Catching up on the last two weeks and giving the thumbs up (or down) on shows as we cruise through the mid point of the season! Hit the jump, and let’s dive right in shall we?
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 5 (Ep 42)
With a variety of motivations on the part of the various participants, the existing government is overthrown. They seem to have seized the moment rather than really thinking things through… If the linchpin of their plan is restoring the “true” monarchy (Historia) – shouldn’t they have the new monarch ready to hand rather than someone else’s prisoner?
And it looks like we’re about to have Eren back on-screen. This is not something I look forward to.
Midseason thoughts: Keeper, mostly out of habit as this season really hasn’t wowed me.
Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Ep 7
Scott at Mech Anime Reviews posted an interesting tweet…
I can’t say he’s wrong – how many stories have we all seen/read where the protagonist is the rebel against enforced societal order?
For my part… in the middle of the show, thinking of cancer cells as our own cells running amuck and attacking their fellows I could help but think of Monsters from the Id. And now that I think about it, I’d love to see an anime adaptation of Forbidden Planet. It’s message of mankind meddling with things it doesn’t understand is still a relevant one.
The ending portrayal of the Cancer Cell as something of a rebel, lashing out against cruel fate… I don’t quite know what to think of that.
- CactusMatt at Anime Q and A ponders on the episode being a metaphor for Japanese society.
- Xenodude takes a different tack and ponders on how this episode fits in with idea of Cells at Work as a shounen style anime.
On a related matter, Luminous Mongoose at Otaku Essays and Analyses posts a review of Cells at Work BLACK – a spinoff that takes place in an unhealthy and abused body.
Midseason thoughts: Cells continues to display a disturbing lack of Platelets… But other than that flaw still an interesting watch. Keeper.
Chio’s School Road / Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 7
Yes Chio, for research. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. This sketch was funny as hell. Chio at it’s very finest. The sketch with the obasan was unexpectedly poignant then funny as hell as it completely upended expectations. Should have been expecting that.
Midseason thoughts: Chio‘s has hit a bit of a rough patch here in the middle, but it’s still worth watching. Keeper.
Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3
Ep 7 – A typical day with Aoi at her part time job… On one hand, a fairly straightforward CGDCT episode. On the other, an interesting bookend with S2E18 showing how far she’s come. Aoi may still be shy with her schoolmates, but she’s grown and become calm and confident at work.
I especially love the cameo by Aoba-san (Kokona’s mom). But doesn’t Kokona know Aoi works at that particular pâtisserie? A minor point, but it bugs me.
Ep 8 – Once again, a misunderstanding between Aoi and Hinata is snowballing… Some of this due to mutual misunderstanding, some due to Hinata being a bit of a so-and-so. (Which itself is something of a repeating theme. I never really realized that before.)
But they’re also playing with something they’ve never played with before… Hinata and Kokona are unquestionably on the wrong trail and headed for trouble. Not the same thing as Aoi’s situation on Fuji-san where all she had to do was stop climbing. They’re on a mountain in Fall, and I bet it gets cold at night. How serious will they get? Likely not very.
Midseason thoughts: Do you really have to ask? Have you even been reading this blog? The solidest keeper of all keepers.
Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 6
What people who hadn’t read the manga thought Grand Blue Dreaming was about from the promotional material…
What Grand Blue Dreaming is actually about….
Though Ep 6 actually did have some diving scenes, it didn’t stray far from it’s core (in)competency.
Midseason thoughts: Solid keeper… Like the manga, it keeps me grinning and laughing.
Ep 7 – OK, I’ll be honest upfront, I wasn’t all bothered by seeing the twin-tailed ojou-sama get her self centered butt kicked. Wasn’t much happy with the rest of the episode though. Once again, Hanebado has its focus on and crawls inside the head of the wrong characters. “Using a side character to compare and contrast the main character” only works when the main character in question isn’t a cardboard cutout.
Ep 8 – This is what I thought I was getting when I saw the first episode. Solid character based drama centered around competitive sport. On top of that, it actually spent it’s time inside the head of the main character rather than a side character.
Also a huge shout-out for the OST. It’s been good all season, but it was particularly effective this ep.
Midseason thoughts: On the fence, I really should drop it… But when it’s good, it’s so very good. I think if the show had been structured more around Nagisa I’d like it even better.
Ep 6 – Haruka and Kanata were so adorkable with how happy and proud they were with their prizes. Who cares that they’d been knocked out in the second round? They’d won a game! Together!
Ep 7 – I’ve seen a lot of fuss the last couple of days about Akari’s introduction to the show… And though I haven’t read the manga, I bet it can be chalked up to adaptation. If she’s introduced at this point in the manga, they have to do so in the anime or face the prospect of re-writing the story. (And ending up in a really bad place if there is a second season.) Can’t please everyone, and sticking to the story (if that’s what they did) is the best option.
That being said, I actually like Akari, she’s got spunk. Plus I feel a little sorry for her having mixed up friendship and popularity so badly.
Midseason thoughts: Strong keeper, practically the only one aside from Encouragement of Climb (which was a shoo-in anyhow).
My Hero Academia 3 / Boku no Hero Academia 3
Ep 18 (Ep 56) – It should come as no surprise that through some last-minute plot magic, everyone from Class 1-A manages to pass the first phase of the Provisional Licensing Exam. (Though I was hoping that Mineta would have his perverted little butt kicked to the curb.) Are these kids going to ever face any significant disappointment or consequences for their actions and choices?
Ep 17 (Ep 57) – A very slow start… But then we’ve been seeing a lot of that of late. It was played a little for laughs, but the HUC actually were dispensing good advice. Most of this is probably things that Class 1-A would have learned in class had they taken the test in their 2nd year rather than being pushed through early. Seeing the older students act in a more organized fashion reinforces this point.
Speaking of training… At lot of the advice and the actions the senior students were taking rings true from my training in combating casualties in the Navy. We even did the same kind of scenario – fighting casualties in battle. Those were tough at the ship level as we had fewer people available to fight the casualty. They were also tough at the individual level if you had to don a breathing mask (which sharply limits your field of vision and ability to communicate).
It’s sad though that in the last few episodes Uraraka is being reduced to a cartoon love interest. And why are we getting an anime-original next week? Bon was last week…
A wandering thought that occurred to me… I wonder if there are hero agencies that only hire from certain schools? Or that will not hire from certain schools?
Music Girls / Ongaku Shoujo
Ep 6 – Not that there’s anything at all wrong with it, Music Girls remains a mostly harmless piece of fluff. The next ep previews hint that Uori may be losing her voice… I hope they stick to their guns and keep Hanako off the stage. If they don’t, they’ll lose what little makes this show stand out from the pack of run-of-the-mill idol shows.
Ep 7 – Three (four) idol show tropes neatly wrapped up in a single package… We had a (partial) beach ep, an idol ready to get off the bus (fixed by the Power Of The Group), and “idols can’t have love”. From the preview it looks like they’re actually going to play out the consequences of the last…
Midseason thoughts: Mostly harmless, keeper.
Revue Starlight / Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight
As they saying goes, “it’s not you, it’s me”. Except it is partly you… Despite the interesting first episode, the second didn’t really grab me. I didn’t feel motivated in the slightest to go through the hassle it takes to watch the third ep on my desktop PC. Now, three eps behind, I might as well call it and drop it.
Dammit HiDive, get a Roku app already!