Summer 2018 – Week 5

Aoi and Hinata enjoying the scenery and mountain coffee.
Yama no Susume returns to its roots this week, all that and more after the jump!

(And jeez, I really have to get better at building hype and expectation don’t I?)
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 3 (Ep 40)

They haven’t explained how succession works in their world…  But the situation as described seems odd at best.

If Historia carries royal blood via the Riess family, wouldn’t her (still living) father be the True King and she the Crown Princess?  I can’t figure out how a system would work that would displace Lord Reiss in favor of his daughter.  It could be “youngest available heir”, but that would lead to an awful lot of periods of regency…  Non constitutional monarchies tend to run on personal influence and loyalty, and that means that regencies can (and often do) lead to instability and usurpation of the Throne.

Erwin’s theory is interesting…  And I wonder if the Yaeger family basement has evidence for that theory?  They keep teasing us with the key to the basement (it even appears in this season’s OP).

Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Ep 5

Is it just me, or should this anime have been called “Immune System at Work”?  :)  :)  Looks like next week they’re going to shake up the formula, and we’ll get a story about White Blood Cell U-1146’s childhood.

Xenodude’s review of this week’s episode, the introductory line is…  well-played indeed.

Chio’s School Road / Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 5

Laughed my _ss off at the dance sequence.  It started out so serious, like they were calling a Final Battle attack…  And then without a shred of embarrassment it dissolved into complete silliness.  Truly, truly something that could only be done by the best of friends.

Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3 Ep 6

Aoi and Hinata enjoying the scenery and mountain coffee.

Aahh…  Possibly the most “Encouragement of Climb”-like episode so far this season.  I have nothing at ALL against eps 1-5, but episode 6 really showcases what I love about the series.  Mountain climbing, character interaction, and a certain sense of poignancy…  That’s what I’m here for.

Loved the hell out of Hinata and the milk.  Once again, she puts on airs of maturity, and then laughs it off.  Such a scamp.   This also reminded me of the “cooking contest” in ep 3(?) of the first season.

On the other hand, there is a serious lack of Kaede in this season.  Yeah, from a story point of view it makes sense, but she’s one of my favorite characters.

Discussing YnS elsewhere, and trying to describe it to someone who doesn’t watch anime, it popped into my head to call it a coming of age story.  And the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that it’s true.  Especially in Aoi’s case, there’s been a ton of growth over the course of the show.  Yeah, the framing story is on the lightweight side…  but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden depths.

Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 4

Not my favorite episode, for some reason I was never quite fond of the events surrounding the beauty contest.  On the other hand, Cakey joins the cast!  If you haven’t read the manga, she has a rather interesting story arc.  Unless they skip a bunch of stuff, or significantly alter the order they cover things I don’t think they’ll get to her full backstory though.

Also liked Azusa…  “Why are you walking around half-naked?” “um…  because my shirt was wet, duh!”.  Girl has no pretensions, inhibitions – or sense of shame.

Hanebado! Ep 6

Taken in isolation, this was a d_mm fine example of a sports anime…  A little light humor, some nice character moments, and a well-directed and animated one-on-one competition.  You could almost watch this episode standalone and still enjoy the h_ll out of it.  Maybe the bog standard “I wanted to win but I’m still having fun” takes it down a notch, but whatever.

Unfortunately, it’s an episode in an ongoing series, so it can’t be taken in isolation…  As good an episode as it was, Hanebado can ill afford many more detours.  Six episodes in, and they still haven’t done all that much worthwhile with Ayano – who is, in theory, the main character!  I don’t know that I’m looking forward to next week and the return of the twin-tailed oujo-sama.  Looks like we’re going to go from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Harukana Receive Ep 5

And so…  the tournament begins.  Despite the fanservice and Gainax physics it was a good episode overall, Harakuna sticks to its guns and takes the actual game seriously.  There’s quite a bit of discussion (amongst teammates) of tactics, when, and why.

