The Roundup: Spring 2018 Volume 4

In this week’s installment…

We’re already half way through the season and there’s a lot to look forward to as our Roundup shows pass the midpoint… well, unless you’re talking about Tada Never Falls in Love and Wotakoi, they might not survive much longer. ANYWAY, Hinamatsuri dropped one of the best episodes of the year this week and Amanchu! is taking a shocking turn that at the very least has us intrigued, so there’s certainly plenty to talk about.

 

Real Girl
Episode 6: “About the Way I Apologize”

Tuesdays 4:00 pm EST on HIDIVE

Jel: ​I really liked how they handled the tension with Ito and quickly diffused it, with Tsutsun learning his lesson rather quickly. The fact that he tries to do the right thing despite not always knowing how continues to be a strong point of the show. Less interesting is all the drama manufactured from the rival characters we’ve been dealing with for the past two weeks. I’m not saying Tsutsun shouldn’t be more considerate about Igarashi’s feelings about hanging out with another girl that’s clearly into him BUT it is kind of weird she doesn’t trust him like literally one scene after saying he should trust her. Final note, the show is starting to look a little rough around the edges and after the debacle Hoods Entertainment went through last season I’m a bit concerned. Real Girl might not be the best show going, but I do want to at least see it through to the end.

 

Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair
Episode 5: “The Swamp’s Name”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​While not as good as last week’s direct attack on capitalism, this episode was still pretty good. Taking the evils of gacha addiction to their logical conclusion seemed like an appropriate next step for the show. Framing it as a Japanese style talk show/documentary was an even better move. To cap it off, the sad send off for all the garbage 1 star characters was brilliant. I do think they have drawn out (no pun intended) Haru’s bad luck a little too far but even with that they did the correct thing and beat it to death until it was funny again. I’m hoping they’ll give the gacha jokes a break next week, and I feel like we’ve seen enough variety from Last Period to feel comfortable that they will do just that.

Last Period – The second saddest scene of the week

 

Steins:Gate 0
Episode 5: “Solitude of the Astigmatism -Entangled Sheep-“

Wednesdays 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Ok, let’s just say it: the new girl has to be Okabe and Kurisu’s daughter, right? Who else could it possibly be? The only reason I’m even second guessing myself is because it seems so obvious. At the very least she must be related to Kurisu in some way, and if she is her daughter than that would be a big clue to Okabe that there is a scenario out there where both Kurisu and Mayuri survive. Bringing back Moeka was a nice way to add some instant tension and I’m glad the show is already ramping up on the suspense after a few episodes of just hanging out and getting comfortable with this world again. I’m concerned at how obvious this latest development seems to be, but so long as they take us somewhere interesting I’ll be fine with it.

Marlin: I’m with Jel on the identity of this girl. It’s pretty much inevitable that the constant focus on Okabe and Kurisu’s relationship would come to a head, and this would be the most direct way of doing so. My biggest problem is the use of amnesia, which is really just the laziest plot device in the book. At least things are starting to shake up, and we’re getting close to the point in the show where the dramatic parts are going to have to overtake the goofier slice of life sort of scenes. I’m still confused as to why they’re pushing this angle that Maho is into Okabe. She’s had some conversations with him, but what other than their shared friendship with Kurisu makes her into him? As Daru points out, it just seems like a way to have a weird subplot to get her into the lab.

 

Tada Never Falls In Love
Episode 6: “I’m Not a Rain-bringer”

Thursdays 9:30 am EST on HIDIVE

Jel: ​I continue to be disappointed with how unoriginal this show is. OF COURSE Teresa is actually the princess of fake Luxembourg and of course she already has a fiancé that shows up and makes Tada a little jealous. By the time Teresa and Tada were having a conversation about looking at the same stars my eyes probably couldn’t have rolled back in my head any further. At this point the show is delivering almost nothing of value, and I must say I’m really close to dropping it and making better use of my time elsewhere.

