Oh, look. We’re at the halfway point of the season. Where does the time go?
Zankyou no Terror, Episode 5: I expect nothing less than excellence from this show each and every week.
Free! Eternal Summer, Episode 6: There was more Gou this week, but not quite enough to make a full on post about it, which is (of course) a shame. As far as the rest of the episode goes, there were some races and some more bad drama—this time courtesy of Makoto’s jealousy of Rin. They’re really pushing the “swimming forms platonic emotional” bonds bit as far as they can go, and I’m not sure if I should find it amusing or kind of weird. And I do feel justified in saying this, because I’ve never really been a huge fan of yuri, meaning that I avoid creating a double standard for myself. But, anyways, Gou-chan!
Glasslip, Episode 6: I’ve said it before, but I think it is worth saying again—Glasslip is fascinating to me because it is truly showing the moments of change in this group of friends. That’s not the same as me saying the romantic developments are all great and well done (to this point, the romance side of things—excepting Hiro and Sachi—seems to be a bit clumsy), but it the overall shift of the relationship pictures and the way these kids conduct themselves seems to have more than a bit of truth to it. Okikura is still needlessly abrasive, and I won’t deny that I was pretty satisfied to see him take two blows today. Yuki’s punch was about as appropriate as it could be in that situation, and Yana’s slap was even better (more proof Yana is the best character in the whole show). Okikura had set up a grand old patriarchal “fight for the girl” contest, and while I’m no feminist, his absolute lack of regard for the agency of Touka, who he professes to be taken with, and Yana, who’s trusted him enough to tell him about her feelings for Yuki, was enough to thoroughly irritate me. Indeed, Okikura wrote a check he couldn’t cash in calling Yuki to the schoolyard, and I’m hoping Touko isn’t just a cushion for his fall. He seriously needs to be taken down a peg, and I hope this week’s event were enough to do that.
Argevollen, Episode 6: I still maintain that this is the best mecha show of the season. Argevollen is one of a very select number of anime that seems to truly understand the power of silence, and there was a lot of it used to really good effect this episode. You can almost see the gears in these characters’ heads turning as they process these overwhelming events and try to come to terms with everything that is happening to them. There were also another selection of quick shots that did a ton of work for this show, my favorite of which was the split second of foreshadowing that was a single still shot of the enemy’s artillery before the bridge was blown away. We also got two tiny slivers of Lorenz and Silfy on the battlefield, cheery and dead silent respectively. Those moments mean a lot to me as a viewer, because they let me know that the show isn’t forgetting all the threads it has started. Jamie’s situation really is a hard one, but I think she’s doing the best she can to grow. This episode, which was almost totally presented from her viewpoint, got me wondering if Jamie might actually be the true protagonist of Argevollen. There’s not enough evidence yet to back up that theory, but I’ll be keeping my eye out on that going forward.
Aldnoah.Zero, Episode 6: Aldnoah.Zero feels dangerously close to monster-of-the-week territory, but I suspect Slaine’s intervention will help turn things on their head (and I mean in terms of the story, not in terms of this particular battle). How ironic would it be if Slaine’s flight from the castle actually leads to the Princess getting put in more danger? Given Slaine’s track record of having disastrous results follow from well-intentioned actions, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. My enthusiasm for Aldnoah.Zero has generally cooled since the fourth episode, and I still would like to see a little bit more from Inaho in terms of emotion in the heat of battle. We got some this week, but I think a little bit more would be enough to maintain the essence his character and dissolve his Tatsuya-like persona. To be honest, I’m having trouble caring for some of these characters at this point. The focus of the show seems to be divided into too many places.
Fairy Tail, Episode 19: Well, crap. Bad Fairy Tail was back, and back in force this week. Badly placed jokes and Lucy-service abounded (Lucy was put through almost Steph-like humiliations this week—haha girl stripped naked and flung through the air. So hilarious.), and apparently we’ve totally forgotten that there is a freaking battle for the survival of the world at stake. Now, Virgo is a wonderfully trollish character and I think she’s a lot of fun, but her jokes just do not belong in the middle of this supposedly intense battle. Next week: Natsu explodes a dragon from inside its stomach.
Haikyuu!!, Episode 19: I remember when I used to never blog about Haikyuu!! in these posts. But Haikyuu!! is sort of like Zankyou no Terror at this point—unflaggingly excellent in execution, pretty much no matter what it’s trying to do. Granted, all it’s trying to do is portray exciting volleyball games, but being successful at that is meritorious on its own. Haikyuu!! does a really great job of slowing down time, a strength it again used to magnificent effect at the end of the episode with Kageyama’s setter dump. I really hope Kageyama’s games are successful in throwing Oikawa’s game off a little bit, otherwise the rest of the Karasuno team could be in for a long game. If Kageyama gets too focused on defeating Oikawa in a personal grudge match, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ukai pull Kageyama out of the game and put Suguwara in.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Episode 6: While not gut-bustingly funny like last week, this week’s episode of Nozaki-kun was squarely pleasant. The rooftop scene between Seo and “Waka” (the nickname stuck so well that I can’t remember the rest of his name) was a hilarious rush of styles and shifts, backed cleverly with the music. I also love that Nozaki has truly developed a dislike for Seo, despite Sakura’s best efforts to talk up her singing friend. All in all, it was a great example of why I love this show so much—even on “off” weeks, it’s a joy to watch.