The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 6

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In this week’s installment…

After saying goodbye to Mr. Osomatsu last week, we say hello to Mr. Shounosuke Hijirikawa. Dagashi Kashi comes back from a week off with a solid episode, and all the Roundup shows are looking good as we pass the halfway point of the season.

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 18: “Many Different Resolves”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: I liked this episode a lot. In fact, with the exception of episode one, I’d say it was my favourite of Snow White’s second season so far. Not just because Obi continues to be awesome (though that certainly helps), and not even because we got a pretty great scene with Shirayuki in one of her most emotionally vulnerable moments of the entire show so far (I prefer my badass heroines with a little realism to them – and besides, what could be more badass than a heroine challenging her fear rather than simply being portrayed as fearless?), but because YES FINALLY KIKI! Seriously, I’m wildly excited about this. There’s no doubt Kiki has had by far the least development of all our protagonists to date, and she’s also had zero interaction with Shirayuki outside of the company of Zen or Mitsuhide. This presents a golden opportunity to not only have two fantastic female characters pair up (and honestly, try and think of the last time you saw that happen in any given anime series, let alone a fantastical one), but also to give Kiki some much-needed screentime. I hope to god it’s not wasted.

 osomatsu

Mr. Osomatsu Mr. Shounosuke Hijirikawa
Episode 19

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It was probably for the best that this episode is a relatively easy, loose collection of skits. We needed a breather after last week’s amazing spectacle, and honestly something too ambitious would have probably been a disappointment. That said, there were some missed opportunities here. The Edo period drama seemed like a big enough idea to work as a full, cohesive segment. I would have gladly dropped the Girlymatsu bit to extend it, which we can all agree at this point is getting overused. I felt like the final part either needed to be much, much more abstract or just cut the weird Self Awareness Ball thing altogether. It was too middle of the road to really stand out, but maybe that is appropriate for a segment starring Choromatsu. I did at least have fun interpreting the meaning of the balls and I have to give credit for carrying over the Shounosuke joke from last week, so this wasn’t a bad episode overall. It could have been better for sure, but an average episode of Osomatsu is still quite entertaining.

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Mr. Osomatsu – Do not hug this sinful man.

 konosuba

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Episode 6: “A Conclusion to This Worthless Fight”

Wednesdays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Our little party was disturbingly competent this week and I can’t decide if I liked it. It was fun to watch the fight on a surface level, but it basically boiled down to realizing “oh right, we’re the most poweful classes!” instead of needing more creative means to take Dullahan down. Also, I have never, ever played an RPG in which undead is weak against water. I do still like the idea that Aqua is too dumb and petty to use her insane super powers, but they did get dangerously close to overusing that this week. I think what bothered me most though was the fact that we were kind of meant to be cheering for the team and I enjoy this show a lot more when they are just being horrible people. It was still an enjoyable episode with a few decent jokes so I can’t complain too much. Hopefully they’ll do better next week.

 marshmallow

Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 7: “Mioko and Marshmallow”

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It’s a rule that any anime made after 2009 has to have Kana Hanazawa appear at some point, so here you go. Other than Mioko’s weird accent and rare body type, she’s a bundle of anime cliches that I could probably have lived without. Having another cute girl fawning over Hige only feeds into the criticism that this show is nothing but wish fulfillment for overweight, middle aged men. To be fair, that is exactly what the show is, but usually it has other things going for it. A rivalry between the two girls who are both somewhat…. eccentric could lead to some good comedy, so maybe adding Mioko will be for the best in the long run.

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Sekko Boys – Grab your beer and run is the appropriate response.

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Sekko Boys
Episode 7: “Civil War Brewing”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: From relationship scandals to petty in-fighting, isn’t idol life fun? Comedies about terrible people seem to be my running theme this season, and it’s safe to say Sekko Boys has fallen in line with the likes of Osmatsu and Konosuba in that regard. We’ve settled into the formula of Rockies behaving badly + Ishimoto explodes = laughs and I am OK with this. I can’t believe I didn’t realize the old idol group was going to be statues until the very last second. It was such an obvious joke but it was still pretty good. The absurdity of a world that can support more than one group made up of classical busts is what makes this show so much fun.

rakugo

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episode 7

Fridays 4:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Huh. I expected a lot more to go wrong in this episode than actually did. Not that I’m complaining mind you – I don’t want to watch a show where any glimmer of happiness is constantly overshadowed by tragedy – but I had emotionally prepared myself for more than just Miyokichi finally breaking down in front of Kiku. And who could blame her? While I don’t especially like her character, Kiku could really use some help on his people skills; he’s cold, curt, and constantly distances himself from pretty much anyone who isn’t Sukeroku. Speaking of, I had initially assumed that there would be some immediate sexual tension between Sukeroku and Miyokichi (and I’m not entirely ruling that out for later on down the line), but at the moment, it’s fairly obvious Miyokichi is mostly just jealous of him. She desperately wants some alone-time with Kiku, but on the odd occasions that Kiku indulges her, his mind is clearly elsewhere. I’m not implying that there’s any kind of sexual relationship between Kiku and Sukeroku, but then, there certainly doesn’t need to be one in order to feel jealousy. I also thought Sukeroku would be jealous in turn of Kiku’s upcoming tour with the master, but no sign of that this episode at least – though if the preview of the next one is anything to go by, things will definitely be coming to a head shortly. How exactly this will come about, and what repercussions it will have, is keeping me on my toes.

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Dagashi Kashi – Dr. Saya, please fix this show.

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Dagashi Kashi
Episode 6: “Super Himo Q, Ohajiki, and sometimes Maken Gumi… / Yoguret, Coconuts, and…”

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: This episode confirms that any hope Dagashi Kashi will amount to more than a candy commercial rests on Saya. I give the show credit for letting us take her point of view from time to time. Her feelings for Coconuts are a pretty accurate depiction of a silly teenage crush, and having a specific flashback really helped us understand her feelings better. Too often we’re left to assume the Childhood Friend loves the main character just because they’ve known each other forever. Sharing an embarassing memory like this makes you feel like there is a rich history of moments behind every time Saya blushes. Of course the real point of the flashback was to show Coconuts used to be as passionate about snacks as Hotaru and we need to figure out why he changed, but for now let’s just enjoy any time Saya gets to take the spotlight.

durarara

Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 31: “No Love Lost”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Durarara needs more episodes like this. Episodes where things actually happen in between the dialogue, and where both the dialogue and the action make me laugh rather than cringe. I still miss the Durarara of the old days you see, where things were weird and oddball without constantly feeling fetishized. It’s quite possible I’m just misremembering how good the original content was to begin with of course, but these new cours of the show honestly feel gratuitously tawdry by comparison (and on that note, does nobody, not even Anri’s closest friends, feel that it’s inappropriate to constantly describe her as “that chick with the huge rack”)? This episode was a welcome breath of fresh air though, because it mostly consisted of Shizuo riding a mamachari-that’s-actually-a-horse – simultaneously the most badass and most wonderfully ridiculous thing the series has offered so far this season – and because I guess even Durarara can’t really put much unnecessary innuendo into an episode like that.

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