So much for being consistent, I am starting to doubt I can continue posting every Thursday and Sunday in this season. I have been inexcusably late and lazy in posting and writing reviews these days, maybe I will go on a break or decrease the frequency of Anilog entries. But for now, let me continue on with episodes from last week.
Gintama (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: The joke about Pakuyasa continues in this episode with a more over-the-top tone which is conventional to the style of comedy Gintama loves to play out. Nevertheless, Gintoki overpowers Bato and the fight ends within the first ten minutes of the episode. Gintoki and the rest of the crew resumes their search for Takasugi. Matako spots her leader in the wreckage, Bansai gets severely injured against the ambush by the Yato. Takasugi stands up to battle with his former comrades.
My thoughts: The first half’s comedy was classic Gintama comedy that every Gintama fan signs up for. But the best moment was when dramatic music was cued with Takasugi’s entrance into the scene- it reminded me of why I love shounens (those moments when a character makes a dramatic entrance are always cool regardless of their execution). Overall, this was a cool episode despite this mini-arc with the three stars from Harusame was rather unenthusiastically wrapped up.
ACCA: 13 Territory Inspection Department (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Jean has a chat with Grossular and tells him that he doesn’t suspect Grossular of being involved with the speculated coup and he, too, has no involvement in the supposed coup. We also learn that Jean and Lotta’s parents died in a train accident. Mauve prompts Jean to share his ‘findings’ on the coup but Jean chooses to remain discreet- and this gets Mauve to say, ‘You are less useful than I expected’. This devastates him. Jean has dinner with Hare Branch’s Representative and learns that the reason why people suspect him is because he can act as a bridge of communication between the states for organizing a coup.
My thoughts: Jean doesn’t seem to have that thick air of mystery anymore- these last couple of episodes gave him more dialogue, not only with other people, but also with himself. The anime apparently is building layer after layer of narrative episode by episode- and I’m always intrigued on its development. And… I noticed that this episode’s first few shots had bad modelling- the scene between Jean and Grossular seemed to be visually stagnant.
Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 7)
What happens in this episode: The episode starts off with a moment between Yakumo and Konatsu surrounded by yellow leaves- Yakumo tells her that he doesn’t want to do rakugo anymore and complains that he should have died through his rakugo. Meanwhile, Yotaro, Sukeroku and Matsuda visit where Yurie (Miyokichi) grew up and the inn where she died with Sukeroku. Most of the rest of the episode showed two performances from Kikuhiko and Sukeroku in film; but the real punch of the episode came when the truth behind how Sukeroku and Yurie died was revealed- it was so late in the episode that the aftertaste spilled through the ending credits.
My thoughts: This episode was brimmed with emotional and dramatic intensity (especially near the end). But that’s not to say that there wasn’t any moment for breathing- there is always such times in this anime, like the time when the three guys were having a chat on their preparations for their visit. I’m glad that the anime revisited the past, otherwise the first season would just look like a standalone thing.
March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 18)
What happens in this episode: The episode starts off with Nikaidou and the other guy in the workshop fighting over tactics and the anime establishes a contrast to Rei’s character in the workshop by making him less clear-spoken than he was two episodes ago. Then the anime shows the resolve of Shimada through some cool graded visual metaphor. Rei begins to think whether he had anything to offer Shimada in the workshop. The second half of the episode deals with Hina and Momo’s encounter with Rei and asking him about Kyouko. Rei expectedly assures them that it was some sibling’s quarrel; but Akari sees through him… and Shimada lost another match.
My thoughts: The first half’s visual metaphors were interesting to watch- blue color grading in shots is part of this anime’s aesthetic now. I want to know what Rei (or who) had something to ask, though. Although, I didn’t mention this in the synopsis, I really liked the scene between Rei and Takashi where he told Rei that he is much more responsible and accomplished more than Takashi was as a seventeen year old. The second half just cements the idea that Akari is more perceptive than her siblings. With four games and four matches and four episodes to go, I am still wondering how this season will end.
Scum’s Wish (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Hanabi tries to be a um… harlot like Akane. And it doesn’t end up being funny? So the whole episode follows her trying to gather guys in her reverse-harem. Meanwhile, Ecchan decides to be Hanabi’s sex toy and Hanabi starts to date Mugi seriously. She also goes after one of Akane’s teen partners and she leaves with some substantial.
My thoughts: Alright, I am not buying this drama. I get it, teenagers get emotional and they go crazy- but this is a bit too fast and far-fetched to happen in a episode. I mean, surely the show can take it a bit slow and delve into different characters throughout the episode like it did in the previous episodes. All in all, not a good episode.
Konosuba S2 (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Kazuma and his team get another mission to prevent the mating of Lizard Runners and he gets killed by falling off a branch.
My thoughts: Comedy-wise, this was a lukewarm episode. But the Vanir reincarnation and Darkness’s reaction was pretty funny. Frankly, this season isn’t as strong as the first one- the jokes are getting a bit too reused. But strangely, it isn’t too boring to drop the show- the reusing of the jokes are not as bad as Akiba’s Trip.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Kanna visits Saikawa’s house and they have a yuri moment; meanwhile, Saikawa’s maid, Georgie, entrances Kobayashi with her unorthodox maid outfit and Tooru gets jealous. The anime the shifts perspective and focuses on Fafnir and Takiya and their otaku life; where Fafnir declares Takiya as a hit. Quetzalcoatl (Lucuoa) is not left out either, she gets a human partner, a little boy named Shouta who practices magic- and shota ecchi stuff ensues.
