The Roundup: Spring 2015 Volume 11

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In this week’s installment…

Jel delivers his eulogy for Mikagura School Suite and says sayonara to Ninja Slayer, but sadly not Plastic Memories. Meanwhile just about every other show is going for the Baker’s Dozen on episode count or continuing to next season, so it seems reports of the Summer 2015 Roundup’s demise were premature.

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 12: “Infinite Grand Finale”

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

Jel: Well, they tried. They tried to deliver an incredible final battle, and in the insanity of Eruna and Seisa’s interstellar showdown I could see traces of greatness. I mean come on, Eruna basically blows up the moon, how can that be bad? Maybe bad is going too far, but it definitely wasn’t great. The final fight started OK but visually fell apart quickly, and the laughably amateurish explanation of the school’s origin dashed any hopes of redeeming the story. Sadly, be it time or budget or whatever the case Mikagura School Suite was just not meant to be. I suppose I should only blame myself for having high hopes for an anime based on a series of vocaloid songs, but they were so close to being great. The creative look and premise, the energetic heroine with a sweet hero scarf punching things, the dashes of goofy comedy – there was so much promise in the first few episodes. And then after some incredibly unfocused writing and severe dips in animation quality, the show sank. I’m not saying Mikagura had to take a serious turn – the one time they tried was terrible– but watching Eruna’s hot blooded quest turn into a poorly written slice of life comedy where everyone is powered by FUN totally killed it. Rest in peace Mikagura School Suite, you deserved better.

oremonogatari

My Love Story!!
Episode 12: “My Grades”

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

Jel: This was a pretty dull episode saved by a few key moments. Takeo’s parents clearly stole the show, walking a fine line between adorable and annoying but ending up firmly on the good side. Yamato getting caught snuggling up to Takeo was pretty amusing as well. The most impressive thing to me though was making out Takeo to be this perfect dude that can do anything he puts his mind to but still fail his test in the end. It seems everytime My Love Story goes completely off the rails into some crazy unbelievable direction it always gently lands back on Earth… well except that dumb thing at the end where Yamato says she thought Takeo could get into a girls’ school somehow. Come on girl, I’ve been sticking up for you. Don’t let me down.

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Mikagura School Suite – Remember that time Eruna blew up the moon and no one said a word about it?

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Ninja Slayer
Episode 10: “One Minute Before the Tanuki Pt. 2”

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

Jel: Alright, I think I’m done. There has been a signficant lack of crazy ninjas with jetpacks and chainsaws, etc. and a considerable amount of Trigger’s crass, immature side over a long enough period of time for me to say it’s just not worth it. Ever since Nancy showed up the show has devolved into BOOBS HURRR HURRR HURRR and throwing in another rape attempt is the last straw. I don’t care how “real” it was supposed to be or whatever, there was no reason for that. Ninja Slayer’s serious epiphone toward the end is only further evidence the show is moving further away from its strengths and as we approach the halfway mark of the series it’s probably a good time to bail out.

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Episode 12 “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki Pt. 2”

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

Marlin: This episode is getting further and further away from what I would want out of Yuki losing her memories. I suppose it was inevitable that Moe Nagato had to come back to the show, but this weird idea that her alternate self is just fusing with the old Yuki personality is weird. As with last week, too much thinking, not enough stabbing.

oregairu

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
Episode 12: “Still, The Thing He Seeks Is Out of Reach, And He Continues to Mistake What’s Real”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Marlin

Marlin: The show continues to be super vague about what “The Real Thing” is. I assumed it was romantic relationships, but it seems to be just general friendship? Which I never really felt Hachiman struggled finding to begin with. If anything he’s the one with all the problems, trying to continuously put distance between the people he loves. I guess maybe that’s what it’s all about? Him coming to the realization that he can’t stand his self-destructive behavior and wants to cherish his genuine relationships? This time both girls get their moment to throw obvious romantic tension towards Hachiman, which is worrying considering there doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to end this valentine’s plot point before the show is out. Just say what you want to say already. The vagueness is driving me crazy.

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Plastic Memories – DON’T YOU LIKE MY SHOW, JEL???? DON’T YOU?!?!?!

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Plastic Memories
Episode 12: “Filling Up With Memories”

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

Jel: I’m usually the last person to cry “emotional manipulation!” when an anime goes the tragic route, but that has clearly been Plastic Memories plan from day one. It can be a tricky thing to define as I can’t deny I felt really, really sad at the end of of this episode. But then I ask myself, “do I actually care about these characters?” and the answer is “no”. To compare and contrast I actually love the classic tear jerker Clannad, which is often gets hit with that “emotional manipulation” tag. The difference with something like that is they take the time over 40+ episodes to develop the characters and their relationships so that when the time comes, it really hurts. Basically, I cared. You could say Plastic Memories just had less time, but it’s not even that. Tsukasa and Isla’s time together is so contrived, even forced, that I don’t feel any connection with them. The entire cast just plays their part exactly as you’d expect, feeling more like puppets than relatable human beings. Will I get emotional watching the final episode? Perhaps, but I will also feel completely fine the minute it is over.

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The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Episode 12: “A Knight’s Loyalty”

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

Artemis: Honestly, this felt like one of Arslan’s weaker episodes. I think the main problem for me was that much of the humour felt incongruous with the actual subject matter; a new major character is introduced via the slaughtering of her entire clan, and for some reason this is played out right alongside some bitchy banter between Narsus and Silvermask, her saviour and would-be killer respectively. I don’t begrudge Arslan its more light-hearted moments, especially since they’re well-timed for the most part, but the tone of this whole episode felt way off because of it. I’m not convinced that Alfreed is going to make a good addition to the team, either – in fact, I have the feeling she’s going to annoy the hell out of me, particularly if she’s going to be joined at the hip with Narsus as I suspect she might.

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Nisekoi:
Episode 11: “I Want to Lose Weight/Good Morning”

Sundays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Watching: Euri

Euri: The first half of the episode was pretty throwaway. We see Onodera starving herself because she thinks she’s put on too much weight, regardless of the fact you could fit a wedding ring around her waist. Like, she might stuff her face with cake all the time but she’s worryingly thin. All of the girls in this show are! The second half of the episode delves into the past a little, and we see a slightly younger obviously-in-love-but-too-fucking-stupid-to-do-anything Onodera and Raku. Interestingly we get to see that there was a chance of them not attending the same school, and Raku coming close to a confession for the five billionth time before finding out that Onodera managed to make it. Again, don’t expect mind-blowing story revelations, but it was sweet enough for me to let it go.

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