Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 6

I can’t really figure out how to say this well, so I’ll just go for blunt: this is probably going to be my last post on here for a while. The lead-off is that I’m leaving tomorrow on a 10-day business trip. I’ll be staffing a big conference put on by my workplace, and I’m not anticipating much free time to watch anime—let alone write about it. The second part is that I’m feeling kind of burned out these days. As seriously as I take this blog as something I’ve made a commitment to (primarily because of my readers), continuing on like I have been for the past month or so seems like a surefire way to entirely sap the joy out of writing. To a large extent, the pressure I’ve been putting on myself to continue churning out content is probably mostly to blame—and the only way I can see to purge myself of that mentality is to put myself in a blogging time-out of sorts; that is, a hiatus.

I don’t expect it’ll last forever (and maybe even that long). If I continue to watch anime, I’m going to have things to say. And if I have things to say, you can be darn sure I’ll start writing again! But, for now, forcing myself to write stuff I’m not excited to write is making me feel like I’m not putting out stuff that’ll make people excited to read it. When I can do that again, I’ll be back!

Classroom Crisis

With all that said, I apologize in advance for what’s going to be a rather abbreviated Anime Weekly post. I’ve still got to pack for my trip tonight (Tuesday)!

Gakkou Gurashi, Episode 5: Without a doubt, the most fascinating thing about this show is Yuki’s head. Well, not her actual head, but what’s going on inside of it. In the space of a single episode, she goes into what seems like total shellshock at the sight of the zombies, so much so that we get a scene in a nursery in which Yuki falls asleep—even the setting indicates the childlike state her mind is in—and we also get Yuki acting with certainty of purpose as she dashes in amongst the zombies to save Miki. And the, right afterwards, we see she’s reverted to her old self. So, what gives? Split personalities? Faking her cluelessness? Who can say at this point…what’s clear is that there are more layers to this whole situation than it seemed even after the premiere’s twist and that Manga Time Kirara titles should continue getting anime adaptations.

Gakkou Gurashi

Classroom Crisis, Episode 6: A strong return from last week’s less-than-stellar episode. Mizuki continues to be one of the season’s most genuinely charming characters thanks to her sheer goodness of spirit. It was also really interesting getting to watch Mizuki and Kaitou’s (rather similar) reactions to hearing the truth about Nagisa’s past life. It’s easy to tell that the two siblings (in stark contrast to the relationship between Nagisa and his brother) are very similar in their empathy and genuine care for other people. While Seekirasee (my affectionate nickname for the show) has been edged out by Akagami no Shirayuki-hime as my favorite of the season, there’s still so much that I love about this show—I’ll be there until the very end!

Durarara!! x2-2, Episode 6: The story continues to move along this week, albeit a bit slower thanks to the diversion into Ruri’s backstory (which boasted some of Durarara!!‘s best visuals since I dunno how long). As long as people continue to bounce around in this show, I’m going to be happy—and I’m super curious to see what the wider implications of this stalker arc are going to have on the city of Ikebukuro at large. Someone’s going to take him out, but who? Shizuo? Celty? Anri? Mikado and his gang? Kida (nah)? Whatever happens, I hope the momentum the show’s built up to this point carries through the end of the arc and keeps the story of Ikebukuro rolling.

Durarara!! x2

Working!!!, Episode 6: Sorry, are you seeing what I’m seeing? Are you seeing love blossom in the air?? I am, and as someone who’s liked Inami from the basically the beginning, I’m super thrilled to see her relationship with Takanashi really starting to progress. Although…it is a bit weird to see all these plot threads that were formerly jokes coming to an end…

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Episode 6: Elegant, demure, restrained, dignified, beautiful. All these words describe Shirayuki-hime right now and I’m loving every moment of it. Shirayuki continues to be an absolute joy to watch on screen, while Zen and the rest of his posse (Obi, Kiki (who is great!), and Mitsuhide) continue to provide excellent support for the main relationship and a nice variety of color to the story. And, as always, Oshima’s music and Ando’s direction are beautiful compliments—both to each other and to the show as a whole. Watch Shirayuki-hime, guys. It’s great.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 6: How long until things really start to go south for the Gelsedra-led Japan—I can’t wait!

