Anime Weekly: Winter 2016, Week 5

People say the three-episode rule is the best for deciding on shows to keep and drop, but I’m somewhat of the opinion that five episodes is better for feeling out which shows are going to end up great and which are just going to end up fine.

Mahoutsukai Precure

Week 5 of the season was the week where some shows soared (a few of them for the first time) and other crashed hard. I’d kind of like to start off this post with the fun stuff, so let’s take a look at the thing that soared, starting with Rakugo Shinju—duh.

Last Friday evening, I was sitting at my computer, wondering if I really wanted to start the latest episode of Rakugo Shinju. I wasn’t particularly feeling in the mood for it, but I gave myself a strong mental push and hit the play button. And man, I was sure glad I did. Just as it always does, Rakugo Shinju swept me up and swept me away into its enchanting world of quiet pain, delicate intimacy, and grandiose performance. Week after week, even though I know better, Rakugo Shinju casts an unexpected spell on me. It’s amazing. This week, with the somewhat awkward, somewhat touching relationship between Kikuhiko and Miyokichi. While it’s clear that Kikuhiko’s investment in Miyokichi is tenuous at best, it’s still a relationship littered with intensity and closeness. And the very awkwardness that makes it uncomfortable to watch at times also makes it fascinating to see. The tragedy keeps creeping up on us—it’s coming. It’s coming. It’s coming.

Oh, and by the way, Rakugo Shinju continues to storm away from everything else on my watchlist for the position of my pick for “best” show of the season. The scary (and wonderful!) thing is that I don’t see it ever letting up. There are shows that are good, but still feel like they could fall apart. If Rakugo Shinju were to fall apart (I doubt it), it would be the most stunning thing I’ve seen in anime in a long time.

Among the other soaring shows this week was an unexpected (considering its recent track record) new entry—Haikyuu!!, which at long last managed to recapture the magic of its first season. I was so happy I even wrote an entire column for Crunchyroll on it! So if you want my full thoughts on this week’s Haikyuu!!, head on over that way.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash was the other surprise triumph of the week. This was the episode on grief that I wanted from Garo back when it killed off Lara in the middle of the second cour and never actually got. This was slow, agonizing, frustrating, and emotional. It was true. And to take the time to recognize that grief isn’t just something that affects people’s internal state, but also can damage their relationships with others because of the pain everyone is going through and the thoughtlessness that pain can cause to to act out of… that was entirely unexpected and entirely appreciated. I said at the end of last week’s Grimgar that it was going to have to nail this episode for me to consider Manato’s death a “success” for the show, and it rose to the challenge in a way I had never expected, leveraging all of its significant aesthetic and directorial muscle in the service of portraying the pain of its characters (Yume… ;-;) with sensitivity and honesty. Color me impressed and delighted.

Durarara!! had a strongish episode of its own, although the excellent visual direction of the last two episodes was absent. Fortunately, the direction wasn’t much missed thanks to the prominent action elements of the episode holding it together. The fact that we haven’t seen much from Mikado recently makes me a bit nervous, but it’s clear things are continuing to move and that the high school trio will still be prominent players. For now, that’s all I need.

Konosuba

Konosuba also had an up week, as my prediction that Darkness would work out better in smaller doses turned out to be spot on. With more of the focus returning to Aqua and Megumin (oh my gosh, the explosions on the castle gag was amazing), Konosuba seems to have found a more reliable balance. Where Konosuba goes in its fifth episode will probably set the tone for the rest of the show, though, so here’s hoping it continues on its merry, derpy way.

Also, Aqua’s still the best.

Elsewhere, Mahoutsukai Precure started up and got subbed, and I decided to make it the first Precure series I follow weekly. And what a good choice, because MahoPri was absolutely delightful from top to bottom. Heartcatch Precure is the only other show out of this massive franchise that I’ve seen, but that was enough for me to catch the familiar beats of the Precure formula and feel comfortable with them. The art design has the typical Precure feel and the character designs likewise, but it still also somehow feels fresh. Most importantly, though, is the presence of Yui Horie as Riko, one of the two leads. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve heard Hocchan in leading role and I am hugely anticipating having an entire Precure series to listen to her lovely voice. Also, they have big and tiny witch hats. What’s not to love?

Short Takes~

  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2: A much different episode of Shirayuki than normal, but in Ando’s capable hands it flourishes. I didn’t need to worry. The most intriguing thing for me at this point is seeing how Shirayuki holds up in her dangerous position. I’d really like to see her maintain her strength of character even in these adverse conditions—it would cap her character building so well.
  • ERASED: A huge flop of an episode, in which all the weaknesses I’d seen in the show previously but hadn’t had a reason to talk about, took over entirely. The weakness of Satoru’s character, the lack of an emotional core, and the critical hollowness of the show behind its thriller plot met up with the nasty stuff with the manager and Airi and some truly overdone direction (little Satoru’s meltdown was…too much) to really make the episode flop for me. I’m not happy about it, but I can’t say I’m all that surprised.
  • Dimension W: What even was this episode? Honestly, at this point, I think my enjoyment of any given episode of Dimension W is directly proportional to how well it treats Mira. She really shown in episode 3, but episode 4 was weak on those terms, and episode 5 seemed destined to repeat those mistakes until the very end, when Mira got to punch the crystal. Of course, that was about it, but hey! I’ll take what I can get while the show labors in this weaker material.
  • Phantom World: So dumb, barely any Guppy shots at all.

Phantom World

I’m kind of running out of steam by this point, but someone also specifically requested that I talk a little bit about why I’m still watching GATE—so I’ll start off with that. having been as vocal about my issues, frustrations, and outright anger at it as I’ve been. I think I’ve attempted to articulate my reasons before, but not fully succeeded. Let me try again here.

Although I realize it may seem like it, I’m really not hatewatching GATE. I tried hatewatching Heavy Object, and I’m sure you all remember how that turned out—I couldn’t take it. 5 episodes was all I could do. GATE‘s not the same as Heavy Object, though. It’s not a show I take apart or make fun of simply for the sake of doing so; rather, it’s a show I find genuinely fascinating as an emblem of a particular sort of hyper-masculine, sexually aggressive, thoughtful worldview. And it’s not even subtle about this; its metatext and subtext are always right there to see. It’s all so foreign and strange to me—like a sort of archaic, exotic dinosaur come back to life. Or something like that. I like Lelei, but if GATE wasn’t so fascinating academically (and I’ve started writing about all of this already), I think I would’ve dropped the show long ago.

Hopefully that all makes sense! See you all at next week’s rundown!

