Winter 2018 – Week 2

Parts of this are written in my inimitable grumpy snarky old man style, because for one reason and another I feel like a grumpy snarky old man today.  Tried to expunge most of it, because as fun as it is to write, it’s gotta be fatiguing to read.

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Anyhow, all-in-all it wasn’t a bad a week of anime – a few bad spots, a few dull spots, some fun spots, some laughs… Let’s hit the jump and see how the week went!

The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.  Question marks denote shows not watched yet (during the premiere weeks), and strike through marks dropped shows.

A place further than the Universe / Uchuu yorimo Toui Basho – Ep 2

And this week we find out Shirase’s grand plan is for getting the girls aboard the Shirase (which is a real ship).  Gets jobs to earn money – and then seduce a male member of the expedition to smuggle them aboard.  The latter part of this plan blows up in their face… and she jumps track to her back-up plan, use the money to become a sponsor and member of the expedition.  (Why wasn’t this her plan in the first place?)  This plan also blows up in her face.

The ending leaves me curious though…  There’s still a lot going on that we haven’t been told/shown – and the girl briefly shown at the end, and her mother, are at the heart of it.

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I have to say, I loved the chase scene to pieces…  Quite silly actually, but Mari’s sheer joy would melt a heart of stone.

Note: Couldn’t watch ep 3 last night (as explained below), will do so tonight.  Feel free to discuss in the comments, I won’t read them until after I do.

Ancient Magus Bride – Ep 14

Last week’s cliffhanger is swiftly resolved without significant hazard or consequences to any of the parties involved.  This is followed by a side story that takes up most of the episode, and serves mostly to tell us what we already knew – when Chise is determined, she is determined.  I really couldn’t bring myself to be engaged in the tale though…  They never really gave us a reason to care.  The episode ends with another cliffhanger.

citrus – Ep 2

Gyaru Yuzu goes on a tear to protect/free the younger sister she didn’t even know she had until yesterday and who sexually assaulted her within a couple of hours of finding out who she was.  The results are…  not positive.  Plenty of fanservice and yuri ship-teasing though.

If this sounds like I’m convincing myself this show is on the edge of drop territory, I think you’re right.

How to Keep a Mummy / Miira no Kaikata – Ep 1

Sora receives a mysterious package from his father – and it turns out to contain an absolutely adorable cute little mummy.  The show, so far, revolves around Sora learning how to take of Mii-kun (the mummy) while Mii-kun is mostly cute and adorable.

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Another show that doesn’t lend itself to deep introspection…  And tough I laughed quite a bit, the premise seems thin enough that I can’t see myself remaining interested very long.  (In a large part because it’s so predictable.)  But there are some hints that there’s more than that coming, so let’s wait and see.

Katana Maidens / Toji No Miko – Ep 2

OK, we finally get some exposition explaining what’s going on – along with a lot more lame exposition in which Our Heroine expresses her desire to fix the situation.  (And her best friend, despite being rudely abandoned, expressing her support for Our Heroine.)  The tsundere remains a tsundere, the only rock of stability and common sense in the series to date.

According to ANN, Toji is going to have 24 episodes…  I can’t imagine why, and currently I can’t imagine myself lasting more than another episode or two.

March comes in like a Lion – Ep 13

Simply lovely…  a well written capstone to the bullying arc.

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Märchen Mädchen – Ep 1

The summary lets us know that this is going to be some kind of “magical girls in magical battles at magical high school” type of show.  The premiere…  didn’t really reflect much of that.  Mostly it was about Hazuki (the protagonist), her hangups, her flaws, and her neuroses.  It felt awfully thin, with about ten minutes worth of actual content puffed up to fill out the episode.

Of lame *ss fanservice bait chase sequence, the less said the better.

Unless ep 2 picks up markedly, on pace for an early drop.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
/ Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san – Ep 2

Actually, improved greatly this week with the annoying Yuu shoved firmly into the background.   If this is going to happen more often Ms. Koizumi may actually be watchable.

Slow Start – Ep 2

Another slow episode, this time centering around the differences between the girl’s lunches and the school’s sports test.  (Which Hana fails miserably and amusingly.)  We’re finally given her full backstory, but she hasn’t told her friends yet…  And they’re starting to get suspicious.

