Winter 2015 Anime Overview – Week 8 (Anime Power Ranking)

The write-up this week is a tad delayed, due to me rewatching the entirety of Chihayafuru (50 episodes) and other obligations, but I decided not to skip this week’s post. I didn’t watch last week’s Tokyo Ghoul Root A episode, and I might not care enough to resume watching it. It’s just not fun.

As always, links in title are to full write-ups (for very few shows this time around), while the shows are ordered by how much I liked the episode, compared to the others.

The shows covered will be Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Log Horizon S2, Parasyte: the Maxim (Kiseiju), and Shirobako.

1) Shirobako episode 19:

Shirobako anime episode 19 overview

An episode where we think of the past and how we can never recreate it, but also of how the present can seek to pass it, and how the present is predicated on the past. We see past legends, and hear reassuring words – they did not set out with a plan, they did not set out to become “legends”. They just did the work that was in front of them, and forty years down the line, it turns out that they’ve erected a mountain behind them, a legacy.

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Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 20 – Desires are Hearts Under Blades

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Last episode’s moments and the preview made it seem as if it’d be about Nyanta facing off against Londark, and more importantly, the person of the land noble who wishes to kill the adventurers, perhaps in order to take energy from them. Maybe we’ll even see more of what Roe 2 is up to, or what the Round Table is dealing with in Akihabara.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Just Doing My Job – I Hate This World:

Log Horizon Season 2 anime episode 20 notes - Londark and Nyanta, a talk of pain

1) “Do you know what you’re doing?!” – “I’m doing a job and getting paid.” :P

2) “I never received a manual for this world.” – Meaning, he can’t be held accountable. He doesn’t know what his actions will result in, no one knows. Same situation as us and many of our inventions, such as pesticides where the benefits are immediately seen, but the downsides may take decades to manifest. Being immortal, the adventurers might have said decades, unless they can now age and grow old.

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“Git Gud” – You Don’t Want An Objective Review, You Want Your Opinion Parroted

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was released last week. As someone interested in the game and franchise, I did what many others had done, and decided to read some reviews before the game was actually released. I set off to Metacritic’s page for the game, and as I am wont to do, I opened a handful of posts, running the gamut from high scores to lower scores. Well, I found this review by Chapel Collins on Gaming Nexus, a site I haven’t heard of before, and as I read the piece, I knew what the comments would be like. There were only two at the time (there are 151 right now), and they did not disappoint. A classic circling of the wagons by an indignant cult (or fandom), an all-out attack on the outsider.

git gud

The best defense of the fandom – attack the critic.

(While this post is somewhat of a rant on fandoms and the search for “objectivity”, it’s also an editorial on the nature of reviews.)

Before we proceed further, a couple of words on what I look for in a review, specifically of something such as a video game, headphones, or a computer mouse, which is often not what I wish out of a “review” of a narrative, though video games can also incorporate that “other” part (see Austin Walker’s post on Darkest Dungeon as an example). What I look for in a review of this sort is enough information on the product to tell me what it’s like – what qualities it has, what it focuses on, what it actually plays like.

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Winter 2015 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Winter 2015 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at. I also happened to appear on a podcast discussing these shows with Flawfinder and others, which you can check out here.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical. Also, each show will get a couple of words about how the past week’s episode had been, because I’d rather jot these down.

Great:

Death Parade:

Death Parade anime - Winter 2015 Anime Season Overview

Death Parade is a show where I don’t know what to expect from each episode, except for it to be both entertaining and quite good. We see humanity, and we see humanity pushed to the limit. Then we see said humanity judged by someone with next to no understanding of what it is he observes, which the show is aware of. We see judgments, and sometimes we do not. We see slices of lives, of the people judged, and of the judges. What is the true focus of the show? To show us slices of humanity? To show us the judgment, and make us think what decisions we would have made in their place? To try and understand the inhuman and quite child-like Decim behind his cold facade?

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Winter 2015 Anime Overview – Weeks 4-6 (APR)

This was supposed to go up on Wednesday, but between my cat having surgery (4 teeth removed), and me finding myself busy with all sort of things, it was delayed. I’m going to cover 2-3 episodes of each of the currently airing shows I’ve watched over the past three weeks, the cutoff is this past Wednesday. Next week will hopefully have an editorial, the mid-season post, and then we’ll go back to normal, including a post on Hyouka and another on rewatching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The shows covered will be Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Log Horizon S2, Shirobako, The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

Shows listed roughly in order of how much I liked the episodes in question.

1) Durarara!!x2 Shou episodes 3-5:

Durarara!! X2 shou episodes 3-5 overview

I love Durarara!!, and I love the way in which its stories are told, how they are just presented, and it’s not the action through which the story is told, it’s not necessarily the events occurring, but the way characters and storylines intersect. We have an increasingly large cast of characters, and rather than dilute the broth, or mean things take longer to occur, it feels as if the opposite is taking place, with me feeling as if one episode contained enough material for three distinct episodes, and none of it feeling rushed or ignored.

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Winter 2015 Anime Overview – Week 3 (APR)

Week 3 of the Winter season, but most shows only had two episodes. Still, we’re starting to see the season (of Durarara!!’s return!) shape up, and it’s not at all bad! There won’t be Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lily Bear Storm) this week, because being sick, I postponed watching it. The write-ups this week are pretty long, so I’d like to hear your thoughts – would you rather have a single paragraph summary of my thoughts, perhaps with a link to the 3-4 paragraphs detailing more thematic breakdown, or do you like all the text?

As always, links in title are to full write-ups (for very few shows this time around), while the shows are ordered by how much I liked the episode, compared to the others.

The shows covered will be Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Log Horizon S2,  Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano), Shirobako, The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

1) Durarara!!x2 Shou episode 2:

Durarara!!x2 Shou anime episode 2 overview

So, let’s start with the obvious question – how is it relevant for us to hear of all the new Raira academy students in order to understand what’s up with Celty and Shinra? And it’s obvious, because all the stories in Durarara!! connect to one another. Celty’s money was found by the twins, who ran into the man Shizuo smacked silly (and here we see the “Damn thieves!” moment from the previous episode), and who might end up being treated by Shinra. Everything relates to the Dollars, and Mikado is going to meet with the other student who wants to be in the dollars, and is now involved with the twins…

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Winter 2015 Anime First Impressions – Week 2 (APR)

Last week was sort of scarce on premiers, but this week had been filled with all the rest of them. So I’m going to start by listing my order on every series up to now, with a numerical score, and then I’ll list my thoughts on the episode. Longer write-ups can be had by clicking on the show’s episode title. The “Post Episode Thoughts” in particular should have my thoughts on the episode, if they weren’t copied here. As always, the list is ordered by how much I liked each episode.

First impressions for Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Koufuku Graffiti (Gourmet Girls Graffiti), Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano), The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 overview - pretty background

The Rolling Girls is very visually flamboyant.

There’d also be notes on the second episodes of Log Horizon S2, Shirobako, and Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lily Bear Storm).

Let’s start with a quick overview of first episodes and scores:

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