(Shows Covered – Kill la Kill, Nagi no Asukara, Gin no Saji 2nd season (Silver Spoon), Log Horizon, Nisekoi, Sekai Seifuku – Bouryaku no Zvezda (World Domination – Zvezda Plot), “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha”, and Pupa)
Anime Power Ranking is no longer held, so here are the shows I’ve watched this past week and how I order them. Each link leads to my episodic write-up of the relevant show. You will notice half the shows do not have descriptions, these appear in this post, covering the Sunday-Wednesday shows, while this post describes the episodes that aired during the latter half. The numbers in parentheses are where a show’s episode placed compared to its placement last week.
Now, I have too many shows, so I’m going to be dropping shows each and every week until I’m fine with the amount of shows I have left, so keep reading for summaries of new shows, how the shows stack up against one another, and which shows had been eliminated!
1) Nobunagun Episode 2 (+1)
3) Nagi no Asukara Episode 15 (+1)
This episode brings us back to what we’ve been talking about all along – change. Change is this show’s theme, and as a coming of age story, it’s not surprising. The characters, as teens on the verge of puberty had to tackle the issues of growth, change, and growing apart. Chisaki who hit her physical growth spurt first had been the voice of the theme all along. Well, the show forced the characters to change, and be faced with the fact they don’t all change at the same time. True, it’s happened literally, but it’s still a thematic exploration.
The characters feel fully human, the sad moments actually hit home, and the backgrounds are drop-dead gorgeous. This show is coming off quite strong after the mid-season break.
4) Kill la Kill Episode 14 (-1)
For those who love the spectacle of the show, this episode more than delivered, with Ryuuko making grand entrances and exists, and the Elite Four fighting their own pitched battles, each with their own style, each over-the-top in quite different ways. And yes, we also have Mako showing off some of her moves. To top it off, we finally have Nudist Beach showing real signs of throwing in with everyone else.
For me though, who loves themes more, this had been a great episode in a different way – we have Ryuuko finally journeying to become a shounen hero, and we have Satsuki’s theme of weaponizing ideology and items both exemplified by others, and turned against her. Osaka tries to make the fight one between conglomerates, a fight of money, and it’s up to Satsuki to reclaim the fight, and win it.
This is still the most promising new show of the season, but it also has quite a bit to prove yet. The humor was nice, but it actually hid a very profound fact about this show – there actually are no real “Anime-isms” – everything that happens literally happens, and stays happened. They leave a note saying where their secret base is? Someone needs to hide it, and people really will see it, unless something distracts them. Someone eats something so spicy and bad they explode? They really did explode, and must now recover, and people might come across them and think they’ve been hurt! It actually requires a paradigmatic shift.
On the other hand, there’s some real thematic depth here, both to the issues of obfuscation and symbolism, and to family. Family in particular ties to how people are or aren’t replaceable, which had also been discussed last week. This show could still stumble, but it might soar quite high. The ridiculous enemies and friends are just a spicing.
6) Log Horizon Episode 16 (+6)
This episode had covered several things, we have the leaders facing the issue of memory-loss, and also how hard it is to tell what memories you’ve lost, simply because you cannot recall, and then it deals with the concept of reaching decisions. Making decisions and not being afraid sure sound cool, but acting based on that alone can lead you into all sorts of trouble. The arguments in this episode ranged from moral to moralistic, but considering several of the characters making them are literally 12-14 years old, you can’t really fault them much, can you? Still, the episode was interesting, and we got to see the characters’ belief and natures propel them into action.
9) Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Episode 1 (New)
This is a simple show. It’s a RomCom, and like many of the slightly older RomComs, especially if you look at western movies, it means it’s a romantic story, with some moments that make you chuckle. It’s a small show full of small moments, rather than going for the NouCome/Yuushibu recent school of comedy, where everything must be over the top and non-stop, in case you miss that it’s a “comedy”. But as a result, the show is actually allowed to breathe.
The supernatural aspect of the show, aside from introducing more characters seems to be similar in nature to HenNeko’s in the sense that the supernatural powers aren’t a way to circumvent the characters’ issues and growth, but rather as a way to force them to admit their issues and see how they need to change on their own.
10) Noragami Episode 2 (-5)
11) Tokyo Ravens Episode 14 (+2)
12) Nisekoi Episode 2 (+3)
This had been a much better showing than the first episode – we had more RomCom, and we had less “Shaft”. Yes, we still had some pretty sights and Shaft’s style, but we mostly got to see your regular RomCom plot, characters, and interactions. If you like these things, then this is the show for you, but if you don’t, or are hoping for something to break the mold, then you may as well give this show a pass. It’s nothing but a story of mistaken identities, a couple who purport to not like one another, a childhood friendship, and lies that get us ever farther from true confessions.
13) Buddy Complex Episode 2 (-3)
14) Hamatora Episode 2 (+2)
This episode had been so very cool, which is one of its issues. Let’s begin with action – this show is very colourful and pretty, but we don’t really get a lot of action sequences. This episode had none, putting aside some truly minor moments. So if it’s not an action show, what is it? It’s purportedly a mystery show, even the official information for the show says so, and in some ways the way we’ve been exposed to our villain quite reminds us of Psycho-Pass, except our villain is basically a joke, and not anyone we can take seriously.
So what we’re left with are guys who keep spewing “cool lines”, but which contradict one another, and even contradict themselves at any given term – they just spew the coolest line at any given occasion, which renders any meaning moot. It can be fun, but be advised you’re really going to have to turn your brain off, and there are just better shows for that purpose this season.
15) D-Frag Episode 2 (-2)
Missing: Due to being ultra busy last week, I still hadn’t watched Samurai Flamenco episode 13 and Space Dandy episode 2. I hope to catch up this week.
Summary: I’d say episodes 1-6 had been strong, 7-9 had been “ok”, and the rest had been average to weak, with some closer to average, and some closer to weak. Note two shows are missing this week, so some of the placements could’ve been even lower for certain shows.
Elimination Results: D-Frag! and Hamatora are biting it this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of GetBackers, which Hamatora reminds me of, and I’m having more fun with other shows. D-Frag! is actually solid, but I’m getting my comedy fix from other shows this season; I might end up still watching D-Frag when I have some time to kill, because it’s not horrible by any means, but it’s not good enough to compete with the other shows.
I might also put Space Dandy on hold – just because I think watching this show after it concludes its run might be more fulfilling to me, thoughts?
Past Casaulties – this is where we honour shows eliminated in past weeks: Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare), Nobunaga the Fool, Witch Craft Works.
Shorts, which aren’t part of this merciless death-game, but still in order:
Ok, this show was just terrible. Terrible art, terrible acting, lines so bad that I couldn’t come up with worse even had I been trying to parody “Imouto shows” (little sister shows). And it’s made even worse by its 3-minute long format. But since it’s just 3 minutes long, I’m sticking with it. Man, is this some bad stuff.
Tune in next week, to see which other shows get the axe. Still a few too many for comfort! I’ll also stop writing notes or move to post-episode notes only for a few shows, which should regain some time. Anyway, this week is extra stressful for me at university/work, so we’ll see how I manage :-/