Spring 2017 – Week 3

Some shows were good this week, others less so.  Some shows get a line of two, and others a paragraph or more!  (Ok, its hard to come up with an exciting intro paragraph each week…) Hit the break to see my thoughts, then let me know yours down in the comments!

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

Alice to Zoroku Ep 4

Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel here…  This week only advanced the plot a little bit, while fleshing out the world a great deal.  If was interesting to see Sana finally realize “I have God like powers” and actually use them to her advantage.  It was even more interesting to see her use them (to summon father-figure Zoroku to her aid) as if she actually was the little human girl she so desperately desires to be.  On the other hand, it was a bit disquieting to learn she’s a “thing” that nobody understands rather than a person nobody understands.  I don’t really know what to think of her character now…  And I was annoyed as haitch-ee-doublehockeysticks when they reached for the “mysterious dream character” trope to give her the missing piece of the puzzle.  And equally annoyed at discovering the rote nature of the organizations fighting over Alices and the Red Queen.

I guess I’m saying I lost a lot of respect for Alice this week.  I’m nowhere ready to wash my hands of it, but it has become a lot less interesting in some ways.

Anonymous Noise Ep 2

A slow-paced episode detailing all the back story that had already been explained in the jam-packed first.  On one hand, it was repetitive as hell.  On the other, Yuzu’s reconciliation with Nino/Alice at the end of the ep wouldn’t have had the same punch without it.  (Especially his internal monologue fervently hoping that she never finds Momo again and that she’d settle for choose him.)  Though of course we the viewers know that Momo is indeed attending the same school and it’s just a matter of time (and most likely next ep) before he steps on stage.  Love triangle stories can’t proceed unless all the vertices of the triangle are present and accounted for, neh?

Chihayafuru certainly managed just fine in that respect, despite Arata’s virtual absence from the screen, his presence still loomed large.  I don’t think Noise is quite capable of pulling that off though…  So far, it’s hitting all the ticky-boxes for a pretty standard story and not venturing far off the well-worn trail.  OTOH, I admit I might be a bit more generous towards Noise if we hadn’t suffered through the very similar and ultimately execrable Fuuka just last season.

Atom: The Beginning Ep 2

A double track episode this week, each reinforcing the other.  In one track, Umataro and Hiroshi as passionately explaining what they have built before the board that grades them and determines their funding…  and boring them to tears.   In the other, Six is kicking butt on a robot (the same ‘bot behind last week’s shenanigans) that’s trying to kill(?) Ran (for reasons that aren’t entirely clear) and proving their thesis to be correct.

Or, to put it another way, more setup – though well written, smartly executed, and nicely animated.  Better than most shows Atom is hitting a nice balance of foreground and background, keeping the story going and growing while giving us what we need to know without going full info-dump.  So, the big questions coming out of this ep:  Who is Drill-hair hime, and why is she trying to commit such violence on Our Heros?  And who is the pickle nose professor and does his evil grin promise weal or woe to the same?

Attack on Titan Ep4

Tightly plotted and *very* immersive…  It was a good ep, I’m just not coming up with much to say about it.  (Did anyone else cotton to Ymir’s party trick before it was revealed?)

Hinako Note Eps 2-3

Just not feeling it, in a large part because of how they’re dragging it out.  Also, three eps and the girls are still mostly bags of tropes, with very little in the way of actual personality.  I’m done here…  Dropped halfway through Ep 3.

My Hero Academia Ep 4

Lots of talk-talk-talk followed by a middling amount of action.  Most interesting was how the various students combined their Quirks.  Less interesting was the repeated in-your-face reminders about how awesome Class A is.

Saekano Ep 2

Mr Ethical is truly backed into a corner here…  Though Utaha-senpai and Eriri have buried the hatchet (last) over being creators, they definitely still see each other as rivals when it comes to Tomoya.   And the latest proxy in that war (Utaha’s revised script) is, whether he likes it or not, going to force him to make a choice.  But Saekano not being a drama, I have every confidence they’ll dodge the question in a comedic manner.

Oh, and as usual Megumi steals the thunder in every scene she appears in.


Sakura Quest Ep3

Yoshino puts her foot in it on live (?) TV, admitting she doesn’t know much about Manoyama, so she sets out to discover more and to learn what the town thinks of itself and hopes for the future.  (Answer, not much and not much more.)  Honestly, this was the best part of the episode…  Some of the townspeople are fine with no change, others are resigned, others would like change but have little hope.  The part that follows, the mascot contest, was somewhat messier – but ends (finally!) with Yoshino declaring she will be Queen (not that she has much choice) and the other girls agreeing to serve as her court and ministers.

I’ve been a little unhappy with the early draggy pace, but the announcement that it will be 2 cour offsets that some degree.  Even though I have a great deal of confidence in P.A. Works, Sakura is still off to a slow start by their standards.  I’m hoping for more short arcs and character episodes and fewer standalone Roadblock Of The Week episodes.  (The latter being Shirobako‘s great flaw.)

