In this week’s installment…
On a very special episode of Mr. Osomatsu: Jyushimatsu learns the joy – and pain – of falling in love. It’s also one of the best episodes of the year. This is not a joke, I am totally serious.
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 | The Perfect Insider
Jel: This was one of those episodes that you just can’t stop thinking about hours, even days, after it finishes. “Jyushimatsu Falls In Love” manages more bittersweet emotional impact in 15 minutes than many shows can manage in their entire run. On paper it’s not a very complicated or original ill fated love story setup, but the presentation is fantastic. Every detail is perfect, from the use of color and music down to little things like changing Jyushimatsu’s tongue into a broken heart. Many plot points are implied and never explicitly explained, which we are always quick to point out is the best way to tell a story. Choosing the weirdest of the brothers as the star, with his creepy permanent grin and cartoon noodle body, is also a brilliant move. The contrast of his heartfelt silliness against the rather dark subject material just amplifies the experience.
The most important thing of all though is at no point in this story does Osomatsu flip the script. The “ESP Kitty” episode was probably the closest the show has come to being truly, unconditionally “nice” and even that couldn’t help but slip in a little jab at the end. Had they done that here it would have just played into the very cynical, “caring isn’t cool” type of humor that I’m finding myself more and more disgusted with these days. So I was very happy to see Osomatsu (the guy, not the show) actually act like a good, supportive older brother for once and silently help Jyushimatsu through his situation. Seeing that even someone that horrible and selfish can be a pretty good dude when necessary sends a much better, more positive message that I can get behind.
Oh, the first part of the episode though? That sucked.
Marlin: Man, Osomatsu-kun is still quite something isn’t it. It’s the bane and boon of sketch comedy that different parts of the same episode can be of such varying quality, but I’ll gladly take a stinker every few if it means Osomatsu-kun is able to give us this kind of delivery in equal parts. Let’s get that out of the way quickly though, that first part was absolute garbage. I’ve learned that Chibita was apparently a crowd favorite back when the original anime aired, but it just brought absolutely nothing to his character, and did nothing to push the “wow isn’t he being so random” envelope. Ironically, it’s the second half that actually does seem to achieve that. We’ve been talking amongst ourselves a lot about the youngest brother and his nigh psychotic mannerisms, so to see him used in such a heartwarming scenario really shows how good this show is at crafting a narrative out of its material. While things like the Esper Cat bit were expert pieces of schadenfreude, it is nice to see them show there is the potential for good from these brothers.
Dance with Devils
Jel: The “we’re not really siblings” angle is possibly the least shocking plot twist in 21st century anime, if anything I expected it from Lindo at this point. But hey, she can still call him Nii-san since they are actually cousins! Guhhh, all of that just makes his obsessive over protection of Ritsuka even creepier. It’s hilarious because he can’t even do that well. I laughed out loud when he said “I will never leave your side”, then immediatlely disappeared long enough for his excorcist buddies to try and murder her. Meanwhile, Rem-sama continues to play into the “monster that doesn’t understand love” angle, but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised how much he’s embraced his feelings. At the very least I am actually talking about plot, as average as it is, and not silly music videos so that’s a good thing right? For this show, maybe not.
Miss Monochrome – The Animation Season 3
Jel: First off, love the new OP. The Monochrome-dayo suit is one of the my favorite jokes so I’m glad to see that featured. The episode itself was also one of the better ones as of late. All the classic Monochrome humor is there, from the absurdity of Ru-chan’s unlimited powers to the bait and switch joke with her radio appearance simply being a means to an end. I am probably missing out on all these Japanese regional jokes but I think I got enough from context. I also just realized I’m going to have to come to grips with this show ending soon. I’d say the second and third seasons have been kind of disappointing, but I’ll be sad to see this charming few minutes of my week go away. Hopefully they can at least finish strong.
Jel: This is shaping up to be the coolest Monogatari arc in a good long while and yet it’s also becoming a classic example of how the series can never quite figure out how to adapt the novel into animated form. Two good things happen this week that get marred by presentation: First we have a fight scene (that’s two in three episodes, gasp!) that is once again too poorly animated to care about. Then we have a potentially series defining plot twist that could answer questions we’ve been asking for 5 years, but that ends up being entirely delivered in a super long, boring monologue from Gaen. That being said, I’m actually kind of excited to see who this mysterious reincarnation is. The first guess is Arararararagi of course, especially since making him Shinobu’s first AND second minion would be the most Monogatari thing possible, but not sure if the math adds up. That would be pretty cool though.
Marlin: I’m certainly enjoying this arc a bit better, but as Jel’s pointed out, at least part of that has to just be the return of Miyuki Sawashiro to her rightful place in the anime landscape. Her performance as Kabaru is always so exuberant and this does not change here. Everything that we’re learning in this arc seems to have serious implications for Monogatari’s eventual endgame, but honestly I remember so little about Shinobu’s first minion that there’s no investment for me in learning about this story. If they’re able to put a good twist on it, then sure, I suppose there’s always room for NisiOisiN to actually pull through, but it’s just hard to be sure of that when the story has been so inconsistent from chapter to chapter. I also noted that the math doesn’t add up on Araragi being the minion, so we’ll have to wait and see exactly where Gaen is going with this.