No sign of Narumi and Ayasa, so this isn’t the Big Tournament featured in the opening of the first ep.  Also, the mysterious fifth girl who has featured in the OP all along is shown wandering around and observing the tournament.  Future coach/manager?

My Hero Academia 3 /  Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 17 (Ep 55)

I love it when they spend time with characters other than the Big Four.  I hate it when they dominate the events anyhow.  OTOH, they’re showing Midoriya’s growth into his destiny – replacing the Symbol of Peace as an inspiration.

Karandi at 100 Word Anime published an interesting essay this week:  Appreciating the Transformative Journey of All Might’s Character.   Especially interesting are her thoughts on All Might’s new role as a mentor.

Music Girls / Ongaku Shoujo Ep 5

Cheers for continuing to stand firm on its central idea – Hanako as support staff.  Jeers for taking up the old trope of “food made of love encourages and energizes us!”.

And I’m doubtful of the curry made from leftovers.  I’ve tried doing that myself and the results were unpromising to put it kindly.  Or maybe it was because I used leftover pot roast… but starting from scratch doesn’t work either.  I stick with chicken and pork for my curries because chuck always tastes like pot roast no matter what I do.


Misc notes:

Some ponderings on the new style/philosophy

I’m certainly enjoying the new faster/lighter style of blogging but it in one particular way, I’m finding it somewhat stressful.  Previously, I’d tried to be More Serious so that people would take me seriously.  Now I’m afraid that when I am Serious, people won’t notice because they’ve already written me off as a lightweight.

On the other hand…  looking at my comment section, it doesn’t look like people actually notice my more serious points and questions in the first place.


My work at the Fair starts this weekend, so the next three weeks are likely to light if the happen at all…  And then right after the Fair I have two more possible light/if at all weeks because of an SCA event.  Sigh – looks like a good chunk of the rest of this season is going to end up being written off.


And there you have my thoughts on the week!  If you have thoughts or comments, drop me a comment!  Thanks for reading!

28 thoughts on “Summer 2018 – Week 5”

  1. I feel like I’m the only person who enjoys Hanebado as a character show than a typical one. I honestly don’t mind not focusing on the MC every other episode, especially since the best and least melodramatic episodes have been ones NOT focused on the two leads. My fav characters are Elena and Riko, so I am biased, but they’re such great supports for our two leads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I reviewed it two ways this week… on a per episode basis, or setting aside the worst of the melodrama, it’s not a bad show. My complaint isn’t with the episodes or (other than the two twin-tailed nutjobs) with the characters, it’s with the overall structure of the show. It wanders and loses focus.


  2. You nailed it with Cells at Work, there is a strong focus on the immune system and hapless red blood cells. I think this is deliberate: these are the most mobile cells in the body, and other cells typically stay in a small area, so if Cells at Work showcased other cells, it would be a little less fitting for adventure.

    On Harukana Receive, I’m enjoying the anime, but it pains me that people are taking it so seriously. I wonder why that always happens with Manga Time Kirara slice of life series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just think they could stand to be a tad more creative. Red’s mobility and naivete could lead her all kinds of places that aren’t imminent battlefields… Let’s explore those kitchens in the digestive system that they keep showing hints of (for example).

      For my part, I’m taking Harakuna seriously because it takes itself seriously. There aren’t many fanservice oriented shows that do so or that aren’t comedies.


      1. For me, it’s hard to take Harukana Receive seriously because of the funny faces that Haruka has whenever she’s shocked, surprised or embarrassed. Granted, Kanata is much more serious, but because Haruka drives the show as much as Kanata does (indicated by the title), I am treating it as one part focused and one part easygoing fun. That being said, it still irks me that some folks claim to have become instant experts in beach volleyball techniques and tactics overnight and are picking apart every frame like TSN or ESPN.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone suffering from pollen allergy, I found this week’s cell’s at work episode hilarious. Allergy as beaurocracy gone wrong is just so spot on.

    Yama no Susume is definitely a coming of age story; good call, there.

