Well, hello there! You might notice that this week’s highlights are shorter than in weeks past. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, I dropped three shows this week. Having a full-time job, wanting to do a good job maintaining my blog, and generally just wanting to have the freedom to watch more, different things, has moved me in this direction. The thing that most often inspires me to write is actually watching shows, but there are few shows this season that actually compel me to write about them. Two, I do have quite a few things I do want to write about—and so I’m saving my words and writing energy for those! Three, I wrote most of this post after the BBB 5 post, so I’m tired…eheheheh
Ore Monogatari!!, Episodes 6 & 7: Episode 6 post is up! Episode 7 post is up!
Sound! Euphonium, Episode 7: This is good, good, good show. I don’t want to dismiss everything else that was done this episode, but Haruka and Natsuki (especially our much-maligned band president) had both had watershed moments this episode, cementing them as my favorite characters in this show. Haruka’s struggle with her reserved personality, insecurity in the face of Asuka’s assumed brilliance, and the challenges of leading this particular group of people is intensely relatable to me, as a fellow person who finds overt leadership to be incredibly challenging. But Haruka keeps trying. And that’s the only way to change yourself if you want to be changed, or even just to follow through on a commitment you’ve made. I have so much admiration for the way she’s refused to give up, done all she can as a friend and generally good person to fulfill her duties. No, Haruka’s not a leader. But the band had decided to let her be the leader anyways, and that’s something really special.
Punchline, Episode 7: And, I think I’m done. I think Punchline is still throwing twists at me, but none of them hit with any impact and if—as some people are telling me—some of the twists are just red herrings, then I have even less reason to pay attention to this show. The lack of effective characterization has really hurt Punchline‘s ability to be engaging when it’s not being crazy and the chronic pausing to explain things was surfacing all over this episode, along with flashbacks that don’t really do anything besides explain how things got the way they are now. If Punchline had given me a reason to care about any of these characters—liking Mikatan and Meika a lot just isnt enough on its own—maybe I’d still think about sticking with it, but there really nothing that recommends this show to besides the persistently amazing ED. And I’ve already bought that. I can listen to it anytime I want. So, bye, Punchline. Dropped.
Yamada-kun, Episode 7: The Sarushima arc, I remember, was a pretty long one in the manga, but this was a very good effort at getting it into a single episode. Starting the episode outside Sarushima’s house was a great decision, allowing the episode to jump right into the story. However, like always, the real emotional (and quality) heft of these episodes come from Yamada and Urara’s interactions. Even in just two scenes—the body swap kiss and the cool down conversation on the room—the romantic (and just general) chemistry between these two kids is unmistakable, and it’s great. We know how much Yamada means to Urara, but she always, always shows it, rather than saying it—while, at the same time, Yamada refuses to let Urara melt into some kind of self-sacrificial lamb for his sake. And she understand, agrees…and smiles. Ugh, her smiles are so beautiful.
Show by Rock!, Episode 8: Another decent episode, but other than my fondness for the very good OST, my enthusiasm for Show by Rock! seems to be decreasing. It’s inevitably the last thing I watch each week and it just doesn’t seem to offer me what I want—so, I’m dropping it. This really is more of an “it’s not you, SBR!, it’s me!” case than anything else, which is unfortunate. But it also means that Show by Rock! has failed to do what it needed to do to keep me from coming to this point. Loveable gag characters like SHINGANCRIMSONZ and Moa can only take the show so far and, often, they rely a light tone to maintain their ability to do so. As Show by Rock! moves closer and closer to it’s “serious” plot, the less able the charm points of the show are able to stand out. Which is a shame, I think. I like Show by Rock! a lot and I want it to succeed and make people happy watching it (all the more so since it’s a BONES show), but I guess I’m just not one of those people any more. Dropped.
- Blood Blockade Battlefront, Episode 8: So much good stuff in this episode—it didn’t feel dense, but there was a lot going on and I’m very excited to watch it again.
- Danmachi, Episode 8: Wow, this was splendid. Easily the show’s best episode so far, and it’s not like 3 or 6 (the show’s previous highs) were crap. I’m definitely going to end up writing about this one (and 6, as well), so just know this was maybe my favorite episode of the week.
