Winter 2018 – Week 5

And here we are for another week!  I can hear your excitement from here!

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I could write something amusing or profound here, but nothing comes to mind except “why aren’t you watching Yuru Camp?“.   So let’s hit the jump and run down this week’s shows.

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 6

So far, Universe has moved along pretty briskly…  So the last thing I expected was an episode of the girls derping around in Singapore.  Even so, there was a great deal of character development and the episode was in no way wasted.   I’m not sure how believable I find the thin basis, but it was nice to see Hinata’s character get rounded out.  If you were watching closely, you could see hints of Yuziki’s experience and professionalism peeping through.  The most surprising bit was Shirase’s change…  the single minded loner has been replaced by a dedicated friend.  Note that she still has the same mission, only the scope has changed.  I think in a way she’s in the same boat as Yuzuki – finding friends is opening up a world she never knew existed.

FWIW, I’ve tried durian ice cream.  We were visiting my sister in LA, and the sandwich shop we were at was offering it.  (The shop was an interesting place itself, but that’s a story for another time.)  So, on a lark, I bought a small serving… my reaction was much like Mari’s.

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Aww…  the screenshot doesn’t do it justice.  If you saw it, you know what I mean.  If you didn’t see it – why aren’t you watching the show?

Anyhow, the bowl went straight into the trash can furthest from where we were seated.

Ancient Magus Bride – Ep 17

Does anyone else find it odd that Elias knew what all of Chise’s Christmas presents were?  Or maybe, since he is her Master (from the POV of the magical world), the givers saw fit to inform him.

Either way, I loved this episode and how the cliffhanger (for once) wasn’t resolved so neatly and easily.  Chise definitely has agency and independence of her own…  Rather than hammering on the family/(co-?)dependency angle, I’d love them to explore this more.  You can be a strong independent person and still be in a close relationship.

I can’t quite figure out Ashen Eye’s game though…  He all but told Chise how to solve the riddle.  With his earlier appearance, it’s almost as if he’s trying to teach her something.  (But what?)  Her beast form is important to him somehow.  (Why?)

citrus – Ep 5

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citrus jumped the shark this week and tried to be a more serious character drama.  This didn’t really work out because they haven’t really established the characters sufficiently to support a more conventional drama.  And now the missing Papa shows up…  and his creepy/comedic vibe doesn’t jibe well with the rest of the series either.  Maybe the creepy part does.

How to Keep a Mummy / Miira no Kaikata – Ep 4

Mummy‘s rather thin appeal has always rested on one simple premise:  give as much screen time as possible to Mii-kun being cute.  This ep undercut that by spending half the ep with Tazuki and the oni child.  (Eventually named Conny.)  That a good chunk of that half was repetitive didn’t help any.

The brief scene of Mii and Conny playing tag partially made up for that, but only just.

Katana Maidens / Toji No Miko – Ep 5

And now the truth, or at least some of truth or truths are coming out.  There is an organization opposing the Origami family and their hereditary control over the toji and the okatana.  Their opposition is more political and philosophical and doesn’t seem to be related to the aradama at all.  Speaking of the aradama, we also learn the situation is worse than previously shown – the Elite Guard is also infected (infested?) by the aradama, and feeds /summons them with their own blood.

Anyhow, it appears that there’s truth in the OP [warning: TV tropes link], and all the girls that were opponents/enemies in the earlier episodes are going to end up fighting together.

March comes in like a Lion – Ep 16

Something of a mixed bag, but surprise appearances by the Kawamoto sisters are never unwelcome…  I think we’re done with Souya for the moment, which is kind of sad because he just now popped into a 3D character.  Nikaidou is back Baby, and in fine form indeed.  We won’t find out what this means until the first weekend in March because March is going on hiatus for the Winter Olympics.

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I haven’t checked the grocery store ads this week, but now I hope someone has pork shoulder on sale…  Because I want to make my braised pork.  I’ll probably skip the eggs though.

Märchen Mädchen – Ep 4

Something of a mess of an episode, dealing mostly with rivalry and double dealing between the various Schools.  Plenty of fanservice, a modest amount of plot advancement, and Our Heroine was her usual muddled mess.  Seriously, Ep 4 and she still can’t summon her henshin/fusion form?  They’re setting up for a trope that isn’t often done well – the last minute emergence of the Heroine.  I have little hope it will be done well here given the leaden execution so far.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san – Ep 5

Now that all the character relationships are established, Koizumi is settling into it’s groove.  It could be a far better show had it any ambition, but it doesn’t which is fine too.

Searching about the web, I could only find a brief review of the euglena ramen featured in the ep.

Slow Start – Ep 5

Not… their best episode to be honest.  It would have been much better had they concentrated on one or the other of the two plot threads.  Even so, whatever plot they did follow would have needed some serious refactoring to avoid the creepy stalker factor both had.

