Anilog #6: 4th Week of Winter 2017 (Thursday Post)

This is the first of two Anilog posts of this week. Hand Shakers has been dropped from weekly reviewing (details in the Hand Shaker section) and Akiba’s Trip is on the edge of dropping from my watch list. My favorite episodes from this week so far are from the anime- ACCA, Konosuba and Dragon Maid.

Also, I am experimenting on adding taglines to the titles (in red)

The anime ‘covered’ in this post are: Gintama, Little Witch Academia, Gabriel Dropout, ACCA, Hand Shakers, Konosuba, Akiba’s Trip and Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

Gintama. (Episode 3) More comedic moments than I expected there would be; Fights are set-up.

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What happens in this episode: The action has finally begun and battles are set up for the future episodes. New antagonists- the Three Mad Stars- are introduced. Bansai has a little bit of an internal monologue about the spirit of Gintoki and Katsura during the fight with the ambushers. The anime finally flexes their animating muscles in the action scenes. There was also some comedic skits and bits here and there.

My thoughts: I liked the animation of this episode- although it wasn’t as expressive as the animation in the Shogun arc- but the show has more time for its animation to come to full form. This wasn’t a boring set-up episode despite it being quite dialogue-heavy: this episode seemed to have just the right amount of action and comedic demonstration moments to keep me engaged. I can’t wait for the next week.

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Little Witch Academia (Episode 3) Thankful that the show doesn’t waste much time on world-building

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What happens in this episode: Akko, being passionate and inept in broom riding at the same time, participate in Luna  Nova’s broom relay. The first half of the episode follows Akko trying to fly through desperate and hilarious means. A red broom named Shooting Star is introduced as the climactic element in the episode.

My thoughts: I am starting to like the narrative structure of this anime: it’s very easy to familiarize with. I am glad that Akko and her crew didn’t win the relay and there wasn’t any Shiny Chariot revitalization at the end of the episode. So, even if the narrative structure is formulaic, the content isn’t. As always, the animation is expressive (especially during the relay). I also have to point out that there are some fair-play inconsistencies in the relay (like Sucy didn’t get the red card for giving the brooms the nutrients). I just wish the anime uses a more diverse color scheme in the art. That’s all I have for LWA this week.

Gabriel Dropout (Episode 3)- Gabriel Squeal-out

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What happens in this episode: Gabriel works part time at a coffee shop owned by a manager with misguided empathy for her. Vigne and Raphiel hang out and… you know what? I am just going to do this synopsis by using the ‘this episode is brought to you by’ device (imitated from the Dear Hank and John podcast). This episode is brought to you by: spicy cream-puffs, boring fight in the coffee shop, cleverly excused censorship and cute squeals from Gabriel.

My thoughts: A very ordinary episode with the fight in the coffee shop being painfully boring to watch. I only thing I liked in the episode was the squeal- that came out of nowhere. There was also the sort-of meta moment when the white line used were described as the streaks of holy light. Yeah, the show sure knows how to time jokes well. I still think Vigne is the best character in this anime no matter how much the show tries to lasso me into the Gabriel group through fan service (no, her squeals aren’t better than the straight-man-ness and un-describable ‘sane moe’ of Vigne).

ACCA: 13 Territory Inspection Department (Episode 3)- A solid set-up

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What happens in this episode: Mauve has a dialogue with Jean over dinner and asks him for assistance in the investigation of the rumors of a coup. ACCA leaders get invited to Prince Schwan’s, heir to the King of Dowa, Coming of Age Commemorative Ceremony. Everybody suspects the king will announce his abdication…

My thoughts: I have to say that from the new shows this season, ACCA is probably the best so far- because it is the most engaging and entertaining. The drama set-up in this episode was really compelling to me. I am starting to like the characterization in this anime, especially of Jean- he isn’t as emotionally deaf as I thought he would be.

Hand Shakers (Episode 3) Not ‘reviewing’ it weekly anymore

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That’s how the show looks to me. Always.

What happens in this episode: Gears vs. Shuriken. Everything else is irrelevant.

