It’s late, I’m tired, and I’d rather watch some Princess Tutu than describe my week, or sleep, I’m gorram tired, you guys. Most of the shows had been alright, not “great”, but not bad either. Though I list them by order, unlike most seasons, even stuff at position 10 or so out of 13 did quite respectably, honestly. It’s not like seasons where anything under #3 was utter trash.
Going for shortish points on each. Listed in order of enjoyment/good episode was. Links are to more in-depth/longer pieces on some.
1) Isshuukan Friends episode 4
Oh man. The fact this is number 1 this week tells you everything. This show had always been great. But this episode… this episode truly felt like an end-of-series episode, and we’re only in the 4th one. I think LNs/manga can be like that, they have an arc in each volume or so, and you can see in adaptations multiple resolutions, whereas had it been an anime original we might have not had this episode until episode 9, or 11. Even if the show turns to utter dreck at this point, it could be recommended as one of the best 4-episode-OVAs to be found.
It was sad. It was so real. Hase’s argument with Fujimiya was exactly the same as some arguments I’ve had with SOs, or arguments I hear between other people. And then they decided to work for it, and their tears, and my tears… very emotional. And yet, nothing “big”, no shouts or melodrama, just… well-told drama. Amazing.
A full-blown Samurai showdown. An artistic soliloquy, almost a haiku. The nice visuals. It’s something straight out of the old samurai films I used to watch, and especially manga. What do we fight for? Do we care to win? Characters butting heads to show their dominance. Smile, saying he doesn’t believe in crushing others, and then he does, because he doesn’t care for it. He removes those who also don’t care, but did he have mercy on Kong, or did the coach’s shouts pull him out of it? How will Peco respond to Smile’s might? His eyes had clearly seen the truth.
Superbly and confidently done on all fronts, this is a good show.
3) Mushishi episode 4
Another great episode. Nothing much to say.
Dumb fun is fun? We got some Lelouch moments in the end, where they declare war on everyone as to avoid any and all fights. Just as I saw Stephanie fall in love with Sora, I predicted it’d be a harem, and then we saw the representatives of each race watching the declaration, and they were all girls. LNs often grow tired early on, but this one might avoid it by going to a whole new “world” by meeting with one race per novel. Nothing smart, nothing deep, nothing sophisticated, but it is sure of what it does.
The whole bit of turning one’s weakness into strength, it was well-delivered, and well-acted. Yes, there’s obviously subtext here, but hey, they know what they are, and they’re being self-deprecating.
Touma-punch! Railgun shoot! This felt very much like an end of series/arc episode, with various OST inserts everywhere. We even got to see the enemy lies close to home, and is… illogical. To avoid giving rights to monstrous kids born of monsters who killed his family, he’ll summon more monsters! They tried to give it their all to make a scene of pulling a trigger exciting, but it was pulling a trigger… the people fighting scenes were cool. I had mindless shounen fight fun. Sue me.
6) Knights of Sidonia episode 3
It’s your old Shingeki no Kyojin and NGE mecha deal. People go out. People die. I like the “normal” scenes, even with the CGI, they’re well done. People here learn. Akai learned to dodge by watching a video, Konata did by having it used against him once, and soon the enemy will learn as well? All the people dying to save others, only for them all to die without taking the enemy… anime is really big on people not obeying chain of command, either so everything will be terrible, or so MC-kun will be able to save the day, or both.
Not a special show in terms of plot, more in terms of setting. Well-delivered.
7) Mekakucity Actors episode 3
This was a pretty great first episode! Except it came as third. But with it as “First”, the 2nd and 3rd make a bit more sense, though they could’ve easily compressed the three episodes into only two, at most. They’re a group, so they are no longer alone. Loneliness is a big theme in the show thus far, but now they alleviate it. It’s also better because with more characters, the interactions actually tell you something, and are less indulgent. There’s less need for a character to talk endlessly while saying nothing just to fill the air-time.
But, as a “first episode”, the question doesn’t remain, but appear – where are they going with this? What will the gang do? Will the members find solace? Next episode adapts the best story-song. I’m still not sold on the show, it still has to show me where it’s going, but it at least feels as if it’ll go somewhere now. Having more characters will only do this show good.
