Summer 2018 – Week 12/13 Finales

Encouragement of Climb - Two good friends
And so, the season ends…  The fall picture from Yama no Susume is appropriate, as it’s both Fall (seasonally) and the Fall anime season is underway.  (I think I’ve featured Yama no Susume as the head screenshot more than any other this season…  but my love for the show is no secret.)

Anyhow, all the finale episodes are now in the can.  Hit the jump and let’s chat about how they went!
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 10 (Ep 47)

An odd bit of…  Not quite filler (since it’s canon), but doesn’t advance the narrative much.  For a season with such a strong sense of direction it just seemed off to pause and go on a bit of a tangent.

At any rate, despite nominally being about Kenny (criminally underused and now dead) Levi was actually the centerpiece of this ep.  We know now a lot more about his background (and it isn’t pretty)…  And he now has a Build-A-Titan kit in his possession.  He’s about the last person I’d ever imagine would take advantage of such though.  I wonder where it ends up.

  • Aldael at Aldael’s Attic wrote a wonderful piece last week – Dear Diary, an well done account of the last couple of episodes from Mikasa’s POV.

Cells at Work / Hataraku Saibou Eps 12-13 (Finale)

Wow – this is the Big One, something not easily solved by White Blood Cell going postal…  Overall, handled well enough I guess.  I felt something was vaguely wrong, and CactusMatt nailed it – it felt like they were stretching limited material to cover two episodes.

Cells At Work - Red Bllod Cell

Seeing Red go all Serious Business was mildly surprising, but I guess she’s seen it all by this point.  Despite being an airhead, she’s second to none when it comes to work ethic.

Chio’s School Road
/ Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Ep 12 (Finale)

The perils of putting off writing – here we are a week later, and I can barely recall the episode (and not just because I’m a little fuzzy from insomnia and pain pills).  Looking up the episode on Crunchy, now I remember why I don’t remember…  A pair of forgettable and largely phoned in segments.  Chio’s has been uneven all season, and it closes out with a whimper.

Encouragement of Climb 3 / Yama no Susume 3 Ep 13 (Finale)

What can I say?  While not a perfect ending, it was the perfect end.  (If that makes any kind of sense.)  Last episode Aoi declared her eternal friendship, and this episode Hinata reciprocated.  (As if the issue was ever in doubt.)

I think that’s all I want to say, risking saying too little rather than saying too much.

Grand Blue Dreaming Ep 11 – 12 (Finale)

The season closes out with the conclusion of the Okinawa arc and the gang up to their usual shenanigans.  I loved how they dealt with Azusa’s casual approach to sexuality in Ep 11 – simply presenting it as it is without preaching or playing it for laughs.  In a series where practically everything else is played for laughs, that’s surprising and welcome.

Grand Blue Dreaming - at the pool..png
Ah, and before I forget – the pool scene was played out to perfection and I laughed my butt off.

Hanebado! Eps 12-13 (Finale)

This is the Big One – Ayano v. Nagisa for none of the marbles (since they’re both advancing).  But I get why both girls want to play the other, their respective feelings are abundantly clear.

The match was astoundingly well done in terms of animation, one of the few good things about the finale.  Cheers for not cheaping out and blowing out Nagisa’s knee.  I’m more conflicted about her win though, which came about because Ayano dropped her racquet.  Nagisa was beating her at the mental game, and pulling a draw in the brute stamina competition…  But it still just doesn’t feel right.  (And I hate admitting that since Nagisa is Best Girl.)

Harukana Receive Ep 12 (Finale)

That was one tense game, wasn’t it?  Though I never doubted the outcome, in the end the protagonists always win even if they’re newbies.

It was painful but realistic to watch Eclair struggle with their conflicting emotions.  Angry and sad at the end of their dream, happy that their club would be represented at the Nationals, pride in their kohai‘s success.  I have to hand it to them that in the end, they swallowed that bitter pill and put it behind them.  This was really because Akari, the outsider, strongly supported both pairs and reminded them that at the end of the day they were all friends.

