The year’s really rounding out now, and it’s going strong. I’ve put on hold or dropped nearly two-thirds of what I started this season, but what I’m left with is very solid, and I’ll still enjoy many I go back to. I remain convinced that this is the best season I’ve ever seen, and nothing could make me happier. Other than, of course, the fact that I finally finished writing my Monogatari essay. It’ll take some editing, but I can at least promise now that it really will be out soon, and having that weight off my back makes me feel great. Enjoy.
Flip Flappers – Episode 10
Cocona really has nothing. Until now FF has focused primarily on the development of Cocona’s relationship with Papika. She quickly went from apprehensive to friendly, and at this point her feelings for Papika are blatantly romantic. But she’s suddenly been lead to believe that both Papika and Yayaka were lying when they claimed to care about her, and with the realization that her grandma never existed she’s become truly alone. I don’t know what role Mimi will actually play, but with her red eyes she really comes across as Cocona’s dark side here.
Cocona’s biggest issue now stems from her feeling that she has nobody. It’s clear to us as the viewer that both Papika and Yayaka really do appreciate her, and both of them probably have romantic feelings for her as well, but there’s no reason for Cocona to believe them right now. The series is very quickly becoming more narratively focused, and while that causes us to lose the fun worlds in Pure Illusion, that was necessary in order to actually go any further in Cocona’s character arc or her relationship with Papika. This continues to be the best show I’ve ever watched while airing, and I’m growing more and more confident that it’ll be able to successfully complete its run.
Sangatsu no Lion – Episode 9
This was a more comedic episode, but it still managed to pack in some meaningful moments. The old man in this episode claims he plays shogi to get out of chores, but his earlier words make it more clear why he really plays the game. There are times when you can love something to the point of being unable to describe it, even when it brings suffering along with it, and in his case that thing is shogi. Rei really needed this, because it helps him learn that he can’t be told to like shogi. Playing the game and refusing to quit it is just as much a part of Rei as it is a part of the old man, and even if he can’t explain why, he’s well aware that shogi is something he can’t just stop doing.
Yuri on Ice – Episode 10
This episode was very needed. This show is fantastic as a sports show, but the barrage of performances for 4-5 episodes in a row got very draining and unfortunately repetitive. Thankfully we got a fun, laid-back episode which gave us a bit of a breather. There isn’t a to
Vivid Strike – Episode 11
Fuuka managed to save Rinne and bring back her beautiful eyes. I love the fact that Fuuka focused so much on Rinne’s eyes. Nanoha was first attracted to Fate because of how sad and beautiful her eyes were, and Fuuka being just as enraptured by Rinne’s eyes just makes the parallels between here and Nanoha even more apparent. Rinne’s redemption took a whole 40-50 minute fight, but it was worth it. Her realization of the fact that she had the right to be happy really hit me hard. Everyone has times where they feel like shouldn’t be allowed to be happy, and it’s fantastic to see Fuuka snap Rinne out of that. They’re also cute as fuck together at the end.
JoJo Part 4 – Episode 37
Part of what makes Kira such an effective villain is how truthful he is about his motives. He claims to not like fighting, and while that would usually sound like a lie coming from a villain’s mouth, it’s very true for Kira. He sets everything up so that he can do as he pleases without ever coming into contact with people who want to fight him, and that makes the fights with him that much more important and striking. Despite his total lack of desire for combat, he’s capable of such ridiculous powers as Bites the Dust and Sheer Heart Attack. This fight is given much more weight because it’s clearly something Kira wants to get out of as soon as possible. Kira has no interest in the fight, so when we see him trying to end it quickly, we know that it’s from a sincere place on his part.
Girlish Number – Episode 10
Chitose has been a bad person the entire series, but this episode really reveals the truth behind that. She’s been aware of her awfulness the whole time, and her vanity was an attempt to distract herself from how bad she was, both at voice acting and at relationships. With her ability to talk to Gojou totally gone she has no real friends left, and it’s all her fault, something she’s keenly aware of. Chitose knows what she did wrong, but she has no idea what she could have done right, and she says as much in the episode’s last scene. Chitose is a thoroughly nasty person who ruins everything for herself, but she finally has a real shot at changing now that she’s accepted that. Kuzu basically goes through the same thing, though it’s much more comedic in nature.
Hibike Euphonium 2 – Episode 10
Following up last episode’s brilliant exploration of Asuka, we got an episode that focused a lot more on Kumiko’s emotions. The circumstances surrounding both Mamiko and Asuka were closer to her than nearly anyone else, and they clearly had a major impact on her. Sometimes it’s hard to see Kumiko directly express her emotions, and it was both sad and fantastic to see her openly do so to the point of crying in public. Hibike is at its best when it actually centers on Kumiko, and evidence points to the fact that it’ll keep doing so as it heads towards the conclusion, especially given the cold shoulder she’s getting from Reina.
IBO Season 2 – Episode 11
This force of nature style antagonist in a Gundam series is interesting, but I really like the approach to beam weapons here. The idea that they’re these old, shitty weapons which—while deadly to humans and regular material—can’t even scratch mobile suits is really cool, since it actually justifies the physical weapons used so far. Also, Iok ruined everything and is probably going to die soon.