The Roundup: Spring 2016 Volume 5

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In this week’s installment…

The Roundup has finally stabilized with the remaining shows delivering a bit of a mixed bag this week. Joker Game and Tanaka-kun are going strong but Bakuon!! continues to slump and Three Leaves, Three Colors nearly put me to sleep. Most importantly though, Luluco reminds us not to LOSE OUR WAAAAAAAY.

The Roundup is a weekly guide to all the “other” shows we’re watching this season. Check out our full coverage of: 
Macross Delta | Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable | My Hero Academia | Kiznaiver | Twin Star Exorcists

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Bakuon!!
Episode 6: “Prep!!”

Mondays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: So this week we swing in the other possible bad direction for Bakuon!! and get way too detailed into their love of motorcycles. I’d much prefer that to the gratuitous fan service of last week, but getting into the minutae of the girls tuning their bikes is way too dry for this show. It was at least amusing to get a peek into Stig-senpai’s mysterious past and I was rather amused by how non-chalantly they incorporated underage gambling. This school seems to play fast and loose with the rules. It wasn’t a great episode but it could have been worse, and with Minowa and her unlimited resources backing next week’s race I’m expecting we’ll be back to full strength next week.

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Bakuon!! – I want a prequel anime with the 90s Bike Club

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Joker Game
Episode 6: “Asia Express”

Tuesdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: While I was a bit ho-hum about last week’s episode (not covered here since I was away all week, sorry guys), I thought this week’s was probably the best of the series so far. While I suspect a lot of anime viewers will look at any ‘dangerous men on a train’ scenario and compare it unfavourably to Baccano!, I enjoyed this episode more than usual – it not only placed our spy-of-the-week in the starring role but also wrapped things up with a very promising post-credits scene, which strongly hinted at an overarching storyline going on behind the scenes after all. While I don’t mind the heavily episodic format of Joker Game, I must say that came as a pleasant surprise.

My only real question is this: where on earth was the pigeon being kept all that time?

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Space Patrol Luluco SEASON 3
Episode 7: “The Trap of Fate’s Threads”

Fridays 10:20 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Between having Inferno Cop as a supporting character and Lalaco’s fiber cape, it’s clear this show has not been afraid of shouting out Trigger’s previous works. But did anyone expect them to go this far? Doing a Kill la Kill themed episode is so shameless and stupid that it’s kind of brilliant. It makes me wonder if SEASON 3 will just be a tour of different Trigger themed planets, parodying themselves a la Carnival Phantasm or something. Will we be hitting planet Little Witch Academia next week? Maybe a fourth wall breaking episode where they hang out with Hiroyuki Imaishi? I kind of hope so. That said, I was kind of enjoying the vibe Luluco had going on it’s own so I’m not sure that’s the route I’d want in the long run. We’ll see next week.

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Tanaka-kun – Do people still use the term “gap moe“?

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Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
Episode 6: “The Sick Tanaka-kun”

Saturdays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: You know what I really love about Tanaka-kun? That Tanaka and Ohta really are like a happily married middle-aged couple, yet nobody ever makes a big deal out it. The creators don’t try to force any gay jokes in a series where they clearly wouldn’t belong, and none of the cast seems to care either because why should they? Everyone just gets along like amazingly nice high schoolers, and that’s awesome. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have some high-energy and less stoic characters to mix it up a bit, which is where the ever-adorable Miyano and the clearly-not-a-tsundere ‘delinquent’ Echizen come in. Comic misunderstandings are a dime a dozen in anime, but Tanaka-kun somehow makes them endearing anyway because a) it doesn’t drag them out too long and b) they’re dumb enough for me to actually appreciate. Guess that’s one of the major perks of watching a slice-of-life comedy as opposed to a romance… even if I think that in a real life situation, Ohta and Echizen would probably make for a pretty great couple.

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Three Leaves, Three Colors
Episode 6: “Veggies, Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat, and Fish”

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Funimation

Jel: No amount of comedic animations and playful teasing could save this episode from being boring. I was ready to give them credit for working around the usual fan service requirements for this type of episode, but they even managed to botch that. Not that it was particularly gross or anything, just seemed like a missed opportunity. I’m also noticing a trend where this show feels like it needs to squeeze in every single cast member in every episode no matter how unlikely or unnecessary they may be. How many “oh I just happened to show up!” moments can you take before your suspension of disbelief is smashed? There was one good joke implying Sonobe may have killed a shark with her bare hands, but other than that this was a dull episode.

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