Spring 2014, Week 10: Highlights of the Week

Welcome to Week 10!

Fairy Tail

If only the show looked this good all the time…

selector infected WIXOSS, Episode 10: It’s still getting better. I’m surprised, and pleased. I wanted to blog WIXOSS from the very beginning, but wasn’t sure it would be worth it after the first episode. And yet, here we are: Full write-up this week.

Mekaku City Actors, Episode 9: I’m kind of sick of being let down by this show week after week. Besides the two Akane/Ene episodes, the rest of the story, including this episode, has wandered around without any clear purpose in mind. This isn’t fragmented, non-linear storytelling: Durarara!! and Baccano!, among others, do that, and do it right. What Mekaku City Actors is doing is just messing around, trying to create emotional investment in characters who we’re not allowed to get to know. Unlike selector infected WIXOSS, which managed to sustain itself on plot alone while the character building caught up, Mekaku City Actors simply has things happen and then tells you that they’re connected somehow. I’ll watch through the end of the show, but I’m pretty fed up with this. Once again, it’s a shame, because there are so many pieces of this show that I could love if they were being used better.

Mekaku City Actors

The World is Still Beautiful, Episode 9: Looks like the show is finally back on track with the stuff that makes it good. The sisters were funny, and we got a ton of great Nike and Livi moments. Unlike the other kiss, this one felt perfectly in sync with the episode as a whole. It was set-up well, executed well and interrupted by Niel perfectly. Nike and Livi both have a new emotion to deal with, and it’s quite obviously love. It looks like we have to deal with another annoying jealous guy next episode, which is really a shame. Nike and Livi are plenty nuanced on their own, and I’d really much rather see their relationship grow out of the naturally occurring conflicts that arise in relationships, rather than have that growth come from outside forces. Nike and Livi are the brilliant center of the show, and when The World is Still Beautiful stretches too far away from that center, it becomes far less endearing and far less fun to watch.

The World is Still Beautiful, Soredemo Sekai

I loved this moment as a “behind the scenes” look.

Haikyuu!!, Episode 10: Haikyuu!!’s back to being the type of solid show that doesn’t need much explanation, but I did want to take a moment to point out a hilarious bit of self-referential humor that came towards the end of the episode. After the game, a couple of the Neighborhood Association guys are laughing about some of the things Kageyama (who has the best cocky faces) and Nishinoya had been saying during the match. It was a great moment for the show to acknowledge that, yes, saying stuff like, “Call for the toss, ace!” is patently ridiculous, no matter how you look at it. Of course, it doesn’t really seem all that silly in the context, but think about it off the court and it’s obvious the lines are kind of silly. For Haikyuu!! to acknowledge that demonstrates a nice level of self-awareness, without taking it so far that it becomes self-parody or fourth wall breaking.

One Week Friends, Episode 10: Wow, it’s been a while since I didn’t write full episode notes on this show, but a lot of my energy was going into my Monogatari project, so One Week Friends gets relegated to the background for this week. If the episode did one thing for me, it raised my ire at Kujo. Now, last week I was willing to give him a pass due to the lack of backstory, but no backstory excuses his behavior this episode. He clearly holds a grudge against Fujimiya, and maybe for good reason; however, his conversation with Hase was really mean-spirited. That’s not excusable. Either he’s not worried about making a good impression at his new school, or he hates Fujimiya so much that he wants to ruin her relationships with other people. Hase has enough on his plate without Kujo being a jerk, as he struggles with his own emotions and his desire to help Fujimiya in the face of a major setback. In any case, we have our villain and two more episodes. I’d like to see a resolution that includes everyone, but I guess at this point I wouldn’t mind if Kujo is the one left out. Random pretty shot.

One Week Friends

I’m not sure Saki really has any sort of “romantic” feelings towards Shogo, despite this. She’s just needy, and sees Shogo as capable of supporting her.

Love Live! 2, Episode 10: Blah, blah, blah blogger things. Here’s the a cool thing: I like Love Live! and I like it a lot. I love that it’s such a clean show, I love the fresh-faced enthusiasm of the girls, I love the focus on group unity, on dreams and on music. I watch plenty of serious, emotional and compelling stuff. Love Live! isn’t like any of those shows, and I love it for being different in that way. It’s an undefinably pleasant watch. Unlike Non Non Biyori, which was actually physically relaxing because it was so marvelously slow and gentle, Love Live! is emotionally relaxing in a way few shows can be. It resides solely on the good side of human nature, showing good people doing good things. It may not be incredibly deep, but there is still a need for media that has such an unabashedly positive take on humanity.

Love Live! 2

Just best girl being best girl. As she does.

Hunter x Hunter, Episode 133: I’m feeling brave this week, so I’m actually blogging a bit about Hunter x Hunter. First off, Pouf is a moron. Second off, the PV has me anticipating the next episode like nothing since Hunter x Hunter 131 has made me anticipate. I don’t know if next week or the week after is supposed to be the finale of this arc, but either one is going to be incredible. This episode was jam-packed, as we watch dramatic irony all over the place. Pouf is waiting for Pitou, who will never come. Palm and Ikalgo work to hide Komugi from Meruem when finding his finding her would probably solve all their problems. Welfin takes out Youpi. WHAT? You mean one of the top four antagonists was taken out by a side-character, with not even a moment of the battle shown? The King and Pouf seem to be afflicted with some kind of rapid deterioration and Palm is predicting that the King will be dead in mere hours? WHAT? I can’t even handle this show. And where the hell are Killua and Gon? Will they even reappear in this arc? …………………………………….

Hunter x Hunter

Ping Pong, Episode 10: Sorry, I was too busy watching to even bother with nonsense like screencaps. A truly magnificent episode from Ping Pong. I’m really not going to try and expand on this episode, other than to say that the direction was phenomenal and the music/sound was exceptional. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat intimidated by the prospect of figuring out how to write a full review of this show next week.

Is the Order a Rabbit?, Episode 10: I think this is the first time Gochiusa has made it into my weekly updates, but it really does deserve it this week. It by far the funniest and most dynamic episode of the show thus far. That’s not really a great honor for the show as a whole in week 10, but hey—it’s not like I went into Gochiusa expecting it to be my new all time favorite. The screencaps are worth it.

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