A couple of dramatic and tone shifts this week… Plus some hit episode 6, mid-season, where I traditionally give a quick review of the show to date. All that and more after the jump!
The shows that I’m 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 Couple of Cuckoos
Kakkou no Iinazuke – Episode 3
Our Fated Couple is shoved together for two weeks… And they’re getting along with each other despite their vows not to interact. Roughly as surprising as the sun coming up. About the only surprise (and only kinda) was Segawa’s sudden challenge.
And I’m ever more convinced that Erika seeks, human connection, a normal life?
Third Episode Thoughts: This show feels… comfy? That’s not quite right as it’s not a comfy anime. Comfortably familiar? That’s probably better. Basically, it’s not coloring too far outside the lines. I’m enjoying the characters though, and not thinking too hard about the plot. Just isn’t a show that profits much from that.
Third Episode Status: Meh, keeper.
(*) Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
Aharen-san Is Indecipherable – Episode 6 (ANN)
Midseason thoughts: Though some segments aren’t the best, overall I’m enjoying the heck out of this show.
Midseason status: Despite not having much to say about it… Keeper.
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
Episode 6 (ANN)
Part of this episode was a continuation of the Itsuka and Kanoko storyline… And it mostly served to repeat what we already knew, Kanako has unfinished business with and still has some kind of feeling for Nagomu. I suspect the main problem here is intrinsic to adapting manga into an anime. We’re seeing episodes weekly rather than chapters monthly, so we get a more intense experience.
Other than that, it’s nice to see their companionship growing as in a lot of ways their both peas-in-a-pod.
The Obon segment with Nagomu’s grandfather, still processing that a bit. We learn a lot about the history of Ryokusho (the sweet shop) and about Nagomu’s rediscovering his desire for family connections. We also saw the father in a different light – unsure of himself and seeking confirmation from his mother, one of the founders.
Also, you go Grandma!
Midseason thoughts: Man, this show spends a lot of time going back and forth and repeating itself. The narrative equivalent of “two steps forward, one step back.” Still it’s solidly directed and acted even if the comedy needs to be turned down a half notch and the drama tweaked up a bit. Or vice versa, make a decision and stick with it!
Midseason status: Keeper.
Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task
Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto
Massively flawed episode. Hiyori’s injury practically fades into the background. The lads are all the sudden nice to her – and even dedicate a song to her during the concert. Hiyori pulls a heel-face-turn and is suddenly absolutely enamored of idols in general and the lads in particular. Neither of these latter two feel particularly earned.
If this were a manga or LN adaptation, after this episode, you could reasonably ask if they’d skipped a chapter or five between episodes 4 and 5. Since it’s an original, the only possible question to ask is “WTF are they thinking?”
Love After World Domination
Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de
Episode 5 (ANN)
Not the strongest episode of the season… Neither segment was particularly bad mind you, just not great. Or worth much comment.
SPY x FAMILY
Episode 5 (ANN)
Oh, my goodness! This was such a deliciously over-the-top episode. I loved how gamely Loid got into the spirit of things… And how Yor was such an amiable drunk, right up until she forgot the whole thing was playacting and Anya was actually threatened.
And man, she came within a hair of kicking Loid’s ass into the next episode.
Also fun to watch was how the spy organization leapt to fulfill Loid’s (Anya’s) every wish. He’s the top man, and he must have a reason, right?
And this popped up in my feed this morning…. sqquueeeeeee! I’m not normally fond of Nederoid style figures, but this one is Just. So. Freakin’. Adorable.
I probably don’t wanna know how much it costs though.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road
Episode 6 (ANN) HiDive
Aand… yeah. What even to say here? They managed to get past last week’s ass pull, but we’ve literally got a brand new show and no clue where it’s going.
Akari is very actively re-writing the timeline. She’s not only aware of her powers, she’s scary good at using them. And unless she suicidal, I don’t get her endgame yet. What the hell is she doing and why? A commenter on Facebook theorized she’s ensuring her own survival – yet she refers to dying at Akari’s hand…
And speaking of theories, I was kinda correct – she is being controlled, a puppet. I just never imagined she would be pulling her own strings.
Lots of flashbacks with Akari and Menou and we don’t know what they mean yet. Actual memories? Akari projecting her feelings?
And Menou – she should be dead. Shouldn’t she? And yet Orwell simply discarded her.
And who and what exactly is Flare? She a lot more important now, and we know practically zip point nada about her.
Midseason thoughts: Honestly, in a lot of ways episodes 5 & 6 were practically a two-part first episode. Everything up till now has been a prologue. I’m still not happy with the bait-and-switch ass pull, but this last episode made me curious to see what’s going to happen next. The writing is showing signs of picking back up, so crossing fingers.
Midseason Status: A reluctant and wary keeper as the show is skating on thin ice due to the aforementioned ass pull.
Ya Boy Kongming!
Paripi Koumei – Episode 6 (ANN) HiDive
I… did not expect to like the rap battle. But I found it hard not to as both Kongming and Kabetajin were so obviously giving it their all. (Seriously good work by the director, animation team, and voice actors.) Solid writing of the raps and Kongming’s almost poetic delivery of in the face of Kabe’s very obvious anger just sealed the deal.
The only thing I didn’t care for was Kongming slipping Kabe a mickey in the form of a drink with stomach tonic mixed in. I mean it makes sense, and Kongming’s mastery of herbal decoctions has been foreshadowed… But dude, here in the 21st century informed consent is a thing.
Midseason thoughts: There’s been the odd misstep, but I straight up look forward to this series each week. A good part of that is how well Kongming is written – it’s not easy to be that self confident with also being an absolute _sshole. Dude is top of his game, and doesn’t have anything to prove. And he know it.
If I could wish for just one thing… It’s midseason and it’s past time to pop Eiko’s characterization a little more into the 3rd dimension. For her to be something more than well worn tropes.
Midseason Status: Solid keeper, no question.
Went an saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over the weekend… Good, but not great. Mostly because they never really managed to make it feel like they were any great stakes at risk.
They played the Lightyear trailer, and I went from sitting on the fence to yeah I want to see this. (“Narrating helps me focus!”.) They also had the new Avatar trailer which completely failed to induce any desire to see the movie.
Spring keeps refusing to spring… we had a little bit of warm last week, but since then it’s back to unseasonably cold. Man, I’m in no hurry for really warm weather, but this is crazy even by Seattle standards.
Anyhow, that’s it for me this week – over to you! Drop a comment and let’s chat!