The Roundup: Summer 2014 Volume 8

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In this week’s installment…

Aldnoah.Zero drags our writers down from their usual disappointment to shame. Fortunately the rest of this season’s comedies hold strong, even with Barakamon taking the week off.

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

Blue Spring Ride – Hunter x Hunter – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun – Sailor Moon Crystal – Space Dandy – Sword Art Online II – Terror in Resonance – Hanamonogatari

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Glasslip
Episode 9

Thursdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Lifesong, Marlin

Marlin: Looks like the other shoe has finally dropped for Sacchi. Not sure what her confessing is going to do, though. The way that ended the episode made it feel like a cliffhanger, but it seems like despite her apprehension she is still only interested in Kakeru.
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Argevollen
Episode 9

Thursdays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Gee, Lifesong

Gee: Argevollen continues the trend of being an average, but otherwise unnoteworthy mecha anime. This week is the inevitable, “show the war from the opposing side” episode, as we largely focus on Inglemann forces. Of course, with all the talk of having a drink after the war is over, it’s pretty obvious that are one-off enlisted man was going to bite it. Still, I do appreciate the show for trying to extend beyond its unambitious scope in a manner that isn’t too pretentious. Everything about this week’s episode is a cliche, but it’s done well enough that I can’t fault it too much. The underlying issues with Argevollen’s universe remain, but I suppose at this point, they’re not going to disappear anytime soon.
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Locodol
Episode 9

Thursdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Jel, Lifesong, MarlinTimmy

Jel: This episode became instantly better than last week with stationmaster Uogokoro, who I couldn’t help but imagine as a ruthless military dictator as he wore his uniform. Beyond that I’m kind of surprised they went with the chance meeting angle with Yukari and Nanako. It seems like such a story book thing for a show that prides itself in its modicum of reality. I hope they don’t take the relationship between them too seriously. A dose of melodrama is the last thing Locodol needs.
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Locodol – All hail our supreme leader! Glory to Nagarekawa!

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Invaders of the Rokujyouma!?
Episode 8

Fridays 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: Harem Room is at it’s best when the magical girl is the focus. I am basically watching this show for her antics at this point. I wasn’t sure if I would like seeing her get all serious with the protagonist, but I did. seeing Yurika’s relationship with Harumi develop before all the fighting goes down and the way she is rooting for Harumi is sweet. I like their friendship more than any romance in this anime. That cliffhanger… Can this story really kill someone off? Personally I’m doubting it can. Yukira’s heroic sacrifice is noble either way.
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Tokyo ESP
Episode 8

Fridays 2:05 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: Man these villains really suck. They are text book comic book in none of the ways I like. Lets murder people, but no crazy fun allowed. It’s all played dead serious. Despite the fact that it’s dead serious none of these characters have shown any good motivation for becoming a psycho killer. Why not is the best answer we get and in most cases it’s generic angst instead. My complaints about the villains aside, I am still having fun watching this show and I love the main characters. It’s just a shame the villains continue to prove so uninteresting and boring to watch.
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Aldnoah.Zero
Episode 9

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: AquagazeDragonzigg, EuricaeriS, Gee,  Iro, Marlin, Lifesong

Aqua: Welcome to the wonderful world of Aldnoah.Zero. A world where alcoholic PTSD victims are allowed to take military command and are ‘treated’ by being repeatedly made to relive the events that scarred them for life. A world where people spontaneously catch fire. A world were playing video games gives you exceptional skills in real-life military situations. A world were women all swoon for boys with no emotions, ethics, or regard for their well-being. A world were rich snobs take revenge on the wrong people for the oppression they don’t actually suffer that has never been alluded to even once over the course of the entire series. A world where naked teenage girls kill other naked teenage girls in the shower because the latter happened to be marginally involved in the death of the former’s father, even though killing the latter would achieve absolutely nothing for the former aside from aiding her actual enemies in every conceivable way. A world where foreshadowing don’t exist, where resent happens in the heat of the moment rather than slowly building up over time, where completely nonsensical behaviour is passed off as realistic and fanservice is made just that much more despicable with an added dollop of gruesome, unwarranted violence. Welcome to a show that makes me ashamed to watch anime. I hope you don’t enjoy your stay.Gee: Aldnoah quite literally climbs up its own ass in how absurdly stupid it is this week. Once again, Slaine is our requisite whipping boy, though in a less outright way than last week. However, we are never allowed to forget that the show enjoys stomping on quite possibly the only potentially compelling character it has. Speaking of characters who could potentially be decent, we finally get a proper flashback to the fateful day Marito became a war story cliche. The whole scene with his buddy being immolated and being forced to shoot him is so hokey I couldn’t even take it seriously. Still, if this is what it takes to have the only other potentially compelling character do anything other than scream and drink, I suppose it’s better than nothing. Thankfully this episode was quite short on Inaho, instead it’s time for Rayet to jump on the stupid characterization train. While I seriously doubt the princess is actually dead, considering how many other asspulls Aldnoah has gleefully pulled, the very act itself is just so ludicrously dumb and out of place that I can’t believe anyone thought it was a good narrative development. At this point, Aldnoah is happily devouring its own shit as it not only unironically spews it, but then willingly buys into its own convoluted failings.

