Anilog #21: 12th Week of Winter 2017

This is the Anilog from the penultimate week of Winter 2017 anime. So here are the weekly batch of (usually) one-sentence episodic summaries:

Gintama swiftly transitions into the Oboro arc and ties it up pretty efficiently. Gabriel Dropout featured Saint Satania doing her duties of taking care of her melon bread robber, and Tapris makes an appearance. ACCA’s coup is in narrative focus now and things are looking pretty hype (that’s what I have been saying for the last few weeks).

Little Witch Academia lay out some intriguing narrative groundwork this week and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid experienced New Year’s with some cute kimono fan service.

Masamune didn’t get his revenge this week either… oh look! You are past twelve episodes. Too bad, better luck next time (don’t let there be a second season). Speaking of trash, Fuuka’s stink has been swept away by “Fair Wind” (haha): which was an okay song- compared to the karaoke-promo thing that Masamune- moving away from the trash… wait, Blue Exorcist ended this week too… yeah that’s what the ‘epic’ arc led to- a marriage proposal, someone being able to play with fire and Mephisto’s ‘secret’ motives laid bare.

Interviews with Monster Girls ended with a good old 3D animated splash and Akane became best female character in Scum’s Wish. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju sang its swan song this week with a quick, silent bow (not literally, though)- by revisiting the cast members after quite a number of years (where Shinnosuke looks more like Kikuhiko than Sukeroku and Yotaro is the new Yakumo).

Gintama. (Episode 11)

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Gintama has wrapped up its sibling spur and it then immediately leaps in Oboro’s back-story and his fight with with Takasugi. But there was a well-executed comedy routine sandwiched between them.

I have to say that this episode was packed with dialogue and character interactions. I wouldn’t exactly calling it rushed because the anime didn’t seem to gloss over narrative points (partly because there wasn’t a narrative focus in this episode). But I would be lying if I didn’t say the pacing felt tighter than usual this week.

Gabriel Dropout (Episode 11)

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So much for another episode in the celestial locations. But this episode wasn’t too bland.

Satania is proves that she has the warmest soul a devil can ever have by looking after the dog that steals her melon bread. Of course, the anime doesn’t pass on the opportunity to make the whole situation hyperbolic and hilarious. Tapris visits Earth again in the second half of the episode, and the show runs an elaborate gag on her learning to cross the road and run a computer.

The episode gets forgettable with the start of the takoyaki party: jokes are repeated. This episode didn’t feel like that the show is going to end by next week; I guess that is to be expected since this is a ‘cute girls’ show.

ACCA:13- Territory Inspection Department (Episode 11)

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Jean is in Furawau, a flower haven, and Lilium’s family are trying to coalesce him into the coup group. Initially, he was hesitant but a bullet shot him some second thoughts. Nino almost died in attempt to save Jean from getting assassinated, and this shook Jean. He finally takes matters into his own hand.

I don’t understand Lilium as a character yet, I get his motives and all- but his past with Grossular is still behind the clouds. I starting to doubt how the anime will end. From the beginning, I was pretty lost in terms of developing a narrative compass for this anime. Sure, the coup will happen- but how will it wrap up in one episode? Or will the whole plan collapse at one point?

Little Witch Academia (Episode 11)

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Akko wants to know where Shiny Chariot went, and Lotta suggests that Ursula and Shiny Chariot might be former classmates. So Akko, being the hyperactive bubble of energy she is, pays Ursula a visit and leaves without any answers. Meanwhile, the elderly witches discuss about the Nine Olde Witches- who apparently founded the school at a time when witches didn’t need the sorcerer’s stone to perform magic; incidentally, Diana is searching for a book related to them: she gets permission to enter the special archives for reference. Akko searches for the Blue Moon Abyss and confronts an apparition of Shiny Chariot.