Ushio to Tora, Episode 6: Continuing to dig this, although I’d like for Asako not have to be rescued every episode…

Gate, Episode 6: Aaaaaaand here it comes—uncomfortable sexually charged, violence-induced scenes and ridiculous militaristic fetishism…except Gate is so transparent about it that it ends up being kind of comical, if slightly unnerving to see.

Castle Town Dandelion, Episode 6: Little comedy in an episode mostly interested in light character drama—I was a fan, and I think this break to flesh out some of the characters a bit more will benefit the show in the long run.

Gatchaman Crowds insight


I haven’t got to Overlord yet, but I have finished the second season of Kuroko’s Basketball (which I found somewhat less good than the first season due to lower production values, but still good enough to marathon 18 episodes at once) and have started watching Heartcatch Precure!, the first episode of which I greatly enjoyed. I’ll probably be watching more Precure! during my trip, since hotel wifi is notoriously sketchy.

Anyways, that’s all for me for now! I’ll still be writing Aniwords over on Crunchyroll and doing review on Otaku Review during this hiatus—and I’ll make sure I continue to post those links over here for you guys. Again, I apologize for the hiatus, but I’m hoping it’s a good thing in the long run.

14 thoughts on “Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 6

  1. It’s rough enough sometimes to write my weekly wall o’, and I can get away with “good show this week” or just “no comment this week” while you really can’t. (And I don’t reply to every comment either. I can’t imagine how much work goes into those.) If you need a break, take one, and watch some stuff just for fun and recharge. We’ll be here when you get back.

    That being said, what about a threadstarter each week so we can continue to discuss among ourselves?

    Anyhow, the weekly wall…

    Akagami no Shirayukihime ep6; A little bit weak this week, I just don’t get Izana’s deal and his interactions with the other characters (particularly Raji) were just painful to watch.

    Castle Town Dandelion ep6; I didn’t watch ep5 until after last weeks weekly wall, and now I’m sitting in the same seat with ep6… I just can’t take more character roulette or weak repetition of the same gags. Therefore, under the mid-season gut check rule, I’m dropping it.

    Gangsta ep6; The skillful weaving of backstory and exposition while keeping the plot moving forward continues apace… I’m on the edge of my seat every Sunday until my lady and I can watch the ep. The scene with Worick and Ally this week was just pure gold, revealing so much about the character of both and their relationship, while hinting at and remaining grounded in their respective pasts.

    Bless, as Funi says, “You Should Be Watching”. It’s not a comfortable show to watch, but it is damn good.

    Gate ep6; Very interesting. The JSDF cuts loose in a way they’ve haven’t previously on screen, and the Princess gets another lesson in the workings of the world. She’s even more confused when the conquering heroes don’t act like the conquerors of her world. I think she’s figured out that the Empire now only continues to exist due to the sufferance of the SDF, and she doesn’t like it one bit.

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Second Series ep4; The corporate intrigue continues to grow… Lots of drama this week propelled by the philosophical differences between people who accept the new regime and those who reject it. On the other hand, the show continues to suffer from it’s oversized cast and the lack of character development accompanying it.

    The difference between Cinderella Girls and Classroom Crisis and their handling of corporate meddling is stark… Girls, for all it’s flaws, hasn’t forgotten that it’s first and foremost an idol show and that the corporate storyline has to play out with that in mind. Crisis, from it’s bait-and-switch first ep to the sudden and uncomfortable mood switch last week never really settled into a groove or made up it’s mind what the basic story is about. Pondering, last season’s PlasMem suffered from much the same flaw and probably is coloring my views on Crisis.

    Million Doll ep5.5; Live action filler with the VA’s. One interesting thing did emerge this week though… Those small venue concerts with a small number of very passionate fans that are the staple of idol anime? Judging by this live event, they’re very much a real thing. (That Tokyo is essentially the size of a small country combined with Japan’s public transportation network probably go a long way towards making this possible in a way that isn’t in the US.)

