The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 7

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In this week’s installment…

BBK/BRK smashes its way into a guest appearance on The Roundup as the world needs to know about the insane episode 8. And here I thought I was going to lead off this week with more Osomatsu and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure jokes…

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

Dimension W | ERASED | Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash | Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans


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Snow White with the Red Hair
Episode 19: “Wave of Determination”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: I gotta be honest, this was not a good episode. In fact, in stark contrast to last week’s, I’d say it was probably the weakest we’ve seen so far this season. Action/adventure-type scenes are clearly not Snow White’s strong suit (even the usually consistently decent visuals took a blow there), but more to the point, the whole thing felt glaringly anticlimactic and like a hugely wasted opportunity. Resolving a tense storyline that’s been built up since the very first episode with a confrontation lasting roughly five minutes would have been bad enough on its own, but finally bringing in Kiki and then still giving her zero development or proper screentime… really disappointing. Even moreso because despite the romance aspects of the show being handled really touchingly, the best scenes were completely overshadowed by the poorly executed action and an even worse villain – one who we know is totes evil because she’s busty/skimpily dressed, licks her lips a lot, and all but does the “mwahaha” laugh. If it seems like I’m being overly harsh with Snow White this week, it’s only because I hold the series to higher standards than your average romance, making my personal disappointment more acute. (Random sidenote: if Shirayuki’s hair colour is all that rare, why was she the one to recognise her father and not the other way around?)

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Mr. Osomatsu – JoJo Part 4 looks AMAZING.

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Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 20: “Tell Us, Hatabou / School Matsu / Iyami’s School”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’m still feeling a little hungover from episode 18, but this week’s episode was better than last week. Hatabou’s cold open was deliciously dark, and the delinquent school parody was solid gold. The hot blooded but still somehow impotent fight between the eldest brothers is the kind of stupidity I crave from this show. I immediately began to wonder if they would play off the fact that Jyushimatsu is voiced by Daisuke Ono, who also voices School Delinquent Hall of Famer Jotaro Kujo of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fame. You could debate whether they did or not, but I’d argue they got as close as they could without facing some of the alleged legal complaints they faced in earlier episodes.

The second major segment lost me for being a little too on the nose. I had a hard time staying focused listening to Iyami blab on and on about the rules of comedy, and while I personally get the insecurities that come from being creative and performing I don’t know how much of the audience in general really cares. It makes sense to bring up broader issues about wanting to feel needed, have friends, etc., but something like this always comes off as self indulgent to me, like the writer has an axe to grind or something. That said, it was still oddly gut wrenching to see Iyami lose his confidence, and they very successfully created the vibe they were going for. So overall I’d say it’s just another week, another good episode of Osomatsu.

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KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Episode 7: “A Second Death In This Freezing Season!”

Wednesdays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode did what I was expecting to happen when we get to the finale, and while I do appreciate being surprised it is WAY too early for Konosuba to cash in its emotional chips. Clearly Kazuma has formed a bond with the girls, but a lot of that was over montages that we the audience did not experience. So I can understand logically why he would be upset about leaving but I didn’t find myself sharing his feelings like we were supposed to. The rest of the episode was pretty fun though. I am always amused when they have to kill small, cute things, does that make me a horrible person? Probably. It’s a small detail, but I appreciated that they actually wore winter appropriate clothing for the mission, so extra credit for that. Moving forward I’m assuming we haven’t seen the last of Eris, in fact I’m predicting she will be pulled down to… the world? Does it have a name? Whatever we’re calling it, I’m guessing she’ll be joining soon.

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KONOSUBA – Killing small defenseless creatures is still fun.

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Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 8: “Surprise and Marshmallow

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It’s starting to get to the point where Wakabayashi is the antagonist of the show, trying to distract poor Hige from his one true love. I was more emotinally invested in seeing Hige moved to tears by the return of his favorite marshmallows then any of her dinner plans. Still, it was kind of painful (and hilarious) to see all the effort she put into it only to be foiled by her idiot brother. Also come on Hige, who shows up a half hour early when someone invites you to their house? I know you don’t care about much beyond marshmallows, but that’s just rude.

