2018 Fall Anime, Weekly Anime Summary

Weekly Anime Summary – Fall 2018 Week 8-9

“’Cause nothin’ lasts forever
Even cold November rain”
Boy, November has ended and before you know it, Christmas is on its way. Sorry for the lack of activity in this blog, but at this time, I’m more willing to watch rather than to write about stuffs. Just this last week I came up with a list of 50-something anime of 2010s I will need to watch in oreparation for the Decade list. I don’t want to list those shows here, as I know I”m not going to devour them all and that will make an awkwark void if I stop halfway. I’ll still try to review those shows as I finish, so at least expect this weekly summary and maybe anime reviews at this stage (for movies, maybe recent ones, not project).

This last 2 weeks, this season of anime gets to its lowest point where it tries to connect between this middle arc and climax, think of this stage as our neck, so understandably they are hit or miss at best. Now, sit back and enjoy the show.

Queer-Friendly Flicks

Golden Kamuy (ep19-20)

Goddamn it Golden Kamuy, what’s with this heavily gay context? I mean, it’s one of the most refreshing gay metaphor in years (Come on, you don’t think they were really doing sumo, right?). It’s goofy for sure, but nothing else can beat its goofiness here. Episode 20 also leaves room for another flashback, which once again deepens this side character Ogata narrative and makes him an interesting one to follow. There’s one thing that Golden Kamuy does so right, every character in its series is a main protagonist in other stories, that’a why they have their own struggles, their own identity. Now that Asirpa is put back and centre to this new conflict, I hope the show does justice for her and Sugimoto too.

Yagate Kimi Ni Naru (ep08-09)

Yagate takes another step forward, slowly but steadily. Now is the time where Yuu starts to realize those special feelings she didn’t have before towards Narumi, and now the show takes her to the next level. For someone as passive as Yuu, the moment she takes initiative, she’ll be down the rabbit hole. That’s why she feels as if she crosses the line. The show has been excels on portraying how Yuu comes to term with Narumi’s attraction, and what will be in store for her when she realizes she has a feeling for her senpai? This show is getting pretty, pretty interesting now. 

Banana Fish (ep20-21)

Banana Fish also rushes through many material there, from what I gathered a volume per episode and it shows. It just has too many actions in a span of few minutes. It doesn’t help that the plot can get repetitive at times, with Ash gets kidnapped several times and the moment he gives himself up, you’d know that next episode he’ll somehow be fine and dandy. Either he becomes a Rambo or Eiji and Sing will step up to become a Rambo so it kills all the thrills it aims for. Then we have Blanca as a prominent villain just so that they introduce another villain and makes Blanca some sort of supporting role instead. The news is that the final episode will have double-length, and I hope they can use the amount of time to build the final arc more probably.

Double Decker! Doug And Kirill (ep08-09)

I consider episode 8 its worst so far, since it’s a side-character focus but you don’t learn anything new about the character Boxer. Episode 9 is alright, but it further reminds me on how Double Decker is always a style-over-substance show. It’s cool to look at, it’s entertaining to watch but you come out of it feeling very little. Well, when I look into Double Decker now, I find the show sort of queer-friendly, with all the cross-dressing and a bit gay subtext, but I’m all for it at the moment.

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (ep08-09)

Well, I know that this show doesn’t have any queer context but damnit, they do act like one. These two episodes mark the end of Princess Cruelty. As soon as our Princess Cruelty has her redemption moments, I immediately realize this might be the last we see of her. Like what Shang Bu Huan comments, it’s rather impressive that Princess Cruelty can shake off the evil sword and fight in her own will. She mentions how using the powerful sword makes her realize how weak she is, but in truth the person who can realize their own limitation goes a long way. Thunderbolt has always addressed the quest of becoming invincible by the means of swords, and this Cruelty plot further demonstrates this quality to great extend. You’ve done well, Cruelty. And finally, the evil Sword has a new sword-wielder. Can’t say I’m surprised with this new turn of events, but I’m sure with the guy as amoral as this Monk, his combination with the Seven Blasphemous Deaths makes him a formidable threat. His new design is certainly awesome and moreover, it’s interesting to see how the evil sword and him will play out. 

Confusions or the Feeling When You Can’t Describe What the Plot is about

SSSS.GRIDMAN (ep08-09)

Before episode 9, I was thinking that it must take a full bag of magic to make me care about Akane, being an irredeemable bitch as she is. Episode 9 did just that, and then some, in its own fashion no less. It’s by the strength of its visual storytelling that show us how desperate she wants our characters to like her, and how ultimately let-down when she fails to do it. With a show that is so strong about its visual identity, a bus full of passengers suddenly feels off. What is a better way of displaying Akane hitting rock bottom (and her God-like power) than this single sequence? I can’t remember the last time I see the image and sound of the train crossing line symbols each dream segment? Heck, this episode is on its way to be my favorite GRIDMAN’s episode so far, and that says a lot. Not only it flirts around with dream/reality boundary that is one of my jam, it also deepens Akane’s narrative in most unexpected way.

