The Roundup: Fall 2014 Volume 3

It's never too early for christmas episodes

In this week’s installment…

An abbreviated Roundup this week as some of the Glorio Crew is on the run. Iro narrowly avoids disappointment with Log Horizon, Gee hangs out with Shirobako, Aqua is appalled again by Psycho-Pass, and I’m mildly amused by SeHa Girls return to watchability.

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

Amagi Brilliant ParkGundam Build Fighters TryGundam: Reconguista in G Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade WorksKamen Rider DriveParasyte: The MaximRage of Bahamut: GenesisYour Lie In April

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Hi-sCool! Seha Girls
Episode 4

Wednesdays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Jel, Marlin

Jel: I’m a little worried about the future of SeHa Girls. I guess the idea of Golden Axe dude and Jeffrey as recurring characters could be funny, but mostly this episode felt like it was spinning its wheels. The Space Channel 5 setting added almost nothing as most of the laughs came from calling back to previous jokes. Sure it was funny to see Axe Man ditch Saturn for Ulala, but I don’t think they can dip into that well too many more times at this point. At least this episode stayed focus on the games which makes it an improvement over last week by default, and I’m hoping the more abstract Puyo Puyo will force the humor in more creative directions next week.

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Argevollen
Episode 16

Thursdays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Gee

Gee: Tokimune has been barred from piloting Argevollen! He finds out that Argevollen is based on the same experiments that killed his sister! The super prototypes slowly drive you crazy! Such twists! Such turns! To my utter disappointment, Argevollen takes the path of least resistance at every junction, going for the most trite and predictable narrative development possible. Argevollen is a bit like Majestic Prince, in that it’s a generic straightforward mecha anime, but whereas Majestic Prince was generic with a technical grace and sense of accomplishment, Argevollen at its worst is generic and not much else. Oh well, I’ve watched 16 episodes of this shit, I can’t stop now.

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GARO: The Carved Seal of Flames
Episode 4

Thursdays 1:23 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Aquagaze, Dragonzigg, Gee

Aquagaze: Garo‘s first proper filler episode plays things relatively safe, though what’s immediately striking is how evenly paced it is. Not a single scene in the episode, from Germàn and Leòn’s scene-setting, Resident Evil 4-like entrance into the village to their nervous interactions with the woman and her child, feels rushed or out of place, and despite the excellent focus on creating an eerie atmosphere, there’s still a lot of action to behold. Story-wise, there’s little new to be learned, and with a rather predictable twist as its centerpiece, this episode won’t exactly rank as one of Garo‘s most expertly written episode. Why’s that kid even whining about not getting his revenge when the horror he summoned killed all the townsfolk anyway? Regardless, its strong pacing and eerie atmosphere still made this episode into yet another enjoyable installment of this sleeper (?) hit.

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SeHa Girls – How could this possibly make the ratings drop?

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Log Horizon II
Episode 4

Saturdays 7:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Gee, IroMarlin, Timmy

Iro: As much as I love Log Horizon, this episode was pretty close to being a disappointment, mostly featuring Akatsuki wandering around Akiba and contemplating her own insecurities. Light novel syndrome strikes hard; we can see that she’s insecure based on how she’s acting, but the show devotes unfortunate amounts of time to internal narration from both her and others about the things plainly onscreen. On top of that, Lenessia’s monologue about how Adventurers and Landers are too different seems to run completely counter to her development from season 1, making the entire segment come off as baffling and pointless. On the bright side, the return of Evil Samurai Santa wielding the katana Akatsuki was eyeing in the item shop and wearing what appears to be Royal Guard armor (!!) seems to be leading up to a dramatic conflict next week. Considering we know from the flashforward in the first episode that Akatsuki will die on Christmas Eve, I’m looking forward to seeing what’ll go down.

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Psycho-Pass 2
Episode 4

Thursdays 12:50 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Aquagaze

Aquagaze: Violence, like everything, has a place in storytelling. It can set the scene, shake up the status quo, or rouse the audience’s emotions. Yet there are limits to what violence can achieve on a narrative level. Everything existing beyond that is perverse. This is the realm of torture porn and exploitation films, and the realm into which Psycho-Pass finally crosses over with this episode. While the show has never been wholesome entertainment for the entire family, its violence at least opened shocking new perspectives on its fascinating world back when Urobuchi was still in charge. Yet the twenty-minute-long orgy of innocents being stripped, beaten, crushed, brutalized and finally executed in the most stomach-turning way possible this episode was, taught us nothing new about the dystopian horrors of the Sibyl System.  Kamui’s motives are just Makishima’s in a different wrapping, and the idea that the Sibyl System’s enforced void of stress stops making life worth living was already suitably hammered home by the series’ first outing. In stead of looking for new takes on the franchise’s interesting universe, Psycho-Pass 2 has mostly just been doing the exact same things as its predecessor, only with a relentless desire to top a show that already teetered on the edgyeof utter tastelessness. Kamui exists, Aoyanagi dies and Mika is an insufferable incompetent who openly defies her superior seemingly for the heck of it and who’d rather send a dozen of innocent hostages to their gory deaths than be blamed in case her rescue operation goes wrong. That’s all you need to know about this episode of Psycho-Pass 2, so if you’re not caught up yet, for the love of all that is holy, keep it that way.

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Shirobako
Episode 4

Thursdays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze, Gee, Marlin, Jel

Gee: Despite the inherently filler nature of the episode, even in a very filler-y show, there’s something satisfying about watching a bunch of professionals just hang out and talk back and forth about the various trials and tribulations that plague the animation industry. That said, there was still a certain sense of lacking in terms of substance. As an artist, I loved the conversations about the industry and the mutual encouragement. It’s all things you really see among fellow artists and anybody who’s seen a CG movie with me knows I can wax lyrical about it for far longer than anyone can tolerate. Despite that though, the episode still largely feels like there’s simply not enough happening. In the end, I think it will be down to Shirobako’s ability to balance the human element and the observation of the animation industry that will really decide its fate.

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4 thoughts on “The Roundup: Fall 2014 Volume 3

  1. LH S2.EP.4: one of the best things about the livestream was watching everyone recite the OP. DATABASE DATABASE WOW WOW~

    DDD = DEEN DEEN DEEN

    XD

    Yo them drills look like they actually could drill into someone

    disappointed at NO GIRAFFE-TAN

    lol Angry Misa. ‘Stop being so fucking bored milord.’

    Souji noticing Akatsuki

    awww, Maryelle fell.

    Mikakage is jealous of them cakes.

    “Eh? Santa?”

    NOOOOO, THAT IS NOT FUCKING SANTA

    “I can do this!” No you can’t. Why else would there be creepy ominous music playing?!

    OH SHIT NHK THEY HAVE BLOOD NOW

    Guess it a compromise for reducing the number of times our assailant ran his hard shiny thing into Kyouko.

    Dat Souji doe

  2. PP2: I definitely agree with your review but for some reason I sitll can’t drop the show /shrug. Mika is one pos character.

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