Aahhh! Week three, most shows are starting to hit their groove and/or make their big reveals. It’s also the week of the (in)famous “Three Episode (or Madoka) Rule”… (I should write more on that one day.) That’s when a lot of folks decide whether or not they’re going to stay with a show.
How did this week fare for me? Did I drop anything? Hit the jump and let’s find out!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics,
strikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.
(*) A Certain Magical Index III Episode 16
The plot of Index has become so convoluted that it has collapsed under its own weight into a sort of black hole… and no information escapes a black hole’s event horizon.
Which is an over complicated and probably excessively clever way of saying that I have no idea what’s going on anymore. I’m just onboard for the explosions and over-the-top battles.
Girly Air Force Episode 3
The reveal about Gripen’s origins and Kei’s response was… about the clumsiest execution that I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, Yahsirodoori’s rationalization for continuing testing is quite realistic even if he is something of an ass about it.
But now they’ve worked themselves into a corner… They’ve made it clear, multiple times, that if Gripen failed this test – she’s history. And now, she’s failed the test Big Time. I’m not sure how they’re going to _ss-pull their way out of this. Girly is a keeper for the moment, but the next ep or two may change that.
Also not praiseworthy – of course the American Daughter is blonde and busty…
Endro~! Episode 3
True to her word, Mao (the loli demon lord) seems to have retired and makes no appearance in this episode. (And I’ve obviously watched too much anime if I can type a phrase like “loli demon lord” without batting an eye…) But as annoying as she was, something seems lacking with her being absent.
With this episode, Endro goes in a different direction… Pretty much stock SOL/CGDCT, but set in a fantasy world with very obvious RPG elements. I don’t think I was too fond of it at first… But on reflection, I liked it. As any long time reader knows, both SOL and CGDCT are smack dab in the middle of my wheelhouse. Let’s wait and see where they go with this concept.
My Roommate is a Cat / Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue Episode 3
I’m not sure how to feel about this episode. So far, Cat has done well handling the smaller slices of life… While I appreciate Subaru’s backstory, the dip into mysticism wasn’t a good fit.
The Quintessential Quintuplets / 5 Toubun no Hanayome Episode 3
Once again, Quintuplets defies expectations! Even though Fuutarou converted Miku fairly easily last episode, with Nino he’s hit a fairly solid wall. No one (episode) and done here! She’s not only not interested in studying, she’s actively sabotaging his attempts to get the other girls to study. When Nino was slyly getting the other girls to bail on the study session, they also made it clear that Fuutarou is going to face a variety of challenges. I hope they follow-up on that.
What I found interesting is her motive… She’s afraid of Fuutarou changing the family dynamic. She’s afraid of change upsetting her familiar life with just her sisters. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
(*) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime / Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Ep 15-17
Boring! We’re now on the third episode of more-or-less endless talk, talk, talk.
The last three shows are out of their normal alphabetic order because this was the order we watched them in last week… It was quite the punch in the feels.
Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka / Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka Episode 3
Quite a bit to unpack this episode…
First up, we meet another of the Magical Five – Mia (Just Cause). Of course, being American she’s blonde and sexy (as mentioned in Girly Air Force above). Asuka then proceeds to double down on the stereotypes by adding “hyperviolent and addicted to guns” to the mix. On the other hand, you just have to admire her “Mia smash!” attitude. A refreshing change from overly introspective magical girls. The same sequence also reveals something disturbing, a connection between the drug cartels (in Mexico) and the Queen (in Japan). Whatever is going on… we’ve only gotten a surface look at so far, and it’s big. (The cliffhanger is another clue in that direction.)
Then there’s Karumi. Her relationship with Asuka is… not healthy and borderline obsessive at best. She’s constantly trying to one up the others and get herself between them and Asuka. Is she searching for comfort and the familiarity of having Asuka as a protector?
Lastly, the pool scene. A huge dose of fanservice that this series did not need. On the flipside, it was interesting to see Sayako take charge of herself and try to get around her fear. It’s no substitute for professional help, but it’s a start.
THE PROMISED NEVERLAND / Yakusoku no Neverland Episode 3
This episode was not their best outing. Emotionally it stayed strong, but the execution was decidedly weaker than the first two episodes.
I’m not fond of Sister Krone as she’s just a wee bit over the top… Not a good fit with the more subtle characterization that has been Neverland‘s forte to date. (Not to mention the rather distasteful stereotype of her character design.) As useful as the information was, her infodump about how the world worked and her ambitions was clumsy as hell. Though some of the cinematography in the scenes was fantastic, the same general complaint applies to watching Our Heroes talk, talk, talk.
Also could they be more obvious who the plant/quisling/mole is? Though I still don’t trust Ray. Something about that boy bothers me, though I can’t put a finger on it. One unsubtle bit, one subtle bit… very strange.
The Price of Smiles / Egao no Daika Episode 4
This episode left me with mixed feelings. I get it, Princess Yuuki is a proxy for the horrors of war… As a character, she’s very useful in that role. But what in tarnation are the adults in the room doing letting a twelve-year-old make critical strategic and tactical decisions?
Having her almost but not quite play act kinda made sense in the first episode… But it makes no sense for her to directing the course of the war.
As to the reveal about the possibility of Stella’s parentage… Taking it as real, that would go a long way to explain some of her behavior and feeling like she doesn’t belong in previous episodes.
If you’ve read this far, you’ll have seen there are no third episode drops. I do have to say that I feel that Girly Air Force, Endro~!, and My Roommate is a Cat are all starting to veer a little off course. They’re on probation pending the mid-season gut check. Except for Price of Smiles and possibly Neverland, all the rest are pretty much staying in their lanes.
One good thing about not watching any shows on HiDive this season is that means I don’t have to fight their wonky UI to collect screenshots. But before dropping our sub we’ve been watching and enjoying the hell out of Mitsuboshi Colors. Thanks Dawnstorm for bringing that series to our attention!
And that’s the week all wrapped up in a pretty little bow! How did it go for you? What are your third episode thoughts? Drop a comment and let’s chat!