The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 5

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In this week’s installment…

Dagashi Kashi has the week off and most of the other shows put up solid performances, but none of that matters as Osomatsu destroys all competition – in so many different ways!

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 17: “Prologue of the Quietly Twisting Night”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: Snow White is one of those shows with so much charm that I don’t think I could dislike it even if I wanted to, but I have to admit, this whole kidnapping thing already outstayed its welcome a bit back in season one. Yet here we are once again, everyone wanting a piece of Shirayuki. In a different light it could probably be played as a gag – the kidnapper himself getting kidnapped along with the original kidnappee – only this isn’t a comedy series, and Shirayuki’s no helpless heroine, so she’ll really need to step up if I’m to take this plot device seriously and still be okay with it. On the plus side, Obi got to be even more badass than usual this episode; there were a lot of pretty intense close-up shots going on there, and when Obi gets that serious you just know it’s not going to end well for the opposing party. That particular showdown is what I’m actually looking forward to the most at this point in this story arc.

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Mr. Osomatsu – Yeah they might ban this episode too.

 osomatsu

Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 18: “Iyami’s Counterattack”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: If “Jyushimatsu in Love” is the pinnacle of Osomatsu’s softer, nuanced side, “Iyami’s Counterattack” is the peak of it’s more obvious traits. Bold, loud, absurd, and depraved, this apocalyptic version of Mario Kart from hell is the kind of epic insanity that could have worked as the final episode. Every character gets a moment to shine and they’re all perfect. All of their insecurities, their personality foibles, and their general hatred for one another violently clash in a way that’s hilarious on the surface, but probably pretty dark if you think too much about it. It was such a good episode they didn’t even need Jyushimatsu to steal the show in the end, even though he was in a perfect position to do so. Normally that would disappoint me, but in this case I wouldn’t change a thing. The only flaw in this episode is the Girlymatsu cold open, which didn’t bring anything to the table. Other than that, it’s in the running to be the best episode of Osomatsu yet.

 konosuba

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Episode 5: “A Price for this Cursed Sword!”

Wednesdays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Introducing a proper hero to the show was a great move. It’s pretty clever how they handle him, using the world mechanics to point out that overpowered dudes with harems and giant cursed swords are a dime a dozen. It made me cheer on Kazuma and company for the first time, which was a strange feeling. I started to roll my eyes when a man known for stealing panties mentioned “gender equality”, but then I thought about it and I kind of like how he treats Aqua. Sure he can be harsh, but he treats her fairly like a workmate or a partner. It’s certainly a lot better than our “hero”, who only met her once but puts her on an unrealistic pedestal. Exposing that mentality as creepy is my favorite thing KONOSUBA has done so far, adding a nice dash of nuance to the usual silliness we get from week to week. Add in the suprise gag at the end (I don’t want to spoil it) and this was probably the best episode yet.

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KONOSUBA – I kind of wish he was wearing a fedora.

 marshmallow

Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 6: “Brother and Marshmallow”

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: We’ve been joking about Hige being a “Marshmallowsexual” specifically because that’s the only thing that makes him blush. I GUESS IT’S NOT A JOKE ANYMORE. I was probably more amused because of our inside joke moreso than the actual episode, although it was pretty funny in its own right. Wakabayashi’s brother gave off the impression that he was the serious, responsible sibling so it was surprising to see him attempt the stunt that he did. My favorite part was how Hige and the others so non-chalantly dismissed his disguise. Overall this was probably the strangest episode we’ve seen yet but also one of the most entertaining.

 sekkoboys

Sekko Boys
Episode 6: “Primavera”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode was hilariously absurd in so many ways. Starting off with one of the Rockies getting in a classic idol relationship scandal was a great move, and I loved that things just got weirder from there. Like, how does Hermes transfer to his full body statue? How does he afford that huge penthouse when he’s just a D-list idol? Is it wrong for a statue of a baby god to drink wine? These are questions I don’t want to answer. On top of the strangeness it’s always amusing to see The Rage of Ishimoto unleashed to keep these boys in their place. With all four Rockies introduced, I’m looking forward to seeing what new and ridiculous plot lines they come up with next.

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Sekko Boys – Super Saiyan Ishimoto is terrifying.

rakugo

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episode 6

Fridays 4:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: This episode of Rakugo Shinju wasn’t as emotionally intense as the previous one, and nor did it do a lot in terms of pushing the story forwards, but it was actually nice to take a bit of a break from that. It allowed me to sit back and appreciate the visual details even more than usual – and there’s always been a lot to appreciate here. It’s not that the show’s visuals are particularly flashy in any way (though the artwork and animation do their job perfectly well), but they’re incredibly precise. The framing of each shot is especially meticulous, so that while I get a whole lot of joy out of experiencing the show, I get a whole different kind of joy from watching it. Usually I’m instinctively doing more of the former, which definitely isn’t a bad thing, but the slightly more relaxed tone and pacing of this week’s episode meant I was leaning more towards the latter, and that made for a nice change. I’m still wary about how exactly Rakugo Shinju means to go about integrating the two timelines, which are still very much separate entities at this point, but in terms of sheer quality the show is second to none this season.

 dagashikashi

Dagashi Kashi
(No episode this week)

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Dagashi Kashi was preempted by other programming this week, but episode 6 will air normal time next week.

durarara

Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 30: “In for a Penny, In for a Pound”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Another very dialogue-heavy episode, but one that I didn’t mind considering the characters it chose to focus on. For all his whole playboy shtick is more laughable than anything else, I don’t dislike Rokujo. At least he’s incredibly upfront about everything, and his “you know, why don’t you just call your friend already if you want to sort this thing out?” chat with Masaomi had me practically yelling at the screen in agreement; for all everyone seems incredibly well-connected via phone and chat room in this show, hardly anyone seems to know how to communicate on even a basic level. I’m also pretty intrigued by Aoba and his older brother. Both of them are terrible people in completely different ways, but they’re interesting terrible people, especially when they share the same space and you can practically smell the tension between them – Aoba’s like a younger version of Izaya in his want (or perhaps compulsive need) to manipulate people, Ran is basically a violent psychopath, and they both utterly loathe one another. Both will also most likely get what’s coming to them, and I sure hope we get to see that happen.

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3 thoughts on “The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 5

  1. Ahhh Osomatsusan. The “Karamatsu A Go Go itai itai itai”, heh. I also quite like the running gag of Dekapan and Dayons ominous face zoom in… “The final Dayon”. .A centaur? There are so many good one liners in this episode, it would take up the entire comments section. The final sequences and Iyami fightwas animated so well.

    As for Konosuba…The show is hardly equal opportunity considering we dont get any upshots or gratuitous skin and undies from Kazuma but Aqua stood was a champ cold cocking that stud in a heratbeat. It seems to me the creativity of Konosuba wanes in and out and is not as strong or consistent like Osomatsu and it’s crew.

    • Yeah Aqua definitely doesn’t get equal treatment from the director, I was thinking morseo how Kazuma treats her. And no, it’s not in the same league as Osomatsu but what really is?

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