Winter 2015, Week 3: Highlights of the Week

More shows dropped this week (including Isuca‘s premier managing a paltry 51 seconds before I gave up on it), meaning my schedule for this season is more or less set. There are still a few shows that could get knocked out, but I’m pretty happy with everything on a daily basis, so there would have to be some serious stumbles for any of the remaining bubble shows to get dropped.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

Your Lie in April, Episode 14: Tsubaki-chan…. ;_;

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 16: Overall, not the best episode for the show, but it raised a lot of interesting stuff at the end.

Saekano, Episode 2: I wanted to like this so bad, guys, believe me. I really, really did. But without all the character acting sakuga from the first episode, Saekano just didn’t do it for me. I like seeing Kato drive all over otaku boy through the simple strength of not being a blithering idiot and I still do like Eriri a little bit, but Tomoya and writer girl just drag the show down like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Neither of them are interesting, funny, or otherwise entertaining to watch. And, despite the fact that Kato inherently and naturally deconstructs trope after stupid trope, I still get bored for seeing trope after stupid trope get trotted out for the sole purpose of getting knocked down. Frankly, my pleasure comes more from Kato frustrating Tomoya than anything else, but it looks like she’s going to get buried under his mountain of nonsense—and maybe “fall in love” with him. I don’t want to stick around to see that, so instead I will just lament that Kato and Eriri don’t exist in a better show than this. Dropped.

Saekano

I’m sorry, Kato-chan—you deserved so much better than this.

Shirobako, Episode 15: Nooooooooooooo!!! Ugh, we all knew this was going to happen, right? We knew they were going to get screwed over by the mangaka’s incompetent representative and have to start over from scratch. And they just nailed us with a whole stream of probably unnecessarily long and to detail scenes, JUST SO WE WOULD FEEL IT. The execution here is just splendid, because as we the audience are sitting there, groaning over how tedious it is to watch people sit through those meetings, the characters are thinking the exact same thing and NOW! NOW WE GET TO DO THE WHOLE DARN THING ALL OVER AGAIN. The working world is hard kids; stay in school as long as you can because when you get out it just terrible group project after terrible group project although you’ll pull through somehow assuming Tarou doesn’t come to just ruin it all for you except it’s not even his fault this time somehow. GAH.

Shirobako

Death Parade, Episode 3: “I’m happy I died.” Words you probably never expected to hear in Death Parade. There are truly some very creative minds behind this show, to manipulate a premise seemingly designed to bring out the worst of human nature into showing off some of the best. This just felt good from start to finish (although the fingers in the heart thing was stomach flop-inducing for me), from the generally chill attitudes of the two players to the way the whole scenario played out. As expected, Assistant-chan (or Kurokami, as seems to be the most common name for her) brought some nice flavor into the episode with her more human emotional reactions pairing nicely with Decim’s deadpan delivery of everything—including the fantastically executed “five minutes” joke. All in all, this was a pretty great episode and a stellar choice by the writing team to keep the show out of “voyeuristic glee over the nastiness of humanity” material.

Death Parade

Durarara!! x2, Episode 3: There’s simultaneously far too much and far too little to say about this show—whether it’s Blue Hair-kun trying to make a play for Anri and then instantly backing off at her and Mikado’s reactions or Yuhei connecting with a murderous idol or the Orihara sister doing their idiosyncratic thing or the fast forward from the end of Shinra’s day to where we left off last episode, Durarara!! just keeps on being itself and I keep on loving it. I suppose the one significant question right now is who Ruri (aka Hollywood) has been killing and why. One constant Durarara!! has maintained with its huge cast of main characters is that none of them are truly evil. Ruri probably walks the closest to that line since Izaya and there needs to be some nuance added to her character so we’re not just left with a serial killer being treated really nicely by a bunch of good people.

