The Roundup: Winter 2017 Volume 10

In this week’s installment…

In our second to last Roundup for Winter, we say goodbye to March Comes In Like a Lion with an extremely disappointing final episode, but at least we know it will return later this year. Fortunately the rest of the shows land pretty solid setups for their final episodes of the season, so it looks like we’ll be ending on a high note.

 dragonmaid

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Episode 11: “Year End, New Year! (No Comiket Bit This Time)”

Wednesdays 11:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Too much of this episode was Dragon Maid going through the motions – Tohru trying to get Kobayashi to eat her tail, Kanna’s girlfriend freaking out, Lucoa smashing her boobs into Shouta, etc. – so basically half the episode wrote itself. Still, I appreciated the level of overall restraint shown in the new year’s festivities. Sure there was some time set aside to party, but focusing on our weird little dragon family huddled in the kotatsu and not wanting to leave was a smart choice. Those quiet moments are lovely, accented with all the little details that KyoAni excels at. Kobayashi and Tohru have reached a point in the their relationship where they can communicate their feelings with just glances and body language, and it’s actually pretty great. Now with the cast settled into a good place and no real goal to the series, I’m just wondering how they are going to wrap things up. I guess we have the ominous threat of Tohru’s family looming over our heads, so maybe they’ll go that route.

Seiren – “I want to be a man like you, too.”

 

Seiren
Episode 11: “Awakening”

Saturdays 1:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: So if Tsuneki was into cooking and Tohru’s was all about video games, can we say Kyouko’s thing is… underwear? There are certainly a lot of pantsu jokes this week but not in a traditional anime sense. Only Seiren can spin humor and entire plot points out of undergarment related misunderstandings. The fact that Kamita reaches his big epiphany because he realizes Kyouko knitted a slot in the front of the wool boxers she made for him (?????) is perhaps the most Seiren outcome we could have hoped for. Throw in the other usual weirdness like a heartbroken Ikuo wandering the park at night as Inago Mask or the subtle recurring jokes about Tsuneki and deer and this episode was a winner. It feels like this arc has finally become self aware and embraced the series bizarre tendencies, and while I’m still deciding if it’s “good” it is at least very entertaining.

classicaloid

ClassicaLoid
Episode 23: “The World of Eight Sounds: Part 1”

Saturdays 7:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: In principal I like where we are headed. I’ve been wanting this big final showdown with Bach-sama and Mitsuru since the beginning of the show and that seems to be what we are getting. In practice, this was a predictable set up episode with not a lot going for it by itself. Basically we’re reminded of Bach-sama’s master plan and Mitsuru plays her hand with the Mitsuruloids, which we all knew was bound to come back eventually. I’m not saying it was a bad as it was very well put together with the usual great directing and sight gags (love that the cure for turning into Bach-sama is getting slapped repeatedly), but my memory of this episode will be lumped together with whatever happens next. I’m hoping there will be some actual surprises in the final battle, and given how great Classicaloid’s second half has been I’m feeling confident they will deliver.

Classicaloid – Penguins vs. Bach-Zombies: Classical Warfare

 demi-chan

Interviews With Monster Girls
Episode 11: “Demi-chans Want to Support”

Saturdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This is the most drama we’ve had since Yuki’s introduction and unfortunately that is not this show’s strong point. The way everything conveniently lined up with Takahashi’s inner thoughts was way too on the nose and screamed bad writing. It seemed like every time he thought “I wonder if I’m being too X” someone would jump in to say “No, you’re not being too X!”. That said, the outcome of the episode was really sweet with Hikari’s chat on the beach and seeing the other student take an interest in the demi-chans being particular highlights. I guess I’ll just let the ends justify the means and say this was an decent episode.

march

March Comes In Like a Lion
Episode 22: “Chapter 45 New School Term / Fighter” (FINAL)

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’d be very upset with this episode if it wasn’t immediately followed by an announcement of a second season later this year. Even with that, it was still disappointing. I’ve consistently said that the actual shogi parts are March’s weakest point and the episode seemed to be telling us they are the most important aspect of the show. Sure, Rei is stuck on this metaphorical train with all these other players, but is that really what the show is about? How do they even dare talk about the journey he’s been on without even mentioning the sisters, let alone giving them one last appearance. I guess the first half of the episode with Rei’s committing to finishing school was fine, but that last segment really let me down. I’m still looking forward to the next season but I’m sad I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth after a show this good.

 lwa

Little Witch Academia TV
Episode 11: “Blue Moon”

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

Jel: I guess I’ve been having too much fun with LWA to stop and ask any of the big questions like “what is Shiny Rod?” and “why did Ursula stop being Chariot?” so this episode kind of blindsided me. Those questions have not been entirely answered, but we’re at least beginning to address them as the show builds to a mid-season climax. While that’s all well and good, the most important part of the episode is Akko’s huge step toward realizing she’s special in her own way and that her obsession with being just like Chariot might not be exactly what she wants. It’s a satisfying emotional gut punch much like the one in the brilliant episode 8, something that Trigger is really great at and doesn’t get enough credit for at times. Ironically the visuals (their usual strong point) are kind of rough this week save for Akko’s big moment, but again they compensate well with style. Covering the bulk of the episode in the eerie light of the blue moon really set the tone well. With a lot of good shows ending it’s good to know LWA will be continuing strong into the spring season.

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