Writing these reviews – I found the parallels between the final matches in Hanebado and Harukana Receive to be interesting.  The emphasis on stamina, the mental game, and of great interest – both victories were due as much to a mistake on the loser’s part as anything else.

My Hero Academia 3 /  Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 24 (Ep 62) – Ep 25 (Ep 63) (Finale)

These two episodes…  Felt kind of off.  Not quite like an epilogue or a cliffhanger, but still feeling like a loose end.  They had to run out the clock, and they had to work with what they had (from the manga), and left the season break at an odd place.  Much of the material covered here doesn’t matter in the context of this season.

Music Girls / Ongaku Shoujo Ep 12 (Finale)

This is me pissed – in the final minute of the show, just after reinforcing that Hanako can’t sing…  They put her on stage singing with the group.  Ah well, they’d long since tossed aside the basic premise of the show anyhow.

=========

And there we have it!  The Summer 2018 anime season is in the books!

Look forward to my season review later this week, and I should have my first Fall 2018 First Impressions up later today or sometime tomorrow.

What are your thoughts on the finales?  Drop me a comment and let’s chat!

21 thoughts on “Summer 2018 – Week 12/13 Finales”

  1. Shingeki no Kyojin 48 pre-empted by NHK typhoon coverage.

    On that day…
    The fans received a grim reminder…
    That the world is a cruel place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with ya on Chio. Super uneven series and that last episode really only had one good moment in it for me in the form of a gag segment about, “next season” or whatever just because this show definitely won’t get one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grand Blue’s ending felt very much in tune with the comedy we saw all season and the beauty of diving it was showing glimpses of here and there. The way they treated Azusa’s approach to sexuality was great! I love how they showed her casual and comfortable approach without calling her out for it or anything something we don’t see often but should.
    Hanebado’s final match was amazing to watch. I loved the animation of it, especially when it shifted to black and white slow motion. That really ramped up the tension and was well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watching the finale of Hanebado was very tense indeed… They did a good job there. It’s not just the monochrome, but the way they simplified the sound and narrowed it down too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. The way their breathing was emphasised but the attention was on the movement of the shuttle was just brilliant. Especially how some of the hits were shown. It was different and it really made the match stand out for me.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Insomnia and pain pills? I hope things are better now, or at least getting better soon.

    @Attack on Titan: If Hange doesn’t get the vial (what a toy!) I’ll lose faith in the show (not that I have much, but…). Will we have another human titan on the team. Probably. In about five seasons, if that cellar is any indication.

    @Chio chan: I can’t remember the episode either. Best thing about the show was definitely the excellent voice acting (not only but especially Chio).

    @MHA: Well, it’s coming back for a 4th season, so I suppose they’re just abandoning the idea that season finales mean anything? Anyway, I’m finally out. It’s not that I hate the show, although the All Might hero treatment still annoys the hell out of me. It’s that it’s getting long-running-shounen treatement. Only Hunter X Hunter survived that, and I personally find MHA a decent shounen fighter at best.

    @Hanebado: I thought Ayano only dropped her raquet, once she “knew” she wouldn’t reach it (so it’s a mix about being good at judging distance and losing the mind game)? Would have made sense to me, as Nagisa is definitely the more stubborn character of the two. Rest of the episode? Oh, well… Could have been a really great show. The story was there, the characters were there, and the matches were engaging. But the narrative control was all over the place.

    Final ranking:

    Hi Score Girl (Very good adaption, great story, nostalgia factor through the roof!)