My thoughts: This anime never gets exhaustive of its moe-ness and the thematic nature of each segment of the episode is weirdly cohesive (especially this episode- where the rain connected Kobayashi and Fafnir parts). Also, the fan service in this anime never gets overly grotesque to me for some reason- maybe it is the color scheme. Fafnir and Takiya are such bros, though.
Fuuka (Episode 8)
What happens in this episode: The episode starts with the crowd going wild at the concert… uh, not in a good way- Beer bottles break Yuu’s bass and cut his head. Koyuki reveals herself and people surround her. Through all this commotion, the song starts and that silences them (some magic, huh?). Koyuki gets on stage and Fuuka and her sing a song in unison. The second part of the episode focuses on Koyuki where she loses her ability to sing? They don’t even mention her condition- really convenient. Nevertheless, I guess it’s all good since they hug on the sea shore.
My thoughts: Wow, no anime’s CG bothered me this much in recent memory since Gankutsuou. The jittery animation and the CG instruments made the whole performance so jarring to watch that it made the decent vocal performance from Fuuka (and Koyuki) drown in this dirty, stinking pile animation garbage. Anyway, story development wise, this episode was okay- nothing happened that surprised me (like last episode).
Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 7)
What happens in this episode: Masamune and his harem travel to Tsunade Island during their summer vacation. Yuisaki, one of Adagaki’s past maids, gets angry that Adagaki the man hater got a boyfriend. So she plans a haunted house tour for Masamune but it turns out to be a failed attempt because Yoshino happened. But all’s well that ends well, Yuisaki accepting Masamune and sees that he’s actually a ‘sweet boy’.
My thoughts: This anime isn’t getting any better- the jokes are not funny and Adagaki isn’t a cute tsundere. I noticed that this anime has a good soundtrack and good lighting and color schemes- so I started watching it. Is this anime going to join Akiba’s Trip and Saga of Tanya the Evil in the ‘dropped’ list? Only time will tell.
Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 7)
What happens in this episode: Hikari approaches Takahashi with a bear sighting in the school. It turns out that the school has a couple of visitors- a young boy named Kurtz and his senior Ugaki. They are investigators of ‘succubus incidents’. Sakie learns that Takahashi was affected by her aphrodisiac and the episode ends with the teacher and Ugaki sharing a smoke.
My thoughts: After those ‘everyday problems of demi-humans’ episodes, this episode was fairly light-hearted but it still delved into crimes done by succubi and the need for special detectives during such times. Sakie is admittedly a funny character but I doubt her comedic charm is non-exhaustive when repeated too much.
Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (Episode 7)
What happens in this episode: Rin Okumura gets imprisoned by Mephisto in the impenetrable prison. But Shura is apparently under the leash of the Vatican and this prevents her from freeing Rin; she asks his former schoolmates to free him. Meanwhile, Mamushi apologizes in front of the whole temple’s staff about her misled deeds and begs them to stop the Impure King. Back to the fifteen year olds, the impenetrable prison can stop people with hostile thoughts in their tracks- but Shiemi is not affected since she is ‘the weak one’ and she goes into the prison. Apparently, hugging Rin got rid of the ‘impenetrable’ part of the prison. The episode ends with Mephisto laying on his floating couch and delivering those classic ‘time to grab some popcorn’ lines.
My thoughts: Nothing much happened narrative wise in this episode. But still, the team is back together again and the previous episodes have been building up to this, especially the Rin and Shiemi conversation. Other than that, I have absolutely nothing to talk about this episode.
Little Witch Academia (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Akko is back at being bad at magic and this time, she gets deprived of the chance to attend the banquet hosting the Earl of Hanbridge and his son, Andrew. Again, the students lick Diana’s feet in the banquet- and I found myself to be annoyed by this constant praising buzz whenever Diana’s onscreen. Anyway, Akko gets herself some bunny ears; she practices and practices but to still remains unsuccessful. Luckily, she finds a card referring to the Fountain of Polaris which supposedly bestows witches with magic. While traveling there, she stumbles upon Andrew and plants a pair of donkey (?) ears on his head. Akko later finds out through a montage of Shiny Chariot’s memories in the school that there is no shortcut to being great at magic (or anything).
My thoughts: I loved the thematic focus each episode has and the cohesive nature the whole show seems to have. You might say that is a sugarcoated way of saying: it is the same crap over and over again; but it really is not. Sure, the characters and the narrative structure is pretty rigid, but the animators make small tweaks to it (like the time when I expected, at the end of the episode, Andrew to say ‘I want to visit again.’ and he didn’t) that makes each episode its own castle but still have bridges to the other castles. Okay, that was a bad analogy, but I hope I made my point. But I digress, the animation was on point this episode and the bunny design of Akko is worth watching again in another episode.
Gabriel Dropout (Episode 6)
What happens in this episode: Satania continues on being the dumb deluded one by bringing a weapon to the school, oh wait, it makes people laugh? Uh no, let’s just glaze over that bad, predictably executed joke. Satania and Gabriel then play shogi like a soccer match (who else other than Raphiel could be the referee?). But the anime shows us that there are ‘comedically dumber’ people than Queen Satania herself: the class prez. The four girls throw on Halloween costumes and Satania does her thing to end the episode.
My thoughts: This episode goes to show that you can have too much of Satania. She is my favorite character in this anime- but the show’s focus on her this episode is a bit too much. But the comedy still managed to pull a few, shallow laughs out of me. All in all, the episode could have been better, but it still had funny moments. I just want this show to throw a curve ball in its comedy department once in a while.
That’s all for the 7th Week of Winter 2017. This is the second longest post I have written. Thank you for reading through this late, late post.