8) Nisekoi episode 16
Cute. I liked this episode, some good Onodera moments. But yeah, it was still relatively lifeless. The show has so much energy vested in Chitoge that episodes without her feel sort of eh. Yes, the whole point of Onodera is how she and Raku can’t communicate, but that makes for relatively dull episodes.
9) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure episode 4
When one fight isn’t enough, give us 1.5! I wonder if watching JoJo weekly is the way to go, you need 3-4 episodes of the silliness to really get into it. Not enough concentrated silliness/awesomeness just yet. Tower-hair dude seems better than the annoying bug-dude, however.
10) Hitsugi no Chaika episode 4
We had a fight, and we got a mascot character, which judging from next episode’s preview will cause all sorts of mischief. This show is still competently done, but it’s not trying to do anything special. The characters are still all sort of flat. Chaika is cute and doesn’t want to cause problems, Toru is a drifter glad to have a place in the world, and Akari gives us some deadpan comic relief now and then. We know the most of Toru, and while there’s something to be said for explicating messages, I saw his “confession” coming ten minutes before it appeared, and knew of it even in episode 1. We really need more time with the Gillette group, because the “three mains” are almost designed to be flat.
11) Fairy Tail Episode episode 4
Some fights! But the least impressive one. First some mooks died, then Grey won, just because :< Also, the underground section isn’t as fun, but more fights! Fights in my shounen, oh yes!
12) Akuma no Riddle episode 4
We have all these assassins, so they may as well show us why they kill. Last week we wanted to kill so we’d get to keep killing, and this week we wanted to kill so we would be able to stop killing. As befitting this week’s oblivious assassin, she didn’t realize her senpai whom she blames for having accidentally killed actually committed suicide.
13) Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei episode 4
Last week’s fight was cut short. This episode was boring, and when it wasn’t, it was for all the wrong reasons. I’ve had a lot to think about, many sentences to unpack, just like in Gatchaman Crowds. Except here it all made me unhappy. I wrote about it. You can check the comment section to see what rabid fans look like. At least soon we’ll get more action, and Mibu Sayaka’s seemingly solid performance will be good.
Oh yeah, we also had the counselor trying to seduce Tatsuya, the man-service for Juumonji, and more “Onii-sama is the BEST!” from Miyuki. Standard stuff with the usual VN-esque music.
14) M3: Sono Kuroko Hagane episode 2 1st minute
It’s on Daisuki, so I streamed the first minute up to the OP. We see one of the kids, a prisoner, who butchers his guard while laughing, and his guard crying out for help. This show is trying way too hard. Along with boobie-balls (this gif is so amazingly bad, I can’t stop looking), this show is also ridiculous. If it weren’t taking itself seriously, it’d be one thing, but it just feels like a bad farce at this point. Nothing to even roast.
I approve of the Firefly reference – just sayin’.
And yes, that’s it exactly when it comes to Isshuukan Friends – it’s drama, technically speaking, but it’s not melodrama – if it had been that kind of series, I doubt I would have made it past episode 1. As it is, this has probably got to be my favourite slice-of-life anime in a couple of years, in large part because it’s strong and sweet enough to stand on its own without having to resort to cheap theatrics.
Insert Jayne hat meme ;-)
Drama without melodrama, a fine line, and where many great shows lie :)
We’re getting another girl next week, and the anime is still ongoing, so we’ll see how it measures. At least we can’t fault the author for not having heart.
Yeah, I saw that in the preview – I’m very much looking forward to the introduction of a new character, although I hope that Shogo continues to get a good amount of screen time. The relationship between Yuki and Kaori is of course adorable and the main focus of the series, as it should be, but Shogo is my favourite individual character so far.
Do you intend to watch Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou? I do not know if you may like it but I can assure you it is better than your bottom five.
No plans to do so. I like cliched RomComs, and I heard this one fits, but getting it via Nisekoi for now seems sufficient, and trying to drop more shows, heh.
I highly recommend checking out Gokukoku no Brynhildr. It’s very dark but it has a harem feel to it as well.
I actually put it on hold last week. Not terrible, but not good enough.
I like my shows to know what they are going for. Brynhildr suffers from exactly this problem, as you put it, it doesn’t know what it wishes to be, and both sides end up less for it.