Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 8

Hiatus: Over.

Yeah, that’s right—I’m back, and I’m going to make this all work, one way or another! Getting away from my normal routine for a solid 10 days and just doing something different than the regular grind was hugely beneficial, and I came up with some ideas about how I can keep things headed in a positive direction from here on out. So, yeah, let’s talk about some anime! The order they crop up in the post is most likely the order in which I caught up to them, so there’s a secret there about which shows I’ve heard the most good things about and became a high priority for me.

Classroom Crisis

Good things: exhibit 1.

Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 7: Every week I come to this show, expecting the crap to finally hit the fan, and every week Crowds manages to convincingly extend the suspense of wondering when Gelsedra’s increasingly obviously bad way of dealing with human beings will finally blow up in his face and in the face of the entire nation of Japan. Well, until the final minutes of this episode, it seemed we were in for more of the same almost frightening continuity of Gelsedra’s campaign to wipe out individual thinking from the nation island, but when he started vomiting thought bubbles and a small army of groupthink minions appeared, I knew the time had finally come. But the creepy crawlies only precipitate the beginning of a much more interesting conflict—one between ideologies and individualism and the Gatchaman and Tsubasa and all the different pieces that have been falling down one after another. I still don’t find Crowds totally engaging every week, but there’s no question that it’s absolutely fascinating right now on myriad levels.

Gatchaman Crowds insight

Ushio to Tora, Episodes 7-8: Looks like we’re finally out of introduction mode and into real story mode, although it also seems that the monster of the week format isn’t going away quite yet. That’s alright, especially if Tora continues to be a hilarious old man fascinated with modern technology and totally incompetent when it comes to navigating these new metal machines. Tora’s an old-school creature, one who understands simple provocation and simple retaliation far better than he understands everything else. Episode 7, which was probably the show’s best looking episode to date, played this out in the most straight-faced way possible (in contrast to episode 8 playing it in comedic terms)—setting up all three of the major characters in the show so far (Ushio, his father, and Tora) as legitimate actors inside of the larger plot. I’m hoping Ushio to Tora doesn’t drag its feet too much in following the main plot for the sake of the episodic monsters, but the show’s still entertaining as heck either way.

Classroom Crisis, Episodes 7-8: Let me begin by saying—I really, really love this show. After the beach episode’s relative weakness, I began to find myself wondering if Seekirasee was going to fall apart, but these two episodes (as the best episodes of the show since the premiere) restored my confidence entirely. While episode 7 imbued the show with a new sense of narrative motion, helped soothe away the worries about Angelina’s character, and generally proved that Classroom Crisis can be super fun and super well-executed, episode 8 took everything up a notch by adding in a healthy dose of emotional authenticity and character agency. Between the sublime sequence of the bottle rocket launch (the music!) and the bittersweet-triumphant moment of Nagisa passing on Mizuki’s 5:00 festival invitation, Classroom Crisis just seems to have all of its Bless-pleasing ducks in a row—how can I not be charmed by its frontier spirit?

Classroom Crisis

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Episodes 7-8: Let me begin by saying—I really, really love this show. And yes, I meant to write that. Between this and Classroom Crisis, I’m kind of beside myself with happiness over how well these two shows have turned out as of late. I know I talk about it basically every week, but oh my gosh Michiru Oshima’s music (and the way it’s integrated into the scenes) is absolutely stunning. The music basically cues you into exactly what the mood of any respective scene should be, and guides you through each episode with an elegant grace that is frankly unrecognizable as an anime technique. The only other show I can think of with even comparable effect is (you guessed it!) Blast of Tempest, but even there Ando and Oshima weren’t as apparently artistically in harmony as they are for Shirayuki-hime. And that’s to say nothing of the delicacy of the character writing and the continually amazing relationship between Zen and Shirayuki and the beautiful visuals. This is a good, good show.

