A bit hard to write creatively what with everything going on, but I’m going to do my best to get back on that beast and keep going… So, hit the jump and let’s dive into what’s left of my anime season.
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.
A Certain Scientific Railgun T (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T) Episodes 11-12
We’ve reached the traditional endpoint for a Raildex arc… The plots, goals, and protagonists are all out in the open – and battle has been joined. And what a battle it is!
Shokohou vs. Gensei – One of the highest ranked level 5’s in Academy City faces off against Gensei, a wily old fox and an experienced player of the game. You’ve heard the saying “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance”? That certainly applies here….
Kuroko vs. Kouzaka – This fight is much more evenly matched, with two level 4’s going head to head. Kouzaka isn’t quite sure what she’s fighting for, while Kuroko is fighting with Railgun’s respect on the line… and that’s giving her the slightest edge. The game isn’t over, but Kouzuka is in way over her head.
Touma and Sogiita vs. Railgun – The unlikely duo is in way over their heads. With Railgun progressing (as per Gensei’s plan) towards Level 6, the best they can do is keep her contained… And this fight also had the biggest shocker, Railgun was able to shrug off Imagine Breaker. Let that sink in for a moment – Imagine Breaker failed to inhibit or halt Misaka’s berserker rage. I don’t know how this is going to play out, but that’s a huge change from previous depictions of the power.
But there’s a wildcard here… Gensei has interfered with the Misaka Network. Which means he’s hurt Last Order. And who does that piss right off? Accelerator.
And electromagnetic waves are vector quantities…
The bad news is that Railgun has gone on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’ll be some time before we know how the battle plays out…
Appare-Ranman! Episode 1
I couldn’t bring myself to watch the second episode… And after a bit of thought I finally figured out why. I might have liked Appare more, or at least tolerated him better, if I hadn’t met Ishigami Senkuu (Dr. Stone) first. They’re both geniuses out of their own times, but Senkuu has a certain humanity to him that’s far more approachable. Pairing Appare with the milquetoast Kosame (who is merely being dragged along in his wake) doesn’t help matters much. That leaves the race and the wacky side characters to carry the show while Appare and Kosame grow as characters… and I’m just not feeling it.
Status: Dropped, 1 episode.
Arte Episode 2
The basic problem with Arte is that all the characters are cardboard cutouts… That means that there’s little surprising, or interesting, about each episode. They’re basically variations on the same tired theme. Plus (as Xenodude points out), the story feels “modern” – as though the period elements are nothing more than window dressing.
We plan on giving it one more episode, but unless it wows us, Arte is headed for the discard pile.
Addendum: When it came time to plan out our weekend, neither of us much felt like actually watching episode 3… So there’s that.
Status: Dropped, 2 episodes.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater (Houkago Teibou Nisshi) Episodes 1-2
I know, I know, CGDCT is normally right smack in my wheelhouse. But when it comes to Breakwater, I’m just not feeling it. I don’t care for how much Hina is being bullied and as a result I’m not sold on her conversion from the Handicrafts club to the Breakwater Club. The cardboard side characters aren’t helping much.
Status: Dropped, 2 episodes.
Listeners Episodes 2-3
Episode 2 was an incomprehensible surreal mess. Episode 3 wasn’t surreal, but it was equally incomprehensible mess. And now Our Heroes are off on some kind of journey to recover something I’m not clear on for hand waving reasons.
Status: Dropped, 3 episodes.
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Episodes 2-3
(Otome Game no Hametsu Flag Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei Shiteshimatta…)
Catarina continues to make friends with the characters that will treat her badly in the future. (Basically, building a reverse harem.) Could this blow up in her face? When the actual protagonist shows up, she’ll likely become the antagonist… And Catarina will be the catalyst for her unhappy fate. It strikes me that she’s not the kind of person who can condemn another for her own survival. But she’s not going to undo everything she’s done and sacrifice herself either…
And then the time-skip happens… Seems nothing has actually happened in the interim, they’re all just now 17 and the “Time to be Romantic” switch has suddenly been flipped. I can’t say I’m fond of the bishi art style, and time will tell if I enjoy the “new” show.
Nami yo Kiite Kure (Wave, Listen to Me!) Episode 2-3
Not much to say beyond I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Minare is certainly one of the most interesting characters to show up on my screen in a very long time. She puts on an aura of toughness and roughness, but she’s actually vulnerable and worried as hell. I think if she gets more friends (and fewer drinking buddies), she might find life is a lot better than what she’s had to date.
Shachibato! President, It’s Time for Battle!
Based on a game… and the first episode was basically a lifeless rendition of it’s tutorial mission.
Status: Dropped, 1 episode.
Sing “Yesterday” for Me (Yesterday wo Utatte) Episodes 2-3
Though this is supposedly a review of episodes 2-3, I ended up mostly looking at it through the lens of where we are not that (presumably) we’re done with the setup… And that’s most easily done by looking at the three main characters, as the episodes have more-or-less covered them in this order…
Rikou – He’s basically all but dropped out of life. Not really a NEET, and certainly not hikikomori, just… stuck in a rut and without much energy to get out of it. His one attempt to change things, confessing to Shinako, nearly broke him. On the other hand, he’s certainly taking Haru seriously… He wants to change, wants to grow, but is being dragged down by the past.
Shinako – Still burdened by a debt of grief from years ago, she’s basically broken under the load. Rou is a living reminder of the origin of the grief, and Rikou reminds her of what could have been. (Though not with him.) She’s drowning and has all but given up hope of rescue.
Haru – Frankly, I find her the most interesting. A woman-child with some serious intimacy and trust issues. A lot of that springs from whatever went wrong with her relationship with her parents. She puts on a facade of being an adult, wants to be seen as an adult… But doesn’t know how to be an adult. (No good role models in her past.)
You should also check out Bless-senpai’s blog posts on episode 1, episode 2, and episode 3. Good stuff! Dawnstorm, a regular commenter here at the Lounge, makes some good point in his comments to episode 2 and 3.
Tamayomi: The Baseball Girls Episode 2-4
Pretty much a bog standard sports show so far. They’ve got the band together, and set their sights on the Koshien. I wouldn’t expect much less – making it to the regionals isn’t much of goal, especially with players that have already made it
to the show Koshien.
There’s not really much to say other than I’m enjoying it well enough.
Oh, and episode 4… Jayzus, but the animation quality (not that great to start with) took a nosedive. Off model characters (sometimes almost caricatures), janky & jerky motion… It was bad.
Sorry for the big wall o’ text, but most of these shows are on Funi… and it’s a massive PITA to get screenshots.
Between drops and cancellations… I’m left with only five shows this season. (Fruits Basket 2nd Season, My Next Life as a Villainess, Sing “Yesterday” for Me, TAMAYOMI: The Baseball Girls, Wave, Listen to Me!) That’s about as small a season as I’ve ever had, and it’s not impossible for it to go lower…
Anyhow, that’s my thoughts – drop a comment with yours and let’s chat!