    Miss Monochrome 2 ep6; Still enjoying the show, but the concentrated focus on a single plotline rather than the looser meandering of the original does take a lot of the edge off. Watching this week was also a bit interesting because Horie Yui had been the guest star on this weeks Sore ga Seiyuu! so I kept flashing back to her portrayal there.

    My Love Story ep 18; To paraphrase Alton Brown, “Our patience has been rewarded”. Takeo and Yamato finally have their Magical Moment. There’s the usual problems with Takeo’s density and Yamato’s in insecurity but in the end “Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind“.

    Non Non Byori Repeat ep6; A bit weak, even by Byori‘s loose standards… but made up by the final moments, despite being somewhat uncharacteristic they were magical.

    Overlord ep6; Even though it was leavened by a couple of action scenes, still something of a slow episode… I probably should stop saying that and just accept it as Overlord‘s default mode, not a fault, as they manage to make it work due to the diversity of characters and how Momonga and Ains play of off each other. In various discussion threads. much is being made of the badassery of the emerging Big Bad and the battle between the adventuring party and some monsters… but the highlight for me this week was seeing a different facet of Momonga’s relationship with his guild mates and just how shaken he is by the loss of that.

    Sore ga Seiyuu! ep6; A definite upturn this week, as the plot played off of the insecurities of Our Heroines rather than being driven by them. Poor Futaba just can’t catch a clean break and once again, we see openly what was only hinted at in Zuka’s brief appearances in Shirobako. Despite the differences in tone, SgS being more of a comedy than a drama, it’s still deeply informed by the experiences of the writers (who are themselves VA’s). I think I’m going to drop by the Shiobako thread on Crunchy and reccomend they watch SgS, they make for interesting bookends.

    Wakaba*Girl ep6; Summer break, a pool episode, with the usual… one girl who is modest dealing with a “sexy swimsuit” and another who cannot swim. The expected hijinks occur.

    Working!!! ep6; Something of a weak episode driven mostly by stereotypical Yamada antics and an anti-climactic meeting between Yamada and Yamada. In the background the other office romances play out… With the show slowly altering it’s course towards a for-real and for-ever ending (since the base material is itself closed out) plot is starting to take precedence over comedy and it’s a poor fit.

    In other news;

    I saw it mentioned that Silver Spoon had been added to Netflix, and sat down to watch just the first ep… and ended up marathoning it over the course of several days. It was time well spent, as it’s still a dang good show and revealed depths I missed the first time around.

    Somehow the topic of Encouragement of Climb came up, and my lady and I are working our way through it. It’s just as good the second time around.

    I was bored one afternoon, and watched Wake Up, Girls! – Seven Idols… and now the trailer for the first movie is out, and other than Yopi’s ugly hairstyle it look very interesting. (We probably won’t get to see it until the disk comes out and it becomes available on the darkside. Pfui.) I think a rewatch of the main series is coming up.

    Like

    • I like the threadstarter idea. I’m fully supportive of Bless taking a break whenever he needs one, but it’s still nice to be able share thoughts amongst ourselves too. I like reading your walls every week, Derek.

      And I’ll echo that I’m not going anywhere either. Everyone needs time off sometimes, and I’ll still be around whenever the blog picks up again. Heck, I kind of feel like I’m taking a break right now, just by not trying to keep up with the seasonal stuff this summer.

      Like

    • I can definitely do thread starters! Those are easy because I can schedule them in advance. In fact, I’ll go do next week’s now so I don’t forget while I’m on my trip.

      Annnnnd done!

      I really gotta get to that Hocchan episode of Sore ga Seiyu.

      Also, dang you’re rewatching some really good stuff! Silver Spoon is one of my all-time favorites and Encouragement of Climb is among the better cutes girls doing things cutely shows out there.

      Like

      • I wouldn’t rewatch shows that sucked after all!

        And thanks for the threadstarters, we’ll keep the lights on for you. 🙂

        Like

  2. First have a safe trip ! Kinda sad to see you take a hiatus / but hopefully you will have a recharge ! Watching and writing are two different worlds ! Sometimes what you put down on paper is not quite the same ! I hope you do a final review as things heated up in quite a few shows !

