The Roundup: Fall 2017 Volume 5

In this week’s installment…

We’re already halfway through the season and on top of that, we’re dangerously close to the end of the year. That means Best of 2017 talk is coming soon! I don’t know if any of our Roundup shows will take Best Show of the year, but I know the conspicuously absent Classicaloid will definitely not. Anyone want to offer their preliminary picks?

Other Anime Coverage: Recovery of an MMO Junkie | #HATEWATCH: A Sister’s All You Need

 

Mr. Osomatsu
Episode 7: “Osomatsu and Todomatsu”

Mondays 1:35 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’m down with the idea of Osomatsu does Romance of the Three Kingdoms but it did not really work well in practice. It was basically just a period piece that didn’t take full advantage of the source material. The second half of the episode with Totty and Osomatsu’s mixer worked out better. They’ve been really going in on how Osomatsu has no defining traits, and it was pretty funny to see him blank out when he tried to be anything other than the scumbag that he is. Ah Totty oh Totty, I almost felt bad for you. Almost. This may not have been the best episode (can we be done with Cavematsus now?) but I’d still say it was a net positive overall.

Mr. Osomatsu – The next evolution of Totty Face™

Kino’s Journey – The Beautiful World
Episodes 6: “In the Clouds”

Fridays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Gee: I’m not super familiar with the original LN but Photo and Sou have shown up a fair bit in the promo artwork so I assume this episode was meant to be an origin story of sorts. If nothing else, it’s interesting that this version of Kino’s Journey is placing a much heavier emphasis on the recurring characters of the story. I assume it’s only a matter of time until Master and the original Kino show up in some form or another. In more deft hands, I think there’s probably something to be said about the moral quandary of a person allowing their tormentors to die through purposeful inaction and it would be an interesting story to tackle. Unfortunately, Kino’s Journey, like many Japanese media, pile it on just a little too thick. Yes we get it, the slavers are abominable people. The show didn’t need to bend over backwards to communicate this and honestly, instead of the slavers stopping Photo from warning them, I think a much more interesting take would have been for her to explicitly allow them to die through their own negligence. Instead, we’re left with a situation where Photo does no wrong, which just leaves us with an episode that doesn’t have a ton of teeth. I guess I can’t exactly say it’s bad, but I don’t come away from it with much of an impression either.

lltiny

Love Live! Sunshine!!
Episode 6: “Aquors WAVE”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua: Seriously, is this whole ‘Chika is a normal monster’ thing supposed to be some meme I’ve never heard of? Because I can’t fathom how else this could ever make sense to anyone. With its incomprehensible jargon and increasingly contrived methods of shoving the same kindergarten in our faces, Love Live! might as well be a shounen anime. When the characters aren’t squealing utter nonsense at each other, they’re back to opening cans of worms we’d welded shut and tossed out way back in season one. And who’s better at needlessly tearing open old wounds than Kanan Matsuura? Credit where it’s due, At least she’s more open about her feelings here, leaving the decision up to the person she’s worried about instead of manipulating them and all? Character development? In my Love Live!? I guess it might work after all. Not for Chika, though, as it only makes painfully explicit what the first season left implicit. We’ve already seen Chika deal with the hard truth that sometimes, doing your best is not enough. You know, back when this show ws accidentally good for a hot minute, and then wasted its entire finale stumbling over itself to try and walk it back? As I am sure it will keep doing, because Love Live just cannot exist without solving every single one of its problems with the power of shiny idol magic? Yet time after time again, I find it on the brink of a revelation, only to have my hopes turn to dust. It’s like this show needs to be rerailed every six episodes by a big fat smack on the reset button, lest it starts realizing the concept of nuance if left alone for too long. As if it will, inevitably, one day find itself preaching something that contradicts the very fundamentals it was built upon. What a Nietzchean fate for a show so intellectually base.

March Comes In Like a Lion – My new favorite self insert character

March Comes In Like a Lion
Episode 27: “Chapter 54 Feelings (continued) / Chapter 55 Confession”

Saturdays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: The growing relationship between Rei and Hina is freakin’ adorable, but I think that speaks for itself. I want to mention two other important things that happened in this episode. First, I’m glad they took the time to address the nuances in dealing with bullying and emphasizing the importance of listening to what outcome the victim wants. Clearly a lot of research went into that segment and it seems to be a topic the author really cares about. Second, I think it’s great they gave Akari some acknowledgement for the massive sacrifice she’s had to make for her sisters. My only complaint is they didn’t go far enough. I know Rei meant well, but saying she’s his savior because she raised Hina isn’t giving her enough credit. She literally saved him, picking him up off the street at his lowest moment and nursing him back to health, physically and emotionally. Everyone give this woman a round of applause, and another one for this show being at its best.

schermafdruk3

The Ancient Magus’ Bride
Episode 6: “The Faerie Queene”

Saturdays 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Aqua: Sorry to say, but if you like The Ancient Magus Bride anime, wait ’till you read the manga. After this episode — though perfectly watchable — once again let me down with its bizarre pacing — why oh why where those first ten minutes not part of the previous episode? — and questionable portrayal of Elias’ and Chise’s relationship, I got so overwhelmed by insecurity that I got back and checked if this franchise I love was ever really any good in the first place. But indeed, compared to the manga, this adaptation remains little more than a pale imitation. Worst of all, it might not even be White Fox’s fault. They’re obviously trying to make the most accurate adaptation they can churn out, but whatever techniques Kore Yamazaki used to suck readers into their universe clearly don’t seem to work in a different medium. Perhaps this is why the OVAs, which, being an original story, sprouted from a much closer collaboration between studio and original mangaka, did manage to perfectly encapsulate that magic. Crunchyroll’s inferior script entirely lacks the nuance and poetic beauty of Seven Seas’ translation, to the point where it starts affecting the characters and can even make magic look dull. It pains me to say this show is not living up to my expectations, but at least I know now that I wasn’t wrong for getting my hopes up.

 

Bed Bath & Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond
Episode 6: Get the Rock Out!!

Saturdays 3:10 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Iro: This might be the weakest episode of Season 2 yet, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad; it’s just that I feel like we’re running into the consequences of having some of the stories air out of their original manga order. Some character development tends to get reset over season breaks, but it’s a bit weird to have Leonardo angsting over not having any hope after being at the center of all the business in Season 1. Usually BBBBBBBB is episodic enough that it doesn’t matter, but I figured the cracks would show eventually. All that said, the locked-out plot is decent enough, a fun supernatural twist on a mundane problem. I particularly like that nobody’s especially concerned about the crazy bug man who has infiltrated HQ; Steven just doesn’t want his computers to get busted, and they deal with him in mere seconds. So far, it seems like this show has the best performance of this season’s myriad sequels, and I hope it keeps up the pace.

Anime-gataris – I approve of this ship

 

Anime-Gataris
Episode 6: “Kaikai Love Climax”

Sundays 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode was way better than it had any right to be, taking a half baked romantic sub plot in a show that already has a razor thin premise and finding a way to make us care. I think a lot of it has to do with making the chunibyou character actually likable, a small miracle in itself. Kaikai-senpai may have an edgelord phone case and say a lot of dumb things, but at the end fo the day he’s a pretty normal, self aware dude. I am very surprised and amused every time he acknowledges he understands the difference between fiction and reality. And of course we have the final scene, where he adorably musters the courage to say how he feels. Maybe the outcome was a bit of a cop out, but even then I want to give the show credit for not having the guys freak out at the suggestion that they’re into each other. It was good enough for me to ignore the odd little blips of fan service that seem to keep creeping in every week, at least for now. Maybe I’ll rant about that next time.

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