My thoughts: The horrible CG is back! But for some reason, it doesn’t seem as jarring as it was in the first episode. The whiplash in frame rates during the CG rendered fight was as ‘remarkable’ as the first episode. The story, character writing and trope-insertions are all over the place (like the visuals during the fight).

At this rate, my bashing and ‘praising’ for this show is getting more and more dilute and repetitive by the weeks- so I’m not going to be casually commenting on this anime week by week anymore. But I’ll finish this (as painful as it will be) and write a review after it finishes airing.

Konosuba S2 (Episode 3) How this episode tricked me into believing it had a very conclusive narrative structure (or maybe it did have?).

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What happens in this episode: Kazuma is desperate for money and the episode starts off with him asking himself, “What am I even doing? I can’t keep this up.” Then, the episode progresses with Kazuma and Aqua go on a exploration quest in a Dungeon of the Undead (Keele’s Dungeon)… and Aqua acts like a real goddess.

Until she regresses back to whiny-clingy b**ch mode. And I loved it.

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My thoughts: Seriously though, I really liked how the whole episode seemed to have a well thought-out narrative structure. I loved how the narrative came to full circle at the end of the episode and addressed the question Kazuma posed to himself at the beginning of the episode. He was in a party and he said to himself, “I’m still in debt and I still under suspicion… but it’s kind of fun!” Then, of course, this is Konosuba- nothing heartfelt or serious escapes without a punchline. *Rainbow waterfall appears from Aqua’s mouth*

Even if the very last line of the episode diminishes the emotional acceptance that the episode establishes for Kazuma, I still think this episode had more narrative concreteness than the last two episodes. Then again, I don’t think the animators intended to give us such a surprisingly definitive and mostly conclusive narrative- but rather a parodic version of such and throw in a quick punchline in the end. Nevertheless, I was fooled and I really enjoyed it. Okay, I will end it here before I get anymore disgustingly repetitive and sentimental.

Yeah, I enjoyed the gags as usual. I don’t expect another (mostly) concrete narrative next week, but I still look forward to it.

Akiba’s Trip (Episode 4) Boring and Rotting Comedy

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Anything but fantastic

What happens in this episode: Tomatsu gets involved in radios and a possessed bugged one apparently is another radio-freak and builds a wave-emitter that causes disintegration of all clothing except undergarments and destroys all communication devices. Tomatsu and crew saves the day by getting into aluminum suits.

My thoughts: It wasn’t a joy at all going through this episode. I liked the comedy from the last episode but this episode just drops the ball. Nothing interesting happened content-wise either. The show feels very stagnant and empty- the comedy in this episode seemed super strained (stripping the villain at the end is a rotting punchline now) and the fact that the character seemed aware of it was annoying to watch.

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If I get another episode like this- I will be dropping this show.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 3) New Apartment & Development of Kobayashi and Tooru’s Relationship

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What happens in this episode: Kobayashi realizes that three people are too many for her small apartment and moves to a new place with a large rooftop communal area. Kobayashi and Tooru have nice moments between them. New characters (the neighbors) and dragons are introduced- Fafnir (the NEET butler) and Quetzalcoatl (more like Boobzalcoatl, haha- that pun was so bad).

My thoughts: This was another decent episode. I really liked the character interaction between Kobayashi and Tooru during the bath scene and when Kobayashi has a hangover- it was intimate, cute and not thrown away. It was visited again, when Kobayashi was talking with Quetzalcoatl. Unlike the last episode, there wasn’t a lot of Sakuga in this episode- but I didn’t mind at all because that’s not what the show is going for. I am glad that the show is aware of its genre and does these short, cute and funny bursts of SoL moments: I love them.

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That is all for today. My casual comments on the shows yet to air this week will be posted on the Sunday post. Thank you for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Anilog #6: 4th Week of Winter 2017 (Thursday Post)

  1. Have to agree with you about Akiba’s Trip. It was always a series I was hesitant to pick up but the first episode was funny and had good energy. This last episode had nothing. It wasn’t even offensive, it was just tedious.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these.

    Liked by 1 person

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