Winter 2014 Weeks 8-9 Overview – (Anime Power Ranking)

Was tired last week, and didn’t feel like making that post, so this is a double-feature, for two weeks. Some shows will only have my thoughts for them stated in the second week, and a note in the first week noting so.

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. In parenthesis the score relative to last week’s placement.

(Shows Covered, in alphabetical order -Chuunibyou Ren (2nd Season), ‘Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha’, Kill la Kill, Log Horizon, Nagi no Asukara, Nisekoi, Nobunagun, The Pilot’s Love Song (Koiuta), Sekai Seifuku ( World Conquest Zvezda Plot), and Tokyo Ravens.)

Week 8:

1) Kill la Kill Episode 19 (+0) – The spectacle of the side-characters being badasses was nice, but this episode was a study in self-revulsion, in hating yourself, heck, it was pretty short, but it was great scaffolding for next episode.

Kill la Kill Episode 19 episodic overview

2) Sekai Seifuku Bouruaku no Zvezda / World Conquest Zvezda Plot 7 (+4) – I’ve found interpreting a show/episodes as “What is Character X thinking/Wants” a good way to look at shows. This episode is very much “What does Asuta want, and what is he afraid of?” The mind-boggling element is in full force here, but yeah, Asuta’s position in the world, and his importance to Kate? That’s where it all is. Is she Haruhi and he Kyon? Perhaps.

3Chuunibyou Ren Episode 7 (-1) – The development pace here is atrocious, but I still smiled at Rikka and Yuuta being together. Not the show we hoped for, but was enjoyable.

4Nisekoi Episode 7 (+4) (See next week’s write-up.)

5Tokyo Ravens Episodes 19 and 20 (New) – Time for revelations. The plot picks up the pace, and all the plot-lines converge. Some sad stuff happens, but it actually doesn’t “wow” me because, well, because it all makes sense and you can see where things are going, seeing as the whole resurrection thing had been the wholepoint of the show since episode 1. Well, it does mean it’s all thematically consistent, and it’s all well-acted. Again, wish it had better graphics to make all the fights prettier. I think this show had much improved recently.

6Log Horizon Episode 21 (-2) – Things are quieting down, not a very eventful episode. Leaves hints for things to come, and raises the idea that we’ll explore how Shiro’s personality creates opposition from within, I hope they actually do something with it and that it gets to be more than just setup for episode 22’s situation, which is a RomCom cake-eating contest :3

7Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Episode 7 (+0) – Inari’s faced with powerful self-loathing, but ends up being able to confess her feelings, even if not as herself, and transmit ideas on what love is to her crush-object who then realizes he likes her too! Touka and Uka hit some turbulances, however.

8Nagi no Asukara Episode 20 (-5) – The problem with this show is that it spends episodes doing nothing, and all the conflicts in this show are essentially just one conflict mirrored amongst multiple characters. You could and should probably cut at least 2 if not ~4 characters from this show.

9Pilot’s Love Song Episode 8 (+0) (See next week’s write-up.)

10Nobunagun Episode 8 (+1) – This show lives and dies by Oda Nobunaga. I keep saying it. Still true. We get the old and tired “power of friendship” versus “cynicism rules the day”, just not as fun as it used to be, and this show never really had much more than the crazy fun energies it brought to the table to begin with. Just don’t have the energy to watch episode 9 yet, though Oda Nobunaga appears, so I should make the effort.


Week 9:

I call this week “RomCom week” :D

1Kill la Kill Episode 20 (+0) – This episode was about how one will destroy the world in order to escape themselves, at least metaphorically. You feel guilt, so you sabotage your life and relationships, of which you are unworthy, but then the guilt over these actions causes you to escalate this even further.

This episode was full of good moments, such as the Elite Four saving Satsuki, or the wake everyone basically held for Ryuuko while she still lived, or Nui and Ragyou egging Ryuuko on. But this episode mostly delivered on the spectacle, and on constructing Ryuuko’s self-disgust, of showing us how far she’d go to run away, and the depth of her loneliness, because when you hate yourself, you can’t allow anyone else nearby.

