With week 12, a handful of shows reach their final episodes. They mostly wrap up nicely, thankfully, even lesser shows like Shichisei ends on a high note or Hanebado and Tsukumogami are looking good in their last leg. I sure will miss Asobi Asobase and whatever hijinks it came up with: butt-lazer, foul-mouth sexbot, whatever… I love them all. After 6 consecutive climax after climax, Planet With finally ends. Still pretty much closes its threads skillfully. Also, as a last note, this post will be the last Weekly Anime of this Summer season, as I will take a 2-week break overseas. The next post regarding anime will be in 3 weeks with the Final Impressions of the Summer anime, followed by the mega-post First Impression of the next Fall Season. Now, enjoy the last look in Summer anime offerings, starting with all those shows that finished this week.
Shichisei no Subaru (ep12) – END
As we suspected ends midway. We now just get a glimpse of the big boss behind all this, and Asahi’s 6 year gap still remains a mystery. However, as a stopping point, this ending proves to satisfying now that Subaru has their full members, but most at all this episode hints about Elicia as a secret seventh member of this group. I must say she climbs her way up into my favorite character of this show (well, it was easy). Looking back while the show spends too much time spreading out this arc (it can be done with lesser episodes, each member of the group has some drama to overcome. Whenever it’s about romance, it’s dumb. Whenever they fight in games (you can see that in this finale as well), characters just break their own game rules so it does take away some credible. Sadly to say that Asahi and Haruto remain pretty one-note throughout the series. One potential issue with the next arc is now that they all gather together, they could easily become stereotypical characters again. I won’t have that problem though since I’m sure this ending here is a nice stopping gate for me.
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (ep12) – END
As appropriate with Chio’s below-average personality, Chio-chan ends not with a bang but with two entertaining-but-unremarkable sketches. Many if the side-cast don’t make the cut in this finale (I kinda miss Andou and Momo), but we have Yuki at her most brilliant and Chio at her own worst enemy. Also, the way Chio-chan handles its fan-service moments is overall quite good. We still have panty shots here and there but most of the time they have ‘purpose’ (which I will get to that later). This show ends on the brief preview on future contents, and because we know all the characters by now, we can somewhat have a hood idea the details behind it. Also heads up for the “takes” that don’t make the final cut. It’s just another confirmation that Chio-chan doesn’t take itself very seriously, and in this context it’s for the show’s benefit. Overall, Chio-chan is an enjoyable little comedy show. It has rock-solid amusing interactions to the cast, and it always understands the mindset of Chio and Manana.At the same time, it’s a bit too modest for its own good. It could’ve been a better show if they can manage to escalate Chio’s commute to school into something totally crazy, but instead what we have is more a slice-of-life Chio’s road to school where sniffing at each other’s armpit or dressing up to school can take up half of the episode.
Asobi Asobase (ep12) – END
Farewell to my weekly dose of laughter. Asobi Asobase ends with its usual-as-business skits. While they aren’t amongst its strongest segment, they still provide plenty of good interactions with another eccentric new character: a baby who has a voice and act pervert-ly like an old man. Its nicest moments are the two last gags that deal with them playing simple passtime games, and with the antic of Hadako, Olivia and Kasumi, it’s anything but simple (point for Maeda-san as well). As a whole, Asobi Asobase is one of the finest comedy around this year (And this year has been producing many good comedy shows). Hadako (and her VA actress) deserves special mention for committing to this screw-loose character that makes every antic from her a scene-stealing. The supporting cast is equally crazy and every time they reappear on screen, we learn something more about them. Asobi Asobase hits gold whenever it takes risk and commit itself and go full banana. Here’s hoping it can get a second season because boy, I can’t get enough of this shite.
Planet With (ep12) – END
To be fair, the last two episode was jammed-pack with action so I don’t enjoy it as much as its previous episodes but hell, what a ride! When you thought that Planet With explore its world as far as it could, it will find another way, another conflict to raise and then resolve it in a totally satisfying manner. In truth, the reason I keep coming back to this show isn’t due to the cliffhangers or the proper building up (it’s how normal show would go), but for an epic episode that scratch an itch you don’t know you have. As for this finale, the focus is about or main three: Souya, Ginko, Sensei and the Dragon. There’s a nice, emotional scene of Ginko (guys, take note. This is how you turn a comedic-relief character into a deep character) and many concept the show has explored before: the notion of hero act, the empathy that make it consistent even if the plot itself could explode at anytime.