Short Takes~

Miss Monochrome 2, Episodes 7-8: Although seeing Miss Monochrome mess around with a horror-style episode in pieces (and yeah, idols crawling up walls and ceilings is super creepy), the tragic friendship story between Miss Monochrome and Battery-kun was among the show’s best absurdist set pieces from either season. It made no sense; it was great.

Durarara!! x2-2, Episodes 7-8: Kida’s back! And everything is moving! I still maintain that the high school trio are the most interesting and internally dynamic characters in Durarara!!, even if they aren’t as entertaining to watch as some of the others. They’re just kids, and they have a lot of room to grow and behave unreasonably and unpredictably. It also makes them pretty sympathetic, even if following their emotional logic is difficult thanks to Narita’s spacey writing.

Working!!! and Gakkou Gurashi: Neither dropped, just haven’t got to them yet! More Yamada in Working!!! and continual positive buzz for Gakkou Gurashi have hyped me up for both of them.

Durarara!! x2

Drops~

Man, nothing like falling two episodes behind on everything to really make you consider which shows you care most about watching. Late cuts like this invariably lead to other things getting picked up (Charlotte seems like the prime candidate, with Gate coming back decently likely as well), as well as freeing up more time to watching things I’m loving—like Heartcatch Precure. None of these drops were precipitated by ill will towards them. It’s simply time.

Dropped: Overlord, Castle Town Dandelion, Gate

16 thoughts on “Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 8

  1. I’ve fallen behind on all but a few shows on my watchlist because my husband and I decided to watch Chaos;Head and also rewatched School Live episodes with my daughter.

    My husband was particularly interested in Chaos;Head because Steins;Gate is one of his top anime favorites. Chaos;Head wasn’t nearly as good as Steins;Gate, but it was interesting. I think it suffered from being shoved into 12 episodes rather than the 24 that Steins;Gate had.

    So we’re an episode behind on School Live, but now that my daughter is caught up we can watch it together. It was pretty heartbreaking to have it confirmed that Megu-nee is not there anymore, even though I was already sure that was the case. Hopefully she will still get some screen time, because I love her character.

    The ones I’m up to date one are:

    Actually, I am: This show just keeps getting better. The last 2 episodes were completely absurd and hilarious. I don’t normally cast my vote for a “Best Girl” in harem animes, but Aizawa continues to display her Best Girl qualifications.

    OreMono: We would NEVER miss an episode of this. Me, my husband, and my daughter are all in love with this show. My recent favorite episode is “My Mom” where we really get to know Takeo’s mom and his little sister is born. Too cute!

    Charlotte: We picked this up again after hearing about the big twist. Wow. That got really dark and compelling. And the latest episode was a really nice way to bring things up and forward from that dark spot. I have no idea where this show is going to go from here though.

    GATE: LOVED the recent episodes. This is getting really good. Rory at the diet was AWESOME.

    Prison School: The raunchiness of the VP is getting on my nerves, but everything else is great. Gakuto is a true hero and easily my favorite character.

    I’m behind on:

    Overlord: I’m enjoying this, though it’s another one where I’m not sure where it’s going or what kind of story it’s trying to tell. Well, it’s one of my husband’s favorites of the season so it’s staying on our watchlist.

    Working: We’re behind (only 1 ep) on this as well because we were waiting for our daughter to watch season 1 and 2 and catch up to us on season 3. She fell in love with it just like we did. Anyway, I was really glad to see Yamada reunited with her family. That poor girl needs one. And now I’m wondering, is “Yamada” the name of their father?

    Rokka: Not much progress is made in a single episode of this. I’m thinking it’ll be better to marathon it once it’s done at this point.

    Food Wars: New character with white hair, brown skin and voiced by Junichi Suwabe introduced. YES! Just my type.

    Rinne: Still continuing to enjoy the humor. Just an average, enjoyable show.

    Gangsta: Still continuing to love. Wish it was more than 12 episodes though.