- Yuki-chan, Episode 8: If I want to hang out with these characters, I can just rewatch the real series (which is far better). Right now, Haruhi is tearing things up, but the constant returns to Nagato are a wet blanket on the fun that Haruhi offers. In short, I want The ______ of Haruhi Suzumiyai far more than I want anything about Nagato. Sorry, kid. Dropped.
- Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic, Episode 8: Best gag this week? Karen tricking Alice into order a smile at the fast food chain. Harmless moegirl bullying is far funnier than it ought to be, I think.
20 thoughts on “Spring 2015, Week 8: Highlights of the Week”
I am going to keep it short today ! I’ll just give you my Top 16 ! 2 Part Post
Maybe when you have more time you should watch Arslan Senki and RE-KAN ( 3 weeks in a row episode of the week for me ) Arslan is sooo good too getiin a co- EP of the week!
Punchline and Nagato I kinda understand getting dropped / too bad about Show by Rock it’s your time and preference!
My two in the Danger Zone are Gunslinger Stratos and FSN / UBW ( So much uselees babble ) and it started out decent ! Rumor has it not enough material to fill episodes and they are cayching heat for it both from reviewers and fans such as myself!
EPISODE(S) of the WEEK
Re-Kan (3 Weeks in a row ! )
TIER 1 Top Favorites
1 Baby Steps 2
2 Arslan Senki / The Heroic Legend of Arslan FUNIMATION ALSO ENG DUB Really Impressive ! Vying for the Top Spot
3 Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (TV) ONGOING ALSO ENG DUB The Island Arc
4 Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki / Holding Steady at 4
Special Note / After 3 Weeks of Episode of the Week it deserves a Top 5 Spot which is excellent !
5 Re-Kan! CR What a touching EP with young ghost girl
Very hard to Seperate / Basically a 3 way tie for 6TH
6 Nisekoi 2
6 Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic / Kiniro Mosaic Season 2
6 Shokugeki no Souma / Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
9 Hibike! Euphonium / Sound! Euphonium
10 WORLD TRIGGER
11 Ore Monogatari!! / My Love Story
12 Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?
13 Show By Rock!! ALSO ENG DUB
14The Labyrinth of Grisaia CR / The Eden of Grisaia
15 Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo / Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
16 Triage X
Yeah, Show by Rock! was the most grudging drop, but when an episode doesn’t leave me wanting more from a show, usually that means it’s time to let it go. I still have a lot of affection for the show in the abstract, but actually watching it doesn’t give me same experience a show like it should…yeah, a bummer.
I tried out Re-Kan! at the beginning of the season and wanted to like it, but didn’t find it very funny… 😦
I find it funny that our thoughts on Nagato Yuki are polar opposites but lead to the same effect. I started hating the show when Haruhi showed up in earnest and the more she showed up made me groan. So I ended up dropping it because it seemed the show, which was meant to be about Nagato, was only another Haruhi show to please the Haruhi fans.
Yeah, I can imagine that Yuki-chan is even more frustrating for people who actually wanted the show to be about Nagato…
The wall o’ text is a bit worn and tumbledown as the season bends towards the finale… so many shows dropped this season and the pickings were slim to start with.
Eden of Grisaia ep6; Well, the moment we’ve all not been waiting for – the foreshadowed revisit of the events of the Angelic Howl arc, and it was every bit as bad (as in dark/horrifying) as I expected… But the rest of the plot of this season seems to flow from what happened “off screen” in the last, so it needed to be done. A lot of Yuuiji and Kazaki’s past is coming to light and coming home to roost.
Ore Monogatari!! ep7; read your post, will comment when fullness is.
Plastic Memories ep8; Dang… this weeks ep was actually good. The Team dealt with something they haven’t dealt with (on screen) before – someone interested in and willing to take them up on the “reformat, reboot, and return” option. On one hand, if you accept Giftia as sophonts (something the show has stayed carefully away from dealing too closely with) it can be seen a cold and self centered. On the other, it’s a healthy moving on regardless. On the gripping hand, if they’re mere property (which the show hints to as being the case)… who the hell cares? The balance of the episode was spent dealing with the question of whether or not Giftia can remember their past lives, and finding many different ways to answer in the negative and illuminate the healthiness of moving on.
