Winter 2017 – Week 2

Aaand… we’re off to the races.  Week 2 of a given season is usually an interesting one, the premieres (intended to grab our collective attention) are over and the stories actually begin.  For me, it’s also halfway between the start of the season and the third episode ‘gut check’.

Note: I know some shows only have placeholders (marking what I have seen)…  My original plan was to sit down after dinner and watch the shows I wasn’t caught up on.  Then I’d write my remaining entries, edit them this morning, and publish.  All that never happened.  Miss Rose, one of our guinea pigs, would not eat her dinner and was showing signs of distress.  That wasn’t entirely expected because she is, was, elderly and has been in decline for some time.  We ended up at our vets to see her off across the Bridge so she wouldn’t suffer through the night.  I did not sleep well and I’m still out of it today.

Rather than delay this post, I decided to go with what I have and stick to my schedule by publishing on Monday.  I’ll either publish a supplementary post later this week or incorporate the missing shows in next week’s reviews depending on how my time works out the rest of this week.

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If by “always like this” you mean “semi-competent at best and covered in toad slime”.   Yeah, they’re pretty much always like that.

Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.

What is the “Episode 3 gut check” you ask?  It’s part of my drop philosophy…  It’s the point where I ask myself whether or not the show is worth a continued investment of my time.  This is actually more important now than in the past as the time commitment includes blogging as well as watching.  The next gut check comes midseason, and shows that survive that I typically watch through to the end.

Fuuka Ep4

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Because you’re a teenager.  Because he’s a teenager.  Because the script said so.

The first part deals with the fallout of the last ep’s cliffhanger…  Fuuka seeing Yuu and Koyuki together.   After the usual teenage drama, they are manipulated into apologizing to each other and (once again) The Day Is Saved.   In the second part “just by coincidence” their teacher drops by – and she and the owner of the beach hut Our Heroes are working at turn out to be former members of the band that Yuu and Fuuka (and Koyuiki) all idolized.

By yet more chance circumstances, Fuuka is backed into a corner – she must either perform outstandingly (while being backed by said band members), or give up her dream of making music and join the track club.  And, as anyone who has seen more than two anime could predict, she performs beyond outstandingly.

I will say this, despite the tropish elements of the plot and the continued intrusion of “plot”…  that was one of the better animated band performance scenes I’ve seen in quite a while.

And speaking of “plot”, the ep cliffhangers on a fanservice/accidental pervert moment.  sigh  why do they keep reaching for this hoary old trope?  Fuuka has all the elements of a half decent romantic drama and no need of such histrionics.

Gabriel Dropout Ep2

Interviews with Monster Girls (Demi-Chan) Ep2-3

Konasuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World 2 Ep2

In my mind, the actual first episode of the season..  And it’s a keeper.   Once again our intrepid explorers are stone broke, and it’s back to hunting toads to keep the wolf from the door.  (And besides, it appears that they’re the ones who caused the toads the awaken in the dead of winter in the first place…)  Somehow, they manage to come out on top and covered in toad slime, all-in-all a typical day.  The second half, dealing with Megumin’s self-proclaimed rival, much less charming.

Masamume-Kun’s Revenge Ep3

Through weird circumstances, Masamume and Adagaki are tricked into going on a ‘date’ together.  Though she flips tsundere at the end, she does appear to be falling for Masamume (and he for her).  It’s not like anyone should have expected anything else though, such things are par for the course in anime.  Koiwai’s motivations for helping Masamume are also finally revealed, she’s in the game for her own reasons.  I was moderately surprised at this because it wasn’t really foreshadowed.

Episode 3 gut check: Keeper for the moment…  but on the bubble as to whether or not it will survive past mid-season.

Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club Ep 2-3

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She’s talking about Japan in the 1970’s…  not the show.

