The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 4 – Late Edition

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In this week’s installment…

Me, Iro, Euri, and Marlin frantically flail about as we try to fill in for Artemis while she’s away. Fortunately it’s a good week as old favorites Durarara!! and Working!!! are on their game, Snow White and My Love Story continue to be adorable, and Crowds drops the mic with some hot social commentary. Good times!

Miss the Early Edition of the Roundup? Check it out here for our coverage of:
Chaos Dragon, Ushio and Tora, Miss Monochrome: The Animation 2, Classroom Crisis, School Live!, Prison School

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Durarara!! X2 The Second Arc
Episode 17: “Asleep or Awake”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: I’ve been enjoying this chunk of DRRR!! a lot more than Winter’s, but with this week it seems like we’re gearing up for the season’s big story arc as opposed to the vignettes of the past few episodes, and I can’t help but be apprehensive about it. It’s hard to take the threat of a crazed stalker too seriously when we know Ruri has superhuman strength and could probably crush his head with one hand, but considering this is Ikebukuro, he might have equally ridiculous powers. As for the episode’s epilogue, I hope we’re not going to get too far into more chat room antics with a bunch of people we don’t know; one chat was already hard enough to parse.

Marlin: I cannot say enough how psyched I am for the plot to get going again. I have really enjoyed this season for its vignettes and funny scenes, but the thing that’s had me hooked since the moment go is the ominous presence of Mikado all over the Opening. Long time fans may notice this is the first time he appears as the very last character, and his usual blue title is replaced with a stark grey. I love that what would normally be seen as a good thing, a person gaining more confidence, and wanting to protect his friends, is seen as foreign just because of how against Mikado’s previous nature such thoughts are. It goes to show how far apart Anri and Mikado have gotten, and shows just how much a little power has changed Mikado’s mindset.

Please love Yamada.

Working!!! – Please love Yamada.

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Wagnaria!!! Working!!!
Episode 5: “Super Bag in the Heart”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Euri: Whenever a romance suddenly progresses in an anime, it tends to set of alarm bells. Unless it’s the penultimate episode of a romance anime, it usually means bad things are in store for at least one of the characters in question. It’s stranger still that it’s coming from a show like Working, which certainly hasn’t been afraid to focus episode on one or two goofs rather than developing its characters, but from two couples? Everyone’s going to die, I’m calling it now. I did notice that the Working manga finished in 2014, so this is the first season we’ve had since an ending has existed, so that’s probably what’s responsible for relationships happening. Takanashi knows that Miharu likes him. Miharu knows that Takanashi knows. We’ve got eight episodes to see further progress, so don’t let us down! Oh, and it was also nice to have an episode which didn’t focus on Kozue being an alcoholic.

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Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Episode 5: “halo effect”

Saturdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This was the most scathing social and political commentary I’ve seen in an anime since the second episode of Humanity Has Declined. The presentation was far too blunt to live up to that masterpiece, but in a way the exaggerated ridiculousness of Gel’s election and the previous Prime Minister’s fall from grace only seems to emphasize their point. I’m fascinated how Insight has managed to push the 2:6:2 concept and basically say people are mindless sheep without coming off as arrogant or elitist. You want to get angry about it like Tsubasa as it doesn’t seem right, but then you can’t argue with evidence like Joe’s campaign strategy. I also can’t help but think there will be more to the argument once Hajime truly speaks her mind. She’s been soaking it all in and dropping hints here and there (like how she verbally owns Joe this episode) and I’m guessing she’ll find some solution to bringing everyone together without literally bringing everyone together.

On another note, any doubt that Gel is the “villain” is put to rest as Rizumu officially hands off the torch, although I should have noticed sooner that – like Berg Katze – Gel is based on a previous Gatchaman antagonist. Got to keep that tenuous Gatchaman connection somehow, right? Now we’ll just wait and see how long it takes for everything to go horribly wrong. I’ll give it 5 minutes into the next episode, anyone want to take me up on that bet?

Marlin: Crowds kicked off another solid bit of commentary about public opinion. It’s an interesting concept that, back in the day, most gaffs would be conveyed simultaneously with an apology or correction, as the TV broadcast schedule would give candidates time for damage control. Now, in the era of social media, no one is safe, and everything a public figure says can be made known immediately, with no chance for recompense. The way Sugiyama’s gaffs quickly down him mirror much of American politics today, so much so that I wonder how much this is based off of that rather than Japanese politics. It would also fall much in line with Joe’s campaign strategy for Gel, using CROWDS to make the race a one-issue election, while simultaneously pandering to the public at large. While it still seems incredibly farfetched that any country, let alone the perpetually xenophobic Japan, would elect an alien, a being with literally no stakes or experience in national policy, it allows for CROWDS to make another interesting jab at issues that mirror those in our own society.

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Gatchaman Crowds Insight – There’s literally no reason for them to be standing on the ceiling

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Snow White With the Red Hair
Episode 5: “This Path, the Crystallization of Premonition”

Mondays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Marlin: This show remains an absolute darling. I love how easy it is to see how much these two care about each other, and how that covers the entire show with a fairytale sense of charm. Shirayuki remains as strong as ever, not willing to let opportunities go by her. It’s obvious that she’s qualified, but her drive to see problems to the end is what nails her the job. Now that she has all rights to see Zen, I imagine we’ll have even more romantic moments for Iro and I to get enjoyably frustrated at. With the ominous crown prince coming into play, I would hope this show doesn’t go the route of having him harass her just to get at Zen. Iro and I were noting how glad we are that she hasn’t been continuously captured after the first two episodes made it seem like it would be a trend. I suppose it would be nice to see her stand her ground against him, but being the crown prince means I doubt she’d be able to get away with that easily.

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My Love Story
Episode 18: “My Birthday”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Man, Takeo gets Christmas, New Years, AND his birthday all in one week? That’s a lot of partying… or at least that’s what you’d think, as most of this episode was pretty boring. It’s really all about the big First Kiss, and while the actual event was a bit over the top it all went down in the adorably roundabout and awkward manner that My Love Story has mastered over the past season and a half. If anything you have to be glad that it even happened. Takeo’s original plan to wait was pretty much in line with most other romance anime stories, so it wouldn’t have been a shock to see them put it off yet again. That hasn’t really been this show’s M.O. though. They’ve been keeping a good balance of making steady forward progress while still keeping things light and sweet and that’s a big part of what makes My Love Story good.

Marlin: I found this whole episode to be incredibly adorable. Takeo is always going to be a shy spazz when it comes to romance, so I love that Yamada is taking the initiative. Once again, I have to give a shout out to the strong Bro of the Year candidate Suna for pushing Yamada to express her love for Takeo. He knows that they need that extra push, and never pressures them, only making them see what (to normal people) is obvious. Btw, the callback to the saran wrap kiss was probably the best joke I’ve heard all week. The entire New Years sequence was very sweet. I love how we get to see Takeo in his normal life. His gregarious personality means people (okay, mostly guys) are naturally drawn to him, and even though they’re years separated these friends come together because Takeo values the people around him. When we finally got down to business, I thought I was going to be really disappointed. Once again, it’s Suna with the save, finally getting through to Takeo’s head what Yamada had done. The big thing to take away is that he quickly realizes he needs to set things right, to let Yamada know that he cherishes her just as much as she did him in working to make his birthday special.

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2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 4 – Late Edition

  1. Marlin, I disagree. If anyone was going to elect a cute twirling red alien with the voice of Kana Hanazawa, it would be Japan.

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