The Roundup: Fall 2015 Volume 3

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In this week’s installment…

Osomatusu gets a little TOO REAL, Dance with Devils triggers the incest route, Miss Monochrome teaches us that Santa lives in Finland, and Owarimonogatari is boring. Oh and hey, Concrete Revolutio joins The Roundup!

The Roundup is a weekly guide to all the “other” shows we’re watching this season. Check out our full coverage of: 
Noragami AragotoOne Punch Man | Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans | Comet Lucifer | The Perfect Insider

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Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 4: “Let’s Become Independent/This Is Totoko”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: The first part of this episode made me think of a creepy English teacher I had that may have been suspended at some point for making inappropriate comments to a female student ANYWAY I remember him telling us how in college he would get so stressed that he would fantasize about his mother holding him and taking care of all his problems. Yeah, he had issues, but the point was whether we want to admit it or not sometimes deep down we all feel that way. As someone who has always been extremely independent I was furious watching the brothers roll around, throwing tantrums, wanting mommy to take care of them but man… between that and the whole divorce set up, that was some real talk. How that managed to be funny and light hearted, I do not know. Maybe it’s the whole “gotta laugh to keep from crying” effect? The second half was OK at best and kind of a weak way to introduce Totoko, but as a whole package this was a pretty great episode.

Artemis: I love it when humour involves a good dose of social commentary, and boy did Osomatsu-san deliver on that this week. From any other show it probably would have felt incredibly jaded, but while Osomatsu-san certainly knows how to take a few pointed jabs, I don’t think it comes across as a particularly pessimistic series. That said, the first half of this episode, which ditched the pop culture-related parody sketches entirely and went for something on the more… shall we say realistic side, certainly wasn’t attempting to hold its punches. The second half, while a lot more removed from reality (well, for anyone who isn’t an idol in Japan anyway), was likewise pretty sardonic in its own absurdist way, but still somehow light-hearted enough not to feel overly cynical. I enjoyed both, although the former was definitely my favourite.

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Mr. Osomatsu – About time we got some great reaction faces back into The Round Up

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Dance with Devils
Episode 4: “Bolero of Solitude and Melancholy”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: So this week’s song is about how Ritsuka’s brother became an exorcist to atone for having a hard on for his sister. What is this show I am watching??? I kind of wished they weren’t going there but honestly there was no chance they were missing another opportunity for a hot guy to fawn over our audience proxy main character. My biggest disappointment though is Ritsuka keeps wanting to break out into a full “I want to love him even though he’s a monster” song (yes, that is a category) but only sings a line or two each week. I guess it’s only a matter of time until she gets her coreographed dance number with Rem, so I’ll just have to be patient.

Artemis: I was a little disappointed with Dance with Devils this week, because the songs were kinda short and didn’t involve any sweet dance moves or hats. Also, hands up everyone who didn’t already pick Lindo for having an obsessive sister-complex. He sure took things to the next level this week though – because literally locking your sister in the house is a sure-fire way to show that you care, don’t you know. Thankfully, Ritsuka was having absolutely none of that, and while I don’t see how going straight back to the school library after what happened there last time shows a great deal of common sense, I’m all for her keeping Lindo and his creepily possessive behaviour in check.

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Miss Monochrome – The Animation Season 3
Episode 5: “Girlfriend”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Monochrome warping to Finland to ask Santa advice on her mobile game song, plus Santa giving a serious, deadpan answer is exactly the kind of thing I keep watching this show for. That said, they’ve been going to the meta tie-in humor a little too much this season. I’m assuming this episode was referring to Monochrome’s appearance in Girl Friend BETA but if you didn’t know that then a lot of this episode is completely lost. I did appreciate the free to play music rhythm game angle though as I am a total sucker for those things, and really the bit with Santa made the entire 7 minutes worth it.

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Owarimonogatari – TOTALLY trustworthy

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Owarimonogatari
Episode 4: “Sodachi Lost, Part 1”

Saturdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I was hoping to see the return of Hanekawa & Senjougahara: Ghost Detectives we saw in Nekomonogatari White but sadly this arc continues to disappoint. Ararararagi can’t be possibly be dumb enough to not see Ougi is bad news, can he? She must have some kind of supernatural shenanigans up her sleeves (pun intended). I mean between those souless black eyes and now those terrifying black gloves there are warning flags flying all over the place. I did at least enjoy Hanekawa being catty (pun also intended) as her character has grown on me quite a bit. I can also take solace in the fact that this really does seem to be about Ougi and the big picture and Oikura will probably just be a bump in the road. Is Ougi some kind oddity created by Ararararagi himself? If only we could answer that question sooner.

Marlin: I assume Araragi is being affected by some magic, there’s no other reason to be completely genre unsavvy considering his track record this entire series. That said, I liked that this allowed Hanekawa to be the one to save him for once. While most of the talk-offs can quickly overstay their welcome quickly, I found myself enraptured with the catfight the whole way through. For all the faux smarts that Monogatari has been shilling the past few weeks, this was the first one to feel genuinely witty and engaging. From the first part we are at least being lead to assume that Ougi is a Maneki-Neko. I’m not sure what this means as to her powers, but her ability to keep Araragi so deeply in the dark is interesting. Being the final boss, she’s going to have to show her cards eventually right?

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Concrete Revolutio
Episode 4: “Japan ‘Beast History’ Part 1”

Sundays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Iro: As it tends to do, Concrete Revolutio introduces a new interesting concept this week: someone is cloning kaiju to sell on the black market, but once again the show fails to do itself justice. It’s a lot of fun to see all of the various superhumans who rise to fight the threat, from magical girls to giant robots, but there’s still a lack of emotional depth to really sell any of it. It’s nice to finally see some tidbits of what the heck exactly is up with Jiro, but this week jumps between time periods even more than usual (including one flashback involving Episode 1’s Gross Augen), making it tough to follow, as per usual. All that said, this is “Part 1”, and Concrete Revolutio is doing enough good things that I want to keep watching, albeit in such a way that I find myself disappointed every week.

Marlin: Revolutio continues its streak of being incredibly stylish and infuriatingly convoluted. I’m reaching the breaking point, and as its presence in the Round-Up shows, I am not alone. I am enjoying the visual flare enough to stay with this show, but its pilot is like having a bad taste in your mouth that you just can’t get rid of. It doesn’t help that the plot of this episode makes no sense even outside the timeskips. Why are all these monsters able to grow so quickly while the source creature remains so small? Why are they all remote-controllable? Inside the time skips, why did we need to see Gross Augen again when his source and whereabouts were made perfectly clear in episode one? What really gets my goat is that there is a good story somewhere inside all these good concepts and flashy execution, it’s just being completely botched.

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