The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 9

 bubuki10robots

In this week’s installment…

Our Roundup shows intensify as the end of the season approaches. Join us for the emotional drama and psychological pain that is Ojisan and Marshmallow and Sekko Boys… and probably Rakugo. Also my computer broke last night and I couldn’t do screencaps, so enjoy pictures of robots punching robots courtesy of Iro.

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

ERASED | Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash


snowwhite

Snow White with the Red Hair
Episode 21: “When I’m With You…”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: This was a nothing episode, but it was a very sweet nothing episode – a return to the kind of material we would have regularly expected from Snow White’s first season, and a reminder that we’re basically watching a show about nice people being nice to one another. That’s by no means a derogatory comment by the way; as a matter of fact, I could actually use more anime where the action and drama are both toned down to make room for this sort of innocently fun slice-of-life material. Snow White usually makes it work because not only are the cast group dynamics pretty enjoyable to watch, but it also doesn’t forgo the small details. Things like seeing Zen and Obi in the bathtub and realising that yes, Zen looks pretty weedy and even childlike next to the similarly wiry but far more muscular Obi, because why wouldn’t he? One’s a prince, the other’s the closest thing this universe gets to a ninja. Any other show probably would have made their bodies all but identical, because Omg Bare-Chested Bishounen, but this series likes to give due attention to the details, and I can very much appreciate that.

 osomatsu

Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 22: “The Star of Hope, Todomatsu / The Final Sheeeh”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: AH TOTTY, OH TOTTY… It’s been hard to punish Totty for being human garbage since he has kind of embraced it and just shrugs it off. So it was fun to see him squirm a bit in the first half. Sure he’s still the most outgoing and popular Matsuno, but being the least socially awkward weirdo doesn’t change the fact that you’re still a socially awkward weirdo. It was good segment elevated to great by an amazing insert song that acts as a perfect reflection of his ego. I could go for more of those. The second was the latest in a string of segments where Iyami has actually been funny. In a way, I guess his counterattack in episode 18 worked? The old Kung Fu movie parody works great here, and the string of surprises the Sextuplets cart out are comedy gold. I’d say this is one of the suprisingly rare episodes in which all the segments are really good.

osomatsu22shehh

 konosuba

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Episode 9: “God’s Blessing On This Wonderful Shop”

Wednesdays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Let me say first that I am actually OK with the idea of a Succubus Dream service. It’s a clever premise that finds a logical way for them to exist in this particular world. As far as the execution though… yikes. While Konosuba always had dabs of fan service here and there, this episode crosses a line into completely different territory. It’s not the showing skin, it’s the attitude that over indulges the male audience and tells them they can have whatever they want. The worst example is how they treat poor Darkness. When she is being herself she’s depicted as annoying and gross, but she is seen as desirable when she makes herself weak and subservient. Granted she IS annoying and gross, but that’s her choice and I’m sure there are people besides Kazuma who would love her for it. Tack on some pretty poor technical quality (I think they burned most of their resources animating jiggle) and odd directing and this was just a bad episode overall.

 marshmallow

Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 10: “Amusement Park and Marshmallow”

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Wait, was that actual plot development? Does this show even have a plot??? I’m so used to harems and love triangles in anime that it didn’t even occur to me that Mioko could be permanently eliminated from the competition, particurly in such a scandalous way. Good riddance. The important bit is the cliffhanger at the end, which obviously is a misunderstanding. But given the nature of Mioko’s exit, you can kind of see poor Wakabayashi’s point of view. I think I made a joke at some point about Hige probably have a wife and kids so I did find the development amusing. We’ll have to see how it gets cleared up next week.

drrx2-32sword

 sekkoboys

Sekko Boys
Episode 10: “The Weeping Woman”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I am in no way suggesting that this episode was dramatic or emotional, but the fact that it made me feel anything at all is a bit of surprise for Sekko Boys. You couldn’t help but cringe to see Ishimoto show up with her loser friend and have all her hard work go completely unappreciated. Will the boys find some way to make amends? It’s tough to say. I really enjoy them being horrible people, but at the same time poor Isshie needs to feel some love. Hopefully they’ll find the right compromise that gives her the appreciation she deserves with the Boys having to flip their personalities.

