The Roundup: Fall 2016 Volume 1

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In this week’s installment…

What’s this, anime is good again?!? This week we launch a rock solid lineup for the Fall 2016 Roundup with a couple of other shows joining us next week. Personally I’m already declaring Yuri!! On ICE and March Comes In Like a Lion as anime of the year contenders, we also have delightfully fun shows like ClassicaLoid, Time Bokan 24, and Poco’s Udon World, and for some reason Aqua is still watching Kiss Him, Not Me and Izetta: The Last Witch.

Some shows require more words than others. Check out our full coverage of: 
Sound! Euphonium 2 | Flip Flappers | Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable

yuri

Yuri!! On ICE
Episode 2: “Two Yuris?! Drama at Yu-topia”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Yup, still the best show. Fine, I’ll write more. With his delightfully flaky and eccentric personality, Victor is breaking the mold in terms of coaches in traditional sports stories. It mixes well with the fire and ice of the two Yuris as it’s probably the only type of mentor the two would both respond to. It also goes well with the general tone of the show. One of the most brilliant things about Yuri On Ice is how it manages to generate excitement and emotion from a mostly joyful place. Sure Yuri (Yuuri?) had some setbacks, but it’s not like he doesn’t have a loving support system holding him up or a dark and terrible past to overcome, at least not that we’ve seen. Instead, as the final scene played out with Victor’s challenge, I was was fired up because the characters were fired up and their passion is infectious. That’s not easy to do and this show does it so well. Hopefully the quality will continue as we see the results of the challenge next week.

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Yuri!! On ICE – #ninja

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Kiss Him, Not Me
Episode 2: “The Strange Room and the Four High School Boys”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua: I’m probably losing brain cells for every second I keep watching this show, but there is something rather nostalgic about seeing one of these dumb, loud shoujo shows again. Heck, the crappy production values even make Kiss Him, Not Me look like the kind of third-rate schedule-filler you’d watch in 240p on a shady streaming site in 2006. Though this episode arguably set up what seems to become the formula for the rest of the season – Kae needs help, dude offer help, other dudes refuse to leave the one dude alone with Kae, everyone argues a bunch, oblivious Kae makes a lot of silly reaction faces, repeat ad nauseam – bits and bops of character development saved it from becoming complete filler fluff. Kae learning that a slender body won’t automatically fix all of her problems is a step towards redeeming last episode’s rather ridiculous set-up, while the boys’ attraction is every so slightly starting to turn into the something more it needs to be if this show ever wants to be taken seriously as a bonafide romance. So, when do we get to see Nishina?

classicaloid

ClassicaLoid
Episode 2: “Get It! Musik!”

Saturdays 7:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It was good to see the rest of the main cast take at least some reponsibility for their actions, no matter how small. The three boys crashing at Kanae’s house and just being total dead weight was getting annoying fast. Granted Mozart’s birthday bash is not going to pay the rent (probably the opposite) but it was rather sweet to show the boys care in their own special way. It was also pretty funny, with the training montage being a highlight with its spot on comedic timing. With the team drawing closer together, I’m now intrigued to see what happens with more Classicaloids joining the fray. Are they going to have to face off against Bach and his (allegedly) evil classical idol group? I certainly hope so.

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Time Bokan 24 – How many time will this show let me reference Bettermyths this season?

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Time Bokan 24
Episode 3: “Momotaro Was Actually More of an Ogre than an Actual Ogre!”

Saturdays 7::00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Zigg: I was kind of fearing the first time that the crew focused exclusively on Japanese history, since I’m so unfamiliar with it and anime tends to (not unreasonably) assume intimate knowledge of the subject. Fortunately, I was completely wrong and this episode was definitely the funniest yet, mercilessly slaughtering one of Japanese mythology’s most sacred cows in typically silly fashion. Karen falling for Momotaro was a pretty predictable development, but having Bimajo join in and turn the story into an all out fangirl war was an inspired spin and leads to some absolutely fantastic jokes and visual puns. Mechabuton floating on a ragtag balloon with a naked Tokio at the controls was a particular favourite. This week’s pirate/hornet mecha was also a real treat and the show remains incredible unhinged fun.