Tada Never Falls in Love – Alec was our last hope and they ruined her too

 

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Episode 5: “Introducing Naoya and Gamers Meetup (Part II)”

Thursdays whenever they feel like it on Amazon Prime Video

Jel: ​The cold opening this week was great, with Narumi and Hirotaka having an honest, intimate conversation. Unfortunately, there was another 20+ minutes of the episode after that and it was all bad. The bulk of the episode was just boring, stretching out a very small amount of mundane content as the group all just hangs and plays video games. Then we have Kabakura’s outdated masculinity rearing its head again as he feels compelled to butt in on Narumi’s relationships despite having zero right to. Finally, Hirotaka’s brother adds nothing but a dumb misunderstanding joke to the episode, not to mention bringing up the idea that it’s not OK to enjoy living alone. If I didn’t feel committed to writing about this show every week I’d probably drop it at this point, and that’s saying a lot because I really, really want to like it. But they seem to fail miserably at doing anything outside of Narmumi and Hirotaka’s relationship and surprisingly that accounts for the majority of the show.

Marlin: I swear it can’t just be how badly this episode was written, I think it also just was directed like garbage. Each sentence seemed to take twice as much time as usual to get out of character’s mouths. Plus, we had a bunch of absolutely unnecessary conversations, like Hirotaka giving Kabakura the Gamecube controller. Additionally, is it really that hard to tell age that Haruka didn’t notice Hirotaka’s brother was seven years younger than Narumi? It seems like the kind of detail that she would be able to spot. Once again, the secondary pair are terrible, with Kabakura being super nosy and Haruka playing the bit part of some bad shoujo manga reject when defining the relationships to the little brother. It’s like the author found a bunch of tropes and challenged himself to make a story that uses all of them as terribly as possible.

 

Hinamatsuri
Episode 6: “Nitta-san Has a Dandy Dad”

Fridays 9:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​If Hinamatsuri keeps up its level of quality to the end, we will probably be looking back at this episode as the moment the show went from good to truly great. The entire episode seems to deliver the message that this weird scenario that Hina and Anzu find themselves in is extremely fragile and fleeting. At some point there’s just going to be too many questions and not enough answers. It adds a heavy undercurrent to the mostly silly first half of the episode with Hina meeting Nitta’s family, but it’s also used to add weight behind the huge emotional gut punch of the second half. Clearly the writer is not afraid to blow things up, drastically changing Anzu’s circumstances and delivering one of the most bittersweet moments we’ve seen in a long time. It’s hard for me to do it justice with just one paragraph and honestly it’s best to just watch it for yourself. So if you’ve been on the fence about Hinamatsuri, let me assure you now is the time to get in.

Marlin: Jel’s said about all there is to say. Anzu is a Good Girl™ and if you aren’t watching this show you are doing yourself a disservice.

Amanchu! – Forget the fantasy elements, this is where I want the show to go now

Amanchu! ~Advance~
Episode 6: “The Story of a Halloween Night’s Dream”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​I’m not just imagining or overthinking things anymore, Amanchu! is DEFINITELY getting weird. Fantasy elements have dominated the past three episodes and with the release of a shocking teaser trailer for an upcoming arc it seems like some drastic changes are on the way. I know they keep trying to wave off everything as a “dream” but there’s too many hints to ignore. The most obvious is the fact that Mato-chan-sensei is clearly hiding something and keeps talking about magic. I have serious doubts about whether this is a good move for the series, but at this point I will be disappointed if it doesn’t go the fantasy route simply because they’ve invested so much in it now. On a more positive note I’m officially declaring my ship has sailed with Teko and Pikari. I mean, what’s more romantic than sharing a dream about winning an elaborate contest to kiss each other?

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2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Spring 2018 Volume 4

  1. I suspect it’s no coincidence that Amanchu takes place in “Yumegaoka” (“Dream” + very common place name suffix). Teko’s got more powerful in her lucid dreaming since she got there. My pet theory is that Teko’s dreaming the entire thing, her subconscious creating Pikari as a way to get her used to acting outside her comfort zone—this would match up with the lucid dreams allowing Teko to stray even further from her usual “waking” comfort zone. Not sure how to square that with Mato-chan-sensei’s mystery this episode though.

    • I really hope it’s not ALL a dream, I think that would severely undermine the positive messages and life lessons the show has delivered so far. My gut says there’s no way they’ll go that far but I guess we’ll see.

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