It has been a fun couple of weeks… And I don’t mean just in the anime I’ve watched.
Anyhow, hit the jump, I’ll give a brief explanation of how we got here and then run down the shows!
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.
Life has been fun… I was sick Wens/Thurs/Fri of last week, and so didn’t get a post out. Well, maybe not sick, it was more like jet lag and not being able to get and stay on a coherent schedule finally caught up with me. (I’m all better now.)
So last week is collected here with this week’s writing.
Then, this week, Wens/Thurs has been disrupted by getting the AC out and setup and ready for a coming heat wave. Then, this morning… I accidentally put dish soap in the dishwasher, resulting in a helluva mess. And almost created a second disaster because when I put the towels I soaked up the miss with in the washing machine – I automatically put soap in. Caught it just before it overflowed.
I know, I know, you don’t wanna hear this stuff. So let’s cut to the chase and talk about anime.
Amazing Stranger (Chou Kadou Girl) Episode 4-5
Watching these episodes, two things became clear to me… First, there is in fact some kind of other power with an unseen agenda interfering here. Second, I’m not actually enjoying this show very much. It’s a short, so it’s not a huge investment of time, but I do ask for a minimum return on that investment.
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Season 3 Part 2 – Episode 1
And just like that… We’re back in action. And I’m loving it!
This episode ranks with best action episodes of series, nicely balancing tension and apprehension against explosive action. I loved the spotlight on Armin, because it’s true that brains have been as important as brawn in the war against the Titans. The momentary confusion of the troopers placed under his command was well handled. A nice demonstration of how military discipline works, you have an order and a man in charge – and you move out with no further questions.
Bonus: Eren got little screen time and fewer lines. Is there any other anime where you wish the main character would just shut up and get less screen time?
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Season 3 Part 2 – Episode 2
A mixture of boring exposition and white hot action… Titan at it’s finest. It was heartbreaking to see the Scout pause in taking on the Armored Titan. This is the first time they’ve tried to kill a Titan they knew was a person. More than just a person, a former comrade. Someone they’d shared much with.
Eren got some lines… Actually decent for once rather than wallowing in self pity. Is he finally growing up?
Cinderella Nine (Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine) Episodes 2-4
This series is steadily devolving into a fairly bog standard school club anime. You have your enthusiastic girl. You have your reluctant member. You have the members who’ve joined for no particular reasons whatsoever. You have improbable coincidences, and Student Council who (for no apparent reason) oppose the forming of the club.
This is not a problem, it just is.
What it does have going for it is two main things… First, it’s taking baseball rather seriously. Second, game elements (it’s adapted from a smartphone game) and the nearly inevitable male self insert character are absent. (At least so far.)
It shows signs of wanting to break the mold and being a legit drama, but the staff appears to be holding back. Maybe when (if) they get to actually playing rather than gathering the band and practicing, they’ll finally step out.
Cinderella Nine (Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine) Episode 5
Nicely done… Our Girls decide to hold a practice game against another team, and get whomped pretty good. Not so nicely done.. Most of the girls stay away from the next practice, and then show up anyhow vowing to have fun and do better.
I can’t quite articulate why I didn’t care for the latter scenes. Getting whomped and hitting bottom so you can grow is pretty much a standard thing in sports anime, so no problem there. I just… it’s been done better. Cinderella isn’t a great show by any stretch, but it’s been more-or-less competent so far. It just felt weak and little unearned.
As I was catching up post-hiatus, I was increasingly reluctant to watch Fairy Gone… When the time came to commit, I bailed. My wife watched one more episode and bailed as well.
I can’t put my finger on why… it just didn’t catch me enough to make me really want to see more. Doesn’t help that supernatural(ish) shows aren’t normally something I enjoy. Neither did the rather muddled plot, the strange mix of CGI and 2D animation, or the somewhat repetitive nature of the first episode.
