The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 5 – Early Edition

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In this week’s installment…

Can you believe the season is already half over? Fortunately our Roundup shows are still going strong with School Live! leading the pack in the Early edition. Even Classroom Crisis is starting to win me over somehow, with a solid enough mid point episode to keep it off the chopping block.

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 5: “Meeting”

Thursdays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Despite being a flashback and already knowing the outcome, this was a really intense episode. The zombie action is a given at this point, but I’ve been surprised at how well the emotional impact on the girls has been developed. It’s not the deepest or most complicated portrayal but it’s effective nonetheless. Framing what would be a normal slice of life scenes like the girls trying on clothes at the mall in the context of their situation was kind of chilling and really sad. You can’t help but admire the girls’ resolve to not only survive, but to still live their life the best they can. That’s really been the point of this whole flashback and the lesson Miki has to learn the hard way. Looking ahead, I am really worried about Kurumi after her request to be put down quickly if she turns. Given her role as the only one who can fight the zombies, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion. Everything I’ve seen from School Live! up to now seems to indicate they would go through with it too, so stay strong Shovel Girl, stay strong!

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School Live! – Perfectly appropriate time to make cute dog noises

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Ushio and Tora
Episode 6: “The Sea of the Ayakashi”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Euri: Man, Ushio is a dick. He punched a kid who is causing trouble for attention, something we learn Ushio did as a kid. Yes, this is what happened to him that caused him to snap out of his emo rut… with the addition of being told that his dead mother is watching over him. A bit of an important thing to say, really, after getting punched in the head by someone you don’t know. We see a bit more co-operation between Ushio and Tora, but we’re still not quite on the level where they’re helping each other voluntarily. In fact, Tora did most of the work yet again, as the real damage was done by the Beast Spear, not Ushio. I did find it interesting that Ushio believes his mother to be alive; while that might be true, I thought for sure they were referring to the ancestor of his that sealed away the heads from a few episodes back. What’s the betting she’s super evil?

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Miss Monochrome – The Animation 2
Episode 6: “Showdown”

Fridays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Given Miss Monochrome’s penchant for meta humor I feel like I was missing a reference with the unknown idol group joining her. I didn’t see anything after some quick research, so if anyone has any more info please share. That said, I have to wonder how long it will be before the girls outshine our poor heroine. I kind of hope they don’t go that route as it seems like the most obvious joke to make, but let’s be honest: can we really trust anyone but Ru-chan and Manager Maneo at this point? As far as the episode itself, it was another solid outing with the hilarious mannequin act stealing the show. I love jokes that make something incredibly mundane seem super intense and this fit the bill perfectly. I’m still waiting to see Miss Monochrome fight off an alien invasion or some other crazy, over the top situation but this will do.

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Classroom Crisis – Still feeling skeptical about this show, but the faces are good!

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Prison School
Episode 5: “The School’s Number One Most Treacherous Man”

Fridays 1:05 pm EST on Funimation

Marlin: I had a feeling taking a selfie with Chiyo didn’t seem like the brightest move. Kiyoshi quickly gets caught, and everyone starts feeling the consequences. It’s interesting that the misunderstand this time is leading to actual friction instead of a set up for later comedy. I can’t imagine this will last forever, so we’ll have to wait and see what harebrained schemes come up next. It does seem weird that we just now learned Chiyo’s relationship to the Underground Student Council. I suppose they don’t live together, but you’d think Chiyo would thank them for “letting Kiyoshi out” before the date. I love that, despite his best efforts, Kiyoshi’s main preoccupation after being saved is his lust for Chiyo. It’s such a teenager mentality to have a girl care about you one iota and then fall straight off the deep end.

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Classroom Crisis
Episode 6: “Family of Shame”

Fridays 3:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: You know what? I kind of liked this episode. Knocking Nagisa down a peg was something the audience has been screaming for, plus the high academic standards were a good reminder that these kids are actual rocket scientists and are all incredibly talented. The portrayal of his terrible childhood was very heavy handed and I’d probably be a lot more put off by it if they hadn’t been hinting in that direction all along, but I thought it was acceptable overall. Most of all I think I was just happy to have an episode where everyone wasn’t screaming at each other, although I suppose that could change with the return of Angelina Hanako next week. Is this a sign that Classroom Crisis is finally going to make good on its potential? Probably not, but it’s a positive enough sign for me to stick with it.

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