In this week’s installment…
After a tough fight to crawl into the top 3 last week, it’s probably no surprise to see School Babysitters struggle this week. More shocking is watching A Place Further Than the Universe deliver two average, maybe even *GASP* below average episodes in a row. With Takagi-san peaking at the right time, we could be in for a very interesting final showdown.
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 8, FIGHT!
Jel: I don’t think I’ve ever said this in one succinct sentence so let me say this: everything in this show not directly related to Ryuuchi, Kotaro, and the chairwoman is kind of a waste of time. Their parts this week are all good, from Ryuuchi showing some vulnerability, to Kotaro trying to rescue his big brother, to the chairwoman once again showing she’s great with kids. The rest of it though? Getting Inomata flustered over swimsuit shopping is a huge anime cliché and the Kamitani story in the second half is the exact same idea we get every time an episode turns attention on them. About the only interesting thing was me wondering if Ms. Kamitani is single and that’s why he has to watch Taka so much and if so can I get her phone numberrrrrr I mean that would make their situation more compelling, right?
Euri: Did you see that episode preview? Anime of the season. In all seriousness I’m sure this is the end for Babysitters after another subpar episode overall, but please remember the chairwoman when making your end-of-the-year anime lists, awards and potential future spin-offs.
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Jel: I kind of forgot what happened in the rest of episode because the adorable “no, YOU hang up” scene nearly killed me. Seeing that kind of Grade A Top Tier teenage flirting was like being sent back in a time machine twenty years ago. Sure it’s totally a dumb puppy love thing we can look back and laugh at as adults, but those are fond memories. Introducing modern cell phones does debunk my theory that the show takes place in the early 2000s – Nishikata still has a PS2 in his room and we haven’t seen any cell phones up to now. That’s all just details though, and so long as Takagi-san keeps creeping the main relationship forward I can overlook that and maybe even the three girls segments. Maybe.
Marlin: I really missed out on these kinds of experiences in middle school, huh. Granted, cell phones were not a prevalent thing by that point, but the idea of having someone to talk to well into the night is played perfectly here. It’s pretty great that Takagi is basically talking like they’re already in a relationship. She realizes at this point where they’re at and is just waiting for Nishikata to catch up. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it seems like whenever the Takagi-san segments are running on all cylinders, the three girls segments seem that much worse. This time I literally shouted to jel twice before it was over in disbelief that the segment was still dragging on. Two minutes of nice boat would be preferable to having to suffer this. I’m almost starting to wonder if they are meant to depict very realistically boring girls, because that is the only way I can explain the disparity at this point.
A Place Further Than the Universe
Jel: Something felt off with this episode. It all stemmed from Shiraishi’s robotic response to the concept of friendship. I know she hasn’t had many friends before, but I thought we established she at least understands how they work. As a result, we get a lot of uncharacteristically unnatural dialogue as the other girls try to explain friendship in terms that sound like they’re talking to an alien or something. The worst of it is one scene where Kimari just breaks into tears and then the scene ends with no transition. What was up with that? I guess she was supposed to be mad, but instead it just felt weird and confusing watching it. The overall message about friendship being a feeling and not words was still nice, but it was not delivered with the level of quality we’ve come to expect at this point.
Euri: This show is at its weakest when it’s going all-in on the ‘message of the episode’, and this is perhaps the worst offender so far. Jel has already covered Yuzuki’s ‘what is a friend’ thing (and yeah, I’m almost 100% positive this was covered when we were learning about the failed friendship she had with two girls at her school) but Mari was also bizarre here, too. I assumed she started crying because, knowing Yuzuki had trouble making friends, it was kinda sad to see her questioning their relationship this far into the expedition. Being upset about it isn’t unreasonable, but it seems uncharacteristic of her, especially after the bullshit her best friend pulled before the trip. The episode was still largely fine, but the message fell completely flat for me.
Nice Moment of the Week™
Brought to you by POWERFUL CHICKEN™: Official bulk poultry of A Place Further Than the Universe
No, YOU Hang Up – Takagi-san
I already touched on this in talking about the episode, but I think nostalgia is a huge part of the appeal of Takagi-san. I’m pretty sure sitting on the phone for hours and not wanting to hang up is something everyone goes through when they first start dating, or at least that feeling of being totally absorbed in your silly crush and wanting to be with that person every second of every day. The main thing though is seeing Nishikata inch closer to giving in and just admitting he likes Takagi, and that just melts my cold, dead heart.
This Week’s Victim Is…
I have to wonder if School Babysitters had lived up to its full potential, would it have had a shot at winning this thing? It’s got more depth than Takagi-san and you could argue it handles the grief and healing process as good as, if not better, than A Place Further Than the Universe. It also has kids with bunnies… sometimes. That “sometimes” is the catch of course, and the good moments felt few and further between as the show marched on. Each episode was getting padded out with unlikable characters and anime clichés that left us sifting through the trash for the good stuff. For failing to deliver on its promise, School Babysitters is officially…