Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 10

As a counterpoint to last week’s gushing praise about watching only a handful of shows, and having them all be shows you like, this week’s anime seemed (especially early on) determined to remind me that the other side of this is that the week can seem kind of drab if a bunch of your shows decide to take an unfortunate week off all at the same time. Of course, it wasn’t everything that this happened to—it just seems like a lot more when you’ve only got eight show that you’re keeping up with.

Working!!!

Translation: Oh geez we have to wait another week before we can become canon?

Classroom Crisis, Episode 10: Leading off the relative disappointments was an episode of Classroom Crisis that really could have been better than it was, but ended up not being so. The biggest problem I see in the show (as a whole, not just in this episode) is that it’s biggest charm points are: A) Mizuki, B) Kaitou, C) A-TEC as a unit, D) Nagisa, E) Iris, and F) Angelina. These characters are the absolute best thing about Classroom Crisis by a long, long shot, but these plot heavy episodes don’t really give any of them the chance to shine, instead throwing us into the political whirlwind of activity that could be meaningful, but ultimately comes up short for a variety of reasons (most prominent of which is the simple lack of time spent with the characters who matter—Nagisa, primarily).

All that being said, the (actually pretty well set up) twist that Iris is the true Nagisa and Nagisa is working to protect her—maybe?—keeps the show’s flagging narrative interesting. The question that’s immediately obvious here is, of course: is Nagisa really working to protect Iris, or is he actually as revenge-driven as we’ve seen him to be? I don’t know. Also, Mizuki is in love with him, which didn’t come completely out of nowhere, but it still would have been nice to see, I dunno, a little more responsiveness from Nagisa in Mizuki’s direction so it felt less like she just feel in love with him because ??? she was supposed to?

Gakkou Gurashi, Episode 9: Like I said, a rough week. Gakkou Gurashi‘s exploits in pure slice-of-life moe (and occasionally very bad fanservice taste) have mostly been limited to very short segments of individual episodes, but this episode took everything that’s weak about the show and indulged in it. And yeah, again…the fanservice is ugh. This all particularly grates on me because one of the takes I’ve had on Gakkou Gurashi is that there’s some meta-level commentary on the moe genre vis-a-vis the shifts from cutesy, insubstantial fluff to a degrading, nasty reality, but when the show’s just doing straight fluff (particularly when its also stripping its characters of humanity and dignity through fanservice) that kind of edge gets lost amidst all the nonsense—plus it kills the narrative momentum in a way that’s not refreshing, but irritating. Of course, then we got the final few moments of the episode—yay, we’re back to stomach turning tension. Next week should be fun.

Gakkou Gurashi

Thank goodness for some actually good fanservice.

Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 9: For an introduction, here are some thoughts on Hajime and Tsubasa, courtesy of Illegenes’ wonderful post over on SBD—go check it out! Back? Okay, the comment I wrote there is kind of the groundwork for what I want to talk about on this episode of Crowds. Here’s the deal. The Kuu-samas represent a physical incarnation of a very recognizable occurrence in human social interaction: someone doesn’t quite fit the group’s accepted mode of relating? Eliminate them from the group, whether it be through isolation, outright meanness, or just a persistence in ignoring their difference. Eventually, they go away. Of course, this is the theatre of fiction, so all these different options have been dramatized into the single action of the Kuu-samas devouring anyone who doesn’t fit the mold—whether because they disagree with the overall trajectory of humanity, or just because they don’t feel like going to karaoke tonight.

How does this relate to my comment? It’s about self-reflectiveness. The really annoying thing about being human is that it’s impossible to be entirely self-aware at any one time. The moment you reach the theoretical point of full self-knowledge, immediately there begin to be things about you that you’re unaware of. In a group setting, this looks like moderation of the social norms. If the group (as small as a few friends, or as big as society) is aware of its customs, rituals, and rules, it can identify where those collectively agreed upon ideas begin generate dissenters. Unfortunately, due to the human tendency to adhere to what other humans are doing, this kind of social self-awareness is really difficult. As soon as we start moderating those who are being Kuu-samas, we stand the risk of becoming Kuu-samas ourselves.

That’s why Hajime is so important. She is, as I wrote in my comment, the mirror of humanity—and we’d best keep looking in, no matter how ugly it gets.

Gatchaman Crowds insight

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Episode 10: Oh my goodness, this show is something else. Although the episode as a whole passed by in a flash, I was getting ready to chalk this one up as one of Shirayuki-hime‘s weaker offerings—a one-off episode that didn’t really do much for the characters…and then the viscount started threatening Shirayuki, and Shirayuki talked back, and then she jumped in the water, and then Zen showed up, and then…and then…

And then I cried because oh my goodness this show, it is stunning. Because when Zen came to check on Shirayuki’s (thankfully minor) injury, everything else about this episode fell into place. The pressure of Zen’s station and the way Shirayuki relieves him of the stress of it, the reality of their socially difficult relationship due to their class differences, the slow building intensity of their relationship that’s starting to boil over…it all clicked with that one kiss because everything that is good and wonderful and beautiful about this show comes back to Zen and Shirayuki. It comes back to the way they deeply care for each other. It comes back to the way they deeply trust each other. It comes back to the fact that they’ve both made a choice about wanting to be around the other. Ah, geez. I’m really starting to fall for this show…

