The Roundup: Winter 2018 Cute Anime BATTLE ROYALE Round 3

In this week’s installment…

How to Keep a Mummy, School Babysitters, and Takagi-san all do the “sick day” episode in the same week, which feels strangely appropriate as I’ve been fighting off a cold myself. Fortunately they were all pretty solid, which is more than I can say for Sanrio Boys and Mitsuboshi Colors. Will either of those be our next victim? Let’s fight it out.

The Rules: We will watch and review every episode that is still in the contest. We will choose one show to eliminate every week based on the quality of that week’s episode and the series overall. We will also choose a “Nice Moment of the Week” and the series that wins will be immune from elimination next week.

ROUND 3, FIGHT!

 

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
Episode 4: “Western Restaurant / Red or White / Convenience Store

Thursdays 7:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’ve been kind of tolerating Yuu’s stalker antics since in the context of a silly anime comedy she’s pretty harmless, but I felt like they crossed the line a little this week. It’s one thing if you want to hang out with her when she’s clearly not doing anything else, but leaping into her personal life is kind of iffy. Maybe that will be Yuu’s lesson in all this, as it’s clearly the reason Koizumi keeps her at arms length. We’ve seen she’s been willing to indulge the other girls like the final convenience store scene this week, so that would make sense.

Ms. Koizumi – Look, a new sponsor!

   

Laid-Back Camp
Episode 4: “The Outdoor Activities Club and the Solo Camping Girl”

Thursdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This was a really solid episode. Having more girls has helped keep Nadeshiko in check, and splitting up the girls into two camping trips gives us more material to pad out the episode and keep things from getting boring. I also continue to find Rin interesting. She’s solo camping because she wants to, not because she hates people or whatever. She clearly likes being friends with the other girls and in a way is still participating in their trip, she’s just choosing to do her own thing. Overall Laid Back Camp is throwing in some twists on the girls’ school club formula and they’re starting to win me over..

 

How to Keep a Mummy
Episode 3: “It’s Scary When Someone You Care About Gets Sick”

Thursdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This show is weird. I mean, it’s always been if you think about it, but Mii-kun’s dirt nap gave us a little reminder that he is technically a creepy little dead… creature? Is he human? Then we have Kaede who I thought was delightfully wacky until her personality change. Is she just a normal anime weirdo or does she have some kind of curse or something? I have a feeling we’ll never know. I can’t say I loved this episode but it was better than last week if only because some things actually happened. Even so, my patiences is quickly running out.

Sanrio Boys – those dudes look way too old to be in high school

 

Sanrio Boys
Episode 4: “Hello Friends”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This episode was just bad. Yoshino has been the cool, level headed member of the group so it made no sense to see him act like a selfish brat with a borderline creepy obsession with Hello Kitty. The big painful moment from his past did not justify his actions either. I guess it’s nice they talked it all out in the end but even that was underwhelming. Ah well, I was only expecting this show to stay good for so long. It was fun while it lasted.

Artemis: While a lot better than the previous episode, I feel like this one still could’ve been executed better. Or rather, I think this episode missed a golden opportunity to talk about how relying on a lucky charm to win sports competitions isn’t as important as, say, teamwork. It wouldn’t have been particularly difficult to slip this in here somewhere given that teamwork was already the message, and I don’t think it would’ve been a betrayal of Sanrio Boys’ sponsor to just acknowledge that, while carrying around a lucky charm is perfectly acceptable, they aren’t actually responsible for winning soccer matches.

 

Mitsuboshi Colors
Episode 4: “Summer Festival”

Sundays 9:30 am EST on HiDIVE

Jel: This episode confirmed my realization last week that this series is going to be a lot less cute and a lot more mean spirited than I think it should be, and that certainly is disappointing. There were a lot of opportunities to flip the script here, like when Yui’s star necklace went out I thought maybe the other girls would offer theirs as a sweet gesture to show they actually care about her… and yeah, that’s just not happening. Throw in the fact that half the episode was still-frame montages plus they start up a sub plot with their high school friend that goes nowhere and I have to say things are looking bad for Mitsuboshi Colors.

School Babysitters – I know they’re desperate for staff, but how does this guy still have a job?

 

School Babysitters
Episode 4

Sundays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I guess we were about due to be reminded that Ryuichi is basically a slave and his parents are dead, so that was fun! Joking aside, I’m actually glad the show is continuing to tackle that aspect of the story head on as the boys (and the chairwoman by extension) continue to heal. I’m not saying i want things to be serious and heavy all the time of course, and I think the ratio of fun to sad has been well balanced so far. If we can just keep that pedophile guy from last week out of the picture, we should be in good shape.