GATE S2 5 Lelei Cusses

27 thoughts on “Anime Weekly: Winter 2016, Week 5

  1. I think you’ve covered the top tier shows well, so I’m going to plug four second-tier shows that I’m enjoying:

    Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm – The first episodes seemed like it was going to be a standard high school harem. But instead the male MC has stayed in the background, and it’s been all about the female cast learning this flying sport. It’s a light, humorous, enjoyable slice-of-life with fun characters, including the opponents. For example, the ojo-sama opponent character from the powerhouse rival school turned out to be really nice and friendly, and helped the team with their initial training. The sport is also an interesting futuristic sport, if a little weak on exactly how it works.

    Luck & Logic – this one really feels like it should be your standard LN high school battle harem. But again, first impressions are deceiving. The MC is not the “worst”, but an acknowledged pro. He’s basically married to his female partner, and the other female cast members are doing their own thing. Rather than being always correct, he’s been outright wrong a couple times in the show. There is no high school.

    It’s like they took the basic structure of a LN high school battle harem, and systematically corrected all the really annoying parts.

    Bubuki Buranki – another battle show that feels like a real throwback to older battle shows. I’m hoping this becomes something like Tokyo Ravens. It’s pretty solid so far, with decent heroes and pretty good villains.

    Divine Gate – this is probably the weakest of the four. They have a narrator who does extremely pretentious voiceovers. They’re so bad I kind of look forward to how terrible the next one will be. The show itself is a confusing, enjoyable mess. Very much popcorn fare.

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    • You may have caused me to check out Luck & Logic again.

      I wondered if the show would be aware of its “LN high school battle harem” building blocks and build something new with them (especially since the show is aware of its stereotypes, as seen with the little sister ordering the protagonist to be “the stereotypical mighty lead character who never loses”). But despite the possibility of the show doing something good with its initial ingredients, I figured I wouldn’t waste my precious time in the event it went down the same old disappointing path.

      But hearing that it hasn’t gone down that disappointing path is encouraging. I think I may take a peek at its latest episodes. I mean, it’s not my favourite genre to begin with, but it would be nice to see a good version for the sake of comparison.

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    • I’m basically a full week late, but here I am! Thanks for highlighting these by the way—I keep hearing good things about Aokana and even though I have no intention of picking it up at this point, I’m glad it’s got some champions out there. Likewise for L&L and BBK/BRNK, which I didn’t hate, but didn’t love enough to keep up with it.

      The Tokyo Ravens comparison makes BBK/BRNK more tempting for me, though. I really enjoyed Tokyo Ravens.

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  2. Tragedy / Darkness Rules Winter

    I will keep it more simple yea right ! I wiil just do my Top Favorites which was a big upheaval for with 3 4 Way Ties for 1st / 2nd / 3rd I wont show for show as we are all smart and know wgat we like!

    I do agree withe 3 EP rule is even too rigid nowadays / sometimes grin and bear it is better . BTW I want to get the most of my money as I am on a low fixed income. I hate TV ( except a couple of shows ) so anime and music get my free time.

    Now RWBY was going to be my Top anime / but Ajin Ep’s 4 / 5 just were like wow! I forgive the lousy CGI but the story just floored. It raised the bar on violence / as in torture!

    Note: RWBY is the most active forum on CR

    I cant wait for The FUNI DUBS starting already !

    EPISODE(S) of the POSTED BELOW / EOW on RANKINGS

    44 SHOWS / 33 Full / 11 SHORTS TKZ Finished

    WEEK 5

    ]TIER 1 TOP FAVORITES Just A Big Shake up in the Top Spots

    4 Way Tie for 1st-4th

    1 Ajin – Demi-Human EOW
    1 RWBY VOL 3 EOW
    1 Assassination Classroom EOW
    1 Haikyuu!! Second Season EOW

    4 Way Tie for 5th -8th

    5 Durarara!!×2 Ketsu EOW
    5 Heavy Object EOW
    5 Dimension W EOW If you read the manga you would get the EP / but was rushed
    5 Erased (Boku Machi) (The Town Where Only I Am Missing) Still very strong

    4 Way Tie for 9th -12th

    9 Snow White with the Red Hair 2 I like this show but if youhave a serious event(s) it needs impact like AJIN / RWBY
    9 GATE 2 EOW
    9 Dagashi Kashi Was funny as always / but dragged a little
    9 HaruChika EOW

    13 Mobile Suit Gundam/ Iron-Blooded Orphans IDK what to do with this one week is intense / then we go into almost a political / social soap oprea.
    14 Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash EOW
    15 World Trigger Just a steady anime / it be higher but winter has serious shows
    16 Bubuki Buranki A decent show but so much drama
    17 Divine Gate See 16
    18 Tantei Team KZ Jiken NoteSHORT FINISHED / 16 EPS / I enjoted this
    19 Lovely Muuuuuuuco! SHORT This is very underated as it feels real
    20 TEEKYU 7 SHORT Steady insane comedy of the Hit or Miss

    EPISODE of the WEEK 5 EOW

    Haruchika – Haruta & Chika EP 5 / Elephant’s Breath

    Akari Goto, a junoir high bass trombonist, comes to the high school in search of Haruta and asks him to help her solve the puzzle of her grandfather’s time abroad. Their clues include three paintings and a mysterious color called “Elephant’s Breath.”

    This just keeps getting better . The mysteres invovle more of a human nature that in thjis case was sad / but touching. Akari is transferring but seeks out Haruta to the Elephant’s breath , She resents him for leaving her grandmother alone but the painful truth needs to be told. He is iil and has amensia or not. To make this brief it abot a Kipyking novel about an elephant that was chained and rejected by others . Turns out the grandfather did go to America and at first thought was the riot of the 60’s but instead he has PTSD from being drafted into the Vietnam War ans being exposed to Agent Orange whick looks yellow / brown or Dark depending on the mix.Thus his sicknees . He wanted to spare Akari the truth.

    GATE EP 5 / Decisive BATTLE

    Itami / Tuka . Lelei / Rory meet Yao’s tribe where they come up with a plan tp slay the Fire Dragon.They have to go into a volocano and Rory wants no part of being underground . So she stans watch woth a radio. Itami / Tuka . Lelei and Yao go with some of Yao’s best fighters to set a armed trap but Itami dont like the idea of his Two-Way on so he shutis it off. Rory sees the Fire Dragon but cant contact Itami.So the Fire Dragon attacks and despite Itami’s training withe the RPG’s the Elves get fried badly and to male matters worst the bomb wies are cut. Oh Tuks was asleep but wakes up and now knows her dad died but Lelei blames the Fire Dragon ans she uses her magic to launch the swords that were there from other brave warriors . The attack id effective as all the weapons hit the dragon. but not enough. Tuka launche an electric dischatge that not only puys the dragon down but sets off the charges killing the dragon.Only Itami / Tuka/. Lelei / Yao survive but when they get outside Rory is wounded not fron the Dragon but he sister Giselle who has cone to force Rory home to marry. Rory refuses and Giselle finds out The Fire Dragon is Dead as she released it early to kill / humans elves as she hates them. And She has two offspring of the Fire Dragon to get revenge. But just in time the SDF fighters show up ( they werent going to let Itami do this by himself )and down the fragons to the ground where tanks finish them off. Giseele is just stunned at the Firepower and escapes.

