The Roundup: Summer 2015 Volume 10 – Late Edition

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In this week’s installment…

Kind of ironic that in the week that My Love Story! takes an episode off the rest of the Roundup delivers in the romance department. Both Working!!! and Snow White have us squeeing like fan girls as actual progress is made in key relationships. How revolutionary. Oh and Gatchaman Crowds Insight? Still awesome.

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 22: “Blessed are the Foolish”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: I honestly can’t remember anything about this episode other than that we finally see the Party Van Crew after a several week absence, and that Kadota gets hit by a car at the end. That probably gives a good indication of which characters I actually care about in Durarara!!, and if the next episode or two involve Shizuo and Party Van Crew going on a righteous quest for revenge, I’ll be content with this leg of the show.

Marlin: I’m still in favor of the slow build up, but I’ll admit this was a bit too much this week. The whole proceedings take place over like a day, and our beloved Party Van is brought into the mix only to have tragedy happen to them. I’m not sure if we weren’t supposed to know the identity of the monologuer/driver that caused the incident, but when there’s so many characters it’s hard to not feel like you should know any of the new one’s voices considering there’s a good three dozen or so in the backburner that we could have totally forgot about. I’m hoping things really start to heat up now that this spark has been ignited, and if the reactions to the hit-and-run are any indication, we’ll have a lot of our favorite people working side by side to find the culprit.

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Wagnaria!!! Working!!!
Episode 11: “The Love and Reminiscence”

Saturdays 2:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: I swear I had to double-check the title of the show a couple of times during this episode just to make sure I was watching the right anime. This is Working, right? The show where nothing ever really happens and every potential romance is just there for the sake of comedy? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REAL WORKING? Not that I’m unhappy, mind you. True, unlike pretty every other viewer I don’t give a crap about Inami’s character, and so have virtually no investment in her relationship with Souta. That said, these guys have danced around each other for so damn long that even I’m glad to finally see some resolution taking place. However, the real reward of this episode for me was Satou and Yachiyo, both of whom I do like and am overjoyed to see get together. I’d probably be rooting for these guys in the real world too, because apart from obviously being very sweet and endearing, it’s also one of the only relationships in Working that doesn’t strike me as being highly dysfunctional.

Marlin: As Artemis said, Working!!! is a completely different show. Now that we’ve made such a 180 flip from the norm, it almost makes what will happen next too predictable, like by letting the relationship floodgates open an appropriately adorable end for Inami and Takanashi is inevitable. I said I didn’t care about the SatouXYachio relationship, but even I have to admit this episode executed their cute, flirty nonsense method of confession perfectly. It seemed like such a natural(well, natural for this show at least) way of bringing these characters together while maintaining their jokey 4-Koma quirks. Now that the appetizer is out of the way, I’m ready for the main dish. Give me my adorable nerds pronto!

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Gatchaman Crowds Insight – The worst theme park ever

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Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Episode 10: “seeds”

Saturdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Wow, they really went there. Yuji’s story about the war was possibly the most poignant moment in the entire series. The message behind Gel’s rise to power has always come through loud and clear, but it was always a huge, unbelievable exaggeration. Bringing in a real world example, no matter how extreme, really drives the point home. It was also really sweet to see both Tsubasa and Gel redeemed. While they were both naive, they did always have good intentions. So instead of being punished I’m much happier to see them make up for things by joining the fight against the Kuus. In fact, I’m glad most of the thinking seems to be done and now it’s just time for an all out war with both sides amassing their forces. Here’s hoping for some sweet fight scenes next week.

Marlin: Insight brings its A-game this week, as VAPE reveals its new strategy to turn the atmosphere against PM Gel-chan. Yujii’s story brings everything into such amazing focus that it makes you rethink how ridiculous Gel’s rise to power really was. We’ve had multiple examples of cults of personality turning nationalistic democracies into full blown dictatorships. With Yujii we get a really heartfelt commentary on what it was like to be on the Imperial side of WW2. Much like Letters From Iwo Jima, it tells a much more complex story on the psychology of the average Japanese foot soldier than contemporary thought on the war usually allows. Japan was an aggressor, from its colonization of Manchuria all the way to Pearl Harbor, but its soldiers were still people. It’s interesting to see a Japanese piece of fiction take on the idea of Japanese Nationalism, and how it fueled a dangerous line of thinking. How losing someone dear to you could make you reanalyze why you fight. It makes a great context for Tsubasa’s redemption. She, too, never wanted to hurt anyone. However, her relentless pursuit of her ideology allowed for things to go out of control in a way she could have never imagined. With this next episode, we shall see what has always happened in history when ideologies clash, the inevitable march of war.

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Snow White with the Red Hair – JUST MAKE OUT ALRE… oh, ok

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Snow White With the Red Hair
Episode 11: “Encountering… a Color for the First Time”

Mondays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Artemis: Man, did this week’s anime line-up hit it out of the park in the romance department or what? And I squeed like the fangirl I am the entire way through this episode of Snow White – not because I’m a huge romance fan, and not even because every single viewer saw this coming and was waiting for it from the first episode, but instead because this is a genuinely beautiful and sincere relationship that’s been truly lovely to watch unfold. Most importantly, it’s a relationship between equals, and that’s not something I get to see in anime all that often. One party is nearly always placed in a position of emotional (and often also physical) dominance or submission, and either one or both people nearly always refuse to state, point-blank, what their feelings are and whether or not they want to be together. None of that for Snow White, where both Zen and Shirayuki left zero room for misunderstanding or doubt and looked very ready to confront, as partners, whatever social or political problems may arise from a publicly acknowledged romance.

Iro: We’ve been saying “just make out already” the entire show and hey, it happened. While the usual anime romance hem-hawing was tiresome, it thankfully only lasted for one episode, so I supposed Snow White gets some credit for that (as well as for having a relationship that isn’t the usual puppy love bullshit).

Marlin: Snow White has had a consistently fantastic relationship from day one, so this episode was an amazing payoff to a long awaited emotional high. We’ve known that Zen cares about Shirayuki, and while it’s been shown in other episodes this one most firmly shows how much he respects her as a person as well as loves her as a woman. He understands that his emotional in-the-moment kiss didn’t give her a word in edgewise, so he gives her the time and space to properly respond to his feelings. Shirayuki in turn is slightly afraid at what a new life with Zen might mean, but understands that the feelings she’s grown for him over her time at the castle are clearly love for his kindness and treatment of her. The second kiss is such a great moment and the culmination of all the feelings the two shared for each other that it’s hard to believe any other romance show could top it for a long time.

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My Love Story
Episode 24

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

No episode this week so one more week to stew over how bad last week’s episode was. Please don’t ruin this fine show with a bad final episode.

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