Fall 2016 Week 3 Recap

Writing these takes an awfully large amount of work, though I suppose that’s mostly due to how many shows I’m watching, so I only have myself to blame. Anyways, this was a pretty good week for anime. I should be watching Kizu Part 2 by the time this post comes up, so next week should start off well. I’ve been rewatching all of Monogatari for an upcoming essay, but it’s taking a bit longer than I expected so there might be a long break between my soon to release essay and the Monogatari one. That’s enough talking about my plans for now, let’s look at this week’s shows:

3-gatsu no Lion – Episode 3

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This show is what I want out of anime, and this episode really drilled that home for me. The quiet, contemplative kind of sadness and introspection really appeals to me, and this show nails it. This episode especially managed to balance its emotions particularly well as the humor in the first half actually fit and complimented the more bitter parts of the story. And I don’t think I need to say how good the second half was. I cried here, and that’s not common for a third episode. Just a great episode which cemented this as my favorite show of the season so far. This is a real treasure.

Yuri on Ice – Episode 3

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This really was an episode about love, as the song titles hinted. Both Yuri’s admiration for Victor — which was so layered in subtext you can hardly call it such — and Yurio’s love for his grandfather fit the themes of eros and agape perfectly. Yuri was only able to win because of how much he loves Victor, and when Yurio realized his defeat he walked off like a jilted lover. The show’s great animation continued into the pivotal scene at the end, but despite the slightly worse animation in Yurio’s scene, overall this episode just executed its ideas well and kept this one of the season’s best shows.

Flip Flappers – Episode 3

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This episode began to make the show’s main narrative more clear, but seeing as that’s not what interested me in the show I won’t talk about it much. What really interested me in this episode was, as in the previous one’s, Papika and Cocona’s relationship. The show seems to be going for a coming-of-age, discovering sexuality thing similar to Yuri On Ice right now.

Last episode was a clear metaphor for Cocona’s sexual urges, and this one seemed to be about her struggle to express her interest in Papika at least to some extent. I could be totally off base here though — it’s not nearly as explicit as Yuri on Ice is. That said I think these themes are important to this show and will likely continue, and if they do I’ll keep enjoying it.

JoJo Part 4 – Episode 30

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Episode 30 was another example of how well Part 4 carries out minor fights. An episode like this, which is focused on the main villain avoiding detection after fighting a very minor foe, just wasn’t possible in previous parts. Part 4’s shift to a suburban setting has worked wonders so far, and this episode showed it perfectly. The suspense created while Hayato was trying to figure out Kira’s plan was excellent, and really worked the best because it evoked a very real fear of getting caught. Just a great episode which really showed how well Part 4 works.

Girlish Number – Episode 3

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This episode really impressed me. What stood out the most was Chitose’s voice acting. Her voice actress did a really good job at selling Chitose as a terrible actor, which can’t be easy. Furthermore, she did a good job at sounding as cliche as she possibly could once Chitose realized she could get by on tropes. At the same time, the show’s cynicism, while still present, let up enough to allow Chitose to make some movement. Clearly it isn’t over, as the extreme cliches present in her acting make it clear that the show has hardly shifted to an uplifting tone, but I can see Chitose’s path to being a better person now.

Hibike Euphonium 2 – Episode 3

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Another solid episode. Kumiko is put in a tough situation when she becomes privy to two secrets, forcing her to think about whether or not she should reveal them. This is obviously hard on her, but the episode goes out of its way not to make it too hard. After all her work Kumiko is allowed to play with Asuka on the solo.

Kumiko keeps getting dragged further into the second-year drama, and as this occurs she becomes almost trapped by her desire to help people. Her hesitance at revealing important secrets is interestingly contrasted by how easily she lets her true opinions on people slip. This was just a good episode which continued to play to the show’s overall strengths, and hopefully the show keeps doing so.