    Planet With (Very tight writing and doesn’t feel hurried along, a tad [but not much] let down by the ending)

    Jashin chan Dropkick (High affection for the show, does some interesting meta-stuff, such as making the penultimate episode into the finale, so the final episode can be a post scriptum that segues into opening)

    Asobi Asobase (By virtue of staying consistent, while nearly everything else was on a downwards slope)

    Kakuriyo Yadomeshi (It’s in the top 5? It’s in the top 5… Seriously, it was cut, but nothing special, and I half lost interest near the end, but on the whole it was good. It’s not top-5-material, though. It’s just this season…)

    Sirius the Jaeger (Final episode incoming. Pretty decent if unexceptional action show)

    Tsukumogami Kashimasu (Ah, what a great concept, wasted on a lacklustre cast with a too modern soundtrack; still worthwhile)

    Cells at Work (Good fun, has platelets)

    Chio’s School Road (Great voice acting, great when good, annoying when not)

    Steins;Gate 0 (Such a promising start, and then they did nothing with it, and became a pointless clinger-on to the great original story. However it gave us Maho, who is a great character, when the story allows it)

    Harukana Receive (One of the most consistent shows this season; maybe I should push it higher?)

    Hanebado (The winner of this season’s wasted potential prize. Excellent matches, good character moments, aweful cohesion)

    Angels of Death (Good trashy fun; the leads play well off each other – the show is less compelling though when they’re apart, since they’re both really one-trick-ponies and need each other to shine)

    Gegege no Kitaro (when it’s good it’s great, but I’m starting to lose interest)

    Yuuragi sou no Yuna san (Good old-fashioned harem with a surprisingly likable male lead, but the same old cringe-inducing ecchi humour)

    Angolmois (started out promising but ended with sad-macho-in-the-rain-looking-cool [well it didn’t rain, and he wasn’t really sad, but it’s the same sort of kitschy feel to it, oh and the potentially good female lead became ornamental girl sigh What did I think?)

    Overlord 3 (Yeah, well…)

    Attack on Titan 3 (Losing interest, mostly a duty-watch at the moment)

    Schichisei no Subaru (It was interesting as long as I didn’t know what was going on. At least it had a certain charm to it)

    My Hero Academia (I’m getting bored with it)

    Island (Hot mess, as if they made a best-of VN, without paying attention which route they’re in – things don’t get resolved, twist out of nowhere that doesn’t even seem that important; well, it was visually okay and the characters could have been likable in a different show)

    Isekai Maou… (Why didn’t I just drop this? Uninspired writing and obnoxious ecchi humour [I won’t complain about Yuna anymore…])

    For what it’s worth, I’m really enjoying Frankenstein Family. Episode 7 in particular was quite the trip. It can look incredibly cheap at times, but they’re always 100 % there when the show needs impact. I’m still floored that Snow (dog boy) is Daisuke Namikawa. Will I ever learn to recognise that guy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably should have edited that bit out… Yah, recovered from the insomnia, still recovering from the back spasm (should be fine by tomorrow).

      @MHA: Even if it is going to be a long runner, unless the seasons are close I agree that season finales should still be a thing. And probably even then.

      @Hanebado: Yeah, I’m going to tackle that in my season reviews. Such wasted promise.

      re:Kakuriyo Yadomeshi: In the top 5? Really? I kinda chuckled, but I get your point. If not for Platelets and Harakuna (the pair), this season would have been a complete wash.

      Ended up watching an ecchi harem… When I was feeling bad and stuck on the couch I watched Monster Musume out of desperation. Turns out to not be half bad (once you accept it for what it is).

      Like

      1. Oh, I was surprised to find Kakuriyo in the top 5, too. It wasn’t even near the spot mid-season, and I actually liked the show more then. I mean I did like it, but no season should have this show in the top 5.

        @Monster Musume: I actually really like that show. There’s this really odd relationship between anime-boob physics and suprisingly realistic animal movement, that gives the show an over-the-top charm. There are some OVAs, which are… optional (I think, I’m grateful for TV censorship sometimes; it’s not that much worse then the TV series, but I find the fanservice a tad more intrusive; contains some gems, though), and then there are short specials, that show what the girls do when they’re alone. Each is about 5 minutes long, and they’re adorable. I think my favourite might be Su purifying hersef through a coffee filter. If you can find them, definitely watch those. They don’t take much time.

