The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 1

roundup_spring15_1-1

In this week’s installment…

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join our loyal readers and our latest batch of weekly anime coverage. For Spring 2015 we’ll be rounding up Mikagura School Suite, My Love Story!!, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!, Plastic Memories, The Heroic Legend of Arslan and starting next week, Punch Line. I now pronounce you man/woman/other and waifu, you may read the post.

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

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders | Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works | Blood Blockade Battlefront | Sound! Euphonium | Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

mikagura

Mikagura School Suite
Episode 2: “After School Stride”

Tuesdays 4:35 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Jel, Marlin, Iro

Jel: My big concern at the end of the first episode was whether or not Eruna would actually do any fighting or if she was just going to comedically waltz her way through her battles. By the end of episode 2 I’m now wondering if she’s too powerful. I liked most of what we got here as we get to see some of Eruna’s resolve and a hint that she’s not as dumb as she’s been made out to be, I was disappointed though after all the talk about hard work and guts she basically has her powers handed to her. I feel like there were a lot of better ways that could have been handled, like giving her powers but make her work to master them. That said, the humor was still solid (her immediately gnawing on her life bar was priceless) and the battle itself was pretty cool, so as long as Mikagura can find a way to keep us cheering for Eruna as the underdog I think we’ll be OK.

Marlin: TI was a bit disappointed by this episode. The comedy was there, but certainly not as good as the first episode, and the way it ended was frustrating. We’ve been railing against Light Novel plots for years for just letting the (normally male) MC pulling their powers out of their ass and immediately become unstoppable, and this fight felt no different other than for once it’s a woman pulling stuff out of nowhere. I could have accepted Eruna getting her powers this episode, but at least make her work for a victory. I really liked that in the beginning, she was trying to use her wits where her strength failed her, but the show seemed to be punishing her for that compared to when she just blasts ink girl away. I suppose she wasn’t the most powerful club, so here’s to hoping she has to struggle a bit more when she gets her next challenge.

oremonogatari

My Love Story!!
Episode 2: “My Love”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Marlin, Jel, Artemis

Marlin: This show is just so simultaneously charming and frustrating it’s driving me crazy. I’m glad that they’ve given us a pretty good establishment for why Gouda would have such low self esteem around girls to not realize Yamato’s feelings, but it still makes it about as fun as pulling your own hair. Thankfully, these two are absolutely adorable, and Yamato’s forwardness is very refreshing for a girl in a shoujo story. After this episode I’m also pretty sure Suda is doing the same thing Gouda is, but he’s way better at it. Leaving them alone for that conversation was a pretty great move. I was a little incredulous over the I-beam scene, but Gouda’s enough of a cartoonish character that I’ll allow this kind of impossible feat of strength, I just hope they don’t rely on this too much. I’m hoping Yamato’s forwardness can get through to him soon. As much as this show is still adorable, I think it’d be even more adorable if Gouda finally gets it.

Jel: As someone who has historically had trouble taking a hint when a girl likes me, I can sympathize with Gouda to a certain extent. But seriously bro, girl is layin’ it on THICK. At the very least he should be able to see her complete lack of interest in Suna. That said, the whole episode is so adorable I can’t even get mad about how improbably thick the main character is. Even the ridiculous bit with Gouda catching a massive steel beam is cancelled out by Yamato trying so hard to help out. I’m cool with the big misunderstanding carrying on for another episode or two but from here My Love Story is at a crossroads. I think it could be really great if Yamato gets through to him (I love how forward she has been so far) and the bulk of the story is about them getting to know each other. But if the current situation gets dragged out much longer I think it would be a huge detriment to the story. Hopefully they’ll get things straightened out soon.

Artemis: Despite my own slight misgivings about this turning into one main running gag about just how oblivious our main character can be, My Love Story!! continues to charm. Gouda is already head over heels for Yamato yet so earnest to try and do the ‘right thing’, and Yamato is such a sweet yet determined girl herself, that I can’t help but be delighted and amused in equal measures. However, the highlight of the show for me so far is actually the mostly unspoken bromance between Gouda and Suna; both are socially inept in completely different ways, but while they clearly recognise the other’s faults (if not their own), there’s also a wordless understanding and acceptance of them. I’m hoping My Love Story!! doesn’t go the cliché love triangle route, but even if it does, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of impact this will have on that friendship.

roundup_spring15_1-2

My Love Story!! – Life’s tough choices.

moenagato

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Episode 2: “Joy to the World”

