This was quite a bad week for me, perhaps for obvious reasons, but I don’t want to dwell on it. I’m in a bit of a slump in terms of watching anime right now. I run into these about once a year, but now that I watch more weeklies it’s a bigger problem. For that reason I’ve put Drifters, Keijo, Occultic;Nine, MahoIku, and Izetta on hold for now. I do plan on finishing them, but right now I can’t motivate myself to do so. Other than that this was at least a good week for anime, so there was at least one plus to being awake this week.
Flip Flappers – Episode 6
This episode was even weirder than I’m used to with this show, but I liked it a lot. The episode was overall very melancholy, and it pulled off the tone. The use of Alzheimer’s or some similar condition was something I didn’t expect, but it was very effective. Tapping into that natural fear of losing our memories is an easy way to elicit emotion, but the show’s coloring and framing did a great job of illustrating just how isolating it is for the one with condition and those around them. I can’t really tell what I’m supposed to get from Cocona and Papika this episode, if anything. This was an episode with Cocona in the lead, but it was firmly about another character, which is a good thing for this show to do if it wants the rest of its cast to be interesting. It was another great episode of a great show.
3-gatsu no Lion – Episode 6
Failing to live up to expectations. Wanting to stay where you are, just to avoid the struggle which is necessary for improvement. A desire to just leave your current situation. I can’t say I experience these feelings as often as Rei does, but I still feel them much more than I would like. Rei is a very hurt and depressed character, a character who clearly feels worse than I’ve felt my entire life. What this show so good though, is that as someone who’s only struggled with mild depression at most, he’s still perfectly relatable. Rei experiences basically every emotional problem he could, which makes it really easy for me, or anyone else, to connect to him. At the same time, because all of his issues are directly connected it doesn’t feel like he has too many issues to be believable. Rei is an excellently written character in an already great show, and that episode just further demonstrated that.
Yuri on Ice – Episode 6
I’ve said a fair amount about Yuri’s development so far, so while this episode added more to that conversation I won’t be focusing on it. Instead I want t focus on how the other skaters were portrayed. Before this all the other skaters, outside of Yurio, were fairly uninteresting. But just by the way they skated, the songs they skated to, and their brief internal thoughts, I got a much better picture of who each skater is in this episode. That did a lot, since it will help to make the later competitions more interesting while also making it clear that Yuri isn’t the only one who wants to win. Everyone is doing their best and wants to see the others do their best as well, and that makes their later losses all the more tragic, while also making Yuri’s victories so much more meaningful.
JoJo Part 4 – Episode 33
This episode finished the Enigma arc off in a strong way. The show’s been somewhat visually weak a lot of the time–likely as a result of the long production–but Enigma really turned that around. The visual effects seen whenever Enigma’s powers were activated were both unique and helped make the power more terrifying. The actual fight against Enigma was another example of how well Araki understands the creativity inherent to Stands. This was just a good episode which continues the build up to the final arc, and I can’t wait to get there.
Girlish Number – Episode 6
This episode really started getting towards the major character conflicts. They’ve been bubbling under the surface, but for the first time we’re seeing a real glance at Shibasaki and Momoka’s problems, and that’s something the show has needed. In addition Chitose is realizing more and more that she actually needs to do something in order to survive, which will hopefully push her to actually grow as a character. This episode worked well as a midway point because it makes clear what conflicts there are to be solved, while also making it clear how far(or how little) the cast has come.
Hibike Euphonium 2 – Episode 6
Shuuichi needs to disappear. The entire scene with Kumiko relying on him felt so stupid and out of character, that it seems to be nothing more than setting up the idea that Kumiko will develop feelings for him. I think I’ve made it clear before, but I don’t want that to happen, and if it were to happen my opinion of the show would be significantly impacted, so this episode was not as enjoyable as I hoped. The rest of the episode however, was a pretty fun ride which introduced some new drama. What stood out particularly was the bit with Taki-sensei. It’s clear that he still loves his wife a lot, and this is sure to be explored more in the coming episodes. If the show can keep doing what it’s doing while keeping Shuuichi away, I’ll be satisfied.
Vivid Strike – Episode 7
The action scenes weren’t good this episode, but I managed to like it anyway. Vivio’s channeling of her mothers’ ideals is great to see. One of my favorite things about Nanoha as a family is the entire Takamachi family dynamic, and seeing how much of Nanoha there is in Vivio is fantastic. The show also subverted my expectations; I was sure that Rinne would win this episode, and while I still believe she will, they’ve made it a lot more up in the air than I expected.
IBO Season 2 – Episode 7
Aston’s death was pretty well-done. It was a traditional Gundam death where one dies to save another, but those are almost always emotionally effective. What’s more interesting though is Gjallarhorn. This season is clearly about the conflicts within the organization, and while this mini-arc surrounding the proxy war to kill Chocolate Man is over, it’s clear that the actual battle is yet to start. The mercenary guy was also interesting, as I wasn’t expecting him to show real loyalty even to the end. He’s a far cry from the typical, money-hungry mercenary who doesn’t care about anyone else. Solid episode all around.
WWW.Working!! – Episode 7
Unfortunately this episode wasn’t quite as funny as the previous ones. The chocolate gag is funny, and I’m fine with it being a running gag, but having it multiple episodes in a row really decreases the humor of it. I’m happy to see one of the relationships make real progress, but this episode it felt like progress was distracting the show from the comedy, and that’s not something that Working should be doing. I’m still happy with the show, but I would hope that the next few episodes don’t continue the same gags.
Kiss Him, Not Me – Episode 6
As someone who ships characters pretty heavily, this was a really fun episode. I’m mostly a yuri shipper, so I don’t tend to care much about who’s the seme or the uke, but I certainly understand the feeling of a ship being so perfect that any other ship is offensive. I also loved this episode because of all the focus on Nishina. I’ve made it clear that she’s my favorite, and that hasn’t changed here. She basically just confessed this episode, and even if that gets passed over, it’s clear at this point that she truly cares a lot about Kae. This show manages to keep being enjoyable when I thought it would quickly get dull.
Fune wo Amu – Episode 5
Unfortunately Hiroshi Kamiya’s character continues to be the only thing about this show which is particularly interesting, but fortunately he got the most focus in this episode. I’m honestly perplexed as to why I’m not drawn in more by Majime–he’s a socially awkward person who wants a cute girlfriend, so he should be eminently relatable to me. But something about him just makes him uninteresting, and I can’t put my finger on what it is. His relationship is even less interesting. People talk all the time about how they want “adult” series, and I think this one really counts. It’s a slice-of-life adult romcom basically, and I guess I’m learning that “adult” show