Summer 2018 – Week 11

Encouragement of Climb - Friends.
Busy, busy week at shows set up for the final arcs and penultimate episodes!  Hinata and Aoi reconcile, Harakuna gets amped up, and Hanebado is…  well, once again Hanebado.

All that and more after the jump!
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 9 (Ep 46)

Is it just me…  Or did that victory feel just a little unearned?  From desperate worries and plans to Titan guts splattered about the landscape all in the span of a single episode.  I understand that they’re picking up the pacing this season because the political stuff is boooooring!  But I think they could have spent a little more time here.  Yes, I’ve seen the argument that this displays how skilled they’ve become.  I counter that with the immense  strength and threat they built up the Reiss Titan to be.

Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Ep 3

Cells at Work - White Blood Cell springs into action.

Not the best episode ever…  Very preachy (that is, way too much Narrator) and they just couldn’t resist yet another “fighting the infection” plotline.  Still, plenty of Platelet fanservice so it wasn’t all bad.

Seriously, CGDCT/moe spinoff based on the Platelets – when?

Chio’s School Road / Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 11

Chio’s has settled into what can be best described as comfortable mediocrity.  Nothing really wrong with that per se…  It just hasn’t been as consistently funny as it was early on.  That being said, I laughed my _ss off during the first segment.  The series is at its absolute best when it gets inside the insanity that lives in Chio’s head.

Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3 Ep 12

Encouragement of Climb - Aoi and Hinata.png
And the conflict between Aoi and Hinata is resolved – not with a bang, but with an old joke shared between close friends.  Aoi’s staunch insistence on standing by her friend rather than continuing the climb broke the logjam in Hinata’s feelings and they were finally able to talk it out.  Perfect.

Encouragement of Climb - Friends..png
I kept waiting for Aoi to make a reference to the incident on Mt Fuji, and I’m glad she didn’t.  This isn’t paybacks, it’s about what friends do for each other.

The girls sleeping on the long train ride home…  Priceless.  Who want to bet that right out of the frame, Aoi and Hinata are holding hands?  They don’t have to show us.  We know.

Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 10

I went back and checked the manga, and yep, they’re skipping stuff.  They kept all but a couple of Cakey’s best lines/bits – and the ones they skipped don’t matter except in the unlikely chance that Grand Blue Dreaming gets a third season.  Have I mentioned how much I love Cakey?  She’s the only sane one in the bunch and it’s funny watching her try to maintain her balance (and sanity) in and amongst the madness of PAB.

Grand Blue Dreaming - Cakey's memories..png

They also cut the funniest part of Iori bunking with Nanaka and Azusa, but then they trimmed all the groundwork laid in previous chapters.  (tl;dr version: Azusa has the hots for Nanaka, part of the reason he bunked with them was to “protect” Nanaka.)

From the preview, they are going to hit the pool scene – my absolute favorite bit from the Okinawa arc.

This is only the second time I’ve watched an anime where I was familiar with the source…  And it’s been a very different experience from watching Sweetness & Lightning in that respect.  Dreaming is a serial, and they had to trim to fit chapters into episodes and to fit the whole thing into a single cour while also reaching a natural stopping point.  Sweetness on the other hand was episodic and they could and did skip about to maintain the pace of the series without worrying quite so much about adaptation issues.

Hanebado! Ep 11

Once again Hanebado demonstrates its amazing skill at spending two-thirds of an episode either on complete irrelevancies or going back over well covered ground.  That match though…  When it gets to actually playing, it seriously, seriously delivers.

If the series matched the quality of it’s musical cues…  we’d be having a very different conversation.

Harukana Receive Ep 11

Harakuna Recieve - Concentrating on the game.

Some folks are saying this isn’t “actually” a sports anime…  And really, I dunno.  It certainly works as one for me – I mean the whole darn show is about girls participating in a sport isn’t it?  No, it’s not fifty eps long.  Nor does it go into obsessive detail about things.  But it strikes me that neither is central to any kind of useful definition of a genre.

Either way, this was a damn fine episode.  I spent a good part of it practically leaning forward in my seat anticipating what might come next.  They did a good job modulating the tension with flashbacks and turning the camera on the folks watching the match.  I enjoyed the heck out of it.

My Hero Academia 3 /  Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 15 (Ep 61)

Not sure I understand what all the fuss is about – Bakugou sure is a puzzle sometimes.  But, All Might was happy and pretty much every review I’ve read was pleased, so whatever.

Music Girls / Ongaku Shoujo Ep 11

Once again Uori is being a self-centered so-and-so, and once again all is forgiven and the other girls welcome her back with open arms.  Sigh.  This is a well-worn trope in anime that feature any kind of group of people and not one I enjoy when done so badly.

