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