Winter 2016 – Week 6 in Anime Part 1

Halfway through this season and I am warming up to a lot of these shows. I hope the majority will not lose their momentum towards their respective endings. Let’s start!

Well, I do not know if I am erring in giving judgment but I cannot find a truly bad episode this time. Even Haruchika managed to scrape at the bottom of the Decent group just because Chika got a lot of screen time this week. Active Raid also pulled a very pleasant episode that pays homage to robots and does not capitalize on cheap jokes.  Lastly, I never thought that the Almost There Group will be jam packed this week. Does it mean shows are actually improving this season? I hope so.

GREAT

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It is a weird day when Osomatsu-san reduced me to a laughing mess. Don’t stop from being neurotic! Yahoo!

Or more like, the Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu slot. Six weeks passed and I still cannot see any sign of this show falling apart. What is even more amazing is this week is an anime original but I did not feel that it went out of place with the previous ones. Kikuhiko’s struggle with rakugo is well presented, great even, with his breakdown not shown in the screen but was subtly handled… wow. On the other hand, some transitions between scenes felt really abrupt. Yet these minor quips did not effect Rakugo’s another powerful episode. Probably it’s just me nitpicking since I cannot see a major flaw.

Then Lupin III (2015)‘s 19th episode remained reliable as ever with Lupin III and Nix’ combination. The show’s highlight, Rebecca’s mini-arc, involved the two of them so I am happy we got another gem of an episode this time. This week’s story about Dragon’s Tail shows what Lupin III (2015) can be at its most grandiose. I was amazed as to the reason why the object Lupin III wanted (and succeeded) to steal was named as such. We also got some cool moves from Nix towards the end of the episode. Moreover, it looks like it has now a continuous story. You want a ridiculous villain? Here’s Leonardo da Vinci incarnate for you! Just wait Rakugo and Erased as this might be the real winner this season.

Osomatsu-san‘s craziness went over 9,000 this week and delivered the wackiest anime car race since Carnival Phantasm. I cannot actually pinpoint who made the episode worked but darn, everyone’s nuts and murderous enough just to be the main character next episode! What a shameless way to break the fourth wall. I have kept this show at the back burner for the past few weeks since I am only lukewarm to its first cour. Darn, if I did not read the comments in the Nihon Review forum I would have missed this episode! For those who watched this week’s offering, it might went too long for some but this is what Osomatsu-san can deliver in its best: its own brand of neurotic comedy.

ALMOST THERE

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Basically my question too Isshie.

Then there’s Erased which somehow improved from last week’s all over the place episode but still cannot pull itself together to present what it did from episodes 2 to 4. I honestly felt the present arc is needlessly convoluted with the culprit being a ridiculously powerful individual capable of twisting the facts to screw Satoru. Does he know his ability? I personally think Satoru was only thrown in the mess at the moment his mother knew the culprit’s identity. However, that plus the events 18 years ago were too much of a coincidence! So there must be some sort of connection and Erased has to do some real good explanation with that. I was also baffled with how inept the police or investigators in this show are. Sure, I know it is for the sake of showing us good mystery but… you are convicting someone who is obviously innocent especially with the fire in Airi’s house. The suspect must have had some real money or power to shut the mouths of the eyewitnesses there then.

Kayo’s parts are its most interesting parts but Erased decided to toss it aside. Then there’s Airi who comes as the show’s tool to manipulate the audience emotionally. Well, its bad is still better than 90% of the shows this season as this episode is very good on its own. It is just really frustrating to see an anime which built some seriously great premise only to set it aside later on.

Sekkou Boys left me guffawing too much with its glorious sixth episode. Anything which panders the MLM marketing is fine by me. I remembered Welcome To The NHK doing it realistically but this time, Sekkou Boy’s rendition was done for the sake of showing goofs here. It worked wonders you know. Hermes is truly a shady god of commerce. I was disturbed by that baby Dionysus though.