As annoying and poorly done as the comedic and relationship drama aspects are, when PlasMem shifts to conceptual science fiction mode it really shines. But if they’re setting up for a “Isla returns because of the Power Of Love” ending, I’m gonna probably start throwing things.
Sound! Euphonium ep7; I’m not sure what to think of this ep… I suppose someone had to be thrown under the bus to highlight the “I don’t like the direction the band is taking” theme, I just don’t have to like it. Moving forward is coming at great cost even as it affords great growth.
It also could be because being hit by the shadows of the past resonated with me… In a club I’m in, the events of the Year Of Terror still find echo in the discussions and attitudes of today – even though the events in question played out fifteen years ago. (On the other hand, none of candidates for Coronet last year had been here during the Year – maybe we are finally laying those ghosts to rest as the younger generation starts to fill the senior positions.)
As you’ve discussed elsewhere with regards to your personal beliefs, it’s interesting how our own individual experiences grind and polish the lenses we view anime through.
On a happier note… Remember how I said I always (and unusually) sat through the OP of Euph? That lead me to digging around for a copy on YouTube, and I found a video of Dream Solister being performed by an actual concert band;
In other news;
Over the weekend, resting up after geocaching expeditions, we worked our way through most of My Little Monster. It’s not bad, but given the trope bending Saekano last season, and the equally brilliant and trope intolerant Ore Mono this season I’m temporarily a little less welcoming of trope driven rom com and “will he, won’t she” game. I do find an interesting Welcome to the NHK vibe though, in that both center around traumatized people trying to find love and normality.
Ah, that rendition of the OP is great! I like the chorus of the song much better than I like the rest of it, but it’s still one of the better OPs of the season.
Yeah, Eupho is pretty relentless in dredging up those hard memories of the past. For you, I guess, it’s the specific club. For me, it’s the more general experience of being in a competitive music squad. And that’s going to have different effects on the way both of us view the show.
This is the first season I’ve tried out a lot of new shows. It’s been an interesting experience.
Shows I was hyped for before the season began:
Blood Blockade Battlefront (I was excited about that one as soon as I heard it was adapted from a manga by the Trigun mangaka)
The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Love a good historical fantasy)
New shows I tried out this season:
Seraph of the End
Ultimate Otaku Teacher
Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
Show by Rock!
Mikagura School Suite
My Love Story!
Uta no Prince-sama Revolutions
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Shows I’ve dropped:
Ultimate Otaku Teacher- It was funny at first, but it started to feel like a joke that was dragged out so long the punchline had already come and gone and you can’t figure out why it won’t end.
Mikagura School Suite- Watched 3 episodes and liked them, but when a new episode came around the following week I realized I had no real desire to watch the show. It just didn’t draw me in.
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan- Only watched an episode, but I found it to be so boring it was a struggle to finish even that one.
Gunslinger Stratos- After one episode I have no idea what the show is about or what kind of experience it’s supposed to be giving me, no desire to watch more.
Plastic Memories- I thought it was going to be smarter than this.
Shows that are still up in the air:
Show by Rock!- Nothing really wrong with the show, I quite like some parts of it. (I love Shingan Crimsonz.) But it’s not really a genre(?) I enjoy and I don’t like the CGI parts at all. I’ll probably give it a couple more episodes, but I’m a few episodes behind atm.
Seraph of the End- I was so ready to drop this one if last weekend’s episode didn’t get significantly better, which it did. I really think episode 8 should have been episode 2. There was a lot of needless introductory material that was really boring. If the episodes stay this good from here on, I’ll keep it.
Shows that I am enjoying:
Food Wars- more than just food porn, it has likeable characters, good humor and good pacing.
Punchline- I expect by the time this one is over I will either love it or hate it, but for now it has me thoroughly intrigued.