Really, not too much to say because it’s not a series that answers well to deep introspection.

Yuru Camp / Laid-Back Camp – Ep 2

Most of the emphasis this week was on standard new-enthusiast new-member school club stuff.  Nothing particularly wrong with that, you have to get all the cast introduced, and from the cold open of the first ep and the OP we know there’s more coming.

So, as a result, we get introduced to the somewhat genki Chiaki and the more laid-back Aoi.  We also see a little more of Rin’s friend, Ena, but we don’t know much about her yet.  Rin herself spends most of the episode in the background and she seems to be actively avoiding Nadeshiko.  Rin isn’t a loner, but she’s a decidedly quiet person, so I can see where she’d be a bit put off by the genki and ditzy Nadeshiko.  But, as we saw from the ending, Nadeshiko isn’t going to put off from her quest to befriend Rin.   But at least this time, she’s a little more prepared.  I wonder if the other girls are with her and just weren’t shown?

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Also, once again Yuru Camp outdoes the food show when it comes to showing folks enjoying eating.

And…  that’s it for this week.  Man, there’s a lot of shows hovering on the edge of drop territory…  Next week will tell the tale for many of them.

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As I said a few days ago, I knew I’d end up late on Universe one week, and this was the week.  Last night was the long awaited photo club outing and it was a blast!  We went up to Point No Point and light painted the lighthouse.  Came back cold, tired, and buzzing like a chainsaw…  A good shoot always leaves me a little high.

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This is an unprocessed shot straight from the camera as I haven’t had a chance to work with them yet.  I don’t even know how I’m going to work with them yet…  I don’t always know until I sit down and actually start fiddling with them.  Sometimes I have a goal, sometimes I have to wait for the image to let me know.

So how has your week gone?  What did you watch and what did you think?

11 thoughts on “Winter 2018 – Week 2”

  1. That chase scene in A Place Further Than the Universe was magical. The show itself is great overall, so far.

    Quality Slice of Life is pretty much what I live for!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first thing that comes to mind reading your post is that I completely forgot to watch Toji no Miko. That’s not a good sign. 24 episodes? Part of me can see that; there are a lot of threads to tie together in episode one, but a bigger part of me is worried. This is Studio Gokumi. I love Studio Gokumi, and one of the reasons I love Studio Gokumi is that they usually have razor sharp focus: whatever show they do, they usually know exactly what they want and go for it with confidence. The first time I didn’t feel they were playing to that strength was Seiren. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Seiren. But it felt more like a regular show: spaced out with cliché here and there. It was still a show with competent focus; but no more than competetent. Then they did Tsurezure Children, and everything was fine. Toji no Miko, though, is the first of their shows where I don’t get a sense of purpose at all. They may pull it together when they have 24 episodes, but the damage is done. The Studio Gokumi I love would have radiated confidence from scene one: even if I don’t know what they want, I get the feeling they do. Not so here. I’m worried.

    Universe, episode 2, was fine, but I preferred the first episode. It felt a little too… silly. Episode 3, though, is my favourite episode so far, and it’s even sillier than episode 2. I’m clearly here to stay.

    I absolutely love Miira no Kaikata. It’s nothing but cute, but I’m fine with that. If it stays like that to the end, I’m happy. It’s like they take the cute elements of Pokemon and Chibi Devi and take out anything that’s dull. Stay like that, and I’m happy.

    Märchen Mädchen was cute. I didn’t like the gratuitious nudity, but I have to admit I laughed at the scene: “I’m naked. I have nothing but a big book. What do I do?” Runs away; covers herself with the book. I’m in two minds about the show: very annoying parts, but also very endearing parts. I thought the family is pretty well portrayed for what little screen time they had, for example. I’ll probably finish it.

    In any case, in terms of fanservice I much prefer slapsticky nudity like this to cliché panty shots. I feel that anime is currently in a process of re-inventing itself. There’s more straightforward nudity, and on the flip side there are also more shows that cleanly cute. There are many re-makes – as if anime is looking at what worked in the past to find a new path into the future. The old model is still there with shows like Slow Start and Ryuou no Oshigoto, but they’re no longer dominating as much. It’s actually an interesting time to be watching anime, I think.

