The Roundup: Spring 2017 Volume 4

In this week’s installment…

We’re nearing the mid point of the season and even the best shows like Sakura Quest and Rage of Bahamut seem to be spinning their wheels a bit. I’m not too concerned but I do wish they’d get on with it already. At least Nina is providing me with an endless supply of faces to use for The Roundup header images.


Sakura Quest
Episode 5: “The Budding Yggdrasil”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​​This episode was very sweet, I loved the message, I love the characters, it’s all very nice. But I’m starting to feel like Sakura Quest is missing something. Watching the girls jump around from one random bad idea to the next has kind of made the past two episodes feel aimless and hard to really connect with what’s happening. Fortunately it seems they’ve discovered a goal to work toward, so that all may change moving forward. The idea of starting a project so ambitious that it may extend past their lifetime is actually a pretty heavy concept to work with, and I think it’s a good core to build on. Could they have arrived there a little sooner? Maybe, but we’ll be able to judge the show better later.

Sakura Quest – Wait, I was shipping her with the OTHER wood carver guy


Episode 5: “Kokoro”

Thursdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: After the frustration of last episode, it’s as if this one is meant to completely put to bed any fears that the pace of the romance will go too slowly. Jel and I have already gushed about the adorable LINE convos these kids have, and they sure take it to another level here. You can see their confidence growing in such little ways, like when Kotaro decides not to delete the text showing his true feelings about being able to see her in school. In turn, Akane continues to trust Kotaro to not be messing around with spunky tan girl, and her being willing to come to him shows she’s interested in his hobbies. They’re both shy quiet dorks, so it’s only fitting they meet up in a bookstore. I only hope that this “revelation” that we noticed from day 2 about tan girl’s crush is the catalyst that forces them to make their relationship public. I can see this going in some unnecessarily dramatic ways, and this show has been pretty good at avoiding shoujo pitfalls so far, so I’m hoping that’s not the case.

Jel: Just going to throw out some wild speculation here: are they going to reverse the couples? I don’t think they will, but I feel like there’s more chemistry between Azumi and Chinatsu. Food for thought.


Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 5: “Those Who Won’t Give Up”

Fridays 10:35 am EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Iro: As much as I love the characters in this show, I wish we’d get a bit more swashbuckling action and adventure, like in Season 1. In fact, I went and did some minor detective work on the main writers: the head writer of Genesis is an old tokusatsu alumnus, having worked on multiple iterations of Ultraman and Kamen Rider, as well as anime like The Big O and Megaman N.T. Warrior. Virgin Soul‘s main writer mostly trades in live action dramas and stage plays, and I think it shows. We’re five episodes in, and most of the conflict has been through discussion and clashes of ideals rather than adventuring. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I can only handle so many more episodes of Nina walking around the same town backdrops before I want me some horse-riding sword fights.



Atom: The Beginning
Episode 4: “Welcome to Nerima U Festival”

Saturdays 12:00 pm EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Jel: ​How many dull episodes of this show is it going to take for me to admit that it’s just not very good? I blame the incredibly stylish OP with its cool robot fighting and friends going on adventures. What do I have to do to watch that show? Instead we get this snooze fest where half the episode is taken up explaining the type of flour you use to make udon. We did have a shady dude sneaking around and making me think we’d actually have a robot battle but NOPE, we got maids instead. There’s a glimmer of hope as they reference some kind of robot fighting equivalent of pro wrestling and that would seem to fit what we see in the OP, but will they ever get there? Even if they do, I don’t know if I can make it that far.


The Eccentric Family 2
Episode 5: “Daimonji Luxury Liner Battle Continued”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: I’m increasingly confused by just how magical this world is. Sure, last season we had the strange afterlife bar where Shimogamo’s dad was, or the airship battle that made a return this episode, but the shogi board that acts as a wormhole to a room that is also connected to a wormhole that is connected to Professor Akadama’s apartment just seemed out of nowhere. Plus, the way they made things seem last episode I thought Gyokuran was being kidnapped, not just being teleported to another wing of the house. I am glad they wrapped up this Shinichi/Gyokuran love plotline quickly enough. It’s cute, but as the end of this episode showed, the conflict between the Nidaime and Benten is far more interesting. There’s still this fascinating veneer of good manners covering the malice they hold toward each other. This episode also gives a lot of context to the ED. Originally seeming kind of random shots, now you see there’s a lot intersection with her dealings with the Niidaime, both past and future. I knew Benten wouldn’t be able to mop the floor with him, but I am surprised she was beaten so handily. I’ll be interested to see how by far the most haughty character in the show deals with a twice wounded pride.


Little Witch Academia TV
Episode 18: “Sky War Stanship”

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

Gee: Every time I fear that LWA loses something special by switching to TV, the boys and girls at Trigger throw another episode like this at me. Between Evangelion, Gunbuster, and Gurren Lagann, this episode references just about every mecha anime Trigger’s staff has ever worked on, and it’s a glorious thing to behold. Special props to Takafumi Hori, Akira Amemiya, and Hiroyuki Imaishi for the excellent work this week. This episode manages that careful balance of Akko between clumsy idiot and well meaning friend, somehow managing to make Constanze and Akko’s relationship one of the most enjoyable the series has ever shown. Constanze was one of those supporting characters I was never quite sure could carry an episode on her own, but LWA proved they have they have chops for it. Their contrast make for a likeable chemistry, and it’s episodes like these that make me thankful the LWA TV anime exists. 

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