        I’m not against ecchi; I’ve seen lots of ecchi shows. Most of the time, the humour’s not my thing (Yuna walks the line, and falls on either side, now and then.) If you want to know what annoys me most about ecchi fanservice? There’s this scene in Isekai Maou, where the two main girls have a cute bonding moment. So you know what that means. Quick, camera, while they’re distracted angle for a butt-shot! Quick! Or the opportunity is over. As a viewer I might think, well, that angle lets me see the pretty moon in the sky better, and the lighting is quite pretty, and… then they sink all my re-interpretation attempts by seguing seemlessly into an embarrassing attempt at ecchi humour. I’m a voyeur myself. I get it. But there’s a time and a place. I really don’t like opportunistic creeper cams and that sort of this-is-really-quite-hot-because-one-character-is-too-dense-to-get-it-and-the-other-is-embarrassed humour.

        Not everything in Monster Musume works for me, but generally it’s a really fun show.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. (Sorry for the late reply)

          I have nothing in particular against ecchi/harem comedies…. Though I do end up watching one now-and-again, they’re just not normally my cup o’ tea and I don’t intentionally seek them out.

          Though an embarrassingly large percentage of early anime watching (before I found current streaming) was ecchi and/or harem shows. At the time, the Netflix DVD had a ton of ’em and once you watch one they keep recommending more.

          Like

  5. Back at a real keyboard now… no guarantee my comments will be better, but they will be more verbose. And in stream of consciousness order.

    @Shingeki No Kyojin… granted #47 wasn’t much of a plot-heavy episode, but it did bring Historia’s and Kenny’s arcs to conclusion (and how bout that coronation scene with Queen Historia giving her people the Scout Salute?), and that last scene with Beast Titan putting the smackdown on the Armored Titan really sets the stage for the next arc. Too bad we’re looking at a split cour… NHK and WIT Studio have yet to confirm, but fans are reporting there are no scheduled episodes of SnK in Japan’s October TV guides after the makeup of #48 and premiere of #49. So we may wind up waiting a while for the start of the next arc.

    @Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro… I’ll concede the show was hit-or-miss, but my internal tally of hit-vs-miss may be a tad higher than most. And the hits were pretty damn funny.

    @Asobi Asobase… you may have missed a bet by not watching this one. It didn’t start quite as strong as Chio but was more consistently funny, and ended strongly enough I’m genuinely wishing it will get another season, as they teased (in-episode!) in #11.

    @Grand Blue… good enough to make me want to go read the manga, since it doesn’t appear likely to be picked up for another season.

    @Angolmois… dang, I so wanted to rate this one higher, but they wimped out on what should have been a proper Alamo-esque tragic ending.

    @MHA3 and YnS3… it’s times like these I wish I’d picked up watching seasonal anime earlier. Just didn’t have the time to go back and watch the first two seasons first, so I could properly enjoy these. Same issue with Sangetsu no Lion.

    @Lupin III Part V… still think this one is underrated. Freshest take on the franchise in a long time. But I still wish they’d taken the promise of the penultimate episode to its logical conclusion. (Lupin on the run in southern France… where do you think he’d try to hide out? Yup… he goes… There. But they don’t show… Her.)

    @Jashin-chan Dropkick… I really wanted to like this series. The first episode set it up as the best violent slapstick since Itchy and Scratchy. But then there was some plot, and it was just too incoherent.

    @Hataraku Saibou… this may end up being my vote for AoTS if I restrict my vote to new series, which would exclude SnK and Lupin for being sequels/continued series. Bonus points for ending strong on a real health crisis and including the platelets.

    @Hanebado and Harukana Receive… maybe it’s just my habit of watching anime late at night before bed, but these ran together for me and I ultimately stopped watching them both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Sorry for the late reply.)

      Looks like you had a busy season… :)

      Re:Grand Blue, as much as I enjoyed the show – I’ve come around to the position that the manga was better. (Which is not the same as saying “the anime was bad”.)

      Re:Hanebado and Harukana Receive That’s kind of a shame. While I can’t blame you for dropping Hanebado (I wish I had), Harakuna was pretty cute and better than average at what it was trying to do.