Durarara!! x2

RollingGirls, Episode 3: This is a pretty big shift for the show after the bombastic first two episodes, but the slice-of-life/political intrigue/magic stone quest mix is working really well for me right now. Nozomi is a great lead for our little biker gang and Chiaya and Ai both add some nice flavor to the main cast, with Yukina being bland, but inoffensive. There were still a few frustrating moments for me—like a critical plot point being decided by Tokyo captain’s buying habits—but overall I’m still a huge fan of the general aesthetic and the tone. Having the “bad guys” (although I expect it’s going to be a clash of priorities rather than of good versus evil) literally dwelling in Nozomi and Masami’s backyard is a nice touch, too. Anyways, there wasn’t all that much actually going on, but the show is nice to look at and comfortable to watch, so I’m happy.

Rolling☆Girls

In a Sentence:

  • Isuca, Episode 1: Dropped after literally 51 seconds.
  • Assassination Classroom, Episode 3: Best episode the show’s had yet with the addition of a character who makes Koro Sensei’s assassination a bit more attainable and makes gives the whole show a bit more of an edge.
  • Garo, Episode 15: I’d complain about the episode kind of being a throwaway, but we got Lara being cuter than any moegirl could ever be, so all is forgiven.
  • Log Horizon 2, Episode 16: Girl Shiroe appears and she looks like she’s going to be a whole lot of fun (at least more than Shiroe himself is).
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Episode 4: Less entertaining than any other episode, but still some pretty silly moments—between this and Aquarion EVOL I think I’ve seen my fill of naked babies in the last few days.

Log Horizon 2

17 thoughts on “Winter 2015, Week 3: Highlights of the Week

  1. I will keep watching Saekano. I absolutely love Kato and I love the way the Tomoya/Kato relationship is being established. There was a natural/easy chemistry to the scene where they’re walking together near the end of the prologue episode that told me all I needed to know about how compatible they are and how well they understand each other after six months. In particular I keep coming back to the part in that scene where she tells him she’s been growing her hair out “ever since you noticed that I existed,” and gives him a gentle smile and light blush. Coming from someone as understated as Kato, that right there speaks volumes about her feelings for him. And he in turn during that scene has none of the stiff awkwardness he has with the other girls, or that he still has with Kato right now at the beginning of their relationship. It’s like he’s a different and much more relaxed person, and when they’re discussing her plainness it feels more lighthearted and playful than it does in episode 2, like it’s become an inside joke between them. Now I want to see how their relationship evolved to that point (episode 2 was a very good start), and that journey alone will be enough to keep me watching regardless of what they do with the rest of the show.

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    • That seems like a good enough reason to keep watching to me! They really do have good chemistry together—I just don’t really like Tomoya very much, making me wish there was someone of equal awesomeness for Kato to play off of.

      Now I’m left wondering how good this could have been if the writer had chosen to put as much quality into the other characters as he did into Kato…

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  2. I loved the shift in Death Parade–I was caught completely off guard when it didn’t end in screaming and tears. 😛 It certainly makes me even more excited for the next episode, as the show feels less predictable now!

    Rolling Girls felt very different but it was still a good watch! 🙂

    I actually loved this week’s Earth Defense Club’s episode, the tickling part had me laughing tears because it was so ridiculous! 😀

    And I agree completely, Assassination Classroom’s third episode was a big improvement. I actually thought, “hmm, I could look forward to watching this now” which is not how I felt after the second episode. 🙂

    ~Jamie

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    • Heh, yeah, who knows where Death Parade will go now—although I expect next week is going to be a couple people actively trying to kill each other, no holds barred.

      The tickling scene in Earth Defense Club, I think, was weird for me because I’m close enough to guys’ ages that I was thinking about me and my guy friends and how there’s no way we’d ever do anything like that to each other haha. I suspect that experience for me was similar to how it feels for girls to watch anime girls grab each other’s chests. ^_^”

      & yeah, I’m actually looking forward to the next Assassination Classroom episode now, which is a change from the last two episodes.

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  3. We’re not actually watching that much in common, so I hope you don’t mind my little blog-within-a-blog…

    My impressions this week;

    Absolute Duo: Continues to sink ever lower in my estimation. Rehiring the bunny-assassin-teacher? Bleh. She’s there for the fanservice and to save them introducing a new character. T-1 episodes from drop.

    Aldnoah Zero: Despite the trainwreck of a first episode, the themes and plot points they’re introducing are quite interesting. Of course, I remain confident of their ability to muck it up. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t stop watching.

