Maybe I become much softer to anime medium but I think I’m the only one who feel that this season had a lot to offer. Everyone has been complaining on how weak this season is, whereas I have a hard time to cut down shows at this stage. After quite a busy week anime-wise, 3 shows are eliminated from my watching list. With the arrival of Tsukumogami, however, the list of anime I’m currently following round up to 16 shows. I might cut down some more fat in the following weeks, but as far as this week in anime goes… well, it wasn’t a satisfying week. To be fair, week 4 is always one of the low point of the season, as the freshness of the premise starts to wear out, couple with the typically scheduling production issues in anime industry. Same deal, random grouping with stupid remarks. Good luck reading my blurbs you readers. Now, Let’s get down to it.
TearAnimedrop is a Waterfall
Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes (ep03)
While it’s not a bad episode per se, in fact this episode is an improvement from episode 2, I still find myself hardly care for the characters, or the case. I actually respect the show for spending more time developing the relationship between Kiyotaka and Aoi, but then again 1) his backstory is quite stupid and 2) I still regard him as an OP main lead, as a result I don’t regard him as a full-fledged character. The case this week uses a lot of knowledge from the arts, which I enjoyed, but then the way they handle the resolve really make me scratch my head. Why does he tell the older brothers even before leaving home? To show off his talent? The show spoonfeeds us with way too detailed information that once it’s all said and done, it leaves a little to no lasting impact. I’m done with this show.
Phantom in the Twilight (ep03)
Although billed as an original show, Twilight’s crime is that it relies too much on tired concept that I don’t feel anything new in its beat. It doesn’t help that it’s pale to Tenrou in comparison. “Werewolf siblings in an opposite team” plot thread has done to death, and so far the main male leads don’t have enough charm or personality to compensate its lacking in originality. Ton is still a good female character, but she alone can’t save this show from my chopping list.
Happy Sugar Life (ep03)
I will start with a praise first. I’m glad that the show starts to delve deeper into Shio’s own issues because Saitou alone can’t carry the show by her own. Apparently, she witnessed something terrible (possibly the death of her mother) that made her mind went blank and erased her mother’s existence to cope with the pain. That’s a rather good territory to explore. But Happy Sugar Life’s problem is that, it paints its world as a overly cruel place where rapist, pedophile and people who cruel to the others for the sake of being cruel is just way to ham-fisted. I do like the ambiguous factor of part of Mitsuboshi believes Shio could cleanse his traumatic past, but his look and his behavour betray him big time here. At the same time, I’m starting to get tired of Saitou’s manner. She only has two modes: sweet or bitter. It’s amusing to see at first but if all she does is to amplify those modes to the max, then really I don’t have any reason to invest to her at all. I might check back on it if I hear some good reception, but for now I’m skipping it.
Grandma’s Anime’s Favorite Ingredient
Planet With (ep03)
Now that we passed the introduction phase, let’s see how our amnesia characters doing to regain their memories. First, Souya. He at least remembers something and it’s an important piece of information: that he comes from Dragon planet. Okay, this show is still as weird as ever. Things unfold in a bizarre manner that while it doesn’t make sense (at least for now) it never fails to captivate our attention. The boss of the Seven heroes turns out to be a pretty badass! There’s a giant Cat-sensei appears in the middle of Tokyo and no one can do anything about that!! The pretentious book-worn character turns out to be… a pretentious kid who only read book because it makes him look cool!!! Just look at the floating upside down babies!!!! There’s so many details that subvert the tropes here, in addition the main story line is still feel like the orange skin at the moment. When we peel those skins and get into the inside it’s where the show can become something much more. For now though, I hope the show can improve on the characters and the CG battles because they’re both underwhelming at best.
