The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 5

In this week’s installment…

I guess it’s Problematic Episode Week here at the Roundup as I am forced to mete out social justice all over the place. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little but I’m just saying I’d rather be talking about how Asobi Asobase is slowing becoming my favorite show of the season and less about how Chio’s School Road can’t get Kabaddi girl off the screen.

Banana Fish
Episode 7: “The Rich Boy”

Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video

Jel: I was actually kind of enjoying this episode as they (mostly) showed some restraint with Banana Fish’s more extreme elements and let the plot and characters develop without distraction. Getting quality time with Ash and Eiji’s relationship was good and our new character seems to be conflicted about who’s side he wants to be on. I am actually looking forward to seeing what happens next. My enthusiasm died a bit though during the final scene. We’ve already established this show only views women and children as objects to be avenged by the men (Skip, Ash’s step mom, you could even count the threats to Shorter’s sister) and so I’m pretty much anticipating Max’s family is about to be, kidnapped, raped, and/or murdered. They couldn’t chill for just one episode, could they? I hope I’m wrong and this was just a cliffhanger, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Banana Fish – I think this scene was the anime’s interpretation of this gem.

Chio’s School Road
Episode 7: “Convenience Store Chio-chan / Chio-chan and the Duel / Remnants of That Day”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Kabaddi girl continues to be the worst and yet they keep carting her out every single episode. I was already skeptical about the butt poking segment and bringing her in to remind everyone the manga artist used to draw porn really torpedoed the episode. I guess I’m not really mad about the sudden “sexy” art style shift and moreso the fact that we are supposed to tolerate her behavior. That and the whole predatory lesbian cliché, but there are people better qualified than me to get into that. At least the final bit with the old lady was funny. I’d like to see more short segments like that, I think it often fits the show’s sense of humor better.

Revue Starlight
Episode 6: “Stage Left For Two”

Saturdays 9:00 am EST on HIDIVE

Jel: Why am I still watching this again? This week we got to spend more time with two side characters we don’t care about and one of them is absolutely insufferable. We establish their co-dependent relationship is very unhealthy and yet by the end when the one girl is ready to leave as she probably should, we’re supposed to be happy that she chooses to stay? Kaoruko’s arrogance is not a cute character trait that makes her different and more interesting, it’s extremely annoying at best and adds nothing of value to this show. No big twist at the end of all this is going to be worth this path we are on, and so while I’m still curious to see if anything happens I don’t think I want to keep watching this.

Revue Starlight – This is not a healthy relationship

My Hero Academia
Episode 57: “Rescue Exercises”

Saturdays 5:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: Flipping the script is an interesting way of pushing the heroes out of their comfort zone. Being preoccupied almost solely with fighting in their many adventures, and with more capable professionals always available to clean up their messes afterwards, Class 1-A hasn’t had to save much of anyone. While the idea of an entire company dedicated to disaster acting is incredibly strange, I suppose I’ll allow them the liberty of this as a one-off gag to reflect how bizarrely immense the hero business has become in their society. I’m not quite sure how fighting the villains while saving people is supposed to go. Isn’t the most dangerous thing in rescue operations trying to save people while a dangerous situation is still in progress? You’d never save someone from a fallen building in the middle of a hurricane. Perhaps this is part of the test. We’ll have to see if Gang Orca (which I swear should be a rap name) brings some fun new powers to the table, or if he’s more along the lines of “has equivalent strength to an Orca” or something.

Asobi Asobase – workshop of fun –
Episode 7: “Phantom Thieves: Pass Club | Woman of Terror | Weirdo Go | Boobie Tragedy”

Sundays 9:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I love a good running gag and this was a really good episode, particularly the first part in which the gang is faced with the prospect of being held accountable for their many, many crimes. I realized at the end of this though that just about every joke was recycled from a previous episode and that does concern me a little bit. We need a steady flow of surprises like Maeda or the Occult Girl to keep this show interesting. I’m also worried about where they going with Aozora, see: my previous concerns I mentioned in Chio-chan about predatory queer characters. We have not established that is the case yet but he (they?) seem to be up to something. I swear if it’s just a boy in a uniform sneaking into the girls’ school for revenge or whatever… who knows, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Asobi Asobase – Here to steal your heart

Planet With
Episode 7: “Sirius”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I am really liking the new direction we are heading, but now that we’re here I’m wondering if we should have gotten here sooner? While the show has previously felt rushed in the context of the Paladin storyline, now I’m wondering how much of that even needed to be on camera? It doesn’t seem to impact the over-arching plot all that much so unless the previous Paladin members are going to come back in some capacity, I don’t know why we… actually, that’s going to happen, isn’t it? They’re going to team up with the Love faction and get new robots and fight their former colleagues and they will all have some kind of beautiful epiphany and ahhhh alright well you heard it here first. Now if they can only pull of the hardest plot twist of all and make me like Soya, we’ll be good.

Hanebado
Episode 8: “The Badminton I Want to Play”

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I’m trying to figure out what thematic purpose Nagisa’s injury is truly serving here. We already know she’s willing to die for the cause, so to speak, so is her body wearing down just the author telling us that there’s a such thing as working “too” hard? Is the show trying to teach her a lesson that winning isn’t everything? Those would seem like tough pills to swallow at this point, especially as Evil Murder Face Ayano is effortlessly demolishing the competition. I suppose Ayano is getting lined up to get hers as well, so maybe they’ll both get knocked down a peg and have to learn the power of friendship or something? I don’t even know at this point. The match itself this episode with Nagisa versus Lips Girl was quality sports anime entertainment, but Hanebado continues to be a bit of a mess overall.

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