Well… Not many episode 3 twists/major story beats last week, but a ton of twists and cliffhangers her in week 4.
Let’s hit the break and jump right into it!
Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
Ancient Magus Bride, Ep 4
D*mmit Elias, you’re worse at protecting your intended bride than The Doctor is at protecting his companions. And at least generally The Doctor doesn’t intentionally send them into harm’s way. (Though to be honest, they do a decent enough job of that on their own.)
Anime Gataris, Ep 4
Another week of spoofs, send-ups, and satire… But overall it’s not quite good enough to carry the show on its own. But it looks like the meta-plot hinted at in the previews is finally getting rolling!
In related news, my wife had been kinda watching this over my shoulder… And I’d been telling her about the puns/spoofs… So she ended up marathoning it and it has now been promoted from a ‘me’ show to a ‘we’ show.
Blend-S, Ep 4
Honesty, it’s really starting to bother me that Blend-S so consistently confuses domination with sadism. The latter can be viewed as a subset of the former in some ways… But they’re not quite the same thing.
Otherwise, still funny. One of the best 4-koma adaptations I’ve seen.
Girls Last Tour, Ep 4
Just how in the heck does Tour manage to keep getting so much freakin’ better each episode? It’s almost to the point where I’m afraid to watch it each week.
I think this conversation, this screenshot sums up so much about GLT… I can’t quite put it into words though. Must ponder.
Idolmaster: SideM, Ep 4
With Dramatic Stars properly debuted last week, this week Beit takes center stage. (Beit is pronounced byte in the anime, but the IM@S wiki suggests baito.) Right off the bat, Beit is something different… Not only from Dramatic Stars but from most idol units – rather than being pre-fab/recruited as individuals, they’re a group of friends recruited together. (And they’re not the only such recruited group in 315Pro’s stable.)
We haven’t really seen much of them previously, so a good part of this week’s ep is devoted to establishing and extending their characters. Honestly, I like this ‘group based’ approach… Though so far it’s not establishing characters as strongly as IM@S, it’s avoiding the whiplash that made Cinderella Girls such a mess.
Otherwise this week was pure IM@S gold… a silly scenario, character based shenanigans, and in the end the concert goes off without a hitch and audience is left cheering and smiling.
Inuyashiki, Ep 3
If last week was Hiro exploring his inhumanity, this week just amped that up further. But that theme was interestingly balanced by exploring Ichirou’s struggles to retain his humanity while also mastering his inhuman powers. I continue to be fascinated by the asymmetries between the two.
Just Because, Ep 4
And so, the relationship web continues to be spun even as it unravels. Eina definitely seems to be becoming more interested in Eita – and not just he’s the subject of her photograph. Eita’s interest in Natsume, and her lack of reciprocation, is now starkly clear. And poor Haruto was decisively denied by Hatsuki… which is probably a good thing, as he’s more in love with the idea of Hatsuki than he is with Hatsuki herself, who he barely even actually knows.
All typical high school romance series stuff, but brilliantly executed through animation and voice acting. The latter is especially impressive considering that most of the main cast are relatively inexperienced… In particular Ichikawa Aoi (Eita) and Isobe Karin (Natsume) are both first timers.
I do have another entry in Photography in Anime based on eps 2-3 in the works, if I can ever get my feet under me long enough to get it finished.
Kino’s Journey, Ep 4
OK, let’s take a look at the box score to date – four episodes, four countries… two of which Kino has by direct intervention has negatively altered the course of. (Not to mention taking the side of the oppressors in the latest ep.) These episodes may be fan favorites and rewarding to long-term fans… But for me, they’re leaving a very bad taste in my mouth.
With the mid-season gut check not too far off, Kino’s is standing on the brink of being dropped into oblivion.
Konohana Kitan, Ep 4
Honestly, I don’t know where they’re going or what they’re doing with this show anymore. Both the yuri and supernatural elements were entirely unexpected… But both were deftly executed this week.
Land of the Lustrous, Ep 4
In which we learn more of cosmology of the world… and the snail exploits Phos’ trusting nature in an act of extreme treachery. Damm.
Over at Through a Glass, Nanairo posts a quiet and interesting reflection on the meaning of life and death in Land of the Lustrous.
