Another week in the life.. Some shows progress, some regress, others tread water. Demi-Chan, Miss Koyabishi, and Konasuba were especial delights.
All this, and a look at the first episode of Cyborg 009: Call of Justice after the break!
(The opening to the 2001-2 series, one of my favorite series and favorite openings.)
Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
“On Hold” this week mostly means “shows I didn’t get to”. No sooner did I hit my groove, than I got distracted and it all came apart again.
Acca-13, BanG Dream! – On Hold
Another two act episode, a format that seems to be working well here. In the first act, Takahasi-sensei makes a home visit to the Takanshi family. We learn much about Hikari’s home life and her relationship with her sister. The family certainly dotes on Hikari, and despite their often tempestuous relationship the sisters are undeniably close. Once again, Demi-Chan shines on the small details. (Such as Hikari having her own refrigerator for her blood packs, but her carefree nature leads to her to forget to use it.) The second act, in which Kyoko is waiting on a ride (because she can’t both carry her head and use her umbrella) again shines on those details but founders because once again the crush on sensei drives a good chunk of the plot.
Somewhere along the way, there’s been a two month time skip (and no matter where you put it in the episode count, you gets cracks in the plot)… The band has materially improved (or so they say, that actually seems to have happened in their first practice) and now it’s time to perform at the cultural festival. That disposed of, the episode spends most of it’s time dealing with Yu and Koyoki’s relationship becoming public and the fallout thereof. (And Koyoki doesn’t make things easier – she doubles down by admitting on national TV he’s the inspiration for her songs.) The as-yet-unnamed band’s premiere is threatened by angry fanboys who have vowed to disrupt it. But they’re going ahead anyhow – because the power of friendship compels them. Cliffhanger and the credits roll…
Or, long story short, Fuuka is up to it’s usual bag of
tropes tricks. They did manage to get through an entire ep without any fanservice tropes, a signal accomplishment.
Back to the dungeon! Having cleaned out the dungeon in previous episodes, somehow it’s Our Hero’s fault that a new and dangerous denizen (a minion of the Demon King) has taken up residence. (It’s always Our Hero’s fault isn’t it?)
The funniest part of the episode is when said minion is defeated and rises from the dead by possessing Darkness! She of course thrives on being debased (in this case being forced to act un-Crusader-like) and is able to resist him… The back and forth conversation between the two souls (minion and Darkness) in one body kept me in stitches.
Somehow, they come out on top and end up becoming actual heroes – and not only debt free, but massively rich from the reward. I look forward to seeing how the screw this windfall up.
Masamune finally admits to himself what’s been obvious to the audience for several episodes now… He’s falling for Adagaki. But when he acts on this (and on her challenge to kiss her), she again emphatically rejects him.
And somehow Neko is also in possession of a picture of Masamume and Adagaki in elementary school…
Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club Ep 6 – On Hold.
Miss Koyabishi’s Dragon Maid Ep5
A very sweet episode… Koyabishi finally admits that her world is for the better with Tohru in it. But, along the way Tohru also learns more about the human world and admits she’s rejecting the dragon world because even though she knows that a nearly immortal dragon will long outlive a mere human – the future pain is more than balanced by the current companionship. Slowly, quietly, and almost impossibly Dragon Maid just keeps getting better and better and hitting the emotional notes.
The final gag in the show, where Tohru shows she truly won’t be defeated by ‘mere’ humans had my wife and I literally laughing out loud.
Schoolgirl Strikers Ep6
An Obli signature appears in a remote forest in the 5th Dimension. Arriving there, Altair Torte discover a lovely lake and quickly change into their
swimsuits specialized combat suits and frolic carefree conduct waterborne reconnaissance. When the monster does finally show up, it’s too much for the girls… Coconut Vega, a more buxom experienced team shows up also in their swimsuits specialized combat suits and saves the day assist Altair Torte in defeating the monster.
And, for the fourth or fifth time this season the girls learn that cooperation, teamwork, and planning are the secrets of success.
Scum’s Wish Ep5
Another painful episode. We learn of the reasons behind Hanabi’s stoic shell and interior emptiness and how these are deeply tied into her feelings for Narumi-sensei… Long story short, she’s been marinating in a stew of self-hate for a long time and sees him as her only way out. I’m not sure I entirely buy the reasons, but kids can and do see things from an odd point of view.
Hanabi seeks, and doesn’t find, solace in Ecchan’s arms… Mugi seeks, and doesn’t find, solace in the arms of his previous lover. And when each realizes the other has slept with someone else… things really start to fall apart. They both try, and fail to re-establish the connection (tenuous and meaningless as it was) they had before. In a further attempt, Hanabi challenges Mugi to have sex – which also fails spectacularly. She takes this as further evidence of her own lack of self worth and that not being in love with Mugi as all being her fault.
And then, just as Hanabi can’t get much lower… Akane reveals she has slept with Narumi.
Toru’s arc is decidedly inferior to Hikari’s… Not only is Toru just too perfect, Shouichi has become a spineless wimp. (Everything he was falsely accused of being in the last arc… he actually is in this arc.)
Special Feature: Cyborg 009: Call of Justice Ep1 (Currently available on Netflix.)
First things first… My wife and I are huge fans of the 2001-2 series (which we saw on Toonami back in the day). We didn’t care much for the 2003 movie (009 re:Cyborg) and had mixed feeling about Cyborg 009 VS Devilman OVA (mostly because we’ve never seen Devilman and I think we missed a good chunk of what was going on in the OVA because of this). 003 (Françoise) was my second anime crush.
So far, neither one of us are impressed with Call of Justice. The first ep was mostly a poorly done retrospective not quite justifying why the Cyborg Soldiers are being sought out and pulled out of retirement… Somehow they manage to avoid actually introducing a villain that seems to justify this. And whyinhell is some random civilian the one hell-bent on seeking them out and returning them to action in the first place?
Most of the overlong and draggy exposition centers around 009 (Joe) and 003 (who now looks like a big boobed middle schooler) with the rest of the team pretty much left in the shadows. Dr. Gilmore is mostly a puppet who woodenly delivers his lines on cue and little else.
Oh… and the character designs. They suck. As does the animation… both look like low budget gaming console cutscene footage. By comparison the awful designs of re:Cyborg look positively wonderful.
I’m a faithful fan, and I’m not going to drop it on the basis of the first ep (which I admit was needed to introduce the franchise’s universe)… But the prognosis is not good.
And there we have it – another week in the can! How did your go? Let me know in the comments!