A couple drops this week (Tokyo ESP, Rail Wars!) mean my schedule is starting to free up for those inevitable midseason pick-ups. Barakamon is probably first on that list right now.
Trending Up: Nozaki-kun, Zankyou no Terror, Glasslip
Trending Down: Free! Eternal Summer, Sailor Moon Crystal
Argevollen, Episode 5: Finally got around to doing a full write-up on the most underrated show of the season.
Zankyou no Terror, Episode 4: A magnificent episode this week. And here’s the gorgeous BGM song that played during the motorcycle scene. You’re welcome.
Free! Eternal Summer, Episode 5: That was a bad episode, and there weren’t even enough Gou screencaps available to make a joke post to gloss over things. Ostensibly, this was an episode about Nagisa coming to terms to talking with his parents. But, the conflict that brewed this mess was none other than Nagisa not liking studying and wanting to have fun. C’mon, Free! that’s just bad. But true family drama would be too much for this show, so instead we get…whatever that was.
Fairy Tail, Episode 18: The ending of this episode was basically everything that makes Fairy Tail worth watching and hot-blooded and awesome. It’s Natsu’s fierce, confident smile, Natsu using magic to make his voice ring out over the whole city, and Natsu howling, “Let’s go dragon hunting!” backed by pounding Celtic rock music. I realize these moments are not for everyone, but if you like sheer awesomeness, Fairy Tail does these moments like few others do. And, of course, the most impressive thing is that the moment is so transcendent that it pushes through the low production values and occasionally bad direction. On one hand, that makes me a bit sad, because I have to wonder how awesome that could have been with better production. On the other, it’s a testament to the power of Hiro Mashima’s source material that it can soldier through the less than impressive production values that are going into this show.
Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 3: Not going to lie, after last episode, Sailor Moon Crystal was on the short list of shows that I was thinking about dropping (and Tokyo ESP had already suffered that fate), but this episode was pretty solid. The whole show is still pretty cheesy and silly, and I honestly don’t see much more in it than just the fun factor. There’s no nostalgia here for me, so what I see is what I’m evaluating the show on. I’ve always liked fire types, and while Rei’s story wasn’t really that compelling, I’m glad we added another element to our party of Sailor Guardians.
Glasslip, Episode 5: I think I’ve finally figured out why I find Glasslip so intriguing. I get a very distinct sense of intentionality with everything that’s going, yet I have absolutely no feel on where they’re going with the whole show. Another card came out on the table this week with Yana’s confession (she’s my favorite character in the show, by the way), and yet I still don’t know where this is going. Everything’s in flux and no one seems to have figured out their feelings besides Yana and Hiro. And, honestly, I enjoy things being this way—it feels unpredictable, even if it isn’t, and it feels confident, even if it isn’t. I don’t know how Yuki is going to react to Yana’s confession, I don’t know if Sachi is just hiding the fact that she knows Hiro likes her, and I don’t know what Touko is going to do about her growing feelings for Okikura. But things keep moving and they keep happening, which I really appreciate. That might, in fact, be the answer to why Glasslip feels intentional, because it’s progressing things each episode—and that gives me the sense that everything else is building towards towards another step forward.
Other things I liked: the classical music (that scene in the forest was decadent), and very little future reading stuff this week.
Aldnoah.Zero, Episode 5: It was a fine episode, though not as fun as the last one. Inaho’s battle against the Vers Knight who came for revenge wasn’t as entertaining as the last one—I much prefer team plans to Inaho soloing the bad guys. It’s pretty interesting that Rayet is the one to pick him up after all’s said and done. Either she was in on his plan from the start or she figured out what was happening. As for Slaine, 5 years ago he made out with the princess and now he screws over Earth with his attempts to stop the war. I wonder how much longer it will take before he realizes that he needs to get out of space and stand by the princess’s side. His hands are tied and he’s totally helpless in the realm of the Orbital Knights. Oh, and the new ED song is pretty great.
Haikyuu!!, Episode 18: I actually ended up watching Haikyuu!! twice this week, and the second watch was a much better watch than the first one. This wasn’t quite as visceral or superbly executed as last week, but there were still some splendid sasuga moments (Nishinoya got two amazing ones—that foot block man…) and overall I didn’t find it too improbable that Karasuno won. A couple small moments that were nice: 1) Tsukishima and Asahi’s conversations and, 2) the clear, understated passion Dateko’s Aone so clearly possessed. Also, the Karasuno girls are ridiculously cute (great character designs all over this show) for being a sideshow in Haikyuu!! I’m glad to see Aoba Johsai’s Oikawa will be back next episode—he’s a wonderful foil for the hot-blooded Kageyama/Hinata combo.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Episode 5: Dammit, I already said this show was freaking hilarious last week. I need more words, MORE WORDS. I kind of realized solidly this week that Nozaki isn’t just a guy who does drawings—he’s an author, too. And the chronicles of his writer-editor struggles were pretty hilarious to me, and I imagine they would be for most who work in that sort of field. This was maybe the best episode of the show since the premiere (the premiere is still on another level), and broke out of the show’s tendency to have a deadly-funny first half and a regular-funny second half. Of course, everything in the episode paled in comparison to Nozaki’s great escape from rabid school girls with Kashima on the handcart. Did I laugh so hard I cried? Yes, I did. This week was also ammunition for my suspicion that Nozaki and Sakura have great comedic chemistry, and I was really happy to have Sakura and her delusions back in more focus. She’s fallen in love with a truly exceptional man, and that’s all that can be said about that.
Tokyo ESP, Episode 4: Forgettable, bland, unfunny, far too casual, reaches for emotional moments it hasn’t earned. And now, dropped.
Rail Wars!, Episode 5: Made it 4 minutes and 28 seconds through the episode before I was done. The drawing is lazy, and the fanservice picked right back up where it was last week—at nausea-inducing levels levels of gleeful voyeurism. I like cute redheads too much to watch Sakurai be treated as nothing more than a sex object every week. Dropped.