Fall 2020 – Week 3 – “Famous Episode” edition.

The most (in)famous week in any given anime season… Even without a Madoka twist, by this point shows should be settling into their groove. How does my watchlist shake out after this week? Hit the jump and let’s find out!

The shows that I’m 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.

Adachi and Shimamura Episode 2
Adachi to Shimamura

Despite Adachi’s growing feelings for Shimamura taking front and center, this show stays a slow burn. I kinda like that… I mean, nobody likes twelve episodes of “will-they-or-won’t-they?” because that’s so often badly done. But here, the uncertainty seems organic, a natural part of the character.

That damm astronaut tho… That’s just annoying.

Dropout Idol Fruit Tart Episode 2
Ochikobore Fruit Tart

I think the best that could be said here is… Mostly harmless. The episode wasn’t bad, just nothing stands out in particular.

Iwakakeru! Sport Climbing Girls Episode 3

This was the episode Sport Climbing badly needed… Concentrating more on the physical and mental training side and less on character development. It’s not that there was no character development, more that it was in service of advancing the story line. (If that makes sense.) Giving the newbie Konomi someone who looks up to her while also inspiring her was a nice touch. But let’s not pile on too much, too soon!

3rd episode status: Mild keeper.

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Episode 3
Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai

I’m not sure what to feel about this show. There’s a lot of decent individual parts (and some not so decent) – but there’s a lot of sand in the gears, so they don’t run really smoothly. The biggest problem is there’s just too many characters being thrown at us and too many situations where I don’t feel they’ve given us reason to care. There’s a lot of groundwork missing.

I’m betting this is an adaptation issue. The production staff’s target audience is those who’ve already played the game and are familiar with the source material. Hard to say if that’s right or wrong in absolute terms (especially considering the sheer size of the franchise’s fan base), but it’s certainly effecting me.

3rd episode status: Meh keeper.

The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc Episode 3
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen

A lot of stage setting here, but no real surprises until the cliffhanger – and Angelina stands revealed as the commander of the American contingent of magicians.

3rd episode status: Mild keeper.

TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You Episode 3
Tonikaku Kawaii: Fly me to the Moon

Until commenter Dawnstorm mentioned it last week, I hadn’t really thought the size of the cast. They were right though, adding more characters to bounce off of improved the show markedly. Not sure it needed to be a pseudo harem, but what ya’ gonna do?

One thing did annoy me, twice reaching for “two characters misunderstand each other”. A staple of romantic comedies and dramas, but a lighter hand would have worked better.

That double cliffhanger… Our newlyweds having something of a spat, at the same time someone from Tsukasa’s mysterious past shows up… Next episode could be interesting, though I don’t expect it to get deep or heavy. Tonikawa would do well to avoid deep or heavy.

3rd episode status: Keeper.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle Episode 3
Maou-jou de Oyasumi

Is it just me, or is Sleepy Princess starting to run out of steam just a little bit? It’s still funny, but less so than it was. Meh, so long as they keep coming up with ridiculous things for Syalis to chase after, it’ll all be good.

3rd episode status: Mild keeper.

Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Episode 1-3
Dai-501 Tougou Sentou Koukuu Dan Strike Witches: Road to Berlin

Road to Berlin reminds me more of Brave Witches than Strike Witches… It’s tending to be more character/story driven than action oriented, and the series is the less for it. There’s just not really enough foundation to support it. It also forgot, until episode 3, that it’s a fanservice show. It’s not bad per se, it’s just not Strike Witches as I know/expected it.

3rd episode status: Mild keeper.

Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 3
Majo no Tabitabi

I was… not pleased with this episode.

The first part seemed kinda pointless. Nothing really happened, and Elania seemed more bystander than anything else. The second part… With her just walking away. That didn’t sit well. I get that she can’t rescue everyone, but she didn’t even try. She didn’t even comment. She just up and left.

