The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 10

In this week’s installment…

It’s the last Roundup of the season and we say goodbye to everything except Banana Fish, which will continue next season, and Hanebado, which still has one episode to go.

Banana Fish
Episode 12: “To Have and Have Not”

Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video

Artemis: This is really a first for me to say about the show, but this episode of Banana Fish didn’t appear to achieve all that much. There was a development with a rival gang with whom Ash apparently plans on forming some kind of mutually beneficial relationship, but that scene took all of about two minutes – as did another scene at the airport where Ash confronted Golzine… for seemingly no reason in particular, apart from maybe to scare him a little (which I’ll admit, was quite satisfying despite its pointlessness). This marks Banana Fish’s halfway episode, so perhaps the creators were fully intending on something slower again before ramping things back up to 150%, but on the whole, it left me wanting something a bit more meaningful.

Chio’s School Road
Episode 12: “Just One Masterful Method / Yuki-chan Bares It All”

Fridays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Chio went out with a whimper, delivering two average segments that managed to amplify the show’s worst traits. Jokes are dragged out too long in Part A, while Part B delivers some of the most gratuitous fan service the show has seen. I’ll admit, ending with some fake outtakes from various scenes of the anime was a very good choice but even that (and the “preview” before it) was a concession that the series had run out of gas. It’s too bad really, because at it’s best Chio’s School Road was a very good comedy with solid characters. Unfortunately, it couldn’t stay consistent enough to live up to its potential.

Chio’s School Road – My face during this episode

My Hero Academia
Episode 62: “A Season for Encounters”

Saturdays 5:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Marlin: This episode was a bit of a non-entity, seeming to exist just to bridge us into the next arc… which isn’t going to happen until the next season comes out anyway. The one thing I’ll give it credit for is giving us a much better feeling for the motivation of some of our villains. Some, like in many comic book stories, are clearly just psychopaths, as in the case of Twice, but it’s still wanting to convince us of the universal truth: Everyone pursues what they believe is the good, even if that good is twisted or mistaken. It’s also intriguing that we’re veering into a much darker kind of villain story. Sure, Stain and Muscular made the implication that heroes had died in the line of duty, but it’s never been so explicitly shown as it was here. I know this is still a shounen battle manga, but I do wonder if this will ever translate into the fights with our protagonists. Will the days of coming out of the fight with mere injuries be behind us? I suppose we’ll have to wait a bit before learning the truth about that, as clearly we’re being set up for a more sporting fight between the top students and 1-A. I’m always up for seeing cool new powers used in smart ways, so I’m up for more no matter what’s to come.

Asobi Asobase – workshop of fun –
Episode 12: “Daniel | Bra Meeting | Fairy Tale Battle Royale | Paper Wars”

Sundays 9:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Asobi Asobase went out swingin’ with a very strong final episode, cementing its place as the best comedy of the season, one of the best comedies of the year, and maybe one of the best “terrible people doing terrible things” comedies we’ve ever seen. The (alleged) drug dealer baby was fantastic, but the fairy tale battle royale headshot bit made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. They even found a perfect joke to end on, which I won’t spoil and instead just encourage everyone to watch for themselves. It all made me forget about the movie thing they had been building up to, but maybe they’re saving that for the upcoming OVA? I hope so, as I could certainly use more Asobi Asobase in my life.

Marlin: If you haven’t been watching Asobi Asobase, you’ve been missing out on one of the best anime comedies of the year. While it may not have the heart of Hinamatsuri, it replaces that black hole with an even darker comedic taste that has gotten me to laugh out loud more than any comedy in recent memory. Its characters play off each other fantastically. It knows how to use just enough surrealism to upend the viewer’s expectations and delivers its punchlines with a deft hand. I fully expect that it will reign in the comedy halls with Sabagebu as a fantastic show that, while on its merits doesn’t contend for Anime of the Year, will stick in our hearts for years to come.

Planet With – Sometimes a family can be a woman, her adopted brother, and a powerful cat monster

Planet With
Episode 12: “Behold, The Universe Is Filled With Blessings”

Sundays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: For all the complaints we’ve made over the season about Planet With I think it’s important to note that it is indeed a good show. No amount of bad CG or insane pacing due to lack of episodes can completely suppress the beautiful optimism found in a good Mizukami story. Maybe it’s a bit naive, especially in these dark times we live in, but you have to at least WANT to believe that somehow, someway, love will win in the end. It’s just disappointing to think that this really good show could have been great, maybe even an all time classic, if given the time and resources it needed. We can only hope there’s enough here to prove Mizukami can do anime (he was apparently more heavily involved in this production than an author would usually be) and get what he needs to make his next project truly great.

Marlin: Just one episode showing his life on Sirius would have been enough for me. I actually had an emotional connection when his brother talked about the fleshed out life that Soya lived on Sirius, but we have no context. In the end, it feels just as much a gutpunch as a suckerpunch, as we have had no context for the life he lost other than the fact of the situation. I am not going to begrudge the show for being optimistic, but when it came time to put its money where its mouth is, it failed to foot the bill.

Hanebado
Episode 12: “Step Forward Already!”

Sundays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Due to the delay from the earthquake, Hanebado will not finish this week and we’ll have to wait until the final minutes to pass final judgement on the show. I feel like so much of my final opinion is riding on the outcome of Nagisa and Ayano’s match. Not just who wins, but HOW they win and how they decide to drag Ayano out of the inhuman state she’s entered. Perhaps even more troubling than Ayano, I am REALLY not cool with how they are dealing with her mother. It seems like they are trying to justify her decision to leave even though any sane person would agree what she did was very, very wrong. I hope she gets what’s coming to her as well, but I’m not setting my hopes too high. Here’s hoping we will be surprised in the final episode.

2 thoughts on “The Roundup: Summer 2018 Volume 10

  1. “Here’s hoping we will be surprised in the final episode.” [of Hanebado.]

    Given the course of the show to date, I’m not holding my breath. Overall it’s been a huge disappointment.

    Even if they do reverse a bunch of courses, it’s not going to feel earned – more like a collection of ass pulls.

    • Yeah, even in the best case scenario it’s going to be hard to recommend the show overall. But might as well end strong if they can

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