live! 2, Episode 8: This was a nice episode, because there was a lot of Maki being awesome. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of stubbornness to push as hard as she did to get Nozomi and Eli to spill the beans. Love Live! isn’t ashamed to be totally cheesy (I mean, saying random conceptual words to snowflakes that fall into your hands?), but it does it with such earnestness that it’s impossible not to love the show. I’m glad they finally came around to pointing out that Nozomi’s dream had indeed already come true through the very existence of μ’s. It was a nice mixture of comedy and sentimentality, the recipe that makes this show work. This episode also did convince me that I’ll eventually go back and watch season one, because I’m invested enough that I want to see how this group got put together and will probably have a lot more tolerance for the typical tricks that such formation stories usually have. It makes me really glad I watched the show in the order I did.

Love Live! 2

This episode also solidified Maki as best girl, and not just because she can tsundere.

Hitsugi no Chaika, Episode 8: DAMMIT MARCO (this will become a thing, if only for me), why does this show force me to love it so hard. I actually don’t think there’s anything I dislike about Chaika right now. Not a thing. I think it might just be the perfect personal match for me, a show with the perfect combination of being dorky, touching, funny and serious. It’s a shame that the budget is clearly not the highest for this show, but it speaks to the show’s other strengths that the animation inconsistencies have never once detracted from my experience. I’m already plotting to how much money I can budget to buy this show if I’m so lucky as for it to get a stateside release. The deadpans in Chaika are on another level from anything I’ve seen before. “Nope, let’s go.”

Ping Pong, Episode 8: This show really is exceptional, in so many ways. At last, we have verbal confirmation from Smile that Peco is indeed the hero he needs and has followed for so long. And the fact that Smile, the robot, has built himself up for the sole purpose of seeing his hero conquer…well, I don’t know how else to say it other than it’s beautiful. Also beautiful, and my favorite moment of the episode (the same character as always), was Kong’s final moments against Peco. The silence and cuts between images as Kong loses that final point…it was beautifully directed. And now, he really gets to go home. I’m happy for him. To be honest, I was bummed that Kong had to go out so soon, but that’s just like Ping Pong. There was no way we were going to get the ideal final four; life isn’t that convenient. Instead, Kong got to have his moment be his moment, because that match wasn’t really about Peco at all, and it didn’t need to be. Peco will have his true moment when he beats Kazama. And then the story will complete itself when Peco beats Smile at the height of his power. Three episodes left. I can’t wait.

Ping Pong the Animation

2 thoughts on “Spring 2014, Week 8: Highlights of the Week

  1. Tonari no Seki-kun is hilarious. Certainly the funniest series of shorts I’ve watched, though I give the title for best anime comedy to Azumanga Daioh, which has the funniest scene ever animated in my opinion. Full Metal Panic Fumoffu! is another show I place toward the top of the comedy show list.

    Hitsugi no Chaika stands as my favorite this season. My only complaint thus far is that it’s not as good as Scrapped Princess. But that other show based Ichiro Sakaki’s light novels had a slow start. There’s still plenty of time for Chaika to improve.

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    • Chaika is running away as my favorite title of the season, although I wouldn’t call it the “best.” That title goes to Ping Pong.

      I actually like Chaika more than ScraPri, simply because it has a sort of ditzy, dorky charm to it. ScraPri was more of a nostalgic charm.

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