The Roundup: Winter 2016 Volume 11

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In this week’s installment…

We say good bye to BBK/BRNK, Durarara, and the shorts, but Snow White, Osomatsu, Rakugo, and Dagashi Kashi will stubbornly hold on for one more episode. Come guys, we got a new season to prepare for, wrap it up already!

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 23: “The Future Because of Who You Are”

Mondays 11:00 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: In just about any other show, this episode probably wouldn’t have worked for me at all. I mean, it’s not like I tend to watch most anime for the realistic scenarios, but come on – a potion that literally hypnotizes someone to bring out a specific part of their personality, depending on whatever they happen to be thinking at the time? Oookay. Thankfully, Snow White has more than enough charm to pull this kind of ridiculousness off, so instead of being bored or rolling my eyes, I was too busy laughing, cringing, then laughing again to really care. Of course, the reaction faces of in this episode helped a lot with that – Kiki’s was especially priceless – and Obi’s subsequent trolling of Mitsuhide was equally as hilarious. Snow White does this sort of episodic, harmless fun very well, yet still always manages to hit those sweet notes along the way. I’ll be sad to see the show draw to a close next week.

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Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 24: “Totoko’s Huge Panic / Letter”

Mondays 1:45 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Ever since the amazing episode 18 I’ve been wondering if the ending could possibly top the “Iyami Kart” segment. After this episode I think I can see how. “Top” might be misleading as I don’t know if they can surpass it in sheer spectacle, but reaching the logical conclusion to a show that has been about the pains of growing up is packed with potential for emotional payoff. It’s certainly here in “Letter”, to the point where I’d argue they might be laying it on a little thick. Osomatsu had dabbled in this territory before, but usually it pulls it off with a measure of subtlety. This episode hits hard like a Karamatsu punch to Osomatsu’s face which, side note, was pretty great. My final opinion on it will depend greatly on how the last episode goes. At some point, the mood has to lighten. I’m all for growth and change, so I do hope the boys continue to live on their own. Hopefully they can find a way to bring us back to the weird and wacky show we love without just returning to the way things were.

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Ojisan and Marshmallow – I’d watch a spinoff with these two.

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Ojisan and Marshmallow
Episode 12: “Wakabayashi and Marshmallow”

Thursday 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: And so this show ends the only way it possibly could: Wakabayashi using powerful marshmallow pheromones to trap Hige like the giant human bear that he is. Seriously though, this was the cute, safe ending that we all probably expected. Maybe it wouldn’t have been better to have Hige truly understand Wakabayashi’s intentions, but the fact that he understands her a little better at all is a victory. Overall, this has been a fun experience every week that fits the short format well. I don’t think I would have put up with it at full length, but at a few minutes per episode it’s definitely one of the better shorts out there.

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Sekko Boys
Episode 12: “The Last Judgement”

Fridays 11:40 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: A lot of crazy things have happened in the final two episodes, and yet for Sekko Boys it was pretty much exactly what was expected. The boys trust and appreciate Ishimoto, and now that she has back problems she can finally feel like she belongs. Yay…? With the series over, I have to say this was some top tier idol industry parody. Some of the real obligations and scandals that popped up seemed even more absurd than the concept of an idol group made of classic marble statues becoming popular. It makes a little statement while still keeping things light and fun, and was definitely worth the small time investment every week.

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Sekko Boys – Well of COURSE your back is going to hurt if you lift like that.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episode 12

Fridays 4:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: With only one episode to go after this, Rakugo Shinjuu pulled out ALL THE FEELS this week and finally played out the tragedy we all knew had to come at some point – leaving me extremely conflicted about who exactly I should direct ALL MY FEELS towards. I expect it would be pretty easy to hate Miyokichi (or should I say, Yurie) right now, because if it wasn’t already obvious from previous episodes, the woman is clearly mentally unstable. Some might say she was the one who effectively caused all the dominoes to fall in the first place, leading Sukeroku to his inevitable death and leaving Kikuhiko the rather cynical and bitter man we know he becomes. That said, it certainly wouldn’t be fair to place all the blame on her; it could equally be argued that Kikuhiko brought at least some of this on himself, having both lead her on and then coldly rejected her, even up until her final moments. Sukeroku certainly wasn’t a paragon of goodness himself either, and to be honest I’m still not sure what possessed him to elope with Miyokichi to begin with. His impulsiveness and irresponsibility are nobody’s fault but his own. Regardless, here we all are, having almost come full circle, and I’m very eager to see just how Rakugo Shinjuu will choose to wrap things up next week.

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Dagashi Kashi
Episode 11: “Cola Gum, Yo, and… / Miyako Kombu, Ramune, and…”

Fridays 8:30 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: Like a hurricane, earthquake, or any other force of nature, Hotaru’s time with Coconuts can only last so long. This episode did a pretty good job of reminding us that she has goals of her own and that Coconuts has a big decision to make. That said, the bit showing why Dad is so valuable was kind of lame. I mean it was cool what he did, but I feel like most business owners would have done the same thing. Also everything he does makes him a terrible business man, so not sure why a major corporation would go through so much trouble to headhunt someone that would probably run their operation into the ground. I guess the actual reason Dad needs to go isn’t all that important, either way it’s up to Coconuts to decide what his dream really is. I suspect he will concede that he appreciates dagashi a lot more than he’s let on but will continue to sit on the fence, which will mean Hotaru will have to stay and the status quo is maintained. Normally that would make me mad, but for show this laid back I’d probably be OK with it. We’ll see next week.

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Dagashi Kashi – The Commodore Perry bit was also pretty good.


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BBK/BRNK
Episode 12: “The Boy From Treasure Island”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: You wouldn’t think the season finale would necessarily start with a half-episode flashback detailing Reoko’s start of darkness, but here we are. I said the same thing last week, but it gives the enemy team a surprising amount of depth for a show like this; at the very least, it’s understandable why they would all choose to cross the line into psychotic despotism. Migiwa definitely doesn’t make it out seeming like the glorious angel that she’s been built up as, and really it’s kind of a shitty situation for everyone involved. The immediate danger of Treasure Island falling is solved by the requisite super robot resolve powerup (and special mention goes to the musical cue for the show’s OP during this sequence, as well as the ED during the flashback), but alas, it seems we’ll have to wait an indefinite amount of time for the second chunk of BBK to show us what exactly is going on with all the other Buranki teams and Azuma’s sister in her Trucy Wright getup. I’m definitely looking forward to it.


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Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Episode 36: “Those Who Meet Must Part”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: This was a perfectly satisfactory conclusion, in that it tied up all loose ends, didn’t focus too much on any one character, and had enough action to balance out the dialogue. I would have liked it even more had the show not dragged so much in getting there. I accept that Durarara has always been a fairly dialogue-heavy show, but this final cour in particular has been incredibly slow, with the standout episodes too few and far between to be able to keep any kind of momentum going. To be honest, despite my deep and abiding love for the anime (or at least, for the original 2010 anime), I’m pretty glad it’s finally over. On the positive side, we at least got to see more of Simon before the end – I’d happily watch an entire series based around that guy – and I also have to give serious props to Miyano Mamoru’s vocal work. Kida isn’t my favourite character, but man that was a great performance.

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