Winter 2020 – Week 5

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken - Giant Robot
Another week, setting ’em up and counting ’em down!  Some good episodes, some bad episodes, some episodes that are just…  there.  Hit the jump and let’s dive in!

The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.

22/7 (Nanabun no Nijyuuni) Episode 4

After all the angst over Miu and her mother’s conversation last episode…  The actual conversation was basically over in thirty seconds while Miu stood in the hall dressed to leave for the day.  “You’re an idol now?  Cool beans.  Here’s your bento, ganbatte.”

Screenshot (140)
The rest of the episode…  Well, when you have a cast this big, sooner or later they’ll start to spin the roulette wheel and this week Sakura’s number came up.  The resulting storyline was every bit as impressive and satisfying as cold pancakes with no syrup.  No part was original, and no story beat was left un-telegraphed or not stretched out as much as possible to pad out the run time.

A Certain Scientific Railgun T (Railgun S3) Episode 4

Railgun‘s favorite way of getting a story rolling, Saten has once again become obsessed with an urban legend and dragged Uihara into helping her find the truth.  What she discovers, but doesn’t tell anyone, is that someone is definitely manipulating things.

This never ends well for the bad guys.  In the Railgun universe the absolute worst thing you can do is get Saten on your trail.  She’s no badass herself, but she’s got badass friends.

Speaking of manipulating…  What’s Shokuhou’s game?  She’s sure spending a lot of energy isolating Misaka from her friends.  Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s the main plot and they aren’t going to tell us anytime soon…

Asteroid in Love (Koisuru Asteroid) Episode 5

Aaah, that staple of the CGDCT, the beach episode.  (It’s also a staple of fanservice shows, and some CGDCT crosses over into that territory…  that’s not the case this time.)  Totally harmless and fun.

The back half of the episode was also standard, two girls just hanging out…  But, oddly enough, only one of them was a main character.  I suspect that’s because Mira and Ao’s relationship is both firmly cemented and rather shallow/simple.  What little conflict is to be had lies between the two wings of the Earth Sciences club.

The last part of the episode was setting up for that next staple of both the school club and CGDCT genres – the culture festival.

Yeah, I used “staple” and “standard” a lot, but it’s the truth.  The win here comes from the clean execution of those bits.

BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Episode 4
(Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.)

I laughed a bit when Maple fell through the hidden hole…  I’ve done that a couple of time, fallen through a hole in the geometry.  Though the closest thing I ever came to an encounter of any sort was the GM I paged to get me unstuck.

Bofuri (2)
Speaking of GM’s, funny as hell watching them freak watching Maple – the girl who doesn’t know the rules, and so ends up doing the impossible.  (This does happen in real games…  Players finding stuff that didn’t occur to the game’s creators.)

While the big boss battle was visually impressive, my favorite part was the girls faffing about with their newfound pets at the end.  Bofuri is fair to middlin’ as an MMO/Adventure story, but it really shines when the girls are just being friends and doing whatever.  OTOH, w/o that settled background the adventure part wouldn’t work so well.

Chihayafuru 3 Episode 17

I have to admit to being conflicted here.  The Queen match was interesting and well done, but I’d have much rather been watching Harada sensei and the Master match.  Speaking of the Queen, what do you think of Shinobu’s reaction of Chihaya’s mention of the class trip?  I think she’s pissed because Chihaya chose the trip over facing her.  (Hence the “let’s play again” flashback.)  My wife think’s it’s because Shinobu has never been on a class trip…

Their relationship overall is kinda interesting.  Chihaya sees Shinobu as a rival.  But I sometimes get the feeling that the Shinobu sees Chihiya as the closest thing she has to a friend.  I mean, she’s the only one in her life that seems to get her fascination with character goods – practically the only ‘luxury’ in Shinobu’s life.

Chihayafuru - Shinobu
Either way, the combination of Chihaya’s ‘betrayal’ and the revelation that her grandmother is using her for her own ends…  Shinobu is going into the second match in some very bad head space.  Can she use that anger?  Or can Inokuma exploit it?

If My Favorite Pop Idol Made it to the Budokan, I Would Die Episode 4
(Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu)

Seems someone on the production staff forgot that Cham Jam got new outfits an episode or two back…  Can’t say that bothers me as the more generic ones they usually wear are far more attractive.  Just wanted to point it out.

Eripiyo…  is just diving further into madness.  Her dedication to Maina lead her to endanger her health by taking on multiple jobs.  Why?  So she can buy enough CD’s to get Maina out of last place in a popularity poll.  People talk a great deal about exploitative the idol industry is of idols…  But I think this is the first time any idol show has so nakedly addressed how exploitative is it of fans.

Where does the show go from here?  What deeper depths can it plumb?  I have no idea.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasuna!) Episode 5

Despite being confined by a deadline and needing to impress the Student Council – Girl versus Tank was essentially a labor of love.  The concept was theirs, and limits were on the execution.  The ladies of Eizouken now find themselves in a very different place, with customers to please (as well as budget goals and deadlines to meet).

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken - Giant Robot
Honestly, I loved that moment…  When the dreamworld of Eizouken and the Giant Robot Club coincided.

It all worked out in the end though…  (For the moment?)  the Giant Robot Club accepts that the ladies are, like themselves, very passionate about their interest.  There’s going to be challenges a’ plenty going ahead – customers are a fickle lot, and like as not to change their mind after something was already decided.

