Traditionally, the third week of the season (the third episode), is a time of great change… It’s also when a lot of folks make the call to keep or drop a series. Hit the jump and let’s see if I drop any!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics, and
strikethrough marks dropped shows.
Attack on Titan 3 / Shingeki no Kyojin Ep 1 (Ep 38)
There’s a lot of folks over the moon about this episode, but I’m not feeling it. Being “better than Season 2” is a low bar, but one episode is not enough to judge. Especially when that one episode wasn’t all that great. It’s not bad per se, but certainly nothing to break out the champagne over either.
Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Ep 3
Actual viruses hijack the reproduction mechanisms of other cells to spread themselves, so having them manifest as a zombie apocalypse was pretty clever.
That being said, now I envision the Macrophages in my body as teeny-tiny little Rory Mercury’s – in maid outfits.
Chio’s School Road / Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 3
I don’t know about the “Bloody Butterfly” segment… Seemed to me to go on just a bit longer than there was really material for. I laughed my tail off during the Kabbadi sequence though… As I’ve said before, this series is at it’s best when it’s inside Chio’s head. (Hah! the spellchecker tried to correct “Chio’s” to “Chaos”!)
Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3 Ep 4
Hmm… What shall we call this episode? “Aoi grows (just a little bit)” or “Hinata is a devious jerk (for a good cause) – again”? Either way a strong reminder of something often forgotten… Though we’re used to thinking of a quartet this is really Aoi and Hinata’s story.
I’ve seen some folks talk about being done with preparatory episodes, and I get it. I kind of agree with them. But I also disagree with them too, Encouragement has had plenty of strong episodes that didn’t take place on the trail. This wasn’t the strongest, but it was still plenty darn good.
Did anyone else notice this sequence in the OP? Basically it retells the story of the 1st and 2nd seasons. Also pretty proud of myself, made this GIF by myself in Photoshop. It would have taken five minutes rather than fifteen if I hadn’t misread the tutorial and skipped a step…
Speaking of OP sequences, I thought it was clever as hell to have Aoi sing the S2 OP in karaoke… It’s my favorite OP from the series.
Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 2
I laughed/chuckled all the way as the upperclassmen were “helpfully” (re)decorating Iori’s room… One of the scenes I’ve been waiting to see, and they nailed it! The scenes in the aquarium, not so much. They just felt off somehow. All I know is that Grand Blue switches moods and modes quite a bit when the story gets rolling and they need to up the non-comedic parts of their game too.
It looks like they’re doing 2-3 manga chapters per episode, but I’m not going to look ahead to see where that might leave the anime ending. IIRC, there isn’t actually any good/proper ending points as there aren’t that many actual arcs early on. They’re nailing the funniest bits, so I’m content to let the anime stand on its own two feet.
Hanebado! Ep 4
I’ve been putting off writing this review, but I can’t avoid it any longer and still get this post out on time. (For better or worse, it needs to go out today so I can prep for a class I’m teaching tomorrow evening.)
I was pretty pleased with the first part of this ep… Watching Ayano and her club mates interact on the bus seemed to mark a return to the more character driven plot we saw in the first ep. They even gave something of a plausible explanation as to why she was willing to join the club… She wanted the feeling of being on a team, part of something. This makes some sense considering she’s lost her “partner” (her mother, the b*tch).
Then – BOOM! In a series of ham fistedly executed dubious coincidences – yet another twin-tailed rival is air dropped into the middle of the plot. At least she didn’t have that damm ojou-sama laugh. Other than that, she’s largely just a re-skin of the girl from last week’s episode. She’s also a seriously self-centered jerk… refusing to play properly with her partner.
Dammit Hanebado!. You’re four episodes in, its past time you grew the f*ck up and started to actually make progress on the plot. I know that last week I said that “no shows were in the danger zone” – but Hanebado! has crossed the line. Scratch that, it leapt across it and into the muck with great enthusiasm. The Mid Season Gut Check approaches, and the chances of Hanebado! surviving the cut just went markedly down.
Harukana Receive Ep 3
This episode introduces us to Éclair – Emily and Claire Thomas, an improbably busty pair of twin sisters. They’re every bit as enthusiastic about beach volleyball as Kanata is reluctant.
Speaking of Kanata, I’m pleased with how they’re handling her arc… She’s got a lot of issues stemming from her size and no longer being a champion, but they’re addressing them plausibly. No sudden insight and barely heralded huge changes here, just steady growth and progression episode by episode. Haraku isn’t much different, she’s athletic but also something of an airhead – so while she plays well, she’s picking up the finer points only slowly. It probably doesn’t help that Kanata’s issues make her a less than completely effective coach.
It looks like Our Heroines will be joining the school volleyball club and head off to tournament play. Three guesses who they play in the final ep – and the first two don’t count! Harakuna takes itself pretty seriously (it’s not just jiggle-and-bounce), but that doesn’t mean it’s not at least a little generic.
My Hero Academia 3 / Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 15 (Ep 53)
Another setup/transition episode… I know I’ve been saying that a lot, but the middle third of the season (actually most of the third season) has been characterized by a series of short arcs. And for many other anime, setup/transition eps can be the kiss of death. Not at all true for HeroAca! There’s still a lot of stuff going on.
– I loved Ms. Joke and her easy relationship with Eraser Head. They used to be partners, and that closeness comes shining through. They almost made him seem human. Particularly in the Final Exams arc, I love how we’ve been shown the “man behind the mask”… The contrast between his outer persona and inner humanity is striking. I wonder if we’ll ever learn where that came from?
– We the audience really needed the reminder that UA isn’t the only hero school. It’s at the top of the heap, but that doesn’t mean the others are slackers. But that still raises the question of why someone would be accepted to UA, only to turn down the invitation.
– And once again we see Midoriya using his true superpower… the ability to lead and to adapt and improvise tactics.
Music Girls / Ongaku Shoujo Ep 3
Not the strongest episode to date. I just can’t see Hanako in the role of inspiration/muse. Still enjoying though.
Revue Starlight / Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight Ep 2
Honestly, it’s been a busy week and I don’t remember too much about this ep, not a good sign. Mostly, bog standard school drama followed by another fight scene. Here’s hoping this is not a sign of things to come.
Sorry for the quick (OK, almost non-existent) “reviews” of the last two shows… It’s pretty warm here today and I’m already running out of steam. I really should work on these in a more timely fashion, but as I said this week has been busy. Not to mention all but one show are on Fri-Sat-Sun. Hate to move the post to Thursday though, too much of a delay, too much chance of collision with the next week’s episodes.
OK, it looks like pretty much every show makes it past the three-episode point, even though Hanebado is just barely squeaking by. How did the week work for you? Any third ep drops? Drop a comment and let’s chat.