With the premieres of new shows taking up most of my writing time lately, the five ongoing shows I’ve carried over from the fall have taken something of a back seat. Which, you know, is kind of a shame considering how good these five shows are. I didn’t want to let a whole week go by without talking about them at all, so we’ll have a short Highlights of the Week this week to chat about Garo, Shirobako, Your Lie in April, Log Horizon, and Akatsuki no Yona.
My schedule for this season is still coming together, but I’m hoping to aim for ~4 posts/week: Yona and KimiUso episodics, Highlights of the Week, and some kind of craft/editorial piece over the weekends. We’ll see how that goes. But, for now, on to this week!
Your Lie in April, Episode 12: Had something of a weak episode this week, but I’m pretty devoted to this show—flaws and all—at this point.
Garo, Episode 13: This was my pick for the best episode of the week, including all the premieres I watched. Garo has always been a steadily paced show, never really rushing through anything and always feeling intentional in its choices. That dedication to balance was on full, glorious display this week in what was one of the most amazing “healing” episodes I’ve ever seen. León, who inspires both annoyance and pity right now, finds himself in the house of some simple farmers and has the chance to see the lives of the normal people. This isn’t really the “city slicker learns about life from the rural bumpkins” story so much as it’s a chance for someone exceptional to learn what it’s like to live a life where you can’t move away because your land belonged to your father. It’s an entirely different way of being alive than what León knows and the sheer peace of small purpose exemplified by Lara (by the way, if Garo kills her off, I may rage quit the show) and her family. Aesthetically, this episode was simultaneously barren and lush, using the backdrop of autumn to highlight the richness of the farmers’ lives. It’s a great moment for León and I’m really excited to see how this episode’s effects play out in the rest of the show.
Shirobako, Episode 13: Shirobako‘s still just as good as it was as when we left it a few weeks ago. Exodus! may be over, but now we get to watch Aoi and Musani scramble to produce Third Aerial Girls, an adaptation of a popular manga. Having Musani’s second project be an adaptation is a cool choice because adapting an established work brings with it an entirely new set of creative challenges for Director Kinoshita and the rest of the creative staff. Alongside this, we get to see Aoi dealing with the challenges of a new position of responsibility (assertive Aoi is an entirely new level of best girl) and with the practical implications of Musani’s ravaged production staff. Of most painfully resonant significance this week was college student Rii-chan’s mourning over wanting to get started in the real world…stay in college, Rii-chan. The real world is scary, even though it looks super cool from the outside.
Log Horizon 2 , Episode 13: Sadly, it seems this was just a one-off episode about Kanami, as the preview indicated we’re get more Log Horizon B-team next week (the next best thing). Kanami has been teased by the show for a really long time now as some sort of transcendent player, so it doesn’t really come as any surprise that she’s essentially a hyper-adventurous genki girl with the power to attract NPCs to her party, including bots and super-powered beings who were supposed to have shut down. Aside from Kanami’s lovable genki antics, there were a couple interesting things that came out of this episode: 1) the NPCs, particularly the two antagonists, seemed unusually cognizant that the world of Elder Tale is a game, an understanding I don’t think the People of the Land we’ve seen thus far have noticed; 2) Kanami had actually left the game for a while after she quit the Debauchery Tea Party. Both of those details beg more questions than they answer, but that’s about par for the course with this show. I guess we’ll be left hoping for a third season…
Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 13-14: As some of you may have noticed, my Akatsuki no Yona posts are a couple weeks behind—contributing factors: new season overload/crappy internet. I do intend to catch up on those posts over the upcoming weekend, though, and to continue to do those posts weekly. Few people are actually watching Yona, it seems, and even fewer blogging about it. I think it’s a very, very good show, so I want to make sure there’s at least one voice on a weekly basis campaigning for this shoujo fantasy not-really-reverse harem and how good it is.