Summer 2018 – Week 4

A quick look at a few of this week’s shows and my first tentative steps into a new style and finding my own voice. 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, and strikethrough marks dropped shows.

Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Ep 4

Why does the stomach even have a viewing platform?  Do cells take their days off and go on tourist excursions around the body?  Yes, I know the show is aimed at kids, but it’s still fun to contemplate these questions.

Chio’s School Road / Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 4

The first part, with the cigarette butt was funny as h_ll!  “Like a bada_ss manga protagonist had me practically rolling on the floor.  The “Bloody Butterfly” segment, fun but not nearly so funny…  I loved Chio’s acrobatics and just how far she’d go to win a bet.

Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3 Ep 5

YnS in it’s (narrowly) second best mode – pure friendship and CGDCT.  Best mode is, of course, when they’re out and about in the mountains.

This episode also reminded me that I’ve been working on a Photography in Anime feature based on Honoka for months now…  Now, I’m going to have to update it.

Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 3

Another story beat I’ve been waiting on…  The introduction of the lovely and free-spirited Azusa.  It’s fun to have a girl who can take on the guys of PAB on their own terms, and beat the pants off of them.  (Literally.)  Girls can be loud and crude too, so it’s nice to see some stereotypes busted.

I’m seeing some rumbles out in the community grumbling at Grand Blue…  No, it’s not for everyone.  There’s nothing wrong with you for not liking it.  There’s nothing wrong with those of us who do like it either.  There is something wrong for suggesting the buzz around it is wrong.  Those of us who like it have every right to be happy and talk about/share our happiness without censure from the community.  It’s not like we are celebrating anything problematic.

I think the biggest problem is that many people simply don’t know what to make of the series.  It’s not set at a high school, and it doesn’t pretend that almost-adults shouldn’t indulge in adult behavior.  Even if it weren’t so… extreme, it would upset a lot of expectations.

Hanebado! Ep 5

Having the coach make adjustments to Ayano and Riko’s positioning and playstyle actually made sense.  That’s what coaches do after all.  Then, like last episode, everything goes off the rails.  (And, once again, they spend far too much time on backstory.)  Among other things, why in h*ll is everyone on the Frederica Girls team suddenly buddy-buddy with Connie?

About the only way to salvage Hanebado at this point would be to have it turn into a psychological horror/mystery.  The mother arrives in Japan and is found dead under mysterious circumstance…  Which of her abused daughters is responsible?  What was their real motive?

That, or they could simply cut the crap and get on with the narrative.

Harukana Receive Ep 4

I found myself a bit confused by this episode.  Certainly trust matters between teammates – it’s the most important thing…  But it was brought up in a pretty ham-handed way.  OTOH, having a third-party point out the obvious is a very old dramatic device and makes for an economical narrative.

Other than that, the core of the episode was the same structure they’ve been building on – Haruka and Kanata’s deepening bond.  Though it received less overt attention, that’s not a one way street.  Kanata is every bit as committed to that end as Haruka.

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And that concludes this week’s run-down…  I had some thoughts on finding my voice and style, but I think I want to hold off on those.  Need to get a little more experience with the new before critiquing the process.

Thoughts? Comments?  Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

4 thoughts on “Summer 2018 – Week 4”

  1. Grand Blue Dreaming episode 1 (which is when I dropped it) was highly problematic with alcohol default culture and peer pressure to drink and made heavy drinking sessions look safer and certainly cleaner than they really are. That said, I unreservedly agree that you have every right to be happy about the show, and the season being what it is, it’s a highly welcome addition to the line-up.

    Chio’s School Road is funny, and I’m probably going to say this whenever the topic comes up, but there’s little else I can say about it.

    Shichisei no Subaru has a pretty compelling narrative, servicable characters, but a Very Serious tone (with some bullshit bravado that could cut the show short if not for plot armor). Worth watching, but no must see. I’m definitely curious about what’s going on, though.

    At this rate Planet With is going to be my season favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chio never really disappoints, but it is (IMO) going to end up a forgettable piece of fluff. (Not there’s anything wrong with that… Not every anime can be one for the ages.)

      I’m hearing good stuff about Planet With, but I’m trying to limit my watching this season.

      Like

  2. I love Hanebado, but yeah, the series feels bipolar. If it’s drama, go for drama, if it’s shounen and fluff, go for that. With 12 episodes, it will take a LOT of effort to be able to have drama and comedy.

    Grand Blue was fun, but not for me. I’ll probably watch it once it’s done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me Hanebado is on a fast track to a mid-season drop… Like you say, it’s trying to be too many things and doing none of them well.

      Like

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