Given the choice between ever-increasing stress because I’m late… or pushing out something that’s not quite complete… I’m going with the latter on the principle that if “no publicity is bad publicity” then “no blog post is a bad blog post”.
That being said, let’s hit the jump and dive right in!
Girly Air Force Ep 2
If I was the kind of guy who put reaction GIFs or image memes in his blog posts… There’d be one of Spock with a raised eyebrow and “WTF?” right about here.
After the action and suspense of last episode, we got what amounts to half an hour of SOL. Kei taking Gripen around the town and, for reasons not entirely clear, teaching her about humanity and human behavior. Worse yet was the excruciating infodump that spanned a good part of the first half of the episode. The denouement however was… kinda expected, kinda interesting. Turns out that one of Gripen’s many operational flaws is that she passes out after three hours. Only today, only with Kei, has she ever exceeded that. Expected of course because it’s pretty clear that Kei is meant to be the Chosen One.
The conflict between Yashirodoori (who sees her as a machine) and Kei (who sees her as a people) is a tired old trope, and in retrospect I should have expected it.
The next episode preview promises some action though… I think it’s the third or fourth episode that will determine whether I keep up with this series or not.
Endro~! Ep 1
From the promotional material, I expected CGDCT… What we got is still (kinda) CGDCT, but with an interesting (and unexpected) plot twist. My main concern? The central plot of “Loli Demon Lord vs. CG adventurer wannabees” can wear thin so very easily.
Still, worth keeping for the moment.
After writing the above, I read Karandi’s episode review and she said about the Loli Demon Lord that really resonated…. “so far she’s kind of petty and pathetic and her schemes are transparent and juvenile”. I think that nails why I feel this could wear thin so easily.
Endro~! Ep 2
Easily summarized – ‘mostly harmless’. And does Mao really mean to give up her ambition to be Demon Lord?
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War / Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
Somehow, this didn’t make it into my Winter 2019 premiere posts… That dammed narrator just would not shut up, and I didn’t find the characters interesting at all. Dropped about ten mins in.
Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka / Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka Ep 2
(Watched, but no comment.)
My Roommate is a Cat / Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue Ep 2
Cute enough I suppose… All about Subaru naming Haru (the kitten) and both of them learning to live together. How that cat ‘knew’ it’s name was a bit of a tug on the heart-strings. I think Cat may soon go into the “watching-but-not-reviewed” category as frankly, there’s not a lot to talk about here.
Pastel Memories Ep 2
I kind of avoided watching the second ep, which a bad sign. And honestly when I did watch it, it just didn’t set well. There was a sudden uptick in fanservice (way out-of-place here), and the Evil Villain was quite frankly… pathetic. The straw that broke the camel’s back was fully a third of the episode was devoted to post-battle indulgences. By that I mean hanging out in the cafe of the world they’d saved, and then hanging about in their own cafe. (And that’s setting aside the indulgent scenes earlier.)
Maybe I’d feel different if it was an anime (world) I like, maybe not. Either way… Dropped.
A commenter on Cactus Matt’s episode review nailed what I was trying to express above… “It felt like they were trying to run out the clock”. With such a thin plot, that’s not a good sign in the second episode.
A tip o’ the hat to Karandi who retweeted this interesting link: Pastel Memories’ commercial apocalypse or, who is this for? Well worth reading! And I have to admit I’ve asked the same darn question about any number of anime.
The Magnificent KOTOBUKI / Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai
By the end of the first few minutes, we’d learned that one guy was a horndog and one girl was really, really, enamored of pancakes. Between the slow start and the awful character animation I was just not feeling it. Dropped roughly five-ten minutes in.
The Price of Smiles / Egao no Daika Ep 2
OK… I expected to see the war. I did not expect them to kill off someone who was plainly being built up as an important character.
The Price of Smiles / Egao no Daika Ep 3
Stella Shining… Is it just me, or is she a real piece of work. I can’t figure out what her deal is, but she is horribly broken. I don’t think it’s PTSD. But I don’t know what it is.
To paraphrase Hank Hill – “that girl ain’t right“.
My wife made an interesting observation… “They’re not making the bad guys unlikable”. Reflecting on that, they’re not really making anyone (other than the Empire’s command structure) unlikable. Both sides are being given human faces, which is resulting in an interesting kind of ambiguity.
THE PROMISED NEVERLAND / Yakusoku no Neverland Ep 2
Echoing what a lot of other bloggers have said… If Episode 1 set the tone, then Episode 2 started setting the scenario. And one by one – the walls and traps are set into place. Our stalwart duo faces the challenge of acting normally to avoid discovery, yet they also must rush because there’s something of a deadline. Making this rush difficult is both the real wall surrounding Grace Fields (the little fence wasn’t actually it), and the discovery that Mama is more prepared than they thought. (Even if they are preternaturally intelligent, they are kids just encountering stuff for the first time – they’re going way beyond their knowledge and experience here.) And the duo becomes a trio… One that’s already badly fracturing over their chosen course of action.
But, you have to admire Emma – if we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to do it right! There’s some heavy family and togetherness things going on, and Emma isn’t going to back down from protecting hers any more than Mama is. Though of course their reasons for doing so diverge…. wildly.
I have to admit in some ways to being a little disappointed in Ray… And not disappointed I guess. In the comments on other blogs, I tagged him as the Guy Who Knows… a potential quisling. In reality, he’s the Guy Who Figured It Out – that Emma and Norman were Up To Something. But he accepted their account of events a little too quickly and easily. I still maintain there’s something up with him, something we haven’t been told/shown yet.
The Quintessential Quintuplets / 5 Toubun no Hanayome Ep 2
And so… the character roulette begins. But that’s to be expected, to convince the girls to cooperate with him, Uesegi has to start somewhere. And just by chance he starts with Miku – who is actually very smart about the stuff she want to be smart about (Sengoku period warlords) but suffers from severe self-image problems. By recognizing this, and reflecting it back at her, Uesegi manages to convince her that she’s not stupid at all.
Of course, he’s a bit of an overbearing ass in the process… but that just seems to be his nature. He’s a very smart dude, and very driven by his family circumstances, but not very humble or socially skilled.
Kudos to the series for sticking to its guns… There’s a (very) few fanservice-y bits here and there, but they feel natural and slide quickly past. (Feel natural? Does that make sense? I mean Miku did have an actual reason for taking off her stockings, it didn’t come out of nowhere.) Ditto for the ‘accidental pervert’ moment that most other harem anime would make a huge (literally) screaming deal out of – slid past as just the accident it really was.
With all the heavies this season… I find myself thinking that I’m going to have to either drop some shows, or limit my reviews on the not-heavies.
Apologies for the half-ass post, but I felt I had to get something out…
Looks like Wednesday is going to be the best day for me to post. Means I’ll be way late on the biggest shows of the season, but that’s just how everything works out.
Anyhow… What are your thoughts on the week?