    I will just post my thoughts / rankings / BTW a 7 way tie for Top Spot / you going to miss my insane rankings ! I also posted shows you talked about previously !

    With my new ranking out I am stunned at halfway point how many good episodes there was ! Some shows that kinda lost traction turned it around ! Now my problem I just like a lot of shows immensely especially the Top 15 ! Hard to even call a # 1 , Sssh what a problem !

    EPISODE(S) of the WEEK / Note My Rank on Favorites Follows E.O.W.

    Week 5 / 6 Split 10 is just so cool / there were a lot to chose from !!

    Non Non Biyori Repeat EP 5 / “We Ate Okonomiyaki” The Koshigaya sisters were a riot and Kaede takes the Girl in on a rainy day! 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    Actually I Am EP 5 / “Let’s Go on a… Date?” Yolo’s problems ( wealness ) with the human world was comedic! A nice day at the amusement park and Yoko backstory. #21

    Himouto! Umaru-chan EP 5 / “Umaru and Summer Vacation” Just a collection of short segments that had me ROFL #17

    School-Live! EP 5 / “Meeting” Starts out peaceful-fun / a littlle danderous but the gets intense in the ending . BTW a bunch of great set-ups like the movie “Signs” 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    GATE EP 6 / ” Ride of the Valkyries ” A very factual homage to “Apocalypse Now” one of the best War Movies Ever .First Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel William “Bill” Kilgore, 1st Battalion, 9th Air Cavalry Regiment BTW they said they were going Kilgore in the anime
    The “Ride of the Valkyries” Music straight out of the move / coming in with the sun behind them / and the actual helment scene ! 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    Castle Town Dandelion EP 6 / “The Election and Me” / “My Big Sister is Sentimental” just more serious back stories about the 3 older siblings #10

    Working!!! EP 6 / “Yamada, Yama-da!” Just a funny episode ! Tension still between Takanashi and Inami/ Popura with her tootache but the pairing of Sota with Aoi Yamada lets Yamada be the high light of this episode but is found by her brother ! 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    Arslan EP 18 / “The End of the Winter” That was more twists ! Boy the Shindra Kingdom is not to be trusted but Jaswant repaid Arslan kindess for now! 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    Gangsta EP 6 / “Thorns” This is beyond anime ! Compelling violent yet touching at times ! Worick and Nic both had troubled childhhods but overcame that by their unique friendship! Their future is in question ! 7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST

    TIER 1 Top Favorites

    Weeks 5 / 6 Split

    7 WAY TIE FOR FIRST So many good episodes / Just compliciated this week !!

    1 Non Non Biyori Repeat See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    1 Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX / S3 / Just so much action had a few early EOWS
    1 Gangsta.See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    1 Gakkou Gurashi! READING MANGA See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    1 The Heroic Legend of Arslan ONGOING See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    1 Working!!! 3 / Wagnaria!! 3 See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    1 Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri READING MANGA See EP of the WEEK ABOVE

    8 Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma ONGOING READING MANGA Strong Every WK
    9 Baby Steps ONGOING READING MANGA Strong Every WK
    10 Jokamachi no Dandelion / Castle Town Dandelion INTO the TOP 10 See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    11 Durarara!!×2 Ten Gaining traction
    12 World Trigger CR Sat ONGOING Strong Every WK
    13 Akagami no Shirayuki Hime / Snow White with the Red Hair Strong Every WK
    14 Gatchaman Crowds Insight Not too sure if I am happy with Socialism IMO
    15 Rokka no Yuusha / (Heroes of the Six Flowers) Holding steady
    16 Sore ga Seiyuu! / Seiyu’s Life Holding steady
    17 Himouto! Umaru-chan See EP of the WEEK ABOVE
    18 My Love Story / Ore Monogatari. Holding steady
    19 Ultimate Otaku Teacher Holding steady
    20 Charlotte Almost was an EP of the WEEK ABOVE

    22 Classroom Crisis / Very much improved especially with the backstories

    24 Overlord / I told you I would move up

    28 Miss Monochrome 2 / Holding Steady

    39 Ushio to Tora/Ushio and Tora / I like but not overwhelming for me!

    Like

    • Whoa, dang a seven-way tie! You’re sure having a ball with this season, aren’t you? 😛 I’m obviously not as hot on as many shows as you are, but it always makes me happy to see people enjoying what they’re watching.