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Short Takes~

  • Ushio to Tora, Episode 10: This is clearly not the show’s best material, as the monster of the week formula is starting to weary me despite the nice twists to it that they brought this week. I’m just ready for the story to actually move, rather than watching Ushio and Tora toss away time on one-shot adventures. It wasn’t the episode so much as it’s the format.
  • Miss Monochrome S2, Episode 10: Well, we spent all episode getting ready for a joke a Yui Horie’s expense, so I guess it’s all good. Miss Monochrome in general is a show that I still can’t believe we get, and am grateful for. It’s just silly and absurd in such a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. I like it a lot.
  • Working!!!, Episode 10: i swear i’m going to die before this show actually lets inami x souta have real resolution huh oh well I had a good run see you all in the next life lets pray we all reincarnate into a world where working!!! ships actually come true

Ushio to Tora

29 thoughts on “Anime Weekly: Summer 2015, Week 10

  1. I thought GG!’s episode last week was one of the best examples of the ‘fluffy stuff’ yet. It’s really significant that despite learning that the secrets of the school they need to delves into are in the basement, the Club retreats to the roof. They’re having one last cling onto the ideal of high school life before going beyond the point of no return. It’s also worth noting that these girls have no pervy guys to worry about, so there’s little reason why they’d stop themselves from enjoying a hot day like this.

    It would feel far more inhuman if these girls didn’t do what they did this week and were shoved into the progress of the plot, as Rii-san explained herself. Fanservice may lower someone’s dignity, but it’s also one of the main tropes of high school slice-of-life, and embracing it shows that the Club have been supporting Yuki’s ideal to the fullest.

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    • Yeah, I mean, I can see the actual events of this week’s Gakkou Gurashi having thematic and character significance, but the whole episode was executed like a fanservice episode—something that effectively undercut any kind of meaningful message it could have been trying to communicate. It could have done all the things you talked about…and not made it a fanservice thing. And that would have been good.

      I don’t think you can really argue that the meta-level of “fanservice for the audience” is relevant to the School Living Club upholding Yuki’s ideal. It’s the fact that there are no pervy guys that makes the fanservice all the more voyeuristic for the “pervy guys” in the audience who are watching. It’s not supposed to be a sexualized thing, but it is made to be so.

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      • The idea that a ‘fanservice’ episode can’t be meaningless doesn’t make sense. The meaning arises from that very label – the significantly inevitable ‘swimsuit episode’ of a SoL series. If the girls can pull one off in the condition they’re in, they’ve achieved the maintenance of normal high school life. Not bucking the trend, however, would carry different significances.

        If we say they can’t, or shouldn’t, have fun in bikinis because this should be a more ‘serious’ show, then we’re taking Miki’s initial standpoint of wondering why on earth these girls are just messing around. They should be going to the basement and sorting things out, right? But part of Miki’s character development during the episode was realising what meaning there is in doing ‘meaningless’ things like the extreme of spending the whole day/episode at the pool. Such an environment enabled her to deal with and understand better her past life with Kei.

        Forget about how pervy the audience might be – the show is simply using its genre and the particular genre of this episode to comment on itself and emphasise one of its main themes. Fanservice may not have anything to do with Yuki’s ideal, but the causes of fanservice – ‘girls just want to have fun’ and so on – are integral to what her delusion is made up of.

        We should note that there is no ‘fanservice’ in this episode that the girls don’t sign up for and endorse. It’s not a hot springs episode where the girls are innocently invaded by the male characters and our own eyes. There are no embarrassing moments between the girls, and no female character that tries to get the girls to show more of them than they want to. It’s actually hard to see how this is an effective ‘fanservice’ episode in the titular sense. It misses a lot of chances for gratification of the audience, and this was our last chance to see it.

        It seems quite backwards to say that these girls can’t do revealing things that might excite pervy viewers and have them carry significance. Who cares if there are perverts? Does the existence of beaches and pools in real life, and going to them, and thinking that there are likely perverted people there, signify some loss of integrity or depth of meaning in going? It depends on why you’re there and what you’re looking at and for. Gakkou Gurashi has already invited viewers to look between the lines of its normal SoL antics from the first episode; I can’t see why they can’t encourage the same exercise through the fanservice trope.

        I don’t think most viewers got much fanservice from this episode at all. It was more there to surround and embellish a vital part of Miki’s development, and I can’t imagine that development being stressed any better than in the traditional episode wherein Miki – and potentially ourselves – would be most concerned with the amount of ‘fun’ going on.

        If we always responded to the ‘swimsuit episode’ like your review does, there’d be no development in the form. We should at least acknowledge what Gakkou Gurashi is trying to do with the trope. Else, we are the ones who undercut meaningful messages, not the show itself.

