The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 9

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In this week’s installment…

Let’s hope the various Roundup shows are saving up some time and money for their final episodes as a whole lot of them got beat by the ugly stick. I’d expect that kind of thing from Ninja Slayer but when even Plastic Memories looks bad, something must be up.

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 10: “Sleeping Bag Haunting”

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

Jel: Well that escalated quickly. I can’t say I’m surprised Otone went the Full Homura and devoted her life to a girl she’s known for 2 days but still, girl was playing for keeps. No magic video game life crystals to be found here. It’s particularly funny because Seisa is basically Homura as it is. If there was any doubt that Eruna is supposed to be a Kirino-esque audience proxy then having the two most powerful, beautiful girls fighting over her probably seals the deal. I apologize for leaning on references so much but if Mikagura is going to be this lazy with the plot I’m going to follow suit with my writing. As always I’d probably forgive the stupidity if the fight was cool but this was one of the worst yet, with what looked like missing cuts from what was already a meager amount of animation. Clearly Dogakobo is either rushing to the finish line or has given up and already started working on YuruYuri season 3. More on that later…

oremonogatari

My Love Story!!
Episode 10: “My Mountain”

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

Artemis: This wasn’t a particularly brilliant episode of My Love Story!!, and to a certain extent I’m getting a bit tired of Takeo and Yamato’s lovey-dovey antics, which are still adorable as all hell but also growing somewhat stale. However, this episode did have a lot of really well-timed comedy, and since this involved several characters other than our main couple, I didn’t actually end up feeling dissatisfied as such. Interestingly enough, this was the very first episode in which Yamato’s mother got even a token mention – though we’ve never seen or even heard her voice before, even in the scenes where Yamato is at home in the evenings baking, which makes me wonder if Yamato’s family life is going to enter the picture in a more serious way somewhere down the line. Contrasting with this is Takeo, whose mother is clearly awesome and whose father… well, let’s just say I can see where Takeo got those eyebrows.

Marlin: Can we confirm Takeo’s dad as a retired Golgo 13? Anyway, another adorable episode of an immensely adorable show, and I don’t mind that one bit. I think I have a bit more of a tolerance for enjoyable nonsense, so I can definitely see if people are starting to get tired of the same back and forth shtick between Takeo and Yamato, but I loved every minute of it. We still had a lot of great comedy, and I do hope the couple can evolve past handholding to actually kissing or something, but I still love where this show went, with her friends making the more logical assumption. A bit weird that Takeo’s parents don’t even have the slightest worry about their son being gone for a day, but he is a man that can survive a thousand foot drop.

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Mikagura School Suite – Trying to out-Homura Homura

 ninjaslayer

Ninja Slayer
Episode 8: “Apocalypse Inside Tainted Soul”

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

Jel: What is up with all my shows looking terrible this week? Even by Ninja Slayer standards this episode looked bad. You could count the number of animated frames if you squinted hard enough and nearly all of them were devoted to animating Nancy’s breasts. Making matters worse, I don’t think Ninja Slayer actually slayed any ninjas. At least we got an explanation why the cops and Yakuza agents all look the same: they’re CLONES people, and totally not a lazy shortcut. Blehhh…

moenagato

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Episode 10 “Someday in the Rain”

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

Marlin: Just when I was about to abandon this show, it tries to bring things back to OG Haruhi. It’s a good thing I wasn’t able to talk about it last week, as that snoozer of an episode would have surely made me drop it immediately. Even with this new development, I’m not sure how seriously we’re supposed to take Yuki’s transformation. This show has done a good job of ruining any good will when it comes to dramatic scenes, so making anything tie back to the original universe just seems really weird this late in the game. I guess they have managed to keep me hanging on despite it all.

Euri: I swear to god if Ryouko doesn’t stab OG Yuki then what’s even the point?

oregairu

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
Episode 10 “The Thing That the Light in Each of Their Hands Shines”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Marlin

Marlin: I still don’t get what’s up with Iroha and Hachiman. Is she into him, or is she just using him as an emotional soundboard? At every step in this arc she’s done a lot of gestures to want to be closer to him, only to say she’s not interested. I’m at least glad they got it in their heads to not let those council assholes walk all over them and actually get things done. As for Hachiman, after last week’s Yukinon moe fest, we had to spend another episode watching him do really generic romcom stuff which is really atypical for this show. I hope this is building to something, as the status quo is getting annoying and a show this smart knows not to let this kind of tension build for too long.

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Plastic Memories – Staff room episode 10 vs. episode 1

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Plastic Memories
Episode 10: “No Longer Partners”

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

Jel: Good looks were probably the last indisputable positive Plastic Memories had going for it and wow that went out the window this week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Dogakobo show look this bad, and there have been some ugly episodes of Mikagura School Suite this season. Characters floated way off model with hardly any shading, backgrounds were drawn with the least amount of detail possible, and the animation itself left plenty to be desired. It was incredibly distracting and marred what was easily the most important, emotional episode of the series yet. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were just rushed or are working hard to make the last two episodes look great, but if this level of quality continues to the end I’m officially upgrading (downgrading?) Plastic Memories from “Disappointing” to full on “Train Wreck.”

arslan

The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Episode 10 “The Lord and Master of Kashan Fortress”

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

Artemis: An excellent episode this week, and for Arslan, a lot went on in the space of twenty minutes, including a short but well-shot action sequence and a sobering finish with Arslan realising that simply winning a battle and freeing the slaves isn’t how things work in the real world. It’s a noble ideal, and one that has won the support of Daryun, Narsus and company, but what happens when the slaves themselves have no wish to be freed? Meanwhile, Narsus has now become my favourite character thanks to his steadfast support of Arslan but his absolute refusal to coddle him. Narsus doesn’t just want Arslan to win, he wants him to grow into a good and wise king, and he knows that the best way to do that is for Arslan to experience both victory and defeat. I don’t care how bad the guy’s painting is, that’s a man I’d be hiring as my top advisor on the spot.

Marlin: I liked that this episode finally showed us some of Pars’s upper crust. We’ve seen plenty of generals and other commanders so far, but the only nobility we’ve seen so far is the very atypical Narsus and the Royal Family themselves. I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see more scheming and outwitting instead of outmaneuvering when it came to this Lord, but I’m sure there will be plenty of future chances for that. I’m not sure how Arslan is going to gain much support when he murders his vassals, but I suppose we’re assuming accurate information gets out about what happened that night. It does show just how untenable his ideals of ending slavery are with his meager retinue. Arslan has this idea to free the slaves without even first contemplating how he would balance the books economically. As much as it’s depressing to think about, economics almost always wins out over social policy.

nisekoi

Nisekoi:
Episode 9: “Cleanup Day/Visiting the Sick”

Sundays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Euri

Euri: This episode was actually rather fun, given that it focused on Raku slowly redeeming himself in the eyes of Haru. I suppose that’s saying a lot, as we were served yet another tale from the big book of cliché episode plots and it managed not to turn into Raku gazing longingly into the eyes of a blushing, ill Onodera. I’ll hold my hands up and say that’s basically what I expected based on the previous episodes in this season, so I consider it a nice surprise. However, I feel this show is slowly but surely moving Haru into the harem, when honestly it’s not what I want to see from her. Having some opposition to Raku from a girl who isn’t actually in love with him and being super-tsundere would make for a nice change, so I really hope that it doesn’t pan out like I expect it to. Plus I don’t think I can handle two Onoderas being snubbed in favour of Chitoge in the inevitable finale.

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