Steins;Gate 0 (ep22)
It’s another logical sacrifice Okabe has to make. It makes more drastic that it’s Kurisu he has to kill again, and the lab members get a bit of first-hand experience of how much Okabe suffers through these decisions. It’s all well and dandy, right? Not really. While this episode is good in its own way, it again reminds me about the full potential it could’ve reached instead of this. Take Amadeus-Kurisu’s role in the story for example. I still feel the show doesn’t use her to the full potential. She was significant in the first few episodes, where the show smartly display how Okabe slowly opens up to her like the real Kurisu. Why don’t you push that further Steins;Gate? This development feels a tad bit contrived for me as well, especially when it comes to Daru D-Line. What? Did we aware about that before? Of course we didn’t since it doesn’t relevant to the plot till now. So, as a drama these last episodes do the job, but still it’s a wasted because it could be much better than this.
My Hero Academia 3 (ep62)
It often takes quite a bit of time to picking up pace again after a big arc, and MHA currently suffers from that, but this episode is any indication, they do an admirable job at that. By giving the first half dedicate on the unknown villain’s point of view, where we can see the unrest of that world right now and how the villains, as well as the heroes, are beginning to change. This first half raises the main conflict nicely, and the second half likewise maintains its interest because it knows how to hook up the audience: by introducing the top 3 upperclassmen of the academia. While we might have an anti-climax ending of the season, I don’t mind it that much if they sell me the awesomeness of these new addition characters.
The angriest show of this season has come to the continuation of the final match between Nagisa and Ayano and overall it does a decent job. It has something to do with this episode is amongst Hanebado’s most traditional sport narrative, so it focuses more on the action, and tones down the excessive melodrama. On the narrative side Hanebado also does a lot of lifting, first they shed light to Ayano’s Mom point of view. Second, Hanebado uses this match as the way for Ayano to understand the importance of teammates. Moreover, Nagisa does a lot of lifting as well. If I have any complaint regarding this episode, that is Ayano’s eyes are different again. It’s not the “shifting from innocent-Ayano to youkai-Ayano” I mentioned last few weeks (which I pretty much take it as it is), it’s that she has her Mom’s eyes this week. As it stands, Hanebado seems struggle to visualize Ayano’s emotional conflict, hence this inconsistency in character’s design. As a result I never feel related or connected to Ayano as a character. This final match spreads out pretty confidently. As this episode is much more action-packed than normal, I’m pleased to say that the production value maintains its quality throughout.
Hi Score Girl (ep11)
The ending of this episode is a sole instance where I feel the anime version outdid the manga source. The moment Guille and these game characters point the last arcade game, and then the sweet ED song kicks in, perfectly convey the emotional tone of how special the moment is that Haruo finally finds Oono-san. The rest of the episode is no slob either. It’s the first time that Oono and Hidaka meet up in the story and Hidaka confronts her head-on about her feeling with Haruo (well, they fail the Bachdel test here but I DON’T CAREEEE), and it’s a bit whimsical (and telling) how whenever Hidaka presses the issues, Oono makes mistake. Haruo, at the same time, tries to get his form back, but he never thinks much of Hidaka but to Oono-san. These kids, their growth, the romance that all related to the evolution of arcade game is a show that understand, and respect its characters.
Tsukumogami Kashimasu (ep10)
I can’t believe it myself but three weeks in row now, Tsukumogami hits its stride. It helps that this episode focuses on our main characters, but there are two other factors that I grow fond to this show. First, it’s the side characters who keep reoccur from episode to episode, at times they can be the episode’s main character, at times they just be a supporter. These characters help bring the “big family” air into this show, as they pop in and out just like our nice neighbors. Secondly, the relationship between the human and the tsukumogami are improved as well. Earlier I criticized that aspect as these two functions in two different plane with no real direct connection, and it felt like the human usually manipulate the tsukumogami to gather information. This episode makes it clear how our human characters respect these spirits. At one point Okou taking one of the tsukumogami out just to have someone to hear her issues. That’s a really warm action that show how our main characters grow fond with these spirits. And I do too.