    Pandora in the Crimson Shell EP 5 / SYSTEM DOWN

    Nene is having doubts about using Ckarions power to make World Peace . They go out but Takumi sends out A.I’s like Tachikoma (Ghost In The Shell / same author ) Nene does some juggling and meets a nice Lady Anna who has prsthetics but not like Nene, Later The Island ‘s sustens go down and affects more computers Nene / Clasrion/ Droids are resistant and somebody is stealing Robots .They meet Robert who stops some of the Robbers / Adter Nene / Clarion find Anna fell over and Nene has to become a Para Medic and rescue her withe driods sinxe Trans was down. Robert is part pf a Special Unit’ This was had postive meesage despite it’s Zany and fanservice,

    Heavy Object EP 17 / The Coal Mine Littered with Stacks of Money – The Kamchatka Peninsula Nighttime Blitz I

    First with episode the anime keeps it fresh with new ensemble! / Has That Raildex feel big ensemble feel

    Second this show hasnt let me down at all

    Third this episode felt like articles out of Jane’s Defence Weekly

    So much to talk about

    Basically The 37Th is going after a mining Operation of The Faith Group that is mininf Uranium . But in the way are UVA’s / advanced Radar / and a tough Foe Wing Balancer a.k.a Archangel just remember that.

    Monica is the Host of the CS Mlitary network and has Frolaytia’ on edge. She is not just filler.

    Qwuenther goes to get parts for Baby Magnum but Strict Security is in Place and meets Charlotte Zoom ( She is one of The Bakck Ubiform girls in the Intro ) She confronys him with a gun but finding out he is as student he is let go.

    The OP is revealed One Unit Havia / Myonri / Westy and leader Cookman (leader0 are going to take out the Advanced Radat Unit.

    The second Unit Qwuenther / Charlotte / Charlres and Nutley are going to hack the UVA’s

    Group one for now has to take a harder way to the Radar / and that was further shown

    Group 2 is where it take a dramatic turn. Charles is setting up the hack system so Qwenthuer and Charlotte have a discuusion about why he is being a designer. Turns out in the past Qwenthuer Dad’s dad protected a noble family that went bankrupt saving the daughter from being exploited . BTW She might be closer than you think!

    So Nutley sets up THE UVA cooms and tells Charlotte Qwenthur they need a target, When gone he takes out a knife on Charles . That snow is stained with blood . Qwenthur tries to get a hold of Charles / Nutley but he and Charloote are shot!

    What a cliffhangar!

    Assassination Classroom 2 EP 27 / Leader Time

    Isogai (Claas Prez ) is working hard at his job because his family is poor.but students are allowed to work .Asano and his cohorts from school A elite A Class Asano see him Asao wants to crush Class E and challenges them to the Pole Battle.In Class E losses Isogai will be turned in and expelled.. So the day of the match come class A looks like a Pro Football Team. It looks bad for Class E but they have a few trickks too and eventually defeat Asano who was just Arrogorant . Asano gets chewed by his dad but The Class A goons even have some sense you learn from losing. So Asano’s dad usses Krate to teach them a lesson. One vthing about Asani he dont go back on his bets!

    Haikyu!! S2 EP 18 / The Losers

    Some people have dissed this show as not being interesting no more. Yes it’s a long anime but it needs tiome to develop even after 2 seasons .Peolpe want quick resolutions. I tend to think in this age of instant anything / grafication the art of watching something grow is lost I think the qulitly of life has sufferd also IMO. Look at TV a show is lucky to move on after a year. Events are gone and fortgotten quicker Look at 9-11 it dont seen to affect the newer generations as much. You call that spoiled .

    Why because al that came before was setting the heavy matches and growing stonger after the bad year before.

    Growth and applying what you learned even gaining confidence was key in this battle with Wakutani South

    CHP 125 / Those Who Have Lost / A glimpse of CHP 126 The THIRD

    Hinasta is good / using eveything he learned even rubbing off on the opposistion / and hustling like never before.

    Ennoshita came thru but stiil was sad / Dachi could have came back but the team was hooked up

    NEXT UP Aobajosai High VS Date Tech High

    Durarara!!×2 Ketsu EP 29 / “Lost in the Dark”

    This was an intense episode. Kasane invades Shinra and Celty’s pad and first turns him into one of her Saika-children despite Celty’s efforst she escapes with him in a wild chase thru the city . Kasane puts Shinra in Vorona;s car. Trying to hold an enraged Celty. Even Vorona wonders why Celty is worked uo because of Shinra whether it’s hate or lovre. BTW Vorona is musing over whether a normal life or assasian is better. But Celty sends for help with her headlees horse Coiste Bodhar. The help is Shizuo who’s been carrying a destroyed bike from kids who taunted him . Now this just one of the coolest moments in DRRR / maybe not the most important but really funny. Bodhar is first a horse which he can’t ride Then a motorcycle which he has no license or training. So the horse takes the bike and turns into that But when Shizuo asks simple ?? the bike answers withe bell which was just one of the small moments in anime that makes this show cool. But the best when he goes IZAAYAAAA !

    Now if that wasnt enough Walker has gome Head over heels for Kasane in a 2D vs 3-D explanation .

    Masaomi and his a few of his Yellow scarves friiends are going to be killed by Izumii,But Chikage saves him becasuse their fight isnt finished and wants just to have a fair fight.

    RWBY: Vol 3, Chapter 11:/ Heroes and Monsters

    I give the show credit for covering so action much in a short time , This might have been one of the most invovled fight scenes at once. Like Symphongear I think the bar was raised again

    The music for this anime is always good / The music matched Ruby’s swings / then the I think the Remix song was just so good. The music gets overlloked a lot. [/red]
    Highlight format to day.

    Velvet so OP The meek girl not so .Velvet taking pics of weapons were so she could use them in her Semblance,

    Ruby vs Neo / Roman. Ruby did well against both Neo and Roman. Remeber Yang was losing to Neo on the Train.She took quite a beating but survived . She was taking out Grimmwith just a punch. In fact a Grimm Destroyed the ship after Ruby punched Him

    Ironwood survived / CRDL even fighting after we hated him so much / Glynda is the best Huntress / Qrow taking down the Grimm you can see Ruby as Heir Apparent with the same elite moves.

