We are at Week 8 now which for me feel incredibly fast. Another month and we’ll have to say goodbye to this season. As far as this season goes it’s a underwhelming season for sure, with only comedy shows remain a high mark. Well, I’m not that fond with Grand Blue but I suppose I’m on the minority side as the manga is insanely popular, and Asobi Asobase becomes more and more of my favorite show the season. Revue Starlight comes back a big way with the revealing that could potentially change the game, and Banana Fish is still as rush as ever. Scroll down and see what the shows this week have to offer
Welcome to the “Fake” Reality
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight (ep07)
Unlike other characters who want to fight to become Top Stars, Nana lacks the ambition to become one, yet she’s the most talented girl out there. That reveal turns the show into a completely new perspective, but everything adds up because it builds from everything that came before it and gives many characters more significant roles than what they appear before. The yellow-bathed stage where Nana meets the Giraffe, for example, never feels this sinister. Basically it’s Madoka twist all over again, although I would say it’s more appropriate to compare this twist to Yuno’s in Future Dairies. She relives the past year all over again because for her, it’s the perfect moments where everyone she loves participating the Stage together. There hasn’t any girl who dropped out yet. If I have some criticism over this episode, it’s that I still feel her “this moment is perfect” kind of vague. I still don’t really know how much this timeline means to her so that she would trade anything to relive it all over. One thing is clear though, while her intention is selfish, it isn’t without its reason. Who wouldn’t want to relive their best moments over and over. It would’ve been perfect for Nana if Hikari doesn’t come in the picture. Hikari is an abnormality in Nana’s perfect world, and suddenly both Hikari and Nana’s roles change significantly after this episode. Hikari is the one who will disrupt Nana’s perfect world, and that leads to two interesting factors. First, we learnt from previous episodes that Nana decides to step down in order to assist the stage, but what is her real deal here? Will she plan to duel against Hikari? And second, why is it that Hikari appears in this timeline and not previous loops? We know for sure that with her appearance, the loops are basically gone, but is there more into it than meet the eye?
Shichisei no Subaru (ep08)
….in which another show pulls another Madoka twist: Haruto wakes up to find that he’s the one who was in coma for six years. I’m a bit mixed in how the show handles this part. On one hand, it’s good to see him realizing immediately that the world isn’t real and does something with it. On the other hand, this conflict resolved so fast it doesn’t make much of an impact. And the reveal that some enemy shapeshifted Clive all along feels like a cheap plot point. For once when you’re shapeshifting others you can’t copy their move. And second for all the ambiguous of developing Clive character is going to wasted. To say that, I suspect the mysterious girl who is in Asahi’s dream is Nozomi, and it’s about goddamn time that she makes an appearance, right?
Steins;Gate 0 (ep19)
The first attempt of going back time results in failure (as expected) and Okabe’s soul split into two. The ridiculous moments are still there: Leskinen appears out of nowhere and vanishes without a trace afterward. There’s two factors, on the other spectrum, that I really enjoy. Okabe now becomes much more committed to bring Mayuri back and the travelling back in time has a true Steins;Gate vibe now. But here’s the thing: why don’t kill them like you did on the first season? The moments they’re truly death, there will be no turning back except for using the D-mail. Here, supposed they didn’t die, what’s the use of changing the past? And poor Reyes. We didn’t know much of her, but here she’s brutally murdered to heighten the drama. While I’m not too thrilled with this first attempt, I’m still waiting to see how Okabe learn from these mistakes.
When Girls get Angry
Hi Score Girl (ep06-07)
In which Oono is back but she’s more mad at Haruo than welcoming him. Haruo should’ve known better given he’s always with Hidaka whenever Oono sees them. Hi Score Girl is a show that understands what growing up is like. We have 3 main kids with totally different traits, yet somehow they’re all grounded and multidimensional. The second episode where Haruo and Hidaka are left behind by the shinkansen further underlines that. While Hidaka is worried, Haruo sees it as an opportunity to stretch his leg. He might not be the most responsible person, but it’s admirable to see how he is so sure of himself. As for me, while I still enjoy the dynamic between Oono and Haruo, everytime Hidaka is onscreen is a pleasure to watch, I can relate very well to that girl.
