The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 2

In this week’s installment…

The GLORIO Blog sells out! We’re dropping Steins;Gate 0 from the Roundup and replacing it with one of the most popular anime currently airing… BUT WHICH SHOW IS IT???

Steins:Gate 0
Episodes 15: “Recognition of the Asymptotic Line -Recognize Asymptote-“

Wednesdays 1:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: It’s really disappointing to get to this point in the show and still feel like the plot hasn’t gone anywhere significant. By this time in the original Steins;Gate Mayuri had already been killed the first time, Okabe had been driven to despair, and the reveal of having to travel back to the original timeline was clear. Gone were the overabundant Akiba jokes and nerd references, it was time to get serious. And yet, in this show we have an entire episode devoted to Daru getting together with Suzuha’s mom, with a subplot of Okabe applying to study overseas? It’s absolutely insulting to any fan of the original series to think this is better. Okabe is the only character to have been given any kind of depth the entire prequel, while everyone is still on their totoroos, and now we literally get an episode where we’re meant to take characters saying moe moe kyun seriously? I thought there was a possibility that this show could bounce back, but it’s just not happening. Consign it to the fires, I’m done.

Banana Fish
Episode 4: “This Side of Paradise”

Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video

Jel: This was probably the first episode where I felt really engaged with the characters and plot. It might have been because the extreme violence and other vices weren’t given enough attention to be distracting, or maybe it’s just a lot more interesting now that Ash’s sole reason for existence has been taken away. Either way I’m finding myself actually interested in what is going to happen next. Of course, whether or not it’s back to business as usual next week remains to be seen. I also have to bring up again the use of gay slurs in the localization is kind of jarring and unnecessary. Even if they are being used by the “bad guys” (or maybe “worse guys” would be more accurate), I don’t think it works in 2018. Hopefully they will stop doing that, although I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Chio’s School Road – That’s it, that’s the show

Chio’s School Road
Episode 4: “Smoke on the Sailor / Taking the Cherry Blossom in Your Hand / Manana’s School Road”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I mentioned last week I thought it was cool they kept the Bloody Butterfly thing going and there is a surprising amount of continuity to Chio’s seemingly random scenes that I did not expect from this type of show. That said, dragging out poor Andou for a third week of humiliation in a row seemed like it was maybe one episode too far. They should let that rest now for a few weeks and then we’ll appreciate it when it’s back. The cigarette segment faired much better, although again we keep running into the same problem every week where the director doesn’t quite know how to pace these things out and the jokes go on longer than they need to. And so consider this another episode that flirts with greatness but falls just slightly short of getting there.

Revue Starlight
Episode 3: “Top Star”

Saturdays 9:00 am EST on HIDIVE

Jel: On top of the fact that the first three episodes are essentially carbon copies of each other, another thing that bugs me about Revue Starlight is the fact that these audition battles don’t seem to have any consequences. Sure, they have a leaderboard or whatever, but the stakes don’t seem high enough. It makes the school scenes seem even more boring and meaningless. As a better example, I was thinking of the school bits in Madoka Magica and how even though they seemed light and breezy there was a sinister undercurrent beneath the surface that made the whole thing feel kind of creepy. So far that is not the case here, although Hikari seems so determined to keep Karen out of the competition it makes me wonder if she knows something we don’t. She probably doesn’t, and this show will continue to be boring despite dazzling us for the last 8 minutes of every episode.

Revue Starlight – Me watching most of this episode

My Hero Academia
Episode 54: “Shiketsu High Lurking”

Saturdays 5:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: My Hero Academia has been one of the most consistent shows to ever be made, so coming off my utter disappointment in Steins;Gate0, I thought I’d start talking about something I actually enjoy watching. Iro had indicated to me that they were going to have to stretch somewhat to reach a satisfying conclusion by the end of this season, and it’s hard to not see it in this licensing exam arc. Despite a bit of a slower pace, I’m still really enjoying the amount of action on screen, as a lot of new heroes need to get introduced very quickly. I’m still incredulous at all of these people with super powers moving so quick when they don’t involve some kind of super strength, is it just implied that having a quirk gives you a baseline? Otherwise no one should be able to hold a candle to Deku in physical speed even at 5% strength. This definitely goes for chameleon girl, though I suppose her powers could be more than we understand. It’ll be interesting to see how they make Todoroki’s fight a challenge, as his powers have always seemed absolutely indomitable.

Planet With
Episode 4: “Avenger 2”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’m probably the most forgiving of mediocre animation and general production values out of anyone on the GLORIO crew, and yet as I was watching this episode there was a nagging voice in my head saying “this could be so much better, it DESERVES to be better.” Things are going down shockingly fast in Planet With and this great episode really galvanized our attachment to the characters and the conflict at hand. The battle itself is full of great moments and while the CG remains bad, the fight choreography and general mood are spot on. This is where my opening statement comes in: this was a great episode that could have been AMAZING. I start to salivate thinking about what this show would look like if had been handled by Gainax circa 2002. It’s got that weird and emotional vibe that would be perfect in the hands of Kazuya Tsurumaki #freetsurumaki. Sadly, those days are gone, and all we can do is try our best to enjoy what we have here, which is still very good.

Iro: Someone’s powers going out of control, demanding both sides to work together, and revealing a major power-up seems like something that should be happening at Episode 7 or 8 instead of 4; but it all works. After Ep2 and Ep3 I was worried that the rest of the cast wouldn’t get as much development as Torai’s fairly lengthy flashback in Episode 1, but I really should have known better, as Haru’s berserk form hammers home the danger of the dragon’s power and has us dig deeper into the girls’ character motivations. The battle might wrap up with some cheesy “power of friendship” type faff, that’s exactly the type of straightforward emotional beat that I come to Mizukami works for, yknow?

Hanebado – Shout out to Izumi for being a good senpai

Episode 5: “You’re Not Alone”

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Hanebado has not had the most subtle of storytelling and this episode may have been the most ham fisted example yet. That said, I still kind of loved it? The emotional beats are big and broad but they still hit home well, with Ayano and Connie both struggling to learn to rely on others in very different ways. I do feel like painting Connie as another victim of Ayano’s terrible mother is a bit premature. I would have liked to see her in the villain role a bit longer, and as bad as Ayano’s mother seems to be it doesn’t excuse her actions. To be fair, we still end the episode wanting Ayano to crush her the next time they meet, so maybe the end result is still the same. I just hope they don’t go too far in swinging Ayano’s character another direction as she now tries to “not” care about her mother, but that will be a concern for next week.

2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 2

  1. Is anybody watching the not-legally-streaming-anywhere-right-now “High Score Girl”? For my money, despite being entirely in CG, it’s the smartest and most engaging show of the season, and one that gives off distinct vibes of “Kimagure Orange Road,” only with younger kids.

    Like KOR, it’s the kind of show that probably would have felt nostalgic even if it had come out during the same time period it portrays; and like KOR, it has an absolutely incredible sense for the way kids actually think, and act, and talk.

    While I guess it’s understandable from a pure marketing perspective, it’s a sin that Netflix doesn’t seem to give a hoot that the people who are the biggest fans of these shows are being denied the opportunity to watch them in real-time.

    • I was going to watch it but I kind of forgot since it isn’t on any of the legal sites. I might check it out when I get a *****The GLORIO Blog™ does not endorse downloading unlicensed, copyrighted material*****

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