The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 4

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In this week’s installment…

In a SHOCKING TWIST, two of our regular Roundup shows don’t survive to volume 4. Can you guess WHO MISSED THE CUT??? Fortunately the rest of the lineup holds things down with a good mix of comedy and… well, mostly comedy.

The Roundup is a weekly guide to all the “other” shows we’re watching this season. Check out our full coverage of:

BBK/BRNK (Bubuki Buranki) | Dimension W | ERASED | Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash | Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

snowwhite

Snow White with the Red Hair
Episode 16: “The Name of that Step is Change”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: The tension was back up again this episode as the focus returned to the main storyline, and I think it was a lot better than the previous week’s as a result. It’s not that I mind filler as such – in some respects it suits a slice-of-life show like this one – but if there’s going to be an overarching plot, I’d prefer the focus remain on it. As oddly tolerable as Raji and even twins Rona and Eugena are, I don’t particularly care about any of them and likely never will, although it’ll be interesting to see how exactly they’ll be caught up in whatever’s going on with Shirayuki and her mysterious assailants. This is happening in Tanbarun in Raji’s own castle after all, and if Shirayuki, an honoured guest on the night of an official ball (not to mention Zen’s intended) is indeed kidnapped, it would almost certainly become an international… er, interkingdomal incident – as Izana well knows. And say what you will about Izana, but he puts his own kingdom first and is also clearly quite protective of his younger brother, which I can very much respect. Along with Mistuhide and Kiki, he’s someone I wouldn’t mind seeing plenty more of this season.

 osomatsu

Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 17: “Jyushimatsu Festival”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This is Osomatsu’s second attempt at a collection of short skits and this time they are much more successful. Jyushimatsu is basically an old school cartoon character, so he fits well into the fast paced format. Naturally, some segments work better than others. The bits with Osomatsu’s noodle cup and Totty in the hospital were kind of flat, but the bomb sqad, the trip to Comiket, and the truly bizarre existential conversation with Ichimatsu really stand out. My favorite part of all though is continuing to question why Jyshusimatsu is the way that he is, which I’m glad is still left to our imagination. Best to leave him as the mysterious wild card in a show that is already pretty crazy to begin with. Side note: I’m so glad to see a show this original and bizarre sell really, really well. Sorry Kill la Kill, it looks like Osomatsu is the show that saved anime.

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Mr. Osomatsu – Took me a while to notice the nail bat.

 konosuba

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Episode 4: “Explosion Magic for this Formidable Enemy!”

Wednesdays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Despite the obvious twist with the castle and the fact that Darkness continues to be a big, dumb weight dragging the show down, this was a pretty fun episode. Having a cast of horrible people is only funny when they eventually have to face the consequences of their actions, something that I don’t think was handled well last week but works great here. In fact, inserting an insurmountable enemy into the mix almost makes you feel a little sympathetic for them… almost. I’m not about to get up and cheer for these people, but you have to at least admire the hard work they put in when there is nothing else they can do about their situation. The best part of all though was the big middle finger pointed at the cliche rescue mission setup at the end. I was seriously dreading this plot line carrying over to next week, so I was both relieved and amused to see Aqua save the day. That’s the kind of silly satire I want out of KONOSUBA, and hopefully we’ll get more as the show goes on.

 marshmallow

Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 5: “Drinking and Marshmallow”

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Thankfully we have confirmed Wakabayashi is a full grown adult woman, which is especially good considering her actions this episode. While her obsession with Hige is still a little weird, she’s old enough to do whatever she wants so it’s all fair game. Props to Hige for handling the situation in a mature fashion. I would not have liked the episode as much if he had gotten as flustered as we’ve seen in past episodes. It was even kind of cute to see Wakabayashi has her limits, realizing what she did once she sobered up. It was a pretty solid episode, and I’m glad the premise hasn’t gotten stale yet.

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Ojisan and Marshmallow – I’m sure this show taps into all kinds of weird fetishes.

 sekkoboys

Sekko Boys
Episode 5: “Minverva Protecting Peace from Mars”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Yet another fun character intro episode. I love how literally they tap into the character’s backgrounds, bringing up Mars’ history of murdering and womanizing and just shrugging it off. The “Athena nee-san” joke was the best of all. Not sure if the show they went on was a parody of a particular person or what, but even if it was the joke still stands. It’s basically more idol self-promotion nonsense. I’m assuming we will look closer at Hermes next week, who I am only now realizing could technically be Mars’ brother. So maybe that will be next week’s joke.

rakugo

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episode 5

Fridays 4:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: I’m loving Rakugo Shinju more and more with every episode. It’s an understated yet extremely poignant series with a lot of emotional punch behind it, backed up by some absolutely fantastic cinematography that never fails to draw me further in to the story. The story going on in the past, that is – which actually presents a pretty major problem for what’s going on in the present with Yotaro and Konatsu, who we’ve not seen since the premiere. Don’t get me wrong, the current setting and cast is enthralling, but the longer we spend with them, the less I care about anything else; indeed, why even bother with the other timeline in the first place if the series is going to focus all its emotional energy on the relationship between Yakumo and Sukeroku? I assume there’s an actual answer to this, since the show feels too smart to just let that aspect of the story crumble, but at the moment I can’t quite see how it’s going to manage it. This concern aside though, Rakugo Shinju is exquisite, perhaps even all the more so precisely because of its temporary nature.

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Dagashi Kashi – Bottle Ramune is a hell of a drug.

 dagashikashi

Dagashi Kashi
Episode 5: “Bottle Ramune, Baby-Star Ramen, and… / Yatta Men, Watch Out for the Sour Grape, and…”

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: This episode started strong but lost me in the last segment. Any time Dad shows up he steals the show, and so the first bit with the cocaine jokes was one of my favorite gags in the series so far. His weird partnership with Hotaru is pretty much the best part of the show. The “You-Chu Be” segment wasn’t bad either, and it’s interesting the only thing that seems to fire up Coconuts is his dad pissing him off. It was the final bit where they totally lost me, and I have to admit I kind of fell asleep and had to restart it. A simple bet plugged into the show’s already overused formula is way too unimaginative at this point. It might have gotten by strictly on enthusiasm earlier in the series but as we approach the halfway point of the season (YES, ALREADY!) I expect more. Overall it was still a fun episode but not their best work.

durarara

Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 29: “Lost in the Dark”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: I honestly couldn’t tell if this was a ‘good’ episode or not, but it was certainly my favourite so far from this third installment. Of all the additional side-characters introduced after the initial series, I think Varona is genuinely one of the best, and I enjoy the dynamic between her and Shizuo, who’s been my favourite character from day one. So not only was I pleased at both of them finally getting a decent amount of screentime again, but that scene with Shizuo and Celty’s horse was excellent – the kind of hilariously offbeat thing I could also imagine happening back in the original. There’s just something about the badass Shizuo riding a mamachari of all things that really tickles me. Of course, it’s nice to see some actual progression of one of the main plot points going on as well; we’ve been circling the mystery of Celty and her missing head since the early days, so the added focus on that this week was for me a welcome one.

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2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 4

  1. Artemis is spot on with the point that we have not seen our “original” case since we jumped back in time. I barely remembered their names.But the narrative has been so wonderful, the imagery so poetic that I’m not all that fussed. It does beg the quesitons when exactly we are going to reach our climax with Sukeroku death.

    About konosuba, Darkness is really a pain in the ass. I found it hillarious that Dullehan apparently kept on rebuilding the castle day after day before losing his shit. The the anticlimax of Aqua dispelling the curse….using what looked like such a lame spell was fantastic.

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