Which inspired this thought:

It’s never going to happen, but I can dream can’t I?

=========

Well, there you have it!  Another week in the books.

It’s been nice this week, the heat has finally broken which means I can cook again…  Had some lovely chicken curry rice last night, and am thinking of making up a big pot of veggie soup this weekend.  OTOH, Hisone to Masotan (Dragon Pilot) drops on Netflix tomorrow so I might want to pick something that doesn’t take quite so much attention.  (I’m currently thinking of marathoning it on Sat.)

Next week’s entry may be shorter than usual because we’re taking off early Wens afternoon to drive over to the Big City to catch My Hero Academia: Two Heroes.

Anyhow, how did your week go?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

14 thoughts on “Summer 2018 – Week 11”

  1. I really can’t tell with Attack on Titan sometimes, what we’re supposed to take seriously and what not. I mean Eren angsting about being special or not while everyone else, including his superiors, are busy with manual labour? This is comedy gold, but I’m sort of worried it’s supposed to be character drama…

    I pretty much agree about Chio Chan (I don’t remember what the first skit was, so I’m memory-wise unable to agree about the skit for now), and that’s sort of a theme for this season. Almost all shows I watched had a falling tendency. Hi Score Girl, Planet With, and Jashin Dropkick all maintained their levels from start to finish; everything else pretty much either got worse or came with diminishing returns. As a result, Dropkick will probably end-up my surprise thired-favourite, but not because of anything it’s done really. (It’s a cheap show, but made with unwavering enthusiasm. Episode 11 was the finale, so I have no idea what they’ll be doing next week. Show the first episode they fast-forwarded through at the start of the season? Live Chart says, there’ll be an episode next week. That sort of playfulness is actually typical for the show.)

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Happy Sugar Life was also one of the shows that kept its quality from start to finish. That one was surprisingly good, but it was also one of those everyone’s-a-psycho shows, and that just starts grating on me, so I dropped it around 5 episodes in (I can’t remember the precise number). I suppose that’s the opposite of diminishing returns: amplifying irritation?

    Oh, come to think of it, Yuuna also kept its good-avarage quality from start to finish, never disappointing and never pleasantly surprising me. Similarly, Isekai Maou was fairly consistent (and if you have my taste consistently bad story, consistently nice emotional moments, consistantly cringy fanservice – the worst I’ve seen in a while) – but yeah, what you get is what you see.

    Almost everything else, got worse or couldn’t sustain my interest as much. (With the caveat that there’s always something I forget.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, and @ Hi Score Girl:

      Can there be any better way to highlight the nostalgia factor than this: There’s a rather obscure and not very popular fighting game I used to play in the arcades. For some reason, the difficulty was set so low that I finished the game with every character but one (I never finished any other fighting game, and I played others way more). For years, I’ve been trying to remember the name. Now, thanks to Hi Score Girl, I know: it’s Martial Champion.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think “at best, consistently mediocre to average” is a reasonable summation of the season. There’s decent shows, but very few (in any?) standouts. Yama no Susume is certainly one of those for me, but I admit I’m biased as all h_ll on that topic.

      re:High Score Girl Sounds like they really did their research, which is always a cool touch. There’s only ever one game I could beat with any consistency – Phoenix. (I have… not the best eye-hand in the world.)

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      1. You’re better than I was, then. I never once beat Pheonix (though I did get reliably to the mother ship, that one was a little tough on me).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Quote: “I think ‘at best, consistently mediocre to average’ is a reasonable summation of the season.”

        I think I can agree with that. Yuuna and Harukana definitely aren’t bad shows, both have kept me entertained, but YnS is probably the only one of these three I’ll ever rewatch. And apparently this entire Aoi/Hinata arc was anime original?? I saw a screencap of the mangaka tweeting (according to the person translating it) that he/she didn’t know how the story was going to end either. If that’s true, then it’s really a credit to the creative staff that the whole arc still felt so seamlessly natural to the characters and the world.

        I ended up missing Harukana 10 last week, so I watched 10 and 11 back-to-back this week. Didn’t do it on purpose, but it ended up being a happy accident. I feel like watching both episodes at once really added to the intensity and immersion of both. And even if the story beats are familiar to other sports shows, C2C was really on their game with the visuals. There were some moments in these episodes I’m going to remember for a long time thanks to the way they were animated, like the shot from behind of Haruka crashing heavily to the ground as she tries and fails to make a dig, or Claire pounding the sand in frustration after losing a key point.

