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
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.