The Roundup: Spring 2017 Volume 9

In this week’s installment…

Sakura Quest and Tsukigakirei are still solid, but Bahamut doesn’t seem to know when to flashback and Atom somehow managed to ruin an episode featuring robots named DEADLY TAURUS and MOHICAN BASSO. Come on anime, step up your game, the season is almost over!

 

Sakura Quest
Episode 10: “The Dragon’s Soft Spot”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​​So is Riri supposed to have some kind of mental health disorder? I’m grossly unqualified to have this discussion, but I want to put that suggestion out there. It seems like her behavior goes beyond just shyness. If that were the case normally we’d get some cause for it that would be addressed but by flashing back to her childhood it doesn’t seem like there’s any particular reason. It’s also interesting both her grandmother and Shiori who know her best are careful not to push her into social situations she’s not comfortable with. I think it would be cool since Riri is a valuable member of the team and a positive portrayal of someone with mental health issues is always a good thing. Even if that were the case though I highly doubt they would explicitly say it. This was a good episode overall but that was all I could really think of watching it, we’ll have to see how things develop in part 2 of this mini arc.

 

Tsukigakirei
Episode 9: “The Wind Rises”

Thursdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Artemis: Another very decent episode from Tsuki ga Kirei this week, which really worked for me on an emotional level exactly because it was so grounded in realism. Leaving junior high/middle school and entering high school isn’t just intimidating, it also means being separated from old friends, and it definitely means having to leave a big part of life behind. In Japan, that stress is added to by high school entrance examsridiculously early career choices, and often parental pressure – the latter two of which were painfully highlighted in this episode. Also in focus was the fact that company employees are regularly transferred across branches, meaning that whole families can be uprooted and have little to no say in the matter; a completely normal and accepted part of life, to be sure, but one which can easily cause a strain on relationships of any kind. The big question presented in this case is: will Akane and Azumi have to be parted and if so, will their romance survive the distance?

Rage of Bahamut – This was the opposite of the fun and crazy jail break we wanted

 

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 10: “The Way She Was”

Fridays 10:35 am EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Iro: Conceptually, I’m not opposed to a Jeanne flashback episode, but this was absolutely the wrong point in the show to insert it. Don’t go teasing us with a jailbreak at the end of last week and then pull out the rug with 20 minutes of tragic backstory. Come on. Especially after last week was chiefly a FAVAROOOO flashback episode. I’m not even convinced we learned anything really new this week. Couldn’t they have cut one of the superfluous wandering-around-the-city episodes earlier and then stuck this in right after we learned that Jeanne was Mugaro’s mother? Step it up, Bahamut.

Artemis: How are we still dragging the chain on this?? Look, I’m not opposed to flashback episodes, even if I do question the wisdom of having two of them in a row, but this is just getting ridiculous. I am seriously questioning dropping Virgin Soul at this point – not because I don’t think it has potential, but because my patience has been stretched so thin that I don’t know if I even care all that much anymore. This is without getting into the fact that episode 10 was not a particularly good episode in its own right (i.e. I was quite literally falling asleep), and that both Nina and Jeanne are apparently total morons. “Hey, let’s talk to one another loudly (again) right in front of the prison guards about how we plan to escape!” “Ooh, good idea! Man, those guards sure won’t know what hit them.” That may as well have been the dialogue. I don’t know, maybe Nina thinks she’s so strong that she needs to give the guards a handicap or something just to be fair, but the whole thing still strikes me as pretty dumb. I’m giving Virgin Soul one more episode to prove it has something better up its sleeve, but if it doesn’t impress me in a big way, I’m out.

Atom: The Beginning – This was the opposite of the fun and crazy robot wrestling I wanted

 

Atom: The Beginning
Episode 8: “Robot Wrestling”

Saturdays 12:00 pm EST on Amazon Anime Strike

Jel: ​In theory robot fighting is all I wanted from this show and yet now that we got it they managed to ruin that too. I was instantly disappointed at the switch to CG but more importantly the fights themselves were just boring. Much like the in show audience I wanted to see some piston punching, or at least some more creative solutions than the ones Six arrived at. It made me admit what I’ve probably known from the start: Atom: The Beginning was never going to be about robot on robot violence, it’s just retreading the same old “can robots have a soul?” question that science fiction has been asking since, well, before the original Mighty Atom/Astro Boy that this is based on. That would probably be fine but the show is so dry and unoriginal that I’m getting nothing out of it. Honestly I just want to drop it, but we’re so far along now I’ll just tough out the rest.

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