Is it just me, or did Iroduku get a whole lot better this week? (Not that it wasn’t good before!) All that and more coming up… So hit that jump and let’s dive into this week’s shows!
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.
A Certain Magical Index III Ep 4
A grand and glorious mess with various shady characters going to and fro trying to do shady things or stop others from doing shady things. Raildex has been there before and eventually it will all make sense. It’s very odd how this franchise does things that would make me throw stuff if other series tried it… and I let it get away with doing so.
Kinda annoyed that they teased the appearance of Heaven Canceller last week, and then it turned out to be a cameo. Ah well, they also did that with Accelerator.
Anima Yell! Ep 4
This series continues to be much better than it could be. Yah, we’re still in the standard “recruit the members” arc… But I loved how they soft pedaled the whole affair. Rather than pressure her, Kohane just showed Kotetsu how cool and fun cheer could be and let her come to her own conclusions. How often do you see that?
Bloom Into You / Yagate Kimi ni Naru Ep 4
Am I the only one who thinks Maki is being just a little bit creepy here?
Bunny Girl Senpai Ep 5
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai / Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai
Last episode a lot of emphasis was placed on Laplace’s Demon causing the time loops. This episode, the why was made clear. It’s not really about the confession and Tomoe’s feelings towards jock dude. (Whose name escapes me and I’m too lazy to look up.) There’s something more meta going on… It’s all about Tomoe trying to calculate the effects of the confession and seeking the best possible outcome with regards to her “ambitions” (desires?). She’s all about trying to fit in – trying to not be ignored, but also trying not to be the nail that sticks up.
Speaking of confessions and outcomes… With the dates being made so obvious, and Tomoe’s reactions at the end, I’m guessing there’s going to be one king hell of a time loop. Tomoe, consciously or not, is going to seek a timeline where she’s the one with Sakuta.
Iroduku Sekai no Ashita kara / IRODUKU : The World in Colors Ep 4
Well, we finally get to meet Gran-Gran and she is… not quite what we’ve been lead to expect. Seems her time abroad has settled her down and matured her some. (Only some!)
It’s interesting that she so quickly and openly accepted Hitomi…
She is what this series badly needed though. I didn’t realize until this episode that someone with energy and personality was missing. It’s not that it was bad or anything before, but like a dish that needed just that touch of salt it’s much better with her in it. (If that makes any sense.) Somehow she just brings everything together.
Photographically speaking, their advice in this ep was spot on from a technical and artistic point of view. Colors can be distracting, while monochrome forces the viewer to concentrate on light and form.
Release the Spyce Ep 4
Um… wait. What? Seems to neatly sum up how I felt about this ep, and it seemed to be a pretty common reaction.
Other than being pretty predictable, there wasn’t any problem with the episode itself. The problem is that it didn’t feel like part of the series… The other girls barely appeared, and the villain seems to be a one-shot.
Character progression is good, heading off on a side road when the main plot is barely underway (and we’re already third of the way through the season) – not so much. They’ve been building towards a climax/confrontation, and this just felt off in terms of pacing.
Run with the Wind / Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Ep 5
This episode felt… I dunno, slice-of-lifeish? Can’t quite put my finger on it.
Resistance to Haiji’s scheme is slowly crumbling. Yukihiko (lawyer boy) grumbles endlessly but still shows up for the morning run. Pretty much everyone else who isn’t Prince or King are either at least going with the flow or have become actively enthusiastic. Nico-san is an interesting case, seizing on running as a chance to quit smoking… Prince seems to have ceased all active resistance and now hopes that either death or a miracle will save him. King on the other hand, is the last active holdout and openly defies Haiji. But Haiji doesn’t seem to be chasing him, not even as much as he chased Prince (a much more unlikely choice for being an athlete).
Those shoes though… shudder.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Ep 4
Finally an episode where stuff happens! Almost too much stuff to cover in the short format I use!
Kirito finally gets his battle on… Canonically, one of his favorite things to do. Headstrong as ever but somehow he never figured out that in this world he’s not the overpowered God Of Battle he’s used to being. And as a result, he got his ass kicked and came dangerously close to a party wipe. If Eugeo hadn’t finally grown a spine and Selka hadn’t turned out to be a darn good mage things might have turned out very different.
Nobody in the village noticed that the Gigas Cedar/Demon tree got cut down 900 years ahead of schedule? Seems to me that somebody would notice and care.
And what kind of Calling is Swordsman? Seemingly one that lets you just wander about on a whim rather than being tied to a place and a task. Like not noticing the tree being chopped down early, this seems to run against the order and organization that characterizes the rest of this world….
Anyhow, we’re finally out of that dang village and on the road to the Central City.
Meanwhile… what’s happening in the real world though? Kirito doesn’t seem too worried about that.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime / Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Ep 5
Seems I can’t get away from talking about Slime, this week it’s more of a meta-discussion on the nature of pacing… To quote myself from Cactus Matt’s episode review:
Pacing is important… You’ve got 20 minutes to make the viewer feel that the time he invested was worth it. “Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow but never jam today” doesn’t make for compelling viewing. It doesn’t matter how awesome ep 17 is because everything was so neatly set up in eps 1-5 if you’ve bored your viewers to tears and they drop the show at ep 6.
Slime is relying on the audience’s meta-knowledge that it gets really good much later… and while that’s a valid tactic, it doesn’t always make for the best viewing experience.
Hmm… On that same note, aren’t we going through the same thing with SAO:Alicization?
Merlin at Merlin’s Musings also makes an interesting point: Slimes Can Be Protagonists.
The Girl in Twilight / Akanesasu Shoujo Ep 5
Honestly, before I sat down, I completely expected to watch the ep to finish out the two parter, and then drop it. Then they rather hamfistedly told us that there’s three Yuu’s in this world – when there should only be two. Yuu-Prime and Western Yuu, expected those.. But Sexy Yuu is a new wrinkle, and she’s been manipulating the girls of the Radio Research Club all along. All we really know about her so far though is that Seriousuka Does Not Approve of whatever Yuu is up to.
The other big reveal, or more accurately reminding us, is that when Clutters die they turn into a golden crystal. The same kind of golden crystal that Chloe found way back in the first ep. I say remind us as I went back and checked and there was a blink-and-you’ll miss it scene with Seriousuka and the crystal after she trounced Lover Boy back in the third ep.
Mia, of course, has a crisis of conscience and become an Equalizer. And her Equalizer form and her attack modes are so deliriously, deliciously over-the-top… It makes Nana’s Wedding Gown form look positively dowdy by comparison. So, now I’m watching just to see what they pull next.
Tsurune / Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudou-bu Ep 2
Seriously… Still not feeling any particular attraction to this largely paint-by-numbers school club/sports drama. Takigawa was a bit weird, granted, but he’s the most interesting thing about the series so far.
Man, I seem to have a lot to say about pacing this week… I’d say that’s probably because so many shows are past the “Ep 3 shock” point and aren’t all that far from mid-season. That’s about the point that (single cour) shows should have the main arc well underway and that multiple cour shows should be transitioning from setup to story arc.
Anyhow, that’s my thoughts for the week.. Questions? Comments? Drop a comment and let’s chat!