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        • I don’t think anyone’s saying that they can’t have fun in swim-suits. What I’m wondering is how you think the camera zooming in on cleavage, for example, contributes to the concept. That’s been done far better (and completely unapologetically) in Highschool of the Dead, a show I hated but respect.

          My impression is that it’s actually not the fanservice that matters here. The creaters weren’t indulging more in it than, say, in other scenes (e.g. the camera’s curious fascination with Yuki’s butt in the scene where they were trying to find what the key unlocks). I think the creaters were going for a lull-before-the-storm feel, pacing-wise. Choosing a swimsuit episode for that seems obvious (by way of elimination). It’s just that everything in this episode has been adressed before. Girls are having fun despite the dire situation? Check. The school is equipped for survival (look: fish!)? Check. So far, every episode changed the game and shifted the focus slightly. This episode did nothing of the sort. And because it didn’t, the fanservice elements (present in other episodes) stood out. At this point, a swimsuit episode contributes nothing.

          I’m guessing they’re going for a calm episode, before all hell breaks loose. But that only works, if you actually like the slightly-fanservicy slice of life elements. I’m a huge fan of the slice-of-life genre, but those elements in Gakkou Gurashi don’t much appeal to me on their own. Take out the zombies, and you get a rather run-of-the-mill slice of life show. And so the calm-before-storm episode turns into the bored-before-the-storm episode. I wasn’t bored exactly, but considering the rather highly consistent quality of the other episodes, this one felt like a been-there-done-that disappointment. The entire episode could have been stuffed into a pre-credits sequence with little to no loss, IMO.

          It’s not a bad episode; it just looks like one, because Gakkou Gurashi is otherwise an outstanding show.

          What adds insult to injury is that in the very week GG manages to make a swimsuit episode my undoubtedly least favourite one, Jitsu wa Watashi wa managed to make its swimsuit episode into one of my favourite episodes.

          Clearly, if you enjoy the slice-of-life elements of GG for their own sake, you’ll have a better view of this episode. It wasn’t really any worse, I thought, than usual. It’s just that they decided to expand the slice-of-life content to a whole episode, when I was already experiencing diminishing returns on that sort of content.

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          • This episode contributes nothing? Did the Taroumaru development mean nothing? I don’t know how you can miss the significance of that and how it relates to the girls reaching the climax – figuratively and literally – of their SoL antics.

            Of course it was a calm before the storm, and of course there was cinematic emphasis placed on the fanservice; that’s part of the trope being followed and used. That does not discount other significances unless, again, you are the one discounting them. Such things only further the links I’ve seen that address the underlying reasons why the Club would do a swimsuit episode and how this helps us access the girls’ characters.

            I’m tired of this argument that a show, especially one like Gakkou Gurashi, can’t do clever things in a swimsuit episode, that even if it did them out would be better off in a normal episode. It’s like most critics turn their brains off when they see a little more flesh. I’d rather direct viewers to more interesting thoughts and concepts than rely on such easy criticism that acts ignorant of half the episode for the sake of limiting art to the obvious.

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  2. Whew – what a week! Filled with exhilaration and frustration as some shows start to build toward the finale while others appear bent on coasting across the finish line on cruise control.

    Akagami no Shirayukihime ep10; Like you, I was ready to check this one off as yet another show where Zen flexes his muscles and Shirayuki displays her competence… And then we saw Shirayuki flash by the window. (Obi’s spit-take was priceless!) The whole premise of the birds was extremely hokey, but they made it pay off in spades.

    As a side comment, one of the things at work here (and in retrospect the actual point of the last two episodes) is just how dang lonely Zen is. He’s certainly friends with Mitsuhide and Kiki – but at the end of the day, they’re his retainers and that colors the relationship. This episode also throws new light on the scene with Obi at the end of the last ep… so far as we know, he’s the first retainer Zen has chosen for himself. Going forward, keep an eye on this newfound independence – it’s as important as the now blossomed romance.

    And speaking of Obi, if were Zen, my next act would to find out just whyinhell her bodyguard wasn’t at Shirayuki’s side. And speaking of bodyguards, Clarines is depicted as a fairly peaceable place – so why so many internal guards at the castle?

    Gangsta; a recap/clip show this week, which I haven’t actually watched yet. Buzz on the fora indicates there may also be some additional background so I supposed I should before watching the next real ep. This is the second ‘padding’ ep this season (the other being in Million Doll) which is decidedly odd as I’ve never (in my admittedly limited experience) seen so much as one.

    Gate ep10; Rory fanservice followed by some wandering about in order to pad out the runtime. Given his known proclivities and attitudes, I suspect some of the wandering about was meta commentary on the part of the author on the incompetence of the Japanese government as compared to the high competence of the junior officers.

    When I was in the Navy, we regarded junior officers as existential threats to our existence… to be watched carefully and to have their hands slapped if they reached out and tried to touch something important. Though, to be honest, submariners are a clannish lot and everyone new to the crew (regardless of their actual experience) was regarded with some degree of suspicion until they’d proved themselves.

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Second Series ep8; More mucking about, ganbatte about the upcoming concert, and yet more lineup changes and another new unit. I really loathe this show, but just can’t seem to bring myself to drop it.

