In this week’s installment…
The Roundup returns with a new lightweight edition as we’re just about back at full staff and picking up full size posts again. Join the fun as we take on Dance With Devils, Beautiful Bones, the returning
Miss Mister Monochrome, Owarimonogatari, and starting next week Osomatsu-san.
The Roundup is a weekly guide to all the “other” shows we’re watching this season. Check out our full coverage of:
Noragami Aragoto | One Punch Man | Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans | Comet Lucifer | Concrete Revolutio | The Perfect Insider
Dance with Devils
Jel: I’m trying to convince myself this isn’t just an anime musical version of Twilight so that I don’t feel bad for kind of enjoying this dumb show, but then I realize an anime musical version of Twilight would probably be amazing in so many gloriously wrong ways. The real problem is Dance with Devils hasn’t been very musical at all, to the point where I was just about to drop out as the episode dragged on. Fortunately things picked up as our icy hero couldn’t help but break out in song as he vaporized a few more devil worshipping ninja vampires, but wow it took a long time to get there. The directing in the rest of the episode was incredibly slow and the plot wasn’t particularly exciting as Ritsuka and Rem kind of barely search for her mother. It almost felt like they were stalling. I wonder if there was supposed to be another song and they just couldn’t get it done in time? Given how bad the animation is, it wouldn’t surprised me if the production of this show was a little strapped for resources. Somehow, someway I’m still enjoying it though, so we’ll see if we get more theatrical and ridiculous next week.
Artemis: Whew! For one horrible moment there, I thought this episode was going to end without a single song or dance number, in which case I probably would have been inconsolable. Luckily this came at just the right moment, and I got to witness Rem-sama literally sing his enemies to death. I’m being only partially facetious here – Dance with Devils is the sort of title that would be unwatchable if it wasn’t for its unintentional comedy, so a moment that doesn’t make me laugh is basically a moment wasted. And there were plenty of wasted moments this episode, particularly since there seemed to be a lot of random pauses that had nothing to do with awkward limousine rides. In almost every scene, there were several seconds where there was a conspicuous break in either dialogue or physical movement, which I guess I have to put down to a combination of bad writing and low production values. Come on guys, add up all those seconds and we could have almost fit another song in!
… Also, is anyone else finding themselves increasingly distracted by Rem’s weird choice in footwear? Seriously, those things look like Sing-era dance shoes.
Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation
Marlin: I thought this show would be a little smarter, but it’s proving itself to be a pretty bargain bin mystery. All desire to watch it has left me. It’s not particularly bad, but I think I just simply don’t have the wherewithal to stick with mediocre properties anymore in the hopes they ripen later on. I think the biggest nail in the coffin were some real stretches on what someone could reasonably infer from such scant evidence. I do not doubt that this woman is skilled, but you would never be able to tell the sex of a partial handprint on a plush surface. You just wouldn’t. At the risk of making a tiny Roundup even tinier, I’m going to have to lay these bones to rest.
Artemis: Likewise, this show just isn’t doing it for me. While it doesn’t commit any grave sin, there’s very little here that I find especially interesting. I also get the distinct feeling that Beautiful Bones is trying to be a lot cleverer – both in terms of writing as well as visuals – than it actually is, especially given that the mysteries don’t seem to function particularly well in their own right. This wouldn’t necessarily be a major problem if the characters were compelling enough to lend more weight to the series, but since they mostly come across as alternatively bland and annoying, I honestly can’t think of any good reason to keep watching.
Miss Monochrome – The Animation Season 3
Jel: Season 3 starts off strong with highlights including a cameo by the horrible yakisoba bread people from Liden Films’ recent Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (which you should probably check out if you haven’t) and of course, Mister Monochrome. Not since Love Lab’s glorious Maki Makio have I been so in favor of an anime gender swap. I am kind of surprised they are still dragging out concert preparations as I thought for sure the concert would be the big event to mark the new season. There’s only so many bandmates and production team people Monochrome can pluck off the streets before we need to just get on with it already. Still, these first few episodes were an encouraging start and here’s hoping we get more of the weird and charming premises this series has been great at producing.
Jel: I have to give this episode credit for being much more exciting than the bloated snoozefest that was the opening double episode. Granted this was mostly because the talking was upgraded to yelling and screaming, but there were other fun things as well. For example: Hanekwawa helplessly trying to stop Senjougahara from committing murder, or the sound of Marina Inoue’s voice. Speaking of which, only Monogatari has the gall to swap out opening songs by the second episode. Fortunately the new OP is fantastic, and between the title (“Mathemagics”) and some already notable cameos (see above), I am secretly hoping Donald Duck will somehow make an appearance. That’s still a relevant reference in 2015, right?
Marlin: Man, I was actually pretty excited for some talk about the Monty Hall Problem, but otherwise this episode felt pretty dry. As Jel said in the First Look, adding another concubine to the harem this late in the game makes it seem like the show is grasping at straws. Why should we care about this girl? Does how Araragi acted in the past really have anything to do with his current Vampire-Messiah antics? It doesn’t help that this show crawled at an absolutely glacial pace. If it weren’t for Monogatari’s never-failing style, I would probably have dropped this in the middle of the last episode. I’m also not a fan of Ougi seeming to be the only other girl who’s going to get screentime at this point. Monogatari really got stale in season 3 when it didn’t make good use of its characters, so I’d hate to see that happen once again in this story.