The Roundup: Spring 2014 Volume 5

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In this week’s episode…

Ping Pong stirs the souls of Gee and Marlin, Iro reminds us that we are still watching The World Is Still Beautiful, and Lifesong actually drops a show!

The Roundup is a weekly guide to all the “other” shows we’re watching this season. Check out our full coverage of:

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
Captain Earth
One Week Friends

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Nanana’s Buried Treasure Episode 5

Thursday 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Jel, Lifesong, Marlin, Aquagaze

JelWas it really necessary to introduce MORE characters into an already large cast? What was even worse is our latest batch of criminals never get a chance to show why they’re relevant as the caper is broken up before anything meaningful happens. I do like where they’re going with Juugo as he tries to keep one foot in and one foot out of Matsuri and I suppose this job showed the lengths he is willing to go to be independent, so at least the episode wasn’t a total waste. One final note: did anyone else think Yun was Sher-loli Holmes in disguise? Food for thought.
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Ping Pong the Animation Episode 5

Thursday 12:50 pm EST on Funimation
Watching: Marlin, Aquagaze, Gee

Gee: If nothing else, Ping Pong is an amazing show simply because it still retains my interest even if the message goes against the core of my very being. Akuma was one of my favorite characters in the show due to his hard work and guts mentality, so to see him so utterly thrashed by Smile was pretty heartbreaking. All the more so when Smile explicitly points out that Akuma will never amount to anything simply because he’s not as inherently talented as Smile. It’s a disgusting message that makes my entire body shake with fury and rage, but that is just more evidence that Ping Pong has done an excellent job of crafting an engaging character drama. I feel for Akuma, for I too have always been the “untalented, but hard-working” member of the group. Without a doubt I am always the most incompetent person in any given group of people, but I’ll be damned if I let that stop me. Akuma’s tearful rant was so close to how my own heart feels at times that it almost brought me to tears as well. So in a lot of ways, this was an extremely powerful episode for me. With Peco finally understanding Smile’s utter dominance in the game, it’ll be interesting to see what it takes to bring him back in.

Marlin: Gee may hate the concept of talent over hard work, but it’s hard not to see how powerful such a message is when it comes to sports. This episode also gives us a powerful example of how much Smile has grown since his intentional loss to Wenge. The tone of his voice really illustrated his new convictions to win. Peco would have had his suspicions ever since watching Smile play in the Qualifiers, but seeing him dominate an opponent who in turn dominated him finally showed him what he’d feared all along: Smile had been giving him pity wins. I can’t imagine Peco will be out of the game completely, but after throwing his paddle away, it’s going to take a lot to convince him to come back.

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Nanana’s Buried Treasure – Black twintails are a lie

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selector infected WIXOSS Episode 6

Thursday 2:50 pm EST on Funimation
Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: Didn’t watch. Interest is gone. DROPPED

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Date A Live Season 2 Episode 5

Friday 2:05 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: This anime wouldn’t dress the protagonist in drag would it? It totally would… and of course his harem is A OKAY with it. I am as well, it was funny. The crossdressing antics made up for the otherwise uninteresting introduction of a new spirit. I say uninteresting because I don’t buy that she is nearly as callous as she seems for even a second, but I am still okay with the overall direction this is taking things. Everyone involved is interested in Shido now and if nothing else that gives me something to look forward too.

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Riddle Story of Devil The Devil’s Riddle Episode 6

Friday 2:55 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Jel, Lifesong, Gee, Marlin

Lifesong: I liked the way this episode played out. The twist at the end was obvious to me from the start, but that only made it more poignant. We are half way through the season now and I feel it is fair to say that as a battle royal this anime isn’t very exciting, but it excels as something that portrays tragedy and asks for redemption.

Gee: I don’t even know man. I honestly expected that the pair would die in some sort of double-kill situation. All the more when they were acting in fucking Romeo and Juliet. Still, it seems like a lot of this could have been avoided if everyone had just talked things out, but I guess then it wouldn’t be an anime. Appreciating that Tokaku seems to be growing steadily more competent at her job, though Haru’s utter disregard for her own self-preservation continues to be a huge annoyance. You’d think with half the class gone after their failed attempts on her life, she’d realize that she can’t trust a single person here.

