Winter 2018 – Week 3

This week, in honor of yesterday’s Baseball Hall of Fame announcement, and because of a bit of writer’s block…  my reviews are fast hot pitches right across the center of the plate.

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If an anime with a baseball scene is a classic, an anime blog that makes baseball references must be up there too!  Right?


OK, that’s the only tortured baseball reference I’ll make…  Hit the jump and let’s dive right in!

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 3-4

All the pieces are in place – and now it’s off to Antarctica!  After the girls go through a little training of course…  Which is pretty realistic.  Even professionals undergo refresher training before venturing into such dangerous places.

As a bit of trivia, though some of the details are off the GPS they’re using appears to be in the Garmin 60C family.  I recognized it immediately because my own 60CSx (which I use for Geocaching) is about six inches from my left hand as I type this.  This is actually a nice touch, as the 60C family is older (and discontinued) – exactly what you’d expect  from an expedition that’s strapped for cash.

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The latitude and longitude however…  are out in the ocean off of Japan’s west coast.

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Ancient Magus Bride Ep 15

Another cliffhanger neatly resolved before the eyecatch…  On one hand, you have to admire a story that can churn along so briskly.  On the other, it’s like admiring the landscape from an airplane window, there’s a narrow view and blink and you’ll miss it.  Not that they give us a chance to miss it, they’ll circle back again, and again, and again…

The second half of the episode, Silky’s backstory, was much better done and much more interesting.  As much as I disliked the Joel-and-Cranberry story, it effectively sold this week’s tale.

citrus Ep 3

Well, the third ep was no less trashy than the first two…  But I’m kind of enjoying Yuzu’s brash assertiveness and self awareness.  Mie remains something of an enigma.  It’s a shame that two such interesting characters appear in such a problematic work.

How to Keep a Mummy / Miira no Kaikata Ep 2

Well, the second episode consisted to the two tropes I most loathe in this type of show: “Protagonist takes McGuffin to school” and “Protagonist loses McGuffin”.  Neither was executed at any level than can be described as better than workmanlike.  Let’s hope things improve from here.

Katana Maidens / Toji No Miko Ep 3

It seems our heroes have some unlikely allies.  Are Kanami and Hiyori the only ones who know Something Is Up?  Or does their ally simply trust them?  My interest in Maidens has gone up a touch – but only a touch.

March comes in like a Lion Ep 14

A transitional episode, that wraps up the last of the loose ends from the previous arc and sets the stage for the next arc…  Hayashida-sensei said pretty much the same things that Hina did, but coming from an authority figure carries more weight with Rei.  And man, is Souya a case or what?  Is he one of those cerebral figures totally disconnected from mundane reality?  Or is he just crazy or under the influence of something?

Märchen Mädchen Ep 2

Another episode that, while useful, seemed to stretch some awfully thin material nearly to the breaking point.  Then, in the final scene, they finally get to explaining the whole point to the series.  Nearing the drop zone….

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Ep 3

Koizumi is actually starting to grow on me…  They toned Yuu down considerably, and Koizumi herself showed some unexpected humanity.  Otherwise it’s still pretty much a one-note performance.  I can’t lay this at the feet of the production staff though,  though it can be (and has been) done better it’s actually pretty typical of Japanese food based shows.

Slow Start Ep 3

Hana comes face-to-face with two classic dilemmas of the CGDCT protagonist…  Do her newfound friends really like her?  And how will they react when they see her home?  Yes, and no big deal respectively.  Bog standard fare well executed.  I don’t foresee much much more coming from the show, and I have no problem with that.

Yuru Camp / Laid-Back Camp (ANN) Ep 3

My, my, my.  Like so many other people, I had this one tagged as nothing more than CGDCT…  But it is so much more – there’s huge iyashikei elements as well.  If they want to make a whole season of the girls hanging out, eating, and watching Mt. Fuji, let me get comfortable and I’m so there.

And is Sakura the bestest sister or what?


So, how did your week go?  Now that we’re at the traditional three-episode decision point, what shows are dropping for you and what shows are headed up on the charts?  Let me know down in the comments!

