As of this moment Hi Score Girl’s sub is still unavailable, such a bitter turn for this overlooked anime. This week in anime, likewise, suffers from lots of underwhelming developments. I dropped one more show from my watch list, and maybe more if things don’t improve next couple weeks. Many of you might wonder why would I spend that much effort to watch many average shows that likely be forgotten as soon as this season’s over. Well, I don’t have an answer for that really. It’s certainly not the case of “the more I watch, the more I know” bull. It’s more that I’m still curious about anime the medium after all these years and want to find out hidden gems, or put it better, I don’t wanna miss any good show by mere ignorance. Will it burn me out eventually? yeah, probably but I’ll do the best while I’m still at this. Let’s move on from my own babble to the what you’re all here for, anime shows this week.
(Technical note: one feedback from my friend about the site was that it’s overstuffed with info. He has a point there so from now on, I’ll add the “read more” tag. Will properly edit the previous posts as well)
Ambushed by the enemy
Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki (ep06)
Three week in a row this show is just kinda plain, so it’s pretty much safe for me to assume that the show just isn’t for me. At least for shows like Hanebado or Shichisei no Subaru I still have some personal attachments with, this show just moves from 1 dull moment to another. We have some more over-the-top faces but the they aren’t interesting to begin with. The death number is building up but bizarrely none of these deaths come from the exile people. This week revolves a tactic that Jinzaburou confuses both two sides of the Mongol units into fighting each other. If that doesn’t already sound implausible then how about they’re fighting over the golds from a completely unrelated story. It requires an awful lot of plot convenience here. One thing I do like though, even Jianzaburou realizes the reason he’s pumped up for the war that-not-his-at-all is that… it’s just his personality, always meddling with other affairs and making them his affairs. He never wants to defend this town, he want to go for victory. That characteristic might be one of the reason that bring the success, as well as downfall for his side. But still, It won’t be good enough to keep me from dropping this show.
Steins:Gate 0 (ep18)
This reveal is goddamn frustrating. It’s just bad, bad exposition all the way. I’m always nervous when Steins;Gate uses guns Obviously it’s far from the show best moments. We had seen before how characters from this show flare shotguns that neither hit anyone nor having any after consequences, but this episode is even worse. Kagari karate-chop the guy’s head off with her bare hand? She faked out her death like 2,3 times and we suppose to care for her? Damnit Steins;Gate. And then it’s the reveal that Leskinen is a bad villain and guess what, he acts just like how you expected from the bad guy trope. You can do much better than this crap, Steins;Gate 0. Mix in with the ridiculous nature of brainwashing, the “did Mayuri die” cliffhanger just after last week, the bomb that happened to hit at the right moment where they left? And WHERE THE HELL ARE THESE SOLDIERS, HELICOPTERS AND LESKINEN after the bomb? They get Okabe and the gang leave scot-free? Holy God I might as well just stop now. I don’t think it’s going to ruin the ending but this is sure is the lowest point I’ve seen in this Steins:Gate entire franchise.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger (ep06)
On the contrary, Jaeger actually benefits from upping the ante to the life and death situation, where hundreds of vampires plus Mikhail plus Kershner all come to hunt the Vampire hunters down (guess the hunters become the hunted huh?). Action-wise this show is still something to behold as we reach the halfway point and the production shows no sign of slowing down. In terms of plot it’s getting more engaging because everything falls into place now and what the show lacks in term of characters’ depth, it more than makes up by the action. I enjoy how side characters like Ryoko and Iba start to contribute something to the plot. The show also makes a right choice to focus on the emotional core on Yuliy and his brother Mikhail, because it’s one hell of grounded chemistry there. Make that relationship right and keep up with the action and I’ll be very on board.
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (ep07)
…where our main girls get ambushed by another girl for butt-zapping game. I feel like the last couple weeks Chio-chan loses its steam as keeping things amusing. I don’t mind the mundane nature of Chio’s misadventures (, but if they want to keep the segment long (as in 10 minutes), Chio’s issue needs to escalate to something completely out-there. That juggling butt out from the public bathroom did the job, this episode doesn’t. The two main segments start out strong but it starts to wear out its welcome towards the end. Chio-chan’s jab at the Western games, and her hook for BL magazine are both great, but playing Aidou as a straight man deflates the comedic tone it was building up – because if he acts normal like everyone else then what’s the fun behind catching Chio busted? I could say the same for the second segment as I also feel the gag drags out for too long. If I have to point out a single character that could ruin the whole show it would be Madoka, since she leaves bad taste to the mouth all the time.
