Thanksgiving’s tomorrow, so here’s an early Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Mage in a Barrel (that is, just me and my Nyarko nendroid)! For those of you in the states, I hope you have a nice holiday! For those of you not celebrating Thanksgiving, it never hurts to be thankful—at the least, take some time to remember that we can be grateful for the chance to watch good anime. That being said, let’s talk about them!
K: Return of Kings, Episode 8: Even with the aggressively ugly fog filter set aside (or whatever you chose to call it), K wasn’t all that great this week. A lot of grandstanding and talking and relatively bad action. All in all, K is at its best when it’s going for flash and style, and when it’s doing that in a somewhat campy, lighthearted manner. Heavy drama and philosophical arguments don’t jell with either the characters or the show’s other main strengths (that is, playing around with the visuals). It also didn’t help that the main focus characters were Munakata, who remains far less interesting than basically anyone else in the show, and the Gray King, whose motives are foggy at best and who we have no prior experience with. Give me more Anna, Homura, Shiro, Neko, and Kuroh. They’re the best things this show has going for it and, more importantly, they’re capable of carrying the show even when its not at its best visually.
Noragami Aragoto, Episode 8: In terms of timing, Noragami Aragoto seems to be on a really solid path towards its conclusion. We’re finally dealing with what’s been the biggest overall threat to Yato and company’s sustained happiness—Nora and Yato’s base nature as a god of calamity. Its interesting that Yato seems to have been sort of kidnapped by Nora and her “father,” which implies that he’s either subordinate to them or owes them a big debt. Or, perhaps, they just like keeping him down in the muck. It’s also hard not to notice that Yato’s outburst at the end of the episode as he tries to get out and return home greatly resembles the tantrum of a child—throwing things, yelling, and generally acting badly. In a lot of ways, it seems Yato needs rescuing, and I’m quite curious to see who all will end up playing a role in releasing him from these chains of his past. Remember that Yato initially confronted Nora this episode with the intent to finally cut ties—instead, like an addict, he’s fallen back in worse than ever before.
Gundam Tekketsu, Episode 8: I’m extremely ambivalent on the events of this episode. On one hand, Okada has constructed a reasonably acceptable reason for Naze captaining a ship full of women; on the other, I’m deeply uncomfortable that same reason. A full-on, literal harem? That’s just… kind of ugh. So far, it’s being handled well-enough as a kind of counterpoint and parallel to Tekkaden, but the at the core this is still one guy who is married (if that’s even happened) to literally dozens of women. Naze’s turned out to be more likable than I’d originally thought he’d be, which helps the whole deal feel less gross, but even so, I’m now finding myself hoping we leave Turbines behind relatively quickly, rather than wanting them to stick around.
Comet Lucifer, Episode 8: In an information dump everyone expected, it turns out Felia is a sort of planet angel incarnation. In less expected news, Comet Lucifer spending the bulk of the episode focusing on Do Mon’s backstory (of all people), his relationship with Sogo’s mother, and even a bit on his relationship with Gus was quite the interesting choice. Frankly, that’s the more interesting story at this point in the show. It’s almost like the show understands Sogo and Felia’s story doesn’t have a kick to it, although I did sort of get Lord of the Rings vibes with them ditching the rest of the party to move forward. I expect Kaon, Roman (who had a nice moment with Felia, surprisingly), and Otto to catch up quickly, though.
Concrete Revolutio, Episode 8: The best show of the season continues to move forward without faltering. Concrete Revolutio always looks at least respectable, but there was a lot of solid visual direction (particularly with the lighting) this week. Of course, that’s not to say there wasn’t more going on, because there was and it was important. I think Jiro’s story is at least partially a tragedy, so it makes sense that there’d be a sort of tragedy in his past, too. Rainbow Knight—who clearly is the inspiration for future Jiro’s aesthetic—seems to be the tragedy of Jiro’s childhood, a one-time figure of pure goodness who was eventually cast in grays at the end of his life. Like events past, present, and future in Concrete Revolutio, the truth is hiding beneath lies, twisted truths, and half-truths—which leaves those who believed in Rainbow Knight to decide for themselves what the truth really is. That truth will surely be a big part of the key to unlocking Jiro’s character more fully, but there are forces moving within the Superhuman Bureau who may or may not be on his side. You can believe in justice and truth in the world of Concrete Revolutio, but expect the application to be far less concrete.
- Miss Monochrome S3, Episode 8: Bless Yui Horie for also voicing the ridiculous cat that showed up in this episode. She is truly a wonderful woman. Also, I did buy Miss Monochrome’s recently released album, and it’s really great!
- One Punch Man, Episode 8: One Punch Man is not a show built for multi-episode stories. Although there was action and although Sonic was the most entertaining he’s been yet, this is not a show where the set-up for the big moments is exciting enough on its own to make episodes feel fulfilling without the big fight at the end.
- Haikyuu!! S2, Episode 8: Tsukki’s been kind of a neglected character, so it was nice to see him get a moment in the spotlight. All in all, his story was nice, but I’m still just waiting until Haikyuu!! gets its butt into gear and gives us some real matches.
- Starmyu, Episode 8: A little late watching Starmyu this week; I’ll have notes up when I finish it!
Because Mecha Sundays just aren’t enough, I also watched a little bit more of Turn A Gundam this week, along with pressing forward in SDF Macross and picking Captain Earth out of my on-hold list. It’s definitely an interesting experience watching so many shows from the larger mecha genre all at the same time, because they each definitely have their own flavors and interests. Turn A‘s Manupichi arc was probably the best the show’s ever been, Macross still balances being funny and serious with aplomb, and Captain Earth looks incredibly pretty.
I’ll likely be writing about all three of these shows in the future, so keep an eye out for them!