It seems like there was a lot more exposition was delivered than usual this episode. The anime seems to be setting up a narrative point to be explored in future episodes- the search for Seven Arcturus and all. It would be interesting to see this anime have an overarching narrative now.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 11)

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Tohru and Kanna win third prize in a lottery and gets a kotatsu and a chilled vignette follows quality iyashikei content. The second half of the episode features Kanna the Cute’s beautiful kimono and, of course, the New Year’s.

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This episode seemed to be aware of the fact it is going to end next week- all the characters are featured this episode (even the neighbors of Kobayashi). The curse card that Tohru gets also seems to be hinting on a dramatic development next episode. Or not.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 12)

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Masamune’s Revenge ended just as I expected it to end and just like the opening sequence ends; and yeah, I hope the school trip doesn’t get covered in anime form. I had enough of this.

The fact that the chubby Masamune had no script this episode proves that the character writing in this anime is a rotting corpse. The karaoke part was just otaku pandering and a lazy artist promotion. I am glad this is over. I will just give it a mini-review in my Winter 2017 round-up and move on.

Blue Exorcist- Kyoto Saga (Episode 12)

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I didn’t mind this final episode. Mephisto having a grand plan wasn’t really a secret and it doesn’t intrigue me at all on what his plan is. Yukio and Rin have a lazily scripted conversation. Shiemi friend zones Rin in a funny fashion and I thought that the group photo was pretty cool. That said, I can find no other positives to draw from this episode.

Fuuka (Episode 12)

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This train wreck is behind me now. Fuuka and Yuu get together after 10 minutes (or more) of trashy drama. The pacing of this episode was looser than the last couple of episodes- and even then, the episode was still bad.

The only ‘okay’ thing in this episode was the songs played in the gig… only if I close my eyes that is: the CG instruments and their animation still irk me. The ending montage was very vague and inconclusive, too: not that I care.

Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 12)

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The last episode is a swimming pool episode, and I should have seen it coming. But there wasn’t a whole lot of fan service given the setting. Though, nothing really happened in terms of character chemistry between Takahashi and the monster girls (like last episode)- Machi had an experience under water and Sakie failed in her attempts to land a date. I liked the montage featuring the cast members with 3D-animated water splashes. It was a decent ending- not sure whether it deserves a long-form review or not, I have to decide soon, though.

 Scum’s Wish (Episode 11)

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Akane plays the main character again this week, and I loved her whole character development. But I wouldn’t argue that her change was sudden; but I don’t think that is a bad thing- because the nature of her change suits the capricious side of her personality. I also liked Mugi’s monologue about how he never wanted to change Akane; and Big Bro remains the sole saint of the series.

I think Akane’s transformation is well written and played out. I would expect Mugi and Hanabi getting together next episode. Or will they? Nonetheless, this show has been really entertaining these last couple of weeks.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 12)

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And so the story of Kikuhiko ends and his descendants carry on the torch of rakugo… Woah, wait! Kikuhiko might (I am pretty convinced he is) be the father of Shinnosuke? At first, this blew my mind and I thought I finally found an ass-pull to call out on. But looking back, this revelation is well warranted because of Kikuhiko’s attitude towards Konatsu during his performances where he sees Miyokichi’s ghost in Konatsu’s presence. On Konatsu’s side she also admits that she had angry romantic feelings towards Kikuhiko in her younger years.

That aside, Shinnosuke and Yotaro, who is now the Ninth Generation Yakumo, perform one last time for us. Yotaro even performs ‘Shinigami’ with a funny twist at the end. Matsuda finally gets his character writing tied up in the final episode (geez, this show is giving me less and less negative points to gripe on in my review).  The episode ends with a familial gathering where Higuchi comments that nothing really dies down, it always finds its voice back, no matter how long it takes (yeah, I am paraphrasing).

But Yotaro, being the Yotaro he is, replies simply:

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With that, I end this Anilog… and yeah, the new header image for this blog is from this week’s episode.

As always, thank you for reading.

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