Anilog #11: 6th Week of Winter 2017 (Sunday Post)

This is the second post from the 6th week of Winter 2017. My favorite episodes from this post are from the shows: March Comes in Like a Lion, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (they are the regulars- these guys make my weekend) and… Fuuka.

Scum’s Wish  (Episode 5) Hanabi and Mugi. Akane and Narumi.

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What happens in this episode: Hanabi starts to feel the emotional repercussions teenagers are supposed to feel in long term casual sexual relationships (then again, I am no psychologist). Again, Hanabi tries to lose her virginity but doesn’t hold out. Mugi reveals that he knew about Akane’s personality but he still loves her because she’s a pitiful and fragile human being who depends on others for her happiness (no offense Mugi, but I think your reasons are pretty… irrational and crazy). Speaking of Akane the Evil, she seduces Big Bro into spending the night with her… only to rub it in Hanabi’s face at the end of the episode.

My thoughts: The drama development is getting better and better by each episode. Although the characters get overly sappy at times, I still like the script in this anime because it isn’t voiced in a long winded way. I also like the pacing of this show, it isn’t too fast- but just enough to give heft to character interactions.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 6) Ebi-fries, Fireworks and a twist?

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What happens in this episode: Masamune goes to osculate (that cracked me up) Adagaki and Adagaki pushes him away. Scene transitions to Yoshino trailing Neko and Neko’s maid catching her. Masamune’s mom appears out of nowhere and forces them into frying shrimps. Boring things happen and at the end, Masamune’s mom tells Neko that it has been a while they met.

My thoughts: At this point, I am questioning myself why I am bothering to watch this show week by week. The pacing in the last episodes have been horrendous. I have lost connection with this series from episode 4, so now I just watch this because it just is watchable.

Fuuka (Episode 7) I enjoyed this episode more than I wanted to.

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What happens in this episode: A picture of Yuu and Koyuki latching onto their pinky fingers cause rage and hatred for Yuu among male fans of Koyuki; and this is aggravated by Koyuki’s confession that she wrote most of her songs with Yuu in mind. But Fuuka and the rest of the band encourages him that he would shut them up with his playing. The episode ends with the concert beginning.

My thoughts: I don’t understand celebrity culture. This episode’s ‘celebrity theme’ reminded me of the idol industry (although Koyuki isn’t an idol)- the Jpop and Kpop idol industry are kind of similar in their tradition of romantic relationships- girls are not allowed to date boys and if they do, they are likely to be kicked out since it would ‘ruin their image’. To be honest, I find this pretty effed up and… I have absolutely no other reason to justify myself bringing this up. Anyways, this episode had a pretty steadily paced script and the character interactions were nicely done. This episode filled less empty and less riddled with unnecessary cliches and trope-traps. Maybe I just liked this episode because it set up the tension so well. I don’t have as much of a sour opinion on this show (for now)- I hope the show carries on in this direction.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 6) Yota’s Rakugo and Yakumo is yet to die.

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What happens in this episode: Another episode with another well directed performance: Yotaro performs the dynamic ‘Inokori’ despite Yakumo suffering from myocardial infarction. Later in the episode, Higuchi points out that Yotaro can magically create a whole world around him through his rakugo regardless of his mood. The episode ends with Yakumo with a tired face of living through.

My thoughts: The rakugo performance this episode had the right amounts of audience reaction cuts and emphasizing close-ups of Yotaro’s ‘lost-in-his-rakugo-face’ and this also shows us his evolution of his craft- he has mastered his rakugo. This episode wasn’t as dramatic as the last one- but is no less enjoyable.

Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 6) Lovely sister chemistry.

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What happens in this episode: Sensei visits Hikar’s home and gets to experience sibling interactions between Hikari and Himari. This continues to school grounds. In the later half, Machi writes a note to her Sensei about how warm a blanket was.

My thoughts: This was a much warmer episode than the previous couple of episodes- because it had less of the harem trope-traps it had in the previous episodes. Instead of that, we get a cute, heartwarming account of the chemistry between two sisters.

Blue Exorcist- Kyoto Saga (Episode 6) The Impure King is out and a fire gets chomped on like a hamburger

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What happens in this episode: Tatsuma’s past gets us caught up to current events- basically, the Koma Sword is needed to defeat the Impure King and Fujimoto saved Tatsuma’s wife and kid. Tatsuma gets hunted down and his familiar gets… eaten?

My thoughts: That ‘fire ingestion’ scene was really interesting and weirdly entertaining for some reason- maybe it was the humorous framing and the remark from Tatsuma. Anyways, the narrative is in full throttle (and I think I have said it before) and I am looking forward to the next episode.

March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 17) Humanization of Kyouko and a new devil in disguise.

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What happens in this episode: Shimada faces the Shogi Master, Souya, in the Lion Cup and so far, one of seven matches has been played and Shimada is on the back foot. Souya is depicted as an immortal master which doesn’t ease the tension on Shimada’s side. Meanwhile, Kyouko pays a visit to Rei’s home and ends up being cute and clumsy. She tells Rei that she herself cannot justify her love for Gotou (I don’t know, is that what they call daddy issues?).

My thoughts: Souya’s depiction as the ‘shogi monster’ was to be expected. But what I didn’t expect was the sudden ‘humanization’ of the character that was the ‘antagonist’ in the first half of the show… and I loved it. Tonal shifts are done masterfully in this anime and what happened this episode just elevated my level of admiration for this show. This goes to show that every character is a human in this show and the only one left is Souya. Character writing couldn’t be anymore stronger in this anime. Anyway, I have no clue to what the show is going to end on- the Lion Cup? Will Rei play anymore matches? Or will something super dramatic happen? This rather steady show has me on the edge of my seat every week.

No, I couldn’t watch Saga of Tanya the Evil this week, I just didn’t feel like watching it. Maybe I will talk about two episodes from this show next week. Until then.

Thank you for reading. You can read commentary on the rest of this week’s episodes in Anilog 10

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