Despite the best of intentions… I have not managed to keep to a consistent posting schedule this season. Ah well, so it goes. Despite all that, here’s my quick overview and thoughts on the season so far. Hit the jump and check ’em 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.
(*) After School Dice Club / Houkago Saikoro Club
Though I’m a couple of eps behind, I don’t think it’s going to vary much from formula. It just not interesting enough to watch weekly, but just interesting enough to catch up whenever I remember.
On the other hand, the reviews I keep seeing tell me I should do so sooner rather than later.
Bananya and the Curious Bunch / Bananya: Fushigi na Nakama-tachi
Honestly, I kept skipping over watching this show and I’d all but forgotten it existed. It just too weird and disconnected to really hold my attention. I’d hoped for more of what the made the first season so good, and I didn’t get it.
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious /
Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru Ep 3
When Ariadna mentioned a world she’d failed to save, I thought for a moment that they might mix up the formula a bit. Nope, within seconds that hope was crushed. The show just doubled down on it’s formula. And it’s just not a very interesting formula.
Chihayafuru dropped us straight back into the action… I didn’t rewatch the first two seasons as I had intended to, but it didn’t take long to catch up. They did a good job of reminding us of all the important stuff without resorting to a recap episode or excessive flashbacks.
I am enjoying the heck out of the show, but the changes in the last episode leave me curious. Both Taichi and Chihaya seem to have abruptly zigged when I expected them to zag. Neither development is necessarily inconsistent with What Has Gone Before, just unexpected.
The village is now firmly on Senku’s side… as if there was any question of that. I just didn’t care too much for the “100 Stories” wrinkle, and the unexpected involvement of Senku’s dad. It just seemed too pat.
So, now we’re back to the high stakes chess game between Senku and Tsukasa with the future of humanity on the line. It looks like the next arc will be all about both sides making preparation for the Spring Offensive, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. Dr. Stone is at it’s strongest when it’s character driven rather than (pseudo) science driven, and I don’t see how that’s going to work with the foundation laid so far.
Also, I don’t see how Senku can plan out a roadmap towards some form of wireless communications – but not towards making more revival fluid. That seems more like plot blindness than anything else.
Kemono Michi: Rise Up / Hataage! Kemono Michi Ep 4
Last week I said that I was looking forward to see how the new cast members might change up the show… Well, now I have my answer: they don’t change things one bit. Kemono Michi went right back to formula, only with more characters.
Kono Oto Tomare! 2nd Season
After the tentative and umpromising 1st season, the 2nd just keeps going from strength to strength. A large part of that is that despite it’s problems, the 1st season did lay a reasonable foundation. Using Akira to explore the relationships of the main characters to playing the Koto has worked out well… But it does leave us with a bit of a question as to where it’s going to go from here. The concentration on music and friendship has worked, but the foundation isn’t quite strong enough to support any exploration of the budding romances in the club.
My Hero Academia 4 / Boku no Hero Academia 4
If I have to say one good thing about HeroAca – it’s that it’s consistent. But really, that’s damming with faint praise because that consistency lies in taking a long time to set the stage and build momentum. Still… I hope they go further down the road of exploring All Might’s fate. One way or another Deku is going to have to learn to stand on his own two feet without having All Might to fall back to and rely on. He’s growing up fast, but he’s a long way from grown up.
ORESUKI: Are you the only one who loves me? /
Ore wo Suki na no wa Omae Dake ka yo
If there’s a show I’ve ever watched that absolutely revels in being utter trash… ORESUKI is probably that show. I’m sticking with it largely to see just how completely ridiculous it’s going to be this week, and it has yet to disappoint.
Outburst Dreamer Boys / Chuubyou Gekihatsu Boy
Hoo, boy… Where do I start? Hands down, Gekihatsu Boy deserves praise for sticking to it’s guns. There hasn’t been any attempt to “cure” the boys of their delusions. They aren’t treated as objects or scorn or pity… It’s just a bunch of crazy kids doing crazy stuff and somehow it all manages to work out in the end. Dawn is probably going to scoff at me, but I want to say that it strongly reminds me of Mitsuboshi Colors in that respect.
Most importantly, it makes me laugh each week.
Status: I can’t actually believe I’m going to say this… But I’m gonna tag it my second strongest keeper.
Stars Align / Hoshiai no Sora
As we round the corner in midseason… I don’t quite know what to make of Stars Align. On the surface, it’s a serviceable school club/sports drama. Worth watching, but nothing to write home about. Underneath the surface, there lurks a deeper and darker thread of child abuse and broken families. Pretty much every character we’ve seen in detail has something unhappy in their background.
Problem is, the two halves don’t mesh all that well. The background keeps popping up just often enough that we aren’t allowed to forget it… But is promptly forgotten soon after. There’s a ton of tension building… so it does keep me coming back.
Midseason thoughts: Middling keeper.
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld
I have to say… so far, this is much better than the first season of Alicization. With only a couple of exceptions, it’s stuck to the character beats and action scenes that are SAO at it’s best. (With the exception of my usual complaint of the lack of Asuna.) Except for the flashback episode, we haven’t been bogged down by the exposition and repetitiveness that made the first season such a long slog.
There are those who say SAO is at it’s finest when the camera swings away from Kirito, and I’m afraid this season is going to be another arrow in their quiver. On the other hand, it’s been a strong demonstration of the effect that Kirito has on those around him.
Well, that’s my really quick and short overview of the season so far. What are your thoughts? Your keepers and drops so far? Hit the comment section, drop a comment, and let’s chat!