    Million Doll ep9; More backgrounding and self questioning by the characters – where do they want to go and why? Also hints of a growing rivalry between the two puppetmasters. And some disturbing hints as to the roles lolicons play in idol popularity.

    Miss Monochrome 2 ep10; A very silly ep, and a nice call back to an episode of the first series.

    And we’d better stock up on those AA’s – a third season, premiering in Oct, has been announced. (Which is actually kinda odd, as it had to be in pre-production even as season 2 was premiering… long before any numbers could come in.)

    My Love Story ep 22; Oh my… that didn’t go in the expected direction. Though Sunakowa certainly treats her thoughtfully – in the end he gently refuses Yukika’s confession. What is his deal? We’ve seen him turn down girls who were talking smack about Takeo and girls who Takeo was interested in… but Yukika is friends with Takeo (sorta) and Yamato, and Takeo is obviously not in play here. He didn’t even really leave from for them to become friends or a door cracked for a possible future.

    Non Non Byori Repeat ep10; Wow. What a lovely episode… and the final scenes with Kaede (Candy Store) were just pitch perfect. We see how the main characters gang up together, in part because there’s no one else to gang up with, but this episode casts an interesting light on how lonely Kaede must be. There’s pretty much no one in her cohort other than Kazuho, and that store isn’t exactly the bright center of the universe. Her very special relationship with Renge is one result of this, and over the course of this season it’s been a quiet but important part of the show.

    I know you’re marathoning this Bless and likely behind, but I just couldn’t not talk about this week.

    Though I have to agree with another reviewer – where in heck have their bikes been all this time? You’d think they’d play a major role in the characters lives – instead they walk everywhere, even when Renge isn’t with them.

    Overlord ep10; I’m not entirely certain what happened here, but we did learn two important things; First, the NPC’s were sentient even back in the days of Yggdrasil. Second, there is indeed something out there badass enough to stop one of Nazarick’s most powerful floor guardians dead in her tracks.

    Sore ga Seiyuu! ep10; A bit of character roulette, Rin’s number finally comes up and we learn about her backstory and insecurities. Charming, but in the end mostly empty calories.

    Wakaba*Girl ep10; No comment this week.

    Wakako-zake ep 10; Beer and deep fried asparagus. Pshushushushuuuuu… If you’re watching, you’ll get it.

    Working!!! ep10; Despite good outings from Gate, OreMono, and Overlord, this episode easily runs away with the “Most Frustrating Episode Of The Week”. Not only is the whole ‘Takanashi’s mom” arc badly- and over- played… we’re once again treated to “2 steps forward, 1.999999999999999999 steps back” for Sota x Inami.

    And dangit, re reading this on my editing pass I’m reading ‘Takanashi’s mom”, but hearing “Stacy’s Mom” in my head.

    And in other news….

    Crunchy picked up Symphogear, so I watched a few eps one evening. The next day, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it and when that feeling persisted for a couple of days more I officially dropped it. The premise was mildly interesting, but it dragged and was (to me) poorly executed.

    Some time back I semi randomly added Nana to my queue on Netflix, and when we were casting about for something to watch on Saturday my lady and I gave it a whirl. Now we’re on the edge of our seats each evening watching it. Romantic drama isn’t normally my cup of tea, but something about it has really caught me. That Nana K. is irresistibly cute (despite being immature and more than a little self centered and unintentionally manipulative) doesn’t hurt any.

    A weird video find this week….

    Someone has taken the OP from KanColle and laid the OST from Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199 over it. Surprisingly enough, it actually mostly works. (Though that may not be obvious if you’re not familiar with the lyrics.)

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    • My lovely lady came home for lunch (she works like seven minutes away), and we were discussing Nana and I mentioned what I said above about romantic dramas… she pointed out that Poppy Hill is one of my favorite Ghibli’s, and Blue Spring Ride, and KImiUso, and… at that point I bade her stop before she really got going. I guess I like romantic dramas more than I thought.

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      • But do you like them outside of anime too? That’s the question. I’ve also found myself having a surprising (to me) affinity for tearjerker dramas in anime, but you still won’t ever find me watching stuff like The Notebook or Steel Magnolias if it isn’t date night or something. I do wonder sometimes if social conditioning is in play, though, because I have enjoyed plenty of dramas from Pan’s Labyrinth to Leaving Las Vegas that weren’t saddled with the “chick flick” label, and even shed a tear or two over some of them. But there is no “chick anime” label, and no one’s telling a guy that he has to surrender his “man card” for liking Anohana, so maybe the medium just gives us more freedom to be ourselves.

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        • I can take them or leave them… So I guess I was thinking (originally) in terms of what I seek out. (Which generally isn’t romantic drama, but I don’t actively avoid them if the rest of the plot looks interesting.) But really, and this plays on this weeks Aniwords too, what I end up liking or being important is sometimes what finds me rather than what I seek out.

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    • Great thoughts re: Zen this week. I hadn’t thought about that much, but you’re totally right. The guy’s lonely and is slowly finding people he wants to have around him.

