The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 5 – Late Edition

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In this week’s installment…

Gangsta returns to the Roundup with mixed results, Working!!! continues to make stunning amounts of plot progress, and My Love Story! devotes an episode to the rarest of anime rarities: parents that aren’t horrible people, living abroad, or dead.

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

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Durarara!! X2 The Second Arc
Episode 18: “Roses Have Thorns”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: It’s nice to see Ruri’s character fleshed out a bit more, even through a bunch of creepy and disturbing flashbacks. I previously thought her general demeanor was a facade, but I’m willing to accept that she is genuinely uncomfortable about her past and that she decided to user her superpowers to murder those who wronged her. It’s also nice to finally see Masaomi’s return, even though he lacks the exuberance that made him a fun character to begin with. If he’s all brooding and no fun, then we don’t even get the dissonance of his personality to lend him some depth. As it stands, he just seems like a plot device to shake up Mikado’s world, and I hope we get a bit more than that.

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Wagnaria!!! Working!!!
Episode 6: “Yamada, Yama-da!”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’ve been catching up with Working!!! here and there and wow what is up with all this relationship progress? It’s pretty adorable but also make it kind of weird that we’ve gone from nothing happening for so long to EVERYONE RESOLVE YOUR STORIES NOW. As the episode title implies there was unfortunately a lot of Yamada this week, and for some reason it only just hit me now how weird it is that she’s been living in the roof of this restaurant for what feels like a really, really long time. I guess getting her home is all part of the show’s race to the finish line. At least her resolution doesn’t appear to involve anything particularly romantic, which would just be weird considering her lack of humanity or however Takanashi’s sister worded it this week. On a final note, what was up with Popura Poplar’s crazy magical girl fever dream? Probably best not to read into that too much.

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Gatchaman Crowds Insight – Man, C-SPAN must be really desperate for ratings

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Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Episode 6: “engagement”

Saturdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: My only criticism of Insight has been the utter lack of subtlety and while that was mostly still in effect this week, there were definitely nice little details to pick up as Gel transforms into Friendly Hitler. Watching him make a little boy do his seemingly cute and silly hand gesture the exact way he wants was fantastically creepy, but also interesting in that Hajime has been making that open finger “peace” sign throughout the entire series. The real highlight though is Yuu finally speaking his mind and dropping some truth on Tsubasa. I’m kind of kicking myself for not picking up the connection between his fireworks and Hajime’s conflict “sparkles”. The connection is somehow both painfully blunt AND artsy and symbolic, which is pretty much how Insight operates.

Marlin: You see, the reason why we live in a society filled with Democratic Republics is that politics is much better served by representative interests than pure democratic measures. Granted, this is just the reason. Obviously money amongst other things, like fat stacks and moolah, have gotten in the way of allowing republics to function properly. As Insight is quick to show us, giving people the power to vote on every issue would be even worse, quickly making it seem like Japan will turn into an unfunded entitlement state. People are quick to think of how things will benefit them without thinking of the costs. It’s obvious from how conservatives exist off the principle of “reducing the government” or lowering taxes, but never want to get rid of entitlements that everyone enjoys. Once again, I think Crowds is trying to show us how these “villains” are really just smaller parts of a larger social problem. With Berg-Katze and the CROWDS, it was the inability of people to responsibly use physical power. Now with Gel’s movement it’s the inability of people to responsibly use political power, and I can’t imagine the results will be any better.

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Gangsta
Episode 5 & 6: “Sanctions” & “Thorns”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Funimation

Gee: As Gangsta’s overarching plot starts to move, it seems our characters are mostly stuck in their variously bitter backstories. Gangsta seems more interested in telling the story of how our characters came to be, rather than the people they are today. A story about the past isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the show feel kind of meandering in a way that something that’s billed as the poor man’s Black Lagoon shouldn’t be. After three episodes of alluding to backstories, I get it. Worick had a bad family, Nicolas is hopped up on drugs and will die by 30, and Alex struggles to leave behind the torment of her former sex slavery. It’s not that these backstories aren’t interesting, but I’ve seen enough of them at this point that I barely care anymore. Here’s hoping the plot will pick up once the main conflict starts to form.