Sounds kinda like I’m damming with faint praise?  Not really meaning to…  It’s the start of a new arc, and they threw a ton of stuff at us pretty quickly.  Overall, the episode stuck to it’s guns in terms of quality, pacing, etc…  It’s not slowing down or dropping down one bit.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken - Crabtle
Note:  Pistol shrimp, the inspiration for the crabtle’s sonic claw attack, are actually a thing.  Their “pops” are the bane of sonar technicians around the globe.  With Midori’s emphasis on realism, what else did you expect?

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★ Magica Gaiden Episode 5
(Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story)

The battle in the Seance Shrine continues…  And yes, it turns out to be a battle, neither Ui nor Mifuyu turn out to be real – they’re impostors, simulacrums.  And no doubt, their true identity lies at the heart of the show’s mystery.  Tiny Kyubey was there, but nobody seemed to actually notice…

Madoka Magia Record
The interesting part was Iroha.  Her Soul Gem was corrupted, and as is the usual course she became a Witch.  And then…  after Mami’s attack, she wasn’t.  WTF is going on here?

My Hero Academia 4th Season Episode 16

I was…  not very fond of this episode overall.  Painfully slowly paced, and very repetitious.  What I did find interesting was Endeavor’s introspection and self awareness of his failure as the Number One Hero.  He’s never struck me as being capable of such depths.

Room Camp (Heya Camp△) Episode 5

Room Camp
What more needs to be said?

=========


Other accomplishments this week…  Bound a small logbook for my wife to record her guinea pig’s weight in.  (Here’s a small gallery detailing the process.)  I’ve been learning to cook in cast iron, and made some lovely (and tasty) cornbread on my first attempt.  I didn’t realize how much I was missing real cornbread until I took a bite…  Will be making more in the near future!

So, what did you think of this week’s shows?  What’s going on in your life?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

8 thoughts on “Winter 2020 – Week 5”

  1. I didn’t understand half the process of making that book, but it looks cool. And that bread looks so appetising – I’d love to taste it. (I’m fond of bread, and unlike anyone around me, I tend to eat bread all alone with nothing else to accompany it.)

    @22/7: Yesterday, I came across a thumbnail for the show and wondered if I’d forgotten to watch it this week. I very nearly clicked play again, but remembered in time. Oh, yeah, blond girl’s backstory. Forgettable as can be. Part of me still expects the wall to get rid of her parents so she can bask in the warm embrace of the idol cult (much better than a family). I keep forgetting it’s probably not meant to be horror.

    @Bodukan: Yeah, draw as much money from the fans, and then guilt-trip your replacable idol into trying hard. Thought experiment: if the show goes on long enough, all the current idols will be fired for getting too old. It’s inevitable. How would this show deal with this situation? Idol-fan seems like an unhealthy relationship. Is it ever about the music at all? Why don’t they just sell the tickets without the dvds? Harder to justify the price? “Believe in your fans?” Oh dear.

    Still the show isn’t bad for what it is. Better than 22/7 for my money.

    @Chihayafuru: I saw it pretty much like you did. Shinobu had a “I thought you were serious about karuta!” moment. Oh, and the broken “promise” was even telegraphed via a flashback. The idea that she could be jealous about a class-trip never occured to me, and to be honest I still can’t quite see it, but there’s something to the idea, in a this-is-what-we-sacrifice sort of way. That’s actually interesting to think about.

    Yeah, Room Camp speaks for itself.

    @Magia Record: Yeah, I was surprised that Mami in particular didn’t react to that tiny Kyubey at all. As for the “witch transformation”, I wasn’t surprised here, mostly because they’d made such a big deal about this “not being a witch”, so that I expected different rules from the outset. I mean defeating those things doesn’t yield grief seeds, but at the same time witches are seemingly drawn to this place. It’s entirely possible that something in Kamihama city eats witches? I have no idea what’s going on either, but I’m quite happy with the show. (I found Rebellion quite boring and pointless in comparison.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t understand half the process of making that book, but it looks cool.

      The gallery was actually designed to be linked from a bookbinding forum, so it kinda assumed you knew the process and could fill in the blanks… Sorry about that.

      Re:* Budokan*: Being better than 22/7 (in it’s current state) is not a terribly high bar! I can’t help but think 22/7 would be better if it was a horror show…

      Yeah, I was surprised that Mami in particular didn’t react to that tiny Kyubey at all.

      Plot hole… or foreshadowing? So far the show is good enough I don’t really think it’s the former… But not good enough that I trust that it’s the latter. The show is worth watching, but in a lot of ways it’s not quite living up to what it could be. As the ANN reviewer said, the chapter/quest line/cutscene structure of the source material sometimes shows through.

      Nothing about Eizouken? Did you finally have to give up on it? (Which would be a shame.)

      Like

      1. I’m still watching Eizouken, and it’s still my second favourite of season (and still has favourite potential), but mostly I don’t know what to say about it. It’s not very… varied. I’d be saying variations of the same thing every week. For example, riding the robot isn’t all that different from riding the dragonfly plane, for me. There’s some added social dynamics with the robotics club, singling out Kanamori a bit more… There’s some sort of development here, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s basically a more artist-centred Shirobako with a much better meta-game, for me. It’s interesting to watch, but not something I know how to talk about.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s weird. The best shows often leave me the most silent. Shows like Magia Record never rise to the top, but they’re easy to talk about.

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s