Weekly Roundup – 2014/03/16

Shows discussed: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren; Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha; Kill la Kill; Mikakunin de Shinkoukei; Noragami; Sakura Trick; Space Dandy.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren – 10

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren! 10

Shichimiya, you sad girl. It was a really good episode, Satone-centered, and at last she’s getting attention she deserves. Personally, I think she’s the main selling point of the whole second season – and it’s sad that her story, her character is being developed so late in the show.

Nevertheless! It’s intense. On the one hand, I wish they somehow got together, though I know that’s really not possible. I want to see more of what has been, what is and what could be between them. Clannad – Another World-like episode would make me extremely happy. On the other hand, I’ve been cheering on Rikka all this time, and they’re doing better and better.

Yuuta is so damn oblivious of Shichimiya’s feelings, that it’s plain painful to watch. They did manage to build her into a relatable character, and this is why it’s that sad – I’ve a feeling that she became the actual protagonist of the story, and she will ultimately, inevitably, fail.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 09

Inari 09

Ah… No. The episode is about other girls being mean to Inari for not giving Tanbabashi the other girl’s love letter. While I’m glad that the plot is consequently build upon the actions of the cast, I feel like this show is going somewhere it never meant to. The humorous, light-hearted feel is gone. The drama is just as petty as it has been, moreover, everyone’s actions are strangely exaggerated – to make up for the lack of entertainment, perhaps?

I think that there was no clear idea what to do with all the characters introduced. Now, just to make them apparent in the plot, everyone gets their screen time, but it doesn’t really build the story well – it just makes it feel random and without impact. It does not even develop characters well – we’ve seen Sumizome change, we’ve seen Touka change a bit, and that’s about it. Moe Sucks has brought up a good argument – even the supposingly main male protagonist, Tanbabashi, is reduced just to a basketball playing guy.

Have you noticed what happened to character design throughout the season? While the human part of the cast is alright, every other god introduced feels increasingly worse. Uka-sama was the first one introduced, and she was somewhat classy and appealing. But then there was Amaterasu, and ad this point it got weird, but then there was Susanoo, and at this moment Inari isn’t just as attractive visually as it used to be.

To be honest, the only moment I appreciated throughout the episode was when Inari went into divine rampage mode, with earthquakes and I hate them and shit, bloodbath on the horizon. I wished this would be a turning point, where Inari herself is sick about what happens in the show…

Kill la Kill – 22

Kill la Kill 22

With our two heroines reunited, it’s time to kick some ass! I’ve a feeling though that we’re yet to see another serious plot twist. I hope Ragyo will shake things up again. For at least 5 episodes now the show was getting more and more intense, and as much as I acknowledge a final battle as the climax of the series, I want to keep it building up the intensity for just a little longer.

Have you as well felt disappointed by the few first minutes of the episode? After last week’s show, where there was some seriously severe stuff going on, the feeling got immediately defused by too much talking and too many bad jokes. I guess it was done so purposefully, to make later events feel more impactful. Even if that was not the case, later parts of the episode felt increasingly better.

Ryuko’s attempt to call Satsuki sister, and her response, were so sweet. They went through a lot, they fought and endured together, and they deserve a moment for themselves.

Kill la Kill 22

Saves the day, again

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei (Engaged to the Unidentified) – 10

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei 10

This very episode made me realize one thing – there’s a lot of unused potential in the very revolving point of the show – Hakuya and Kobeni’s romance. I have to admit, I found sympathizing with Hakuya somewhat difficult. I didn’t like his voice. I didn’t like his extreme introvertness. But throughout the series, I grew accustomed to, and eventually begun to like his little quirks. Most importantly, this week, I liked how there was an actual romantic plot interwoven with them, hidden within the comedy. I know that just last week I was complaining about how shallow it seems, but this episode just worked where the rest of them did not.

The issue is, there are just two episodes until the end of the series. It’s Benio and Mashiro that make the show going, and while the humor of Mikakunin is solid, I don’t think it’s enough to make this show long-term memorable. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected much more in the first place.

Noragami – 10

Noragami 10

Yukine’s issues finally got resolved, the show has moved on, it’s good. However, I still think that Noragami has its problems. I’d really like it to shine – plot-wise, it’s starting to get really interesting. Relationship between Yato and Yukine might bloom from now. Nora is becoming an actually important factor in the plot, with her jealousy-driven hostility. Mood of the show itself is showing somewhat darker tones – Tenjin’s shinki got blighted, regalia themselves are said to be dangerously close to phantom world. Of course, Hiyori’s separation from Yato can develop very nicely. Not to mention that there are various arcs just left hanging – Bishamon’s, Kazuma’s, etc.

And there are just two episodes left. Will they be able to end the series well? Will there be a second season? Or will we be left with a huge feeling of disappointment? I’m afraid that’s the case.

I think that even though there’s still some promise in the show, the execution is hurt by just general mediocrity here and there. Phantoms, and action scenes overall felt very stale and cheap this week. Copy-and-paste scorpions? Not really impactful. And they should be, given the Rabou’s comment ‘that’s how strong Yato is right now?‘. Masked wolves? Meh. At least comedy works, even though it’s quite uneven – sometimes dull, sometimes good.

Sakura Trick – 10

Sakura Trick 10

Hasn’t Mitsuki figured out already? Really? Or is she just in denial? I’m glad she’s shaken though, this whole situation might push both hers and maybe even Kaede’s development a lot.

I don’t know what else to write, really. It’s a good episode. Go watch it.

Space Dandy – 10

Space Dandy 10

After last week’s somewhat disappointing show, this episode reminded me what did I love Space Dandy for in the first place. The formula for a good entertainment this series serves is simple: pick a theme, be it a complete trope (race, zombie invasion), or just already existent, but not overused yet (Groundhog Day-style time loop), saturate it with absurdity, sculpt, and polish until it shines. And it works!

Plus, if there’s some character exploration (I think it’s better term than development here), then it’s not just good, it’s great. We’ve seen more of Nyan’s story at last, and this is what finally made him a relatable, fleshed out character. Very similarly to the more human nature Dandy has shown in the fifth episode. Just like the Gentooan girl enriched the big guy, Nyan’s family did a great job here.

The actual plot of the episode was great as well. Sure, time loops are not a novelty idea, but it’s been executed very skillfully, with just the kind of humor we were expecting to see. And because of this, I think this is one of the best episodes Space Dandy has offered so far.

Space Dandy 10

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2 comments

  1. I think there’s a decent possibility of Noragami getting a second season. Which would suit me fine, since manga-based anime titles that try to keep going even after they’ve run out of source material really don’t tend to go well. *cough First FMA series cough* Also, while I’m more than willing to admit that much of my feelings about Noragami stem from the fantastic artwork, animation, music, and general style, it’s now become my second favourite show of the winter season after Gin no Saji. I don’t necessarily approve of style over substance, but every once in a while, I find myself really enjoying something like that anyway.

    I feel your pain on Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. Even the comedy, which for me was the main draw of this series during those first couple of episodes, has become increasingly repetitive. The drama meanwhile seems mostly forced, and in general I think the whole show has gone downhill. Which doesn’t make it terrible – just disappointing. I’ll keep watching until the end, but only because I may as well.

    1. I do hope it will. I just wish that rather than expanding drastically the universe, it would focus on existing characters.
      Fair enough! :) Noragami’s visuals are top-notch for a TV series. The music is awesome. Half of my today’s dreams consisted of a looped Noragami OP, heh.
      There were just some art decisions I found questionable.

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