She’s too involved to be simply a bystander and/or commenter. But she’s also very aloof as if she was merely a bystander and/or commenter. That’s not working for me.

Combine those with the whole “who is that beautiful witch?” schtick at the end of the OP and her self interest in Ep 2… and now I see the show in a different light.

3rd episode status: Probationary keeper. Unless it gets better, it won’t make it past the mid-season gut check. If it even makes it that far.

With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun Episode 3
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii

That was a bit of zig, but it was so sweet…

3rd episode status: Enthusiastic keeper.

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No drops in this most fateful of weeks… But there’s a couple of shows that are edging towards it. How many will make it to or past the mid-season gut check? Hard to say.

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So, how did your week go? What shows are gone for you, or on the edge? What shows are moving up? Drop a comment and let’s chat!

8 thoughts on “Fall 2020 – Week 3 – “Famous Episode” edition.”

  1. Yeah, that was easily my least favourite episode of Majo no Tabitabi to date. Pushing two downer episodes into one episode didn’t do a favour to either story line. Neither of the stories had time to breathe, so it involvement was mostly intellectual, and for that it just wasn’t interesting enough. I don’t really mind that Elaina just left; she was definitely controlling herself just before she repaired the vase. But I do agree that her role’s not clear; she’s definitely too involved to be a bystander, and to passive to be an actor. I said it on Crow’s blog, too; I’m reminded of Somali and the Forest Spirit: a pretty show I’m enjoying on the whole, but also one that constantly rubs in its missed potential.

    I still really like Adachi/Shimamura, and the astronaut doesn’t bother me, though it’s definitely a break in the mood. Similarly, I’m still enjoying Tonikaku, and with Sleepy Princess, I definitely enjoyed this episode a little less than the previous two, but it’s too early to tell whether it was just a weaker episode or whether diminishing returns start setting in.

    I dropped Assault Lily Bouquet somewhere during episode three and picked up Jujutsu Kaisen, which I’m not regretting at three episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really mind that Elaina just left; she was definitely controlling herself just before she repaired the vase.

      Yeah. As I said in the post, I do get it. I just think it would have been more effective if she’s said something, at least to herself. Or, if they had to pair it, with something that wasn’t a downer.

      re: Sleeping Princess

      Diminishing returns is what I’m most concerned about… Now that there’s enough setting established, maybe they can mix it up a bit? Hopefully without shifting focus too much.

      Jujutsu Kaisen seems to be getting a lot of positive attention, will be interested in hearing your take.

      Like

      1. Well, so far Jujutsu Kaisen is a fairly typical shounen fighter; it’s the “dark” variety (like Tokyou Ghoul), but it plays it cool and has comedy and only really takes itself seriously when it has to for the plot to work. I’m not sure I’ll have much to say about it, unless it surprises me (some manga readers say that it might, but I’ve seen no indication so far). If there’s something to say, I will. Otherwise you can assume that I think it’s a decently fun shounen fighter and leave it at that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought Episode Two of Road to Berlin was almost entirely action. Episode three was needed to begin settling Shizuka into the 501st and to introduce Yoshika’s major issue. In its own way Strike Witches was always character driven, I’ve felt. That’s why we care so much about the action when it occurs and the 501st in general. The changes in fan service have evolved in Strike Witches, like most anime, in responses to increased self-censorship pressures on anime in recent years and as a result the 2020 version is a stronger and more well rounded show than previous iterations.

    Personally as a long term fan of the franchise, I’m very happy with Road to Berlin so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally as a long term fan of the franchise, I’m very happy with Road to Berlin so far.

      I’m not unhappy with it per se, it’s just a different show than I expected. So far definitely the lesser of the three series. (Re: Yoshika’s major issue – that’s a pitcher that’s been to the well too many times IMO.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well that is true but I guess a major crisis for Lucchini for example just doesn’t have the same impact. One character they could do a lot more with Lynnette. She is a very important character but so far has almost zero backstory in the anime.

    Liked by 1 person

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