Fall 2014, Week 5: Highlights of the Week

So, even though I dropped Sora no Method, I do want to plug the ED—both the song by fhána and animation (apparently the entire ED was animated by just one guy). It’s hanging out somewhere on YouTube. This felt long a long week to me, but there were a lot of show with really good episodes, which made it enjoyable. I’m now down to 11 simulcasting shows with Your Lie in April going on hold and Sora no Method out of my schedule, so I might end up picking up a few more (like Gundam Build Fighters Try) or just doing more backlog watching. Either way, it’s a good season so far!

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle

Shirobako, Episode 4: What else can be said about Shirobako? All the good stuff is just good, and that’s all there is to it—no other explanation needed. The air conditioner argument, Zuka-chan’s very real nerves during her audition, actual adults drinking actual alcohol, FREAKING TAROU RUINING FREAKING EVERYTHING (someone please fire him), and Aoi being herself; that is to say, a really fun character to follow around through her life. This really is slice-of-life stuff, but it’s hugely refreshing because it’s not just the same high school activities as we’re used to seeing in slice-of-life shows.

Your Lie in April, Episode 4: Okay, so yes, the visuals are pretty stunning. I love the imagery, the way the things we see on screen complement or contrast or enhance the story. But then we’ve got the story…and I’m strugggggggggllinnnnggg with that. Last week was the big blow up across the blogosphere about the kind of brutal way in which Kousei is getting treated, and this week we got more physical violence against him (both in “comedic” and “serious” form). And there’s the whole psychological thing and Kaori collapsing at the end of the performance and I just feel like the story has gotten away from Your Lie in April just like the music has gotten away from Kousei. There’s no sense of restraint or order, and story elements are just banging into each other and careening away in kind of a mess. Said another way, the story moves like Kaori plays, but it’s not getting to the audience the same way. I’m worried about where this show thinks it’s going. Note: I’ve decided to put this one on hold for a while, at least until all the noise in my circles quiets.

Your Lie in April

Amagi Brilliant Park, Episode 5: This episode was essentially just “Kanie and Sento go on adventure with the mascots”, but that’s okay because it was pretty hilarious. My favorite gag was after Sento falls down the hall, when Macaron falls through as well and Kanie just watches, then goes back to calling for Sento. I also liked that they somewhat resolved the immediate problem of being broke (although with a joke), and are still adding elements that they can eventually use to turn the final episodes into a gigantic rush to bring in the visitors they need. “I have transcended human knowledge.”

Amagi Brilliant Park

Garo, Episode 5: This might actually have been my favorite episode of the series yet. It was pretty clever to use the day Leòn spent asleep to focus on Alfonso for an episode, and it was nice to get to a different set of characters for a bit. The whole bloodlines thing is kind of convoluted, but this means that Leòn’s mother was actually Alfonso’s mother’s sister—i.e. Alfonso and Leòn are cousins. That’s a nice little detail the show will probably come back to eventually, and I wonder if Alfonso and Leòn might end up supporting each other in more ways than just through battle. (By the way, I also thought the CGI with the Gaia Knight was really well done this week.)

selector spread WIXOSS, Episode 5: WIXOSS is really teasing me these days by dropping lines that fit really well into my initial speculations on where the show might be going thematically, but it also seems like it might be going in an entirely different direction.  We got a bit of the “you have to actually work to achieve things” stuff, but I fear the Girl of Black/Girl of White (Iona and Tama, or Ruko and Ulith) deal is the direction things will probably move. Ah, well. I’m really just looking forward to the net getting untangled eventually, because you know I’m pretty tied up in it myself at this point.

selector spread WIXOSS

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Episode 5: Rita best girl for the season, even if she’s undead? I think yes. I’m really kind of torn about her, because her silences are hilarious but Miyuki Sawashiro is voicing her so I also want her to talk. These are the sufferings that can only trouble one when watching a really good show, and you’d better believe Bahamut is a really good show. The third episodes and fourth episodes really worked a miracle on my feelings about this show because now that we have some character backgrounds, all the spectacular shenanigans that are going on are that much better for happening to people I care about. I was also pleased to see Jeanne back this week, riding her horse across floating pillars and flinging magical spears like the true embodiment of awesome that she is. I’m also glad she (and the Orleans Knights) haven’t just been pigeonholed into the “evil church” category. I’m not sure they’re on Amira’s side, but they’re certainly working for the good of the wider community.

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

I really, really hope we get to see more of Jeanne.

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 5: Alright, this is what we all came to Yona to see—a spoiled princess to start to come into her own as an agent in her own life, striving to protect the things she values. I thought Yona did a lovely job moving the Princess through her thought processes to the point where she was 1) ready to leave the Wind Tribe in order to protect them, and 2) defy Hak’s orders to save him. The heat is starting to turn up around Yona, and the Fire Tribe isn’t going to be able to handle it. She’s obviously going to have some growing pains, but I greatly appreciate the fact that it her development out of her “I’m whiny and miserable” phase only took until episode 5 (looking at you, The Twelve Kingdoms). Hak’s also an interesting piece in all this, and his affection for Yona is delightfully obvious for those of us who ship the two of them. I’m also appreciative that Soo-won has just been left as a ambiguous antagonistic force in the background, but continues to have a presence as his old self in Yona’s memories. This is all really good stuff, and Yona looks like it’s starting to really come into its own as a good story.

Akatsuki no Yona

Hitsugi no Chaika, Episode 5: What a blast of an episode this week—action all over the place, another moegirl (Niva Lada is a great name, too) had her purity sullied by Toru aka joined the party, Chaika got a bigger Gundo, and everything was just funny and fun per the wonderful Chaika norm. It looks like we’re getting more Vivi next week, which ought to be interesting, and with only 5 episodes left I think we’re in a decent spot to wrap up the show satisfactorily by the end of the season.

