What’s this? Published on time? With screenshots and reasonably fully worked out thoughts and everything? What is the world coming to?
It’s my thoughts on this week’s shows, plus mid-season gut check time! Hit the break and let’s talk!
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
strikethrough marks dropped shows.
For those that haven’t seen it before (mostly because I’ve been lax the last few seasons), it’s time for the mid-season gut check. This is when I take a close look at what I’m watching to make sure I’m actually enjoying it and getting something out of it… As opposed to watching out of habit and being unhappy each week. Yeah, “grumpy old man” is part of my brand, but nobody really wants to read all that week after week.
3D Kanojo / Real Girl Ep 7
We pick up right where we cliffhangered last week – with Iroha watching Tsuyu as he converses with Ayado. And she’s pissed, and jealous. Interesting how she feels that she lacks the right to impose her demands on Tsuyu. (And unsurprising how Ishino keeps egging her on.)
Sorry for the crappy screenie, but HiDive has… a
crappy POS idiosyncratic UI.
But when Iroha sees Ayado being bullied, her intrinsic kindness comes to the fore… And she learns of Ayado as a person, rather than a threat. Ayado’s feeling that she doesn’t belong in and shouldn’t intrude on the friend group coalescing around Tsuyu and Iroha nicely echoes Tsuyu’s own feelings at the start of the series. And also highlights how he’s starting to take the whole situation for granted. Pride goeth before a fall?
Along the way, Itou (he of the cat ear hat) and Ayado discover… a certain spark with each other. (As if things couldn’t get more complicated.)
The final segment… Everyone’s going camping and except for Iroha (who seems genuinely interested), each is joining in for their own selfish reasons. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when they collide.
Midseason thoughts: It’s not the best high school romance ever… and it could seriously do with a couple more editing and smoothing passes… But despite that, it’s realistic and enjoyable. Keeper.
Comic Girls Ep 6
I wasn’t to thrilled with the first segment, as it relied too much on Kaos-chan being an incompetent fraidy cat. Consistent with her characterization, yeah. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I did enjoy the second half… I liked how the theme of connecting with fans echoed with Ruki’s experience back in Ep 4. Plus any plotline that gives Best Girl Tsubasa screentime gets a thumbs up from me.
Midseason thoughts: I have my problems with how they portray Kaos-chan, particularly her lack of development and progress – but I’m liking the senpai pair. (Particularly Tsubasa!) So…. Keeper.
Crossing Time Ep 6
Too weird and pointless for words this week.
Midseason thoughts: If it wasn’t a low investment short, I’d be dropping it.
Cutie Honey Universe Ep 6
Panther Claw finally makes a serious move – a full frontal assault on Honey’s school with the intent of drawing her out, running her down, and seizing the whatever-it-is device. Pretty much everyone who isn’t Honey dies. Cliffhanger.
One problem though.
Despite the seriousness and all the final battle tropes… I simply didn’t care. They haven’t put in the effort to give a reason to care. I mean, Honey goes on about her friends, but she’s barely interacted with them at all. She’s pissed about the destruction of the school, but so far as they’ve shown it was just an out-of-the-way place where she was stashed to keep her away from Panther Claw.
Yeah, Cutie Honey has been a real mess from day one. I wanted to enjoy it, but I just can’t.
Midseason thoughts: Dropped.
Hinamatsuri Ep 6
An exchange of tweets after this week’s episode…
The first part, watching Nitta try to introduce Hina to his family was funny as hell. They’ve certainly got his number, and seem to take his (err…) gradual approach to the truth in stride.
The second half… defined by tears. Anzu crying as she was separated from the mean of the homeless camp, who’ve become her family. (I almost typed “surrogate family”, but that’s not right is it?) The men of the homeless camp crying over the same separation. Anzu’s tears, first as she struggles to accept that it’s OK for her to be in a better situation – and of happiness when she accepts it.
And last, but not least, my tears. With all the emotions flying around (in both halves), this episode was (as Remy said) was a real gut punch. And equally, very realistic. Hinamatsuri has been consistently good… But this week, they produced a true standout.
Midseason thoughts: Hina and Hitomi’s standalone segments have varied from decent to very good… But Anzu’s story has been consistently excellent. OMG, are you kidding me? KEEPER.
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits / Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi Ep 7
Moonflower is not making any money – and Tenshin-ya’s Chief Accountant makes it very clear that if Aoi can’t turn things around then he’ll shut her down. Very, very worried and needing to work very hard – she wanders off on a pseudo date with the Master. Which is about par for the course for Kakuriyo… Aoi spends a lot of time wandering off and doing other things rather than concentrating on what’s in front of her. Also she has pretty much no spine for actually telling the Master to piss off because she has work to do… But suddenly gains a spine when he speaks of marriage.
Speaking of gaining and losing something – that was this week’s animation glitch. Aoi kept drifting on and off model. Not a background detail this time… the main freakin’ character.
Anyhow, with pretty much no effort on her own part and with the deus ex machina intervention of a guest at the inn and some kind of spirit – Moonflower is suddenly a happening joint. And Aoi is summed to a command performance, cooking for the King of the spirit world and his human wife. (Heh? Looks like Aoi isn’t the only one.)
And is there anyone in the spirit world without a Shiro story? That old dude certainly got around.