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (ep08)
In which even Manana can’t stand Chio’s quirk anymore. This week is a return to form for Chio-chan: these segments are laid out just about enough, both Chio and Manana have heaps of material to shine, and in the end the show tries something new with the little story involving Momo. It’s a welcome return of Yuki, who reveals another side of her this week to the surprise of both Chio and Manana. Even if the main joke of this segment to be: what does people react when see a girl wearing tracksuit to school, Chio-chan makes it exciting and never runs out of its welcome. The second segment recalls the first episode’s shenanigan for all the right reasons. It does enough to not become a gimmick though. It starts innocently enough: Chio’s babbling about her games to an uninterested Manana before her game-mode takes a better of her again (Chio’s hyper for sure). Crawling up towards narrow alley is fun enough, we then have the reappearance of that bald guy (in a pretty much same situation) who still somehow misses Chio in a split second. Having Manana in this segment is an improvement from the first episode, when she just had it with Chio and storms through the roof to catch Chio. As it stands, there are many ways to reach a rooftop, and both Manana and Chio’s journey to that place prove to be entertaining and warm at the same time. “The rare item of friendship” indeed.
Tsukumogami Kashimasu (ep06)
In which this is the very first time we see the main girl having some sort of strong reactions to something, which is a welcomed development. The rest of the episode, however, is still plagued with tonal issues. It jumps over from one plot point to the next, with some clumsy plot points that strain some credibility to boost. Like everything about the guy who picks up the precious seal case is just so dumb. Why do these guys actually pay him 30 ryo for things that they know is not his? Where is the police? Why he would raise to 50 ryo when obviously 30 ryo is enough for something he doesn’t own? And why throw away all that? Gosh, it’s stupid. I don’t think the “trading to more expensive stuffs” make much sense either. How much time have passed again? But like I mentioned in almost every week now, the show still offers some kind of unique charms, provided that you don’t think too much about its plot.
Asobi Asobase (ep08)
Asobi Asobase hits its stride again with a string of hilarious moments. While some of these will work better if I understand more of the context (like the virgin-killer clothes), the last segment in particular where they play Sugoroku – a Japanese version of “dare”, or more like, punishment game really underlines what makes this show so appealing in the first place. We have them doing one stupid things after another. Hanako pretty kills it with her antics and the I myself consider the VA of Hanako a contender for best VA work of this season. The Pokemon-Go spoof is pretty amusing as well, but the winner here is when Kasumi betrays Olivia when Hanako questions her. Now our members go full circle in terms of betraying each other. I know we never get to see the cutesy “three girls playing in the park” version that was shown in the OP, but I wouldn’t have it other way. Bonus point for Hanako’s cheeky touch.
A Day in a life
Hataraku Saibou (ep08)
Unlike previous episodes where the show displays some typical sickness and how our cells defend the body, this episode just runs with the basic idea of how red cell normally does everyday. It’s a breath of fresh air since nothing is at stake at this point, hence no silly villains. At the same time, we have an entire episode dedicated to our Red Cell’s journey to the heart. White Cell tags along for the ride to make sure that Red Cell doesn’t get lost along the way (he helps her a lot there). I just realize within this episode that the background designs are exclusive Japan, with all the torii gates and stuffs. But it’s not a complaining at all because there’s so much thought and love putting in the background designs. I also enjoy the fact that both our main casts Red Cell and White Cell are different then the other cells their type. White Cell is attentive and sensitive than most other cells. The last few episodes has raised this show up a few notch for me.
Grand Blue (ep07)
You can tell if an author knows about his craft based on the way he tells his story. Take Grand Blue for example, I’m pretty sure he learnt about diving because the diving part has the basic, from the way they learn about those signs, to how they get themselves accustomed to the water before going out for diving. The tennis, however, skip many steps and as a former tennis player, I can sense this guy doesn’t know much about the sport. It usually takes months for beginners to know how to serve properly, let alone making aces. Our guys just takes the rackets and plays on par with the tennis members? Again the gags play for number instead of building up, with the only gag that makes me chuckle is when Iori serves directly to his partner. I got that experience before and it hurts like hell (mostly because you don’t expect the ball hits you so your defense radar is off). That’s the humor Grand Blue aims for: be fun, be stupid, be juvenile but DON’T TRY ANY OF THIS IN REAL LIFE
My Hero Academia 3 (ep58)
An entirely original episode that cuts right in the middle of “P license” arc with the most popular class-A members? Well, the only reason I can think of this weirdly-placed episode is that they want to promote the theatrical film, which this episode serves as a prequel of sort. As far as the “training” goes it serviceable. All the cast contributes their own effort in order to solve the case, although the way Midoriya figures out the clue sounds a bit far-fetched. It’s certainly entertaining, but I don’t think Kacchan is the right person to be in this group. Whatever, it’s a nice little break for MHA and one that I think they need to do more. The level of writing in this episode is on par with the source material, so give more moments to flesh out overlooked characters can be an useful tactic.