In a Sentence

  • YuYuYu, Episode 4: Glad we’re getting back to the action next week, although the joke with Karin and the medicine and the messages was pretty funny.
  • RWBY II, Episode 12 [END]: Second week in a row with pretty boring action, and this was supposed to be the grand finale, too…disappointing.
  • Argevollen, Episode 17: I was pretty curious to see what the repercussions of Tokimune going to fight were going to be and then, bam, cliffhanger—of course.

Argevollen

  • Log Horizon, Episode 5: I’m inclined to say this season of Log Horizon is better than the last, if only because relevant things are happening much closer together this time through.
  • Twintails, Episode 4: I think I’m getting pretty close to the end of my “I enjoy this because it’s so dumb” phase with this show, which means a drop could be imminent.
  • Sora no Method, Episode 5: Didn’t watch it on Sunday & didn’t have enough interest on Monday to watch it either, so dropped.
  • Inou Battle, Episode 5: I’m becoming more and more convinced that this is a very kind-hearted show.

11 thoughts on “Fall 2014, Week 5: Highlights of the Week

  1. Yeah, the most recent episode of Your Lie in April was basically the final straw for me. I feel like I’ve given the series a decent amount of time to change my mind, but episode 4 only reaffirmed my general thoughts. I’m out. Conversely, Akatsuki no Yona is finally heating up a bit, and I’m pretty sure I’m in it for the long haul.

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    • I’m pretty pumped for what’s coming next in Yona—the growth of Yona’s fighting rebel bishie harem and her development into a vengeful princess ready to take back her country. It also doesn’t look like they plan to just totally forget about Soo-won and his effect on her, which I really appreciate.

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  2. “My favorite gag was after Sento falls down the hall, when Macaron falls through as well and Kanie just watches, then goes back to calling for Sento”

    Excellent taste in AmaBuri gags.

    Don’t blame you for putting KimiUso on the backburner. The uproar it’s caused is nothing short of impressive. I’m pretty glad to still be in the B0bduh camp of loving pretty much everything it’s doing right now. I kind of feel like I’m watching it as Kousei. When he’s captivated by Kaori, so am I. And I think that’s sort of what it’s trying to sell, rather than being realistic. It’s a romance, but it feels more like a healing anime to me in some ways.

    Bahamut and Yona both had their best episodes this week, methinks. The scene where Yona gave her goodbyes to Tae-Jeon was especially well directed! The lighting, the way the camera moved, it was all so perfect. Plus everything you said; Hak is a boss, Yona’s development is awesome. Easily one of my favourites of the season. And Bahamut… I love the art direction they used inside the evil lair. That neon-pink hue cast over everything gave this prefect otherworldly feel, and made for some lovely lighting contrast. Really pretty set design.

    I honestly think the best scene in Garo this week was that final one where Lèon wakes up on the carriage. It was both calming and haunting at the same time, and that little piece of BGM nailed it. Whoo!

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    • Dat whoo tho.

      It’s a good time to be an anime fan.

      As far as KimiUso goes, I have a feeling I would be in the “loving it” camp if it weren’t for all the outrage over it, which is why I’m going to try and tune it out. I don’t want my experience of it ruined just because it upsets other people. I think it can capture me, and I want it to be able to live up to that potential without the problems that having my headspace disturbed by the crowds.

      I’d agree that, yeah, Yona and Bahamut had their best episodes this week—excited to see where both of them are going!

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  3. Amagi Brilliant Park: Yes, the recent two episodes have been entertaining, also, less fanservice compared to earlier ones, so that’s a plus.

    I agree that this gag was very funny:

    “…after Sento falls down the hall, when Macaron falls through as well and Kanie just watches, then goes back to calling for Sento”

    These three mascots can get very annoying sometimes though. But Moffle is the most decent one, and the pink cat… male… character the most unsufferable. At least Isuzu punishes him from time to time.

    Hitsugi no Chaika: Lada Niva has a different drawing style compared to the other female characters. Also, I wasn’t expecting her to be like that. While the series overall has fantastic aesthetic choices, the humanoid creatures (except the more human main pair that are similar to Gillette Corps’s Leonardo Stola) don’t have the same coherent style that can be seen through the rest of the series.

    Speaking of the Gillette Corps, how Vivi is going to react to seeing Gillette in the tournament?

    Inou Battle: Jurai and Tomoyo make a cute couple!

    I knew she was a chuuni too, and the statue seen in her room was an indication she was an anime and manga fan too.

    No fanservice in this episode. Good. I also like how the focus is more slice of life in recent chapters.

    Speaking of the visual style, I like the combination of colors on the outift Tomoyo was wearing in the latter half of the episode. I like her character design too. her hair and eyes look beautiful.

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    • I wonder if that’s maybe the point with the humanoid creatures—they’re all widely different in design, and lot of them aren’t really treated very well by the regular humans.

      Inou Battle had a really nice episode this week! I think the pacing in-episode drags a bit and it’s not always that interesting to look at, but Tomoyo is pretty darn cute, so whenever she’s on screen, it’s all okay.

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      • Maybe. But you can still design very different characters maintaining a more coherent aesthetic.

        Yes, it was very interesting!

        Something I noticed, was Hatoko looking to them from the distance. For the type of show, is expected to have the other girls interested too. Even Sayumi, the more perverted one (shipping the protagonist with his friend) likes him. Although Hatoko and Tomoyo feel like more natural choices… specially Tomoyo, considering the focus she has in the show.

        Mirei is cute too. I want more episodes focused on her.

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