    Juane goes with Pyrrha / Ironwood and discovers Pyrrha secret . Ozpin still made Pyrrhasure Pyrrha was doing the transfer on own free wiil! But Cinder Kills Autumn Ozpin sends Juanne / to get Gylnda Ironwood Qrow Again The “SHE ” Cinder refers to.

    Cant forget Blake Adam .Adam is winning but Yang shows up and gets wounded?/ Blake takes Yang away. BTW Yang lost a Limb.

    Dimension W EP 5 / The Possibilities of the Dead

    They covered a lot of ground on this Arc / Also the Adaptation order

    MASSIVE Spoiler / thoughts

    I knew last week they did a big jump in the order of the Story / What was done in 2 EPS was like 10 CHPS / IDK if it was a good idea or not / but I hope they cover eearlier CHPS too. ust IMO

    I am hoing to be brief as to my thoughts above.

    Mira is but caught in the past but Elizabeth revies her

    Kyoma and the others fight against the ghosts in the fog attacking the hotel.

    But having an Illegal Number Coil / linked with a disater such as the Yasogami Dam tragedy shws the dangers.

    Kyona stiil treats Mira badly even though she has done nothing wrong and must have to do with hid past.

    A little letdown considering the source material./ More than packed it in.

    Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash EP 5 / Crying Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak. Enduring Doesn’t Mean You’re Strong.

    With this anime on Dubble Talk block it’s not the first anime to deal with death but an Episode that is real serios about it.

    Haruhiro and his party are dealing with Manato’s death and figuring out what’s next.

    Ranta grows ever more abrasive and wants to leave or be volunter soliders.

    At the Bar Manato went to a lot Renji gives them Gold but Hary refusses as they feel it’s their duty to take care of the funeral costs. And I dont tnink Renji was offended.

    They did find a new priest Mary but wants to stay in the backlines .

    Haru knows he has left Yume and Shihoru feelings / other issues about / after Manato

    Yume and Haru get quite close and release their feelings

    AJIN EP 4 / Did You See A Ghost In The Spring ?

    FIRST very nice got two Episodes ( Split from TV Special ?)

    Very cool Ajin vs . Ajin (IBM’s ) / Cop Shimomura vs. Nakano with Shimomura winning but Kei’s sister is kidnapped by Nakano .

    Kei wanys to finf pther Ajin and when Kaito returns he waits for Keu to fall asleeo and takes his phone but then gets a call from his sister but it is Satou wanting to offer him protection.

    So when Kei gets to Satou’s location many ?? are askede basically stating Kei knows there are bad humans but good ones too. Satou also tells him Eriko is going to the Hospital.

    But it a ruse as Nakano usees his IBM to try to Tranq him.

    Kei gets captured ( Vague I may have to rewatch) and is at thev LAB.

    AJIN EP 5 / A Piece Of Trash That Only Asks for Help

    As Satou has betrayed Kei because he dont hate humans and lets him get caught

    Kei is subkected to all kind of Torture but wont kill the lab workers but the Observe galass gets scratches which only Shimomura can see.

    Satou / Nakano know their plan has failedcand have to get Kei out of the Lab / but there is also another motive to Kidnap Prof Ogura from the U.S. who knows about the IBM’

    His Japanese counter parts think he is arrogorant / crazy.

    Another dark side of Satou he is selling human organs for transplants to get weapons.

    So the so called rescue takes place / secuity is warned not to kill any Ajin’s as it doent work but Satou wounds even shhots himself to die to make him stonger, He takes out the whole squad w/ o mercy . Nakano was late to Ogura;s car but kiils the security detail. Satou makes it to the lab and kills Kei to revive his strength .

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    • Aw man, I haven’t even considered RWBY as part of my Winter Tragedy series, but you’re totally right on that count! Very interesting that the forums there are the most active; but cool! I’m glad people like it, especially since this season’s been so good.

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  3. I’m still not sure I actually understand the objections you and others have against GATE, setting aside those that are rooted in Japan’s current political climate and how it could be seen to legitamise a certain rightwing desire to be more military active on the world stage, something I don’t know enough about to give a judgement on. Outside of that context it’s an enjoyable action series and I’m a bit of a sucker for modern military hardware meets a fantasy setting. GATE reminded me a bit of the old Brian Daley novel “The Doomfarers of Coramonde”, about a Vietnam War Era M113 squad of us soldiers being transported to a fantasy world as well as more mainstream technothrillers like Larry Bond’s Red Phoenix or Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, all things I can enjoy in spite of their rightwing politics.

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    • For me, it’s a cumulative effect of lots of little things, which – each taken by itself – is hard to take serious and thus hard to get mad about. I still don’t hate the show, but it does regularly make me angry.

      On the one hand, there’s hardware fetishism for stuff that kills. This is never something I like, but some shows (like Girls und Panzer) pull it off.

      Then that segues into a self-congratulory attitude towards power: if we really wanted to, we could just kill you all, but we don’t. Praise us please.

      Which then segues into colonialist complacency: all those natives are afraid of earthquakes. Isn’t that cute?

      Then there’s a can’t-be-helped attitude towards violence, where they just shoot everyone up in a palace, or where they celebrate the cathartic properties of revenge (and exploit trauma in the process – something that soured Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso for me, too).

      If Gate weren’t so comically obvious about all that, I’d have dropped it long ago. But I like the art and the general mood, so I stick with it. It’s just harder and harder to ignore the things that irritate me, and the second season really stepped up its game (which makes me worry that they wanted to desensitise me in the first place [well not me, since I’m not Japanese]).

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    • Beside the political stuff, I think GATE‘s affection for the military leads it into really troubling stuff (like how disturbingly misguided the shooting of the bunny girl was).

      But, really, aside from all that, I just can’t look away from how it blends sex and technology and weapons and right-wing politics. It’s a crazy, wild mixture of ideologies and worldviews that I don’t really like myself, but to see them all together is… well, like I said, it’s kinda fascinating.

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  4. On a more general note, including GATE and two other returnees from last season (Heavy Object, watched for the lulz as much as anything and Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note (middle schoolers solving crimes) I’m following some 31 series this season, which may be a bit too much.

    Active Raid, Norn9, Divine Gate, Schwarzes Marken, Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut & Bubuki Buranki I can be short about. All bog standard action series which struggle to reach the dizzying heights of mediocricy, but which so far have been easier to keep watching than to drop them.

    Musaigen no Phantom World is sort of similar, in that it really isn’t nything special story or character wise, but just it being KyoAna that creates it gives it a sheen of quality that lifts it out of the morass. That and guppy of course, though I also like headphones girl.

    Haruchika Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru isn’t the new Hibike Euphonium, nor the new Hyouka, but now it has settled down somewhat it’s a surprisingly decent slice of life mystery show, as long as Haru gets what’s coming to him often enough. it’s a shame they haven’t done much of anything with his being gay though so far, seeing as how rare a proper gay (as opposed to hideously stereotyped) character is in anime.