Yamada-kun- My husband refuses to watch this with me because he “doesn’t like body switching comedies”. I keep telling him it’s much more than that and he’s missing out.
Uta no Prince-sama Revolutions- Became aware of this series this season, binged my way through seasons 1 and 2 so I could start this season. I honestly didn’t think I would like this kind of show but then I surprised myself by liking Love Live (which is much better than this) so maybe I just like the hot guys. is ashamed
Shows that are rocking my world:
BBB- Just an awesome thrill ride and a artistic masterpiece rolled into one.
Arslan Senki- Again, I love a good historical fantasy, and this is one. Arslan is so adorable and I can’t resist a tall dark man with a spear.
Danmachi- Fantasy is my favorite genre so this show is right up my alley. Magic, adventure, great characters, what’s not to love?
Sound!Euphonium- I was never in band, but I used to be heavily involved in my HS’s choral programs and I had lots of friends in band, so this is a little like a trip down memory lane, but with lots of refreshing characters and slice-of-life drama.
My Love Story!- Best romance I’ve seen in a long time. Takeo and Yamato are shooting right up my “favorite anime couples” list with every episode.
All in all, it’s been a great season. There are so many good shows I haven’t had much time to watch anything else. THough I did watch Noragami so I can be ready for the next season and I’ve started Soul Eater. Though Soul Eater’s very odd art style is not really my cup of tea, I’m finding the characters very compelling so far.
Like you, I wasn’t in band—but I did a whole heckuva a lot of choir and knew tons of people in band (and in band+choir). And Eupho just nails the whole thing.
Glad to hear you’re liking Danmachi as much as I am! It’s not…the most beloved show within the critical circles I run, so I’m always happy to find people who like it for what it is.
Idk if telling your husband some random internet blogger highly recommends Yamada-kun will help, but if it would, you have my permission to quote me: “Yamada-kun is good. Listen to your wife and watch it.”
Incidentally, Soul Eater is one of my very favorite series and boasts my all-time favorite character in anime ever (Maka), so I hope you enjoy it a lot!
Oh, I forgot to include RIN-NE. I know a lot of people find it mediocre, but InuYasha was the first anime I ever watched and still one of my favorites so this brings me a lot of feelings of nostalgia. Takahashi’s use of Japanese mythology and her humor is unmistakeable. I can’t help loving it.
Actually, it’s not incidental. I decided to try Soul Eater because of your praise of it. Your list of favorites has quite a few of my favorites as well, including Gurren Lagann and Blast of Tempest (soooo underrated). So I figured I’d give some of your other favorites a try. 🙂
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I thought a weekly rundown is as good as any for a first post. I’ve been lurking in the shadows for a while now, but I like the general mood of your posts, and I think I might post now and then.
I thought the standout this week, again, was Oregairu2. The current arc is hard to watch, extremely hard to watch. It’s emotionally raw and has a lot of inner turmoil that’s not easy to resolve, and last episode was a key episode, too. I don’t know when the show became so great, as the first season was very uneven.
Danmachi had a great episode, too. Usually, the show’s strength, for me, is to spread good cheer. You have sweet characters being sweet and perservering despite it all. It’s good fun. But the minotaur fight this season? Let me just say that Bell-kun has never shown his dark side so clearly; he scared me more than that minotaur.
I liked the early episodes of Yuki Nagato, as long as I could forget that it’s supposedly a Haruhi spin-off. But this onsen episode was just annoying. Where’s the charm the early episodes had?
Hibike Euphonium had one of its best episodes, after one of its weakest. This is the first KyoAni show since Hyouka I really enjoy (well, I conditionally enjoyed Tamako Market). I’m a bit photosensitive and also prone to motionsickness, and some of the lusher scenes make me queasy, but that’s just about the only thing that mitigates my enjoyment.