    Also, this week’s Planet With sealed the deal. It’s very likely the show of the season. (Although, I’m also really happy with Hi Score Girl, which is a really good adaption… but CGI.)


    1. I’m hearing lot’s of good things about Planet With, but with my schedule commitments this season…

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Hi Score, I knew you were anticipating that with some trepidation.


    2. Happy to hear you’re enjoying Hi Score Girl. I still want to watch that, but I’m probably going to wait until after the season and then just grab the fansubs all at once. Not being a Netflix subscriber, I’m probably never going to see it otherwise.


      1. It’s a Netflix Japan show. The difference is that there’s no guarantee the show will ever leave Japan. I can sort-of see why, too. They’re always having those retro-gaming adds in the middle of the show, and so far the only thing that’s left Japan I’m aware of is the Streetfighter Anniversary edition.

        The poor show seems to be cursed. Anime is announced and then canceled along with the manga going on hiatus because someone at the manga forgot to ask SNK Playmore for permission to use copyrighted materials (which they noticed because the anime asked). Then the issues get resolved, and finally (after two or three years?) the anime is back in production, but it ends up 3D CGI (people have dropped it over that), and it’s being picked up by Netflix Japan, which carries no guarantee for a Western release, ever.

        The direction is really good, the storyboard and lighting is really good, the timing is really good at striking a balance between story and nostalgia. The CGI, although it’s generally okay, can look dire and off-model at times. But the show’s so good at getting the manga across that it’s easy to forgive (and the manga is good; I read it up to a point out of frustration over the cancelled anime back then; not a manga reader otherwise).


        1. And a few hours after you posted this, they announced at Otakon that it’s getting a Netflix release in December. Also, according to posted comments on ANN responding to the announcement, it sounds like the ads you mentioned are a TV thing and have been removed from Netflix Japan’s official streams when the episodes are uploaded – presumably Netflix US will do the same thing.


          1. I’ve heard about the announcement now, but not about the adds. Makes total sense; they take the place of break eye-catches after all.


  4. My thoughts exactly about Attack on Titan. No matter how you look, putting Historia on the throne doesn’t make sense legally. And why is the Reiss family royal in the first place? Anyway, Reiss the dad seemed perfectly content working form his current position so I’d think a far better bet would be getting him side with the scouts and not simply forcing Historia to do what we don’t even know she approves.
    I haven’t thought of Yama no Susume as a coming of age story, but actually that makes sense. At school she still may seem like an introverted loner but her hobbies, cycle of friends and outlook on life has changed a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And why is the Reiss family royal in the first place?

      Historically, there’s any number of ways a Throne can be usurped or a Royal line supplanted… But the real problem here is the memory twister. Wouldn’t the current occupant of the Throne ensure that memory was edited too?

      Anyway, Reiss the dad seemed perfectly content working form his current position

      Maybe he “abdicated” in favor of Historia? But he can’t work from behind the scenes unless they keep Historia’s lineage a secret, which then poses the problem of explaining exactly why she is the true Heir.

      Either way, this last ep introduced some major plot holes. None of them really unfixable, but they’ll be annoying until they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. About the royalty – Yeah, it might have been the case but basically anyone who sits on a throne long enough eventually becomes known as royalty, so what makes Reiss more royal than the current king? Especially, like you said, if no one remembers a thing (except some special people who do for some reason or guess so).
        It is definitely annoying, and this apparent memory change sits in the middle of everything. I hope there exists a reasonable explanation because now it makes little sense.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The tl;dr version is: Yes, you can become royal by seniority… But generally (AIUI) royalty is only extinguished by death of a bloodline (hence Reiss/Historia remaining royal). And royalty (again AUIU) can persist even if the bearer is unaware of the burden. With two competing lines of succession, choosing between them is a matter of emotion and belief and not amenable to logic.