Assassination Classroom 2 tossed all the seriousness away this week and delivered arguably its best episode. I think it will be the last time I see its comedic nature as its last part begins to throw hints with Koro-sensei’s past. Additional points for Nagisa being oblivious to the girl’s crush for him and Karma being a total psychopath in the play while owning Class A during the midterm examinations. Minor quip: Why the hate on Class E’s rank? I saw Nagisa’s as well as his other two companions and they are just right in the middle. Well, it’s fun anyway so I will let it pass.

Am I dreaming? Active Raid delivered a strong episode in its own merits!  This week is a balance of comedy, action and some drama in the end that does not feel cheap or disgusting. This is precisely what I want from this anime. This week delicately touched why giant robots a.k.a. Gundams did not work in Active Raid’s timeline. Well, Logos is still the big black stain that I cannot easily give a pass since it is supposed to be the major antagonist in the story but it is just…kinda there… Actually it is the main reason why I downgraded this show from just okay to nearly bad.

DECENT

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All I know is Phantom World borrowed the bears from Yuri Kuma Arashi this week.

No amount of visual prowess can cover Phantom World‘s partly entertaining but mildly boring episode this week. I cannot remember other Kyoto Animation episodes as colorful as this aside from Nichijou which is a good thing since episode six is a mixed bag. Why did the mood mismatch with its wacky visuals?  We are in Kurumi’s inner world and it involved some really big mushrooms and funny bears! Where is Phantom World’s typical gags when we need it? That was handled a bit too seriously. Now that we are done collecting the heroines, I am sure we will see its main plot for the next episodes. Oh. Haruhiko is totally useless in this episode aside from being an eye candy.

PS: Where can I buy an Albrecht?

What I fear of Norn 9 begins to happen now. The main story (THE WAAAAR) is now inserted just because and that dude who attacked the ship in episode 2 showed again. It felt rushed to be honest but it is necessary for Norn 9 to avoid from being stagnant. There are six episodes left so it is not too late for this show to gear up and start moving the plot. I also appreciate the fact that the show remained strong enough due to its characters and its scenery porn but these can only bring it so far. Hence, the need for a story. Unless it is red herring, it is painfully obvious who is the culprit inside the ship. Ugh.

Haruchika managed to be here because of Chika. That girl is just too likable to hate unlike Haruta who ate Google and seemed to know everthing. There is a positive correlation between Chika’s screen time and this show’s quality. Last week was Haruta’s week and it was a borefest. Chika got the longer stick this week. Then it became good. I really didn’t care about the mystery (and so with the show) this week but just like episode four, Chika’s reckless assault to new characters is the saving grace of this show. Her painful naivety is too gold for me to detest this show this week.

Well, yet there’s Prince of Stride – Alternative which barely made to this group just because the heroine gets her overdue spotlight. It’s still a tad too predictable and nondescript for my taste but I wouldn’t mind watching episodes like this. As long as it stirs me emotions aside from boredom, I am fine labelling this show as your by the numbers sports anime this season. YET – PLEASE THROW SOME GRAVITAS LIKE WHAT KUROKO NO BASUKE AND HAIKYUU DID IN THEIR RESPECTIVE SHOWS! Ehem. Forgive me for my rant.

EH?

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A part of me wishes Tabi no Machi Show ran longer because its replacement is not that good so far.

So Tabi no Machi Late Show was replaced by a Magical BL short? Kono Danshi. Mahou Ga Oshigoto Desu is a story of a wizard who is a prodigy in magic (Kashima) and someone who can do everything but does not know where his true interest lies (Toyohi).Then the latter told the former he likes him on their first meeting. Wow. The series actually looked good in still images but is weird when actually moving just like the disappointing God Eater adaptation. Actually, it will be easy to take some pretty screen shots for this show if that is your thing. Another beef, the character design is not good too. That is a BL show you know, make your character at least… visually appealing. Nonetheless, I can see where it is going (basically it’s another show about loving someone superficially) so it’s not like the worst thing ever in this season.

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