MKHSGCC continues its slow amble across the screen…  In ANN’s previews, one of the reviewers said the first episode felt like it was meant to showcase the town of Kamakura.  Ep 2 doubled down on that.  The first half was a languid meander through the town and what I presume are the local sights (helped along by Maiharu becoming charmingly lost), while the second half was all about throwing new characters at us.  (In a rare burst of speed.)

Episode 3 was a fairly typical “now that we have the MCs in one place let’s get them all in a club together” episode.

Episode 3 also introduced what’s likely to be the main theme of the show…  the girls having adventures “on their own two feet” and finding the wonders “at the end of the road”.  (Shades of Yama no Susume.)

Episode 3 Gut Check:  Despite it’s maddeningly slow pace, MKHGCC is starting to grow on me…  keeper.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Ep2

Just as Kobayashi-san is starting to settle into life with a dragon as a maid, a companion, and something more than a friend…  Kanna, one of Tohru’s friends from the world of Dragons, comes to check up on her.  (Actually, she’s been tossed from the world of Dragons for some misdeed and is looking for a place to stay.)  The result is a charming slice-of-life episode where we learn more about dragons and their world, and the dragons learn more about the human world.   My one complaint about this ep is they opened a door better left closed…  The first ep left me feeling that dragons existed in our world in wild and isolated places, left overs of the past.  Now it sounds like there’s a parallel world or another dimension or something.  I hope they clear this up.  (Yeah, it’s a minor thing, but it’s niggling at my brain.)

Seiren Ep2-3

Frankly, I’m starting to really enjoy Seiren.  It’s a bit odd in spots, and the protagonist is about as interesting as a damp sponge…  But I like the characterization of the brash and flirtatious Hikari.  It’s interesting that they’ve left unclear whether she’s flirting with him because she’s into him, or because she views him as ‘safe’, or if it’s just because of frustration at and blowing off steam because she was forced (by her parents) to attend the study camp.

Episode 3 Gut Check:  Keeper.

Schoolgirl Strikers Ep3

A flashback episode, back to when the team was formed. Mostly filler, which is usually a very bad sign this early in the season… The only real non filler was the revelation that Miyama (Altair Torte’s leader) has (repeatedly?) had a prescient dream of them being defeated in combat.

Episode 3 Gut Check:  With appropriately low expectations, keeper.

Scum’s Wish Ep2

No comments this week:  Nyanko DaysPiacevole!

Shows not appearing in the list (because they’ve been quietly dropped):  Akiba’s Trip, Urara Meirochou

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Miss Rose shortly after we adopted her in 2011.

 

7 thoughts on “Winter 2017 – Week 2”

  1. Aww, Miss Rose looks like such a sweet guinea pig. It’s never easy to part with a pet. Do you have other guinea pigs? Do they miss her? I’m sorry for your loss.

    Your post made me realise that I forgot to watch episode 3 of the cycling anime. I’ll do that as soon as I get around to it. (Forgetting about an anime’s existance, though, is almost never a good sign for me.)

    As of episode 3, Demi-chan’s teacher crush is getting on my nerves slightly, but the positives still far outweigh the negatives. I loved how they animated the frozen air near the end of the episode. Episode 4’s finally going to tackle Yuki.

    I’m still undecided about Seiren. I loved episode 2, but I didn’t care much for episode 3, mostly because I found the male main to be an irritant in that episode. I also don’t appreciate the awful gay joke. I’d have had an easier time looking past that, if I’d enjoyed the episode more. It’s an uneven show for me, but I do agree that Hikari’s characterisation is great. Everything I enjoyed about episode 3 has to do with her. (Also, if I interpreted that ending right, one of her friends ratted her out to get her out of the way? Is that the implication?)

    At this point I’m fairly sure that Masamune-kun’s Revenge is never going to amount to much more than decent entertainment (and an excellent soundtrack). I, too, am not quite sure what Yoshino’s after. Her motivations might be surprisingly complex. The thing is, I can’t really bring myself to care one way or another.