    On the sports side of things, Prince of Stride: Alternative is pretty boys doing parkour and is hitting all the beats of a sports series pretty convincingly, this time revealing just why the stride club that used to be so successfull went downhill so quickly last year. Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm made up sport antics meanwhile have now reached the stage that the new team is taking part in its first tournament, with the main heroine doing rather well to reach the second round. As Rohan said, it’s been refreshing to have what would’ve been the harem lead in another show instead be just one member of the ensemble, with no romance in sight.

    Phantasy Star Online 2 the Animation remains ridiculous and therefore rather entertaining in a way a series that’s merely bad couldn’t possibly be.

    Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R is a decent mahou shoujou series, Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara is a stupid but short mahou shoujou series but Maho Girls Precure! blows both out of the water with its charm.

    Luck & Logic has magical girls too, sort off and it is about the only of the current batch of generic action shows that’s actually consistently decent.

    Dimension W keeps disappointing.

    On the short side of things Ooya-san wa Shishunki! is actually too short to do much, Oshiete Galko-chan is refreshingly robust in its humour (poor Galko will never lend her uniform to her sister again), Sekko Boys is sort of funny, Ojisan to Marshmallow is fittingly sweet while Nijiro Days has improved a lot as a slice of schoolboy life series.

    Dagashi Kashi is the best humouristic show this season though, moreso as it keeps refusing to go too far into any romantic subplots. It means the focus can be solely on hotaru dragging Kokonotsu into zany candy based adventures.

    Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu had the standard “male lead has to convince unwilling team member to return” subplot any otaku harem show seems obliged to include at some point and at least it was quick, though this was the second time this specific girl was causing problems, so…

    Koukaku no Pandora: Ghost Urn remains stupid, cute and fun.

    Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! is the other truly funny humouristic show this season and it and Hai to Gensou no Grimgar prove there was still life in the old “trapped in a fantasy world” genre, in very different ways. Like you I was impressed by the way the latter handled grief; I need to write about that properly.

    Finally, best two series remain Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, even if this was indeed a weaker episode and Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, for which again your thoughts mirror mine. Even if I’m reluctant to start watching it, it has my full attention in minutes and it never bores.

    Like

    • Heavy Object is still a thing. This blows my mind, as I’ve basically scrubbed its existence from my memory after five episodes haha.

      I really wish Prince of Stride had a better hook; I would’ve liked to have had the impetus to keep up with it, but it just wasn’t quite doing it for me.

      If you do write about grief in Grimgar, let me know! I’d love to read that post!

      Like

  5. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju has delivered my favourite flashback episode yet. I note that when we see Miyokichi without her professional makeup, Kikohiku is wearing his. It’s as if the show means to tell us that they’re not ready to face each other as they are. At least one of them needs a masque.

    Koukaku no Pandora has a character named Robert Altman. Imagining a life-action version of the show directed by Robert Altman is something I barely survived.

    Grimgar is still putting me on edge; I’m afraid to open up to the show, as if watching it could corrupt me somehow. It’s a very strange feeling, and I don’t know why. I have issues with how the show deals with gender, and I’m still wary about the show’s treatment of goblins, but I don’t think it’s either of that. There’s a certain… mood that puts me off, and I don’t know what it is. Odd. Despite that, I’m enjoying the show. Both the animation and voice acting is great, and they’re doing a lot of things right.

    Dimension W has delivered my favourite arc yet; I’m not disappointed at all. It made perfect sense to me.

    Erased is still my second favourite show this season, but I don’t like the way it seems to play heroes and villains. I think I disagree that the protagonist is a bad character, but since I’m not sure what you mean by that, I can’t tell whether it’s different expectations or a different perception of the character.

    Oh, and Norn9 surprised me by delivering a good (good, mind you, not great) episode. I was watching it for the setting alone so far. A fabricated fairy tale dream drawing the cast together; it was quite fun to watch.

    Oh, and I’m watching the Bahamut show for reaction faces. I’m not sure what’s actually going on, but it doesn’t matter, since the story’s silly anyway.

    Like

    • As far as ERASED‘s protag goes (I cannot even recall his name off the top of my—oh, Satoru, right), I just don’t think there’s a solid emotional core in him. I don’t have any reason to care about him specifically, and that makes a lot of the other stuff that happens around him ring empty. It worked in the past timeline because Kayo commanded a lot of investment, but the show’s been brief with his mother and partially gross with Airi (plus I’m just still not convinced of her sticking with Satoru) in the present—so with my investment not working there with them, I’m just struggling.

      Grimgar has very serious problems with how it treats its female characters, which is totally whacked because sometimes it’s so good with them. Basically an “ugh, anime” thing. Sideboob moment at the emotional climax of episode 5? Why. Why. Why.

      Like

      • Ah, I think I can see your take on Satoru now. I’ve said before that I think Erased is a psychological show before a mystery, and I actually still think so, but in a bit of a different way than I thought back then. I do think that Erased is doing a good job at displaying a depression so total that it’s invisible to the main character in daily life, but manifests itself in obsession. The problem is that, increasingly, I feel that none of the other characters have the same emotional depth, which causes an imbalance and sense of (?)unintended(?) surrealism. On a meta-level I might say authorial intention takes over. There are things like Satoru fixing a toy plane so well that it overshoots its mark and gets swept away. There’s a sense of desperation to every good intention, and the villain seems conveniently cartoony. Airi’s intense emotionality isn’t self-sufficient, but mostly serves as foil for the general mood of the show, which is the general mood of the protagonist. Before he can make a difference in the real world, he’ll have to face up to his own issues. It’s still my second favourite show of the season, but it is trending downwards.

        I missed the sideboob in Grimgar (or I don’t remember it). I’m aware of those moments in general, but that’s fairly easy to dispel with an eyeroll, and my auto-anime filter catches a lot of it before I become consciously aware of it. My problem is more with the general mood, like I’d rather be alone than with that party or something. I’m not even sure that’s true, but I can’t put it better. It’s very strange.

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  6. Here’s my unofficial APR:

    1) Erased (Episode 5)
    Even with the slightly weaker episode this week, Erased continues to be my favorite show of the season. The tension in the first four episodes was done excellently, and the show has set itself up for some interesting plot twists and turns down the road with Satoru’s return to the present. I didn’t think this episode was particularly bad either–the only weak points I found were that the direction was a /little/ over the top, with some particularly exaggerated shots/sound direction, and Airi’s backstory wasn’t the best. Other than that, I didn’t have a lot of the problems that other people seemed to have with the episode/show as a whole, such as emotional development of the characters past plot devices. The show continues to be impressive, and while it dipped a bit below “great” level this week, I’m confident that the rest of the show will be good.

