Wow… Chihayafuru certainly delivered and then some this week! If I chose an Episode of the Week, it would take the prize hands down. Hit the jump and read about this and all the rest of this week’s episodes. (Including the last of the premieres.)
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.
22/7 Ep 1
One of those shows where the ending credit rolls and I do that blink–blink–blink thing… You know the one, I bet you do it too. WTF did I just watch?
OK, the idol part is understandable enough. They’ve even got all the requisite archetypes and tropes. But forming a group at the behest of a mysterious monolith/Wall buried deep under Tokyo Zoo? WTF?
As a hook, it’s certainly enough to get me to watch next week. Can they make it work and keep me watching? Can’t tell yet. The very epitome of the “wait-and-see” premiere.
Status: Tentative keeper.
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (Railgun S3) Ep 1
She’s back! Railgun doing what she does best…
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…
No screenshot (and not related to the scene above), but I will never understand Raildex‘s fascination with the female butt. It’s not a fanservice show by any stretch of the imagination, but it simply cannot resist a shot of a scantily clad butt at least once a series.
Though it set a few things in motion, largely a check-in and stage-setting episode. No complaints, it’s GOOD to see Railgun back after seven long years in the wilderness. I need to find time to go back and watch the Daihasei Festival arc of Index II to get the background… But that’s not a ‘must do’ as Railgun usually manages to stand alone.
Status: I guess, since it’s a first episode tradition, that I have to give one… But it seems redundant! Keeper!
ARP Backstage Pass Ep 1
Bland and unfocused. Also, the 3D CGI animation segments sucked. 3D CGI is way better than it was, but it’s not consistently ready for prime time.
Status: Dropped without a backwards glance or hint of remorse.
Asteroid in Love (Koisuru Asteroid) Ep 2
The joint camp out of the Earth Science club was a good idea on the face of it… But the actual execution was something of a slog. Might have been better if they’d concentrated on CGDCT and had been a little lighter on the clumsy science asides. I get that they’re trying to show the two parts of the club trying to relate to each other, but it’s not working out in practice.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense
(Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.)
I’m going to end up a steady week behind on Bofuri. These posts come out during the day and we watch the show in the evening.
Chihayafuru 3 Ep 14
It wouldn’t be much of a review to just type “WOW” a bunch of times… Maybe if I made a flashing GIF? No? OK then…
This episode delivered a ton of things, most of them unexpected.
• I kind of hoped I’d be wrong, but I didn’t expect Dr. Harada to win. I don’t know why, as arguably it’s not Arata’s time yet. Dr Harada won on his own terms, with offensive and often unsubtle style taking the day. I think Arata’s mental game cost him the win, as he was trying too hard to channel his grandfather rather than playing as himself. If it was a clumsy ploy to counter Dr Harada, it was an abysmal failure.
• I did not expect, I daresay nobody expected, Arata to (finally) confess to Chihaya. Certainly not in the middle of the room the tournament was played in – with everyone listening in! I don’t think he planned to, it just kinda slipped out in the emotion of the moment.
While everyone else was surprised/shocked… Taichi was rattled to his core. I don’t think he grasps what he’s caught in the middle of. His eyes have certainly been opened. For her part, Chihaya was… I dunno how to express it. There’s not quite words for how her world has been upended.
But it’s good that things are finally in the open after two and a half seasons of dancing around the elephant in the room.
• And last, but not least, I would never in a million years have expected Shinobou to be rattled. Has she faced Inokuma before? (I don’t recall if we’ve ever been told one way or the other.) Either way, she’s not looking forward to facing her now.
The precise moment I was done with show.
Reviewers tried so very hard to be funny. It failed. It tried so hard to be sexy. It failed. It was just… bad. Really, really bad.
Status: Dropped. And I feel a need to go take a shower and get myself clean.
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasuna!) Ep 2
Sayaka is rapidly becoming my favorite character. Her feet are solidly on the ground (usually digging in), and she takes the straightest path to her goal without regard for any obstacle. I’m not entirely certain why she’s so determined to see Midori and Tsubame succeed… (It can’t be as simple as money. Can it?) But she won’t take “no” or even “maybe later” for an answer.
Not quite as frantic as the first episode, but still completely satisfying. They’ve got a club, a clubhouse, an adviser – and not much of a clue as to what they’re going to do next. That is, beyond getting out of whatever trouble the footage of Midori’s fall leads to.
Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★ Magica Gaiden Ep 2
(Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story)
Last week were introduced to the central mysteries of the show… This week we were introduced to a trio of quarrelsome middle schoolers. The two appear to be connected, but this episode was a long step down from the first.
Hopefully things move along a little more sharply next week… We needed to know about this trio if they’re going to play a role in the plot, but it didn’t need to be dragged out so long.
My Hero Academia 4th Season Ep 13
Within hours of this episode airing… I saw two tweets, one praising the episode as one of the best, one panning it as draggy and slow. Personally, I can’t entirely disagree with either. Deku was at his finest in terms of determination and drive, and finally getting Eri’s full backstory certainly put some meat on the table… But that was a really bad time (dramatically speaking) to go into flashback mode and the final battle did drag on longer than needed.
At the end, it did deliver the feels and the message it needed.
The episodes biggest sin (IMO) was putting Ochako and Froppy on the scene, and then repeatedly doing barely anything with them. Not throwing shade on Red Riot, his story was well done, but this pair are far higher on the scale of secondary characters.
Room Camp (Heya Camp△) Ep 2
Cute, calm, a well done ep. A little bit sad that food standards have slipped a little but otherwise everything was just fine.
Can’t really say more than a couple of lines… May move this to the “watched but not commented” category. But I hate to diminish Room Camp even by implication.
And with this, all the shows on my list have premiered… I’ve updated my schedule for those who are curious. Eleven shows, is right about my limit, even in a season where there’s little happening in my real life. Anything news will probably have to take the place of a dropped show.
Anyhow, your thoughts? On my thoughts, on this week’s shows, on anything else random that springs to mind? Leave a comment and let’s chat!
3 thoughts on “Winter 2020 – Week 2”
22/7 reminded me most of AKB0048 (even the music’s similar), and then I find out the franchise has the same producer. A lot will ride on how they develop the lead. There are a few ways this could go badly wrong. The most depressing moment in the show was when she sold her keyboard for petty cash.
I thought the Madoka show was finding its feet, but also thought events moved a little too quickly to properly take in the mood. The pacing would have made more sense if there were only two girls, but with the third to arbitrate unsuccessfully between the two bickering girls, the situation’s more complex. It’s hardly a perfect episode, but it wasn’t a step down for me.
And, yeah, the reviewers were really not my kind of show, either. I finished the episode, but no more.
Well, I do have something to say about Room Camp: it didn’t take place in the room. The show might have more variety than expected. That’s a good thing.
I don’t know what to say about Eizouken!. It’s still my favourite show, and if it weren’t I’d have dropped it by now, because it’s a motion sickness hazard. As it is, there’s no way I’m dropping this. Also, they talk about animating wind, and later we get animated heavy rain (and wind).
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I wasn’t sure if she sold or pawned it… But yeah, she was really desperate in that moment. (And that they called it out as an “older model”, they’ve been verging on it for a while.) I can’t help but wonder if the Mysterious Organization had a hand in the whole affair.
It’s only real flaw is it’s (current) absence of Rin. I can’t imagine that will continue though.