    KimiUso: Ahh… if only all eps could be like ep 14. Tightly plotted and concentrating more on moving the characters and story forward and less on being clever and literary.

    Koufuku Graffiti: Still trying to find it’s place in the world, not bad, but not much above average either. On the themes it’s addressed to date, there’s not much more to be said unless they get well above average creative.

    Kan Colle: Well, they skirted the grimdark introduced last episode and instead brought in some very out-of-place seeming comedic/pop culture elements instead. Overall it seems they want to tell an original story… but they’re hampered by the need to not piss off too many fans, making sure every shipgirl gets her allotted screen time, and ensuring their per-episode minimum of clumsy gameplay references.

    Military!: Meh, at least it’s only three minutes long.

    Saekano: Like WingKing above, I’m actually enjoying how the Tomoya/Kato relationship is playing out, Episode 0 was a brilliant way of telling us “everything works out in the end”, so I’m willing to wait. (And as some one on the Crunchyroll forums said “I don’t expect my characters to be all likeable and developed in the second episode.) How meta the series is, and how they keep setting up the tropes and knocking them down is just gravy.

    Shirobako: The brightest light this season. Though we’ve seen this rush-and-redo before, they’ve always managed to pull a rabbit out of their hat every time it looks like they’re going to repeat something done before so I’m confident they’ll do so again. (And how much do you want to bet that when all the dust settles, Shizuka has a VA job on the series?) Yuka-chan remains best girl however.

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls: Remains just simply understated and enjoyable. I’m relieved however that it seems they’re limiting themselves to three MC’s and the rest of the massive cast will just be a rotating ensemble. Keeping track of 14 MC’s would be a chore. (The first series had nine MCs, and in two cours just barely managed to flesh them all out.)

    The Rolling Girls: Has got about one or two more episodes before being dropped. The “weird land of the week” could get very old very fast.

    The Testament of Sister New Devil: The MC is ridiculously OP (Kirito MK2 – with tragic childhood backstory and generic childhood friend standard and included at no extra charge!). There wasn’t even any fanservice this week to lighten the hackneyed “character development” and generic plot. The drop zone is approaching fast…

    The biggest dissapointment is no new shows that my lovely lady and I can watch together. (We are both watching Shirobako and KimiUso though.) But, we’ve got a deep backlog, so we’re watching Golden Time (a rewatch for me, first time for her).

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    • I don’t mind at all! I like getting to read what other people are thinking about the shows I’m not watching this season!

      Oh, I forgot that I’m actually behind on Absolute Duo…I always expect it on Sundays, but Funimation doesn’t stream it until Monday…

      Re: Shirobako’s best girl—I will fight you over it being Aoi. Step into this corner of the blog now, if you will, please. ^_^

      Ah, yet another blog read who likes watching anime with their s/o. Makes me happy. 🙂 Shirobako and KimiUso seem like good shows to watch together, though. GT, as well, is a good one. Hope she enjoys it!

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  4. Welp, having finally just dropped Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, I’m now following a grand title of 3 new shows from the winter season – Death Parade, Durarara, and Yuri Kuma Arashi (and while I’m still sticking with it for now, there’s no guarantee I’ll be keeping that last one until the end either). I guess it’s lucky I’ve still got Yona, Ronja, and Parasyte, otherwise my current watch-list would be truly bereft.

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  5. I just noticed your not watching Gundam Build Fighters Try and I could have sworn that you saw the first season, are you saving it to marathon or am I confusing you with someone else?

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  6. Death parade is going places, that’s for sure. Knowing the nature of the series, after this episode 3, I think I expect a veeeeeery dark episode this week…

    Still, I wonder, will this show become episodic or not? Kinda hard to think it’ll be episodic with that “large” of a cast, though… Seriously, I can’t predict a single thing out of DP -_- that’s pretty unusual for me :/

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    • I’ve seen speculation that Death Parade is going to condemn both people to the bad place next week.

      I’m getting the feel that it will be “episodic,” but unveil pieces of a larger plot through those individual episodes.

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