The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 8 – Late Edition

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In this week’s installment…

Gatchaman Crowds Insight makes its triumphant return after last week’s hiatus, Working!!! is still pretty great this season, and not much else. At least My Love Story! has given me and Marlin reason to keep the S.S. Team Saijou afloat… for now.

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 21: “Eloquent and Competent”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: Aaaand we get another Izaya episode, though this is a flashback to his student days alongside Shinra, who’s the real star of the show this week. Or at least, he has good intentions; I’m sorry Shinra, but we could have avoided so much if you had just let Izaya get shanked like a dog in the street. The best part of the episode, however, has to be the small interlude with Celty trying to deal with the cops, which provides a couple good laughs and reminds us that Angry Cop Guy is not forgotten.

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Wagnaria!!! Working!!!
Episode 9: “Dangerous Situation”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This marks the first time in 34 episodes that I was actually 100% with Yamada as she kind of sort of broke the fourth wall for us. While I’m enjoying watching all the relationships develop, it’s getting harder and harder for them to prolong them. That said, there was some good stuff with Inami and Takanashi. I found myself yelling “just make out with Hatsune Miku already!” at the screen several times. The humor was also on point, as Otoo and his wife’s weird relationship was pretty amusing. I don’t really care about Takanashi’s crazy family so I could have done without Minegishi and Kazue. I’m also not wild about introducing another weird Mom out of nowhere, so here’s hoping things turn out OK next week.

Marlin: Aoi Yamada, unlikely voice of reason, highlights this episode with the fact that everyone is getting insufferably cute with each other without taking the next step in expressing their feelings. Also, I know that this season has dedicated itself to a very efficient tying of loose ends, but the identity of Takenashi’s terrible mother was not something I’d ever cared about. The entire Takanashi family are pretty much the worst or laziest characters this story has ever come up with, which is saying something when your show consists of nothing but two dimensional oddities that claim to be human beings. Making them the focus of a plot thread seems like the absolute worst move at this point considering how much steam the romantic developments have gotten so far.

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Working!!! – Summary of every romance anime ever

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Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Episode 8: “cluster”

Saturdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: If I ever heard someone say “alien hug monsters” I’d immediately think some kind of face hugger. So I find it hilarious that Insight has horrible creatures that actually hug you and tell you everything is going to be OK. In a way they are far more creepy and terrifying, even before the part where they start devouring people. Despite all the politics flying around, the monsters do remind us that Insight is more of a social commentary than anything. Do we all just use things like social media to placate ourselves and avoid the hard issues? I could totally see us going there. Poor Rui is the key to that message. While it’s sad to see him give up, I don’t think I can blame him. He fought so hard and had such good intentions and yet NO one had his back. I’m too dumb to figure out Katze’s riddle but I’m excited to have something cryptic to decipher again, here’s hoping we get that explained next week.

Marlin: Possibly the best episode of Insight to date as we see the true nature of Gel’s monstrosities. You can tell that a lot of work was put into making the Kuus as unsettling as possible. The use of 3D to make them look otherworldly, their lack of eyes, the lolled tongue always bouncing out of their mouth, their creepy, impish voices, I love it when good character design can do the talking without need of an explanation. It allows CROWDS to do what it does best, throw out some scathing social commentary while also creating an engaging conflict of ideologies. The temptation to forget or ignore our problems and live inside of an echo chamber of acceptance is very real. In recent years, the internet has increasingly fragmented itself and tried to eliminate the very concept of offense in the name of psychological health, and groups devoted to ideologies seek out others like themselves in order to boost their own feeling of justification for their beliefs. It’s a hollow happiness that does not acknowledge sadness exists, and it is a hollow belief that refuses to listen to any criticism. At first I was wondering how the Gatchaman would fit into this new problem, but with the Kuus turning violent, the Gatchaman may have another conventional fight on their hands.

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Snow White With the Red Hair
Episode 9: “Feelings that Connect and Reach”

Mondays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Marlin: Well, this episode seemed mostly unnecessary. We already knew that Shirayuki is determined and independent, and we just learned last week (and earlier) that Zen resents the isolation that princedom demands of him. All we really got out of this week was what I had suspected for a while, some kind of weird Obi social link upgrade to please his fangirls. Giving an ID to Obi at the end was a nice touch, but Iro and I both felt that these last two episodes might have been better if they had been truncated. It’s also indicative of an increasing problem of the last few episodes throwing on the brakes hard, making both plot and relationship development almost non-existent. I’m pretty sure the last four episodes have happened in the span of two or three days, or at most a week. We haven’t even gotten to see Zen and Shirayuki hang out much, only just the two of them show to other people the things that we’ve already learned about from prior experience.

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My Love Story! – Yamato as the King of the Wild

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My Love Story
Episode 22: “The Letter to Me”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I hated every second of this episode and yet I was pretty happy with the end result. As we detailed last week, both Marlin and I can’t stand the new girl and everything she did this week just reinforced it. I guess I couldn’t stay too mad at her as she seemed to be genuinely trying her best, but the tease of Suna actually reciprocating her feelings infuriated me through the entire episode. It was a good tease too in that I really had no idea which way the story would swing. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the SS. Team Saijou is still barely afloat. I guess the other positive is we got to see Takeo himself is also an S-tier Bro when called upon, and it was sweet to see him get Suna’s back the way Suna has supported him up to now. With only a few episodes left I doubt we’ll have time to see our favorite ship sail and the story will shift focus back to Takeo and Yamato, but hey, at least the new girl is gone.

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