It’s the (in)famous Week Three – when most series have put their cards on the table or had their first big twist. And rightly or wrongly, when a lot of viewers decide to keep the show or give it the boot.
Which shows did I keep? Which did I drop? Which are still on the precipice? Hit the jump and 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.
22/7 (Nanabun no Nijyuuni) Ep 3
Largely generic, except for that silly-ass Wall. I have to say that 22/7 is actually growing on me. If I had to put my finger on why… I’d say it’s Miu. I get her. She knows what she is, doesn’t necessarily like it, but accepts it. But at the same time, she does want to change. She does want to get better, she just can’t find the key. She’s not unwilling to try, even though she assumes she’s going to fail.
The piano scene exemplifies that… Look at the smile, she’s happy making music. She’s happy helping the best way she knows how. She’s happy not being in the spotlight. Will the show capitalize on this? Or continue to force her into an unwanted mold? Yeah, we all know the answer to that one. Other than the silly-ass premise of the Wall, 22/7 isn’t straying far from well beaten paths.
On the same note of staying firmly on the safe side, the other characters are a waste of screentime… They’re largely cardboard cutouts, each with a post-it note on their 2D foreheads listing the tropes that define their ‘characters’.
22/7 is a keeper under the Three Episode Rule, but I have my doubts about the Mid Season Gut Check.
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (Railgun S3) Eps 2-3
So far, Railgun is doing what it usually does (and does so well) – farting around with the main characters while the action quietly builds in the background. The downside of this is that other than gushing about the Sisters, there’s not much to say so far.
The rather ominous ending to episode 3… that’s about to change, and things are going to get serious. I’m looking forward to it.
Asteroid in Love (Koisuru Asteroid) Eps 3-4
Asteroid appears to be settling into CGDCT mode… Nothing wrong with that mind you! As anyone knows, CGDCT is one of my favorite genres. Having the CG being nerds and the CT being science related activities is actually quite refreshing. They’re doing a decent job of shifting back and forth between the unequal halves of the Earth Science club, and that’s making for some decent character moments/growth. I don’t think there will be much to say about it, but it’s a solid keeper.
Also, the space nerd in me loved the attention to detail in the visit to the JAXA center… The picture above is Kibo – the Japanese module on the ISS.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Eps 2-3
(Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.)
Another show that has settled (at least for the moment) into something of a mix of slice-of-life and CGDCT. But it works better than most because of the contrasts between the ditzy Maple (Kaede) and more grounded Sally (Risa). The game mechanics are a little shaky, but so what? Our MC’s are having fun, and so am I.
Speaking of cute girls and characterization… over at 100 Word Anime, Karandi asks a fascinating question: Would Bofuri work if the protagonist wasn’t a cute female character? Well worth reading for Karandi’s thoughts and the discussions down in the comments.
Hatena Illusion Eps 2-3
I know, I seemed interested in this series after the first episode… But the next two have worked very hard to dispel my illusions. In episode 2, Kana (Hatena) was a poor caricature of every tsundre ever. (Sean over at Moe Sucks calls her a “tsundumbass“, which I think is accurate.) The annoying childhood friend almost made me drop the show then and there. And then came ep 3… and we finally get a look at the plot of the show. Stuff has been stolen (or misused) and Kana is going to live up to her dream of fulfilling Mama’s dream of recovering all that magical stuff in the name of the forces of good. (A title Mama and Kana have taken upon themselves, as the former is estranged from the actual owners of the stuff.)
The improbably buxom enemy-of-the-weak pointlessly dressed in fetish gear, that I could kinda put up with… But when this low rent Tuxedo Mask clone put in an appearance, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Status: Dropped. The only amusement this show really has to offer is watching Sean rip into it each week, and I don’t have to actually watch it for that.
If My Favorite Pop Idol Made it to the Budokan, I Would Die Eps 2-3
(Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu)
Oshibudo is walking a fine line… Not too skeevy, and not too meaningless. So far, it’s been successful.