I’d like to comment on this:
Finally, I’m in a minority this season, but I really like Plastic Memories (despite agreeing with the more commonly cited flaws) and Re-Kan; neither of them seem very popular. With Plastic Memories, I like the visuals, and some of the emotional moments feature excellent bodylanguage. The story, when it’s not buried under silly jokes or when it’s not being overly sentimental, is actually quite interesting (and I say that as someone whose main intake of SF is through short stories). Re-Kan is just good fun. It’s actually less the humour that draws me in (I hate both the comic violence and the pervert cat), as the gentle, melancholic mood. The main character, Amami Hibiki, works exceptionally well for me (kudos to her voice actress, Kido Ibuki).
Finally, I wish to point out that this appears to be the season for talking cats. Here’s my talking cat ranking:
Mikagura (mildly like)
Closing comments: I, too, am currently watching Soul Eater, because of your blog’s recommendation. Last episode I watched introduced Excalibur (heh). I quite enjoy the show. I was a bit wary of watching it, as it’s 52 episodes long and I don’t make that commitment easily. Thanks for the rec.
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Ahhhhhh a new commentor! Hi, hi, hi! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ^_^ I definitely hope you feel like posting more!
Urghghh more Oregairu 2 praise—this show is going to destroy me when I finally watch it.
Great point about Danmachi‘s usual charms versus what we saw this week. There’s definitely something inspiring, I think, in Bell’s stand to fight for himself, but you’re right—there’s a darkness there as well. He had to, in a way, give into becoming a certain type of monster against the minotaur, which is not a path he’s really gone down before.
I do remember really liking Re-Kan!‘s main character’s voice for the episode and a half that I watched. That was one of the shows I was most bummed out about not liking enough to keep watching…
Mikagura‘s cat is Yoshitsugu Matsuoka in a silly role—which automatically makes him the best talking cat of the season.
Ahhhh another person watching Soul Eater on my rec?!? I’m totally delighted and I’m hugely happy that you’re enjoying it. I won’t say anymore than I already have, though, other than that I hope you continue to like it.
Annnnd again, thanks for commenting! Hope to see you back soon!
@Oregairu2: It’s a very uncomfortable watch. Huge pay-off from the set-up of the first season. (I only wish they hadn’t prettied up the character designs. I thought I’d get used to them, but I still haven’t completely.)
@Re-Kan: If you didn’t like the first two episodes, but were liking some aspects of them, I suggest you watch episodes 3 and 8 (the most recent), and ignore the rest. Those episodes are less comedy centred, and fall more on the touching side. I doubt you’d miss anything from not having watched the other episodes, since it’s entirely episodic. (At most, you’ll miss some character in-jokes.) If you don’t like 3, you needn’t bother with 8; they grow from the same tree, mood-wise.
@Soul Eater: I’m definitely enjoying it. Most of all, I like its style. I don’t want to talk too much about it, since this show has suprises that are best experienced unaware.
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So I guess after those drops, I’m actually following more shows than you, now. Didn’t expect that to happen this season. I’m nowhere near dropping anything else, but I feel your frustration on Yuki Nagato, which brought up the bottom of my list for the fourth week in a row. One of the thoughts I jotted down in my viewing notes this week is that it’s too bad a great series like Haruhi has struggled so much to produce anything decent outside of the main series and Disappearance. Haruhi-chan is the best of the rest, and even that one I’ve never felt the least bit of desire to go back and re-watch (versus the trilogy of season 1/season 2/movie, which I’ve re-watched many times). I have my own theories about why these spinoffs keep going wrong, but this isn’t really the place for it.
Alright my top 5 for this week:
Euphonium ep 8
Danmachi ep 8
Ore Monogatari ep 7
Food Wars ep 8
F/SN:UBW ep 20
Danmachi exceeded all my expectations this week, delivering a seriously awesome episode and hands-down THE best battle I’ve seen all season (including everything F/SN’s had to offer). I like that you picked this as your favorite episode of the week; it would’ve been mine too if I hadn’t just had my mind completely blown by the sublime brilliance of Eupho 8. I’ll look forward to your post, whenever it gets written.