      Like

  3. Keeping it short this week – only two shows to talk about this time.

    Episode 18 of Food Wars was as enjoyable as ever. The day after I saw that episode, I went out and got some fried chicken for the first time in several months, because it gave me a craving I just couldn’t resist! Looks like we’re headed into what should be the climax arc after this.

    Up to episode 60 on Cardcaptor Sakura. Only ten more left. Like most great shows, it’s given me some interesting things to think about as it’s gone on. The other day it had me thinking about Sakura’s growth as a mage from the start of the series and reflecting on the ways that we as people nurture our skills and talents and grow them from “hobbyist” level to “mastery” level, but that’s a post for another time and place. More immediately, though, I suddenly realized somewhere around episode 55 that I didn’t want this series to end and I’m going to miss these characters when it’s over. I rarely feel that way about any series that runs as many episodes as this one, so it’s safe to say it’s won me over completely.

    Like

    • Well, there’s always something to be said about the longer length shows’ ability to invest you more deeply in characters simply because of the amount of time you spend with them. Obviously, there has to be a level of base excellence there to build on, but that’s a factor. I don’t mean to diminish the quality of the show, though! It’s always a joy when you find something really great and can spend a lot of time with it.

      Like

    • Just wanted to say that you made some nice points on the Saekano review discussion thread over on ANN. It’s sad that there, as was mostly the case here, too many people latched onto and couldn’t get past the fan service.

      Some days I think I’m done reading episode and series reviews there though… some pretty serious Debbie Downers among their writing staff. The forums aren’t much better… I prefer Crunchy by a wide margin.

      I tried getting into Sakura (since it’s regarded as a classic for the ages and all), but every time I tried I hit a wall about four or five episodes in. There’s just something about it that rubs me the wrong way, and I’ve never been able to put my finger on why.

      Like

      • Yeah, but I kind of get that, since I’m not normally big on fanservice stuff either – you’ll never see me reviewing things like Triage X or Seikon no Qwaser, because I know better than to watch them in the first place. Saekano happened to be an exception because it was so good and because the fanservice actually enhanced the story , but the responses on the thread were pretty predictable. Like Theron said, it’s clearly one of those “love it or hate it” kind of shows.

        Sakura definitely has a few entry barriers that any prospective viewer needs to get past. First is the fact that, classic or no, it was sincerely made with kids as the intended audience, and is therefore a more light/gentle series than what what we might be used to as adults. Second is that the early episodes are all “monster of the week” type stories coupled with lots of 90s-style slice-of-life comedy, and the meat of the plot doesn’t really start to develop until late in the first season, somewhere around episode 25 or so. If the characters don’t appeal to you for whatever reason, then you’re probably going to drift away from it long before getting that far. Third is the art style, where CLAMP has a tendency to draw their characters as lanky, long-limbed noodle people. It isn’t nearly as extreme in CCS as it is in some other shows like xxxHolic, but it’s still noticeable from certain angles, especially with the male characters, and I know some fans are put off by that. And then fourth is the romance aspect of this show. CLAMP’s always had that “love knows no boundaries and anyone can fall in love with anyone” thing in all of their works, but CCS is probably the series that most wholeheartedly embraces that philosophy. So if you were raised with very traditional views of love and romance, like I was, then it’s a show that’s really going to challenge your boundaries on that front. That was probably the thing about CCS I had the hardest time with, because it really forced me to confront some of my existing prejudices (whether conscious or unconscious) and why I carried them. That’s never the most comfortable experience, but in the end by being forced to think about those things, I feel like I understand myself a little better now for having watched it.

        Anyway, I don’t know if any of those things actually contributed to your own issues with the show, but those are what I noticed as the most obvious potential pitfalls for new viewers.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s