SO we officially reach the two third of this anime Spring season, and it was a pretty light week with Die Neue These and Darling in the Franxx took a short break, coupled with me dropping Caligula, so for the first time this list becomes some sort of a top 10. Let’s get down to it:
10) Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (ep09)
After a surprisingly excellent episode, Tada-kun falls back into its usual self. By now I can regard Tada-kun as a mix of unusual ingredients: it’s influenced by both the 50s, 60s Hollywood romance and anime romance, resulting in a product that is always fascinating but not necessary come well together. That’s why this might be the only anime series where high-society ball, PRINCESS exist alongside with school activities and idol girls. Let’s take this episode for a better demonstration. We have the main guy fallen sick after soaking wet from the rain (ANIME TROPES), that said princess girl can’t help herself and kisses him while he’s asleep (HOLLYWOOD TROPES), she realizes her crush and acts strange towards him (ANIME) but he still acts pretty much like a prince – pick out a random caterpillar from her hair (both ANIME & HOLLYWOOD). Doesn’t matter which inspiration this show has, it still embraces too many established tropes that it feels obvious at times.
9) Saiki Kusuo no Sai-nan 2 (ep19)
As I stated before I enjoy Saiki K the most when it focuses on a mini-arc (and by Saiki standard, 3 to 4 short skits), that is to say I’m wholy satisfied with Saiki K this week. Not only this episode brings along their core cast altogether (which the show wittily meta-mentions it), this play serves as a satire to the old classic tale. I bet most of us have bedtime tales that now thinking back don’t make a goddamn sense, right? I have, right here. This whole play escalates to an insane level of hilarity, which pretty much Saiki K at its most confident.
8) Golden Kamuy (ep08)
Welp, this time we get to another side-villain, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the idea of a murderer who gets aroused at the notion of “seeing death in the eyes” is certainly intriguing, he certainly reminds me of Hannibal Lecter for good reasons. The way Golden Kamiy brings that fetish on a visual level, with that weird shining aura around his pant, is so weird and far-out it’s actually wonderful. The murderer’s personality, however, beside his murder motive, is pretty weak in general. That issue becomes apparent in the later half when it focuses on his point of view, and he just can’t carry the narrative weight. His appearance, in a big picture, also means that the show will go for several small arcs before the three-way standoff of our duo, the police and the tattooed thief, in which I personally feel stall the main plot. With only handful of episodes left, it remains doubtful whether the show can wrap itself up meaningfully.
7) Wotakoi (ep08)
Wotakoi is still sweet as ever. I’m glad that they confront the main issue regarding our main leads, that they don’t have any romantic chemistry together. It always feels that Hirokata is way more serious about their relationship than Narumi, and he releazies that they don’t spend time like normal couples do. Thus the core to improve their relationship is that Narumi needs to find how much he meant to her romantically, and for Hirokata how to express that love clearly. I still think that they need to expand more with new characters, but the main casts are so engaging and natural that I’m fine with whatever way the show rolls. At least though, develop this couple’s chemistry to their full potential.
6) Piano no Mori (ep08)
While I’m not pretty wild about this show when they were kids, the 5 year gap proves to be its big improvement. I mean, Takako can do no wrong (subjectivity hereee) and I’m impressed with the way the first half comes together in a satisfying way with new characters pop in naturally and have their roles in Kai’s performance. It can’t help but praising Kai a bit too much for my taste, however, like the way virtually every character obssesses with Kai’s playing style. Now that everything is in place, I guess the next episode we will have another 1-year jump in to the Chopin tournament and I’m pretty excited for it.
5) Hinamatsuri (ep09)
In my opinion, Hinamatsuri is always at its best when they play around with their new characters. In this episode, we have 2 new additions, to a varied degree of success. Mao is a great addition to this ensemble cast, and the show makes her trouble hilariously (with its Cast Away reference) but never sells her issue short. Nitta’s yakuza brother, on the other hand, is weak and the whole yakuza affair just doesn’t do me much since it adds nothing exciting on the table. The only parts I enjoy in that segment are Hina’s poisonous remark that caused all this and how Nitta wakes up tied up in a concrete box. It’s striking and funny at the same time.
4) My Hero Academia 3 (ep47)
I was thinking during the middle part of this episode that it all comes a bit too easy for the heroes, and then… boom, we have a stake that higher than anything we’ve seen before in this series. That’s one of MHA’s quality, it has just a right balance between action/ character study; good/ bad and easy/ difficult. Now that’s the ultimate villain makes his first official appearance: “All for One” who goes against everything that Al Might and the hero society has built. The fact that Deku again is kidnapped also means that there’s still space for his personal conflict and there’s still room for all the League of Villains members another chance to fight and shine.
3) Hisone to Masotan (ep08)
Well, after a slip up in last couple of episodes, I’m glad that the show picks itself right up with this episode. With the first half the shape of their final arc is formed and overall I’m happy with it. There’s going to be a ritual, in which dragon pilots’ main role is to escort to giant “behemoth” to its new resting place. Not bad of an idea. It both doesn’t go down to the usual save the world plot and it furthers elevate the originiality of this world (also extra plus for Shrin maiden). The romance subplots, however, I’m not too keen on. Hoshino and whoeverheis relationship feels way too calculated to me, although I do enjoy the chemistry between Hisone and Okonogi. The new twist about Okonogi to be a important figure for the ritual, and the appearance of his lover, don’t really bode well with me. It’s like the most common anime cliche ever.
2) Steins;Gate 0 (ep8)
This episode feels like a short detour, and design as one, as Okabe finds himself in the beta world, just so at the end he transverses back to the old one. Part of me feels it’s a wasted opportunity, especially how they could make tons of interesting developments into it. But the focus this time squarely places into Okabe’s own mind. He carries a big burden, and this short visit into the world where Kurisu lives further reminds him that doesn’t matter what his choice is, he still blames himself for the death of either Kurisu or Tutturu. On that front the show succeeds magnificently. The drama this time can go a bit cheesy and it’s a bit too convenient that Kurisu just builds another time machine for him to go back. I would’ve preferred him staying in that world line, if only for the fact that Kurisu and Okabe could then make something interesting to bring Mayuri back. I know Kurisu would.
1) Megalo Box (ep9)
An absence of Die Neue These means that the top slot is very well claimed by Megalo Box. While I feel the overall plot so far is predictable and sometimes even ham-fisted, this show knows well how to build up tension and successfully invites us to get behind and cheer on the underdog Joe. I swear I get the feel of Joe K.Oed the opponent and it feels so worth it that he can make it to the Final 4. Being said that, the fight itself repeats the same pattern of previous fights: Joe gets beaten up pretty bad before defeat the opponent with a one-punch. I hope they don’t repeat much on that and God, him intentionally let his guard down in a boxing matching is way too lame and unrealistic. Speaking of Nanbu, I have a feeling that this time he won’t get away scotch-free, in order for Joe not throwing this match he might put his life literally on the line. Let’s see.