Infinite Zenith posted his review of the first three eps and nailed something that had been eluding me (even though they did refer to it in Ep 4), the source of Hana’s unease with revealing her age & gap year: the senpaikouhai dynamic.  Hana is old enough to be senpai, but she’s now an equal…  and that bothers her.

Yuru Camp / Laid-Back Camp – Ep 5

Another yummy episode comparing and contrasting Rin’s journey with the Outclub’s.  If this were a different show, I might be going “just get on with it already – get the band together and stop faffing about and wasting my time”…  But Camp is exploiting these different paths to their fullest.  And at the end, they joined under the same sky by the same thing.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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Seriously, pretty much the best sequence of the week in the best episode of the week.  The epilogue over the credits and after the credits just sealed the deal.

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And, there we have it!  Some pretty good eps this, along with the usual quota of stinkers…  How did your week go?  Drop a comment and let’s talk!

6 thoughts on “Winter 2018 – Week 5”

  1. Universe is one of the few shows this season that have a slight but steady rising curve for me: I’m liking it better and better. It’s a joyful show that doesn’t diminish the hardships. I do admit I was thinking someone else had the passport from very nearly the beginning, but Yuzuki’s “You’re hiding something,” is just so precious. Also, Hinata’s always been my favourite character, and now I know why. I can soooo relate to her.

    Mummy is a really steady show for me. I liked this episode, too. I was a bit worried that introducing new mascots wouldn’t work for me, but the idea that the little ones flock to who word-of-mouth says might help is simple and plausible. Also, character development is surprisingly plausible – I expected much less. Not spending that much time on Mii-kun is a positive for me, as it keeps cuteness inflation low. It’s not the best show of the season, but it’s confident and likable. (The game of tag was definitely a highlight, though.)

    @Märchen Mädchen: Yeah, episode 4 wasn’t that good and I rolled my eyes at the ending, but I just come from watching episode 5, and let me tell you they nailed the episode surprisingly well. No unplausible developments, no sudden power-ups – but a set-up that predicts a huge game-changer. Look forward to the next episode, because if they ruin the follow-up, this is likely the last good episode you’ll get. But boy did they nail episode 5.

    The Ramen show should get a prize for best jingle of the season: Ra-men Dai-suki Ko-I-zumi SAN! It’s so catchy. The show knows it’s an advertisment and isn’t ashamed of it.

    I actually didn’t like ep4 of Yuru Camp that much, but that night-time ending… ooh, when the show’s great, it’s really, really great. (Ep5 is allround good again, IMO.)

    At this point I can’t see how any show can dethrone Hakumei to Mikochi. They’re all type characters, but their relationships all feel natural-grown, and the show really nailed how bloody scary an owl can be when you’re that size…

    Takagi-san is another show that’s outgrown its first episode and is better than I thought it would be. Episode 1 felt a little repetitive and I thought the show would have been better off a short. I no longer think so; they’re mixing things up enough with side-characters to keep things from going stale, and there’s a sense of micro progress in what is basically a puppy-romance, with the girl being way, way, way more aware than the boy. It’s ostensibly about teasing, but the teasing comes across as a form of patience on the part of the savy girl for the dense guy. It’s cute.

    Also, Mitsuboshi Colours is really good at letting kids be kids. The most naive of the three is in a parade, so the other two tease her about it, each in their own way, but then when the parade comes they’re eager to spot her and are visibly proud. Few shows get kids that right. There’s nothing else to the show, but that’s quite enough for me.

    Gakuen Babysitters, Sanrio Danshi, and Dame X Prince are all good fun, but they don’t quite live up to their original promise. Still, they’re well worth watching for the spots of genuine brilliance they have.

    And then there’s Darling in the FranXX. I still don’t quite know what to make of the show; Zero Two is a great character, but then they get into her mech, and the show… forgets she’s there focussing on a rather lame main-character triumph? I hope this is awkward balance rather than a sign of priorities, but I’m not holding my breath. Well, I wasn’t going to watch it originally, and I’m going to have at least moderate fun with the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just finished Ep 5 of Mädchen, and yeah… that was good. Either it’s about to get decent (best I think we can hope for at this point), or just collapse entirely.

      So far, I’ve only been modestly earwormed by that jingle. You aren’t helping. :)

      Yuru just keeps nailing it for me, but different strokes and all that…

      Like

      1. Yeah, I’m not expecting anything special from Märchen Mädchen. It’s certainly the tipping-point type of show, where annoying fanservice can break the show. Luckily there was little of that after episode 2 and next to none I can remember in ep5.

        As for Yuru Camp, I think might have sounded more negative than I meant to. I still think it’s an excellent show. It’s just that it has obvious highs, and the comparisons sometimes makes it seem worse than it actually is. It may still be my fave CGDCT show this season, although it’s hard to compare this to my ?second? favourite Mitsuboshi Colours, which never reaches its highs but is generally more consistent.

        Liked by 1 person

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