Shichisei no Subaru (ep04)
Thanks to the red crystal shards, Asahi sees fragments of her flashback. This show proves to be a lesser, serviceable AnoHana rip-off, and frankly I don’t mind that at the moment. Although the group needs to find other members soon, as the pacing is quite slow right now. The bit where Haruto and Satsuki meets in real life is a dead-weight, for example. Haruto is still bland, the kind of bland faceless male protagonist always feature. In the OP at least we know where one of the remaining member is (they should stop give us advanced details through OP, or should I stop watching OP altogether??). Now, all these red shards are an obvious hint for the cast to obtain all of them and regain Asahi’s memory, making me question how one of them stuck within her in a first place. Is it Madoka all over again? The characters still act exactly like how you imagine them would be, which isn’t a great sign but hey, at least if the show doesn’t pull anything overtly stupid, I will stick around.
Satsuriku no Tenshi (ep04)
As of now, I’m just content with Tenshi being a mediocre and messy attempted horror flick. The characters, especially the leads, change their personality severely after the first episode. And many times when Zack finds himself into trouble, it screams “it’s time for Player A to find a clue”. This show relies on lots of game narrative that it feels jarring at times. Rachel is way too one-note now and other characters are way too over the top to be taken seriously. At the same time. The only time Rachel reacts with a little bit of emotions is when God comes into play, and boy, I don’t think this show can handle deep religious message. I still mildly interested in the whole concept of this building, and the art looks so distinctive and solid most of the time. It might never pass the mediocre status but it can still prove to be an entertaining ride.
Steins;Gate 0 (ep15)
Thankfully we don’t have any of Kagari this week but this episode is one of the most filler episode in this franchise. And we are at episode 15 already. Heck, if things don’t kick into gear now, when the hell would it be? Granted, seeing the romance between Daru and Moeka blossom is still satisfying, and I feel it’s a setup for Hazuka to depart from the group and kick the plot forward. After all, she knows about the person behind Kagari’s brainwash. As an individual character’s development S;G0 does a decent job of fleshing out our cast, but it feels more like a slice of life now than a sci-fi thriller with little to no stakes whatsoever. Frankly I still feel this Kagari mini-arc is a wasted opportunity and the sooner this show kicks into the climax, the better.
The Life and Times of Japanese School Life
Asobi Asobase (ep03)
A wicked fun from start to finish, this one. I mean, just look at the screencap, and the show really goes there! The jokes getting more and more hilarious, and I’m glad that for now they vary enough to not feel repetitive. I don’t lie when I’m saying that I regard this show (not Chio-chan and certainly not Grand Blue) as the comedy gold of this season. The gags about Hanako’s mandrake screaming, or the shogi captain or the first segment are highlights. If I have any criticism, however, it’s that the supporting cast needs to be more over the top. Apart from the shogi captain (and her famous line” “You must risk your life for your passtimes”), the club advisor and even the Student Council President still feel plain to me. The same can be said for Kasumi as she needs to do more to stand out. It might be the case where the show will get better if everyone is a nut.
Hi Score Girl (ep03)
Congratulation, Hi Score Girl. After watching this episode, I’m convinced to give the manga a try (I know, not a good practice but FIGHT ME) and what I see is a tender story of romance, games and growing up. It’s a worthy story to get invested to considered how much I love the coming of age story like Aku no Hana. Yeah, this one reminds me of Aku no Hana with the same intimate and without all these uncomfortable darkness. So let’s get back to this episode, it’s inevitable for Haruo and Oono to enjoy their time together before breaking them apart. Admittedly it’s a road well traveled but what makes this ending sticks is the intimate it has. The show has a clear sense of nostalgia, from setting in a specific time, from tying the game culture with the world’s events to the whole childhood memories’ feel of it. For a character who doesn’t mutter a single word, Oono’s burst out at the end is raw and effective. I still can’t get pass the lackluster CG production, but this is a story that needed to be adapted. My favorite character will appear in the next episode so let’s see how well the anime can handle them.
