The Roundup: Summer 2014 Volume 10

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In this week’s installment…

Our shows hold steady as the end of the season rapidly approaches. The comedies stay funny and sweet and Aqua still hates Aldnoah.Zero, so business as usual.

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 11

Thursdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Lifesong, Marlin

Marlin: It’s still really silly that we haven’t been told why Kakeru has schizophrenia. If they hadn’t been dressing up all of these developments in a sense of mysticism you’d think that the two of them are just legitimately crazy. I did like the idea of this cute little get together to let the families meet. It seems strange that Kakeru would want to leave considering the romance he has with Touka has never even hinted to turn out like his old friendships did. I find it funny that even after planning the whole thing, they still decide to blow their families off and go to that grove again. This show is pretty silly about a lot of things, but at least it seems to be working up to a solid finale.
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Locodol
Episode 11

Thursdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Jel, Lifesong, MarlinTimmy

Marlin: The show went a bit differently than I was expecting. Instead of the big name Locodols lording their fame over the humble Nagarekawa Girls, they find themselves envying them since they still get to have a connection with the people of their town. The show has always kept its saccharine tinge, but no greater than it did here, where it’s shown how most Locodols are merely vehicles to sell products for big talent agencies, not even meant to bring revenue in to their hometown. I can only imagine someone is gonna mess up in the final episode, but it seems like this one goes to the crux of the show’s message, that being a part of your town is more rewarding than being famous, because you get to feel involved and appreciated.
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Locodol – Nothing less conspicuous than a hat with cat ears

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Aldnoah.Zero
Episode 11

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

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

Aqua: “Now that we know she is unable to negotiate politically, her presence is of no benefit.” Boy howdy, that Inaho sure is one likable protagonist, isn’t he? He’s essentially what would happen if you put your average, pseudo-intellectual misogynist nerd into a mech’s cockpit and tell him to solve everything with his infallible ‘logic’. The type of person, who, like the writer of this show, would play Urobuchi’s utilitarianism completely straight, without realizing that the man in question has never portrayed his favourite philosophical topic as a remotely positive trait. As such, Inaho gets a free pass to decide the military’s strategy in spite of the fact that he is both a recruit and a teenager, and eventually gets away with sacrificing dozens of soldiers because “the ends justify the means”. What a guy, eh? Meanwhile, the princess is shocked at the fact that the very obviously completely reprehensible Orbital Knights are simply continuing their war, despite her pleas. Consequently, she blames herself for indulging in her privilege while her people suffered, which would have been a lot more effective if not every Martian we have seen up until this point wasn’t a moustache-twirling rich nobleman. It’s not like Saazbaum doesn’t know that his “envy” towards Earthlings is completely grounded in the alleged oppression by the Emperor he suffers — despite the fact that he, y’know, owns a flying space castle — so why isn’t he waging war against him? Is it because this show is about as clever as the rear end of a fly?
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Rail Wars!
Episodes 10 and 11

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

Watching: Lifesong, Timmy

Timmy: Rail Wars tries to keep the pace it had in the previous arc going as the gang spend these two episodes protecting a prince who is 5th in line for the throne It just so happens that the 4 above her (yes, he turns out to be a she) were involved in a car accident and their conditions are unknown. While this pair of episodes are not quite as good as the prior two, and it is pretty obvious all the budget was used on said prior episodes with some of the terrible looking scenes that come up, it is still a reasonably entertaining arch. Sure the bad guys were pretty dumb as they severely underestimated our gang and the show assumes in cab safety devices to prevent runaway trains are not in use, but there was plenty of good things happening here as well. It was nice to see Mari get more involved, as was Aoi both having a proper shootout and putting that gun of hers to good use and almost confessing letting us know where her mind is at with all this relationship stuff. Like most of the episodes so far, these two, while far from perfect, boast enough positive points to keep my interest in the show alive and well.
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Sabagebu – The only time you can call these girls “sweet”

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Sabagebu!
Episode 11

Sundays 11:00 am on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze, GeeJelLifesongMarlinTimmy

Jel: Most episodes of Sabagebu have one or two OK segments amplified by an amazing one. This week we got three solid stories but with no particular stand out it was hard to get too excited over it. Each part had its moments: The return of Yakuza Momoka, Lemon’s “Strawberry” road, Platy and his tommy gun, etc… it’s all good times but nothing we haven’t seen before. Maybe I’m just sad there were no 80’s action movie parodies? That aside, I am hoping they go all out insane for the last episode, I’m really looking forward to it.
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HaNaYaMaTa
Episode 11

Mondays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze,  Lifesong, Marlin

Aquagaze: Poor Hannah. You could blame her for not talking to her mum about wanting to stay in Japan, but then again, I can see her being scared of selfishly screwing over her parents’ big dream. As expected, HaNaYaMaTa is pulling the drama card for its anime-original ending, but in all honestly, it is nowhere near as grating here as it is in many other slice-of-life shows, simply because this show has always had a penchant for drama. The drama doesn’t cause a sudden swerve in atmosphere and perfectly fits Hannah’s overall character arc. Furthermore, while it’s glaringly obvious that she’ll reunite with the yosakoi club next episode, HaNaYaMaTa successfully manages to make her departure count by having it significantly impact the other girls’ development. Add in more laughs and more dancing, and we have another enjoyable episode of this surprise hit.

Marlin: It’s still This show seems to take a very blase approach to being divorced. Are we sure the show didn’t mean that her parents were separated? I don’t think I’ve seen such an optimistic view on divorced parenting since the Parent Trap. I’m finding it super hard to swallow that she couldn’t negotiate her parents to wait just one week to go back to the states. It’s not like there was any kind of time limit for her parents to get back together right? Oh well, this show has thrived on drama, so it makes sense that the final act would be a big gutpunch. Everything in this whole season has been leading up to this last episode, so it’ll be nice to see them finally dance with the confidence of all their hard work.

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Barakamon
Episode 11

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

(Europe only, except UK and Ireland)

Watching: Aquagaze, EuricaeriS, Marlin

Aquagaze: As opposed to HaNaYaMaTa, Barakamon actually does a rather crappy job at making me buy the dramatic turn, especially because it doesn’t really make any sense for Sensei to leave after everything he’s learned. Luckily, we get another full episode of island shenanigans before the show even decides to get dramatic, resulting in a pretty enjoyable episode nonetheless. Sensei’s an hilarious jerk, Naru’s adorable, Tama and Miwa are evil incarnate and the wonderful rural atmosphere remains Barakamon‘s strongest point. Most of the gags featuring Sensei being hilariously bad at something aren’t exactly original, but it’s the joyful, frenetic presentation that makes them work, aided by the show’s rough art style allowing for some hilarious facial expressions. It’s pretty clear that Barakamon has pretty much played out all of its cards at this point, so here’s hoping the show can wave us out on a not-too-melodramatic note. It deserves an unblemished legacy, at least.
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