Fruits Basket Episode 5
Half of me says that much sadness and pathos and happiness couldn’t possible be earned in just five episodes. The other half tells that have to just shut up. Just like this week’s ep of Kono Oto Tomare!, it shouldn’t have worked – but oh it did. Oh it did.
What struck me as really sad… how little she had to take back to the Soma’s house. I know, stuff is stuff and not all that important. But even for a child, being able to fit all of your life into a pair of small bags is just… saddening. Maybe it’s just me.
(*) Joshi Kausei Episode 4-5
Very cute, and probably the closest in style to manga so far. I’m still not sure what to think of the reaction noises… They kinda add to the episode, but they also kinda detract from the style.
Anyhow, Joshi Kausei is going on the “watched but not regularly reviewed” list because it’s going to be hard to come up with much to say about it on a weekly basis.
Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life Episode 5
Oh. Em. Gee.
Sorry about the screenshot… Couldn’t figure out how to not get Funi’s playback controls in the shot.
The performance scene was incredibly good. I’d put it up there with some of the best I’ve seen. At first, I questioned the addition of more of Chika’s backstory, but as the performance continued it just simply worked. Satowa got some GREAT character moments as she grew to realize she’d misjudged Chika. And changing up her playing to bring the group back into sync, a wonderful way of showing how she’s becoming less of a prima donna and more of a member of the group. (And who wants to bet that she and Chika aren’t a couple by the end of the series?)
It’s really rare for an anime to showcase such a powerful early climax, and practically unheard of for it to work so very well. But it also sets up a problem.
Kono has been pretty darned good so far… But this ep set a nearly impossible bar. How can they keep up this momentum? I’ll be tuning in on Saturday to find out. I just can’t help myself.
MIX: Meisei Story Episode 4-5
One Punch Man 2 Episode 3-4
Eh, what a long dull slog. This goes double for ep 4, which has a lengthy dose of exposition delivered by a side character. (Who will almost certainly be important late on, but whose introduction was excruciating.)
I’m already seeing folks dropping the series, and the temptation to join them is growing. If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 isn’t available commercial-free, I may drop it simply because One Punch Man 2 by itself isn’t sufficient to justify subscribing to Hulu.
Senryu Girl (Senryuu Shoujo) Episode 4
Cutest. Conversation. Ever!
This episode introduces Kino – who, like Nanako, has a bit of a problem communicating with others. Nanako communicates via poetry, Kino communicates via cartoons (drawings?). The result is just charming as all get out.
The drawing contest was fun to watch. Nanako sees the world as cute, bright, and sparkly… and despite himself, Eiji sees other people as threats – even Nanako.
Theoretically, Senryu Girl should be candidate for the “watched but not regularly reviewed” category… But nah. For now, I’m just gonna gush over it each week.
Senryu Girl (Senryuu Shoujo) Episode 5
We finally meet the last girl in the OP – who turns out to be a fortune teller, who isn’t actually all that good at telling fortunes. (Because she can never quite get the kanji for the names of her customers right – when she does, boy is she spot on.)
Loved the bit where Eiji got all hot and bothered because the fortune teller told them that he was incompatible with Nanako. Of course his denial of that made her all bubbly and sparkly. Which made me happy as hell.
You may notice that the “to check out” anime have disappeared from the list. With a bunch of busy weekends this season, I’ve got to trim my list. Also, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next week and I’ve got to both catch up and make room in my schedule. Something had to give.
Speaking of busy weekends, I have a medieval cooking demo on Saturday (and a two hour drive each way)… That’s going to push my Saturday shows into Sunday. (Assuming I have the energy to watch them on Sunday.) May or may not impact next week’s post.
(Lined out because that was for last week and it’s no longer relevant… Didn’t make the demo anyhow, too much housework to catch up on after being sick.)
Also speaking of schedules, I’ve updated my schedule page to reflect this season.
So… What are your thought this week? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Drop a comment and let’s chat!