Anilog #7: 4th Week of Winter 2017 (Sunday post)

This is the second and last post from the 4th week of Winter 2017. I haven’t watched Blue Exorcist this week, so I will be commenting on episodes 4 and 5 next week. My favorite episodes from Week 4 were from the anime: Konosuba, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shunju, Scum’s Wish and ACCA (I talked about ACCA and Konosuba in Anilog #6).

The anime ‘covered’ in this post are: Masamune’s Revenge, Scum’s Wish, Saga of Tanya the Evil, Fuuka, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, March Comes in Like a Lion and Interviews with Monster Girls.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 4) From slight redemption to a big leap into the abyss…

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What happens in this episode: Yeah, Masamune’s back at it again- trying to make Adagaki fall in love with him without falling in love with her (if that would ever be possible in this anime). He learns ‘romantic tactics’ from shoujo manga and implements them in a creepy way and Yoshino the wise advises him to ‘mix it up and avoid Adagaki’. Apparently, it works and as things are looking up- another girl appears out of nowhere.

My thoughts: Don’t get me wrong, this show is still bad; it’s just that this episode is relatively better than the last three. This maybe just because we got some narrative lines from Adagaki and that added a dimension to her character- which was nice to see. The script this episode seemed less obnoxiously soaked with dumb-mean-spirited-teenage drama, again because Adagaki wasn’t acting like a princess all the time and Masamune doesn’t sound like a butt-hurt kid most of the time.

And that ends the positive aspects of the episode.

A pitfall appears out of nowhere and hugs Masamune. I am preparing for the massive dragging out (narratively) the show might be doing in the future weeks.

Scum’s Wish (Episode 3) Now, this show has my attention

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What happens in this episode: Things between Ecchan and Hanabi get uneasy and Ecchan’s backstory is laid out. Mugi looks back to his previous romantic relationship with a sexually exploitative senpai and Hanabi gets into his bed the next second- you know their drill. Speaking of sexually exploitative people, it looks like Hanabi is probably right about Akane being a b*t- I mean a fake. That music teacher may be playing around with something more than music.

My thoughts: Akane’s character-hinting triggered me, alright. I am now no longer indifferent to this anime- I am now latched onto this train and ready to go down the train wreck (I am not sensing a happy ending at all). Now the only character reveal left is the Big Bro (wonder what crazy thing that guy is). I hope things doesn’t slow from here on out- slow pacing can hurt my budding praise for this anime. I am really enjoying the character backstories. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Saga of Tanya the Evil (Episode 4) Slow episode and disengaging dialogue

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What happens in this episode: Tanya is in military academy and chats with higher-ups about military tactics and a probable World War in a way that requires unwavering attention. But I am glad that the show seems to be going somewhere.

My thoughts: I can’t really say that I enjoyed this slow episode. Sure, we got to see Tanya kissing the feet of her superior but I was totally disconnected from the script when they began to talk about military tactics. I don’t want to watch a military manual- I want to watch Tanya’s character developed and challenged. Nevertheless, at least the anime now as some semblance of narrative heft (no matter how tacked on it might seem) and I am curious to what’s next.

Fuuka (Episode 5) Pretty okay narrative-wise, but lazily animated as ever

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What happens in this episode: Fuuka and crew start practicing. We finally get into the musical side of this show. But then again, this anime isn’t as music-centric as I wanted it to be… because a new harem girl is introduced!

My thoughts: I think I understand why this show feels boring to me- it is because it spends a long time in one shot; and every shot seems to be re-drawn from a manga panel. But this helps add purpose to the shot composition, so it isn’t that bad. My point is that the animators are being too lazy and should add more shots and add more animation to the characters.

However, this episode wasn’t as slow and dragged out as the last episode. It was pretty okay.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 4) Konatsu finally performs Rakugo in public!

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What happens in this episode: Yota’s son is now in kindergarten and the episode starts off with him pronouncing a name comprising of 103 syllables (yeah, I counted once though). Yotaro and Konatsu now perform in the same shows together (with Yotaro doing the rakugo and Konatsu doing the musical accompaniment). Shin-chan performs a piece performed by his father and gets that parental pride and commendation showered over him (Oh, that scene was so comedic for some reason). Yotaro and Konatsu go to their son’s school to perform and Yotaro persuades Konatsu to perform in his place.

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My thoughts: I loved the way Konatsu transformed during her rakugo performance- and the performance really suited her- it brought out the tom-boy in her. Needless to say, the performance had noticeably excellent directing.  I am currently writing a speculative commentary on the directing style of this performance and that post will probably be out tomorrow. I decided to post that separately partly because it is a bit too long and partly because I have no anime to review this week (haha).

I am loving the way this show seems to be playing around on the outside but is actually building these huge, compelling character-narrative complexes and just makes me hop onto this train that seems to carve out its way episode by episode. So basically, I am really liking the way this show seems limitless in its drama development and narrative sectors. Can’t wait for the next episode.

March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 15) A (sort of) breather episode comprised of small pebbles of character moments

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What happens in this episode: Shimada and Gotou face off in the final match. Hinata chats with her grandpa about Rei’s resolve, defeat and him establishing distance from the Kawamoto sisters. Rei thinks back to a time with Kyouko and the anime, again, shows us Kyouko’s reason for going after Gotou- her father isn’t proud of her and she needs consolation from somebody old like her father (she is a cracked glass). Nikaidou tells his bro about how Rei showed him that there’s always someone who works harder and does better than you. Shimada’s  aggressiveness and spirit in shogi is also highlighted in this episode. The only characters that we didn’t get a piece of this episode was Rei and Gotou.

My thoughts: Well, judging from the length of my synopsis, I guess this episode wasn’t as aired out (in terms of character pieces) it seemed to be when I was watching it- it seemed to have nice comedic and light-hearted moments accompanied by brief tonal shifts. Nevertheless, this was a relatively less-narrative-hefty episode after the shogi-centric ones that aired these past three weeks. I love the tonal whiplashes in this anime- they are something rare and hard to pull-off. Now that the Lion Cup is almost done, I wonder where the show will go next within these last 7 weeks of airtime.

Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 4) The show is still in a weird place where it’s neither a harem comedy nor a monster-girl-empathetic slice-of-life

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What happens in this episode: Hikari stands up for Kusakabe and gives a ‘piece of her mind’ to badmouthers of Kusakabe for her own ‘peace of her mind’ (yeah, she cries). Then the show does a back somersault and comes down with a splash on the harem puddle with… a hug-orgy with sensei?! (sorry for the overly perverse language) I don’t know why the anime needed to do that- for what? Establishing a father-guardian figure for the teacher? Or is it just the harem tropes talking?

My thoughts: My thoughts leaked into the previous paragraph and I guess that’s pretty much it. I am not dropping this show, but I do think that it’s being a bit too wishy-washy with its purpose. Without the hugs and the blushes from sensei (who isn’t as cool with highschoolers as I thought he was in the first episodes) this was a nice episode. It’s just that I wasn’t expecting this to be a harem comedy after watching the first episode.

That’s all from Week 4 of Winter 2017. You can check out my commentary on the rest of the shows from this week in the first part of Week 4 here. Thank you for reading.

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