Wait, It’s a Trap
Hataraku Saibou (ep07)
So we get to the full episode length of the cell fighting a Cancer cell and I’d say this week showcases many factors that made this show enjoyable. First, it’s the most serious affair we’ve seen so far in this series, because yeah Cancer is no laughing matter. Appropriately the stake is at the highest, with also includes basically all the characters we’ve known before. Second, it develops the villain properly here. He’s not one-sided dude who wants to spread out disease, he’s just another cell who wants to live in harmony with others, but unfortunately that right to life is robbed the moment he was born. The show goes at length to portray that to the point at the end of the day, I can’t bring myself to hate him (even he’s a Cancer Cell). Moreover, it fleshes out our main characters in different way, both gather some more character’s depth and their bond is strengthened. This episode does most things right, and after this epic battle I wonder how this show gonna top this fantastic episode.
Asobi Asobase (ep07)
… in which that GIRL (not the one on the screencap though) might turn out to be a TRAP after all. First appeared as a thrown-away gag from early episode, I think it’s wonderful that the show continues to fish on that lake because if there’s any show that make the absurd continuity possible, it’s this one (clue to the lazer-butt gag). In this episode, we also have a work-out stag beetle who picks lock, and the Banana Papers (which is a parody on Panana Papers) that basically details all the (hilarious) bad consequences that this group has done so far (you know, something mundane like burning up a restaurant or making their friends hospitalized for few months, or Olivia’s smell, (that EVERYONE knows anyway, but don’t worry her BFFs are used to it. And some men like that kind of smell after all…). The everyone’s favorite fan-fiction yaoi material makes a nice comeback and boy, the reactions of both Hanako and Kasumi are priceless. I just freaking love this show.
Banana Fish (ep07)
Everytime I watch Banana Fish I feel like I’m on an express train (maybe that has to do with my favorite anime speed is slice of life – so like, a bike’s speed?). This episode moves so clunky in the first few minutes where Max visits his family out of no previous context, and it just so happens to be his kid’s birthday too. Still, Jessica is solid addition (provided that she survives at the end). Also, I like the idea behind the new character Yut Lung. Banana Fish’s villains are always over-the-top and pricky, so its nice to see one who does the exact opposite. His character also fits the “crouching Tiger hidden Dragon” pathos of the Chinese culture where the talented ones are supposed to be hidden from the mass. I like the way they try to manipulate Shorter and we get some nice scenes of him conflicting with the idolized image he always has for the Chinese mafia. But I also have to criticize the stupid plot of planting a fake-kidnap of Yut Lung. I suppose it doesn’t matter if one or two people die where you can do something else much safer and much more efficient? Like just have him tied up somewhere in the house? Dang it, every time Banana Fish wants to be a Hollywood thriller it fails miserably.
My Hero Academia 3 (ep57)
While this test has some serious meaning and implications behind it (the hero’s main job isn’t to fight villains, but to rescue people. I dig that), it’s obviously a slow one, and that doesn’t bode well for MHA. For once, participants with high combat skills like Bakugo or that Windy guy are struggling with save people, since fighting is what they’re only good at. It makes a good use for some teamwork from Class 1-A , but overall the action without much conflict can only go too far. Next week, we have another original material so I’m interested to see how it elevates itself from the source. MHA has been known for doing a good job with original material so that’s something to look forward to.
Planet With (ep07)
Well, after last episode which effective tied up loose end on high note, what will they do with the rest of its run? Turn out it’s building a whole new arc using the same cast with different motivations. Now that the two Factions are at war (too much for a Planet that relies on Peace treaty huh?). The former secretary takes the villain part for now but amusingly her hypnotize don’t work on Class rep. I guess Nozomi has some superpower herself so it’d be interesting to see how she will eventually involve in all this. The first part play like a prequel to the first six episode and again, it takes on the theme on what truly is Hero/ Evil since the Dragon quest for destroying the whole planet where Souya lives is because that planet was invading another planet. It’s an heroic from the Dragon for sure but does it justify him killing the whole planet? And does it justify the Factions to kill him off for good? It’s some meaty (sorry, can’t hep that pun) thematic weight for sure.