      MISS MONOCHROME SEASON THREEEEEEEEEEEE

      And yes, Working!!! is ridiculous. I’m holding out hope for a real resolution. Maybe. I think.

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  3. That is why I like lots of anime / I could get into some others more deeply ! BTW next week I will proclaim this as one if not the best anime season ever! NNB Repeat by itself has to be one of the best animes ever ! And I have been watching a long time ! EP 10 It’s not in this week because I do my sunday ranks like I always did !

    So many good episodes this week ! This as close to the best season ever! What a logjam at top 12 !

    Miss Monochrome getting a 3rd Season !!

    EPISODE(S) of the WEEK

    Week 9 / 10 Split Lots of Excellent Episodes

    Non Non Biyori Repeat EP 9 / “We Looked at the Moon Together” Another solid episode ! Natsumi battles the Big Boss fish to fiil her mom’s request to fill the home pond ans was going to be paid until mom finds her watch is ruined ! Mayday by both Renge and Natsumi !

    Komari and Konomi try to dress up Natsumi with funny results !

    Then , Natsumi and Hikage eat up the dumplins meant for moon viewing

    OVERLORD EP 9 / “The Dark Warrior” The battles between Momon / Clementine and Nabe / Khajiit is worth it by itself!

    Seiyu’s Life! EP 9 / “Manager” A very good episode with Aoi Konno as Futaba’s and Earplugs new MGR! She feels sorry for Futaba and really tries to get her jobs and eventually does !

    Noriko Hidaka guest VA A storied resume / Shes the voice of the Dominator (Psycho Pass)

    A nice Tribute to Slayers Anime “Get Along” sung by Megumi Hayashibara also Lina Inverse Main Female Slayers Role

    Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace Episode 9 / “Terrifying Mistake”I wish more of the show’s were like this ! Akechi’s attempt to use The Twenty Faces Formula keeps ending in failure even with Kobayashi / Hashiba help until Kobayashi figures out Akechi left himself out ! Once he plugs in his data he knows the next 20 Faces attempt will be . Kobayashi also figures out from social media a New 20 Faces called Successor is coming !

    A DR Munakata is going to receice an reward but 20 Faces shows up to reveal his crime of infecting her brother with Dura-Matter / but wait it is the crazy M.E. Minami / they stop her only to have the Successor Namikoshi ( Akechi old partner not Dead ) show up and infect the DR instead with a huge overdose of Dura-Matter ! Quite interesting turn of events!

    What is really cool M.E. Minami / Saki Fujita and Namikoshi / Jun FUKUYAMA worked together on 3 other very promient 2015 animes !

    Saki Fujita 2015

    Assassination Classroom (Ritsu)
    Durarara!!x2 (Ruri Hijiribe)
    Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace (Minami)
    Working!! (Inami)
    

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saki_Fujita

    Jun Fukuyama 2015

    Assassination Classroom (Koro-sensei)
    Durarara!!x2 Shou (Shinra Kishitani)
    Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace (Namikoshi)
    Working!! (Sōta Takanashi)
    

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jun_Fukuyama

    Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX EP 10 / “It’s So Cruel, But…”

    This was a good EP lots of twists / Carol using Elfnein as spy / then usung the S-Gears to use their Ignite Modules whch Carol had planned for ! Wgat was unexpected is that DR Ver is kinda with Carol but what is her alternative to use for her weapon ! ( Nephilim ) ? But dont count Ver having a trump card either!

    Elfnein feels terrible being used but Genjuurou and the rest dont hold her responbile!

    Chiris was pretty OP and didnt want Shirabe and Kirika to get hurt and almost killed them too ! But they work together to defeat Leiur

    Tsubasa and Maria learn of Carol’s plan from Phara ! Meanwhile the underwater lab is destroyed by Chris and they escape tp the sub only to have the sub attacked by Leiur ‘s giant phantom !

    Looks like Hibiki will be joining the fray soon again!

    Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma EP 22 / “The One Who Surpasses the Ordinary” /Tōtsuki Autumn Election Arc

    The rest of the Group B presented their dishes and almost for got Megumi who has the fisherman there for support ! Nice back story about her mom wanting Megumi to study even if she comes back home when finished ! That was nice touch!

    I felt sorry for Yūki Yoshino who made Duck Cutlet Curry / remember she uses her own game caught at Polar Srar ! She was praised for her dish and asked by one judge where she got the duck Finished 7th but only take 4 out of GRP B !

    Megumi presented her dish Goosefish Dobu-Jiru Curry which highlighted her region’s food and cooking and got 4th!

    GRP B Survivors

    Alice 95 PTS
    Hisako 92
    Takumi 90
    Megumi 88

    GATE EP 10 / “Despair and Hope” This was of the best episodes of the show so far ! Rory was a spectular from her great lines to the utter wipeout of the potential kidnappers ! They get away but have to come up with a plan to get back to the gate ! Risa go on the net to get the fans of Rory to come out at Ginza where they lay wreaths at a memorial ! The rest of the bad guys are caught ! Kudos to Rory leading the prayer and then asking for a bell to ring which a church bell did > I thought that was cool! Lelei / Tuka / and Rory besides what happened liked Japan and the shopping ! Lelei got her Laptop and Rory was delighted withe her fishnet Stockings. Poor Tuka with her memory of her father! Pina lnows the Empire has to make Peace with Japan! I lefy a lot out but it was very good!