Fridays 2:10 pm EST on Funimation

Watching: Marlin

Marlin: Moe Nagato is starting to run out of steam for me. This episode had a lot of pacing issues that brought me out of it. At this point, I’m starting to think this story worked far better as a manga. Sure, the Christmas scene was cute and all, but it really goes to show how much this manga was a product of the post-K-ON! moe boom. Not a lot of substance and a lot of cute girls doing nothing. If I remember right, things get even more problematic once Haruhi gets herself into the group. I’ll keep watching because kmon, it’s still Moe Nagato, but it’s on thin ice.

oregairu

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
Episode 2: “His and Her Love Confessions Will Reach No One”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Marlin

Marlin: SNAFU returns, and it’s like it never even left. Well, besides the fact that Studio Feel seems to actually have money. I always loved how SNAFU dealt with the problems that teenagers have that, to most adults aren’t really huge issue, but due to their immaturity can be big gamechanging events in their lives. This time, it’s unrequited feelings within a social circle. I’ve actually had this happen in one of my groups once, and I will agree that if those feelings are brought to the foreground, it can make things awkward. However, as long as the rejection is done gently, I don’t see why there needs to be so much fuss around it. Like Hachiman says, a group that is so worried about this kind of problem is a very poor group of friends to begin with. Despite Hachiman bailing out Tobe, everyone involved knows that Tobe likes Ebina, and Ebina couldn’t care less. The last scene makes it pretty clear that even Ebina knows the way they dealt with things was incredibly cowardly. With this first arc already done, SNAFU has already proved its competence in the social commentary. Now I’d like to actually get some romance for once.

roundup_spring15_1-3

Plastic Memories – Nothing more romantic than comparing a girl to an old car. Smooth.

plasticmemories

Plastic Memories
Episode 2: “Don’t Want to Cause Trouble”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Watching: Jel, Marlin

Jel: I know we should have expected a slower episode after the emotional roller coaster last week, but even so this episode wasn’t doing much for me. It seems all the women in the office do the same brow beating tsundere schtick with Not Asuka Michiru being the worst offender. I don’t know if I’ve enjoyed a single moment of her screen time. As far as Isla goes, It was a little heartbreaking to see her trying so hard to improve herself, but I don’t think revealing her remaining life span had nearly as much impact as it was supposed to. It was pretty clear from the beginning her time is limited and the fact that they are addressing that so early has me worried they’ll be dragging it out way longer than it needs. Hopefully Plastic Memories will have something more substantial to bring to the table next week.

Marlin: Plastic Memories really started to wear on me this episode. The tsundere was already getting on my nerves from her introduction last episode, so watching her dial it up to eleven was absolutely frustrating. The dumbest thing is that they’re keeping Isla’s expiration date from the protag. Considering he just got started there, it doesn’t make any sense to withhold that information other than to make things dramatic down the line. Combine that with the increasing ridiculousness of the concept of Giftia and it’s like someone thought up of a great setting for a dramatic story, but forgot to include all of the subtler elements that make dramatic fiction work. Don’t let this be another Engaged Dogakobo, you’re breaking my heart.

arslan

The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Episode 2: “Age Fourteen, Maiden Battle”

Sundays 5:00 am EST on Funimation

Watching: Artemis

Artemis: If the first episode was a prologue to the story that we were expecting from the synopsis, then episode two completes the backstory and brings us right up to the point of the unknown. Although slow in terms of general pacing, if this episode was anything to go by then Arslan certainly won’t be lacking in action – the first half was all suspense (and further character introductions), but the second was bloody war. Thankfully, the show found that nice balance between clearly making its point and not overdoing it in the blood and guts department, and I’m also pleased to see that the production values haven’t been left by the wayside. It’s still early days yet, but although Arslan clearly isn’t going to be the fan favourite this season, it’s currently the series I’m looking forward to the most each week.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 1

  1. Woah, how does Marlin know that Atlanta-based rapper Tip “TI” Harris was disappointed in this week’s Mikagura episode? Are they friends? I agree with him, though. I was excited when Eruna’s hand started glowing because I thought that her power was gonna be some kind of hot-blooded punch attack, but instead it was a lame laser beam. Why even bother giving her a scarf?

    • I’m still holding on to hope that her normal attacks will be a hot blooded flurry of fists and that the big laser is just her finishing move.

    • Despite some of our concerns, I’m enjoying the first two shows on the list quite a bit. I haven’t watched episode 2 of Arslan yet but I’ll probably get around to it soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s