Moving up from middle school to high school, from games to sports, we have Hanebado. Remember I said in the beginning that shows this week are dropped in terms of quality? I’m thinking of Hanebado when I made that statement. Hanebado goes full drama this week, in fact it’s so dramatic that it sucks out all the fun of it. Hanebado just doesn’t know how to handle over-the-top character, resulted in them riding the plot in a contrived fashion. Last week we had Kaoruko who is basically a sore thumb, this week Conny serves basically the same purpose – a destined rival to Ayano. I swear it’s the curse of the 4th episode in effect (usually when the show is at its lowest point), but I’m a bit worried that this going to be the direction Hanebado will take for the rest of the season. Nagisa this week is relegated to one-note character, Ayano has a compelling backstory but her bland personality can’t carry the show, and all the subtlety in characterization the show did so well in first few episodes is replaced by contrived Drama (with a capital D – also stand for Dumb Danish Damsel or Do Double Deferently!!!). I hope it can turn around because this episode becomes something that I fear the most: a generic high school sport anime.
Grand Blue (ep03)
Moving up a rank again for a college life, Grand Blue unfortunately doesn’t give the school life much credit. The new addition this week, Azusa, is an embodiment of a boy’s dream: sexy, big boobs, willing to strip down and sleep in the bad with naked men, and of course, thinks highly of the male lead because he has protagonist’s superpower. Haizz. She doesn’t feel like a real character to me, in fact the whole female cast screams “male fantasy” to me. One characteristic of Grand Blue’s brand of humor is its repetitive nature. It’s fast-pace and repetitive jokes feel like a tennis ball machine where it shoots balls in every direction and hopes some can land. The diving aspect is a bit predictable as well. The sequence that gets on my nerve the most is the one where they remark about the businessmen who goes diving: “even though they’re busy, they still make the time to dive, meaning diving is alluring”. Okay, honestly no one but our shallow Iori would buy that crap. Next week, we have another crack of the group cross-dressing for the school events, so I will still stick around to witness this how this dumb fun event will unfold.
Anime and Those Ridiculous Weapons
My Hero Academia 3 (ep54)
The battle has begun and boy, this always has been my favorite MHA’s material. I love it most when it puts our characters fighting against the whole bunch of new faces. I was a sucker at the Tournament arc fo example, and this arc gives me the same exciting vibe. The man of the moment is that girl whose her Quirk is shapeshifting (apparently?) NAKED. This episode touches on the important of teamwork, and damnit, more shipping between Midoyira v Okacho is always, always welcomed. I’m a bit hyped for what about about to come so let’s hope my expectation will be met.
Banana Fish (ep04)
Speaking of awesome weapon, the moment Ash stabs the bastard with his fork I was literally cheering over my sofa. Serve you right, bastard! Sadly this is the only high point for me on this week’s Banana Fish. It suffers from rushed pacing, like you can never get a real sense how much time has past in the prison. At one scene we see Max moving to the new cell, at the end we see them together again. The pacing is just all over the place. The same goes for the narrative as Eiji disappear halfway. The chemistry between Max and Ash is improving a little, and when they get out of the prison and go to LA it could be a nice change of scenery. Hopefully the reason they rushed up this part is because they want to get quickly to the good part.
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight (ep03)
Still in regards to weapon, this week we have one of our idol girl… using an axe for battle. Now, that’s awesome. Well, we have a slower week of Revue Starlight compared to the first two episodes, mainly because the first half is more about setting up the girls’ dynamic than introduction. It’s not a complaint, either, since this week we see the girls go for different pairing, as a result they create a more complex web of relationship now. I also noticed there’s a theme for each audition’s sword fight. Last week, it was “Revue of Desire”, this week, it’s a “Revue of Pride”. Now whether it’s mean those are the themes of the week, or about the personality from a character Karen has to fight is up in the air, but I’m leaning more about the latter. Maya is full of pride, and the main conflict between her and Karen is mostly about the idea of every woman for herself (Maya) vs I fight for me and my partner (Karen). The visual motif of the fight shows how out of depth Karen is compared to her opponent. Maya is always stationed at a higher place, and everytime Karen tries to climb up the ladder, she immediately fails. This fight also serves as the reality check for Karen, that in order to achieve her dream, she has to put more efforts.