    Gabriel Dropout is better than its first episode suggested to me, but it’s still not going to reach memorability, I think. I already can’t remember much about episode 2, though episode 3’s fresh in my memory since I just watched it. I felt sorry for the coffee shop owner, but at least his final scene was a good experience.

    And, yes, that accidental boobgrab in Fuuka was one of the worst offenders I can remember. It’s extra-stupidly graphic and completely killed the mood of what would have otherwise been a decent scene. The thing is I’m actually enjoying the show, even though I’m not really on board with that type of plot, but scene’s like this are infuriating mood-breakers for me. At least the panty shots in episode one were gotten out of the way before they had the chance to break any mood. I actually have a pretty good anime auto-filter that allows me ignore a lot, but Fuuka manages to get through with its scenes. So unnecessary. Grrr.

    I enjoyed episode 2 of ACCA quite a bit. They’re doing a good job of moving the plot along, while making sure you know that you don’t quite understand what’s going on. Images, such as our main character eating a giant strawberry, are priceless. I’m really invested in this show, now.

    Maid Dragon is fun. I have little else to say about it. I like those quiet and warm moments it sprinkles in. It’s a sweet show that doesn’t drown you in saccharine.

    Here’s something I never expected to say: I’m still watching Kemonofriends. It airs on a slow day, I’ve always been interested in animals (and for whatever other flaws the show has, it does know its zoology). Finally, it’s god a certain inept charm, like a picture drawn by a toddler. The “story” is stupid. The CGI is horrid, even considering how much I dislike CGI in the first place. It’s just… bad. But somehow not. I don’t understand myself sometimes.

    Finally, I’ve just watched the first three episodes of Tanya the Evil. Well, there are elements I like, first of all Yuuki Aoi’s performance as the main character. But I hate the art. The lighting effects in Being-X-scenes hurt my eyes, and sometimes the camera makes me queasy. Add that to me not usually being fond of military shows, and I don’t think I’m going to stick with it. But who knows? I don’t. It’s a rather slow season for me.

    Ah, yes, Konosuba. All I have to say: it’s decent, but season 1 was better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, we have three other girls. You may have to go to the website, but I posted pictures of their bath day on Twitter a couple of weeks back. It’s hard to tell if they miss her or not… Piggies aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. (And not demonstrative like dogs and cats.) They do have a good time sense though, and know when it’s veggie time (and let us know they know).

      Demi-chan, yeah… it may or may not survive the mid season cut. It depends on if it can get past crushing on sensei. As I argued in the comments last week, it does represent some of the issues that demi’s have with living with ordinary humans… but it just hews too close to some bad anime tropes for comfort.

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      1. Oh, the sensei-crushing isn’t a dealbreaker for me. Demi-chan is still among my favourite shows this season. I can’t imagine dropping it at this point. It can’t possibly go that wrong.

        Also, I’ll just say that, even though its a leftover from last season, Sengoku Choujuugiga really is a great show. This episode warlords tried to make a besieged castle surrender with mansai routine. Too few people are watching that.

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  2. Sorry to hear about Miss Rose :( She looks like she was a lovely guinea pig.

    Seems like Konosuba is our only overlap show this season, but I do agree with you that the Yunyun material is weaker than the rest of the episode (note that there was very little Aqua in these scenes hmmmmmm). So it goes with Konosuba.

    The Fukka concert scene you linked actually seemed pretty neat – shame the animation has little character to actually sell the moment (also the higher pitch… thanks to copyright…)

    I’m unsure as to whether I’ll continue Demi-chan, so I may or may not be adopting a certain dragon maid show…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, she was a little sweetheart.

      Konasuba has always blown hot and cold… It’s a rare show that consistently hits all the marks, but that’s OK so long as the hit-to-miss ration doesn’t get too out of whack.

      If your time allows, you might check out a certain dragon maid show. It just might be the sleeper of the season.

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