Shuumatsu no Izetta – Episode 4

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Something I really like about this show is the way Fine changes depending on her role. When she’s talking with her (girl)friend Izetta, she behaves like anyone would. When she acts in her position as royalty, she behaves in a much less emotional role where she tries to be the leader. When the two mix you can tell that her ability to act as a ruler starts to slip, and I’m interested to see where that goes. Good episode, clearly a calm before the likely storm coming in the next one. Fanservice is still way too prominent though.

Fune wo Amu – Episode 2

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This episode was a good continuation of the first. It didn’t stand out in any particular way from it, but considering how solid the first episode was, that’s probably a good thing. The show so far has just been a well-done light drama, and that’s quite worth seeing. The last scene was really good, especially visually, but other than that my thoughts haven’t changed much from last week.

Vivid Strike – Episode 4

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Focusing on Rinne’s backstory was a good idea, and the reason why points to this show’s general success so far. Rinne’s backstory is legitimately compelling in a manner similar to Fate’s. The situation she’s in is dark — far darker than the show in general — but it’s believable, and doesn’t go to the point of being edgy for the sake of it. Vivid Strike in general is quite good so far, and this is because the two leads are compelling. Vivid failed because Vivio and Einhart weren’t nearly as interesting as Nanoha and Fate, but Rinne and Fuuka are actually on part with them, and that helps to make this a much better series.

WWW.Working!! – Episode 4

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It’s still funny. The ships are still good, and seem to be moving at a much quicker rate than in the dog version. It’s just like any other episode, but that’s fine, I’m not looking for something different in Working!!.

Drifters – Episode 3

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This episode was quite refreshing after the first two. I’m happy that the character focus changed for a while — the main three aren’t all that interesting stylistically since they’re all samurai, and the humor with them is godawful. Introducing shit like planes, Wild West bandits, and a bunch of evil historical figures really helps to make the show more interesting and give it more possibilities. I’m sure it’ll refocus on the samurai, but the new additions should help keep them from totally dominating the rest of the show.

Kiss Him, Not Me – Episode 3

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Good episode. The show relied less on shipping the guys this episode, which isn’t all that funny, but still managed to lean into Kae’s otaku tendencies. Only complaint really is that the girl member of the harem hasn’t shown up. She needs to show up soon — Sawashiro voicing a member of a reverse harem is what I came to this show for.

Gundam IBO Season 2 – Episode 4

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This was actually a pretty good episode. The dialogue in this episode was significantly less focused on exposition, and the fight scenes continued to be well done. All the exposition in this episode felt like something someone could actually say, something I can’t say for many episodes in this show. Overall it was a solid transition episode, moving from the previous battle into a position to set up the show’s real major conflict, at least for the first cour.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku – Episode 4

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This show is getting trashier by the episode, and I love it. This episode’s betrayal by a little girl was edgy as fuck, and that’s what I came to this show for. The bloodbath is coming, and I’m prepared. This show doesn’t do much in terms of compelling storytelling, but sometimes I want an edge-fest, and this show is definitely going to be that.

Lostorage incited WIXOSS – Episode 3

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This show keeps on chugging along. I think episode 3 was quite a bit better than episode 2, because while it was dark and full of suffering, it wasn’t overwhelming to the point of numbness this time. Still, the show isn’t doing anything particularly interesting, thematically or otherwise. The one thing that stands out is how well Suzu’s isolation and loneliness is portrayed, but that isn’t enough to keep this show anything more than mediocre.

Keijo!!!!!!!!!! – Episode 3

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This episode was less boring than the last, but it didn’t do too much to stand out. The idea that Nozomi won’t give up has little value given that we’ve only known her for three episodes, and the actual “moral” that she needs to relax did nothing. That said, the episode did do a pretty good job at setting up for the upcoming battles, so it didn’t turn me off even if it didn’t win me over to the show any further.

Occultic;Nine – Episode 3

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This is still the worst show I’m watching, but episode 3 did a lot to win me back after the terrible first two. The show was fully coherent this episode, and the pacing was much improved. The episode didn’t feel as rushed as the previous two, and the actual story it told was more interesting, especially in regards to the weird occult girl. As I said, the show is still below average, but if each episode can be as coherent and well-paced as this one, the show could rise up my rankings.

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