On the other hand, after Yoshino talked to the town business people, the show is starting to resonate with me…  Back in the 90’s I was involved in an effort to revitalize our downtown, and thus I recognize some of those business people.  I think I’ll have more to say on that over the coming weeks.

SukaSuka Eps 1-2

Fascinating – and disturbing.  The most interesting part is how the MC is virtually powerless…  An observer.  But the opening montage of Ep 1 seems to indicate that happy circumstance won’t long prevail.  There’s a lot of promise, but will it live up to it?  Or fall into the valley of despair usual LN tropes?

Tsuki ga Kirei Ep 3

Tsuki just keeps moving from strength to strength…  Even more so than Atom this week, the “twin track” format was used brilliantly, showing how our couple-to-be are beginning to be intimately connected even while they are physically apart.  Kotaro’s scenes were especially heartfelt.  The sequences where he was texting with (and reacting to) Akane were wonderful.  The intimate care (and rare detail) with which his approach to the shrine was shown definitely indicated that, to him, this was no usual or routine visit.  The emotion was palpable.

I’ll try not to use this line too often – but if you aren’t watching this, you should do yourself a favor and check it out.

Twin Angels Break Eps 2-3

Largely paint-by-numbers mahou shoujo.  After dropping Hinako Note, my only brain candy series this season.

But looking at the shot of their school, it does bring up an odd interest of mine – studying the layout and architecture and trying to figure out more about the school….

Screenshot (24)

This one is more interesting than most…  Not only are the buildings not of a uniform style (uncommon), you can see parts are very obviously newer (practically unheard of).  And it plays a part in the plot, the MC’s often eat their lunch on the flat roof of the newer portion of the building on the left.

That might be an interesting subject for a blog entry or series some day…  How the schools reflect the series and influence the setting and perception.

In other news…

The Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival was a blast, I’ll have a blog entry up in a couple of days.

I’ve been (re)watching Asterisk War over the last couple of days…  Yeah, it’s mediocre at best, but I like it.  And further proof of how unfair the world is, it got a second season, but there’s been virtually no merch.  And especially there’s been no figure of Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld – the Witch of the Resplendent Flames, the lovely Glühen Rose.


And that’s all for this week folks.  Keep those cards and letters coming and let me know how yours went down in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Spring 2017 – Week 3”

  1. I’m as fond of Alice to Zouroku as ever, but I’m not really asking for much. I agree that the plot is pretty rote, but I’m not sure the person/thing dichotomy is quite as relevant in a culture that’s heavily influenced by shinto animism. I mean, this season we have Tsugumomo whose main character is a piece of cloth. What matters mostly is autonomy of choice and the narrowness of some definitions of what it means to be a “person”.

    This week’s been my favourite MHA episode so far; the sort of fun I expect from the show.

    For some reason, I can’t really get into Saekano this season. I’m not sure why. Surprisingly, what I’ve been enjoying most so far is Eriri faces. I didn’t expect that, but that’s probably a sign of my level of involvement.

    SukaSuka is nice; most of all, I like the confident world building, consistent character development, and charming character designs that make it easy to recognise a huge cast at a glance. The story is servicable but nothing special. The Celtic-inspired soundtrack is great.

    Tsuki ga Kirei remains my favourite show this season that isn’t about tanuki, but it’s a private enjoyment in the sense that I don’t really know what to say about it.

    @Attack on Titan: I cottoned on to Ymir’s party trick as soon as I learned her name in season one (I think someone on some forums used it; I’m not sure they said it in the show itself – they might have.) You don’t call a character “Ymir” and expect to surprise people who know a little about Norse mythology.

    I dropped Hinako Note halfway through episode 2. It bored me, to be honest.

    Atom the Beginning is good fun. I wish it didn’t air at the weekend.

    Also: Grimoir of Zero still remains strong after three episodes. Good character dynamics, above all.

    And because I forgot to talk about it: Re:Creators is actually the good kind of entertaining, with how different characters have different adaptive problems depending on the genre they come from (e.g. the magical girl being horrified at the effects of violence, simultaneously feeling guilty and scared). The pacing is quick, and the character permutations seem good and emotionally sound. It’s nothing special, but it’s pretty much what you’d want if you want a good, fun meta-show.

    Also, I too liked Asterisk War during the first season; a little less when the second season started, and then not much when the second season fell apart (and I’ve still not seen the last episode). But I found it likable enough.


    1. With Saekano, I suspect a lack of involvement is because we haven’t really been presented with anything new so far this season… (even though I’m enjoying it, I’ve kinda felt the same thing). But the closing moments of this week’s ep says that’s about to change.

      I thought of the SukaSuka‘s OST as being “folk-inspired”, mostly because that’s what that style was called when I was growing up. “Celtic” is a relatively recent term. (We went to a lot of folk music festivals in the 70’s, courtesy of very middle class parents who sometimes wished they were hippies.)

      I saw a clip of the magical girl showing the reaction… and I’ve heard a lot of good things about re:Creators.


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