The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 7

In this week’s installment…

This may be the week we remember for Planet With finally living up to its potential. Or we may remember it as the week Hanebado finally fell off a cliff from its usual level of quality. Or maybe both? Time will tell, but we can at least say for sure that Asobi Asobase is really, really funny.

Banana Fish
Episode 9: “Save Me the Waltz”

Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video

Artemis: One of Banana Fish’s many issues is to do with tone and how it presents its humour, and this episode was a prime example of that problem in action. I’m not saying Banana Fish has no room for humour, mind you, but it often just doesn’t seem particularly time and situation-appropriate. So when Eiji and Shorter are being held captive by the most notorious gang leader in New York (also a known rapist and child molester), and Ash and the rest of the gang have been more or less forcibly seated at said gang leader’s own dinner table, it may not have been the most fitting occasion to bring out the jokes. Yet here we have all our major characters gathered in an undeniably dangerous setting, and a conversation going on between Ash and Papa Dino fraught with uncomfortable undertones, and Max is in the background practically doing spit-takes at some expensive jewelry and Ash’s superhuman knowledge of the wine. Granted, I’m not sure I can take Ash’s apparent god-like expertise in wine-tasting seriously either, but Max’s reaction shots weren’t exactly subtle and did nothing but detract from what was supposed to be some incredibly tense circumstances.

Chio’s School Road
Episode 9: “Chio-chan Changes Her Image / Flat Cut”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Hoo boy while I want to give Chio credit for walking into a minefield and not completely blowing itself up, there were some elements to this episode that raised some eyebrows. First of all, not a fan of both keeping pervert homeless man around and totally normalizing him. Even worse, they needed to do a much better job refuting his claim that women just need to look pretty. Making Chio turn docile because she just wants boys to like her was not a good look. Then in the second half I have to ask how old is Andou supposed to be? I just assumed he was middle aged or whatever, at the very least twice Chio’s age, and now he’s kind of the love interest? I don’t know about this. I will try to end on a positive note: the ORA ORA makeup and the callback to Chio’s “makeover” later in the episode were both very good jokes.

Chio’s School Road – Shout out to the worst character in Borderlands

My Hero Academia
Episode 59: “What’s the Big Idea?”

Saturdays 5:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: It would have been nice if this story had just been about this overpowered duo getting their comeuppance due to their self-absorbed behavior, but this is a Shounen battle anime, so it seems the popular heroes can never really receive their comeuppance. Thus, once again Todoroki looks like a badass. Yoarashi gets a bit of justification for his weird attitude, but it doesn’t make his clash with Todoroki any less dumb. As far as I can tell, the only lesson Todoroki has learned since the School Festival is being slightly less of a jerk. He still went off and abandoned his friends at the beginning of the exam, and really messes things up here. I’m glad that at least Midoriya has the sense to keep his head in the game and watch out for everyone. I did enjoy this fight, Gang Orca is such a hilariously goofy name, and his power set actually makes sense as a real threat as opposed to that seal guy who proportionately shouldn’t be that much stronger than any other person. I suppose there is room for some kind of reveal where the two hotheads fail the exam due to their negligence, but mark my words, the way they ended it screams “they’re gonna just barely pass and that will be the lesson” to me.

Asobi Asobase – workshop of fun –
Episode 9: “Troubles of a Fake Foreigner | A Dutchey Wife | Genetic Engineering”

Sundays 9:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: A day may come when “Maeda makes a weird robot” becomes a stale joke, but today is not that day! Foul-mouthed Robo-Olivia was one of the funniest laugh out loud moments the show has delivered to date. I lost it when she just starts swearing at the teacher out of nowhere. The segment with Olivia’s brother was also pretty solid. You could see what was going to happen miles away because this show will never, ever give Hanako even a sliver of the happiness she most definitely does NOT deserve, and yet there was enough weird spin on the creepy otaku thing to make it fun. What else can I say? Another week, another hilarious episode.

Asobi Asobase – If I had to pick one screenshot to sum up this show…

Planet With
Episode 9: “Messenger of Awakening”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I have to admit it’s been hard writing about Planet With because on paper it doesn’t sound like much. We all knew Souya would jump back into the fight at some point and Yousuke was just creepy enough that his turn as a pseudo-villain for the day made sense. But to turn it all into the uplifting affirmation of the human spirit we get in this episode? That is the Mizukami magic we keep hyping up, and it’s finally coming together. If anything I’d argue this episode might be too optimistic – I’m not convinced the majority of people would choose to leave their dreams. But hey, in these dark times, maybe that bit of hope is what we need.

Hanebado
Episode 10: “The Backhand Grip Is Like This”

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: We are rapidly running out of episodes and yet Hanebado once again decided to ignore all the big storylines reaching a climax and spend the bulk of its time focusing on side characters. I could practically copy and paste my thoughts from the glasses-senpai episode: in a bubble, the plot line itself was fine but THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME. We had tension boiling over with Ayano and Nagisa, Ayano’s mom finally returning, and ALL of that was basically ignored. To add further insult to injury, the animation in this episode looked uncharacteristically awful which makes me hope they are saving their resources to make the final episodes look as good as episode 1. Either that, or they’re out of steam and it’s finally time to put the nail in Hanebado’s coffin.

4 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 7

  1. “Then in the second half I have to ask how old is Andou supposed to be?”

    I always thought he was early twenty something I guess… Struck me more as a delinquent than anything else.

    re:Hanebado

    At least this week the plotline was partially foreshadowed by time wasted in earlier episodes… Unlike Connie’s heel-face turn and Ayano’s fascination with a kiddie show, it didn’t come *completely* out of nowhere…

    Yeah, I’m reaching. What a flinkin’ mess.

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