        Still looking forward to plunging into Hi Score Girl once it’s done. Can’t say I’m any good at Phoenix, but tbh I’ve barely played it either – maybe a handful of times at the convention. Out of curiosity, were you ever a Sea Wolf player? It’s an older mid-70s game, but they’ve had one at the convention a couple of times in the last few years, and we’ve actually been having a lot of fun with it.

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        1. And apparently this entire Aoi/Hinata arc was anime original??

          Interesting! I can’t find anything that clarifies this, but fascinating if true! As you said, very well done. (Not doubting you, just seeing if I could find anything more or clarifications.) Did find a bunch of people whining about the arc though, disliking the not-mountain-climbing storyline. Folks missing the point of the entire series…

          re:Harakuna Receive:
          Couldn’t agree more, the visuals have been a cut well above average even if the storyline wasn’t. Is it rewatchable? Probably not… But as I’ve said many times before, not every show is one for the ages. Shame so many people have gotten hung up on the fanservice aspect though.

          Out of curiosity, were you ever a Sea Wolf player? It’s an older mid-70s game

          I do remember seeing it and playing, but in it’s heyday I was much more interested in pinball.

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          1. Gotcha. Just an idle curiosity question that popped into my head, since vertical shooter games (like Phoenix) came up and I know you were a sub guy IRL.

            The comment I saw about YnS was posted on MAL a few weeks ago, referencing this tweet that Shiro posted ahead of episode 10: https://twitter.com/siro700/status/1036552664467689472

            The original poster’s comment when they linked the tweet was, “The author said on twitter this whole thing is anime original:” OTOH, the (awful) machine translation of that tweet says, “Yamano Recommend 10 episodes, this time the original times! The directing was delicate, and something trivial Hinata was sexy? ! What? ! What? The last chill in front of the last mountain! Please have a look!”

            So it’s hard for me to tell without a more accurate translation, whether the “whole thing” the MAL user was talking about means the arc, or just that one episode. It’s too bad we don’t have any scanlations of the series beyond Mt. Fuji.

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          2. I’ve tried a couple of sub games… Most I enjoy even though I know “this doesn’t work like that”. Spent many hours playing Red Storm Rising on my Commodore 64.

            I’m digging about for a translator, hopefully that will shed some light.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Well, Phoenix was the first arcade machine they put up at the local cinema, and the first arcade game I’ve ever played. Sea Wolf was before my time. I had to look it up. Not sure many places around me put up such gear-heavy coin-ops up, though I do remember seeing one of those Star Wars machines once (don’t remember where; though that was a new one in ’83).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Star Wars might have been the first arcade game I ever played – it was almost definitely either that or Berzerk; I have memories of playing both when I was very small, I just don’t know which memory came first. I never saw a Phoenix machine in the wild, although I was aware that the game existed. I had (still have, in fact) a book of tips and strategies for playing various arcade games that someone gave me when I was about six or seven years old, and Phoenix is one of the games the book covers. My first encounter with Sea Wolf wasn’t until 2009, when I ran across one at a boardwalk arcade in Ocean City, MD. I haven’t been back there since, though, so I don’t know if it’s still there or not; parts of the boardwalk area got flooded by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

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          2. My first Game was Space Invaders… Still remember being pissed because it displaced my favorite pinball machine down at Aladdin’s Castle. They added a couple more over the next few months, but I think it was a month or two before I actually played one.

            Within a year or so, the revolution was over – the arcade was mostly video games with only a few pinball machines.

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  2. @Shingeki No Kyojin #46: My impression is not so much that the victory was unearned but that Rod Reiss screwed up the transformation by lapping up the serum orally instead of injecting it, getting an incomplete dose and making his Titan form way less powerful as a result. Reminds me of Conny’s mom from Season 2, found lying atop Conny’s house in Titan form with arms and legs so thin she could not stand or walk under her own power. But the show hasn’t revealed how the Beast Titan transformed the people of Conny’s village, so that’s just speculation for now.

    The other thing Rod Reiss’ Titan reminds me of is the Giant Warrior from Nausicaa, hatched prematurely by Kushana to fight against the Ohmu stampede, and which falls apart as a consequence.

    I agree that this arc feels rushed, and maybe some necessary explanation has been cut as a result. Not having read the manga, I don’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. re:Attack on Titan: That’s a theory that makes a great deal of sense and explains quite a bit.

      An interesting and apt comparison… And now I want to rewatch Nausicaa!

      Yes, it’s deliberately rushed – the manga came under a great deal of criticism for ponderously slow pacing and enormous amounts of exposition during this arc. They chose to trim it back and speed it up for the anime.

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