    Ushio and Tora: Apparently my husband doesn’t like this one much so I’m continuing to watch it myself, but I’m way behind. Recently watched the Hyou episode which was very good.

    Fairy Tail: We caught up, now we’re an episode behind again. But I ended up reading a bunch of spoilers because I’m a terrible person and now I’m really excited about this series again.

    Arslan Senki: I’m SO behind on this. But this is another that I usually prefer to watch in binges so it’s ok. I’ll probably binge on it once I’m caught up with everything else.

    I think I’m dropping Castle Town Dandelion. I like it, but… I’m also bored by it. The problem with the episodic, focusing on 1 or a couple siblings at a time format is that I like the stories about the characters I like, and I get really bored by the stories about the characters I don’t much like. And I really just don’t like Hikari and her whole idol gig.

    I’ve also been watching Vision of Escaflowne on the side by myself. It took me a while to get into it, but now I’m on ep. 22 and loving it. Some really great worldbuilding. Though I’m not entirely keen on the relationship development. Yes, Hitomi, Allen is pretty hot, but come on! Van is so cute and much, much better for you! Why are you so starstruck like some 13 year old at a Justin Bieber concert? Looking forward to finishing it anyway, probably today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Escaflowne! That was my gateway anime back in 1998, and it’s still my all-time favorite – though admittedly as much for personal and sentimental reasons as because it’s just that damn good. Also the first anime soundtrack I ever bought (and I believe it was the first TV soundtrack Yoko Kanno scored, too). With the relationships, there are actually very specific reasons why Hitomi and Allen are attracted to each other, and I think episode 24 is when they both figure out why. If you’re still questioning it at the end of the show, though, I’ll be happy to try to explain.

      Like

    • I just caught up on Gakkou Gurashi before I came to catch up on comments, and yeah…Megu-nee… 😦 A good teacher always watches out for her students.

      (PS I assume you’re not watching Prison School with your daughter?)

      Like

      • hahaha No, definitely not. Anime violence isn’t usually a problem (and my kids LOVE zombies) but we try to keep any sexual content to a bare minimum as she’s only 12. So right now she’s watching Rinne, OreMono, Rokka, Working and School-Live with us.

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  2. My thoughts on latest episodes of a few shows:

    Aorharu x Machine Gun: I remember the Soviet Conscripts in Company of Heroes 2 shouting “I, hate, MACHINE GUN!” so I went ahead and marathon the 8 episodes. It starts out strong, but loses its charm and gets cheesy later on. I just don’t feel like the relationship is going anywhere here.

    Gangsta: It’s a drama anime. Not an action anime. I want an action anime. The whole episode would have been a bore-fest if not for the great singing. Just get to the intense part already. It starts out with lots of fighting and violence. Now, they have died down for some reason.

    School-Live!: A bit slow this episode. The girls finally do something I would expect them to in a zombie apocalypse: call for help. Some of the visuals have changed again, much darker now, so I am hoping the shit to come down soon.

    Gate: This episode we have Western cheese meets Eastern cheese. Wow, what a cheese-fest. The “villains” are just so generic, over-the-top and annoying. The fan service is all over the place. Nothing in this episode I can take seriously. I am so angry but I will stop now because I don’t want to mention what I truly feel when I hear about the Japanese army. That might insult someone.

    Charlotte: They went back to the same old formula. Forced relationship, unfunny jokes and just overall poor direction. The resolution to a major plot point seems way too abrupt and Sala is an old hag.

    Monster Musume: I did not watch this episode, but I read the script somewhere. It is worse than I thought. Not only is this sexist, but racist as well. Those pig mafia. Dropped. I will never talk about this abomination again.

    Snow White with Red Hair: The usual stuffs. That is all I am gonna say. Zen + Shirayuki = Win. Good to see some character development from Raji. I still hate him to the gut, though.

    Rokka no Yuusha: Pretty much the only thing that shines this week. The dialogues are much better now. There are more fighting and even the CGI monsters look good. Some characters get some forced screen time which I don’t feel they need, but the interaction between Adlet and hans is spot on.