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Sekko Boys
Episode 8: “Allegory of Music and Prudence”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I am loving this show as the Boys get more and more lazy and narcissistic. This was one of the better episodes with a couple great gags. I didn’t see the massive gold statue idol group thing coming, but that was a perfect fit for the situation. Also, whoever does the subs for this over at Crunchyroll deserves a raise, emulating Kanye West’s infamous “Imma let you finish” moment when Giorgio is trying to move along the show. Great work overall, and I’m glad to have this little extra burst of comedy every week.

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Dagashi Kashi – Accepting her award for Best Girl 2016.

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Dagashi Kashi
Episode 7: “Summer Festival, Hotaru, and… / Summer Festival, Saya, and…”

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: So I guess this show is back to being a romantic comedy now? As the title implies, the writers are basically fanning the flames of the most prominent battle for “Best Girl” since Nisekoi. Watching the episode though, it’s not even a competition. It’s true that it was nice to see Hotaru take an interest in something not candy related for a change. I was also totally expecting her to fail as she has in past endeavors, so in this case it was actually kind of humanizing to see her be good at something she put effort into. Still, she’s basically a force of nature that wouldn’t be interested in a concept like love. Saya meanwhile is killing it, even as she treads dangerously further into “childhood friend territory, the relationship Kiss of Death in anime. Her little date with Coconuts was pure saccharin sweetness, which was kind of refreshing seeing as most of the shows I’m watching this season revolve around horrible, selfish people. It was a real enough moment to make me feel nostalgic for when I was that age, which is shaping up to be Dagashi Kashi’s strong point. More of this and less candy commercial please.


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BBK/BRNK
Episode 8: “The Stopped Heart”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua: Okay, anime fandom, this is an intervention. I know this one is partially on us. We’ve shirked covering BBK/BRNK for you because it is, by all means, a show that actively defies any kind of conventional analysis. But this injustice has gone on for too long. It would be an injustice, nay, a disgrace to deny BBK/BRNK its proper credit any longer. Sure, it’s animated in CG, and yes, that makes it look a little dopey at times, but on the other hand, the computer graphics also allows for its ridiculous, high-octane action to look consistently breathtaking. If you liked Kill la Kill for its outrageous ideas and over-the-top battles, you owe it to yourself to check out BBK/BRNK, a show that brazenly unhinges itself from the rails of obligatory self-seriousness and superficial poignancy Kill la Kill still attempted to navigate, and leaves that show’s pervasive fanservice a bloody, toxic smear on the tracks for good measure. In fact, we are 99% sure that Kill la Kill‘s infamous director Hiroyuki Imaishi was in the director’s chair for this episode, which cranked BBK/BRNK‘s complete disdain for the conventions of good taste up to eleven and added in a boatload of cartoony slapstick as the cherry on top. Russian assassins fighting with hammer and sickle? Check. Cheerleaders wielding battle axes painted in the stars ‘n’ stripes? Check. People surfing on double-barreled shotguns? Check, check, double check. This show isn’t a train wreck, it’s a train that keeps crashing all the way into fuckin’ space. Which is, coincidentally, exactly what this show is actually about.

Iro: BBK/BRNK is the show I wanted Trigger to make that they never did.

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Durarara X2 Third Arc – Simon is a good sign this show is good again.


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Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 32: “A Tiger Dies and Leaves His Skin”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: This is the first episode this season to feature either Kadota or Simon, so… it’s basically the best DRRR has been all season. The show is finally starting to tie some of its longest plot threads, with Celty’s head being returned to her, Shizuo gearing up to fight his (presumably) final battle with Izaya, and the show’s former main teen trio preparing to meet once again to kiss and make up. That said, we’ve been waiting so long for these to happen (and so little has been going on otherwise) that they barely have any impact anymore. And we’re still about four episodes away from the finale, too; considering how wonderfully frenetic Durarara!! was at its best, I can’t see a surplus of screen time to fill doing the show any favors. Or maybe I’m just being pessimistic, and things will wrap up just fine? I guess we’ll find out over the next month.

Side note: It’s gotten a bit tough for me to take half of the male characters in the show seriously anymore since they all share actors with the Matsuno sextuplets.

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