          Which, in real life, resulted in civils wars and a freakin’ buttload of novels about Lost Heirs being rediscovered.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Five weeks in and I still haven’t dropped anything! Been a while since I’ve had a season like that. I can see why this season might be frustrating for bloggers, since none of the shows I’m watching really lend themselves to long-form writing (unless you’re kViN, of course, who just put up another 10,000 word post about YnS on the Sakuga blog), but as a viewer they’re entertaining me, and that’s all I need.

    Yeah, I agree that this YnS episode was really getting back to the heart of the series, which is Aoi and Hinata’s friendship. It was also a nice bounce-back after I was a little disappointed in episode 5. Besides the cooking contest, it also reminded me of S2E7, where Hinata kept going on about them wearing “sexy swimsuits” when they were going to go swimming together and then showed up with her school-issued swimsuit.

    Yuuna-san continues to be entertaining and charming in its own way. I came this close to dropping it after episode 2, which leaned far too heavily on the old trope of the “moral guardian” tsundere girl making everything the guy’s fault and physically attacking him every time something goes wrong, but I decided to give it one more chance, and episodes 3 and 4 ended up being loads better, so I’m still on board for now.

    Not much to say about Harukana, besides that I’m continuing to enjoy it every week. It’s long since quelled any of my pre-season concerns, so I’m on board all the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Five weeks in and I still haven’t dropped anything!

      I haven’t dropped anything that’s made it past the first ep – yet.

      Hanebado may still end up dropped. I think my weekly comments make it clear as to why. Revue Starlight may end up being dropped too because it’s a PITA to watch. When I cast from my tablet to the Roku/TV, there’s a lot of lag in the animation. This wasn’t really a problem with Tada-Kun last season, but it’s a huge issue with Starlight‘s fight scenes. Watching on my computer just isn’t all the comfortable, even if I don’t use full screen.

      Hinata acting older/bolder than she really is… That’s actually something of a recurring theme now that you bring it up. I wasn’t bothered by Ep5, they’ve always had more CGDCT type episodes… Plus I’m something of a Honoka fan. Surprised you didn’t have anything to say about the coming of age comment.


      1. My issue with episode 5 wasn’t with the story, and I like Honoka too. My issue was the presentation of it, which had so many still pans and animation shortcuts that the whole thing just reeked of “budget-saving episode” to me. kViN can spin it as a stylistic choice all he wants, but it was the first time I’ve ever watched an episode of YnS and come away feeling like it looked cheap.

        I didn’t comment on the coming-of-age idea because I didn’t really think there was much to add, other than totally agreeing with it. Actually, I think the episode that really takes that theme and runs with it is S2E14, one of my personal favorites, where she goes up Mt. Kirigamine with her Mom and Hinata’s Dad. Part of that is her learning to pick herself back up and keep going after the Mt. Fuji fiasco, but since we’re usually either right inside Aoi’s head or among her “inner circle” of friends, that episode is also one of the few times where we really get to step back and take a good look at her from an “outside” perspective, with the scene where the adults start discussing how much she’s grown since she started climbing. Even if she can’t see the changes in herself at that point, they can.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Meant to reply to this too:

      I can see why this season might be frustrating for bloggers, since none of the shows I’m watching really lend themselves to long-form writing

      OTOH, it’s a great fit to and a chance to work out the kins with my new(old) fast(er)/light(er) style! :)

      And it’s a great opportunity for some feature content. hint hint :P


    3. Yuuna is such an oldfashioned harem show, the Love Hina branch. Much like Tsugumomo a year or so back. I’m strangely nostalgic for the genre, even though the accidental-pervert shinanigans that are so central to the genre annoy me as much as ever. Catgirl is my favourite, but did anyone else ever have a chance?


      1. Yeah, same here. That kind of “comedy” is exactly why I usually avoid these kind of shows, but this one really does feel like a throwback in a lot of ways. Yuuna and Normal girl are the two who are really keeping it afloat for me so far. I like Catgirl better after episode 4 than I did after episode 2, but Ninja girl still needs to die in a fire.


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