Fall 2017 Week 4

Well…  Not many episode 3 twists/major story beats last week, but a ton of twists and cliffhangers her in week 4.

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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

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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!

Any anime with a baseball scene is a classic, right?
It has a baseball scene, so it’s a classic!

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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

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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!

6 thoughts on “Fall 2017 Week 4”

  1. I really did enjoy the chemistry of Beit in Side M, just a group of close friends who are comfortable with each other and have some unique flair… even if Pierre is too cheerful for my taste sometimes lol. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the teacher subunit is up next so I can’t wait to see what kind of story they provide us with.

    And I hope you enjoy A Silent Voice! Definitely up there on my list of favorite anime movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yah, Pierre did grate a bit, but overall it worked. Is the teacher unit the one with the SF-style outfits? (I’ve kinda lost track.) I’ve been looking forward to them simply because those outfits are so outrageous and so different from what idols normally wear.

      I’ve heard many good things about Silent Voice. It was so hard last weekend hearing half my Twitter feed go on about it knowing I couldn’t see it for another two weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The scene from Washio Sumi that I had been both anticipating and dreading at the same time, ever since I read the novel. That was one of the scenes they absolutely had to get right in order for this prequel series to be a success, and it delivered in spades. I said last week that I’d be watching episodes 3 and 4 together, and I think watching them back-to-back did help to elevate the impact of 4’s ending. It was basically like 40 minutes of friendship, fun, some damn funny comedy, and watching these girls enjoy hanging out with each other, and then ending with ten minutes of…that. And yeah, I did catch the vertex connection. In fact, after I was done with those two episodes (and after I’d spent ten minutes sitting there in silence after the credits rolled trying to process everything), I needed something to cool down with. I didn’t feel like watching another series, though, so I actually popped in episodes 2 and 3 of season 1 instead and watched the rematch against that vertex trio again.

    I didn’t have time for any back catalog stuff this week, and I don’t have much to talk about with my other four shows…they’re just continuing to be as enjoyable as they’ve been all season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you’re saying about watching 3/4 back-to-back. I still think 3 was a bit over-the-top though.

      I wasn’t looking forward to that scene either. I didn’t know when it was coming (I expected it in 5/6 somewhere), but it was inevitable from the internal logic of the show. And, you’re right – they nailed it spot on. It’s especially amazing given how little time they’ve had to establish Gin’s character and relationships. Though they could build on what we knew of Washio (Togo) and Sonoko from the first season, in retrospect they packed a lot into the first three eps that wasn’t obvious then.

      I’m almost tempted to re-watch Sonoko’s scenes from the first series knowing now what I didn’t know then. I do rewatch parts of YuuYuuYuu now and again, but it’s usually Ep 3 (Karin’s birthday) and Ep 11 (Karin’s multi-Mankai sequence). And of course Yuuki’s henshin sequence from the first ep… But I go on about that one enough that everyone knows that.

      I have been immersed in back catalog the last couple of weeks in the late evening. On a whim, I started rewatching My Love Story… but that’s now on hold. Ayron at Reading Between (https://reading-between.com/) has been watching and reviewing Shirobako (and doing a hell of a job), so I started watching to keep up and have ended up racing well ahead.


  3. Konohana Kitan is a bit hit and miss with me, but overall I’m quite fond of it, and when it’s good it provides some of the best moments this season (and it’s not a weak season). The episode we’re not yet talking about was perhaps my overall favourite – great through and through. For a while I couldn’t remember what happened in episode 4, but it’s the one where they interdruced the dream eater, no? (A critter I got to know through Pokemon, and then encountered again – in name only – through Yumekui Merry.) I’m not that surprised about the supernatural elements; it is a tad more in focus than I would have expected, but we’re dealing with fox spirits after all (and I’m glad it’s not just a token aesthetic). I also sort of appreciate the Yuri; it doesn’t feel as voyeuristic as I’m used to (even if they do play tried-and-true stereotypes at times, with the ojou-tomboy couple). If the show were more consistent, it would be one of my top picks this season.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying MMO Junky, but it’s so by-the-numbers that it’s hard to talk about. I did love the frozen-avatar-syndrom near the episode’s end.

    With Land of the Lustrous, Phos breaks so often that at this point it comes across as something of a serial joke to me, which sort of undermined the drama near the end for me. I don’t feel narrative control is the show’s greatest strength. It’s quite competent, mind you, but it’s nothing special, and I feel they slip now and then. The world is extremely interesting, though.

    To be honest, I preferred episode 3 of Girl’s Last Tour to episode 4, and I think it’s that the CGI was more intrusive this weak (with the emphasis on those 3D statues). CGI has a high risk of kicking me out.It’s still a pretty good show, and the CGI is nowhere near as bad what we got in, say, Alice & Zouroku, which I loved. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it is a minor blemish in my eyes.

    The magic of Children of the Whales is starting to wear off (but it’s still a pretty good show), and I’m utterly surprised by how much I like UQ Holder (despite the ecchi content, and despite that I could never get into any version of Negima). Those who dropped Shobitch… you made the right decision. I see myself finishing the show, because it’s sort of charmed me, but the constant barrage of ecchi… it’s not only horribly intrusive, it’s also sort of… cringey, repetitive, and downright stupid. It doesn’t even work as trash. I really should drop it, too, but my resolve won’t hold for a week. Don’t ask me what I see in this show; underneath it all it feels sort of “sweet” and “accepting” (I have no idea if that makes any sense). The surface, though is horribly obnoxious. I’ve rarely been this confused about whether I like a show or not (and you’re talking to someone who had little problem liking that other ecchi show this year, with the sentient obi, whose name I have forgotten [Tsugumomo – looked it up] – which was pretty damn awful about sexualising children.)

    Overall, while it’s a pretty good season, it’s a season full of shows I don’t feel like talking about much (which may sound a little strange considering the length of this post, but it’s sort of the truth).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The episode of Khitan we’re not talking about yet was so impressive that a screenshot from the climax of the second segment was temporarily the head-of-post screenshot for this week. Then I realized I’d gotten my weeks mixed up because of the delay of this post. Ep 4 was indeed the one with the dream eater, and left me feeling a bit off… But the episode we’re not talking about yet changed my feelings. Ep 2 (with the sisters) now makes a lot more sense. I think the only thing really keeping it from the top now is narrative consistency. And the big hitch there is that we’re still being introduced to new characters. If 3 and 2 had been swapped it might have been better.

      [Should cut ‘n paste the above into next week’s post…]

      In retrospect, that’s a good point about Phos. When writing this, I was thinking “but she always gets back up on heads out again” – but of course she does. She’s more-or-less immortal, and thus lacks the fear that mortality brings.

      re:Shobitch I hear ya. I’ve watched some absolute irredeemable trash I couldn’t tear myself away from too… Nothing wrong with that at all.


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