Hataraku Saibou (ep12)
We come to the two-part arc that is among Saibou’s highest stake: our body is critical condition: a wound to the head area that causes massive blood loss. For the show that has always been soft to its characters (apart from the villains, there isn’t any moment where any of our blood cells die), the last moment proves to be effective on its grimness. Since the Cancer episode, Saibou hasn’t been this serious so I hope we’re in for one hell of the finale. Also, our Red Cell is the last person you could think as a tutor. Yep, she’s terrible, even her kohai knows it and seems more effective than our girl. But welp, one thing Red Cell is extremely good at is compose herself when it counts (since she has a habit of falling into trouble).
Banana Fish (ep12)
This week, Ash gets himself into gang feud and Ash informs us about papa Dino’s masterplan. Now, it’s the time where I feel the updated settings suffer the most from the conspiracy. Things that might sound plausible in the Vietnam-war era (like building up a puppet government, even the gang war) feels a bit outdated in the modern settings. What worse, is that the bigger the whole plot gets (now it’s basically a global affair now), the less I am connected to this story. Meanwhile, this episode succeeds on depicting Ash on his descend to losing himself: to the violent and cold-blood killings. The show still has some quick pacing but the tonal issues are the most glaring. At one moment we see Ash’s uncomfortable with the things he does, the next scene we see him (comically) afraid of the pumpkin. The final showdown between him and Arthur will mark the end of the first run, and while we pretty know the outcome (Arthur is no match to Ash for sure), let’s see how this fight turns out.
Grand Blue (ep11)
And this show is back at stupid, campy humor of its earlier episodes. This is one of the episode with the least amount of drinking, although again, the level of male’s fantasy is in high dose. We have an attractive, sexy woman suggests our protagonist to have sex with her. While the show is smart on how it handles Asuza’s casual request (she doesn’t come up as creepy for one thing), it plays for laugh on how out of death Iori is regarding the thought. In addition, I actually found all the misunderstanding gags amusing, and it’s sure hilarious and visually striking to see Chisa steps on Iori’s head. With just one episode left, hopefully Iori can get his license and drinks (again) and goes full naked (again) to his heart’s content.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger (ep10-11)
In the last two episodes, Yuliy gets to meet his father, gets the Ark and has the Ark stolen the moment later. Everything has come to its right place now, with Yevgraf having the McGuffin, and our Jaeger team arrives just in time to save Yuliy and the gang. One development comes as a nice surprise for me is the way the show handles Bishop character. Turn out he’s a vampire but Yuliy sees through his regret and decides to trust him. The brotherly relationship is also strengthened when we learn that Mikhail still does his damnedest to protect his brother and he himself will die because of the disease. It comes to the bombastic final battle with everyone is presented now (that includes Ibe and Ryoko in which the latter I can’t put my finger on her roles in all this).
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight (ep11)
It makes sense that after 10 episodes of dueling and auditioning, this week takes time to focus on the central pair Karen and Hikari. As soon as she “betrays” Karen in the cliffhanger last week, it soon reveals that the reason she does it is to not steal anyone’s else brilliance (especially Karen’s), even at the cost of herself. Admittedly, while I myself was expecting a bit more, this episode does have some emotional impact with some powerful scenes. By taking Hikari out of the equation (I swear if I ever come across with any document that has giraffe logo on it, I would dump it to the rubbish bin immediately), it takes a toll to Karen and effectively kills her joy to perform. Or as my sub says it, she loses her brillance. Which makes it all the more tragic because Hikari sacrifices herself in order to save Karen and the rest from it. As far as the narrative goes, I don’t think anyone of us is surprised at all these developments. Revue Starlight has been foreshadowing about this star-crossed love for quite some time and how Karen-Hikari relationship parallels with the Starlight story. I’m digging the moment when Tendou Maya implies, through her flashback, that when she sees Hikari’s eyes in one of their practices, she can sense that her eyes are empty. Hikari had been fighting and dueling even though her “brilliance” is forever gone, just barely make it back by the promise of Karen, and decides to win so that she can be an ultimate sacrifice. I already love the surrealist background of her palace, which vast desert and here she is, bare naked and all alone. That single image speaks more strongly than thousand words and I hope that, really hope that Revue Starlight can sweep me away again with its final episode.