Winter 2016 – Week 8 in Anime (Part 2)

This week just showed the difference between Rakugo and Erased as against all other animes I am seeing in this batch – I can’t believe my rant of Dimension W takes half of this post. Oh well, shall we start?

GREAT

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Swoon Level: Over 9,000!

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime Season 2‘s conclusion to the current arc is nothing short of sweet and is the most similar with the mood it gave last season. If Zen’s past was painful, Shirayuki’s is kind of sweet. We also got to see village where her father lives and the obligatory “I am giving you my blessing to be with my child thing” – and that was a riot to be fair. That aside, the masterful use of background music is the primary reason why it is here. Nothing much happened in this episode actually if you remove those Zen/Shirayuki moments where I am left swooning to the moon.  On the other hand, I still think the show is pretty but the budget constraints are now showing its ugly head as some characters get deformed when they move. And yeah, being Obi is suffering. Why does the best boy have to be the doomed friend?

ALMOST THERE

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Missed opportunity is the best description for this series. I guess Erased took all of A-1 Pictures’ budget this season.

Now that I caught up with Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, let me first praise the show for its pretty artwork and its somber approach in RPG fantasy plot. I know DanMachi did the same trick last year but it felt more like a diluted version of SAO than a separate show. This time, the subdued approach worked and made it one of the better shows this season. The character moments are there – I mean, who was not moved when Haruhiro hugged Yume and the two broke down over the consequence of Manato’s death? That was just emotionally compelling that SAO can ever dreamed to achieve. Nonetheless, this is what SAO could have been if it focused on the characters and injected some sense of reality in the RPG world. They are not overpowered, they stumble a lot and darn, the sense of danger is there. On the big minus, THOSE STILL IMAGES! Story wise, I think it is better than Erased but darn, the budget issues are haunting this nice little show. I mean, why spend minutes on still images? Is this an AMV or something?! Gah.

PS: I am still haunted by Haruhiro’s line about Manato when they became real Volunteer Soldiers. I mean, yeah – they held on too much with him only to realize they were not together for so long. Mary also proves to be a rich character. Great.  Now that they are done avenging for their friend, maybe start hunting monsters other than goblins, goblins, goblins, goblins, goblins?

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans raised all the death flags this week and swung it without subtlety. I am here for the action though (and those shirtless pilots to a lesser degree) and man, it should stick on what it knows best because these are nothing short of excellent. Character-wise and plot-wise, it is also doing a good job on propelling Kudelia to a central character yet I still think that it is not worth it. The Tekkadan guys made me like this show because of how they work and the Mika/Orga dynamic. I think this anime would be a lot better if it stick on what it is doing from episodes 1-8. Sure, I like the political aspect of Kudelia’s arrival on Earth but man, why sacrifice much of screen time over her? Anyway, this is a very good episode and actually, it has the best death scene over this series (not that it has any competition though). You just killed my most favorite character. Great.

This is the first episode of Ajin where I was irked a bit by the show’s plot. It hasn’t stepped on creating plot holes but color me underwhelmed with Satou’s plan and Tosaki’s back story. Sure, the main story remains as engaging as ever with the social commentaries being its strongest suit, but these flashbacks aren’t doing anything for me. I must admit Satou becoming one of the best characters this season though. What the heck that man is thinking? For Kei? Nothing much has happened with him this week but I find it troubling that he has fully accepted his abilities as an Ajin.

PS: It’s becoming my type of convoluted story reminiscent of the loathed Tokyo Ghoul Root A – and it seems like I am the only one who loves Root A more than the original series.

JUST DECENT

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I have no idea what this girl is saying.

Osomatsu-san‘s comfortable with being neurotic this week and I have taken a liking on it but not enough to make me giggle. I smiled at this episode though. Is this show critiquing itself during the last parts about some lame comedic attempts?

Natcchan got some rival in Rainbow Days‘ eighth episode – and the shipping potentials between these characters and their respective leading ladies are in full sail. All in all, a very fine episode by this innocent show.

Koyomimonogatari doubled up the creep factor with Ougi and a semi-yandere Nadeko this week.The mystery about the second North Snake temple just flew all over my head that’s why it is here.

EH?

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Seems like this show gave up on giving us a story and trolled us instead with this. I am not complaining.

Bubuki Buranki is objectively the worst this week but I am entertained so it gets a pass from my weekly scathing. Nonetheless, the staff raised the white flag in this series and trolled us by inserting as many characters as they can and it resulted to something really what-the-heck-am-I-watching worthy. The narrative is not only disjointed but…. now where’s the story of this show at this point?

Nothing’s working between Dimension W and me anymore. To state my comment in the Nihon Review Forum, why is this anime turned out to be a competition about a race to get something on Easter Island? (By the way, does it really snow there?) Who are these people and what are their contributions to the main story of Dimension W? Why is there a need to insert many characters over the span of two episodes without some proper introduction and development? Not to mention that we are now nearing towards the ending of this show. What am I supposed to care about them? Why is Kyouma being mean to Mira, aside from the obvious hint from episode 7? Would I bat an eyebrow if their world is now eaten by dimension W? Sure, there are some slick action moments in this episode that I really loved but it’s too hammy (that Kyouma pose towards the end of his fight with an octopus robot is too cliched) and uninspired. Still images plagued the first part of this episode. GREAT. Another thing, I know hatred of robots might the the apologists’ reasons for Kyouma’s behavior for Mira, but darn, that scene when they entered the nothingness felt like an acid trip for me.

At this point, Dimension W is a wasted potential at best due to the super rushed presentation and an incomprehensible pompous mess at worst. That’s why this one is the worst anime show this week that I am following in my opinion. Rushed execution is one thing I can give a pass but being unapologetic while being one ticks me off. Expect me throwing rants at this show for the coming weeks because I have given up on it. UGH.The only thing that can salvage this show for me is Mira snapping at Kyouma’s misogynistic acts and leave him alone to rot in that island. Bleh.

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