The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 10

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In this week’s installment…

It’s the penultimate Spring 2015 Roundup as our shows prepare for their finales or mid-series climax. Dogakobo’s offerings continue to fizzle out, SNAFU gears up for a possible strong finish, and for better or worse My Love Story, Ninja Slayer, Moe Nagato, and Arslan begin to burrow in for next season.

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

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Mikagura School Suite
Episode 11: “Nostalgic Triangle”

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

Jel: “Do you want to bear scars like this?” BAHAHAHA… sorry I just can’t take Mikagura School Suite’s attempt to go dark seriously. I suppose Seisa and Otone are entitled to their teenage angst on account of being, you know, teenagers but I’m still not buying it. I felt nothing seeing Seisa’s predictable evil senpai story and it was super anticlimactic to see THAT is what the opening scene of the series was all about. On a more positive note, at least the episode looked nice with all the characters back on model and we even got a decent, albeit short, fight scene. The ED was really cool too, it might have been the first one that impressed me. Mikagura has become too much of a mess for me to care but it’s nice to see things pick up a bit near the end.

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My Love Story!!
Episode 11: “My Ocean”

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

Marlin: Well, things are remaining a little too PG for my tastes. These two dorks keep teetering on the edge of actually addressing their physical attractions, but the show then bails them out of having to do anything meaningful. I’m glad that he at least tries for it, but the fact that they aren’t making any meaningful progress is starting to wear on me. I’d also like a bit more meaningful contributions from the peanut gallery. Thus far, it just seems like Yamato’s galpals are just there to look at them and say “oh look at how silly she’s being”. It was nice to have a beach episode where every female character wasn’t gratuitously sexualized I guess.

Jel: I snickered every time Takeo mentioned “catching crabs”. Clearly I am a mature adult. I’m with Marlin on the rest of it, although I’m not going to go too hard on derailing the kiss. Maybe my bar is just so low after watching Plastic Memories, but I’m good with just the attempt for now. The series will be continuing into next season so there will be plenty of time for that later.

Artemis: I admit to being somewhat disappointed with this episode. Not because nothing of consequence happened (this is a cheesy and ridiculously adorable romcom after all, and I appreciate it for what it is), but because the obligatory beach episode was exactly that. I guess I expected My Love Story to somehow freshen things up a bit in this area, or at least incorporate some hilariously over-the-top scene involving Yamato having to be heroically rescued from… I don’t know, a killer whale or something equally absurd. What I got was perfectly sweet and completely inoffensive, but added nothing of any particular value to either the story or its characters, and was also noticeably lacking in decent gags.

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My Love Story!! – Fairly accurate episode summary

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Ninja Slayer
Episode 9: “One Minute Before the Tanuki, Part 1”

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

Jel: Once again only Trigger would have the balls to open up with 45 seconds of motionless silence. Artistic statement or penny pinching? You decide. These episodes with Nancy have all been pretty terrible as they’ve all involved way too much ogling and groping, but at least she gets to do something useful this time. Between the ogling and ‘Nam Ninja Guy vomitting all over the place this was clearly another mature, subtle episode of Ninja Slayer that really made you question the duality of… OK I can’t even make a joke out of this, I’m stopping now.

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Episode 11 “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki Part 1”

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

Marlin: That was some boring shit, man.

Okay, fine I’ll elaborate. It would have been cool to have all this introspection if Moe Nagato was the kind of franchise that actually deserved this kind of outside view. From everything that’s happened we know it’s clearly not, so having monotone Nagato run her mouth almost unopposed for the entire episode was just boring. It’s not where I wanted this kind of development to go, and no one got stabbed.

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My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
Episode 11: “Hayama Hayato Always Responds to Everyone’s Expectations”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Marlin

Marlin: Things are certainly picking up here. Did not realize we were going in hard on the HachimanXYukino angle, but I guess its not like they have no chemistry. I just wish they would go all the way if that’s their intent. It seems like this show doesn’t know who they want to please. Each of the girls (and it seems Inaba is firmly a member of the harem now) has had her day in the light, and basically equal time spent with the dude to make their case. Inaba is by far the weirdest part. She has some really good chemistry with Hachiman, and this episode has her leaning even more into flirting with him than ever before. As for the actual plot of this story, it’s interesting to see them tackle Hayama as a person and not just “the nice guy”. I once said people like him exist in every school, and it’s also true that they don’t always enjoy that kind of attention. Hearing these teenagers with actual selfish goals that reflect their desires is why I come to SNAFU in the first place.

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Moe Nagato – Not quite enough murder in this picture

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Plastic Memories
Episode 11: “Rice Omelette Day”

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

Jel: Tsukasa and Isla have always reminded me of Yuuta and Rikka from Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions and with last week’s big confession somehow regressing their relationship, the comparison is stronger than ever. But while those other two had an incredibly charming supporting cast to prop them up (at least in season 1 anyway) our main couple here is surrounded by the worst group of anime clichés imaginable. I felt like the bulk of this episode had each one competing to see who could annoy me the most and they all won. Making things worse, the dip in visual quality carried over from last week for at least half the episode, so it wasn’t even nice to look at. Considering even Mikagura School Suite looked good this week, I have to wonder if Dogakobo really has raised the white flag on this one. If there wasn’t just an episode or two to go, I would too.

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The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Episode 11: “The Road to Peshawar”

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

Artemis: One of the things I really appreciate about this show, and about Arslan’s character in particular, is that he doesn’t shy away from killing people. While he’s naturally soft-hearted and obviously takes no pleasure from doing so, Arslan doesn’t hesitate to use deadly force when his own life or one of his companion’s is at risk – and refreshingly, this isn’t presented as some huge moral quandary he has to work through first, and neither are we given some angst-ridden scene where he has to come to terms with his actions afterwards. This point has already been proven before but was illustrated especially well this episode, and once again with enough detail to have it come across as realistic without being gratuitous. I’m also pleased to see that as a result, Elam seems to have thawed towards Arslan and is finally treating him as something other than an uppity prince with no skills or backbone. That only took… 8 episodes.

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Nisekoi:
Episode 10: “Support”

Sundays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Euri

Euri: Not only did we just get a rare serious episode out of nowhere, but it even focused on Shu, the gross jerk-come-joker who is typically seen getting pummelled by his classmates for his increasingly perverse antics. He has easily been the worst character since he first showed up, and the reasons why Raku can put up with his nonsense have never really been clear. The only interesting dynamic we’ve seen with his character prior to this episode is Ruri attempting to put him back on the straight and narrow, but that was/is still heading towards romance territory so whatever. In what turned out to be a complete surprise, we see Shu talking about his crush… on his homeroom teacher, of all people. Shu, at least for the span of this episode, becomes an actual character who learns about his teacher’s incoming marriage, copes with it because he knows that he has no chance as one of her students, and deals with the following heartbreak. This wasn’t a masterclass in romance, but holy shit this is Nisekoi and they made an episode that isn’t about girls blushing over Raku.

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