The Roundup: Summer 2016 Volume 3

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In this week’s installment…

The Roundup hits mid-season form as nearly every show has their best episode yet. 91 Days is particularly great with a surprising change in mood while Art Club is becoming dangerously close to something I can actually recommend.

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 | Love Live! Sunshine!!

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Sweetness and Lightning
Episode 5: “A Day Off and Special Doughnuts”

Mondays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I immediately liked Yagi when I saw his babysitting style is just like mine. As designated “cool uncle”, I know how it feels to be the one indulging kids with junk food and video games. That said, you couldn’t really blame Kotori for being suspicious. As far as this week’s cooking lesson, I thought for a second we were actually going to get a flat out failure with the donuts but I guess this just isn’t that kind of show. Everying ends on a sweet, positive note as usual. Final point: I’ve grown comfortable ruling out the romance angle with Kotori but man we were dancing close to that again when she was explaining she is cool with “normal” guys. That and did you notice she didn’t take the photos with Yagi but she seemed cool with getting new pictures with Dad? Probably doesn’t mean anything, but I’m still wary of it.

cheerboys

Cheer Boys
Episode 5: “Let’s Go, Breakers!”

Tuesdays 10:30 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: I’ll happily spend a lot of time talking about Cheer Boys’ numerous good qualities – how genuine the cast feels, the realism of the world in general, the change in setting from the usual high school fare – but unfortunately when it comes to production qualities, this show is at best mediocre. That hasn’t really mattered until now, but given that this week’s episode culminated in the team’s first official public debut, it would’ve been nice to see the routine given the kind of detail and animation it probably deserved. That aside, this felt like another pretty good episode, with all the hard work, teambuilding, and enthusiasm finally paying off for everyone’s favourite all B-O-Y cheerleading squad… they might want to work on their English chants though. I also spent a great deal of this episode smirking at some of the fashion choices going on – I swear I even saw a purple ascot at some point, to say nothing of turtleneck floral-print shirts and random wigs. But sure, why not. Go, fight, win!

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Art Club – Some weird anime inception going on here

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This Art Club Has A Problem
Episode 4: “Welcome to a Little Walk”

Thursdays 3:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Mizuki’s crush has evolved from annoyingly obsessive in the first episode to painfully realistic in this week’s final segment. All of her interactions with her mom and with Uchimaki were adorably on point and it was probably the best stretch of the show yet. I also liked the short second segment as Colette is adding just the right amount of weird to the show. I nearly did a spit take when she came rolling in on the shot where she meets the new advisor, with no further further acknowledgement or explanation. I found the new advisor herself kind of annoying as I can’t imagine anyone that shy has any business being a teacher, but even her introduction ended on a sweet note. Overall it was a good episode, and aside from the usual one or two creepy leering camera angles I am really close to recommending people watch this.

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Amanchu
Episode 4: “The Story of Excitement and a Despairing Heart”

Fridays 11:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Is there anything more adorable than embarrassed Pikari? I loved the first part of the episode. It was funny, sweet, and gave us a rather causual introduction to some new characters that I think we’ll be seeing more of. It’s also always good to get an appearance from Cool Granny. Being out on the beach seems to be where the show is most comfortable. The second part was interesting in that I can relate to the anxiety terror of learning how to do things underwater, which they did a good job conveying through Teko. I must admit my short attention span was wavering toward the end though as Pikari was cheering her through it. Amanchu remains a show that will not be rushed and so maybe it’s not a perfect fit for me, but it’s so well done that I’m still enjoying it regardless.

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91 Days – You’d have to be really drunk to arm wrestle BIG MEXICO

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91 Days
Episode 4: “Losing to Win, and What Comes After”

Fridays 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: Road trip! 91 Days has been deadly serious so far, making this episode a welcome change of pace as our new dynamic duo gets chased by hitman “Big Mexico”, who looks like he walked straight out of a show like G Gundam. It’s a chance to give Avilio and Nero some actual character besides “tortured avenger” and “mafia dude” respectively, showing that Nero is at least somewhat regretful of his role in killing Avilio’s family is an effective way to create some drama. Speaking of that fateful night, I’m willing to put down money that Nero’s freckled little brother (Frate, whose name means “brother”) is actually Avilio’s younger brother, spared death and raised by the mafia. We’d have seen his body otherwise, right?

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Orange
Episode 5: “LETTER 05”

Sundays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Orange is squarely back in my good books this week with probably my favourite episode since its premiere – the melodrama was reigned back in and any that was left over felt entirely natural rather than cliché and forced. What I’m getting pretty damn curious about now is future Naho’s thoughts about her current present (if that makes sense). See, I get that anyone would want to go back and save their friend from an untimely death, regardless of whether that friendship was romantic or platonic in nature. But future Naho distinctly said in this episode that she wanted to save “both our futures”), which makes me wonder if she regrets not only Kakeru’s death but also her own decision to marry and have a child with Suwa. Because that would be the real tragedy of the situation – especially for poor Suwa, because unless Naho genuinely fell for him later (which is totally possible, albeit I think unlikely given what we’ve seen of future Naho’s thoughts), then she’s settled for second best and he knows it. Regardless, this episode cemented the man as MVP of the series (and quite possible the whole summer anime season) in my mind. What a bro.

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