Winter 2017 Week 8 Recap

It’s late, mostly because Nier: Automata sucked up a week of my time. It was well worth it, and there should eventually be a post on here about it, but it did get me a little off schedule. Fortunately I now have time to build a buffer and get back on track, but this and a few other posts will be a bit later than I wanted. Besides that I really only watched these shows this week, so what you see here is my whole anime experience for the week. Enjoy.

Rakugo S2 – Episode 8

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This season’s really been nailing the performances. They were certainly enjoyable in the first season, but I feel like the direction and voice work has only gotten better this time around. The last three episodes, with Inokori, Sukeroku’s rendition of the fisherman’s tale, and now Yota’s rendition of the same story have all captivated me, and I can’t say the performances in the first season were that consistent. I was tearing up a good bit of this episode, almost as soon as I saw that Yota was wearing Sukeroku’s kimono for his performance. When you add that to the excellent scene in which Kiku explains his conflict over his own life and his dwindling ability to perform, this manages to be a great episode which maintains the show’s incredibly high position.

MaiDragon – Episode 8

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I liked this episode, though it was much more comedy-focused than other recent episodes. That’s fine and all, since most of this show’s comedy manages to land, but it was a little weird after several episodes in a row that focused heavily on the family dynamics in the show. Not to say this episode didn’t include that at all. Tohru’s jealousy and the discussion on it was fantastic, and what comedy was here I found funnier than I usually find this show. The Shouta jokes are still uncomfortable and times and relentlessly unfunny, but I enjoyed everything else this episode. Elma is a cool character to add and I’m very hopeful that KyoAni will end this show on the right note.

3-gatsu – Episode 19

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This was another great episode, almost entirely due to the focus on Shimada. I’ve been drawn to him for a while, and this episode really managed to make me care about him even more. His desire to impress his village was already something that made me sympathetic, but the greater context this episode made me want to cheer for him even more. The focus on his stomach pain makes it clear that he suffers in order to play shogi, but that just makes his appreciation of it all that much stronger. Shimada has just as much to deal with as anyone else in the cast, which is something this episode did a really good job at portraying.

LWA – Episode 8

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This was a really good episode, which surprises me since it was Imaishi’s. I personally think Imaishi is only decent as a director, but his storyboards here were excellent, as was the episode in general. Sucy has always been a fun character, but this episode managed to further flesh her out while also delivering on the theme of peoples’ fractured selves in an interesting, if not very original way. The execution was excellent, from the Sucy court, to the movies, to her thorny room, and this was all tied to fantastic expressions and clearly strong layouts. The animation wasn’t quite on the level of some of the earlier episodes, but the storyboards were so good that I didn’t care. This is one of my favorites so far in this series, and it’s good enough to make me reconsider my opinion on Imaishi as a whole.

Kemono Friends – Episode 8

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This was a slightly different episode, but it was still a really enjoyable one. The focus on the main plot was a lot less heavy, but PPP’s story was fun and Margay is both very gay and also another cute Friend. I think it’s hilarious that a penguin idol group has a song about not being able to fly but wanting to. The actual conflict between Princess and the rest of the group was solid, and as always Bag-chan and Serval were great. Not a ton to say on this one, except that the show is still great.

Urara – Episode 8

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This show consistently surprises me with the extent to which it uses its setting and narrative elements. Many CGDCT shows might use an episode like this once in a while, but this episode confirmed that this show is truly devoting to developing the world and characters. The Kirara shows that stand out like K-On, Hidamari Sketch, and New Game all do this, and Urara is doing this as well. It just makes the show more consistently interesting than sticking to a setting without major development. This episode was fantastic in this respect. It started out seeming like just another “beach trip” episode, but it quickly shifted into more development on Kon and her relationship with Chiya. Not only did this episode give them very good shipping fuel, it also managed to make me want Kon to reach her dream even more. I started this show expecting another mediocre CGDCT show, but I’m getting something nearly at the level of New Game, and seeing as the was one of my favorites last year, I’m very happy about expecting the wrong thing.

Konosuba S2 – Episode 8

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Not a ton to say. The first half was fine, but leaned too heavily on Darkness jokes for my liking. The second half was quite funny, and the Axis cult manages to reflect Aqua in a good way without being carbon copies of her, which is cool. I like how devoted they are to her more knowing how much of a garbage person she really is. That said I’d like to see Aqua around them more, and hopefully I will get to next episode.

GabDro – Episode 8

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It’s hard to write about comedies every week, unless something stands out in a particular episode, and that wasn’t the case this week. I did like that Raphiel was the butt of the jokes this episode, avoiding her previous issue of being a one-joke character. Satania and Vigne were still great. My opinion on this episode is roughly the same as the last; it’s good but not great, I have no intention of dropping it but it isn’t a favorite.

IBO S2 – Episode 20

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I really wonder where they’re going with this. At this point, Tekkadan and McGillis have no chance of victory. Their massive gamble with Shino just failed, and their forces are very heavily depleted. I could see where this was going if there were maybe 2 or 3 episodes left, but I have no clue what they plan on doing in 5. This episode did a good job at setting up a “this war is pointless” thing, but I’m really dubious that the payoff will be worth it when we’re so far out from the actual ending. Hopefully they manage to end it well, but I’m a bit worried.

Kirakira Precure – Episode 4

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I liked this episode, but not nearly as much as the previous ones. The production took a bit of a step down this episode, and the lack of fist fighting really does seem to be hurting this season, as the battles are just less fun to watch without hand-to-hand combat. That said, it was still fun. These girls are really awful cooks, and it appears they only managed to make good food because they tried so many times that they eventually got lucky, but that perseverance is fine. I’m excited to see the other two Cures appear, and hopefully these coming episodes reach the level of the first three.

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