Another week. This was a fun one I guess. The season is much smaller and more slice-of-life focused than the last, but I’m fine with that. I have nothing to say up here so yeah, read the actual thoughts down below.
Rakugo S2 – Episode 2
Last week’s episode was great, but it was fairly happy despite the darker undercurrent. This episode ditched the pleasant face, quickly returning to the much darker drama presented in the first season. Kiku’s desire to die with rakugo became all the more pronounced, and Yota is put under real strain. We saw him in a very happy mood last episode, but this time we get to see that things aren’t so perfect for him. His past haunts him, yet in his attempt to move past it he ignores the things which make him unique, hampering his ability to find a personal style.
This season seems to be about embracing the new while accepting and respecting the old, and that’s what Yota needs to do himself. I particularly liked the scene in which we see Yota’s rakugo. A few of the jokes are funny, but the framing of the crowd and his voice actor’s performance making it clear that he’s failing. This was particularly good direction, since it’s hard to convey something like failure to me when I don’t know much about the art form.
3-gatsu no Lion – Episode 13
This was an interesting episode. A great deal of it was shogi, and when shogi is being played I usually have little to no idea what’s going on. This episode though managed to convey the right feelings during the matches. The direction in Rei’s match made it feel intense, and once he lost the upper hand the visuals made it very clear what was going on. In Smith’s match on the other hand, there was never any sense of equality, and the shots of the two players showed that well. Outside of that, this episode has a lot less to talk about than normal. Rei’s seeming loss is going to force him to progress, and it looks like it might make him re-evaluate why he plays shogi, something he’s needed to do for a long time.
Little Witch Academia – Episode 2
I like what they did with Diana this episode. She’s a little less smug and condescending than she was in the films, and while she’s still very confident in her abilities, she was quickly willing to admit that she wasn’t the one behind the tree’s recovery. I think Diana works really well as someone who’s a bit too prideful to admit she likes Akko despite secretly wanting to be her friend, and I get the feeling that she’ll be a lot like that in this series. This episode continued to have great production, and it was visually pleasing at nearly every moment. I don’t know what more I could ask from this show.
MaiDragon – Episode 2
This episode was a big improvement over an already great first episode. Even aside from the great animation and Kanna’s cuteness, this episode excelled at its pathos. I was expecting this show to be much more comedy-focused, and while those elements are present, it’s clear that the show has a much greater focus on a sort of “family” slice-of-life atmosphere that I really like. Tohru and Kobayashi’s interactions continued to be spectacular, and as I said, Kanna was incredibly cute.
GabDro – Episode 2
This episode was just as funny as the last. Satania continued to be best girl–I love characters who get dunked on in comedies, and Satania is exactly that. I especially love her interactions with Raphiel. I also loved the class president’s commentary on Gabriel and Vigne’s conversation. The idea that she thought they were chuunis when Satania is the real chuuni added a lot. One particular joke which stood out subtly was that Satania ate her lunch on the stairs instead of the roof, due to a no entry sign. This is never brought up, but it’s clear that the joke is that as a demon, she should be willing to ignore that sign, and yet she doesn’t. This show really nails its humor in a way that most comedies fail to.
Konosuba S2 – Episode 2
I’m really happy Darkness wasn’t here. I’ve made it clear that I don’t find her funny at all, so her absence was much appreciated. This episode was fun overall. Yunyun is a fun addition, especially since she’s clearly trying to act as if she isn’t a chuuni despite clearly still being one. We also got a lot of Megumin this episode, and since she’s my favorite I was quite satisfied with it. So far this season is shaping up to be better than the first.
Urara – Episode 2
This episode really surprised me, in a positive way. The fanservice of last episode was largely abandoned, and a really strong central goal was established, something that’s rare in a CGDCT show. A specific goal isn’t really necessary for a show like this, but it certainly has the potential to be used to make interesting scenarios, so I’m excited to see what they do with it. This episode also managed to add a lot of pathos to the characters, connecting them over their mothers and making them feel less like archetypes. Overall, this was a really solid episode which really sold me on the show after a first episode which was only fine.
IBO S2 – Episode 14
I don’t this situation will work out well for the Turbines. With Lafter’s feelings and Naze’s backstory, all evidence points to the idea that they’re gonna get fucked up. One thing that’s interesting though is that Iok actually acts intelligently here. I see lots of people calling him an idiot, but framing the Turbines for this doesn’t seem like a bad plan. Without the Turbines, Tekkadan will have a lot less support, both morally and materially. Iok is very much a little shit, but he’s a little shit who’s actually doing something here.