And I’m totally not bitter and annoyed at the criminal stupidity of denying Edgar Martinez his place in the Hall.  Not. one. bit.

7 thoughts on “Winter 2018 – Week 3”

  1. Universe keeps getting better and better. It’s just so much fun to watch. Even one-off characters are animated with care. There’s a ceiling on my enjoyment here, I suspect, but I like it a lot. It’s perhaps the best show to fill you with genki, this season. (Perhaps they’re on an uncharted island?)

    Ancient Magus’ Bride: Agree pretty much with you. I like every single new character they introduce (such as the changeling pair this episode), but they never really do anything interesting with them. The Silky part was great.

    Citrus: God this frustrating show. I still have only watched episode 1. I can’t bring myself to watch episode 2, but I can’t bring myself to drop it either. As a result I don’t know what to do. I wish it was airing on Wednesday, when I have little to watch.

    How to Keep a Mummy: Aww, I found the episode adorable. I like the new girl, too. I fully expect to like the blond boy who’s made his first appearance. It’s the perfect feelgood show for me. Nothing special, but exactly what I want when I watch it.

    March: Aw, the images of Rei alone in a big hotel room were soooo relatable.

    Märchen Mädchen: It’s okay. The bloomer close-ups this episodes were more uncomfortable than the nudity last week, IMO. I could really do without that stupid fanservice in this show. Otherwise, I actually find it endearing.

    Toji no Miko (for some reason I hate the name “Katana Maidens”, even though it should be fine): Huge relief. I watched episode 2 and 3 back to back, and I’m getting into things. I’m not quite convinced it will really grab me yet, but I do now feel the confidence I’m used to from Gokumi. They still have it (even if the show should turn out to be not my thing). It’s little things like bringing in an ex-Miko character – the show’s expanding at its own pace. Confidence restored.

    Ramen: I pretty much agree with you and have little else to say.

    Slow Start: About five minutes in, I closed the tab. Dropped. If this season were lighter on CGDCT then maybe, but with all the excellent contenders this season, I really don’t need Slow Start.

    Yuru Camp: Sooo relaxing. After watching episode 4 (no big spoilers), I have the theory that I like the show best when it focuses on Rin. It’s not the characters; it’s just that they’re all newbies and the show tends to saddle them with the marketing bits (where they explain camping).

    Hakumei to Mikochi had an excellent second episode, too. I didn’t expect a scientist re-aminating a giant fish skeleton. The story? Hakumei nearly gets drwoned by a sudden giant fish skeleton. A mad scientist helps rescue her and apologises for the giant fish skeleton. The thing has a heat valve, which she desinged. To demonstrate she animetes a mouse skeleton by screwing in heart valve, and the blows into a “transmitter” (this is the energy source). Because of the mouses rapid heart-beat, though, this doesn’t quite work out, and mouse skeleton drops dead once again. There’s a mystery, though: the fish is far too energetic. The scientist transplanted the transmitter into another fish you see, and they don’t normally get that energetic. The transmitter is lost, so she can’t shut down the fish either. Turns out Hakumei has eaten the fish, so the fishes energy comes from Hakumei. They… ah… retrieve the transmitter and shut down the fish. The show is getting a lot more interesting than I thought it would, and it also has a lot more bite than I expected. Undisputed favourite of the season.

    Ryuou no Oshigoto: Oh dear, oh no. I mean. No. I like the show when it’s cute, and when it’s about shougi. But you don’t sexualise 9-year olds. I thought I could live with that, but then this episode had the girl’s mother through a series of unfortunate events force our main character into a position where the girl will either become a professional shougi player, or he has to marry her and work in an inn. So the pedo-side-dish has turned into a full-on grooming anime. No, just no. Why? I’m not quite ready to drop it yet, but… I don’t want to think.

    I’m also still watching the extremely rapy and fanservicy Killing Bites, and I’m actually having fun despite it all (I love the sudden random animal info-dumps complete with animation and animal-planet type narrator).

    Koi wa Ameagiri no You ni: It’s one of the prettiest shows this season, and I like the character writing. Plenty of people are squicked out by the core romance between a 45 year old man and a 17 year old girl, but I’m on the fence. It could go either way. Regardless of how I will feel about the story by the end, though, it’s a really, really pretty show.

