Welcome to the first part of my ‘anime coverage’ from the third week of Winter 2017!
Here are the shows that are covered in this post: Gintama, Little Witch Academia, Gabriel Dropout, ACCA, Hand Shakers, Akiba’s Trip, Konosuba, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Scum’s Wish.
Gintama. (Episode 2)
What happens in the episode: Umibouzu meets up with Utsuro and claims that he will kill Kamui before Utsuro will. Kagura leaves the trio to chase after her brother. Gintoki and Shinpachi chase after her and joins up with Katsura and Sakamoto (who are going to save Takasugi). Then they hunt down Nobunobu’s fleet.
My thoughts: No joke, I got a lump in my throat when the insert song started playing and Kagura recalled a memory being in the Yorozuya (which is now closed down) and then Gintoki and Shinpachi reach Yorozuya to find a leave letter.
What follows is something that I love about Gintama- the character chemistry between the three (or four if you count the mascot Sadaharu)- it’s undoubtedly one of the most fleshed out and dynamic I have yet seen in anime. Sure, you can say time was on Gintama’s for such depth of character building- but it certainly takes skill to make it more dynamic through the formulaic comedic-centric structure that is present in most of the episodes.
Action-wise and script-wise: this episode wasn’t meaty. But that ‘leave letter’ moment was pretty well done. Not much comedy heavy either (except that ‘Name bad things about Takasugi’). I don’t know what to expect next.
Little Witch Academia (Episode 2)
What happens in the episode: Akko is in school and like we saw in the OVAs: learning magic is no fun; and Diana rules the school. Akko defends Shiny Chariot from Diana (secret admirer of Chariot) and co.’s attempt at tarnishing her name; in desperation she attempts to use the Shiny Rod in front of the whole school- fails and gets laughed at. Akko retreats and recalls her memory of collecting Shiny Chariot’s cards. Meanwhile, the Jennifer Memorial tree is being inspected by not-Shiny-Chariot and Diana tried out a revitalizing spell which reveals some cocoons. Akko steps into the scene and tries to stop Diana from destroying the cocoons. They hatch, and beautiful golden butterflies are everywhere!
My Thoughts: Yeah, I have nothing to complain about in this episode. I liked the scene where the statue came alive and plucked the sapling (now, that is some expressive animation!). I really don’t have much to say this week for this anime.
Gabriel Dropout (Episode 2)
What happens in this episode: Gabriel and her friends visit the cafeteria. The class-rep takes part in the funniest scene of the episode where Gabriel and Vigne discuss their ‘career paths’. The trio cook a purple meal and the episode ends with Raphiel and Satania having dialogue with Raphiel manipulating Satania.
My thoughts: I don’t regret picking up this anime. Its comedy isn’t bad and no joke seemed out of place at all- the timing is good. The characters got noticeably animated in the last scene (Raphiel and Satania) and it added to the comedy.
ACCA: 13 Territory Inspection Department (Episode 2)
What happens in the episode: Mauve shares her intel concerning the possibility of a coup d’é-tat with her superior who shoots it down as a rumor but assures her the five chief officers will look into it. Meanwhile, Jean finally gets his lighter back and his best friend, Nino, is introduced. The Five Chief Officers suspect Jean of cooperating with coup sympathizers and send Crow to track and observe Jean. The episode ends with Mauve asking Jean out on a date.
My thoughts: Yes, this episode made much more sense than the last one. I’m getting used to unorthodox shot compositions and art style- this show certainly has personality. Again, this show has one of the most engaging of BGMs I have seen (or heard) in anime. Although, the story hasn’t sold me on this show yet- I really admire the sharp character designs- especially Mauve’s.
Hand Shakers (Episode 2)
What happens in this episode: I couldn’t care less.
Okay, my thoughts: I just wanted more fluctuating frame rates, CG models and weird boob physics to laugh at. This show has just turned painful to watch. Where’s the comedy? No, the main boy’s ‘comedic’ monologue wasn’t funny at all. Why are you hiding those CG and where’s the hilarious tween fan service? Pfft. This show just lost its heart, I tell you. No heart.
Akiba’s Trip (Episode 3)
What happens in the episode: The episode starts off with some lazy idol lala-ing away and Tamotsu stepping into idol fandom. He transforms into a crazy audiophile and delivers a punchline. Meanwhile, Arisa, Matome and Niwaka land jobs as idols. Evil people are exposed and so are their naked bodies.
My thoughts: Admittedly, this was a funny episode. I found the transformation of Tamotsu into a crazy idol-fanatic audiophile hilarious. The fan service in this episode was mostly cleverly excused (they were doing gravure shots): so they didn’t seem forced. The animation was better in the fight scenes, though somewhat awkward during the idol dance sequence- but I’m happy they didn’t lazily use CG rendering during the dance. I’m starting to like the comedy in this anime.
Konosuba S2 (Episode 2)
What happens in this episode: The episode starts off with a tribute to the existence of Darkness as a main character and the (now) trio fights with giant toads. They get beaten and Megumin’s rival Yunyun saves them. Megumin and Yunyun fight and Megumin wins the battle by unfair means. Kazuma and Megumin have a bath together. They meet up with Yunyun again.
My thoughts: This episode wasn’t as funny as the last one. Yeah, the fight with giant toad had some new jokes but, admittedly, they got somewhat overused. I liked the introduction Yunyun as a character and her interactions with Megumin (especially in the flashback sequence). Kazuma’s and Megumin’s bath together wasn’t really executed well in a comedic sense. Not the Konosuba wanted this week.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 2)
What happens in this episode: Tooru’s surprisingly good at socializing and Kobayashi’s interested with learning more about her. New dragon Kanna is introduced and joins Kobayashi’s household. Random, sort-of-unconventional SoL things ensue (including a flashily animated ‘roughhousing’ scene between two dragons). The reason for Tooru to live in the human world gets consolidated.
My thoughts: I’m surprised I didn’t notice before how impressively animated this anime is (it’s Kyo-Ani). I’m really liking Tooru’s character design more and more. The anime also has a vibrant color scheme. I like how the comedy in this show isn’t all trope-generated and moe-dependant even if they had a lot of chances to become one. Speaking of moe- Kanna’s voice just melts me. I’m glad the animators toned down the distracting fan service this episode.
Scum’s Wish (Episode 2)
What happens in this episode: Mugi has a childhood friend, Moca, who is in love with him and Hanabi has a best friend, Ecchan, who is in love with her: and so the quadrangle is established. Hanabi expectedly begins to realize that Mugi might become an actual boyfriend to her. One more ‘notice me senpai’ moment between Hanabi and Big Bro; Hanabi questions whether everybody loves others just by their ‘specs’ and the episode ends with some yuri-kissing.
My thoughts: This is not an anime where you make ships in- clearly (as the opening seems to show) all of the four will have an orgy and chill. I just got washed with nostalgia during the karaoke scene where Mugi and Hanabi sung Naruto’s 5th opening (Youth’s Rhapsody by Sambomaster). I’m glad the show does not stay dreadfully depressed in their themes and they spiced it up with some comedy and ‘genuine’ interactions. I still can’t decide whether to like this show or not. Nevertheless, I am curious about the drama development.
That’s all for today. I will be posting again on Sunday on the shows that are yet to air this week. Feel free to share your thoughts on the episodes and thank you for reading.