Summer 2014, Week 11: Highlights of the Week

It’s almost over, thank goodness. Oh, wait. End of the season means more work for me, because then it’s reviewing time. Here’s a quick look at the shows I’ll probably be doing reviews for. If something not on this list piques my interest or makes me angry in the next couple of weeks, you might find them added in, but for now, this is what I’m expecting to do:

  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun review
  • Hunter x Hunter tribute post
  • Zankyou no Terror review (+ episodics archive)
  • Aldnoah.Zero review (depending on how annoyed I am after the last episode/how bad I want blog views)
  • Haikyuu!! (not sure, because Nozaki-kun ends on the same day)
Haikyuu!!

Brace yourselves! The end of the season is coming!

Zankyou no Terror, Episode 9: A sad, but aesthetically gorgeous and emotional episode. Somehow, my investment in Twelve and Lisa has made it all the way from episode four to this week, and it’s a good thing.

Free! Eternal Summer, Episode 11: Haru’s issues continue to be the best source of drama Free! has ever had, and he continues to be a interesting character in the way that he reacts to people. I was somewhat expecting him to come around during his fight under the fireworks with Makoto, but I think it’s more realistic that he would storm away like he did. At this point, Haru’s being a little bit of a selfish brat because his reaction to Makoto demonstrates that he doesn’t just want to not move on himself—he doesn’t want anyone else to move on, either. Because he doesn’t have a dream, he begrudges those who do and copes by trying to ignore all the decisions he will inevitably have to make. It certainly looks like Rin is going to be Haru’s saving grace here, which is a nice call back to the way that Haru saved Rin in the first season. And, huge props to the show for Makoto telling Haru straight, “It’s because we love you,” and resisting its inclinations to the homoerotic and making it a genuinely caring line. Well done, Free!

Free! Eternal Summer

Now if only they filled up more time with Gou-chan…

Glasslip, Episode 11: For a while, everything was normal and I was bored. Then things got weird, and I was happy again. I’m honestly fascinated by the way this show cuts from shot to shot and from scene to scene, from couple to couple. Everything is so confidently done—is there no one on this team paying attention to the finished product and going: “This doesn’t make a lick of sense.” I have to give special tribute to Sachi and Hiro’s hilariously inscrutable conversation during their picnic lunch.

Hiro: “This hike, too.”
Sachi: “For tomorrow.”
Hiro: “It is, isn’t it?”

No, but seriously. There’s no context to this exchange. Is as if the characters are speaking in a code only they and the writers of the show understand. Not that it bothers me. I’m used to it now.

Glasslip

In other words, Hina has become the new best girl since the show forgot about Yana.

Argevollen, Episode 11: This was actually a pretty good episode! Argevollen seems to struggle more with the war episodes than it does with the procedural and slice-of-life stuff. Samonji’s conversation with his superior at the beginning of the episode was incredibly tense—the radical difference in attitude/disposition underlining the conversation with an almost palpable hostility. Jamie’s interview with Tokimune was hilarious; they really are an odd couple, and the description of their chemistry and anitc as an “old married couple’s comedy routine” fit pefectly. At this pace, we won’t be able to say the romance subplot is totally arbitrary! And the bar scene reinforced what seems to be main theme of Argevollen: soliders are human. It was actually pretty touching to see how much the cannon fodder members of Independent Squad 8 look up to Samonji and his Executive Officer. Finally, I liked the reveal about Tokimune’s sister. It was nicely consistent with Samonji’s character to be brutally, calmly honest. I don’t blame Tokimune for flying off the handle, and I’m really looking forward to see what the implications of this mean for both of them.

Argevollen

RWBY Volume 2, Episode 7: Juane’s dialogue was particularly horrible this week. Also, the Beyond the Boundary dance number was…yeah.

Fairy Tail, Episode 23: Booooooring, although there were a few nice moments. The reveal of Natsu having stolen the king’s outfit was about as dead a joke as I’ve seen from this show. So was the punchline of the princess’ punishment being wearing the kabo guy’s head. Aha ha…ha…ha. Sure, we got to see the girls in ridiculously low cut dresses and see a couple people drunk, and Wendy and Cheria being cute about a jello, but what else did the episode offer? Nada. I think I’ll keep on watching for a few more episodes, mostly because I’m just curious about where the show is going after this. Predicting I won’t watch the entire next arc, but I still wanna know.

Fairy Tail

Aldnoah.Zero, Episode 11: Mostly, I was just bored. Random explosions, pretty much zero tension other than the scene with the indestructible car. I’m pretty annoyed that Slaine got approximately one minute of screentime just so we could see Inaho & co. fall through the sky for longer. Truly. Slaine is the only character I care about left in this show, but instead he just spends his time sitting around in Saazbaum’s castle and then arriving at Asseylum’s location just seconds too late.

Aldnoah.Zero has been finding its way next to Guilty Crown a lot in my headspace this past week. They share a lot of similarities (great visuals and music) and weaknesses, but at least Guilty Crown felt like it had some weight to it—even if weight was somewhat contrived.

Aldnoah.Zero

And so, as the rest of the show forgets him, Asseylum remembers Slaine.

Haikyuu!!, Episode 24: A brutal, but kind of awesome loss. A whole lot of food and some tears. Good lessons learned all around. Where is the next season announcement?

These were the sorts of things I was thinking about after this episode. Haikyuu!!‘s greatest strength has always been that it plays things straight, tackles plot developments, character arcs, and the intense moments on the court with a sort of straightforward honest. Take that and apply it to the final moments of Karasuno’s loss to Seijou, and you have a devastating loss that somehow felt great at the same time. I think it says a lot of the time the show took to focus on the Seijou players and just how damn exciting the match itself that our protagonists could lose in heartbreaking fashion, defeated by their trademark attack, and still make me feel good afterwards. It was a great match, as the guys in the stands said.

