The Roundup: Fall 2016 Volume 8


In this week’s installment…

Is Yuri On Ice on a slightly off day better than 90% of other shows? Yes, yes it is. Also, March Comes in Like a Lion is back so, yay!

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


Girlish Number
Episode 8: “Oversleeping Chitose and a Steamy Travel Mood”

Wednesdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Chitose only appears for a few seconds and coincidentally this was one of the best episodes of Girlish Number yet. Funny how that works. I’ve really enjoyed Kazuha’s story arc. It has managed to bring up real adult concerns about finding your place and dealing with your aging parents without getting preachy and heavy handed. At the very least it’s nice to have someone to root for. I’m also appreciating how the show is choosing its moments to be self aware. I particularly loved hot springs fake out, as well as Gojou questioning if Chitose is still the main character in the episode preview for next week. Maybe she’ll learn from her senpai’s example? Probably not.


Yuri!! On ICE
Episode 9: “Yuri vs. Yuri The Horror!! Rostelecom Cup, Free Skate”

Wednesdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: This episode was, if I’m being totally honest with myself, a disappointment. I’m not saying the episode in and of itself was bad – because to be clear, it really wasn’t – but it felt like something of an anticlimax, and definitely like a wasted opportunity. With Victor sent back to Japan and Yakov as Yuri’s stand-in coach, I expected something more… well, interesting to take place. Yakov is a very strong personality in that grouchy-old-man kind of way, Yuri is a sensitive yet stubborn soul, and I was looking forward to seeing how the relationship dynamics between the two played out. And we got, what, maybe one minute screentime in total featuring the pair together? It just seemed so weird that such potential for drama would be all but thrown away like that. I got plenty of amusement out of that whole hug thing towards the end, and the final scene with Yuri and Victor at the airport was beautiful yet understated in all the right ways, but in context with the previous couple of episodes, this one just didn’t culminate in anything especially weighty or intense like I was expecting. It just felt like a means to an end.


Yuri On Ice – Death by fragile masculinity


Kiss Him, Not Me
Episode 9: “The Beach! Bathing Suits! Time to Get Serious!”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua: For a shoujo anime, Kiss Him, Not Me sure ticks a lot of conventional fanservice checkboxes. It’s been a while since I last saw someone’s face getting shoved into someone else’s chesticles, and not even this show can prevent that classic anime staple from feeling like a stale relic from a bygone era. Thankfully, Kiss Him, Not Me manages to tie all the beach episode clichés together into some sort of narrative whole by focusing on Shinomiya’s complete incompetence at dealing with any of them. It’d make fo an entertaining focus episode if Shinomiya weren’t such an uppity little git. Nothing quite wrong with him lacking the bravery and bravado of his competitors, but it’s quite the problem when he has no other redeeming values to make up for it. Most of the time, Shinomiya is a petty, moody whiner who spends most of his days trying to be something he’s not and is seemingly only in this show to be the stereotypical uke in Kae’s fantasies. Given that character development is a no-go in the world of Kiss Him, Not Me, giving him an entire episode was a completre waste of time. On the other hand, that must mean we’re gettinga  Mutsumi episode sooner or later.


Episode 9: “Beyond the Darkness”

Saturdays 7:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I assumed Beetes’ refusing to listen to anyone was Classicaloid’s reference to the fact that he was deaf. I never thought they would address it this directly. It made for a bittersweet and surprisingly nuanced episode. On the one hand it’s kind of terrifying to imagine all of your memories tainted by the fact that you couldn’t hear anything. On the other, Beetes’ determination to give 110% to everything now that he a second chance is extremely admirable. I particularly loved the ending with one of the greatest musical minds in history acknowledging a street performer. Of course there was still plenty of silliness and dumping on Sousuke so things never veer too far into serious territory, but being able to handle all of those things is what makes this show good.




March Comes In Like a Lion
Episode 8: “Chapter 15 Teach Me How to Play Shogi / Chapter 16 Image / Chapter 17 Distant Thunder”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode felt a bit disjointed as we picked up at EXACTLY the moment we left off last week, something March rarely does, if ever. Also I appreciated the sequel to last weeks’ adorable ED but going from dancing cartoon kitties to ABUSIVE OLDER SISTER was a bit jarring. It probably will not matter in the future when people are marathoning the show, but the first half definitely belonged with the last episode and not here.

That said, we knew it was only a matter of time before Kyouko tried to ruin Rei’s life again. I mean, at the very least Shinbo had to get those sexy Monogatari camera angles off at some point and she’s a prime candidate. I was impressed how intense her part of the episode was despite nothing really happening… well, except maybe her explaining how ready she was to murder her horrible middle age boyfriend or trying to make Rei bomb his next match. From Rei’s perspective it seems we’re not meant to see her as pure evil but before anyone cries “daddy issues” I’m going to say that’s a tough sell. I’m sure we’ll see her again and a showdown with Rei’s new big sister Akari seems inevitable. I am both dreading and looking forward to that.

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