Tsukumogami Kashimasu (ep02)
Considered the first episode didn’t win me over, I was a bit hesitate approaching this second episode. Thankfully, this week highlights all the things that make this show good. First, the case this week is all about tsukumogami, which for me is one of the show’s most distinctive factor. Not only it’s fresh to see how these spirits react, we learn a bit about their history as well. Second (and most likely its best achievement) is how it fleshes out our own taukumogami’s character and gives a much needed spotlight. This episode also hints on the relationship between these two non-blood related siblings and unless the show has some good reasons to pair them up, I honestly don’t want the show to go there. I don’t think this show is a breakout hit or anythinf but if you’re in for a small dose of slice of life plus spirits playful then this one will be up your ante.
It’s Another Bloody
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (ep04)
Well, the titular bloody butterfly doesn’t go full crazy-mode this week, but there’s still heaps of charms to be found in this flick. One thing about Chio-chan that I don’t expect when I saw the PV though, that it’s much more slice of life and mundane than flat out over-the-top hijinks. These events that Chio face on her commute to school are something we could experience ourselves (well, if you walk to school that is). The whole delivering newspaper affair, for example, is something you might do if you sure is amusing. The jokes about people making a big fuss out of delivering papers late hit home for me. Another strength of Chio-chan is the dynamic of Chio and Manana, which they have a natural forth-and-back that these exchanges themselves can carry the show along. Their banters about “what they want to do once in their life” are just so relatable and progress so naturally.
Hataraku Saibou (ep04)
who would have imagined the cells in our body could be that bloodthirsty? The white cell litereally is bathed in red blood this week. This show settles itself as a sitcom “how does your body work, animated” version so naturally there isn’t much of character development or any deeper meaning aside from its educational and playful approach to the situation and its characters. Each episode the show would introduce new character and underline how he/she work to protect this stupid world aka our body. This week we have pinky Eosinophil and overall she’s a solid addition. I would do without all these obvious pep talks behind her back, but it’s all in the service of making her role justified in the end. Would love to see more developments for our main leads and Platelets but well, I’ll take it as it is.
Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki (ep03)
Bloody battle with a small victory from our exiled soldiers. It now becomes a straight-forward war show now, but so far I’m digging the male lead Kuchii and the Princess. She now has some reservation about Kuchii, mostly afraid of his bloodthirsty nature, but she can’t help but drawn into him. That’s some good dynamic right there. The supporting cast isn’t that good unfortunately. They’re either too plain with only one defined characteristic, or they’re too conservative it’s bothersome. Still, the stake is sky high and the battle events can carry this show around. The production takes a nose dive, unfortunately, but that’s what I initially expected.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger (ep03)
Finally, this episode entirely dedicates to Yuliy’s sad past where his whole clan was wiped down by the vampires. This week is certainly Tenrou’s finest episode, mostly because it spends proper time to flesh out who our protagonist is and where he comes from. It also develops the sibling relationship between Yuliy and his older brother Mikhail. Moreover, the art (especially the background and interior design) is top-notch and the animation is vivid. Being said that, I still consider the script as generic and by the book. Characters speak lines I expected them to mutter, all the events happen exactly like how you would imagine; as a result this show is mostly a feast to the eyes with a forgettable plot and characters. Prime example is Yuliy’s teammates, in which at the top of my head right now I can’t even remember their names, nor do I care much. Yuliy’s relationship with his brother (who now made a pact with the Vampires) is going to be one of the main emotional conflict for this show. The other one would be Yuliy and Ryoko in the style of “Beauty and the Beast” and frankly, the show does a crappy job on that front. Ryoko mostly appears out of nowhere and her scene doesn’t add up much to the flow of the story. Let’s think about it this way, if you cut all the Ryoko’s scene so far, the plot won’t be any different.