Guys…I’m loving this season. And that’s all I’ll say at this point.
Noragami Aragoto, Episode 2: I’ll admit I didn’t expect Noragami Aragoto to kick into serious mode so quickly after the premiere being mostly fluff, but I’m glad it did. Besides really stepping up its visual game with some great storyboarding, we’ve also been thrown right into the middle of the brewing storm that is the much-acclaimed Bishamon arc. And it’s not just Bishamon herself who’s being forced to encounter her weaknesses, but also Yato and Yukine and Kazuma. I really do like all of these characters a whole lot, but getting to see them put through the wringer like this and—hopefully—come out better for it in the end is something I’m really looking forward to seeing. And, of course, there’s still the question of where Hiyori is going to fit into all of this and what will happen when the Yato faction and the Bishamon faction inevitably clash. Things are much different now from when Yato and Yukine fought Bishamon in the first season—Yato’s the one in sync with his Regalia now, while Bishamon’s crew is falling apart around her. Keep it up, Noragami!
K – Return of Kings, Episode 2: What do I say about K this week, other than that I’m a little surprised at how much I’m loving this show. I’ve said a couple times this season already that K is truly a unique experience as far as anime goes, and that’s definitely still holding true at this point. Even though it’s been 3 years (golly!) since I watched the first season, this is still a show that feels fresh to me—and it’s one that I apparently still have a ton of residual affection for. Getting an episode that featured Kuroh and Neko far more than anyone else was an total delight for me, and seeing them bumble around in distress as they await Shiro’s return has caused me far more distress than I expected. Knowing they’ll be returning to the cozy room where the first season spent much of its runtime next episode has already got me delighted, and I’m eagerly awaiting Shiro’s (hopefully) near return. I don’t know what exactly it is that K: Return of Kings is doing, but it’s working marvelously for me right now.
Gundam Tekketsu, Episode 2: Mari Okada is really at the top of her game right now. Tekketsu isn’t just competent—it’s genuinely compelling and emotionally resonant a mere two episodes in. I’ve already seen a bunch of fascinating analysis on how Tekketsu interacts with the larger Gundam franchise, which are mostly going over my head but also further cementing my opinion that Okada isn’t just winning on luck here. She’s definitely aware of the franchise context in which she’s writing, but she’s doing Okada Things with it—which, in my estimation, is on track to be a really great combination. All the character work is excellent (particularly Okada’s fantastic work establishing that Mika can’t read), the plotting is stunningly well done so far considering Okada’s past habits with plot, and the battles have looked really good. I’m just super happy this is turning out as well as it is—definitely a front-runner for title of my favorite/most-highly esteemed show of the season.
Comet Lucifer, Episode 2: It’s tough to call this one my pet show of the season when nearly everything I’m watching feels like it deserves that title in some way, but Comet Lucifer most definitely aligns itself most closely with other anime that have won that title from my heart in the past. From the opening moments of fhana’s lovely OP to the cute moments of the Absolute Duo-esque ED, Comet Lucifer has proved to be charming, a bit dorky, and plenty cute. Loli-cat Felia has turned out to be a winner, mostly on the strength of the creative choice to primarily align her with Kaon rather than Sogo. Much like Danmachi before it, Comet Lucifer consistently feels like it’s hanging out on the edge of diving completely into lame cliche/trope territory, but manages to always swerve away right at the last second. I mean, a Hestia-voiced rock snake that explodes into a beast-mecha whenever Sogo gets excited? Sign me up!
Concrete Revolutio, Episode 2: It feels a little bit overexcited of me to call this my favorite episode of the week in a week packed with episodes I loved, but that’s just where I’m falling on things this week. It may very well be an effect of having been somewhat disappointed with Concrete Revolutio‘s premiere, but when this episode finally hooked into some genuinely affecting emotional material at the end of the episode, suddenly everything in both of these episodes fell into place. Concrete Revolutio just makes sense to me, and this interrogation of both the falsity of the black-and-white superhero construct and the duality of the past and the future is something that’s really working for me. In particular, the “how did we get here” dynamic that’s dwelling in the subtext between the two timelines (and that came out explicitly Fuurouta’s crying) is one that I find extremely compelling (hey, what do you know, that’s also a big theme in Blast of Tempest!). In short, I felt like this episode of Concrete Revolutio was not only good on its own terms, but also restored my faith in the show as a whole and made the first episode better in retrospect. Here’s hoping they hold things together despite the revolving writing staff.
- One Punch Man, Episode 2: Great puns, great mosquito comedy, more fantastic animation, and Genos is a babe. This show isn’t really one of my favorite this season, but it’s still one of the most pure fun things I’m watching. Although I am a bit unnerved by the ruthlessness of its violence….
- Haikyuu!! S2, Episode 2: I take it back, actually Haikyuu!! is the most fun thing I’m watching, and it got even better this week with the introduction of Yachi. She’s basically a ray of sunshine in a show that’s already comparable to a bright sunny day, and I love her.
- Miss Monochrome S3, Episode 2: Just so you guys know, Miss Monochrome’s first full-length album released last week on JP iTunes. Currently replenishing my account’s funds so I can buy it…
- Heavy Object, Episode 2: Here’s the link to this week’s live tweet session.
- The Perfect Insider, Episode 1: There’s actually surprisingly little to say about this episode. It’s intelligently made and looks to potentially be somewhat fascinating—and I like that it seems to be maybe interested in digging into the idea of how the past affects us, but there’s no middle ground with this show, I think. Either I write a ton about it, or not much at all. This week, I’m airing on the side of caution, I guess.