    Castetown: First half is pretty boring. But the part where Prince Shu confesses is well-done in my opinion.

    Ranpo Kitan: I have high hopes for this one. It did not deliver. I cannot even consider this my guilty pleasure anymore.

    Actually I am a Vampire: Comedy in this anime is a hit or miss. This one did not even aim for the right spot. Try harder, people.

    Like

    • Whew, sounds like it was a rough week for you. Yeah, Gate is total BS, but I more or less found it entertaining BS. Like I said, done with it for now, but I might get back to it later just to have a good laugh (hopefully).

      Like

    • Yah, if Gangsta has a deep flaw, it’s that it can’t make up it’s mind as to whether it’s a drama or an action show. The shifts between them aren’t handled all that well.

      Like

  3. Welcome back!

    I’d make a “Welcome Back Kotter” reference, but I already used that on my FB page this week for something different… aaand you’re waaay too young to get it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that at 52-almost-53 I’m the oldest of your regular readers/commenters by a fair margin. Older otaku aren’t that uncommon, but I often find myself out on the right hand side of that curve.

    And with that out of the way, we’re off to the weekly wall;

    Akagami no Shirayukihime ep8; Back to the future this week, with a flashback to Zen’s childhood. Other than the near mutual confession between Zen and Shirayuki last week, with the three most recent eps it feels to me as if the show has lost it’s way a little bit. The flashback didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know – Zen chafes at the restrictions placed on him because of his birth, and Izana is a coldly efficient badass. (Though he’s far from being a bad guy, a subtle distinction that’s lost on some.)

    Gangsta ep8; A quiet episode that’s more of a brief interlude setting up… something? Much of the episode was spent further muddying the waters of show’s increasingly weak point – the larger political and social background and machinations of Ergastulum.

    Gate ep8; Mostly politics, politics, and more politics… driven (I suspect) by the authors pro-military and anti-politician mindset and of little use otherwise. It is interesting that Pina was overawed by Tokyo (though they’ve been setting that up for a couple of eps now), while the fanservice trio pretty much took it in stride.

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Second Series ep6; More corporate shenanigans mostly, but the girls are starting to join in the rebellion too.

    Million Doll ep7; No comment this week.

    Miss Monochrome 2 ep8; A bit of a weird ep by the standards of this season, but fun none the less… This abstract wackiness, which characterized the first season, was why I was so looking forward to the second. Not that there’s anything wrong with the second mind you, it’s been more than decent, it’s just not what I expected.

    My Love Story ep 20; The Valentine’s Day ep – in which Takeo is as blithely clueless and socially inept as always. He’s so looking forward to getting real chocolate (as opposed to duty chocolate) but doesn’t want to pressure Yamato… But in the end, everything works out for our lovebirds.

    Speaking of My Love Story, a new trailer is out for the movie;

    When we first heard of the live action, my lady was worried about where they would find someone physically big enough… and I opined that it was more the way Takeo carried himself than anything else. The trailer bears that out, though he doesn’t tower over the rest of the cast, Ryohei Suzuki does carry himself and project quite well.

    Back to the matter at hand…

    Non Non Byori Repeat ep8; Though they tried to pack too much into this ep, they managed to make it work in the end. Toddler Renge was an absolute delight.

    Overlord ep8; sigh Another excruciatingly slow ep… If this show wasn’t done as well it as is, I’d have dropped it long ago. Also, the second cliffhanger in a row. We’re finally rounding the bend into the final arc and the setup for season 2.

    Sore ga Seiyuu! ep8; The first half of the ep, Earphone’s debut mini live, was actually decently done. (And Futaba has at least one rabid fanboy to her delight.) Last week it seemed like we had turned a corner and the girls were going to move on, but the second half (once again revolving around Futaba’s insecurities), was repetitive drek.