rakugo

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episode 10

Fridays 4:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Good lord does this show like to keep the tension up. Some episodes I’m all but holding my breath the entire time, just waiting for something terrible to happen, but unlike the vast majority of other shows, I’m always left impressed whether it actually does or not. Make no mistake, Rakugo Shinju is a masterpiece when it comes to crafting atmosphere. As it happens, there was another major event this week, and the death of the 7th generation Yakumo leaves Kikuhiko not only grieving but also completely isolated. The point where he realizes he is utterly cut off from anybody close to him was an incredibly poignant scene, and handled with the usual visual flair I’ve come to naturally expect (but never take for granted) from the series. I’m not sure exactly how much time passed between this episode and the previous one, but give that Konatsu now seems to be around eight years old, I’m eager to see what effect the years have had on Sukeroku, and more to the point how the reunion between he and Kikuhiko – who for the moment has refused to take on the name of 8th generation Yakumo – will play out.

 dagashikashi

Dagashi Kashi
Episode 8: “Wata-pachi, Lucky Choco-droppings, and… / Sakura Daikon, Egg Ice Cream, and…”

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: Despite how crass it got in some scenes, I actually thought this episode was pretty funny. It’s also probably the most endearing Hotaru has ever been. You have to appreciate how unashamed she was to talk about uhhh…. bodily functions, which apparently is more than I can say for myself. Anything for the sake of dagashi I guess. I also loved that the girls got to hang out alone again, this time completely devoid of Saya heat checking for anything going on with Hotaru and Coconuts. I will claim again this show would probably be better with just those two. Even the final bit with the Boob ice cream bombs was kind of amusing. I’m not going to be naive and claim it wasn’t all done for sex appeal, but I personally couldn’t find it anything but funny when you consider Hotaru spend the entire episode with a canker sore and rice on her face. So hot!

bubuki10aw


bbkbrnk.png

BBK/BRNK
Episode 10: “The Shattered Heart / Treasure Island”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: Oubu’s got his mid-season power-up, had some fisticuffs with Entei, and we’re off to Treasure Island… but we’re still not even halfway through the show. BBK has always sort of been like this, but we’re reaching elevated levels of “what is this show even about?” as the crew arrives at their allegedly final destination and then proceeds to hang out with Azuma’s mom for a week doing chores. Far from being bad, this means we actually get a chance to slow down for a while and have the kids chat for a bit, as short as it lasts. Having all three of the other teams (including the friendly-enemy Americans who helped earlier this very episode) bust in to harvest Buranki hearts for their own purposes is as good a cliffhanger as any, and it means we might actually get to see more than two giant robots in this show. Lastly, a random musing: Entei is clearly fire-themed, and Oubu’s powered-up form fires a tornado from its hand. Are the American and Russian Buranki going to be earth and water themed? I guess we’ll see.


durarara

Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 34: “Telepathy”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Aaand we’re straight back into the dialogue. I’m normally the last person to complain about slow pacing and long-term setup, but particularly in this final arc, Durarara has taken it way too far. I imagine the eventual payoff will be good, but I don’t know how it could be that good – good enough to justify so much time spent just sitting around and waiting for people to stop talking already. This comment is probably a little ironic given that literally everything that’s happened so far between Anri, Masaomi, and Mikado could have been avoided if they’d only communicated with each other, but there you go – on top of being incredibly dialogue-heavy, Durarara is also very much a show about polarities. In any case, coming on the heels of several consecutively good episodes, this week felt like a major step backwards, and I was bored for all but about a minute of it. (That was the first minute post-OP by the way. Because watching Izaya coughing up blood as a result of being clobbered by Shizuo is still pretty fun.)

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3 thoughts on “The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 9

  1. Regardign BBK: What’s the point of the show? I’m still enjoying it to a certain extent but I have some “pressing” questions. For example, when Azuma’s mother “ascends” to treasure island, why didn’t any of the other bubuki users hitch a ride? It seems rather easy considering15 people made it up just now…………

    • I guess everyone could only get there once Oubu opened up the barrier or something? Honestly I gave up on the show being coherent weeks ago and now I’m just along for the ride.

      • I wanted the show to be coherent, but alas is has fallen from the wagon. Either way it’s still rather entertaining. Hopefully we have some wicked buranki showdows as the other nations get their functioning hearts.

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