    2) Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm (Episode 5)
    This show is about as light and fluffy as Erased is dark and tense, but I love it. I think that the show breaks past its VN/haremy appearance and is honestly a solid show. The show continues to impress with its matches in this competition-focused episode, though I wish they were a bit longer. It does a good job of adding the right amount of tension and excitement, and the visual direction of the flight is excellent in that regard. As I mentioned on Twitter, the competition brought me back to Chihayafuru matches, in regards to things such as placement of the main characters in the bracket and introducing/characterizing opponents, which is a good thing. The competition also brought a similar level of excitement to the karuta matches, and the various styles of play in FC also hearken back to the various styles/advantages people have in karuta. Which is to say, AoKana is doing it’s competition well! I did find myself a little annoyed at the repetition of certain character tropes this episode, but it was a pretty minor issue on a whole and I’m still enjoying the show a ton. The character interactions continue to also be a highlight, and MC-kun has been less annoying in the moody/closed-off regard in the past two or three episodes, which is another good thing.

    3) Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season (Episode 5)
    Well, Akagami managed to handle the drama setup from the previous episode quite well! The action and tension seemed to flow naturally from the events of the previous episode, and there was nothing particularly odd or unbelievable (within the context of the show) about the events that happened this episode. I continue to grow fonder of Raj; I liked him a lot in the first season as a comical character, but with the development he’s received in the past few episodes, he’s quickly grown to become an actually interesting character in addition to being comical, and I liked a lot of what he did and said this episode. Akagami is also handling the love triangle pretty tastefully, which I appreciate. I trust Akagami to keep up the execution with what it’s shown so far, and it’s definitely become a show I look forward to watching each week.

    4) Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Episodes 2-5)
    I don’t really have much to add show-wise, so I guess I’ll talk a bit more about my personal experience with it. I think it’s a good show. It feels similar to a historical fiction novel with the setting and the narration style, and in that way, I think the show objectively is constructed well. However…I can’t seem to bring myself to /like/ the show much more than appreciating how good it is. It’s not like I’m not emotionally invested either; I’ve found my emotions during episodes fluctuate with the characters’ situations. However, I think one problem is that I don’t particularly /like/ any of the characters, which makes it hard for me to like the show. I also think there’s some disconnect between me and the show, which might have resulted from some lack of suspension of disbelief in some regard, but I’m not particularly sure about that point. Also, I think I’m tired of hearing constant praise for the anime on Twitter, which is unfair to the show, but has impacted my impression of it. To be fair, I loved episodes 2 and 3–watched them almost the entire way through without mousing over the video progress bar or checking Twitter, but it seemed like my excitement dwindled a bit for episodes 4 and 5. Furthermore, I don’t think the show is doing anything terribly impressive in its articulation of its themes, but eh. This ended up a lot more negative than I originally intended actually–it’s still a good show! I just like it less than other shows.

    5) Nijiiro Days (Episode 5)
    I’m continuing to like this show. It’s a relaxing watch, with bits of humor here and there that make me smile. I love watching this group of high school guys fool around and enjoy their youth. This episode looked like it was going to bring in some undesired dramatic elements, but it managed to avoid those and keep up the light-hearted tone and comics of the previous episodes. This episode also demonstrated that the show can put on a decent episode even without the funny interactions these fools have with the girls in their lives. The voice acting continues to be on point, and the show is a nice 13-minute watch every week.

    (how do you keep this up every week bless, this is hard T_T)
    6) Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu (Episode 5)
    As demonstrated again by this episode, this show has a lot of interesting ideas, but ultimately doesn’t execute them as well as it could. The show certainly isn’t bad–I’m still looking forward to watching it every week, and the characters are fun to watch and I’m rooting for them to succeed–but it’s not as good as it could be. This week, the ideas behind teamwork were once again addressed, with leadership, role delegation, and conflict being problems that the group had to learn how to deal with. These themes were addressed well within the show in terms of character dialogue and actions, but the drama wasn’t exactly great. Overall, the drama has varied in quality episode to episode–some it’s been fine, others not so much. However, I do still enjoy the show and am looking forward to the additional things it has to say about this team of high school students.

    7) Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Episode 5)
    It’s…not bad. I can’t say this episode did a lot for me though. It was nice seeing the characters continuing the emotional process of healing, and that last scene was pretty powerful (I honestly didn’t mind the side-boob at all, and probably wouldn’t have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out earlier :p), but honestly, I’m getting slightly tired of the show? I appreciate that it’s a more character-focused “trapped in an MMO” show, but the characters have been somewhat static up to now, and I’d like to see the team grow as a whole and perhaps progress through the world some more. Not bad, but I’m not terribly excited about it either.

    8) Dimension W (Episode 5)
    I think Dimension W excels in its fight scenes, but isn’t as good otherwise, which is probably why I’ve been enjoying it less. It could also be just that the last two episodes were somewhat silly–episode 2 was great, and episode 3 was not bad, but the show is becoming less interesting to me. Mira is still cute, and the music is still quite good, but I don’t find any of the other characters interesting or compelling. It doesn’t help that the premise/premiere didn’t interest me that much in the first place either.

    Your comments are longer than the post itself, wow…

    Like

    • I’m late, but I’m here! Hello, yahallo, and welcome! ^_^

      3 things from me!

      First—I really like knowing what you’re watching, since I feel like I don’t get a good sense of that on Twitter.

      Two—Raj is really great! I’m super pleased he came back as a serious character this season; much of the material around him specifically has been excellent.

      Three—I just keep writing, that’s how I do it every week!

      Four—(I lied) I totally hear you re: the constant praise for Rakugo. I get this way sometimes with shows (like Euphonium) where I’m not quite on board with everyone else and they just won’t. stop. talking. about. it. It’s petty, I know, but hey! It happens. Part of being in a community, sometimes.

      Like

  7. After last episode I’m probably done with Shoujo-tachi. I found this one pretty boring, and all it’s really doing for me right now is making me appreciate even more just how strong Saekano was. I haven’t officially dropped it yet, but I’m not expecting to come back again.

    The remaining six – Erased, Konosuba, Rakugo, Dimension W, Marshmallow, and Aokana – all continue to be varying levels of enjoyable all in their own ways (though I continue to be all over the map on what I’m caught up with or behind on). And I agree, less of Darkness is definitely more.

    So I went over to Rightstuf to order the new Love Live BDs that are officially getting released next week, and I saw that they have some Sentai stuff on special sale right now – $5 DVD sets and $10 BD sets. When I checked the list, I saw one of the shows that’s on sale is AKB0048, and that got me curious enough to go watch episode 1 on CR. I think I can see why you like it! I’m not going to buy it, but I did enjoy the episode, so I’ll probably go back and finish it sometime when my “currently watching” list isn’t quite so long.