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Brynhildr In the Darkness – Still not enough blood to be Elfen Lied

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The Irregular at Magic High School Episode 6

Saturday 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: Action time! A little bit of action anyway. Misunderstandings are cleared up and tears are shed over mistakes made. I want to see the next episode. Tatsuya has decided to go all terminator on the terrorist HQ. I just hope it involves more ninjas and magic than it does sitting around talking about politics. I’m fine with some of that too, but I really want to see some dudes get punched first. You know… to mix things up a bit.
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The World Is Still Beautiful Episode 6

Saturday 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Iro, Marlin

Iro: This show continues to walk the line of quality, teetering towards both sides but never quite falling over into either. With seemingly every episode, plot points are introduced that make me groan in exasperation (this week was the rival female love interest, who also happened to be a loli and Livius’s childhood friend). But then every episode ends up resolving the issue in a mostly satisfactory manner, and I never end up annoyed enough to stop watching. Next week looks to have the creepy-rapist rival male love interest, and I can only hope things won’t become too egregious.
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Brynhildr In the Darkness Episode 6

Sunday 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: And the new girl has the most useful ability out of the 4. At least in terms of taking on other psycho witches. Her story played out as expected. I wish I could say I found the twist with her being a good girl who always smiles surprising. I didn’t, but I still enjoyed watching it play out none the less. The most interesting part of this episode was perhaps the implications of what they can do with a conveniently friendly mad scientist on their side.
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No Game, No Life – Not the game I was expecting…

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Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time Episode 19

Sunday 6:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Jel, Lifesong, Marlin

Jel: Man this episode was adorable. I can’t help but think Seki-kun knew EXACTLY what he was doing when choosing his glasses, even if his intention was just to mess with Yokoi a bit and not necessarily get her heart racing. I love how the show is pulling these two closer together as the show gets closer to wrapping up, although that is just making me sad since I think it’s only going to be 21 episodes. Please everyone, watch this series.

Marlin: Seki-kun was adorable as usual. It felt like this episode was mimicking a couple going shopping. Guys usually don’t care about fashion in the same way that their girlfriends do, so it was funny to see Seki go for the flashier looking frames, only to have Rumi’s glare bear down on him until he picked the ones she liked. It’s the little things that keep you hoping these two weirdos eventually get together. I love how Seki gets the last laugh, never putting on the glasses again.

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Black Bullet Episode 5

Tuesday 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Lifesong, Marlin

Marlin: I simply could not tolerate the amount of sheer stupidity they decided to pack into this episode. Black Bullet had a good run at it if it would simply keep to what it was good at, an interesting post apocalyptic action show. As is, every time the action ends it devolves into a downright irritating mess of a show that panders to the worst parts of the anime fandom and commits the greatest sins that Light Novels are capable of. It’s like episodes 1 and 5 and 2-4 are two completely different shows, the tone and focus so wildly out of sync that they shouldn’t exist in the same narrative.
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No Game No Life Episode 5

Wednesday 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Lifesong,

Lifesong: There is no such thing as luck. I love this gamer duo and their antics. The way they take gaming so seriously really makes them feel the part. Their statement that gaming is all about knowledge and understanding is accurate despite the ridiculous ability of Blank. I find myself liking the fact that they never lose. It plays well thematically with the rest of the story. Even if much of that theme is built around ridiculous nonsense. It’s all just part of the fun. I also thought the revelation that Steph is actually a smart person was hilarious in part because she would probably be a highly successful person in the real world. In a world ruled by gaming though? Not a chance. I can’t wait to see how this duo will take on an angel for control of humanities library of knowledge.
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If Her Flag Breaks – These flags are getting oddly specific

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Chaika –The Coffin Princess– Episode 5

Wednesday 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: The Chiakas are multiplying. The girls with badly spoken Japanese are all looking for their “fathers” remains. The plot thickens as they are clearly not united in their purpose. This episode promises a scuffle between forces next episode and I hope it will deliver. It had a pretty fun fight this episode as well. I’m glad to see Bones haven’t dropped the ball with their animation yet.
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If Her Flag Breaks Episode 5

Wednesday 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Lifesong, Marlin

Marlin: I am continuing to be quite pleased with this show’s cutesy brand of comedy. I think it’s the fact that it acknowledges it is playing with old tropes that makes it so easy to just laugh at the ridiculousness of them as they are trotted out. This week we have the old harem Everyone-Date. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this idea of flags for the most mundane of things, such as winning at the crane game or watching something romantic. The return of the Yandere Flag was also pretty great, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that. I hope they incorporate these into jokes as much as possible.Now that we got a bit more information into the meat of the plot, an interesting thought popped into my head. The ninja girl seemed to be implying that Souta may not even be of this world. Is it possible that he can see flags because this world is really that of a Visual Novel given life? It would explain why there are so many cliches. I may be getting ahead of myself, but there’s obviously more to the power than what we know.

2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Spring 2014 Volume 5

  1. I weep for Black Bullet – I honestly thought the show could do so much better than this. Alas, it seems to have largely forsaken all the things it could have been and gone for the boob-groping, bitch-fighting, attack-yelling route. The latest episode was definitely the worst since episode 1… and in fact, even that first episode didn’t make me facepalm as much.

  2. am eagerly awaiting your recap on No Game No Life 6. episode had the most over the top game ever, and I love every bit of it.

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