    Gatchaman Crowds Insight EP 10 / opt-out The Kuu-sama are eating people who dont go along with a crowd ! The Gatchamans want to attack but are meant with a huge backlash ! GEL-SAn has a falling out with Tsubasa after she shes what is happenning ! Joe tries to take out Gelsan but gets defeated ! Hajime figures out the riddle and it atomsphere meaning the mood in any place which effect the Kuu-sama !! Rui has fallen under the spell of the Kuu-sama / so much Rizumu gets let out of Jail to deal with the new vapes ! He actuualy had guards on his payroll!

    Charlotte EP 10 / “Looting” What an anime thid has turned to be ! It basicallt di a 360 where Yuu was a reelaoder to becoming an important person to save the abilitly ! But Yuu’s brother Shun has already set things in action by Time-Leap which is making him go blind ! A lot of details to go into but was a great episode!

    WORKING EP 10 / “That Woman Shizuka” Mixing a more serious tone yet with comedy that works great ! With Shizuka Takanashi coming to visit both Sota and Kozue who is really affected because her mom always forgot her! Mitsuki and Youhei console ! Meanwhile mom arrives and the only one happy to see her is Nazuna! Meanwhile it looks like Sota / Inaami and Sato / Yachiyo
    which even Kyoko mat be alright with since Yamada can make a good parfait !

    Rolling Girls Special Chibi Rolling Girls Korokoro Gekijou Episodes 1-6 Very funny !

    TIER 1 Top Favorites

    Weeks 9 / 10 Split

    Back to a 4 WAY TIE For First

    1 Non Non Biyori Repeat SEE Episode of the week
    1 Gangsta. / NO EP this week
    1 Working!!! 3 / Wagnaria!! 3 SEE Episode of the week
    1 Gakkou Gurashi! READING MANGA A slower EP

    4 Way Tie For 2nd / 5-7

    2 Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX / S3 SEE Episode of the week
    2 The Heroic Legend of Arslan ONGOING / The Final battle draws near
    2 Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri READING MANGA SEE Episode of the week

    5 Way Tie For 3RD / 8-12

    3 Jokamachi no Dandelion / Castle Town Dandelion
    3 Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma ONGOING READING MANGA SEE Episode of the week
    3 Durarara!!×2 Ten No EP This week
    3 Baby Steps ONGOING READING MANGA Just holding Steady
    3 Charlotte SEE Episode of the week

    13 World Trigger CR Sat ONGOING Just a couple EPS left / wow it’s been a year / like older animes
    14 Gatchaman Crowds Insight CR SAT SEE Episode of the week
    15 Akagami no Shirayuki Hime / Snow White with the Red Hair / Again I like but has another chance with Cour 2
    16 Sore ga Seiyuu! / Seiyu’s Life SEE Episode of the week
    17 Himouto! Umaru-chan CR Wed Just steady
    18 Aoharu x Kikanju (Aoharu x Machinegun) Just Steady
    19 Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace SEE Episode of the week
    20 Classroom Crisis Barely holding on in TIER 1 Almost dropped Out of Tier one Again !

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    • Yes! I’m so happy about Miss Monochrome coming back for another season.

      I should also mention that I have been keeping up with Gate. I maintain my opinion that the show is utter BS, but it’s very fun to watch. Lelei’s still my favorite, but I agree Rory was very good in the latest episode.

      The idolM@ster isn’t really the best thing to watch right before I go to sleep, so I might start using Repeat for that.

      Like

    • Ep 9 of NNB has sure turned out the be polarizing… I thought the ep was excellent overall, especially the final act, but was ‘meh’ on the girly dress up bit. A lot of folks didn’t seem to like it though.

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  4. I wasn’t overly impressed with this week’s run either – especially, as you already pointed out, with Gakkou Gurashi. It’s not just that it interrupted a good (and pretty darn crucial) narrative flow, although that would be bad enough this late in the game. It’s not even that the blatant and relentless fanservice alone annoyed the hell out of me (although again, that’s also bad enough). It’s that I know that Gakkou Gurashi is capable of so much better, and instead chose to slavishly pander to a need – or at least, a perceived need – to appeal to its core demographic by doing nothing more than shove breasts in front of the camera for the duration of the episode. Coming from a show that so far has made very few missteps, this was a huge disappointment to me.

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    • Yeah, Gakkou Gurashi has had other fanservice moments (like Miki’s ridiculous outfit as she says goodbye to Kei), but mostly they’ve been subdued. This was…gross and bad. As you say, it’s capable of so much better and this was just dumb.

      Like

      • I wouldn’t have counted Miki’s outfit as she says goodbye to Kei as fanservice. If I don’t misremember, Kei tried to sneak out while Miki was sleeping, but Miki woke up. She’s been sleeping in her underwear, which makes sense as she wouldn’t have packed pyjamas, and it also signifies the degree to which Miki felt safe (you don’t sleep in your underwear if you expect to run a moment’s notice). I thought it was appropriate.