    Oh, and to wrap up last week, I was very happy with Chunibyo’s ending. So my updated KyoAni favorites list is now 1)Kanon, 2)Haruhi, 3t)Euphonium/Hyouka (I keep going back and forth on those two), 5)K-On, 6)Chunibyo, 7)Amagi, 8)Air, 9)Phantom World. Seven more franchises left to sample. 🙂

    Like

    • Hm, I’m not sure whether – overall – I prefer Saekano or Shoujo-tachi. The latter is more consistent, but never reaches the former’s heights. Saekano’s Megumi Kato was a stroke of genius nothing in Shoujo-tachi can even hope to approach. Saekano probably has the edge – running (mostly, but not only) on Kato power.

      Like

      • Indeed, Saekono is head and shoulders above Shoujo-tachi because of Megumi Kato and how her presence allows it to criticise and gently troll otaku culture in a way that Shoujo-tachi cannot. They’re in the same genre but thanks to Megumi, having an actual person walking around a show otherwise populated with the same archetypes you see in every harem show, Saekano is able to rise above it.

        Like

        • Harem is usually one of my least-favorite genres. Saekano was a rare exception, and off the top of my head I can think of three reasons why it stood out to me above its genre brethren (none of which are present in Shoujo-tachi).

          One was obviously Kato, like you both said.

          Two, the girls had their own dreams, goals, and ambitions, and they actually continued to pursue those goals even after they started working for Aki. Joining his circle is just one more thing in their lives, not the only thing, and none of them are waiting helplessly for the male MC to solve their problems. It made them much fuller, more complete characters than your typical haremettes.

          Three, Saekano had teeth. There’s a mix of irreconcilable worldviews, clashing goals, and healthy egos that creates genuine conflict between the characters, and it’s all totally organic to who they are. Eriri and Utaha constantly get under each other’s skin because they’re oil and water, not because the plot says “we need two characters to have a fight in this episode.”

          Like

          • Hm, for me, story-wise, I think Saekano stands out most obviously in one point: rather than the ineffectial nice-guy/diplomat (that Shoujo tachi has, too), Saekano’s main character is basically a selfish ass who’s passionate only for his interest. (I can’t think of many shows that did something like that. It’s maybe comparable to The World God Only Knows, except the focus there is on character development away from that.) It’s our main character’s personality that necessitates more clear-cut egos in the haremettes, or they’ll be subsumed by out more-selfish-than-usual harem lead.

            The conflict amongst each other didn’t seem all that unusual for me (Utaha/Eriri felt like a version of the same type that Yozora/Sena in Haganai represents). Also, I don’t find Kuroda/Andou to be plot-instigated, so I’m not sure I actually see that as much of a difference.

            I think what makes Saekano’s characters stand out is a genre-defying attention to detail in little things. The most visible example would be Eriri wearing a jumpsuit and glasses at home without a hint of embarrassment. There are other, more subtle, things along those lines, too, but it’s been a while since Saekano so I don’t remember them off-hand.

            If you take that all together with Kato, Saekano can step outside of the otaku world view, and what it sees isn’t flattering, but it’s not condemning either. And, yes, I would say that’s definitely something Shoujo tachi doesn’t have.

            Also, I’ve just watched the latest episode of Shoujo tachi, and… let me say you all dropped the show just in time to avoid a really awful beach episode. Much as I like the show in general, this was mostly an embarassing attempt at being funny (and even if I liked ecchi fanservice, it would have been undermined by sub-par art). I think the show might have included five minutes that weren’t awkward, and under one minute was good (according to my taste). Saekano wasn’t that bad in its designated fanservice episode.

            Like

          • That’s the real key to why Saekano succeeded where Shoujo-tachi is failing. Saekano (even though the characters embodied tropes) was ultimately character driven.

            Shoujo-tachi is driven primarily by tropes and archetypes.

            Like

    • Whoo, I got someone to check out AKB0048! I love that show dearly, as I’m sure you’re aware, so I hope you enjoy it!

      Interesting KyoAni list. I’m going to have to figure out if I like Haruhi or Hyouka better some point, and it’s gonna be tough, especially since Funi won’t release the Haruhi BDs, meaning I have no way to rewatch it.

      Like

  8. Another crazy week, we seem to be having a string of those… But, better busy than bored I always say.

    Somehow, I ended up with a great deal of exposition on fanservice this week.

    Off to the Weekly Wall;

    My Shows

    Divine Gate Still two (or is it three now?) eps behind… If I can’t find the motivation to catch up then it’s probably time to make it formal Dropped (with the option to catch up).

    Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu kara; Still a mostly harmless and genre savvy spoof of magical girls, but with a couple of good bits. (Who knew that familiars like steak?) The skeevy fanservice of the first ep was briefly back though… The one big drawback in what it otherwise a pleasant few minutes diversion.

    Schwarzesmarken; Sitting in the queue, just haven’t gotten to it yet.

    Sekkou Boys ep 5; The Boys appear on a talk show, and it is not a success. And a pretty weak episode to boot, though that may be because I know pretty much nothing about Japanese talk show culture. The post show conversation between Mars and Athena ‘onee-sama’ was a hoot though.

    Our Shows

    Akagami no Shirayukihime eps 5; Seriously, if this was the first cour I’d have hammered the drop button last week. At last, of four episodes of mostly exposition something finally happens! Sadly, it mostly happens to other people and Shirayuki spends most of the episode (literally) as an inert sack of potatoes (par for the course to date). OTOH, the scene with Obi confronting the kidnapper was excellent… I’ve rarely seen “tell me what I want to know or I’ll rip you into sausage – and I don’t actually care which” conveyed through facial expression and body language so well. Obi is beyond furious with himself for failing to live up to Zen’s trust and letting Shirayuki down.

    AOKANA eps 5; And it’s off to the races… literally as it’s time for the FC summer championship qualifiers. Some of the girls do well, others not so much, but it was a well done ep overall building on what has been presented before. (Though some of the races did seem to break the rules of FC as we’ve seen them so far…) While it remains firmly in the “mostly harmless” category, AOKANA has production values and scriptwriting well above what you’d expect for appears on the face of it to be a fairly straightforward “magical battle” semi-comedy.

    Of especial note is that they’ve resisted the temptation to play up the fanservice. There’s no doubt that Our Heroine and some other girls in the show are well built (though not all, another thumbs up, there’s variety), but they don’t spend any noticeable time dwelling on it.

    BBK/BRNK; As predicted last week, dropped. Partly to make keeping up with all our other shows easier, partly because it’s strayed so far from it’s initial premise and promise.

