Fall 2014, Week 8: Highlights of the Week

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day, but there will still be a post coming out (bless you, WordPress post scheduling). As for this week, as I look back on it now, it was a pretty darn good one. The strong shows continue to do their thing, but a few of the mid-tier shows really showed up with some quality anime entertainment.

PSA: Akatsuki no Yona might be one of the best written shows of the entire season.

YuYuYu

Your Lie in April, Episode 7: There are problems, but it’s still a show worth watching.

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 8: How can I make people understand that this show is really good?

Shirobako, Episode 7: So, I was kind of wondering where Shirobako was going to go after resolving the “Tarou Ruins Everything” arc, but I wasn’t expecting the beautifully fluid shift from workplace conflict to intrapersonal distress that this episode pulled off. It’s pretty impressive how easily the atmosphere of the show turned from high-energy to melancholic as it moved the focus on to Ema. I especially liked how Aoi found herself basically unable to relate to Ema’s worries, not having a conception of her own future on which to draw as she tried to comfort Ema. Aoi herself doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life; how can she expect to relate to someone who is already struggling with the obstacles that oppose those who are working to achieve their dreams?

Shirobako

WHOAOMG look at that sidetail!

Argevollen, Episode 20: Argevollen still has its hands wrung around the title of “Best Interlude Episodes.” This was yet another one of these easy-uneasy spans of inaction for the 8th Unit—except now Samonji is gone, and has been for 2 months. Samonji obviously thinks he’s doing the right thing (or at least the thing that will assuage his guilty), and the rest of the unit has been getting by pretending like it didn’t bother them at all. But it does, obviously, so they distract themselves on the back lines with drinking, shopping, mecha maintenance and other trivial tasks. It looks like they’ll be back in action next week, though. Against who is anyone’s guess. We also got another tender moment between Tokimune and Jamie. Jamie’s clearly a gentle soul to be so disturbed by the U-Link system Tokimune endures in every battle, but it was Tokimune’s kind response to her distress—thanking her for helping him feel useful, acknowledging the validity of her own experiences—that really made me happy.

Argevollen

Amagi Brilliant Park, Episode 8: If you ask me, characters acting like other characters is a criminally underutilized reservoir of comedic potential. Characters are what make comedy truly funny, so showing what other characters think some characters act like reveals information about both while usually being funny at the same time. Granted, Sento and the three mascots more or less just acted like themselves, but filtering their ridiculous actions through the setting of Kanie’s normal high school and his physical appearance made for some great laughs. Also, the final scene with Kanie recovered on the balcony with Latifah and Sento was maybe my favorite bit of the episode. We got to see Kanie’s softer side with Latifah (the person with whom he’s let down his defense the most) and see Sento get pushed just a little more towards acting on her feelings. There was a lot less sakuga here than in last episode, but the execution of the skit was so good that it really didn’t matter.

Amagi Brilliant Park

Inou Battle, Episode 8: MORE SIDETAILS!?!?! WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS BLESSING, WEEK 8!?! Ahem. As I expected, this episode didn’t quite have the substance to merit another full post (some of the stuff at the end was really nice, but the majority of the episode was filled up with talking heads and plot explanation). The Fairy War is kind of a fun concept, and it seems like F is the true antagonist of the series—although whether or not we’ll actually see him appear in the show is probably still up in the air. Andou chickened out at the very end (aka the most important) part of his reconciliation with Hatoko, showing that he’s still a pretty immature kid for all his perceptive gifts, but Hatoko’s generous spirit allows her to accept that for what it really is. Is the destined harem fight discussion (’cause that’s how Inou Battle does things) coming next week?

Inou Battle

In a Sentence

  • YuYuYu, Episode 7: Still steadily refusing to tip its hand even a little as to what it’s actually about, despite the cliffhanger ending.
  • selector spread WIXOSS, Episode 8: To summarize—half the episode was a lengthy explanation that illuminated nothing, half the episode was misery, and the ending was murder.
  • Garo, Episode 8: While Germàn didn’t have a great night either, it wasn’t quite as awful as Leòn’s.
  • Log Horizon 2, Episode 8: Thus concludes a pretty solid arc of Log Horizon with Akatsuki finally somewhat empowered and plenty of plot threads left to follow in the remaining episodes of the season.
Log Horizon 2

I love this line—wish the entirety of the arc had been as beautifully wrought.

  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Episode 8: Lots of fighting (Jeannnneee!) all over the place interspersed with Amira eating and Favaro saying really selfish things that somehow end up sounding noble.
  • Hitsugi no Chaika, Episode 8: Only two weeks left of All the Colors of the Chaika. 😦

3 thoughts on “Fall 2014, Week 8: Highlights of the Week

  1. “How can I make people understand that this show is really good?”

    You probably can’t. I’ve noticed that when most people make up their mind about an anime, that’s it – very rarely do people seem keen on revising their opinion. It’s a shame, but I’ve no doubt been guilty of exactly the same thing plenty of times before, so I suppose I can’t get too up in arms about it. But hey, you know it’s a good anime, and I know it’s a good anime. If much of the rest of the anime blogosphere doesn’t, then that’s just their loss.

    Like

    • It’s just sort of baffling to me. So many people on my Twitter feed or bloggers that I read say they like good writing, and Yona is far above competent in that department. It’s like…really delicately done character work that rewards engagement beyond just watching, while still preserving the entertainment experience of the moment.

      I just don’t understand… ;_;

      Like

      • Partly I think it’s the shoujo/reverse-harem thing that has people wary. While I don’t think the genre necessarily has anything at all to do with the quality of writing, I do think that in general, people are more likely to write something off as trash when it doesn’t line up with their own tastes and/or genre experiences.

        Like

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