The Roundup: Spring 2017 Volume 1

In this week’s installment…

Despite what you may have read in our first looks at the spring season, we do still like anime! We’re kicking off the next Roundup with Sakura Quest, Tsukigakirei, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Re:Creators, and the return of Little Witch Academia. Who knows, maybe we’ll even add a few extra after we catch more second episodes. Stay tuned.

 

Sakura Quest
Episode 2: “The Gathering of the Five Champions”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​As someone who has spent 20 years working for and with small business owners and small town government organizations, Sakura Quest is really hitting home with me. Passion for your work can be a double edge sword. It makes you extremely motivated but I’ve seen so many examples where it can make you take things too personal and just act flat out petty. It’s portrayed with a bit of a wink and a smile in Sakura Quest’s older folks as the show tries to romanticize what they do, but you can tell it’s something the author understands. Of course I’m not saying that passion is a bad thing, and it seems our newly assembled cast are on the path to finding it. As reluctant as they may be now, it was pretty cool to see this group of talented ladies come together and get work done. Also, their low budget commercial was hilarious. Now if we can just get the inevitable out of the way and stop dragging out the issue with Yoshino staying, I’ll have nothing to complain about.

Tsukigakirei – Back in MY day, we needed a full size COMPUTER to flirt over AIM

 

Tsukigakirei
Episode 2: “A Handful of Sand”

Thursdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​There are countless school romance anime out there but few have captured the adorably awkward reality of your first big crush the way this show does. And we’re only at episode 2! The long tense silence, awkward glances, the horror of embarrasing parents, getting so excited about a text message that you start shadow boxing… it’s all great. I’m a little worried though as we meet a few new cast members who could potentially take us off course. Track club guy is clearly into Akane and I’ll bet her friend is into Kotarou, leaving us the potential for some drama that honestly I’d rather not deal with. Can’t we just have an entire show of these two kids getting to know each other and awkwardly flirting? It might not always make the most compelling television, but it would be a lot more refreshing than slogging through more unrequieted love angst.

Marlin: This show is already gearing up to be an adorable treat in the vein of Kimi ni Todoke. The characters are all very cute, and it already has an edge on KnT by having their interactions feel incredibly real and substantial. Both of the kids have proven that they aren’t too socially awkward to try and get closer to each other, and there’s no magic plot ailments, so hopefully it can avoid all the pitfalls of another cute romance that failed spectacularly, One Week Friends. I’m in love with the art style, but one can’t help but notice a lot of bad cgi usage for crowds, making it way less visually appealing than it could be. It’s interesting that they’re already setting up characters that might already have crushes, which means we might see some sparks fly soon. The ED seems to be implying this show will span the entire year, so I doubt the romance will develop incredibly fast, but here’s to hoping they don’t drag their feet.

Rage of Bahamut – I nominate Rocky the Disembodied Hand for best new character

 

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 2: “The Miserables”

Fridays 10:35 am EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Iro: Thanks for being you, Bahamut. Not all that much actually happens this week – we’re mostly establishing Azazel’s motives and playing up how eeeevil the bureaucracy is – but there’s such a charm on screen that it flows smooth as butter. It’s also great to see Rita again, seeing as how she was as much of a fan-favorite as any of the cast was in Season 1. Given her personality, it’s plausible she has nothing better to do than sit around in a demon slum and play doctor; it also lets her play straight man to the now obsessive and desperate Azazel, a far cry from his snooty, above-it-all personality from 10 years ago. We also get the return of the infamous Zombie Rocket Punch! What’s not to look forward to?

 

Re:Creators Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord
Episode 2: “…… that wasn’t funny.”

Saturdays 7:30 am EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Iro: My inner 13-year-old desperately wishes for this show to be better, but it’s just not there. In a grand display of assuming minutiae can stand in for actual pathos, the first whole half of the episode is dedicated to a breathless dialogue on the ultimately pointless mechanism by which the in-context fictional characters have arrived in the “real world”, butchering any momentum the show gained in its first episode. The individual ideas on display (such as luring the loner LN author into public with “cosplay”, or a magical girl finding herself in a world where injuries actually injure) have some merit, but all of the presentation is wrapped up in anime’s usual sins, meaning that on the whole Re:Creators is merely frustrating and not what it could be in a world adjacent to this one.

 lwa

Little Witch Academia TV
Episode 15: “Chariot of Fire”

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

Gee: Ironically, despite many of our wishes that Little Witch Academia would remain episodic, it’s these plot advancing episodes that might actually be what truly make it stand out from the OVAs. It’s a shame Croix had to be introduced and her villainy to be revealed so quickly. I don’t think anyone doubted her malicious intentions for a second, but I’ll be damned if she doesn’t radiate style in everything she does. She is exactly the kind of charismatic and interesting villain Little Witch Academia needs if it’s serious about pursuing an overarching narrative. As for the episode itself, it’s always fun to see “retired” characters in anime roll up their sleeves and cut loose, and Ursula is no exception. Since we didn’t have a roundup post last week, I do want to take a moment to talk about the absolutely gorgeous 2nd ED. It shows off the kind of gorgeous hand drawn effects animation that only a Yoh Yoshinari directed work could pull off. It’s a good reminder of the kind of aesthetic beauty they’re capable of when Trigger isn’t on the Imaishi sex jokes and funny faces train.

Jel: ​As I was getting amped up for the possibility of Chariot fighting Croix, I realized it’s kind of weird to want anyone to have a serious fight with anyone in this series. I was already having a hard time believing Akko would be so fascinated by Croix’s technology, and I don’t understand why Ursula doesn’t seem to do anything after rescuing Akko even though it seems Croix put her in danger. Basically, everything just feels… off, for lack of a better term. That all said, Ursula’s transformation as she stormed Croix’s lab was pretty rad. There was also some great visual storytelling in the scene where she realizes she can’t reveal her identity to Akko yet. Is it right to keep holding out that perfect image of Chariot like a carrot on a stick until Akko finishes her task? I might be reading too much into that, but I think that could be an interesting question to ask as we move forward.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s