If they return to the setup from episode 4, it’s going to be interesting to watch Eripiyo struggle between her wish to have the world see Maina as she does… and the reality of having other fans trespass into what’s previously been a private world.
Other than that, it’s still indulging in the “near miss relationship” and “avoiding the object of my desire” tropes, and that’s roundly annoying. It would be a better show if it made up it’s frickin’ mind what it wanted to do rather than treading water.
Worth reading: GAR GAR Stegosaurus ponders: Exploitation, a Two-Way Street, or, Mulling ‘If My Favorite Pop Idol Made it to Budoukan, I Would Die’.
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasuna!) Eps 3-4
A collection of random thoughts mostly…
– Unless Eizouken stumbles badly, or some other show I’m watching suddenly gets orders of magnitude better… the race for AOTS is already over.
– There’s a lot of electrons being spent in praise of Midori and Tsubame, and well deserved! But for my money, it’s Sayaka that’s the glue that holds the series together and makes the whole improbable affair actually work. She’s solidly grounded and keeps her eye on the end goal, which is putting something acceptable on the screen.
– After the first episode, I thought maybe the whole “diving into an internal world” was a gimmick. Something we’d see once and then, maybe, sparingly thereafter. Nope. They’ve used it, to great effect, in every subsequent episode… Brilliantly in the fourth episode to show the audience being captivated by the girls’ film.
Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★ Magica Gaiden Eps 3-4
(Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story)
Dear Magia Record production staff: It was absolutely unfair of you to tease us with Mami in an after credits scene to episode 3.
I mean they have to know that the original Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the origin of the (in)famous Three Episode Rule, right?
Anyhow, it was just a tease and she didn’t appear at all in episode 4. Instead, they tossed aside most all of the characters we’ve seen so far in favor of a new character. But we finally appear to be getting to the heart of the mystery of Ui’s disappearance. Is all of this actually building towards something? Only time will tell.
I guess swapping out characters means this collection of the henshin sequences from Ep 3 is kinda out of date? Still worth watching as they’re pretty darn creative. Yachio’s is particularly well conceived.
– Xenodude has some interesting things to say about the second episode.
My Hero Academia 4th Season Ep 14-15
Episode 14 is mostly the recovery from the fight with Shie Hassaikai… But in it’s final scenes tackles something the show eventually had to face. The onscreen death of a major (?) character. I’d say the carried off pretty well, except I felt much more for Mirio (Lemillion) than I did for Sir Nighteye. But it strikes me that’s probably proper, Lemillion is the survivor and the one most affected. Even if he doesn’t get his Quirk back, I kinda hope we see more of him. In a show filled with optimistic and driven characters, he still stands out for sunny disposition and certainty.
Episode 15, mostly filler. We wrap up Lemillion’s storyline, and Our Heroes return to their dorm to the relief of their classmates. What I want to see more of is the conversation between All Might and Endeavor… Will we finally learn more about his character? He seems to be a competent enough hero and self promoter, but other than that… He’s been this lurking, gloating, semi-malevolent background character. I am curious to know more about him.
The other Big Deal in the episode, All For One’s ace in the hole – a Titan. Well, not actually a Titan, but the resemblance can’t be accidental.
Room Camp (Heya Camp△) Eps 3-4
Speaking of Lake Kawaguchi, which the girls visited in Ep 3, this appeared as my Windows lock screen shortly thereafter… It’s cloudy in all the shots on Google Earth, but the photo was taken somewhere near here.
Episode 3 teased us, but ep 4 was directed squarely at Rin fans. (Which is pretty much all of us. Right?) No camping, but plenty of fun call backs to the first season. I about spit coffee across the room with the “hot pot surprise attack”.
Man, I’m going to miss this show when it’s done. We’ve been watching over coffee Monday mornings before my wife leaves for work. Outstanding way to start the week.
