Winter 2016 – Week 8 in Anime (Part 1)

Let’s start recapping this very heart-wrenching week in anime. There’s also a disturbing trend that many of these shows just started to present their respective main story after 8 episodes – just when we thought Charlotte was already too filler-ish. Waaaaa!

Plot Twist: I want to drop Shouwa Rakugo.

First, I am really serious about planning to drop Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu despite the fact that it is the best this season and is actually threatening to crawl in my most favorites list. I am not sure if I can bear to watch the darkness Shouwa Rakugo has on its sleeves for the next two episodes. The more we are nearing with Sukeroku’s death, the more dreaded I am to approach this show weekly. I am not emotionally prepared.

GREAT

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I know I am not the only one who laughed with this scene. Erased is much better with showing drama than mystery in my opinion.

This week’s Rakugo episode is all about departures. No – not the usual breakups but the ones that sting like what Honey and Clover silently did 10 years ago. This is a dramatic episode and it is basically where Kikuhiko’s boiling point was tipped, prompting him to leave everyone else (Sukeroku included) for the sake of his dream. I have to rewatch the confrontation scene between the three for four times since that was too complex for my humble mind to absorb. Shouwa Rakugo is still nice in bringing some nice vignettes in the dying rakugo industry that makes me adore this show even more week after week. And oh, Miyokichi is the victim of these events all along. Poor girl for falling with the wrong guy. Her backstory makes her more believable in her intentions.

Erased is on its top form this week too. My only beef is why is the drama part being better than the mystery component? My friends in Polyphoni.ca shared that mystery is not exactly its selling point and I agree. Remember episodes 5 and 6? Yes. These are the episodes where Erased clumsily told its plot. The efforts of Satoru just to save Kayo is the central theme of this show, hoping that something might change in the future if he succeeds so. It became the second coming of Higurashi (bar the grotesque murders) at this point. Well, if its intention to stay in 1988, I wouldn’t mind as these are the moments where this show is at its best. This episode ended in another cliffhanger but I was glad that its shock factor is not as high as the other episodes.

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I just have to take some screenshot of this Lupin III episode because it’s really pretty.

Lupin III (2015) may not have the usual gravitas in terms of episodic storytelling this week but it might as well be the prettiest show in this batch. The background artwork in its 21st episode is nothing short of sublime. Then we get a Fujiko-centric episode where even Lupin III acknowledges her worth as his co-shenanigan. Seriously, I love this girl so anything that focuses on her is great since she is a multi-faceted character.

ALMOST THERE

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This is Saitama before he became bald.

Assassination Classroom Season 2‘s resolution of the shinigami arc is clean and slick. It was comedic, tense, action-filled and heart-tugging at the same time. We get some cool fight scenes between Karasuma and the Shinigami and some Koro-sensei quirks that never fail to amuse me. It might be too glossy for my taste, especially when it tackled Irina’s past but this is its most cohesive offering to date. Last thing, am I a good being for making my OTP in this anime come true? KarasumaxIrina is too high in this episode.

Then the real surprise for me this week is Dagashi Kashi‘s sweet as heck summer festival offering. Hence, I am currently on a research to prove the negative correlation of this show’s quality and the quirkiness of Hotaru. Everyone gets their fair share of screen time and it worked just fine. I will be lying to say that  I was not touched by Saya and Coconuts moments in this episode because it makes me ship them more. That was just… cute.Yet no one can ever fathom who will Coconuts choose since he is a blushing machine. No, I did not laugh that much in this episode but this show sure knows how to make a compelling atmosphere if it needs to.

PS: I lied, Tou-kun is the winner of this episode. In addition, just how did Hotaru grow up to become like that? She mentioned that she plays alone when she was young… and that was just.. sad.

DECENT

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That moment when a chick in Norn 9 is more manly than her romantic partner.

Divine Gate‘s overly messy seventh episode was compensated by a relatively straightforward offering this time. The aftermath of their quest to seek the Divine Gate was properly shown and it was seen as an act of rebellion. Hence, Akane’s group has to hide to avoid persecution with the help of a new character (Err…). There’s also a certain level of darkness which envelops this anime so I am excited with on how things will happen on the next episode. My only quip: why so fixated with lolis? We have a weaponized loli last episode. This time, we get a Shakespearean loli who is a semi-boss. Well, Japan being a Japan.

Kono Danshi Mahou Ga Oshigoto Desu ended just what I expected. It turns out, Kashima’s inferiority complex was self induced and Toyohi’s affection is more than just because of the former’s magical ability. Kono Danshi’s a bit too short for my taste and it could have cut some dialogues in the Magical Division to give way for the romance of these two characters. Nonetheless, I am glad with what happened. That was a nice ending. It’s a passable shounen-ai story if you can get past the weird artwork. Now, where is my Seven Days anime adaptation?

Active Raid‘s episode this week is more of ‘what will happen if your ex and you are on a mission to detonate a bomb’. Man, that was also hilarious. Sena’s on air apologies to his ex are gold while catching some bombs falling from the ceiling. Well, Logos was bad enough to mar my experience with this episode so it’s just here. Nonetheless, I think the military’s failure to fool-proof Sena’s ex Willwear will be a turning point in this show.

Sekkou Boys gave us an excruciatingly funny week in a face palm kind of way. Yes, it tackles a talk show this time that involves other non-human idols – and I was mentally harassed when Hindu deities appeared and performed on the screen. The final straw? Our poor idol boys were shafted in their performance in the most hilarious way due to the limited timeslot.

Then things start to crumble with Norn 9‘s eighth episode. Who would have thought that there will be two time travel series this season? I skimmed through the VN summary and realized that it might be an otome but darn, Koharu is not the main lead. It’s Sorata! They also tried to incorporate other routes without sacrificing much of the main story. Oh well, that was a brave part in the staff to make some twist to make it feel like an anime – and it mostly succeeded in balancing the plot and the character interactions so far. My only concern is if this show will be able to handle the grandness it presented in this episode. There’s this thing called the Reset and we got another Higurashi-themed show here. Then welp! Kakeru’s father is alive and welp! he was the traveler Koharu mentioned in episode 1. Everything makes sense in this show right now even if the explanation was just… well, jarring to be honest.

EH?

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My reaction with with Week’s Phantom World.

Prince of Stride‘s dramatic episode is as heavy as a feather in terms of impact so I kind of forgot what happened aside from the fact that the Honan Stride team lost in a trial match and Yagami will go full emo from here onto.

This is a typical week from Haruchika. Zzzz… Mundane mysteries being solved in mundane ways with Haruta being a humanized google search engine. That’s all – which is a shame given how dark the subject is (her first love being dead and his dead nakamas in the forest).

I am going to bet that Phantom World is the absolute worst in this batch even with Haruchika being a sleep inducer. Did KyoAni raise the white flag in this episode similar to what happened in Nisekoi: last year? I know this anime is only for the lulz but this is filler of the fillers too much. Well, at least it gave something different with hot spring episodes in animes? Nonetheless, it’s a nondescript ecchi trash and the visuals are also too inconsistent with KyoAni’s usual standard. So yeah, nothing redemptive this week. Bleh.

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