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My Love Story! – And then Yamato started devouring babies

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Snow White With the Red Hair
Episode 6: “The Back Full of Meaning”

Mondays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Marlin: I was worried that the introduction of the crown prince would make some unnecessary sexual tension, so it’s kinda nice to see that he’s just not pleased with how Zen has operated lately. Admittedly, at face value letting a pretty foreign national into the court and absolving that crew of soldiers for what was honestly some negligent behavior back at the fort don’t seem to be very responsible moves. Quickly we see that Shirayuki isn’t about to let this bother her as she performs her duties. She’s smart not too be haughty in front of someone so highly ranked, but it did sting to hear him insult her just for her proper behavior. Raj throwing a wrench in the brothers’ game of chess was pretty funny, if only to highlight just how natural the two seem as a couple already. It’s kinda funny that whenever we go outside the castle walls, from the vassal lord to his brother to Raj, these people are thinking primarily about Shirayuki as a threat or a distraction because they are thinking of how they would exploit the situation if they were her. Only Zen understands Shirayuki’s earnestness, and that’s why they are so close.

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My Love Story
Episode 19: “My Mom”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Takeo’s parents are amazing. Mrs. Gouda in particular has been kind of good natured comic relief until now, so seeing her wisdom and selflessness added a lot of weight to this episode. Things got pretty heavy having to face the fragility of life and the potential prospect of newest member of the Gouda family not pulling through. It made for some good food for thought but I’m glad everything still turned out OK. I love the serious and thoughtful moments of My Love Story! but they only have a limited place in this series. So far they’ve done a great job adding just the right amount to the otherwise adorable proceedings and this episode was no exception.

Marlin: The entire Gouda family is full of magnanimous superhumans, and in some stories that would probably be super annoying, but because their abilities also come with a great strength of character, it’s hard not to love them. This week is certainly focused on Mama Gouda and how her selflessness molded Takeo into the caring boy he’s been since his youth. We even get a sweet scene with his dad. Even though she wasn’t the most attractive woman in the office, such a shallow thing didn’t matter. He fell in love with her personality. Once again, Suna is just the best, being in the background taking care of buisness while everyone else freaks out. It would have to take one amazing bro to beat out Suna’s absolute clinch on the title.

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5 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 5 – Late Edition

  1. Something important to keep in mind with Gatchacrowds: Hajime’s open fingers aren’t just a peace sign! They’re representative of her scissors, which in turn represent her creativity and constructiveness! There’s a reason the world was saved by a scrapbooker. If her scissors are kept closed, they become useless. Enforced unity prevents the discourse necessary for a creative, vibrant culture.

    • I always interpreted the scissors as a symbolically divisive tool, another key part of Hajime’s personality. Jel and I have talked a bit about that amongst ourselves as well.

    • Yeah as Marlin mentioned it’s possible in the context of season 2 the scissors could be symbolic of her going against Gel’s concept of unity, cutting people into separate entities so to speak. Big picture though, I agree it’s about finding her own creative answers. If I remember super early on in season 1 Hajime wonders why she has scissors and Sugane has a sword and mentions a sword suits him because it’s straight as an arrow, By contrast, the scissors are not.

      Side note: Speaking of Sugane am I the only one amused that he is off living in his own harem anime series and no one seems to acknowledge it or care? I don’t think I’ve had a chance to mention that yet.

      • Yeah, funny how every Gatchaman has been kinda marginalized except for the main girls and Rui. Even Rui’s involvement has really decreased since putting an end to VAPE. They’re off doing their own thing, all of it relatively constructive, but they’re in no way as unified as they were at the end of last season.

  2. Oh man, I just got caught up with Working and what is this show? It’s like I’m actually watching a sweet and competently written romcom instead of the infuriating occasionally funny piece of garbage that I could not stop watching a few years ago.

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