In which all of my irritation with Oreki melts away—even if Oreki is constantly putting on an act for his friends, he can’t fool the camera. Unsurprisingly, the sincerity offered therein has given me a whole lot more appreciation (dare I say affection?) for this character and the particular circumstances of the life he’s living.
Right so, deep thematic analysis, resonance between cinematographic technique and unstated meaning…it’s all there in Blood Blockade Battlefront. It’s exceptional, in a way only a Rie Matsumoto show could be. Those qualities…have almost not bearing whatsoever on this episode—because this episode is about one thing and one thing only: having a good time. And if you didn’t enjoy this episode, you might as well get off the giant car-eating monster vehicle now, because this is the reality of Blood Blockade Battlefront. And this is my favorite episode of the season.
So, I’ve kind of felt like I’ve been spinning my wheels with these posts for the last couple weeks, but no longer! Ore Monogatari!! is still super cute, but this episode’s escapade into the river of character secrets and insecurities has finally given me a reason to dive deep beyond the adorableness and really pull out some brainchildren to talk about…too much?
Time for the last of the character introduction episodes—we get the final member of our main cast, Ami Kawashima. I know Ami is pretty well-beloved of the Toradora! fandom in general, but overall I wasn’t totally enamored with her character after my first watch. That being said, I think she’s pretty darn fascinating, both as a character in her own right and as a subversion of the dojikko trope. Sometimes, I even think that Ami might be a more tragic character than anyone else in this show…
Subtitle: On the Importance of Workplace Communication
Shirobako‘s a pretty sneaky show—it gives us an episode titled “Those Who Blame Others Should Just Quit!” and then proceeds to give us an entire episode of one guy who probably really does deserve to be blamed (although not entirely). It’s pretty eye-opening to watch Tarou’s exhibition of his absolutely abysmal communication skills (and lack of common sense), and as fun as it is to just blast him over sucking at his job, I think there’s a pretty impressive opportunity for self-reflection here. Even if you don’t have a job right now, Shirobako‘s highlighting a pretty important message here: communication is key.
And, along with all that, Shirobako managed to squeeze in a whole bunch of jokes, commentary on the 2D-3D debate, parallel that debate with Aoi’s struggles with her future, and lead us into the “one person’s problem is everyone’s problem” episode.
So, even though I dropped Sora no Method, I do want to plug the ED—both the song by fhána and animation (apparently the entire ED was animated by just one guy). It’s hanging out somewhere on YouTube. This felt long a long week to me, but there were a lot of show with really good episodes, which made it enjoyable. I’m now down to 11 simulcasting shows with Your Lie in April going on hold and Sora no Method out of my schedule, so I might end up picking up a few more (like Gundam Build Fighters Try) or just doing more backlog watching. Either way, it’s a good season so far!
A couple drops this week (Tokyo ESP, Rail Wars!) mean my schedule is starting to free up for those inevitable midseason pick-ups. Barakamon is probably first on that list right now.
Trending Up: Nozaki-kun, Zankyou no Terror, Glasslip
Trending Down: Free! Eternal Summer, Sailor Moon Crystal
I threatened to do an full episode post on Argevollen last week, but didn’t get to it. I’m remedying my laziness today! And, fortunately, this was another excellent episode from the best of Xebec’s two offerings this season. I think I pretty much figured out why Argevollen clicks so well with me—it cares about the details. Characters, events, moments, looks. Argevollen understands that life is made up of a lot of small things that happen in between the big events that define us, and it takes the time to let us experience them.