    Wakaba*Girl ep8; Pretty much sticks to it’s formula, Wakaba encountering something that her isolated life formerly kept from her… in this case, the obligatory school cultural festival episode. Despite this, I’m enjoying the show as it’s decently done and despite being mostly tropes on legs the side characters are charming as heck.

    Wakako-zake eps 1-8; A new entry this week as Crunchy didn’t start streaming until late in the season… but worth the wait. The MC is an OL that likes nothing better than to unwind after work with good food and good drink. If you enjoyed Koufuku Graffiti, Wakako is probably right up your alley.

    Working!!! ep8; Felt pretty much like a reset of what has transpired in the second two eps… But as that meant more Yamada wackiness, I’m OK with that. Ah, and the scene with Yachiyo and Sato was pure gold – man, does he have it bad.

    In other news…

    Much talk of Charlotte this week and last. For me, it’s the first PA works show not even to make my queue as the premise just didn’t grab me.

    The full trailer is out for the new Cyborg 009, and I’m loving the character designs!

    I suppose I need to find time to check out Devilman so I understand What’s Going One when I do get a chance to see the movie.

    Like

    • Yuuuup, sorry, I don’t get that reference at all. ^_^””

      To be honest, I was a bit relieved by Working!!!‘s reset. I was wondering what they’d do with the Yamada plotline finished, without totally destroying the status quo we’ve come to know and love. I think the resolution it ended up with is both plausible, completely, and satisfying. As for our workplace romances…we keep on inching towards the end! Any week now!

      I’m still happy with Shirayuki (obviously), but a large part of that for me is how effective the music has been—if it’s not quite as much of a prominent concern for others, I could see how the episodes could be less enchanting.

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    • @age: I’m 44.

      @Gate: Interesting contrast you point out between Pina Co Lada and the other girls. I’m wondering whether there’s a more intricate sort of sexism at work here: Pina Co Lada has to be a woman, because if she were a man that sort of submission might be too hard to watch, and the self-glorification of the military might be a harder sell. By making her a woman, you can feel patronisingly generous towards your “opponents” – because of a “natural” male protection instinct. Play the series through in your mind, but replace Pina Co Lada with long lost twin brother Kai Pi Rinya to see what I mean.

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  4. Nice to see you back ! I will post my ranking for this week ! Everybody has their shows and preferences but of course I like to make ot crazy by having a 4 way tie for First and a 4 way tie for 2nd ! Still wathing 48 shows plus most of the Funi Dubs and just varely keeping up with the manga ! IThey should hire me to DO the upcoming BCS rankings !! Jaws would drop !

    [b]EPISODE(S) of the WEEK[/b]

    [blue]Week 7 / 8 Split [/blue] 11 this week !!

    [b]EPISODE(S) of the WEEK[/b]

    [blue]Week 7 / 8 Split [/blue] 11 this week !!

    Non Non Biyori EP 7 / “We Bravely Dove Between secret bases and differences city to country made this enjoyable again !

    Seiyu’s Life! EP 7 / “Dubbing” ASnother side of VA’s in Japan ! The main focus was on Futaba who got a zombie movie with Rikiya Koyama who has done anime roles but his dubbing work of English movies for actors like George Clooney / Kiefer Sutherland / Christian Bale / Hugh Jackman really fits this EP quite nicely!

    School-Live! EP 7 / “A Letter” Another good episode from despair that Yuki is confused about Megumi but gets it back together Due to Yuki chasing the dog to get her hat back she kocks off a tin containing stationary and decicde to write letters via balloons or pigeon ! That was a tale of two emotions !

    Castle Town Dandelion EP 8 / “Satou-San’s Worrying” and The King’s Rest Stop ” Focusing on Sato-Shu / then The King-Queen Soichiro / Satsuki ! The siblings have what they call A “BREAKOUT” when their powers can’t be controlled easily! Sato asks Akane out to talk about Shu and gets crazy but has a nice resolution! The first meeting of Soichiro / Satsuki was a interesting story too!