    Mitsuboshi Colours seems to have found its groove with three girls basically trolling the local policeman. It’s good fun. Gakuen Babysitters is still fun, too, but for some reason someone thought it was a good idea to introduce pedophile jokes – anime has a problem. It’s rather easy to ignore at that point. Sanrio Boys had a fairly good episode, too, a rather standard story, but well executed. Kokkoku is a fantasy mystery in a style that hasn’t been working for me in a long while, but here we have a winner. Good suspense. Likable characters of all ages. Interesting concept. Unappealing type of brutality, but I’m fine with it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten things, but there you go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re:Magus is so frustrating… all the pieces are there, but they never quite manage to get them in place. It trembles on the edge of greatness, but invariably falls just short.

      re:Toji no Miko I reset my expectations based on it being two cour, and what it’s doing makes more sense. But they’re still taking too long to get rolling. (Mädchen has the same flaw, and half the number of episodes…)

      Personally, I’m loving Slow Start… but then I have a soft spot for competent CGDCT. I can certainly understand why it might be too much, we’re flooded with shows that it shares elements with this season. Which, I have to admit, is a good problem to have.


      1. I don’t think Slow Start is bad. I like CGDCT shows, too. Admittedly, Slow Start falls into a subtype I’m not that fond of (I’d compare it to shows like Kiniro Mosaic or Gochiusa), but I’m still fine with the type. Slow Start in particular has a good eye for bodylanguage, and seemlessly connects that to more stylised animation (like wavy motions that aren’t really possible with a human body). I like the animation, I’m neutral on the art style, I moderately like the characters (although Kamuri and the dynamic she brings annoys me at times). It’s literally genre-oversaturation that made me drop it; there’s just too much that it compares unfavourably to this season.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a huge fan of Tim Raines who had to wait ten interminably long years to see the voters finally wake up to his accomplishments, I feel your frustration. Edgar definitely should’ve been in by now, but the good news is that at 70% and with all his peers vouching for him, it’s almost a foregone conclusion he will get in, if not next year than through the Veteran’s Committee (though I don’t think it’ll come to that).

    Didn’t watch any notable anime myself this week, but I did lend my Your Name blu-ray to one of my non-otaku co-workers who was only familiar with Ghibli movies, and she loved it. Now she wants to see Garden of Words, too. Baby steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s especially annoying because I’m starting to hear more and more chatter about how so-and-so should be in the Hall because he has X Edgar Martinez Awards… (cough David Ortiz cough) And I’m like – shouldn’t the guy the freakin’ award was named after go in first? No offense to Ortiz or his fans, he certainly should be in the Hall… But if he first ballots (as expected) and Edgar isn’t in, I’m gonna throw things.

      I have friend who watches, and enjoys, anime but doesn’t seek it out. Basically he watches whatever I or some other of his friends bully him into watching. We also have a long habit of inviting each other over and turning them on good movies. (I would never have watched The Prestige if he hadn’t shown it to me, and it’s a darn good film.) So he came over for dinner right before Christmas, an we played Your Name… He sat dead silent as the credits rolled and then said little about the movie over dinner. (Which means he was stunned and impressed as hell.)

      Garden of Words is on Funi I think… we should watch it before our sub runs out. (Subbed for the 2199 dub before Crunchy announced the sub, kept forgetting to cancel.) And now that I check, it’s not… What was it I wanted to watch? Have to put the Your Name BD in and check the trailers. (Watched Wolf Children, and it was awesome.)


      1. Ortiz is definitely deserving, but there are still enough arch-conservative Hall voters out there who might either hold those rumors that he was on the list of players who failed the 2003 survey test against him, or just hold the fact that he was mostly a DH against him, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they made him wait a year or two like they did to Mike Piazza. I think it would be stupid, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        I don’t know if there’s any streaming for Garden of Words anywhere. We have the DVD available in our library system, so she was going to borrow that to watch it. I know Crunchyroll has Voices of a Distant Star and 5cm Per Second, but I don’t know if any other streaming sites have any of his other stuff (legally, anyway).

        Liked by 1 person

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