Summer 2016 – Week 4 in Anime (Part 1)

Summer 2016 might be my new favorite season this year. Yay!

Osu. I am done getting emo over the past few days once I reaffirmed my preferences as far as anime series go. Without further ado, let’s start!

GREAT

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I really do not know if I am going to survive orange without sustaining potent emotional damage in its run. We’re only at episode 4 and we got revelations piling one after another as if we are at this show’s climax. I can certainly relate with Naho in this case. Saying you want to fix your regret is quite easy only when you are talking about it in hindsight. For someone dealing a major confusion in the present? It is going to be really ugly, and that’s what is Naho facing right now.

I was also glad we got to see the other side of a shoujo show (when someone you like dates other girls). That was a cliched trope but orange had the courage to present what Naho’s friends think even without realizing our poor lead is in love with Kakeru. Now that’s new! I also love Suwa’s selflessness in this episode. Dude, I know you like the girl but why push her to Kakeru? If this is a cliched romcom, Suwa might have probably monopolized Naho but we are talking a series where teens act like actual teens. I am extremely happy.

As for Ueda? Yeah, she’s just a plot device rather than a real character. I am not sensing a villainous vibes with her. It’s just that she’s a cardboard and the show knows it so she was disposed right after. A criticism of orange lies in its direction but I really like how this show is portrayed. Only few series utilize the power of dialogues coming from unimportant characters to highlight the atmosphere and to make us realize the leads are normal persons. The focus is only zoomed to them.

You know what, Mob Psycho 100 should not be dismissed as ‘that other work’ by ONE because it is really good. Mob’s continuous search for his place in the society and an approval of a certain girl he likes is nothing short of poignant, once you put your shoes with his character. Of course, the visuals carry this show a lot but I am glad we got a believable motivation with our lead. I am also beginning to like Reigen as the con-man so it felt like I can finally enjoy this show at last! The jokes are still flat but I am willing to forgive these in exchange for good characterization.

Anyone else who noticed death flags raising everywhere in planetarian? I sort of knew Yumemi might die but that twist left me dumbfounded for seconds. The show remains to be paced quite right and the characterization is okay. If you can get past the Key-ness of some lines, you should check this show. It is a drama done right without the apparent emotional manipulation of Key. I just hope it won’t end with Deus Ex Machina though.

ALMOST THERE

Time to defrost a tsundere.
Time to defrost a tsundere.

Amaama to Inazuma seems to finally find its stride in presenting an episode, yet it can be a chore at some points. It is fun learning kids really hate certain kinds of vegetables in their age. On how they try to prevent eating these is sort of adorable and irritating at the same time. Color me amused with the graceful handling of this show in that mundane topic. Nonetheless, things began to waver a bit when Inuzuka-sensei and Kotori cook their food thanks to the predictability. The last part is pure comedic gold though.

Thankfully, DAYS this week is more polished than the previous episode… yet I am remained to be disturbed with this show’s way of lifting Tsukamoto to the high heavens. Don’t get me wrong – I am a sucker for underdog stories so DAYS hits my sweet tooth as usual. It manages to mix a balance of comedy and feels for me to enjoy this to my heart’s contents. I am also glad we got to see Tsukamoto finally improving in playing soccer and his unshaken resolve to do good with a thing which interests him. Lastly, darn that Mizuki’s reason for being injured! Am I the only one who laughed at it?

Now to the cons, I said earlier that I was disturbed with this show’s praising Tsukamoto, isn’t it? Yes, it remains my main con with DAYS. I like the new character until she submitted herself to our lovable lead’s charismatic moe-ness. Nonetheless, I still love this series.

Battery is a serious show that tosses baseball aside to thaw the coldness in Takumi’s character. I am just confused on whose point of view I am going to look at the show. What I just know that its success lies on how we are invested with the leads – and it does its job well. I am interested on how Go will change Takumi’s (honestly) irritating pompousness. For the main sport they portray? The ugly politics aside, we are still not getting there. Character drama is Battery’s focus so any sports anime junkie should have left by now.

Now that I think of it, why didn’t KyoAni pick Cheer Danshi as an adaptation? It is based on a novel akin to Sound! Euphonium and it features bishies that screams Free! I mean, the plot is going on a nice pace, we got lovable characters and the execution (sans the artwork) is good. It was a waste that their keen attention to details were not used in this show. This week’s episode cemented the fact that Breakers has still a lot to go before they can be properly called a cheerleading team. If you are watching this show, it feels like I am watching a male version of Shirobako only that Cheer Danshi does not sugarcoat the hard portions.

DECENT

My reaction with this episode.
My reaction with this episode.

This week’s 91 Days is weird. I do not know what the staff is trying to accomplish at that episode. Is it meant to be comedic? Then I think the show just threw the seriousness away it consciously built for the last three weeks. Are they pulling a Baccano! here? If so, the episode lacked the energy and the pure fun of a typical Baccano! offering. It also does not help that Angelo is a dead serious lead, living in dead serious America while having these dead serious people. We still get bits of what made this series great but I am quite ambivalent with its jarring mix. I am not mad at this episode, I was just weirded out.

The Morose Mononokean broke away from its strengths and I am not sure whether it paid off. The presence of (admittedly) poignant stories makes the dry interaction of Abeno and Ashiya tolerable. This week has none of that. Instead, it compensated us with the colorful palettes used to depict the underworld. It makes me think I was taken back to the colorful visuals of Hoizuki no Reitetsu (2014). I am pleased visually but man, I am not a fan of Ashiya – Abeno combination. Can I mentally note that Ashiya is more idiotic than it seems? Ugh.

Lastly, Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu rebounded and delivered an okay episode this week. That’s all. Guchi may or may not be actually jealous of others groping Nakamura and it makes me want to ship them. Nonetheless, I laughed at his interaction with Kana-chan though. That is so me and with my fujoshi friend.

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