Winter 2017 Week 6 Recap

Another late post, but what are you gonna do. My actual essays are back on track, and with luck another will be out within a few days. I plan on picking up Kemono Friends, so look out for that on the next recap. Eventually I’d like to pick up Pokemon and catch up to Yugioh as well, but Pokemon can wait and I might just start Yugioh again with the next season. Anyways, here’s my thoughts this week.

Rakugo – Episode 6

[HorribleSubs] Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.14_[2017.02.11_19.08.32].jpg

Yota’s Inokori actually made me laugh in spite of my concern over Kiku, and I think that’s brilliant. It’s really hard for the rakugo stories to make me consistently laugh in the first place, and it’s even harder when I was sad about Kiku just a short time earlier. As the reporter said, Yota showed this episode that at his best, he embodies rakugo as an art. He puts in the least interpretation of anyone into his performances, which results in a pure distillation of the medium. That was the most interesting part of the episode, but the rest was just as good. The mono-no-aware-esque focus on the theater was fascinating, helping to situate Yota’s strange position between the past and the present, while also reminding us how old this art form really is. Kiku’s clear dissapointment about still being alive at the end makes me desperate to see his perspective in the next episode as well.

MaiDragon – Episode 6

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I liked this episode a whole lot. The Shouta stuff with Lucoa was somewhat awkward, but all of the rest was great stuff. Kanna and her two moms are always fantastic, and her time in the rain was cute as hell. Saikawa made it clear just how gay she is this episode, making it clear how cute she and Kanna are together. Lastly, Fafnir and Takiya were great buddies here, and the stuff about Takiya being a “hit” was really sweet. I don’t know what more I can say about this show, it’s still funny and still emotionally poignant. It does a lot of what I want from slice of life anime, making me happier every time I get to see an episode. This show might end up my second favorite KyoAni show, and that’s truly amazing.

3-gatsu – Episode 17

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I quite liked this episode. Kyouko has been an interesting antagonist the whole time, and it’s been a hard time to figure out what’s actually running through her mind throughout the show. This episode has made me totally accept that she does care about Rei, but her self-hatred and also envy of him leads her to act maliciously. She’s great because she’s simultaneously easy to hate and easy to pity. It’s clear she’s very broken, but she can be such a bad person that at times it’s hard to sympathize.

I liked the other stuff with Rei this episode too. He’s becoming a stronger person, standing up to Kyouko and going further and further out of his comfort zone. I particularly liked the scene with him and the shogi master this episode. Silent scenes are great, and that one managed to really convey the amount of awe projected by the master, while at the same time communicating the fact that he doesn’t speak. Overall I think this was the best episode this so far in this cour, and it’s enough to raise 3-gatsu back up to a 9.

LWA – Episode 6

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I think generally this is the worst episode so far — the main plot of the episode is fairly uninteresting, the animation wasn’t quite on the level seen in previous episodes, and it was just a bit less fun. That said, it made me much more interested in the magical traditionalism vs modernism side-plot/theme. It’s been simmering in the background for a few episodes, but this one seemed to bring it to the forefront, and it’s clear that some of the characters introduced here will play a key role in the likely future subplot of the school shutting down. It’s a theme that has a lot of potential already, with Chariot’s attempt at the popularization of magic being something Akko aspires to, so I’m excited to see where this goes, even if the episode in general was only good but not great.

Urara – Episode 6

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This episode was generally pretty good. The slightly heteronormative focus on men as soulmates in the first half was stupid and doesn’t really fit a show this gay, but the rest managed to easily make up for that. Chiya and Kon were pushed as ship prior to this, but the second half of this episode managed to really increase the fuel for that ship. This episode didn’t focus on the “story” as much as previous ones, but I hardly see the story as necessary for a show like this in the first place, so it’s only a slight step down without it. In a season less packed with great SoL shows I might like this a bit more, but as it goes it’s still a fun time every week.

Konosuba S2 – Episode 6

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This episode was a real return to form for me, almost entirely because it didn’t focus on Darkness. Kazuma can be a very hit-or-miss character, and when the show focuses too much on his pervy nature it gets pretty boring to me. But this episode really managed to emphasize his better points, and I really enjoyed it for that. Kazuma fucked up his plan himself here and took ownership of it, while at the same time being the awful, mean person he truly is. Basically, this episode just managed to portray Kazuma in a way which made him legitimately enjoyable to watch, and that managed to pull the show back up.

Kirakira – Episode 2

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There really aren’t many stakes in this show. The villain’s plot so far seems like a joke, so it’s a good thing that the action doesn’t seem to matter here. This episode showed that melee combat will show up here, but it seems as if the conflict has been de-emphasized in general, at least so far. Himari and Ichika’s love for sweets is fun and relatable, and their different personalities and approaches to the sweets helps make them feel very distinct. The production is also great, far better than in the few episodes I saw of MahoPri. This is just a really fun show that I don’t have many major issues with, even if it doesn’t always wow me. Also I can basically watch this in Japanese, which is nice.

GabDro – Episode 6

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This episode was pretty good. Raphiel at this point is somewhat boring, mostly because her gag leaves no major room for evolution. On the other hand, Satania, Vigne, and Gab are still great, managing to make me laugh all the time. I’ve got to say though that this doesn’t feel like a comedy that can last. I think it’ll be fine this season, but the comedy is already less funny that at the start. Jokes get stale, and the premise of this show makes that quite easy. Still, it’s enjoyable for now, and I suppose that’s good enough.

Bang Dream – Episode 4

[HorribleSubs] BanG Dream! - 04 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.39_[2017.02.12_09.51.45].jpg

This episode was somewhat fun. Arisa’s jealousy was fairly well-handled, though it was resolved way too quickly. O-Tae seems like a decent enough character as well. Kasumi was just as energetic and fun this episode, but she didn’t really do anything as absurd as following Arisa around constantly or singing Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star on stage, so she wasn’t quite as enjoyable to watch this time. Despite that it was still a fun episode, if a little worse than previous ones.

IBO S2  – Episode 18

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This was a good episode. McGillis’s backstory made him and his ideals much more clear as well as much more sympathetic, while Gaelio’s feelings were re-contextualized to fit well with our newfound information. The fight scene between Gaelio and Mika was good too, and the whole “AI duplicates of people’s brains in the Mobile Suits” thing is interesting, if somewhat weird. The conflict in Gjallarhorn has been one of the most interesting parts of the show its entire run, so I’m happy that we’re finally in the thick of it. We’re rapidly heading towards the show’s conclusion, and I’m happy to say that it’s getting better as we go.

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