grumpy old man anime blogger returns to shout at clouds once again for another week of insight, snark, and the occasional hot take!
And hey, you should be impressed, I learned how to make drop shadows to make that image… It’s not a skill I normally use, as I mostly use Photoshop to edit photographs.
Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s dive into this week’s reviews!
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 – 9
When this ep started off… It didn’t look promising. But the story of the love struck young crew member spun into so much more. Into one of the deepest looks into characters we’ve had so far… and that’s saying something. We finally get a good long look at the relationship between Takako and Gin, and the inevitable confrontation between Shirase and Gin.
The latter comes of as more a damp firecracker… But believably so. The two haven’t been avoiding each other because of how they feel about the other – but because of their mistaken beliefs of what the other feels about them. And the root cause of that is their shared bond – grief over Takako’s death. Exacerbated in Gin’s case because of her guilt… Her belief that she may have abandoned her friend.
Gin’s admission of calling off the search hit me hard… When I was in the Navy one of the things we always had to be ready to do was shut a hatch on a friend to save the ship or the mission. Or, worse yet, order a friend to shut the hatch on us. We rarely spoke of such things, but when we did there was general agreement that these were the two things we feared most.
But that same experience means I can’t fault her for making the call… As the team commander she was in the unenviable position of having to balance the life of her friend against the life of the rest of team. (Yes, after this episode it’s pretty clear to me they were close.) Once it became clear that Takako was unlikely to have survived, further searching risked the lives of the team to no good purpose.
And now I think I understand what Shirase is seeking… She doesn’t really expect to find her mother alive, or her body. But she hopes to find what drove her mother, what she hoped to find on such a journey to such a place.
The ending though… IN YOUR FACE! That was unexpected, but believable, and well done. Shirase isn’t vindictive, but she’s sure as hell enjoying her moment.
And what does the final scene mean? Why go out of their way to point out an email from Yuzuki’s mother?
Two interesting articles this week on Yorimoi… (Of the many this outstanding ep inspired.)
- Sean at Moe Sucks posts Two of Kind – which, among other things, compares and contrasts Gin and Shirase and their relationship with each other.
- Atlier Emily posts Atsuko Ishizuka’s clever use of social media in A Place Further Than the Universe – the title is self-explanatory.
Ancient Magus Bride Ep – 20
Chise one again pays the price for her impetuosity and generosity towards others… But honestly, it had little impact on me because that pitcher has gone to the well one too many times. My feels are pretty much beaten into numbness on that point.
citrus – Ep – 8
And once again Citrus turns in a decent romantic drama – fueled by Matsuri being an out-and-out cold-hearted bitch contrasted against Mei’s recent humanization. I’ve always wondered how such characters think though. It doesn’t seem to me to be an approach to win the heart of a fair maiden.
Either way, we’re faced with watching Yuzu try to choose between two badly dysfunctional relationships…
How to Keep a Mummy / Miira no Kaikata Ep – 7
Good enough I guess… maybe with all the lil’ critters introduced we can get back to Cute Critters Doing Cute Things. As it is, the further Mummy strays from that central premise the less interest I have in it.
Katana Maidens / Toji No Miko
~ Now two eps behind, and my motivation for getting caught up is diminishing. ~
March comes in like a Lion
~ On hiatus, returns next week. Yay! ~
A PV for the next arc was posted last week… (Source) No subs, but it strongly suggests that the Shimada/Yanagihara match will be the thematic backbone. It could be interesting, Shimada’s arc was one of the strongest of the first season.
Märchen Mädchen – Ep – 7
In which we follow the antics of the Russian team while they try to
cheat their way to a win make up for the failings of one of their team members. An amusing enough episode I guess, though a bit clumsy in the execution… The Russian’s hearts were in the right place, but did it never occur to them to tell a teacher that somebody had messed with Tatiana’s Origin? Meanwhile the American team’s motivation for trying to rig the Hexennacht remain obscure (unless I missed it somewhere). Really kind of a weak episode.
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Ep – 8
A bit of a beach/fanservice scene, followed by the usual ramen-related hijinks. I have to admit a sneaking admiration for Koizumi-san’s dedication to ramen. While some are higher quality than others… instant ramen simply isn’t all that good even with proper add ins/toppings. Lipstick on a pig and all that.
Speaking of fanservice… The sheer amount of beach/swimsuit/fanservice episodes this week lead to a conversation on Twitter, and that in turn inspired Remy to write: Last Week Was Swimsuit Week for Seasonal Anime. Funny, and worth reading for the discussion of why fanservice isn’t always a bad thing. (I know, I thought, I posted something like that in one of my weekly reviews, but damned if I can find it.)
Slow Start – Ep – 8
Returning to its roots, Slow Start is much better this week than last… The rest of the gang helps Hana expand her horizons and address her social phobias. Though I don’t think she has any actual phobia, it isn’t like she’s headed towards being a hikikomori or anything like that. She’s maybe a little shy, but that’s enhanced by the whole year-gap thing making it appear worse than it is.
Yuru Camp / Laid-Back Camp Ep – 8
Well, even the best series turns in a substandard episode now and again and this was Camp‘s week in the barrel. That being said, “substandard compared to their usual” means it was still a pretty decent episode overall… Who couldn’t fall in love with the girls derping around a camping store and watching Nadeshiko go all agog at a gas lamp? The less said of the immersion-breaking narrator and “educational” bits the better.
And there we have it! What did you think of this week’s eps? I’m especially curious to know what folks thought of Yurimoi! Drop me a comment and share your thoughts!