      Like

  6. “Build-A-Titan kit” cheered me up quite a bit.
    Hanebado’s finale definitely could’ve been stronger. It’s always problematic to wrap up series adapted from an ongoing manga. But Nagisa still remains the best girl!
    And thanks for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Sorry for the late reply)

      “Build-A-Titan kit” cheered me up quite a bit.

      I was casting about for a name, then I remembered we’d seen a Build-A-Bear Workshop when we were over at the mall in the Big City to see the MHA movie… :)

      Hanebado‘s problems run much deeper than that, but yeah – Nagisa Best Girl! (For the series at least, I’m conflicted for the season.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s been a while since I’ve finished (or will finish) this many shows in one season, so even if the critical consensus was “not that great,” it was a more than good enough season for me. My rankings:

    YnS Season 3. No elaboration necessary, I think. You pretty much said it all.
    Hi Score Girl. I started watching the fansubbed version last week. At this point (through 6 episodes), the second half would have to massively go in the dumpster for it to fall from this spot, and I have no worries about that happening. I am enjoying the heck out of it, and just like Dawnstorm said, it’s a massive nostalgia blast for me. It isn’t just the games themselves but all the other little things that bring back memories from those days too, like the crowd around the popular game actively rooting against you just because they want you off the machine so they can play (I’ve been on both sides of that!), or people deliberately baiting the arcade’s resident sore loser into throwing a fit. Since I don’t have Netflix I might end up buying this series, just so I can enjoy it with cleaned up visuals and a more official translation.
    Harukana. I was very happy with the ending, and I thought the execution of the last few episodes was really strong after its midseason mini-stumble. I didn’t have any issues with Harukana winning, either. I never questioned that they had the talent to win this tournament – the only issue was their experience; specifically Haruka’s lack of match experience, and the amount of time the two of them had spent playing as partners up until then. But sometimes talent trumps experience even in professional sports, so it’s even more plausible in high school sports where the lower talent ceiling makes it much easier for an athletically gifted beginner to quickly catch up to the top players. We see it surprisingly often in US college sports, where somebody’s suiting up to play basketball for Duke or football for Alabama and the broadcasters mention that the guy only started playing the sport during his junior year in high school or something.
    Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. Not a bad little series, and also kind of a nostalgia trip in its own way, even if I’ve never felt the least bit nostalgic for stuff like Green Green or Shuffle; I wasn’t sorry to see that particular subset of harem comedies fall out of fashion. I’m going to agree with Dawnstorm again, that the humor does walk the line. Sometimes it hit for me (episode 5), and sometimes it just felt tacky (episode 9). You definitely can’t say that the studio didn’t know their audience, though.

    I still want to comment on your “Worth Watching” piece, but I need to actually find the time to sit down and watch the videos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like Hi Score Girl. You can tell the author was there; the gaming part must be autobiographical to some extent. Also, both Live Chart and My Anime List say “High Score Girl”, but if you’ve been playing Japanese machines, you know it has to be “Hi Score”, even if that’s not the official translation. Limited character space was a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, totally. Hi Score Girl could only have been written by someone who lived through that time – way too many little details that are just spot-on.

        Like

    2. (Sorry for the late reply)

      re:Harakuna What mid-season stumble? And though the anime kind of flashed through it, even though they lacked match experience they’d been practicing together for almost a year.

      Please do sit down and watch them, there’s some good videos. (And I’ve accidentally set myself a painfully high bar for continuing the series..)

      Like

      1. Episodes 8 and 9, the two I commented about being slightly disappointed with when they came out. Not that they were bad, they just weren’t up to par with the other 10 episodes, IMO. And yeah, I agree that they had a year to practice – that was my point – but I guarantee that some viewers (not me) are still going to feel like it was an unearned victory precisely because the series skipped over all of “Schrodinger’s practice sessions” (if you will), leaving us the audience to watch them go from being barely good enough to win a round in one tournament to suddenly kicking ass in their very next tournament just three episodes later.

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