Marlin: This episode was cute, if mostly fluff. We knew from the OP that Hayato was going to join the club. I’m not quite sure how he could both help babysit and be in baseball, but I guess that’s probably why they had him say that throwaway line that the team is terrible so that he has an excuse to not practice seriously with them. It was also cute to have Kotaro look out for his brother. The characters are still all a little painfully one-dimensional other than Ryuichi and the Chairwoman, but it works for how light this show usually is.

 

Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Episode 4: “Cleaning Duty / Kickover / Cold/ Tailing”

Mondays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Bless you, Nishikata, and your pure innocent heart. Owning up and apologizing for looking during the kickover was the manliest thing I’ve seen an anime comedy protagonist do since… well episode 2 of Dagashi Kashi season 2, but maybe I’ll talk more about that another time. We also got shades of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun with the poor boy seeking advice from a shoujo anime. If there’s one thing we learned from that show it’s don’t take advice from shoujo anime (or manga) but hey, that is good company to be in. This was probably the best episode of Takagi-san yet.

Marlin: I wanna give a shout-out to the trio for contributing to a good scene for once, even if that was because it also involved the main pair. This entire episode was cute and funny, establishing that this show can do a lot more with its premise than I initially gave it credit for. The fake shoujo scenes were hilarious and the flirting was on its A game. I keep thinking this show will run out of ways for them to somehow not be dating, but it has exceeded my expectations every time.

Takagi-san – It’s like Seo and Waka from Nozaki-kun if Seo was also Batman, how terrifying is that?

 

A Place Further Than the Universe
Episode 5: “Dear My Friend”

Tuesdays 8:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: One of the most difficult things growing up is adjusting to how your friendships change over the years. While maybe a bit too melodramatic, I can appreciate the attempt to tackle that topic in this episode. You can certainly sympathize with how Megumi would feel in that situation, I just think it was a bit of a leap to go as far as she did, then have the dramatic tearful confession at the end. I’m kind of nitpicking at this point though. I still think it was a good episode and South Pole Girls continues to be the frontrunner.

Marlin: Another fantastic episode. I was waiting for this show to talk about Mari slowly drifting away from Megumi. There was definitely an interesting narrative to explore there, and the show exploited it to its full potential. The tension was palpable, and drew a great contrast between Mari’s new friendships and how her old one was with Megumi.  I think that everything was genuinely heartfelt and realistic up until the final scene, but since this is a feel-good show they couldn’t end the episode without resolving that tension. I’m a bit surprised the show didn’t explore more how both of the girls are at fault. Sure, the controlling one in a codependency is usually more at fault, but Mari was being selfish in ignoring Megumi when she’d realized as much as she did.

Nice Moment of the Week™

Brought to you by Cup Noodle: Official Instant Noodles of Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Alone but not lonely – Laid Back Camp

I think it’s fun to see how evolving technology, particularly social media, has impacted the high school anime setting. It adds a layer of realism to see kids in 2018 texting and posting selfies and what not. It also gives us moments like Rin’s live cam stunt this week. It was really sweet to see her make the effort to connect with her new friends despite being on a trip where she wanted to be alone. It says a lot about her character and I can’t help but appreciate Laid Back Camp’s more charming moments. Also, shout out to Cup Noodle, our sponsor this week: From Final Fantasy XV to Ms. Koizumi, Cup Noodle is the choice of anime foodies.

This Week’s Victim Is…

Mitsuboshi Colors

Look, I get it. I know kids can be bratty and mean. But I know they can also be sweet and curious and see the world in a innocent way that can only be seen when you don’t have the burdens of adulthood weighing on you. Despite my initial hopes, it seems Mitsuboshi Colors is more about the former than the latter. The writer seems more interested in cashing in on the girls’ brutal honesty for easy jokes than exploring the potentially uplifting premise I thought we were getting in the first episode. I have no desire to keep watching a show like that, and so Mitsuboshi Colors is officially…

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Winter 2018 Cute Anime BATTLE ROYALE Round 3

  1. Sanrio Boys was definitely weak this week, but I did find it odd that multiple shows were tackling the character gets a cold trope in the same week. I guess they at least got that standard episode out of the way so it isn’t going to come in later in the season (or at least I hope they don’t go for a re-run of character gets a cold).
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the shows this week. I dropped Mitsuboshi Colors at episode 1 so am not very sorry to see it go.

    • At least Takagi-san tried something slightly different with it, having Nishikata actually come to school. As for Mitsuboshi Colors, it was all downhill from episode 1 so smart choice there.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

w

Connecting to %s