I’ll refrain from commenting on Eupho 8 here, since your post is highlighting ep 7. My biggest takeaway from Eupho 7 was that I really, really love the characters in this series. I think I’ve said this before, but the way they’ve been developed makes them actually feel like realistic, believable people rather than your typical anime characters. And even though Reina’s been my favorite character ever since her trumpet solo in episode 3 (and episode 8 cemented her “most favored” status with authority), I really feel invested in the whole cast at this point. Watching episode 7, I found myself simultaneously:
*rooting for Hazuki
*feeling bad for Aoi but understanding her decision, especially since I quit piano in high school for basically the same reason – I didn’t have time to practice even half as much as I needed to because my studies had just gotten too demanding
*Continuing to enjoy seeing the slow repatriation of Natsuki into the bass section
*As someone who still isn’t 100% comfortable in leadership roles even after years of experience with it, I was totally, totally sympathizing with Haruka
There aren’t many anime where the character arcs for all the main cast are this interesting and well-written and easy to identify with, never mind arcs for supporting characters like Haruka and Aoi.
Well, you can definitely blame the full-time job in part for that. I just don’t have as much energy (or time) to sit through things I’m not totally loving. Plus, I just want to be able to watch more, different stuff, and not be tied to as many shows for three months at a time…
To be fair to Haruhi, how many other shows have had great spinoffs that even approached being as good as the original creation? I can’t think of any off the top of my head and those I am thinking of (Soul Eater NOT) have generally been bad.
For Danmachi, it was partially the surprise of it all and partially just how darn good it was, but yeah—favorite episode of the week.
And yup, Eupho was great in episode 7 (which I liked better than episode 8, to be quite honest). Haruka and Natsuki are my favvvsss~
True. Lyrical Nanoha was spun off from a visual novel anime adaptation called Triangle Heart where she was just the MC’s kid sister, and that turned out to be far superior to its parent series in every conceivable way, but I can’t think of too many others. I know a lot of people will point to Railgun as a superior spinoff, but I haven’t seen that yet – I’m still only partway through S1 of Index (which I haven’t been able to get back to for about six months now).
And yeah, I definitely don’t blame you for cutting back. I know from past experience that it’s easy to get burned out on this hobby if you don’t pace yourself, and I’d hate to see that happen. I was just slightly amused at the switcheroo since your original list was about twice as long as mine.
I strongly support your decision re: watching schedule. Nothing could burn you out faster from your favorite medium if, after day work, you’re obliged to do more “work” by watching and writing a bunch of things you don’t enjoy.
I’m a returning animanga fan; was a big fan in 1990s, spent most of my high school and college away from the medium, and had just re-discovered my love since around last year. I’ve learned to pace myself and be really selective in watching, though; instead of trying to keep up w/ everything, I just pick 2-3 shows to watch for the current season, watch great past shows I’ve missed and Smart Internet People endorsed (*like, the only thing I’ve seen in your Top list is Chihayafuru, haha), re-visit old favorites, and do other stuff.
My picks for this season (OreMono and Arslan) are slightly weaker than my last season’s (Shirobako and Death Parade), but I still like them lots. PlasMemo used to be my 3rd pick, but I quickly cut bait after 2 ep. Euphonium and BBB are in my backlog; I considered it too late to catch up by now and I dislike marathoning.I’m also enjoying Boogiepop Phantom and Stand Alone Complex atm. It’s been working out pretty swell!
Looking forward to your new plans and articles for the blog.
Yeah, it’s just not sustainable to do a huge watching schedule each week—as much as I’d like to still be able to do it. That’s okay, though, I think. Watching more good stuff is probably better for me anyways! And, as I see you referencing backlog stuff like Boogiepop and Stand Alone Complex, it reminds me that I have a ton of stuff I want to see that isn’t airing.
I’ll try my hardest to deliver on my plans! Still kind of feeling things out for now…
Late to the party. In fact, late on every single anime. I thought I can at least keep up with BBB, but… gonna cry. T.T
It seems that Eupho hits close to places for a lot of people. I’m looking forward to experience that myself, wonder what nostalgia would it bring to me, or what experience that I can relate to.
It’s okay! Falling behind, I feel, is part of being an anime fan haha.
Yeah, Eupho‘s pretty great. Definitely one to check out when you can.