They Have No Concept of Slowing Down
Planet With (ep08)
This show never fails to be intriguing. How it twists around all the plot mechanics and squeezes out so much fresh idea is beyond my comprehension. Many regards it an incoherent mess and while they’re not wrong, for me it still makes sense on most of the ideas it raises. One of the trick Planet With does well so far is consistently gives its characters new roles in the story. Now the new fight begins between two factions, and we learn Benika’s reason behind her joining the Sealing Faction. “When people have the power they’d go aggressive”. It’s the moral she learns but somehow she falls for that very trap. Then we have Souya see his brother that no one else can see and Nozomi’s possible power. We have heaps of potential development here and I’m really down for whatever the show comes up with. Besides, the comedy is really on point this week with humorous stab on the common trope (like how Souya decides between delusional boobs and real) and homage to other famous show (Ghost in the Shell reference there).
I hope Hanebado having fun of drawing Ayano this week. She who switches from normal-Ayano to Weiwei-Ayano to evil-Ayano in a blink of eye. More than any other episodes, this week is the one where we can see Ayano’s character inconsistency all over the board. They say the eyes are the windows to one’s heart and it can apply appropriately here. Her eyes, from total blank when she meets Connie, to all fluffy when she’s in the Weiwei amusement park, then to Psycho’s level of creepiness, ain’t come from the same person. You can pretty much say the same for Connie. First appeared as a talented, stuck-up brat who refuses to let her partner play, what does she become this week? She got beaten by Ayano completely flat. In addition, I don’t really buy her reason to get Ayano accept her as “family member”. They aren’t bloodlined for Peter sake and this is more about proving herself to be a better badminton player than Ayano than you know, get together like a big family with welcomed arms. To say Hanebado goes overboard with its drama is still an understatement. The drama is getting laughable mediocre, but the way Hanebado embraces it with all it had is kinda admirable by itself. At least, we can always enjoy the many faces of Ayano this week.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger (ep07)
Well, not a good wrap up after the bombastic set-up last week, as the show resolves the ambush too quickly by DEUS EX MACHINA to boost. Here out of nowhere the army appears and sweeps the vampires. Even Kershner turns out to be just a pawn of this war game? Goodness, it’s a clumsy way to deflate the conflict. Yuliy finding out about Willard’s involvement of his clan’s massacre is just predictable and doesn’t add up much. Now that Yuliy decides to go his own way to find the Sirius’s Ark, I guess this is where Ryoko comes to the picture, huh? Whie the plot and the characters leave a lot to be desired, the production quality doesn’t drop at all after halfway point, which is rare and encouraging. This makes me excited for another PA Works’ original next season, if they can keep up with this high level of production values then I’m a happy fella.
Banana Fish (ep08)
Regrettably this episode of Banana Fish lost me a little. I mean, the whole plan is to get Ash out of the house in order to kidnap Eiji in order to blackmail Ash? Hmm. Then I don’t get why they decide to back out the moment Shorter says he might kill Eiji out of loyalty. And the Professor just goes back home unarmed so that others can easily capture him? In addition,the reveal that Yut Lung is abused (and maybe sexual assaulted) by his brothers and the hint that Max wife might be sexual abused are a bit too much for me. Is it how Banana Fish’s world work? This makes Yut Lung into some sort of interesting position, however, as he might team up with our guys to fight against papa Dino and his syndicates. Now that the team knows what Banana Fish is and Dino’s plan of using it, he might get closer to bring the old man down. But first, rescue babyface Eiji first.