The Roundup: Winter 2017 Volume 9

In this week’s installment…

I marathoned the amazing Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu this week (more on that another time) and I have to admit, watching that masterpiece has made it a little tough to get excited about this week’s batch of average episodes. There is still some good content though, most notably former best show of the season March Comes In Like a Lion returning to it’s heartwarming, adorable self. Now please excuse me as I impatiently wait for the next episode of Rakugo to emotionally destroy me.


Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Episode 10: “Troupe Dragon, On Stage! (They Had a Troupe Name, Huh)”

Wednesdays 11:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode was OK. There was a good mix of things I like, such as the dragons learning about human culture and Kobayashi making proud mom faces at Kanna. I particularly liked the lovely illustrations used to explain the Match Girl story. Of course we also had some of the needless anime bits like magical girls and cross dressing Shouta for no reason. That is, of course, Dragon Maid’s eternal struggle but I think overall the good parts won this week. It’s hard to get too mad at the show when it ends on the adorable Kobayashi family gift exchanges that were sweet enough to melt my cold dead heart.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – I thought the Reaction Guys meme died years ago?


Episode 10: “Hand-Me-Down”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: Despite the continued presence of utterly absurd dialogue in Seiren (pretend wrestling on Christmas with Ikuo, “it’s hotter than my Noble Phantasm”, reindeer are beasts of lust!), this might be the most normal of the arcs so far. It’s definitely the most reminiscent of Amagami, with the Santa Contest and finding a date by Christmas as major events. The conflict’s also much more mundane, being an unpleasant misunderstanding rather than some ridiculous situation like the summer camp or Toru’s whole bizarre gaming… thing. Overall, I’m appreciating the simpler tone on display for Kyoko’s arc, but I sure hope the writing continues with being borderline absurdist comedy.


Episode 22: “A Discerning Man”

Saturdays 7:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This was a pretty average episode that didn’t really cover new ground. Yes, we know Beethoven is a stubborn perfectionist, this time we’ve just swapped gyoza for coffee. The humor is solid as always with the entire playground battle being a high note, but the single best thing that happened is seeing Schubert has permanently changed into his rapper form. After all the wacky, episodic incidents we’ve been through I did not think that would stick. I think it’s a great choice though, and I kind of hope he tries to destroy Bach-sama at some point like he did the rest of the cast.

Interviews with Monster Girls – The pinnacle of science


Interviews With Monster Girls
Episode 10: “The Dullahan Surpasses Space Time”

Saturdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Out of all the demi-chan’s unique traits, Machi’s is definitely the hardest to explain with science. That doesn’t mean we can’t try though! After surviving the kind of cringy first half of the episode in which she unsuccessfully plots a way for sensei to kiss her, we’re treated to some surprisingly entertaining info-dumping from Takahashi’s weirdo friend. As for the explanation itself I guess it makes about as much sense as it possibly could, although it still doesn’t explain why anyone would be born with a wormhole for a neck. It does leave me hoping the series ends with a time skip in which we see Dr. Kyouko Machi unlocking the mystery of time travel. Or maybe she’ll appear from the future and tell her past self to give up on her teacher? I might be overthinking this.


March Comes In Like a Lion
Episode 21: “Chapter 43 When the Cherry Blossoms Bloom / Chapter 44 Small Murmur”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: And so, with little aplomb, Shimada’s story is capped off by a sentimental epilogue. I was hoping to see a bit more tension from Rei, considering the very end of the last episode seemed to be implying he was questioning his entire way of life. It could be he simply is not jumping to make a change, which would be mature of him to do. No sense in rushing headstrong into a life-altering choice. Meeting Shimada’s community also finally seemed to get into his thick head that he needed to return to his own. I was about to break my computer thinking that we were getting another episode of the girls simply talking about Rei instead of actually contacting him, but Hina comes in for the save. It’s been interesting seeing her view of Rei evolve as the show went on. At first, it felt to me strange that she was developing romantic feelings for him, but now I have to recognize that she is only three years younger than him. Whether it never gets past the puppy love she had for her classmate I don’t know, but right now I’m thankful for her. In the beginning, Akari is the one jokingly known for “bringing strays home”, but now we see Hina caring about Rei even beyond a pitiful stranger or kindred spirit. I’m also glad that Rei didn’t run away again. Before he felt like he was simply using their love, and with Shimada we also saw this same sense that he needs to frame his relationships in the context of a give and take. I hope his desire to see them himself at the end of this episode means he can get past that cloying mindset and finally allow himself to be loved unconditionally.

March Comes In Like a Lion – I declare this the most adorable moment of 2017


Little Witch Academia TV
Episode 10: “Bee Commotion”

Licensed by Netflix (Release pending, please watch it there when it comes out)

Jel: It feels strange seeing such a traditional “opposites attract” romance sub-plot in 2017, and yet here we are doubling down on it with Andrew’s second appearance. This was basically the classic “love potion” episode, except instead of a potion we got a magic Beedrill. I guess it makes sense for a series that pays so much homage to the past, and I’m not complaining as this episode was both funny and cute. Of course with LWA the visual presentation is arguably as important as the plot and while there wasn’t much going on animation wise, I felt like they made up for it by giving us a change of scenery. I was particularly amused by Sucy’s Cinderella dress confirming she is actually the villain. Overall it was a solid episode, but I do hope they keep Andrew on the bench for a few weeks. His relationship with Akko is cute, but I’d like it to remain as a sub-plot and keep the focus on the girls.

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