    Dagashi Kashi ep 5; I almost fear sorry for the weekly reviewer over at ANN – DK executes it’s one trick so well, but it is a one trick pony. I’m glad I can get away with one liners like “it was a funny ep this week, a little weak in spots, but still well executed as we’ve come to expect”. There’s some fanservice here too, but it’s only quick flashes and played up mostly as part of Hotaru’s ditsy personality. (As well as to subtly reinforce the difference between the Hotaru the wordly city slicker and Saya the simpler country girl next door – Ginger vs. Mary Anne.)

    Dimension W eps 5; OK, what the aitch-e-doublehockeysticks did I just watch? They reinforced some core bits (misuse of Coils can lead to weirdness), but otherwise it was a scattered mess. Kyouma is still a cipher 5 eps in, and Mira is turning literally into a deus ex machina able to solve whatever problem the show has. OTOH, there was an interesting bit that you might have missed – the dimensions coalescing after the destruction of the coil produced an effect exactly like that seen when Yurizaki Shidō vanished back in the first ep. Lazy animators or coy hint as to What Is Actually Happening? Only time will tell.

    Here, the fanservice is rapidly sliding down the scale into something pointless and objectionable. It’s quite possible to have fanservice and a decent plot (as Sekirei proved quite handily), but first you have to have a decent plot, something Dimension W is starting to fail/flail at. That the fanservice in this arc has been of the leering voyeur variety just makes things worse.

    We’re not yet to the drop zone, but Dimension W is starting to look wistfully in that direction.

    ERASED ep5; A mess of an episode, especially notable because of the consistent quality of the first four eps. I really can’t figure out what’s going on here, and can’t decide whether they simply screwed up or whether there’s more going on here and we just don’t know enough yet. Though at the end… I’m starting to wonder whose future Airi is from. She’s just way too savvy and level to not have some foreknowledge.

    Gate ep5; Honestly, I thought this was one of the better eps this season – shedding most of the politics and returning to the show’s roots, the Fanservice Trio in action and the JDSF blowing stuff up. Lelei’s scenes during the battle with the dragon were possibly the best among all shows this week, a crowning moment of awesome for a heretofore largely ignored “main” character.

    I use the term fanservice here, but it’s of a different sort than what I talk about elsewhere today. It’s more referring to how the girls hew to (male) fantasy gamer archetypes and the overall worldview of the show.

    Girls beyond the Wasteland ep5 ; What a mess, and just the latest in what has consistently been a mess… even without Saekano‘s towering presence to be compared to I think this show would suck. (Though before Saekano, or in a less busy season, we might have watched it through.) Dropped

    Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash ep 5; I know I said it last week, but it bears repeating with emphasis – another WOW episode.

    For most shows, Manato’s death would have been ‘one and done’ and subsequent episodes would have dealt mostly with trying to find/integrate a new party member (or just airdropped one in and left it at that). Instead, Grimgar spends the entire episode working realistically through the consequences of loss, of grief, and of pain. From Ranta’s brash arrogance being amped to eleven, to Haruhiro’s dark introspection, to Moguzo’s heavy hearted resigned acceptance…. The whole spectrum of emotions. Once again Grimgar goes ‘where no show has gone before’. Something no other reviewer has touched on are the things that came out during the latter half, in the abandoned city. Not only the confusion caused by Manato’s death, nor just the ‘sand-in-gears’ caused by a new party member and her personality combined with poor treatment by the rest of the party… But the loss of confidence. Last ep, they were proud and becoming unafraid, and paid a heavy price. But now, having lost not only their healer, leader, and pillar; they’re confronting the reality of pain and death. And this is actually making things worse. (Including how these issues are causing them to shove Mary aside.)

    I know Bless has had issues with the fanservice in Grimgar, but I’m not entirely in agreement with him. Sure, the (very short) flashes of Yume’s butt in her Daisy Dukes are bordering on gratuitous (she’s an attractive girl and contrasts to Shihoru’s heavier frame, we get it). But I’m not willing to say they’re entirely gratuitous given how the show is handling other points (as also discussed above). Shihoru is a different story as well. She’s drawn as a ‘curvy girl’, not conventionally (read: mass media) attractive like Yume. And you need to watch her reactions… while the boys are openly discussing the ‘leakage’ from their past lives, Shihoru is much more subtle. She doesn’t see herself as attractive (even as the camera is ensuring we know she is), and I think we’re seeing her ‘leakage’ conveyed – she has, or had, pretty serious body issues back in the ‘real world’. This is entirely realistic, and entirely in line with the show’s portrayals of other issues – sometimes up in front, and sometimes powerfully subtle. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Gundam Tekketsu ep 17; I don’t know what to say here… this weeks ep was a weird combination of epilogue for what has gone before and prologue for what’s coming next. Very necessary as the scene shifts, but somewhat uncomfortable.

    KonaSuba ep4; A perfect delight with the quirky humor that I now think of as the show’s highlight. Not afraid one bit to take on the genre’s hoariest tropes and shred them for out amusement. Megumin’s “training montage” had me rolling on the floor once I figured out what was going on. As Bless said, if they can keep this up, this one will go in the books as a delight. And they show every sign of doing so.

    Fanservice… yeah, it’s there though mostly of the ‘quick flash of boob bounce’ variety, mostly harmless and mostly left to flash by without comment. For good or bad, it’s pretty much the standard for any kind of semi-harem comedy. Of the panty stealing scene, the less said the better. That was overdone and pointless.

    Lovely Muuuuuuuco! ep17; More insanely energetic comedy.

    Ojisan and Marshmallow ep 5; Another zig, though a pleasant one as we get to see what Iori is like when she’s not around Habahiro (besotted with him to an extreme degree). It also casts last week’s Habahiro-centric episode in a new light.

    What fanservice there is present serves mostly as handmaiden to the show’s sexual innuendo. I hesitate to call it gratuitous because the innuendo is the show’s point after all.

    Wow, that was a load of writing this week… Let me know what you think.

    Now to hit the ‘Post’ button and once again see if the system chokes on such a huge chunk of text.

    Like

    • Write away—I’m reading it all!

      I do have to say I think you’re giving Grimgar far too much credit re: the fanservice stuff. The director of the show is infamous for another anime called Aiura, which is jokingly called Thighura because of all the time it spends lingering on its female characaters’ thighs. What’s going on in Grimgar seems to be a of a similar order to me.

      Frankly, I prefer Konosuba‘s sort of “slapstick dumb” fanservice. As I encounter it, it’s much easier to dismiss.

      Lots of fanservice talk this week, which I appreciate! I’ve kind of gotten away from commenting on it since I feel like I always say the same thing (“I don’t like it!!”) and there are more interesting things to talk about, but it is still something that I notice and am bugged (or not) by.

      Like

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