Friends to DIE for
Shichisei no Subaru (ep07)
Well, at least the remaining two members are in sight now. This week we don’t gain much in term of plot (well, after destroying the biggest guild ever, they just… what… become a player-for-hire? This clumsy set-up is a vessel to bring Clive into this group, and Haruo to take his sword back. As for the former, obviously we know that Clive’s up to something, and considering he’s in that secret guild who knows more then he lets on, I have a good reason to believe he knows what’s going on regarding Asahi and knows how to fix her memory. The question mark remains what is his true motive and whether or not he considers Subaru team a friend or foe. I believes he’s in the middle ground, he doesn’t hate the team but he wants to grow out of them. Well. it’s interesting to see a character work against everything the others doing. Not a bad choice at all.
Welcome to Hanebado AKA the sport anime where young players being abused by the adults. I mean, what’s up with all these melodrama here? It has gotten to the point where it becomes unbearable to fully embrace. The character inconsistency is all over. Take Ayano and the way she talks and sits. I’m pretty sure that the old Ayano doesn’t behave this way so that leap of personality is just… duhhhhh. Then we have the shouting boss which has a punchable attitude, but worse he does a 180 degree at the end where suddenly he becomes some sort of amendable person. No. It isn’t how you develop a character, Hanebado. The central match between Nagisa and Nozomi is alright. For a girl who has been listening to her coach to the point she wonders what she even plays for, it’s good to see her standing up for herself and playing the match the way she wanted. The match, however, has some unusual focus as the show would focus on an important points at the first set then skip forward to the end. Hmmm? Why don’t you let us see how Nozomi fight back?
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight (ep06)
With this episode, it becomes clear that Revue Starlight is less about Karen and more about the development of the entire cast. This week we get into the insights of Kaoruko and Futaba through the former perspective. Although spoiled, bratty and not-at-all serious about the Revue audition, I very much welcome her as a person who offers a different perspective to Revue Starlight. Needless to say, Kaoruko and Futaba’s dynamic isn’t Revue Starlight greatest moments. We have seen these kind of friendship breakdown and reconcile before in Revue Starlight, with better success (Karen & Hikari, Karen & Mahiru), add to the fact that 1) they’re side characters with predictable development and 2) this relationship is unbalanced somehow. In fact, I’m more interested with the other angle Revue Starlight focus on: the parallel between Karaoku and Tendou Maya. This show has been consistently bring up the point between natural talent vs hard work. Karaoku is one of the natural talent. She’s the prized kid where her parent is an expert at Japanese dance. But without the will to be on top she starts to fallen behind to Futaba, who practices day in, day out. The duel, unfortunately, isn’t that exciting compared to previous duels. For the show that consistently surprises us with its smart visual storytelling, this episode is also unremarkable in that regard. Karen is sidelined into a loud, one-dimensional character and I didn’t appreciate that much.
Grand Blue (ep06)
I think Aina (the new diving club member) nails it when she said that all these hijinks from the boys will end up in every one get naked. It just to say how heavily Grand Blue depends on its tropes. Every single moments from episode to episode is an extension of the same jokes repeating over and over again in mass volume. It’s fine if you’re into those gags, it isn’t fine, objectively, when the show sells their jokes at the expense of their characters. This week we have little of that, thankfully, and I found that gags revolving Azusa sweetly threatening Iori and how Iori using just what he learns into practice amusing. I feel nothing for the German test gags and I feel very little towards all the drinking games these characters play. In addition, the only serious part of this show, where the cast does some actual diving, isn’t that great production-wise and even thematic-wise. I guess since I know how much in-depth this show is (as a puddle), scene that take itself too serious like that won’t do me any good.
An Odd One Out
Tsukumogami Kashimashu (ep05)
I must say, this episode jumbles between unrelated plot lines with even more confusing characters from one scene to the next that it actually becomes an entertaining hot mess. We have the plot about the new detective, the thief, the newspaper man, the stolen tsukumogami and Okou’s flashback that none of these plot have time to sink in, but screw it the plot keeps carrying over like a harmless B-noir flick. I like that little story behind the tsukumogami this week, a beautiful and romantic doll that falls in love with the thief (Stockholm syndrome even before the term exists). The aesthetic remains alright but the walking CG crowd sure stands out in a very bad way and at this point I’ve given up on delving too deeply on the characters or the neat of the story. This show is clumsy but it remains a clumsily adorable series.