Kill la Kill Episode 20 episodic overview

2Nisekoi Episode 8 (+2) – Silly? Yes. Special? Not at all. This is the epitome of RomCom comfort food, but I just sit through this show’s episodes with a silly grin plastered on my face, and that’s exactly why I watch RomComs. This show is executed so very-well, and yes, that it has super tired tropes doesn’t detract from it, it just serves to emphasize how the focus on the delivery and relationships is spot on.

3Chuunibyou Ren Episode 8 (+0) – Another filler episode! But yeah, unlike the Kumin-senpai filler, this was fun, this was funny, this was heartfelt. It was a continuation of and the opposite of the previous Dekomori x Nibutani filler – there they started close and grew apart, and here they began far apart until they realized they cared for one another.

But, I remember reassuring others (and thus myself) after the previous two fillers, saying we got them at that point so the show could focus on nothing but the plot afterwards, and yet we’ve received this episode, stopping the Rikka and Yuuta relationship and the Sophia invasion part, yet again. This episode was fun, but the show isn’t where it should be at this point, feels like the show is almost nothing but fan-service, which would’ve worked alright in the first half, not at episode 8.

The worst thing? They fail to understand the biggest fan-service they could deliver would be actual romantic plot…

4Sekai Seifuku Bouruaku no Zvezda / World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 8 (-2) – This is about family. Family is the most important thing in Zvezda. The family you abandon, and the one you choose. Apparently, you can’t escape from your past. Goro’s past catches up to him and tries to kill him, but it also saves him. Asuta too, he can’t escape his family, his past still haunts him. Good episode, with good direction and soundtrack to boot. I must know where this is going!

5Pilot’s Love Song Episode 9 (+4) – Fights in action shows are there because they’re fun and the main dish. Fights in other shows should be there to make a point and then end. Fights here had been overlong, and then we got drama. Yes, drama! It was nice drama, but it still feels as if it’s not enough, and I still have no clue what’s going on with this world. They did cut down on the supporting cast members, which should give more time for the main cast to focus on their issues. I hope this show soars beyond mediocrity. I like drama shows, but do them right, dammit.

6Log Horizon Episode 22 (+0) – RomCom episode! With characters we care for! The emotional side of Minori felt real. I feel sorry for Akatsuki, because she’s almost a non-character. We don’t know anything about her personality, and she’s had next to no development. She’s just there as an ornament, almost.

7Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Episode 8 (+0) – Friendship is the order of the day. Adorable couples, hijinks, and Inari standing for herself. Heart-warming RomCom stuff. Even more cliff-hangers than last week, now things are stable emotionally, but it’s unclear whether they can even meet again. Classic plot – first there’s no tension then you can’t admit feelings, then the world conspires against you.

8Nagi no Asukara Episode 21 (+0) – And to complement what I said above, you should also cut some episodes. This episode was completely unnecessary, and didn’t do much to elaborate on the characters. It just spent some more time showing us what we already knew, and had been shown before. It might work in a book, but as a whole, this show has a lot of fat to trim, or would be nice if its characters/relationships were actually different from each other.

9Tokyo Ravens Episode 21 (+0) – Not a bad episode, but the real emotional impact was last episode, with the quiet couple of minutes at the end. Here it’s mostly buildup to action next week, and some friendship drama next week and the one after, I assume. Not bad, but most of the excitement is in the form of anticipation.


 

Short:

Pupipo! Episodes 9-11 – Actually a new world. It’s pretty, it has its own rules, and it’s weird. I really like this show, and its characters are ridiculous in the right way, a 5th grader who takes his shirt off to force the girl to wear it since it’s “snowing”, except it’s not cold, and he’s just re-enacting how he should behave, and stuff.

 

Summary: Spring, come forth! I’m actually enjoying all these shows to a degree, just a bit burnt out on this season, and with all my carry-overs need something new and fresh to shake me up and fill me with excitement. I think I’d have been much happier had I been caught up on Gin no Saji and Samurai Flamenco, but I have no school on the next two Sundays, so maybe that time will be sufficient? Who knows! Heh.

Past Casaulties – this is where we honour shows eliminated in past weeks: Week 1: Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare), Nobunaga the Fool, Witch Craft Works. Week 2: Hamatora, D-Frag. Week 5: Buddy Complex. Week 6: Tonari no Seki-kun, Pupa, Space Dandy. Week 7: Noragami.

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