Haikyuu!!

I really hope Oikawa doesn’t just vanish from the story after this. He’s been one of my favorite characters in the entire show.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Episode 11: Nozaki trolling Sakura for an entire half an episode was maybe my favorite thing this show has ever done, and there have been plenty of moments that I’ve loved up to now. The dumb magic tricks (especially the fake hand and the lunchbox) are just the sort of dumb humor I love, and the fact that Nozaki does all of this so seriously—for science!—just makes it that much better. And then we get the sleepover scene, which was an absolute riot. Nozaki-kun is one of those rare shows that, when it’s not making me cry laughing, is making my brain go, “Oh my gosh. That’s brilliantly funny.” The fact that they’ve kept this up for almost an entire season at this point and still haven’t exhausted my love for the humor speaks really well of the quality of the entertainment. We’ll have to see how next week’s episode goes, but Nozaki-kun could be looking at an 8/10 and being a potential buy (Sentai Filmworks continues to get the lisences for the non-Aniplex shows I love) later on. Also, this episode title…LOL.

Hunter x Hunter, Episode 147: This is like the best thing and the worst thing ever. To be honest, this was a bit of a weird episode for me. This felt like the final episode of the show—is next week going to be almost like an OVA with Gon and Ging’s conversation? Either way, this is a beautiful place for Hunter x Hunter to go on hiatus (I refuse to believe that it will never come back), as much as such a gem of a show leaving us for an indefinite period of time can be said to be beautiful. Gon has finally met Ging, most of our story threads have been somewhat wrapped up—or at least the most critical ones have been. Either way, watching both Gon and Killua put on strong faces for each other as they said goodbye, when both of them clearly were devastated, was more than a little heartbreaking, but that’s the nature of this show, isn’t it? To be both painful and beautiful at the same time? One week left, my friends. Let’s cherish what we have and look back fondly on what we’ve been given.

Hunter x Hunter


Question of the Week: Are there any shows from this season that you’d consider buying?

6 thoughts on “Summer 2014, Week 11: Highlights of the Week

  1. I find myself in agreement with pretty much everything you’ve mentioned here about every show I’m also following. Zankyou no Terror had one of the most cinematically gorgeous episodes I’ve seen in any anime series I’ve seen to date, Free! was admittedly touching and actually took itself seriously when it probably didn’t really have to, and Nozaki-kun had me in stitches – as it has done fairly consistently throughout the whole show. Aldnoah.Zero felt dull and uninspired (but what else is knew? I like the look and sound of the anime, but at this point the only reason I’m still watching is because there’s so little left to go), and RWBY should really just stick to its action scenes; the comedy and slice-life-material is honestly a bit painful to watch.

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    • Obviously, I agree with what you’re saying! Free! really has been the surprise of the season for me, as weird as it feels to say that. I went in essentially expecting the same entertaining manservice and the same bad drama, but the increased quality of the writing has been a really nice surprise—one that bumped the show a little higher up than just empty-minded entertainment.

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  2. This was a superb week for all the four anime I’m currently following. Even Rail Wars! put out a great episode, having the level of action and tension I wish they had included in all their episodes.

    The last episode of Nozaki-kun was a masterpiece! Though, one facet about Nozaki himself bothers me: why does he rely so greatly on real life for his manga? Writers do bring their experiences into their writing, but the past two episodes give the impression that Nozaki lacks the faculty of invention. But, that does make for hilarious episodes.

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    • Ah, Rail Wars! If only I had stuck with it so long. It’s cool to hear that it had a good episode, though. I’d be pretty angry with the show if it had totally wasted Yui Horie’s beautiful voice.

      That’s an interesting point about Nozaki, but I guess I disagree. The whole bit with Sakura was a series of scenarios that he did invent himself, after all! I do wonder if he’s somewhat hampered by the fact that he has bound almost all of his major characters to real life models, but I also recall that we only see a certain selection of his working process, so they’re probably just showing us the funny stuff. In the end, though, I guess it’s not something that ever bothered me before. Too busy laughing. 😀

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  3. I think the only shows I’d ever consider owning are Nozaki-kun and Space Dandy. They’re the only ones I’m really loving at that sort of level. Zankyou’s great, but I think I’m enjoying that as much as I am because of your posts. Everything else has sort of fallen by the wayside…

    I loved Nozaki trolling Chiyo, that smug grin he pulls when his plans work is just perfect. I think this is still the best face he’s ever made.

    I think I take for granted how great Haikyuu is. It broke my heart this week ;_;

    I can see how HxH would feel strange. Kind of like what Enzo said about not giving enough emotional power to the Gon/Killua scenes. I wanted the crying and the hugging and the big apologies. But mostly I wanted Killua to smack Gon in the head and call him a baka for everything that happened, like old times. I don’t want it to end…

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    • Nozaki-kun is probably the only show that I’m considering buying from this season (thank goodness for Sentai Filmworks!). & yeah, Zankyou is a really good show, but it’s not really in “I love this I want to own it forever” territory for me. Thanks for your kind words about my posts, though! I really appreciate that! 🙂

      My favorite Nozaki face actually came from this week, which was basically just his default expression, except that it came after the magic trick with the hand. I died.

      Haikyuu!! be be back eventually, no doubt at all. Shows don’t sell 20k+ and not get second seasons in this industry. Thank goodness for that.

      & yeah, I talked to Enzo a bit about the ending. I agree that I wanted more emotional power out in the open, but I was satisfied just by seeing how hard that parting was for the two of them. Also, yessss. I miss Killua’s “baaaka.” He does it better than any tsun ever could.

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