Zigg: Just popping in to say that wow, that final scene is so unbelievably gross that it boggles the mind. Sure, Rayet has legitimate cause to hate the princess, but why delay her insane murder attempt until now when the two have been quite happily hanging around each other for the vast majority of the show? I trust I don’t need to say anything about the gross juxtaposition of sexual imagery and violence because it speaks for its disgusting self. Appalling barrel scraping of the very worst kind, the kind of thing which makes me ashamed to watch anime.

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Rail Wars! – I don’t think trains work that way.

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Rail Wars!
Episode 9

Saturdays 11:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll (North America only)

Watching: Lifesong, Timmy

Timmy: Rail Wars maintains its momentum this week as we roll through the second half of this mini arc. Aoi, and especially Iwaizumi, again get much of the spotlight as they continue to try to keep this railcar on track, and despite all their efforts everything ends up breaking one way or another in the process. Iwaizumi overpowering and breaking the break lever, resulting in him trying to stop the car Durarara style was probably the highlight for me, although there were quite a few other great moments as well. It is also nice to see the antics from two episodes ago were not forgotten, and that the team, especially Aoi, are showing signs of getting their feelings sorted out and dealing with them in a reasonable manner. Not sure where the show intends to go from here but I did see some skirt flipping in the preview, so that is… something I guess. It will be hard for the rest of the show to match the precedent that these two episodes have set, that is for sure.
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Sabagebu!
Episode 9

Sundays 11:00 am on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze, GeeJelLifesongMarlinTimmy

Jel: After last week’s comedy gold, the first two segments of this episode were kind of disappointing. The scene where Miou confidently barges in riding a lion got a laugh out of me and I do love that Urara is becoming synonymous with toilet humor, but none of it compared to the glorious second half of the episode. Going to Australia and playing out a Mad Max style race of death with senior citizens is the exact kind of madness I’ve come to expect and love from Sabagebu. It was their best crazy battle yet and further cements Momoka’s position as the most hilariously awful person in anime.Gee: This week’s Sabagebu is a nice return to form. While the first two parts a bit weak, relying largely on well-established anime comedy, the final part is quite literally Wacky Races with with psychotic senior citizens and highschool girls. It’s insane and ridiculous and I love it. It’s these kind of utterly offbeat moments in Sabagebu that make it such a surprisingly strong comedy for me. At times, it’s just smart enough to realize the inherent flaws of the genre, and ridiculous enough to come off as fresh compared to most anime comedies. I can only hope that Sabagebu is doing moderately better than its ill-fated (and equally insane) predecessor, C3.
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Akame ga Kill!
Episode 9

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Lifesong

Lifesong: Well that is a development I wasn’t expecting. I love the characters in Akame ga Kill. Even when they are two bit and predictable as hell they manage to be fun to watch. Esdeath is quickly becoming an interesting villain in a this character could only exist in a shonen kind of way. Akame ga Kill’s shonen status just feels so awkward to me. I never know what to expect. Shonen keeping me on my toes is just not a thing that happens… usually. This is a case where I love being wrong. I can’t wait to see what Esdeath has in store for Tatsumi. Hopefully he makes it out with his chastity intact?
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HaNaYaMaTa – One of many shows this season competing for “Best Reaction Faces”.

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HaNaYaMaTa
Episode 9

Mondays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze,  Lifesong, Marlin

Aquagaze: Hey, remember that big scary cliffhanger from last week? Yeah, that gets resolved in, like, five minutes, but I am extremely happy they at least acknowledged Naru’s stage fright after Yaya hogging the spotlight for the last few episodes. Continuity is such a marvelous thing. Instead, most of the episode is focused on Matchi and her troubled relationship with her elder sister, once again providing some nice character development — though the reason why Sally left home was a bit trite. By the way, where did the rumours that she’d be quitting even come from in the first place? Anyways, some unexpected fleshing out of the yosakoi club’s quirky advisor was much welcomed, and so remain the adorable gags HaNaYaMaTa manages to crank out week after week. I am so going to miss this show when it’s over.
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Barakamon
Episode ???

Simulcast Pending on Funimation Saturdays 9:00 pm CET on Crunchyroll

(Europe only, except UK and Ireland)

Watching: Aquagaze, EuricaeriS, Marlin

No new episode of Barakamon this week, sorry!

3 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2014 Volume 8

  1. Sabagebu Y U SO GUDE1!? DAT RACE! Momoka sacrificing Lemon lol

    Jaegers intros were great especially Kurome and the doctor (lol) also I so dont envy Tatsumi right now…..nah I lied, lucky bastard <__>
    cant wait for the ensuing crazy that will no doubt happen in episode 10.
    http://akame.tv/story_10.html

    • I don’t envy Tatsumi. Esdeath terrifies me. lol

      It was pretty cool to see these new villains introduced. I especially liked that one of them is a lot like Tatsumi. Tatsumi originally wanted to join the army in the first place right? It’s fitting.

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