The Roundup: Fall 2014 Volume 9

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In this week’s installment…

Video games rule this week as SeHa Girls manages a rare decent episode and Log Horizon shows us its actually about mutual respect between people with different opinions. Also, Garo and Shirobako are still good.

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 Maxim – Psycho-Pass 2Rage of Bahamut: GenesisYour Lie In April

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Hi-sCool! Seha Girls
Episode 10

Wednesdays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Jel, Marlin

Jel: Had SeHa Girls maintained even this modest level of quality I would be willing to call it a nice little surprise. At the very least they had the decency to animate this episode, it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve seen the girls in their full size 3D forms. Interesting that they made a slight play at your emotions as the girls bond over hardcore inline skating and graffiti. I’m glad they didn’t take it too far though as I would have a really tough time buying into any kind of serious thought as it relates to this show. My only real disappointment is that they didn’t meat any of the Jet Set cast, but I guess I’ll take whatever quality I can get at this point.

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Garo – Fear not, fair maiden, I shall protect thee!

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GARO: The Carved Seal of Flames
Episode 10

Thursdays 1:23 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Aquagaze, Dragonzigg, Gee

Aquagaze: Garo continues to up the stakes with an intriguing episode focussing on the more human aspects of our brooding hero and vile villain. While the show hardly eschews the Manichaean morality of its tokusatsu roots, Mendoza’s extended flashback sequences did a wonderful job at sketching the man’s descent into madness with genuine terror. Garo has spent a considerable time subtly laying down the notion that in its world, inheritance is the highest good — León struggles with the responsibilities passed down by his mother, Germán desperately seeks another heir before he gets too old and Alfonso questions whether the inheritance he’ll get is the one he wants — which this episode pays off in a shocking and effective way. Mendoza invokes disproportional retribution on the ones who took from him the ability to pass on what he knows and Garo cleverly, and somewhat unexpectedly, avoids gratuitous violence and melodrama in delivering his backstory. It’s all the better for it. Similarly to her work in Kamen Rider OOO, Yasuko Kobayashi cleverly manages to make her characters communicate with nuance, aided by strong directing to express a wide spectrum of underlying emotions without treating the audience like idiots. Especially the second half of the episode, which moves the action from Mendoza’s memories to León’s troubled relationship with his surrogate mother/big sister/love interest Ema and her shots at his visual discomfort with all things sexual, portrays character dynamics rarely seen in anime. Hence, The Carved Seal Of Flames isn’t just the Garo franchise at its finest; it might actually be the very best the franchise has ever had to offer in terms of character development. With the mid-season finale around the corner, I can’t wait to see the big twist it has up its sleeve to reel us in for good.

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Log Horizon II
Episode 10

Saturdays 7:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Gee, Iro, Marlin, Timmy

Iro: This entire episode was William giving a rousing speech to the rest of the raid group, inspiring them to continue fighting after last week’s total party kill. Normally, I’d be just fine with this, but after being traumatized by SAO and given other recent goings-on around the idea of “gamers”, I couldn’t help but be a bit apprehensive about William’s impassioned oration about how regular folk just don’t get it. At the very least, the focus of his experience seems to be around meeting new people who all have different points of view and bonding over common goals, instead of alleged ethics in games journalism. It’s also a bit of nice character to hear that William always looked up to Shiroe and the Debauchery Tea Party, and then to move back into Shiroe’s POV to hear his own insecurities over being a leader and how he looks up to William’s skills. I’m definitely excited to see how things go down next week.

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Shirobako – Don don donuts, let’s go nuts!

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Shirobako
Episode 10

Thursdays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Aquagaze, Gee, Marlin, Jel

Aquagaze: With the number of wacky delusions increasing, Shirobako seems to be slowly preparing its main character for the loony bin, which is really the only way I can ever see this show ending. Otherwise, this episode is Shirobako at its finest: depressing realism (Erika is quitting? NOOOOOOOOO!) mixed up with relatable and not-so-relatable hilarity, as Aoi assists a sound effects designer in one of the most ridiculously out-of-place scenes in recent anime history. The fact that these entire five minutes were ham-fistedly inserted into the show just so they could show off how sound effects are made only makes the entire thing even funnier than it already is. Misa, meanwhile, decides to make a possibly lethal ill-advised decision and steps down from her position at CGI Cars, Ltd., making me wonder what she’ll be up to in the more than half of its run the show still has left. Knowing Shirobako, she’ll probably get disowned, go live with Midori, who seemingly doesn’t have anything better to do and be forced to go on compensated dates with creepy salarymen, who then turn out to be huge fans of Exodus! and wish to cast her in a live-action adaptation starring a thinly-disguised Kyary Pamyu Pamyu expy as Arupin. I can guarantee it.

One thought on “The Roundup: Fall 2014 Volume 9

  1. Shirobako is getting depressing. I’m having a sneaking suspicion the company Aoi works for is gonna fold after this series if they don’t get this robot show. So many people are hinted at quitting or leaving that it doesn’t seem like there will be enough to man the ship.

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