Anyhow, after this week I’m so done with Kakuriyo. My wife still wants to watch, which means I’ll probably keep watching… But unless there’s a vast change in quality or plotline I will no longer be reviewing it.
Midseason thoughts: Technically dropped.
My Hero Academia 3 / Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 6 (Ep 44)
Honestly, as the credits rolled, I was left with more questions than answers… What exactly is the endgame for the League of Villains? How did this attack further their goal of drawing out and destroying All Might? What is goth girl going to do with that blood?
And what do they hope to gain by kidnapping Bakugo? Maybe they, like a lot of viewers, think he can be turned to evil. My answer to this? Wrong, wrong, Wrongitty, WRONG!!
Next to Deku, Bakugo is the character with the most clearly articulated and consistent goal. He wants to be be the Number One Hero. Period. It will take a great deal to sway him, even temporarily, from that goal. That being said, he’s also one very smart cookie – in his own way as smart and resourceful as Deku. I won’t rule out temporary cooperation with the villains.
Speaking of Ochako, I love the creative uses of her power. Sure, sure – Deku came up with the idea of making them weightless (and presumably inertialess) so Tsyu could catapult them… But the flawless execution was all Ochako.
Midseason thoughts: HeroAca is its own thing… And as this season is (once again) going to be two cour, as good as it is I know it’s just getting going. Keeper. As if there was any doubt.
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
The first few episodes showed promise as a nicely done slice-of-life with decent characterization. Episode 3 was particularly interesting in this respect, as it gave hints that Kyousi had ghosts of some kind in his past. (Something also hinted at in the OP.)
Eps 4-5 however, dropped into a pretty bland formula… Customer has a problem, the boys help him out.
Midseason thoughts: Until I peeked ahead at ep 6, I thought it was going to be dropped. But for now, it’s on double secret probation. I’m going to still be watching, but it won’t take much to push it over the precipice.
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Ep 5.5 Refrain
What the actual H*ll? A recap episode? A recap episode! Fer goshsakes, WHY?
Supposedly, this was planned and not a sign of production problems… But I simply cannot grasp what the purpose was. I guess some of Pito’s snarky commentary was not entirely bad, but otherwise this was a waste of time for all involved.
The very end of the silly ass post credits was intriguing though… Why is the next episode titled “SAO Loser”?
Midseason thoughts: Against my better judgement, I’ll keep watching. Keeper.
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai / Tada Never Falls in Love Ep 6
Charles-sama (Theresa-hime‘s intended) shows up unexpectedly… No, wait, scratch that. It’s made pretty clear that Charles-sama is hot and heavy in pursuit of Theresa-hime, but she doesn’t actually appear to have any feelings for him.
That non-reciprocation may be pretty important…
When he meets the photo club, he quickly charms other members of the cast. (And does so again at the family coffee-house.) To me, it didn’t really appear forced. He laid it on pretty heavy, but it appeared to be genuine. And he’s a smart cookie, immediately picking up that Class Rep is actually HINA. (And classy, by not pointing it out.)
I’m not really sold on the back half of the episode though… Being trapped together in the rain and the dark is certainly a romantic situation, but there’s no actual romance between Tada and Theresa-hime. There’s some kind of feeling there, certainly, but not romance. Either the show is incompetent, or there’s something more subtle going on here.
Midseason thoughts: Mostly harmless. Keeper.
Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Ep 8
A lot of time skipping covering Silence Suzuka’s recovery… Also showing just how devoted Spe-chan is to Silence. And how this is slowly and subtly distancing her from the other girls. This comes to a head when Spe-chan comes in second to Grass Wonder in a race… And Grass Wonder is righteously pissed because she doesn’t think she won fair and square. She (correctly) thinks Spe-chan wasn’t giving it her best because she was more concerned with Silence than running for herself.
Which is something a recurring theme in Umamusume… The girls perform their best when their running ‘inside their heads’ – concentrating on their own goals and the joy of the sport. Get distracted, and you’re done for. The notable exception here is Silence herself – we still haven’t been inside her head during a race, or at all for that matter. She remains a calm, considerate, kind enigma. In some ways, she a more interesting character than MC-chan. While this is undoubtedly Spe’s story, I hope we dig deeper into Silence’s story.
The end of the episode, Spe is heartbroken over losing, heartbroken over dissapointing Grass Wonder, and heartbroken over losing sight of her goal to become the best horse girl. Trainer-san is an absolute jackwagon for once again making it out to be Spe’s fault… Really, it’s his fault for being a useless lump of flesh. If the girls are doing well, it’s in spite of him more than because of him.
Midseason thoughts: Heaven help me and I can’t explain why – but I’m staying the course. Keeper.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Ep 5
Hate to say it, but this week’s ep was pretty weak. We’ve all seen the “mistaken identity” and “not actually a threat/romantic rival” schtick done too many times before for such a weakly executed sequence to carry much weight. In the same way, having the everyone act like Naoya was some kind of odd-man-out just didn’t feel right… especially after it was made clear (to the characters) that he knew that his brother was a game otaku.
Wotakoi has varied in quality all season, and this wasn’t one of the better episodes.
Midseason thoughts: Despite the occasional unevenness, this is actually a decent show. Keeper.
And there you have it – my thoughts this week. What’s staying, and what’s getting the ol’ heave-ho. How did your week go? Any shows you’re dropping in midstream?
Drop a reply and let’s chat!