It’s a bit late, cause I’ve been tired, but here they are! Some lengthier write-ups for several shows! I should move to writing just these, honestly, for most shows. Welp, just checked, this post is quite long. Yeah, I could definitely move to just these, instead of episodic notes, and this is almost too long as well.
Shows listed in order of enjoyment. Links are to lengthier write-ups.
This episode wasn’t as big on “plot” in terms of events happening, as it was on explaining to us our cast, and being thematically heavy (rather than rich). We’ve dealt with heroes and monsters. With death and revival. Peco had an awesome “I am a Golden God!” moment, and Sakuma came out of nowhere to reinvigorate him.
Smile is in this because he believes in heroes, because he believes in Peco as the hero. Kazama on the other hand doesn’t believe in heroes. He might be a hero to others, and he might slay heroes, but he’s here as someone doing a job. Talking of idolizing or not idolizing his father, his childhood certainly did a number on him.
We also see how all the heroes and monsters are alone, save Kong, who gets less time in the spotlight. They are alone, while others are not. To be a hero, or to be a monster, is to be apart from others. What are we there for, as part of a team? Are we there for the team, is the team there for us?
The revival of Peco/The Hero, even as the Monster Robot (Smile?) rampages around.
2) Isshuukan Friends episode 7
Romance! Well, not really, more like “The promise of romance!”, ok, still not there – more like undercurrents of romance. You know, the sort that are in every RomCom ever, with characters being unable to admit how they feel to either themselves or to one another, and which many people proclaim how much they dislike that, and yet these very same people like this show?
Well, I like RomComs, but I can still see the difference. This isn’t about characters not being honest with themselves, this isn’t about characters not saying how they feel in order for there to be “drama” caused by “misunderstandings”, or to keep tension by us wondering when they’ll finally say what they feel – here it is because the characters are unsure of themselves, and shy, and because some of them truly hadn’t realized how they feel – and not in the “Everyone can tell you love them, stop being an idiot!” as in RomComs, but because this is their first love, and they truly have no idea!
It’s just so sweet to see Hase fight to do the right thing, as Shogo thinks he’s a creep and pushes him to action. It’s the same message Shogo had delivered to Fujimiya before – “If you want something to happen, you must act.” – Hase keeps speaking of how he wishes to be with Fujimiya, but is unwilling or unable to act on it. Yes, it’s very much an idealized romantic notion of what love is.
Fujimiya’s idea is much simpler, and depressing to Hase, but that’s why it’s so lovely. And we’re moving past memory-loss, so soon they’ll have to confront how they feel, and it’s making me go “Squee!”
The last half of the previous episode and this one had been good for me. I like RomComs, but it turns out one of the things I like best about them is when they turn into somewhat of a drama? Yeah. Chitoge and Raku, ye olde “we can’t say what we feel, so we act brusquely, and hurt the other side, and then they act brusquely, and we get hurt”… that sometimes works in real life, and that’s also how arguments in real life work – someone “attacks you”, so you attack them back, rather than listen, and the situation only escalates. I liked it a bunch. The show’s gearing up for a good finale for the first season.
Unlikely to pick the manga up though, don’t really care for the “story”, especially since I’m told it’s never going to end, essentially.
4) Sidonia no Kishi episode 6
Man, that annoying girl! :P This was a pretty slow episode, with us seeing Kunato growing up expecting to be the best, how the leaders of Sidonia care the most for their survival – and only care for Sidonia’s survival because they need it to live… and we are kept wondering where Sidonia is heading, and what the captain’s goal is.
We see how people react to our hero, now that he’s not a stinky “Biological” and rather a renowned world-hero, only for the episode to end with a short time-skip (reminds me a bit of NGE), where supposedly he failed in a fight, and now Hoshijiro is dead. Yes, ending the episode on a cliff-hanger is exciting and all, but it doesn’t make an episode “good”.
It’s more that this episode was a solid sort of drama, and it all added up nicely to a simple arc – show how when you succeed you’re no longer hated, only to fail and be blamed by all, for the death of a friend. You create a hero, in order to cast him down.
What a solid first episode! Wait, we’re at the 6th episode? Huh.. It’s not just that the events happening in this episode are the first, chronologically, but that they show some plot, and things happening. I wonder though, had this episode arrived first, would it have been enough to attract my attention? I’m not so sure, because a lot of what “happened” in this episode is actually referencing and building up towards what happens in future episodes.