RErideD: Tokigoe No Derrida (ep08-09)

I don’t even know what to say to this show. Even with that much exposition, with many live-and-death situations, we don’t learn anything new regarding the plot. Episode 8 also has the worst line I’ve encountered this entire season. It tries ti have some thematic depth here, espcially in episode 9 when it develops the familial chemistry, but it’s the execution that doesn’t do this theme justice. We hardly care about any of these characters to begin with, so I just can’t buy that development. In terms of plot, the show moves very little. If searching for Mage takes up to 10 episodes, her appearance needs to be a goddamn game-changer.

Karakuri Circus (ep07-08)

Karakuri Circus falters hard this past two weeks, for the reasons that are totally opposite from its previous episodes. It had been suffered from transitioning between arc before, this time though, it rushes so much that none of the events have time to sink in. Narumi destroys the opponent, making a ‘monster-face’, crushed by the kids’ fright and decided to wear that absurd mask in mere minutes, and the same can be said for the sublot revolving around Shirogane and the assassin. It doesn’t help that they take the plot too seriously that you feel bad laughing at it. Note that these developments aren’t all that bad but it’s the rushed execution that kills everything. I wish it could become something worth-watching but at this rate it might not survive in my watchlist after the first cour.

Zombieland Saga (ep08-09)

Two episodes specifically about two members of the cast, Zombieland Saga runs by idol formula right now. While the show looses its sparks going this route, I still enjoy some twists here and there (like Lily’s huge father design or Lily’s identity), and hoe the show treats the girls’ deaths – while whimsical – total seriously. Yep, one of the died because of lightning strike in the middle of a concert, the other dies because of heart attack when they spot their chin hair, it’s the problems they been through is the real deal and no laughing matters. Ditto for the gangster girl tale as well. It’s not a whole lot depth by any mean, but I’m glad they treat those seriously.

Confessions

Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara (ep08-09)

Another two episodes, and my disappointment keeps raising up. Irozuku has come to the point where it has to creates its own conflict (all these romance drama), but it’s the development that we already tracked down back in episode 2, and it does a poor job of convincing us to care about these characters. This is all about Shou’s confession this week. Predictably, Hitomi freaks out; predictably, she finds the courage to say no to him and predictably, here he is at the rooftop, screaming his heart out in a typical anime fashion. Irozuku is a show that has solid themes, and has great visual to boost but it has no proper plot to carry the narrative. As a result, more often than not we see the cast doing their usual club activities that could easily interchange with each other, and worse the cast functions more as a single united mind, where passively supporting Hitomi is their default mode.  As it stands, I could compress this show into half, or even ⅓ of its length (which is a feature-length film), and it could strengthen the show much better. Irozuku has a clear beginning point A and finishing point B, but it doesn’t know a clear path to go from one point to its destination, so that it wanders around, with a magic wand in one hand and camera in the other, taking aimlessly monochrome pictures as it goes along.

Seishun Buta Yarou Wa Bunny Girl-Senpai No Yume Wo Minai (ep08-09)

Bunny Girl Senpai closes the last arc, and opens up the new Adolescent Syndrome case and I’m all for it. First, they close off the Scientist girl Futaba effectively, now that she comes to term with her own self. The moment she confess is nicely done, and the three enjoy great moments together. For the new arc, I’m glad that Mai is back to the central stage, and the new girl, her step-sister is a welcome addition to the cast. For these kind of show, it’s not the case that is important, it’s the female characters themselves and I’m glad that Bunny Girl senpai understands it. Add to that Sakuta serves his main role well. Except from some banters here and there which I found cliche and unnecessary, the interaction between him and those girls has a solid ground. 

Kaze Ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (ep08-09)

I’d say that Kakeru annoys me with his sudden outburst to Prince, in a good way. Fuiteiru has been really good on developing conflicts between its cast, and this time we have Kakeru and Prince – two opposite individuals when it comes to running – both are sidelined to step back and see things from another perspective. Prince does need to shape up if he wants to be in a big tournament. The direction is especially solid when it comes to the moments where runners look and realize they always have supporters, someone behind their backs. Now, it’s Haiji’s turn next week so we can see how bad his injury is. While this show never really wow me, its execution is always solid enough that I always feel satisfied once the credits roll.

Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu (ep06-07)

It hits the first competitive tournament for Tsurune, and so far the show makes the most out of it not by its storytelling, but by its visual strength. Team chemistry is solid, although all of its narrative beats are something we’ve seen quite often in this kind of shows. New rival appears and this dude has quite a special relationship with Minato. I don’t like the way Tsurune portrays the twins at the moment, more like they’re trying too hard for competitive edge. It’s clear that the team round is the main focus of this event, so naturally the next week will be the show’s most important episode to date. I still don’t invest that much on this new rivalry, so I hope the show can improve on that next week.

Goblin Slayer (ep08-09)

The two-parter marks the end of this current arc, with some sort of confession from Sword Maiden towards Goblin Slayer. I must confess that the scene falls really flat for me. It’s much more interesting when the characters don’t say their fear out loud, when she admits that she’s scared of goblins it’s another case of goblin is evil affair. The rest of these two episodes run in pretty much action-heavy fashion. The gang comes to some trouble, finds out the solution and beats the opponent. No biggies here. The main cast so far is underwhelming, they serve their roles but nothing really stand out, and the whole missions are variations of killing goblins. It’s just that doesn’t matter how well you tell the story, if you are just repeating the same point it gets pale really quickly.

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