izetta

Izetta: The Last Witch
Episode 3: “The Sword In the Heavens”

Saturdays 11:45 am EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua:  Is a kick-ass fight scene between one girl with an armoury of medieval weapons and an entire battalion of disposable nazi wannabes worth shoddy computer animation, tiresome war fiction clichés, and more butt than the average Super Smash Bros. pause screen featuring Zero Suit Samus? Izetta has been getting a lot of mileage out of its kickass premise – magical girl in World War II? Hell yeah! – but its flirt with mediocrity continues in spite of its best efforts. It’s a show that tries to be many things, but often ends up exploring mutually exclusive perspectives simultaneously. Its attempts to be an action-packed fantasy adventure are counteracted by its desire to convince viewers it is rooted in actual history, while the first episode’s endearing character work is being slowly phased out in favour of focus shifting from one insignificant nobody to another. Nevertheless, Izetta stays on my good side by virtue of its lovely setting, strong atmosphere and engrossing ambition. I wish it’d start living up to it, though.

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March – Sure they’re better senpais… OK, maybe just good senpais… eh, they’re alright.

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March Comes In Like a Lion
Episode 2: “Chapter 3 Akari / Chapter 4 Beyond the Bridge”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I was kind of hoping we could make it through this series without a single second of actual Shogi but I guess that was an unrealistic dream. The part with Rei’s match was pretty dull but fortunately the rest of the episode was so good I didn’t care by the end. The story of how Rei met Akari and their subsequent relationship is a weird combination of heartwarming and disturbing that I find fascinating. The storytelling continues to be top notch as it only gives you bits and pieces and lets your mind fill in the blanks. Questions like how did Rei end up drunk and emaciated outside a hostess bar in Ginza or why was Akari so familiar with how to make yourself throw up lead your mind to dark places, but not any further than we need to go. The important thing is that the two are now helping each other heal, or so it seems for at the moment. Needless to say I am totally into this and can’t wait to see how their relationship further develops.

poco

Poco’s Udon World
Episode 2: “Kotoden”

Saturdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’m still having a little trouble nailing down what this show is going for. It’s still not quite a “Dad Anime” in that Souta is not quite a dad, but is that the direction we’re headed? He does verbally acknoledge himself as kind of a parent now, so maybe we will. Instead of continuining to humanize Poco though, I kind of wish it would stay more focused on the sense of nostalgia and new level of self awareness that comes with hitting 30 that seems to be what Souta is experiencing. It seems too early for him to start learning the trials of parenthood, as seen in his interaction with his old crush and her bratty kids. He handled it well but still did not feel comfortable being “mom friends” with anyone. I think his relationship with Poco will more be a mirror for him to reflect on his relationship with his own father, and perhaps move him to re-open the restaurant? That is going to happen right? I just can’t tell yet.

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3 thoughts on “The Roundup: Fall 2016 Volume 1

  1. Yaaaaaaaar I was holding out on the Yuri show but dammit you guys managed to convince me to pick it up. I dropped Time Bokan after the first episode because it felt like i was watching reading rainbow, or something in that vein (FYI i have very fond memories of Readin rainbow and Geordi La Forge). But it seemed to childish to me and it had to go.

    As for Izetta there is something oddly charming about it for which I will continue to watch. I can totally see it spiraling out of control though. I’m actually think I’m looking forward to that. I agree though that if you are gonna base your anime off world war II then just fucking go for it and not try to mask countries/eras. Germania…who the hell are they kidding. it makes me wonder WHY Japanese writers do things like this.

    I think 3-Gatsu is clearly the most promising show of the season. The shogi aside the characters are all wonderfully flawed, like us, and the animation and story telling is top notch. After what seemed like the Summer Horribilus this season is turning out ok.

    • There are really only two reason I can think of for Izetta’s bizarre setting. Either they were too lazy to create a fantasy setting of their own, so they just changed some names in an account of actual history, or they wanted it to actually be WW II, but got held back at the last minute for some reason. Maybe they didn’t want to offend people by setting a relatively lighthearted magical girl show in a real and very dark period of history, or didn’t wanna cause a stir by portraying the Germans, who were Japan’s allies during the war, as the bad guys they were, or God knows what.

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