    Aoharu x Machinegun EP 8 / “What Controls Your Mind Now” Midori is basically a sadist taking out Toy Gun ! Hotaru had a chance but Midori knows she is a girl that didtracted her long enough for Ichi to snipe her! That was aptly named ! Oh the music was amazing again and a new ED song ?

    Gate EP 8 / “Japan, Beyond the Gate” Having read the manga I was lookinf gorwars to this ! Between Tuka / Lelei / Rory /Pina and Bozes . Bur Rory was the Highlight in the Diet teeliing the speaker off and Itami stopping from yielding her Scythe ! Give Itami credit whether through luck or thinkinng he save the girls from an unknown party !

    BTW Rory is voiced by Risa Taneda who is voicing Erina in Food Wars ! among other nice roles

    Durarara!!×2 Ten EP 8 / “Mouth Of Honey, A Needle In The Heart” Izaya is playing everybody but The Awakusu is suspicious ! One of these days Izaya is going to get it!

    Charlotte EP 8 / “Encounter”

    I thought of Angel Beats in the 2nd half and I was right

    Sala / Zhiend is sung by Marina ( not the VA ) also sung for Angel Beat’s Masami Iwasawa ! ( she sang “My Song and disappeared! )
    Just another good episode! The EP and music was really good !

    The Heroic Legend of Arslan EP 20 / “The True Face of a Knight” This picked up quite nicely this week ! The Arslan forces are infighting and Arslan himself wonder if he should replace Silvermask as the heir to the throne ! But Etoile wants to spy on the Pars forces / but is revealed she is a girl ! She overhears that Arslan wants ti free the slaves but posing as a hostess she is manhandled ny a drunk solider who she knocks out but Arslan see this and helps her ! Etoile does remind him of the slave he ran into originally and later but cant make the connection Etiole on the other does not know its Arslan who she has a big influcence over ! In Fact meetiin her helps him decicde what to do !

    Working 3 EP 8 / “Mystic Sugar” I wouldnt have thought after the Yamada arc thid week would be quieter ! Aoi doesnt go away / the rest of the Working crew has great moments ! But Aoi with asking for the cellphone from her mom amd thre waiting for the TXT msg back from mom was brilliant esoecially when Kirio read back the blank msg ! Way too many gems to write about!

    Gangsta EP 8 / “Evening Dress” This is turning out to be one of the better animes I ever watched ! Somebody is killing Tweilights so Worick throws a party at the Cristiano’s place to gather the Twilights while he and Nic go to rercue more and take care of the Anti-Twilights Alex backstory is told and has a Brother ( Nic ???) Oh my ! But she can sing and the Club’s bouncer gets her to sing ! With the background Of Nic / Worick rescusing Twilights this quite compelling !

    [blue]TIER 1 Top Favorites[/blue]

    [blue] Weeks 7 / 8 Split [/blue]

    [u][i][b] Lots of changes 4 WAY TIE For First [/b][/i][/u]

    1 Non Non Biyori Repeat [red]CR Mon[/red]
    1 Gangsta. / [blue]FUNI Sun[/blue]
    1 Gakkou Gurashi! [red]CR Thur[/red] [purple]READING MANGA[/purple]
    1 Working!!! 3 / Wagnaria!! 3 [red]CR / Sat[/red]

    4 Way Tie For 2nd

    2 Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX / S3 [b]Fri[/b] [red]CR FRI[/red]
    2 The Heroic Legend of Arslan [blue]Funi Sun [/blue] [green]ONGOING[/green]
    2 Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri [red]CR Fri[/red] [purple]READING MANGA[/purple]
    2 Jokamachi no Dandelion / Castle Town Dandelion [blue]FUNI Mon[/blue] Moved up Again

