The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 4 – Early Edition

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In this week’s installment…

It’s summer fun time in the Early Edition of the Roundup! Classroom Crisis is already resorting to the beach episode (pun intended) and School Live! spends a fun afternoon at the mall. No violence!

Favorite show missing? Stay tuned for the Late Edition of the Roundup every Friday, with coverage of: 
Durarara!! X2 Second Arc, Working!!! (Season 3), Gatchaman Crowds Insight, Gangsta, Snow White with the Red Hair, Non Non Biyori Repeat, My Love Story!

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School Live!
Episode 4: “Outing”

Thursdays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It’s going to be a tough call whether Miki or Kurumi (yes, I’m going to stop calling her Shovel Girl) has a more depressing back story. Miki hasn’t had to decapitate her best friend (yet), but the contrast of her fun afternoon at the mall versus zombie massacre is one of the most effective uses of the show’s bipolar nature yet. Your heart truly sinks from the moment they find the bodies on the elevator on. Speaking of Kurumi, I appreciate that even though they’ve established she’s tough and athletic, she’s not some kind of superhero either. In the end she’s still just a school girl with a shovel. I worry about her future given how easily she can be overwhelmed when they need to step out. Two more observations: I’m swinging back to believing Megu-nee is dead after how the car thing played out and wow Miki’s garters are grossly inappropriate for an underage girl to be wearing to school. OK, one more: How cool is it to see the school deteriorating in the OP? Yep, School Live! is pretty good.

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School Live! – Isn’t hanging out at the mall after school with your friends so much fun!?!?!?!

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Ushio and Tora
Episode 5: “Exorcist Hyou”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Euri: Given the tone of the OVA series, I was kind of expecting this show to get dark sooner or later. We had people being torn apart in the previous episode, but episode five pushes this even further with at least two instances of child death. I have mixed feelings about using it in fiction purely to get a reaction from the reader/viewer, but in this case I believe it to be marking a tonal shift. Hyou’s introduction is a sad one, and that’s only counting the opening scenario and not counting his tragic back story. It makes Hyou an intriguing character by the end of the episode, that much is certain, but I feel there could have been more done to truly take advantage of it. We saw Ushio and Tora’s relationship progress, but only slightly, and at the cost of Ushio showing how much of a horrible person he can be. He doesn’t just put Tora’s life in jeopardy for something he didn’t do, but it’s also a massive fuck you to a man who wishes to avenge his dead wife and child. There was every chance Ushio was sending Hyou to his death – he had no way of gauging how powerful or not he was – and for that my opinion of him has certainly soured. Still, this is a shounen anime, so I’m sure we’re in for a few more twists and turns that’ll go on to make this episode irrelevant in the long run. Anime!

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Miss Monochrome – The Animation 2
Episode 5: “Scout”

Fridays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode had some really dumb moments and was therefore hilarious. I nearly did a spit take when Miss Monochrome took off her “Mikudayo” head. Why would Miss Monchrome be wearing a Miss Monochrome suit? Why would anyone unleash the terror of another Mikudayo on the world? These are questions I just don’t want to answer. The gag with Akiko spontaneously becoming famous was also great and totally in line with how this show works, so overall some great gags this week.

The real interesting thing though was the tie-in to Wooser’s Hand to Mouth Life, in which you see her disappear for a second and warp back with a random award. I don’t know much about Wooser but I checked out the connected episode and man that is one weird show… To summarize, Wooser (who is some kind of yellow bunny voiced by Mamoru Miyano) dreams of having 53 clones to do his work so he can sleep all day. The 53 Woosers and his friends do a surreal dance that creates a magic circle, thus summoning Miss Monochrome. She joins the 53 to form an idol group but splits and becomes famous. While she accepts an award at a big award show, the 53 Woosers die and go to hell. The End. I don’t know what to say to that so I’m just going to slowly back away. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Miss Monochrome 2 – The Horrors of Monochromedayo

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Prison School
Episode 4: “Take Me Out to the Sumoland”

Fridays 1:05 pm EST on Funimation

Marlin: Prison School‘s engaging drama comes to an all new high as the day of the breakout finally comes. I’m not sure if I can say much of anything new, though. At this point you should know if you’re in love with this show’s great style, its hilarious bouts of absurdity, or its ridiculous fanservice. Take your pick, honestly the latter just helps the comedy for me, but I’m not here to judge. I was a bit disappointed that the big misunderstanding that blows Kiyoshi’s date is just the most contrived coincidence, I would have been way happier if she just thought he used it to escape, since her friend planted the seed of doubt over his release being legitimate in the first place. Still, the rest of the episode was very strong, and I’m raring to see what happens next week.

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Classroom Crisis
Episode 5: “The Shame of the Journey Overrides”

Fridays 3:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: OH GREAT, going for the beach episode already. I said last week I may drop Classroom Crisis if I don’t see spaceships soon and I may still make good on that promise. However, the show has swung from decent, to bad, all the way to train wreck and I must admit I would be interested to see this show go up in flames. The chain of people who seem to have some kind of romantic interest in one another is rapidly growing out of hand to a level the series clearly does not have the nuance to handle. Will the crash be so ridiculous that it will be entertaining enough to offset the downward spiral into anime RomCom clichés? Seriously, I lost count this week between the beach and the bath, complete with the boys trying to peep on the girls and making the walls of the bath arbitrarily crash down. I’ll tough it out another week and we’ll see how it goes.

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