        The swimsuit episode? Meh. Unnecessary.

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      • I’ve more or less been able to overlook the other fanservicey moments, mostly because they were relatively few and far between. This episode, unfortunately, was completely un-ignorable.

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  5. Ah yes, the downside to weekly streaming. You can’t just go on to the next episode after a mediocre one, you’re stuck sitting on it for a week (and hoping that it was just an aberration and not the start of a downward slide).

    My weeklies:

    Food Wars #22: So much for my concerns about any pacing problems. They blew through six judgments in 20 minutes this week to get back on track. I do wish we’d gotten a little more time with Yoshino, but I guess she’s not really that important. And Megumi: “Excuse me, can I present my dish now?” D’awww, so cute! Back to Soma next week, but not before his rivals face the judges first, I’m sure.

    Wakakozake #10: Mmmm, deep fried asparagus. Want… want… want…

    Back Catalog Update:

    Air
    Re-watching an anime I haven’t seen for years is always an interesting experience. Sometimes I might gain an even deeper appreciation for a show I already knew was really good (Gunslinger Girl), or I might fall in love with a show that just didn’t hit me right the first time around (Lyrical Nanoha). Air was both my first KyoAni series and my first Key Visual Arts series back around 2007/08, and of course I’ve become a huge fan of both in the years since. That was mostly thanks to Kanon, though, which I watched a while later. Air I sort of liked, but also found a bit muddled. I liked the characters and loved the visuals, and while the story was kind of confusing it still touched me. Last month I found a cheap copy of Air at a used bookstore, so I decided to pick it up and revisit it again. There’s no redemption story this time, though. This re-watch pretty much just confirmed my earlier opinion. Air has some major problems with its story structure, the three main girls’ plotlines aren’t woven together well at all, and the pacing is mismanaged – after setting a leisurely pace for most of the series it suddenly tries to pack way too much plot in at the very end. I’m sure a lot of that can be blamed on trying to cram a 30-hour VN into a 12-episode series. Yet somehow even through all those problems, I still felt the same connection to the main characters and their story as before, and once you cut through all the other fluff, that story is a very good, very emotionally engaging one. That’s why ultimately Air still works, even if time and better shows that came afterward haven’t been kind to it.

    One other thing worth noting is that Air was Tatsuya Ishihara’s first time as lead director of a TV series, and he obviously learned a lot from it. In some of the backstage stuff on the Kanon DVDs, he admits he wanted to make Kanon an improved version of Air (and did he ever!), while later series have shown a much surer hand in pacing plot points appropriately and weaving disparate story arcs together, culminating in his masterful management of Euphonium’s large ensemble cast this past spring. Maybe Air itself isn’t that good, but I doubt he’d be the director he is today without it, and seeing it from that perspective is another reason I’m glad I re-watched it.

    Current series list ranking: towards the bottom of the stream-worthy list at #48, behind Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (another “what could have been” VN adaptation) at #47, and ahead of KanColle at #49.

    Tsumiki no Ie (La Maison en Petits Cubes)
    Best known as the second (and to date, the last) anime to win an Academy Award, for best animated short of 2008. I remember being disappointed when it won because I was rooting for Pixar’s Presto, but I was dead wrong about that. Presto was fun, but Tsumiki no Ie is amazing. There isn’t a single line of dialogue, but if every picture is worth a thousand words, then it has as much to say as a Game of Thrones novel, and it had me tearing up a little by the end, too. I don’t even want to describe the story, because I don’t want to spoil any of the experience if you’ve never seen it. Just find 12 minutes to yourself one day and put it on. I promise you won’t regret it.
    Rating: 10/10, and that’s only the fourth 10 that I’ve given to any anime

    Pale Cocoon
    This is an early 25-minute short film by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Time of Eve, Patema Inverted). In the distant future, two people live and work inside a vast building, restoring and analyzing historical archive data. One day they begin restoring a file that may radically change the way they see their world. The artistic style is excellent, visually stunning and very atmospheric. The two main characters in the story never interact face-to-face with anyone except each other; the rest of the building’s inhabitants exist only as faceless shadows or disembodied voices, which adds to the sense of isolation and claustrophobia. I also loved it as a history major, because I thought it made an eloquent case for the importance of exactly why we study and share history; it illustrates what can happen to a community when they lose touch with their own history, and when curiosity and questioning give way to apathy and dull acceptance of the status quo. It’s not a fast-paced story, but if you’re a fan of either thoughtful science fiction or slow-burning drama, it’s worth your time.
    Rating: 9/10

    On deck: Love Live season 2. I have my ticket to see the movie next Monday, so it’s time to finish catching up!

    Like

    • I was flying so high last week!

      I’ll definitely put that short on my backlog. Short anime are totally underrated, and I’ve seen some really great ones (like Rain Town).

