The Roundup: Spring 2018 Volume 5

In this week’s installment…

There are times when you need to look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “is this worth it?”. That is what Wotakoi and Tada Never Falls In Love have made me ask the past few weeks and I’m afraid my answer at this point is “no”. Fortunately the rest of the Roundup shows are still pretty good, with Hinamatsuri in particular keeping its hot streak alive from last week and Amanchu somehow getting WEIRDER.

 

Real Girl
Episode 7: “About the Two Girls and Me”

Tuesdays 4:00 pm EST on HIDIVE

Jel: ​I like how both Tsutsun’s and Igarashi’s response to jealously has been realizing they don’t have the right to tell each other who they can or can’t talk to and that they both need to trust each other. The way the episode ended last week I was worried Igarashi would react exactly the way Ishino told her she should, which would have been the anime cliché response. I’d love to just end there on a positive note but there were a few bad things that happened. I don’t understand why they went right back into Ayado’s crush on Tsutsun immediately after resolving that situation, ESPECIALLY since it seems like they’re shipping her off with Ito. The fact that they dipped into having Tsutsun save her from random street punks made it even more painful to watch. I also REALLY don’t like this Takanashi redemption arc. Please keep him away from our nice little group of friends.

 

Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair
Episode 6: “Confessions of a Mask”

Wednesdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​This was probably Last Period’s weakest episode yet. There was too much un-ironic storytelling, including the now mandatory idol performance that was played completely straight with no humor whatsoever. We’ve already skewered gacha games, anime production, and capitalism, so why not the idol industry? That’s not only a missed opportunity, it goes against the entire tone of the series up to now. That said, I did enjoy the dumb gags with Campanella switching identities and I’d say the show has built up enough good will at this point for me to forgive a sub par episode. Let’s just hope they get back on track next week.

Last Period – This was an extremely stupid sight gag and I loved it

 

Steins:Gate 0
Episode 6: “Eclipse of Orbital Ordering -The Orbital Eclipse-“

Wednesdays 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This was the first time in the new series I felt like the otaku culture references seeped too far into the actual plot and felt out of place. It’s funny that this is also the episode they decided things are going to get serious. I mean, we saw this coming the moment Okabe decided to work with Moeka, right? I’m still not sure why he thought that was a good idea. I suppose it’s possible this particular incident will have a different outcome and they are intentionally making it look like what happened in the first series to throw us off, but I’m guessing that’s not the case. Now we’ll have to see if and how Okabe gets back into the time travel loop. I kind of hope he doesn’t and that they find a different solution, otherwise we’d just be repeating what happened in the original. For now I’ll hold off from saying this latest development is good or bad until we see more next week.

 

Tada Never Falls In Love
Episode 7: “It’s Better Than Crying”

Thursdays 9:30 am EST on HIDIVE

Jel: ​I’m having the same problem with this show and Wotakoi where they’re not good enough to enjoy but not bad enough to enjoy critiquing. Basically, they’re boring and I feel like I’m wasting my time. For this particular episode, the entire contents could have been condensed into half the episode and it probably would have been pretty good. I’m all for more Nyanko Big but this definitely felt stretched out. More importantly, very little progress was made with Tada and Teresa’s relationship and we are quickly running out of time to make me care. About the only thing we got was the implication that Charles realizes Teresa doesn’t love him, but we already knew that, right? So what I’m saying is, don’t be surprised if there’s not Tada-kun in next week’s Roundup.

Wotakoi – Hirotaka deserves better

 

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Episode 6: “Bleak Christmas”

Thursdays whenever they feel like it on Amazon Prime Video

Jel: ​Oh Wotakoi, what happened? Such a waste of a great premise. After this week’s episode I’m doubling down on my claim that the author has no idea what they want to do with this story and is just randomly writing out whatever scenarios they want to write about (this week was Christmas??? Kind of???) with no thought or planning. Much like last week, this episode was extremely boring with drawn out, mundane dialogue that served no purpose in developing the characters or their relationships. There was nothing particularly BAD per se as I think they mostly kept Kabakura in check, but honestly the whole thing was so dreadfully dull I might have just forgotten if they did. If I can’t remember what happened in your show five minutes after watching an episode then you are wasting my time. I think I’m done with this one.

 

Hinamatsuri
Episode 7: “Anzu is a Greeter Now”

Fridays 9:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​This was a great follow up to last week’s stellar episode. I love that they gave us a little extra down time with Anzu before leaping back into Hina’s story. It’s kind of funny how Anzu originally showed up as the “antagonist” but at this point she’s probably the good guy? I mean, Hina and Nitta aren’t explicitly evil but they are kind of bad people. That makes for some very interesting mixed feelings in the final segment in which you can’t help but find the notion of finding Hina a mother sweet but at the same time they’ve been going about it (and everything) the wrong way. I guess the important thing is that they try their best and they care about each other? I’m not saying all this because I think it’s a bad thing. In fact, all these weird bittersweet emotions are what make Hinamatsuri great. Now if we can only figure out what’s up with the one remaining girl… maybe next week?

Amanchu! – I don’t think I signed up for this?

Amanchu! ~Advance~
Episode 7: “The Story of the Neverending School Festival”

Saturdays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: ​I guess we can give Amanchu credit for trying to ease us into this transition into real fantasy, and I don’t think I have a particular issue with the idea in general. My question is, why? Why are we making this major change this late in the series? Did the author just get bored or something? I’ll admit the show has probably played all its cards with its original format, but did we need a change this drastic? I thought we were going to be good with just introducing new characters like Kokoro and Pikari’s sister and letting the two main girls widen out in their interests beyond each other. This episode has basically dropped a nuclear bomb on all of that and I just don’t know how I feel. I’ll give it another episode or two to see where they go with all this, but for now I’m just confused.

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