Love Live Sunshine, Ep 4
Dia’s character episode… and it goes pretty much as you might have expected. The rest of the girls love her and respect her, but her personality dooms her to being somewhat on the edge of the group. But they’re all fine with that in the end.
March Comes in like a Lion, Ep 3
Though I try… I am not qualified to comment on this show. The cliffhanger left me trembling in anticipation for the next episode, but not in a good way.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Ep 4
Now that’s a new twist on this kind of show – a third-party (Koiwai) getting involved in the relationship. I don’t think he’s here to help Yuta/Lily either, as he’s had an interest in her before…. Also I’m dead certain that Kazuomi (the clerk at the combini) is Kanbe (their guild leader).
The episode ends with the moment we’ve been waiting for… The other shoe drops for Yuta/Lily, while Moriko/Hayashi remains blithely unaware that her lies are now exposed.
Two Car, Ep 4
Well, as they say, that escalated quickly. The problem between the driver/passenger team currently in the spotlight is a very dysfunctional dominance/submission relationship… Toward the end of the episode, they swap racing partners with Our Heroines, and the submissive (who is seeking to escape the relationship) enjoys the heck out of riding with a partner who actually values her… But they cliffhanger with the dominant having slapped the submissive in the face for daring to enjoy riding with someone else.
I don’t know quite what to think here… That was a solid dash of cold water and excess realism in what has been a rather formulaic show to date. Whether I keep watching depends heavily on how they resolve this.
Wake Up Girls: New Chapter, Ep 4
This episode concentrates on Mayu as she learns a new facet of her craft – acting. Certainly idols adopt and live a persona, but that’s not quite the same thing as acting a role in a movie or TV production. (At least not to me.)
What’s most interesting is that she slowly and certainly upstaged Shiho – her longtime rival and replacement as I-1’s center. But none of it seemed to be deliberate… Mayu seemed to be making an honest attempt at doing her job as best as she possibly can. Shiho on the other hand, seemed to be more passive even though she knows that success in Dreaming Duo is important to her goal of getting back into Shiraki’s good graces. A pretty daunting goal as he is decidedly not known for his forgiving personality.
But even so, Shiraki is not an idiot. When I-1’s current center (Shiho’s replacement) is injured and out of action, he doesn’t hesitate to recall Shiho from exile. In the process he tramples on Duo‘s production schedule (and possibly Shiho’s future), but that’s not his affair after all. The I-1 club and its future is his Number One and overwhelming priority. Sacrificing Shiho in the short-term against that long-term wouldn’t bother him one bit – in his world, individual idols are replaceable pawns. (In stark contrast with WUG’s strong sense of kinship and teamwork.)
As they were describing the setting and plot for Dreaming Duo, all I could think was “if that were an anime, I’d watch the ever lovin’ h*ll out of it!”. Yeah, it’s kinda tropish, but it could be decent enough if done right. Or maybe I’m just a Mayu fanboy.
Mostly a quiet, slow-paced episode, fitting well with the season to date. This works for WUG as they’re adept at saving the big drama for when it Really Matters. They’re pretty good at building brick-by-brick.
Yeah, yeah, I know… I write more about this show than any other, but as I’ve said I’m an unabashed WUG fanboy. Before the season started, I worried as one always does about a sequel… But so far, they’ve still got it and I’m still hopelessly head over heels.
Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Ep 4
The scene where Washio and Sonoko discover what happened… gripping as hell, and exceedingly well done. They managed to both pull no punches, but also lead us to hope before crushing our hearts alongside those of the characters.
And did you catch that the trio of Vertexes they failed to defeat is the same trio they face early in the first series? (Two years in the future by the overall timeline.)
And I think that covers things this week! I have a Worth Reading in progress for tomorrow, but the next week is something of a mess. Headed over to Seattle tomorrow night to hang with an old friend that’s in town. Saturday, busy in the afternoon and evening (seeing Thor:Ragnarok among other things)… And then busy Sunday afternoon. It’ll be a stretch to get caught up with the Fri-Sat shows which make up a good chunk of my weekly watching.
Ah, and also going to see A Silent Voice on Tuesday. Can’t wait!
So, how did your week go? Drop me a comment and let us know!