      And ughhhhh I’m totally jealous re: the Love Live movie. I want to see it in theaters so bad, but the closest showing for me is in Kansas City (a solid 3.5 hour drive one way) on either a Tuesday or Thursday night. Sadly, I couldn’t make it work.

      Like

      • Well I feel a bit lucky myself. For a long time I wasn’t sure if I was going to be out of town for a job interview, and by the time I finally knew I could go, there was only one screening that still had about ten tickets left. The rest were already sold out.

        I love short-form storytelling. I actually just started doing a new feature for a MAL group that I belong to where I’m going to review a short anime every week for them (short films and OVAs/ONAs of 4 episodes or less), so expect to see more shorts popping up on my list in the near-future. I haven’t seen Rain Town, but I look forward to watching it!

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        • I pondered going to the Love Live movie, but the anime theater in Seattle is tiny, cramped, and very uncomfortable… so I’ll ‘find’ a copy later. If my beloved WUG’s movie comes though, I’m definitely going.

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    • I love shorts too… but they’re so hard to find. They don’t often get licensed, and people don’t talk about them as much because they don’t get the fanbase that a series does.

      Two I recommend, both are currently available on Crunchy;

      Voices of a Distant Star – A couple are separated by space and time when one enlists to a fight in an interstellar war. In the face of an increasing communications delay and age gap, they struggle to remain connected.

      Break Ups – A couple in the process of ending their relationship (again) stumble upon a time machine which transports them back to previous times they’d broken up.

      Huh. An interesting pair considering the conversation we had about romantics dramas above.

      (Aniwords Bless? Talking about shorts?)

      Like

      • That’s absolutely true. The focus of this particular MAL group is encouraging people to try unpopular/overlooked anime, which is exactly why I thought reviewing shorts would fit right in with its mission, since they do tend to get missed by the fanbase at-large. I’ve been doing some initial research, just going down a preliminary list of shorts that sound interesting and seeing what’s available if I decide to watch them in the future, and so far most of them have either been on YouTube or Vimeo if CR didn’t have them. The only ones I haven’t found on any of those three sites so far are Pale Cocoon and Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, and both of those have fansubs easily available. Oh yeah, I should also mention that CR has Tsumiki no Ie (for subscribers only).

        And thanks for the suggestions! I’m always happy to get suggestions for new shorts. Voices is one that I definitely want to watch one day, but I’ve never even heard of Break Ups. I’ll have to take a look at it – it sounds good!

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  6. Shows I’ve been keeping up with:

    Actually, I Am- continues to be cute and funny.

    GATE- Last ep was a fun, action packed one. Watching Rory go ballistic and kill like two squads of professional soldiers is awesome.

    Overlord- I keep watching, even though this show has become rather meh. (Well, it’s one of the ones my husband most likes to watch.) I just am not sure what the point of everything is.

    Gakkou Garashi- Never fails to deliver the feels. I’m glad last week was a light hearted, breather episode cause today’s looks like it’s going to be really dark.

    Charlotte- Everything went so well this last episode. I can’t help the sinking feeling that it’s because all the feels that have come before are going to pale in comparison to the feels to come. I’m very worried about Ayumi.

    Prison School- I’m not sure what to say about this show to someone who isn’t watching it. Last episode was so over the top and hilarious. Withstand it, unwavering tree!

    Gansta. was a recap so I didn’t watch it.

    We watched 3 episodes of Food Wars on Friday to get caught up. And it reminded me of how visually dynamic and vivid this show is. It’s a cooking show that feels exactly like a shonen fighting show. It’s beautiful. I posted like a million screenshots to tumblr because it was just so good.

    We’ve gotten up to episode 6(?) of K. It’s getting very good. Shiro is growing on me. I can’t help but feel sorry for him in his literal existential crisis. And when he agreed to risk getting killed by Kuroh for a chance to get his memories back, I started genuinely liking him. Kuroh continues to be adorable. I love his devotion to his old master and his little recording device with all those sayings he uses to guide him. Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cleaning machines and their catchphrases. “Show some respect!” “Die!” “You hillbilly samurai!” I mean, seriously, who programs a robot to say these things? I want to meet that guy.

    We also started Trinity Blood because it’s not like we already had plenty of shows to watch. People were recommending this to those who were disappointed with Seraph of the End, as we were. It is also a post-apocalyptic vampire show. But this one has a badass version of the Catholic Church with priests who are robots and sword wielding assassins and ultra-vampires. So YES! It’s awesome. And the main character reminds me a little of Vash the Stampede, one of my favorite characters, in that his main persona is easy going and a bit bumbling and very, very humane but when he switches to his “crusnik” form to kill a vampire, WHOA!

    Tonight: Gakkou Garashi and maybe catching up on some Wagnaria.

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    • Rory was indeed awesome! Maybe I’ll actually write up my thoughts on Gate for next week’s post, since I’m still watching it apparently.

      Also planning on getting back to Charlotte eventually. The opening song’s too good to stay away, and I have a feeling it’ll go down a lot easier in chunks than episode by episode.

      And I’m glad you’re enjoying K! I have a lot of fondness for that show, as it’s the first anime I ever watched weekly.

      Like

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