    I agree that the ramen show got better. In turn I didn’t enjoy ep2 of Yuru Camp as much as ep1, but it was still good. Mitsuboshi Colors had a better episode, and I feel its finding its footing.

    My favourite premier so far is without a doubt Hakumei to Mikochi. Little people and talking animals á la Beatrix Potter. It’s really pretty, and it’s really charming and cute, and it’s without a doubt the best feelgood show of the season. Masaomi Andou is starting to register as one of my favourite directors (White Album 2, School Live, Scum’s Wish).

    I sort of agree with you on Ancient Magus’ Bride, except that I do think they’re starting to draw things together. “Pissing off the fairies” is now something Elias and Chise have in common. And I did sort of like the second half of the episode.

    I haven’t watched ep2 of Citrus yet, and I’m still dithering. Will I? Will I not? I can’t tell. It’s a horribly frustrating mess of good and bad that I can’t sort out.

    Killing Bites is unambiguosly bad. Like Juuni Taisen last season, it’s about mostly unlikable people killing each other, but they add groanworthy harem elements and a very thick layer of sleeze. It’s an awful show, and I’m looking forward to episode 2. As a kid, I was very much into animals. I had a file with animal cards. I had lots of animal encyclopedias (I still have one of them, which is outdated now, but actually good). And I sort of like what they do on that front. That can’t be all; the elements that should repulse me, don’t, and I don’t know why. Well, here I am.

    Kokkoku is interesting, too. There are stones that can put the world into stasis, and rules on what you can do and what not inside a stasis world. It’s unappealingly brutal, but that’s a minor element. Every character is taken seriously and no one person seems to have a masterplan. It’s an interesting watch.

    I also quite like Gakuen Babysitters, a show about grief and cute toddlers. It’s an adorable show, and there a lots of those this season. Sanrio Danshi is quite good, too, but not as good as Babysitters.

    I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few shows, but that should be the most important stuff.

    Like

    1. Episode 3 of Universe was a marvel… Almost nothing but conversations, but it still held our close attention. The whole thing was a bit of divine intervention, but they made it believable.

      There are many re-makes – as if anime is looking at what worked in the past to find a new path into the future.

      I wonder if the influx of foreign money and taking international distribution into account is subtly changing anime? Either way, I agree – slapstick and more ‘natural’ nudity is way preferable to pantyshots and accidental pervert moments. (Not that I object to fanservice, but there are ways to inject it that are better than others.)

      I caught bits and pieces of Babysitters while my wife watching, and I can see it’s appeal.

      As far as Toji goes… It’s just the first two eps seem so oddly/badly paced for such a thin premise. A premise that dropped like a bombshell and wasn’t clearly expounded upon until late in the second ep… That’s just bad writing in my book.

      I hear ya on Gokumi though, I’m much the same way with P.A. Works. Studios do bobble now and again, but they do recover – after Glasslip P.A. gave us Shirobako after all.

      Like

    1. I will harass him on Twitter so he gets to fixing this. After all, he’s abstaining from this comments section until he watches Sora [blank] Basho ep 3. Which is a smart move by him, honestly.

      I have to say, that camera shot already looks slick. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Remy!

        I’ve done some preliminary fiddling, but I don’t know what’ll emerge. It was a class on technique, so it was pretty basic. I already know a couple of things I’d do differently if it were ‘for reals’…. Like use a different light, the LED lights were were using were either blue-white or pure-bright, I’d use something just a touch warmer I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Grumpy-snarky Derek has opinions eerily similar to my own. I was going to put in a word for Antarctica’s third episode, but I just saw your relevant comment on Ink’s post. I’ve given up on the noodle show as you know, so if you do stick with it, I’ll enjoy hearing what you have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s toned down grumpy-snarky Derek. :) The the third ep of Yorimoi was great, and just finished the fourth a few minutes ago. I’ll have stuff to say on that and the noodle show on the morrow.

      Liked by 1 person

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