Smile Down the Runway (Runway de Waratte) Eps 2-3
This pair of episodes concentrated mostly on Ikuto – a generic milquetoast who dreams of becoming a designer. The only good part of this was that less time was spent on the self entitled and increasingly annoying Chiyuki. Somehow, through a series of ass pulls and deus ex machina they manage a small win and will survive to the next round of chasing their dream.
Only, they’ll strutting down the runway without me. It’s a mildly annoying show and that outweighs what little attraction I have for it.
Well… That’s where I stand today… What are your thoughts on these shows? Do you follow the Three Episode Rule? Do you think it’s garbage? Drop a comment and let’s chat!
7 thoughts on “Winter 2020 – Week 3/4 – The Three Week Rule!”
“Unless Eizouken stumbles badly, or some other show I’m watching suddenly gets orders of magnitude better… the race for AOTS is already over.”
Absolutely. The rest of them are all vying for second now. There are several good shows this season but Eizouken so far has that certain magical touch. Hoping it can keep it up.
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I know, right? I can’t think of the last time a show was so clearly and so far out in front by the 3rd episode. (When that random thought was first committed to paper.)
The wall in 22/7 isn’t actually only silly; it’s got the potential to break the show’s back if the show isn’t careful. They’re playing with the creepiness of the concept on screen every now and then, but if this never goes anywhere, or if people actually get punished for not obeying the orders, what then? If the show ends up a simple the-wall-knows-what’s-best-for-you, then we have a pretty horrible show at hand, actually, that devalues any real emotions. I’m also not sure what to make of the mom receiving the ticket. It’s not generally a bad idea, but the background manipulation is pretty damn creepy – and it’s entirely possible that the show will ignore this. (On a tangent: I recently realised that 22/7 has mathematical significance as not-quite-pi. There’s a wikipedia page on “proof that 22/7 exceeds pi”. Huh.)
Budokan: the scene where they realise that the idol that one guy likes looks a lot like his little sister? I had a de ja vu experience here: as if I’d seen this exact scene before. I was looking for a previous OVA or an announcement trailer, but couldn’t find anything. The brain’s a strange thing. I was convinced I’d seen the scene before, even feeling like I was micro-predicting it as I was watching it. But that doesn’t seem possible. Huh v2.
I quite like the Madoka show. It’s solidly entertaining.
I’ve given up on Asteroid; it’s just boring me.
I’m very happy with Room Camp, as it’s not actually just a reprise of those room-camp episode finishers, but more like setting-appropriate vignettes. It’s really good, and it’s even more valuable considering that dedicated slice-of-life that actually works has become a bit of a rarity.
Eizouken is great, but it’s dropped to second place due to the CGI/camera movement combo really triggering my motionsickness. Because of that, I have trouble consistently getting lost in the show. For example, I pretty much skipped their presentation. I literally couldn’t watch it without risking queasiness/headaches. I loved the scene though, with the two creators actually putting criticising their results over the actual social situation and their funds. They’re such darling geeks. I love them.
My fave show of the season is now Hanako-kun, which is actually slowly developing a story. Depending on where the story goes, the show might drop again, but currently I’m really happy with the show.
And with Runway, I’m playing now-I-like-it/now-I-don’t. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
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Can’t disagree with your thoughts on the Wall. I don’t think it’s that well conceived.
I think this is one of the few time I think I’ve been happy that a title was something of a troll. Before the show aired I was wondering if such reprises could even carry a series. (And you know I LOVE this series. Would have been solidly AOTS if it hadn’t been going up against the Antarctica Girls.)
It’s not impossible for it to right itself and turn into something decent. They just couldn’t make me care enough to stick around and find out. If either one of the MC’s had been decent… maybe. But both just annoyed me.
Very helpful! Is there anything more I should know next? Or is this a good start?
It’s a good start. You can click on “2020 Winter Season” to check out the whole season’s worth of reviews.