    9 Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma [red]CR Fri[/red] [green]ONGOING[/green] [purple]READING MANGA[/purple]
    10 Durarara!!×2 Ten [red]CR / Sat[/red] Could move up?
    11 Baby Steps 2 [red]CR Sun[/red] [green]ONGOING[/green] [purple]READING MANGA[/purple]
    12 World Trigger [red]CR Sat [/red] [green]ONGOING[/green]
    13 Akagami no Shirayuki Hime / Snow White with the Red Hair [blue]FUNI Mon[/blue]
    14 Charlotte [red]CR / SAT[/red] Moved Up
    15 Gatchaman Crowds Insight [red]CR SAT[/red]
    16 Sore ga Seiyuu! / Seiyu’s Life [blue]FUNI Tues[/blue]
    17 Himouto! Umaru-chan [red]CR Wed [/red] Moved up
    18 My Love Story / Ore Monogatari. [red]CR Wed[/red] [green]ONGOING[/green]
    19 Aoharu x Kikanju (Aoharu x Machinegun) [red]CR FRI [/red]
    20 Rokka no Yuusha / (Heroes of the Six Flowers) [red]CR Sat[/red] Came Down A little

    Like

    • They should hire me to DO the upcoming BCS rankings !!

      Ha! I got a good laugh out of that. 😀

      Rory’s VA has been doing amazing work throughout Gate. I’ve been very impressed.

      And that’s a solid top 8 you’ve got going there, with two 4-way ties!

      Like

    • I didn’t realise Rory was Risa Taneda. She’s one of the better new voice actors out there. I became conscious of her when I realised that the airheaded Yukari in Yuyushiki was the same voice actor as Saki in Shin Sekai Yori or Kaoru in OreShura, all three of which were very different roles expertly delivered (even in the hard-to-get-right out-of-control moments).

      Like

  5. Shorter post than usual, since I just posted a few days ago.

    Food Wars #20 plunges us into the (I assume) last major competition of the season, with 60 kids facing off in a preliminary cookoff, and while it wasn’t the most exciting episode, it did illustrate how well the show has developed and managed its large cast. All of the named characters participating got a brief spotlight to show how they were attacking the challenge, and in nearly all cases I knew each character well enough by now that it wasn’t hard to see how their personality and cooking style was informing their approach, from Alice’s gadget-filled kitchen to Yoshino’s use of wild game.

    Back Catalog Update:

    I finished Amagi Brilliant Park last night. KyoAni fanboy that I am, I would’ve watched this last Fall if anyone had been streaming it, but better late than never. I thought it was a very funny, and overall definitely enjoyable show, and I liked nearly all of the diverse and wacky cast of characters, from the stoic Sento to the perverted Tiramie. The only one who actually did very little for me was Latifah. I found her pretty bland, which unfortunately meant I wasn’t as engaged with her story arc as the show probably wanted. Bottom line, as a comedy it worked really well for me. Less so as a drama, though the running attendance counts at the end of each episode were a clever tension-builder.
    Current list ranking: In the “discount release” range at #33, between Rec at #32 and its fellow Fall 2014 comedy Inou Battle at #34.
    On deck: Hanayamata, and then an overdue re-watch of Air.

    Like

    • I can’t wait to hear your take on Hana Yamata… I’ll leave mine for then.

      Also, if you haven’t checked it out, Crunchy has started streaming Wakako-zake and I suspect it’ll be right up your alley.

      Like

  6. I’m quite enjoying Classroom Crisis and Snow White with the Red Hair as well. Started off lukewarm on both, but they’re really grown on me.

    Shimoneta an Monster Musume are examples of how (Shimoneta) and how not to (Monster Musume) do bawdy humor.

    Pick Charlotte up at our peril. It’s everything that is awful about Key shows (Except, thanks to PA works, the female characters don’t look like E.T. this time.)

    I realize I’m am outlier here. Virtually every point that makes me cringe as being contrived, emotionally un-genuine, flat-out stupid, etc. has people gushing ‘That’s just SO KEY!”

    Like

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