The Roundup: Summer 2016 Volume 11

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In this week’s installment…

It’s the last Roundup of the Summer season and we bid farewell to a surprisingly solid lineup of shows with an appropriately solid batch of finales. Well, except for 91 Days, they still have one more episode to kill everyone off.

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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Cheer Boys
Episode 12: “Cheer Boys!!”

Tuesdays 10:30 am EST on Funimation

Artemis: I’m happy with this finale. It wasn’t everything I hoped and dreamed (mostly because Cheer Boys clearly just didn’t have the budget to pull off anything that spectacular in the visual department), but it hit all the right notes for a sports anime conclusion. The moving speeches, the callbacks to previous moments of significance, the slightly cringe-worthy but fun one-liners… basically everything you’d expect from such a show, complete with a final performance that was, if far from cinematically amazing, then at least adequate to the purpose. The hot visuals were never exactly the draw card for Cheer Boys though, so whatever. More to the point, this was a show with a surprising amount of heart and an even more surprising lack of anything even resembling fanservice, so major kudos for that. It was never going to be anyone’s top pick of the season, but I’d go so far as to say it was one of summer’s most underappreciated titles.

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This Art Club Has A Problem
Episode 12: “From Now On”

Thursdays 3:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: The conversation with Uchimaki and Imari might have been the most cruel RomCom trap in recent memory. I mean, it was obvious there was going to be some kind of misunderstanding but it was so implausible that for a moment you couldn’t help but want to believe. Afterall, they had just undermined the classic “walking home under the same umbrella” cliche so why not keep the ball rolling? In a way though, I think it helped me finally find the answer I’ve been seeking all season as to why this show is so good: all along it was really about Usami gaining self-respect. For example, in this episode she didn’t stoop to scheming to walk home with Uchimaki and then calmly fought off her potential jealousy towards Imari. Then in the fantastic final scene, she wanted to make sure Uchimaki earned the right to call her by her first name.

When compared to how she was throwing herself at him in early episodes, it’s a very satisfying growth of her character that sends a positive message. Yes she likes Uchimaki, but she doesn’t want to trick or force him into liking her back. He has to like her for who she is and no silly school girl crush is worth compromising on that. It’s a great ending to a really good show that only makes me more furious that a lot of people will skip it because of the annoying (on paper) concept and the small amount of fan service early on. If you want a really high quality, cute anime comedy please power through and watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

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Art Club – Make ’em earn it

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Amanchu
Episode 12: “The Story of the Blue World”

Fridays 11:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Oddly enough for a show that’s supposed to be about diving, I think the actual diving has been the weakest part. Fortunately not too much time is spent on the details of Teko’s test and once they do get underwater they do a good job of showing why it was such a big deal. The dive almost becomes a spiritual experience, a metaphor for her brand new world of fun with Pikari and the rest of the club. The cute final scene puts it into words and wraps things up nicely.

I mentioned last week I feel like I’m just about done with Amanchu and ready to move on, but that doesn’t mean any of it was bad or that I won’t miss it. It’s been a really sweet and uplifting show to watch, and the fact that it’s not overstaying it’s welcome is a good thing. In a season full of cute, relaxing shows it stands near the top and is definitely worth checking out.

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91 Days
Episode 11: “All For Nothing”

Fridays 2:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Avilio is clearly starting to lose his mind but I overestimated to what extent. His plan was even more brutal than I imagined. It was becoming more clear that killing Vincent was meaningless since he was already at death’s door, but setting it up so that the last thing he sees is his life’s work destroyed? That’s just evil. It does make me wonder how much he has left in the tank to kill Nero. Conventional wisdom would say he offs him like everyone else and then kills himself (he said he’d be joining Corteo soon) but it seems the door is still open enough for one last twist. Bring it on!

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91 Days – Nice cinemaphotography

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Orange
Episode 13: “LETTER 13”

Sundays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Smart of Orange to have a longer episode for their finale. I don’t doubt that the show could’ve wrapped things up within the usual time frame, but I think it did need that little bit extra to have the emotional conclusion it needed, especially given the incredibly bleak note that last week’s episode began and ended on. And ultimately, I was indeed satisfied; while the character-driven drama wasn’t particularly well blended with the vague sci-fi aspects of the series, the former was what mattered most and I’m happy to say that Orange really delivered for me there. The ending didn’t feel rushed, and even more importantly, it gave me the happiest finish possible while still coming across as just as emotionally realistic as the rest of the show. Though by no means perfect, Orange definitely earned my respect as one of the best produced and hard-hitting titles of the season.

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One thought on “The Roundup: Summer 2016 Volume 11

  1. I found myself dropping lots of shows this summer….Not because they were bad but because they didn’t do enough to make me want to catch up. I was traveling half of August so I missed like 2-3 eps of each show I was watching…and I only could bring myself to catch up to 91 Days (the insanity is delicious), Amaama to Inazuma (how can you NOT love Tsumugichan) and Days! (cause Im a sucker for footy).

    I think Orange and Amanchu were good but I couldn’t bare the thought of catching up on 2-3 eps. I suppose that says quite a bit about what I thought of the shows. Anyhow onwards and upwards to fall, though my epectations are not high for it.

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