I do know I might have appreciated the first episode more if the series had given me this episode first, and then the first. No, I still wouldn’t have thought the first episode is “good”, because it still wasted way too much time. I still think they should’ve cut out a whole half of the first episode. But it’d have been something.
It’s not that this episode gave us an idea that there is “plot” lurking around and tying things up that made it “solid”, but that you feel there are actual characters here, and there are actually some moments that feel like real interaction here. They actually managed to make me care for characters, which they barely managed to do in the 5 episodes beforehand.
Looking up! This show might end up slightly above average if it keeps this up!
This episode tried to do quite a few things – show us Toru cares for Chaika (but will not admit it, though he sort of did last week to Red Chaika), that Chaika likes Toru (or at least him liking her), and then did some stuff with the themes – “weapons can be used for good and for ill” – and that’s not just talking of weapons, but of weaponized people, such as Toru – he might think of himself as a tool, but he can be used well, and for good.
Talking of betrayal and combining it with the above, we also learned again that Gillette will not sacrifice his men, for they are his friends. He also learned of Chaika’s goal, and as a man of honour, and considering his superiors we’ve seen last episode, it could cause tension.
Then we’ve had the plot element, where we learn the remains our protagonists are collecting could degrade their mental and psychological state. All in all, the episode did quite a few things, but most of them had been to set up future events, leaving the actual events and characterization in this episode as something of a mish-mash, on their own.
An alright episode. This is another episode focused on making Sora seem like a “good person”, and to show us why Steph could fall for him. To show us he cares when he hurts another person’s feelings, and that he is just a simple boy, when it comes to human relations. He will fight for those who are misunderstood.
Also, it was very close to being an OVA-level of almost-hentai. I guess if we survived last week, they’ll just throw it all at us.
8) Black Bullet episode 7
This episode had ok action. I’ve seen better. They should really have more melee fighting with Rentaro, and honestly, all too often they show him throw one punch and then move to another angle, and thus break the fluidity of the action. Show us multiple movements from one angle.
The bit with the bodyguard was terrible, mostly because the bodyguard had never been a compelling antagonist or villain, and was a wide-eyed cackler from the get-go. Rentaro is now rank 300? Can leaders just bump people up, then the ranking doesn’t mean much! Though yeah, he beat the 98th seed, so I guess there’s that.
This episode had some action, some “I will save you”, and ended with Tina working with the rest of the gang. That was the true goal, to get Tina on board, but it truly didn’t feel climactic enough to be the conclusion to an arc. Also, on the “humans as tools” we had the required “a tool that can’t fulfill its purpose should be discarded” beat.
9) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders episode 7
This episode was different. Felt like a horror show. A nod to Hitchcock, severed limbs, walking around a big abandoned ship… very atmospheric. But since the opponent couldn’t talk back, not nearly as clever. It was ok, I guess.
I guess it was an ok episode? We had some action, some super-powers, a lot of grandstanding, and some muted and mostly unconvincing emotions. The episode had some problems with themes, but I’ve discussed them all already, so nothing to really cover here. The problems the show has, aside from the themes, is that it doesn’t know how to give us action – in part because there’s nothing behind the fights. Yes, MC tells us he fights for his reasons, but you feel he doesn’t believe it and doesn’t really care, and the sister who feels emotions does so for petty reasons. Tatsuya and Miyuki aren’t anti-heroes, they’re closer to villains, and aren’t at all sympathetic.
It’s left to secondary characters to be fueled by emotions, but the show has them coming off as ridiculous (Mibu) or their actions just feel so very out of place, and ill-directed (Kirihara with the sword). It was probably the best episode of Mahouka thus far, where it amounted to basically average popcorn show material – it didn’t give proper weight to the fights, and the direction and production aren’t helping.
11) Fairy Tail episode 7
Another episode… no “friendship!”, no cool moves, and the underground segment isn’t visually appealing either. It barely feels like anything even happened this episode. Please be done with the underground sub-plot already.
No Mushishi made me sad :( Put Akuma no Riddle on hold/dropped. Thought I’d watch it, but got too many shows on my backlog, and need to finish watching Princess Tutu, and been engaging in various non-anime activities, so meh, it’s unlikely to happen.
1-2 were really good, 3-4 were solid. Shows 5 onward had been alright, none of them were really great.