The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 7

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In this week’s installment…

Maybe it’s the incoming Summer heat getting to us or I’m still coming down from the high of Sound! Euphonium episode 8, but a lot shows this week felt like they were just going through the motions. Fortunately the Bromance of My Love Story!! and the unique fantasy of Arslan can still hold things down while the other series aren’t at their best.

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 8: “Unidentified Treasure”

Tuesdays 4:35 pm EST on Funimation Watching: Jel, Marlin, Iro

Jel: This episode was really dumb. It was also the most enjoyable episode of Mikagura in weeks. It kind of felt like the creators are just using the show as an exercise at this point, throwing out random ideas and styles to see if they stick. As a result we got things like the fun little RPG overlay bit and that disturbing mecha version of Bimii. The solid jokes we haven’t seen since the first episode seemed to be creeping back in as well. The attempts at characterization are still laughably bad, particularly Kotone literally crying about not having friends and Seisa going into jealous creeper mode, but that’s all more tolerable when the rest of the show is throwing fun and silly things at you. Now if only we could get back to those cool fight scenes…

oremonogatari

My Love Story!!
Episode 8: “My Friend”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll Watching: Marlin, Jel, Artemis, Euri

Artemis: This show really is so much better with Takeo and Suna as the main focus. Yamato’s as sweet as they come, and Takeo’s so absurdly happy around her that I can’t help but want to root for the adorable couple, but for me the bromance between Takeo and Suna is the backbone of the series. As such, it was fantastic to get another episode where this relationship was showed off to its fullest, with Takeo being his usually oblivious but utterly sincere self, and Suna doing his understated utmost to keep him that way despite his own problems. I’m betting that this whole thing revolving around Suna’s father isn’t over, which sucks for Suna but is great for the show since it no doubt means plenty more touching moments starring this season’s real best ‘couple’.

Marlin: I think it’s great that we haven’t let off of the Takeo/Suna relationship despite the fact that the focus has remained so laser focused on Takeo and Yamato. It’s such a sweet relationship, and this episode once again lets us see how much the two really care for each other. I can sympathize with Suna wanting to keep Takeo in the dark. His persistence and devotion meant his response to learning about Suna’s father was certainly predictable. By trying to hide it, he wanted to keep his friend happy in a time in his life when he really deserves it. I think Suna forgets that he deserves to share in Takeo’s happiness as well. I feel it might just be a continuation of the Blue Ogre allegory, and I doubt this will be the last time we see Suna act this way for Takeo’s sake. Totally unrelated, but lest we forget, juxtaposed next to all these good feelings the show somehow got away with a 15 year old working at a gay bar dressed in nothing but a tank top and daisy dukes.

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Mikagura School Suite – Lesbian Quest III was one of the better entries in the series.

 ninjaslayer

Ninja Slayer
Episode 6: “Surprised Dojo”

Thursdays 10:00 am EST on Funimation Watching: Jel, Marlin, Iro, Gee

Marlin: Something something there’s a guy named HugeShuriken something something still pretty hilarious something something REAL NINJA something something all girls still look completely normal something YEEART!

Jel: Somehow, someway, Ninja Slayer found a way to be more juvenile than usual this week. I could do without the cavalcade of dudes pissing themselves and if I wanted to see impossibly busty ninja girls (I don’t) I’d go watch Senran Kagura. I’m not expecting this show to be a masterpiece of storytelling or anything but you can do stupid humor without relying so much on the lowest common denominator. I did get quite a laugh out of the lion clone test in the beginning though.

moenagato

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Episode 8: “A Plot by Haruhi Suzumiya”

Fridays 2:10 pm EST on Funimation Watching: Marlin, Euri

Marlin: Good lord, this episode was boring. I’m sure you could say the same thing about a sitcom doing an entire show about just going to time square and faffing about for ten minutes, but having them go to this site in Japan that I know almost nothing about, doing Japanese rituals that I literally could not care less about, made for very unenjoyable programming. Hell, there’s barely any moe, just a lot of Haruhi being a manic ADHD driven asshole while everyone else just rolls with it.

oregairu

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
Episode 8: “But Still, Hikigaya Hachiman Is…”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll Watching: Marlin

Marlin: I will freely admit that this might just be a language barrier thing, but this episode was nigh impenetrable. People kept talking so vaguely for so long that I started to wonder if they were actually saying anything in the first place. I get that Hachiman wants his relationship with his close friends to change in some way, but the way he said it was so strange that I could not understand his intent for the life of me. I hope we get a sufficient wrap up next episode, because I was really displeased with how this episode turned out.

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Plastic Memories – I love fireworks too… my bad, wrong anime

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Plastic Memories
Episode 8: “The Fireworks I’ve Never Seen”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll Watching: Jel, Marlin

Jel: My tolerance for Plastic Memories’ predictable, uninspired writing is particularly low this week after Sound! Euphonium’s master class on how to handle romantic relationships (more on that soon), so I was feeling particularly annoyed watching this. Using Eru and her obnoxious voice to hammer the idea that “HEY GUYS, THIS MEMORY WIPE THING SUCKS” didn’t help either. Too much time was spent emphasizing things we already knew and Tsukasa’s big confession under the fireworks was the most cliché thing ever. His questioning of the system is leaning toward my original theory that they will figure out some way to save Isla’s memories. I’m not sure if that would make the ending better or worse but what I am sure of is how little I care at this point.

arslan

The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Episode 8: “The Treasonous Hero”

Sundays 5:00 am EST on Funimation Watching: Artemis, Marlin

Artemis: This episode served as a nice reminder of how Arslan differs from so many other historical-fantasy shows, especially those involving royalty as main characters. First, although young and inexperienced, Arslan himself is clearly capable of putting up a fight – this is not some weak kid who’s never held a weapon before or is too sensitive to kill when he must. Second, although deposed from power, neither King Andragoras III nor Queen Tahamine are dead, and so as things currently stand, Arslan isn’t fighting to take his rightful place on the throne himself but instead to win it back for his parents. And third, said parents aren’t made out to be good rulers themselves, or even just decent human beings for that matter; Andragoras is an arrogant asshole who actively supports slavery, Tahamine is ice-cold to everyone around her, and neither seems to have any regard whatsoever for their only child. It may not be doing it particularly loudly or showily, but in a lot of ways Arslan is an anime that is consistently breaking the mold.

nisekoi

Nisekoi:
Episode 5-7

Sundays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll Watching: Euri

Euri: Hey, do you know what this show needs? That’s right, another romantic interest! To be honest, at least Onodera’s sister is working on the assumption that Raku is a monster, because it’s been pretty boring just seeing the girls blush very time he shows up, and the constant internal monologues about how they should be honest about their feelings. Don’t get me wrong, the comedy that comes with all of this is still pretty good, but it was never going to be winning awards for romance. I was also hoping that Onodera’s sister would be a bit spunkier and confident, and although she seems to have no trouble speaking her mind about Raku, she does seem pretty similar to her sister. Like, extraordinarily similar, to the point where I’m convinced the pony tail is only used as a way of telling the two apart. Also, if her skirt is going to be flipped by wind every episode, it’s going to get old really fast.

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