Three quarters of the season are gone, which means I’ve been thinking about ratings and rankings for the season a bit lately—and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this season. I’m not even sure if anything will score about a 7/10. Don’t get me wrong, I like Zankyou no Terror, but part of me fears what’s ahead for the show. It’s definitely not 9/10 level, which means 8/10 is going to be the high water mark for the season. I suppose that’s reasonable, but it still seems somewhat disappointing. That said, we’ve still got four weeks to go, which is plenty of time for some of the shows I’m watching to distinguish themselves.
Zankyou no Terror, Episode 7: It was actually the first show I ended up watching from the week, and I appear to have a somewhat divergent opinion on the episode (at least from some other anibloggers), which is cool—discussion can be had!
Free! Eternal Summer, Episode 8: Well, it looks like Free! was able to subtly resolve Makoto’s worries over his future this episode—if he doesn’t decide to become a swim teacher after high school I’ll eat my hat. Or something. Next episode looks to be an identity crisis for Haru over swimming, which is such bullcrap. I do not believe that the guy who just swims all the time suddenly is going to start asking himself such useless questions as “why do I swim?” Why is Haru suddenly become self-aware and self-critical? Makes no sense. Also, apparently Gou can’t swim? Really? We’re pushing things that far for a simple joke in one episode? Whatever.
Argevollen, Episode 8: Still the best mecha show of the season. Still, in my humble opinion, the most underrated show of the season—and now I’m actually starting to see people mudslinging at the show, which has got to be the most hilarious and unjust thing I’ve seen in a while. But whatever. It’s a shame people can’t enjoy this. There continue to be a ton of tiny moments—lines of dialogue, facial expressions, small movements—that inform us on our characters, even giving us information on the Ingelmian generals who are sure to continue playing a part in the show. There was also some action, complete with some legitimately cool shots and camera work. And then Argevollen followed that up with character development. I love it.
Glasslip, Episode 8: This show is so weeeeirrdd, you guys. Like really, really strange. I just have no dang clue where they think they are going with this or if they ever or going anywhere with this or if it was even their goal from the start to make it seem like they were going somewhere at all. Things just happen in the weirdest ways, and the lack of background music in most of the show just makes the oddities of each episode stand out even more. The future-seeing things, as predicted, as has turned out to be a mess of arbitrary rules and stuff—and also just seems totally unfounded in anything we’ve seen so far. Just don’t screw Yana over, Glasslip, and I’ll be okay.
Fairy Tail, Episode 21: The direction for this iteration of Fairy Tail is honestly just abysmal. There are actually some compelling character things going on, but they’re almost totally masked by the fact that the show refuses to show more than 2 minutes of one group of characters at a time. Seriously, if all they did was stop splitting everything up into tiny chunks, they could continue to use the same crappy animation and the show would still be better. As it is, we’re missing all the emotional resonance from things like Grey’s death(?)—rage mode Juvia plz—and Ultear’s truly heartrending self-doubt as she wonders if she’s really become a better person in a wake of considering killing an innocent Rouge. I highly doubt the manga was done like this, and it’s a real shame anime adaptation has mucked things up so badly.
Aldnoah.Zero, Episode 8: This episode didn’t really work for me. At all. Rayet storming out of the meeting after being saved by the Martian Princess, ranting about how Martians can’t be trusted: lame. All the torturing of Slaine: unnecessary. We really did start to angle back into the region of Urobuchi shows that I don’t like—and yes, I know he’s not directly writing the script anymore. But the whole despair and pain and misery for the sake of it all (aka Slaine’s entire existence) wears me down really quickly. We’re still pretty far away from drop territory, but I hope this episode was an anomaly more than the new standard. At least Cruhteo isn’t a total jerk, although it took him long enough.
Haikyuu!!, Episode 21: I really liked the structure of this episode, bisecting Sugawara’s time on the court between the two halves of the game. Suga isn’t quite as fun to watch as Kageyama, but that’s because his style is far less flashy—it’s based around critical thinking on the court, which isn’t always the most fun thing to watch or hear. Kageyama got lectured a lot this episode and, honestly, I don’t it was totally deserved. Yes, he needed some time to clear his head and a little bit of encouragement, but he’s a smart kid. As soon as he stepped off the court and watched Suga play, his brain started running and he started making connections and seeing things differently. I don’t know if Karasuno will be able to pull out this set (probably, otherwise I don’t see how the show has four more episodes), but they definitely won’t win the game.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Episode 8: I realized this week that a huge strength granted to Nozaki-kun by having so many characters who are so loopy in their own way is that the show has no lack of straight-men. Just as Nozaki can be a comedic force on his own (often with Sakura as the straight man), he can also be the straight man for Hori. Everyone is on a constantly revolving wheel of being “normal” and being “weird” and it keeps things really fresh. I’m actually starting to get the feel that Nozaki-kun is a really great exercise in perspective, because each character thinks they are sane when observing the eccentricities of the others, yet when they are viewed through the lens of those same characters, they become oddballs themselves. It’s truly a clever and inventive set-up, and I’m convinced it’s a big part of why Nozaki-kun is so thoroughly entertaining (that and boxes and hallway rodeos).
Hunter x Hunter, Episode 144: Leorio’s speech—just great. I love how he is using the election to basically just work through his own feelings on Gon’s situation. That’s obviously what he’s most concerned about right now and also obviously the thing that the voters are connecting to. Pariston appears to just be interesting in making a mess of the Association which, if he does indeed have underground ties, would definitely serve his interests in the long run. The less credibility the organization has, the less influence it will possess in the Hunter world. Pariston doesn’t care if he loses the election and can’t run wild within its confines anymore as long as he can do so without the Association getting in his way out there in the larger Hunter scene.
I’m also wondering if Something is on the chopping block with this future healing of Gon. It would save Alluka, but is that a decision Killua is going to be able to make?