Hey guys! Sloaner here with some of my thoughts on the Winter 2016 season! I have rounded up all the episodes from this week (organized by day they aired). Sorry my last post was so long! I had a lot to write and it kind of went on and on. Next time I am going to break it up into 2 or 3 blogs!
Top 5 Most Improved from Last Week
5 | Dimension W
4 | Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu
3 | Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
2 | Erased
1 | Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Top 5 Biggest Fails of the week
5 | Konosuba
4 | Musaigen no Phantom World
3 | GATE 2nd Season
2 | Utawarerumono
1 | Active Raid
Top 5 Male Characters of the week
5 | Kenya Kobayashi | Erased
4 | Kei Nagai | Ajin
3 | Haruhiro | Grimgar
2 | Chikage Rokujou | Durarara!!
1 | Tooru Oikawa | Haikyuu!!
Top 5 Female Characters of the week
5 | Aqua | Konosuba
4 | Kayo Hinazuki | Erased
3 | Yuuka Kobayakawa | Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu
2 | Mai Kawakami | Phantom World
1 | Yume | Grimgar
Top 5 Anime Recommendations of the week
5 | Haikyuu!! 2nd Season
4 | Erased
3 | Ajin
2 | Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
1 | Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
Below, you will find my notes on each of the series this week. My notes are just little things about the series that I keep track of. Any good notes, or problems will be noted below. The information will be marked [G] for good/improved, [N] for neutral/no change, or [B] for bad/got worse. If they are mixed like [B/N] or [G/N], that means they are a mix, or I am unsure. The letter that comes first is the feeling I am more inclined to.
Osomatsu-san (ep 19) – [N] That historical bit was pretty good. I like how this episode wasn’t completely overcome by Jyushimatsu’s ridiculousness, but I wish he would have come up (along with Ichimatsu) at least one more time. Regardless, I though Girlymatsu bit and the Choromatsu self-awareness was not as strong. That being said, I still though the Choro bit was strong in its own way. The brutality of the brothers is something I relate to and find pretty funny.
Ace of the Diamond 2nd Season (ep 45) – [N] As much as I love the cast, it really does feel the best when they all come together with Miyuki and Sawamura in the middle. I really liked the moment when Raichi realized the resolve needed to be a pitcher. It really speaks to how people are confident until they know what something really means. In any situation, when understanding and confidence come together, you have a person who is either a mastermind or an idiot: as shown by Miyuki and Sawamura.
Shiraiyuki-hime 2nd Season (ep 6) – [N/G] Nice. I can’t say that anything crazy or unexpected happened, but it was an enjoyable episode nonetheless. I actually really like this current conflict. Between the pirates and bandits, this series is doing a good job at presenting the issue at hand, then working each piece out over time. It helps this series that the arcs are well connected. It makes the series run quite smoothly. I look forward to what looks to be a pirate battle next week.
Prince of Stride (ep 7) – [N] Nice. Actually, I’m not quite sure what to make of this episode. I did like the little bits of development for the other team, but when it’s all said and done, we really don’t have much character development for any of them. I am interested by Takeru’s little flashback thing. What is this series trying to imply? That he knew them when he was younger, or that they are similar to people from his past? I hope the show will actually tell us.
Musaigen no Phantom World (ep 7) – [N] A cat mansion sounds kind of like a dream come true. There are cat cafes where I live, but I have never been to one. Perhaps I should put it on my list of things to do. One question from this episode: Why was Haruhiro the only one who didn’t get cat ears? I thought the episode was pretty good until it became somewhat one-sided. No one in particular got development this time around. I think Phantom World needs to be adding to someone’s character to be decent.
HaruChika (ep 7) – [N] Solid episode. After reading further in the novel, I can finally figure out why Haruta fails as a character. The way the novel describes him, he is a lonely, but intelligent boy drowning in androgyny and only truly comfortable around Chika. He has his own set of flaws and positives, but they are balanced by Chika. The anime portrays him as some close to perfect person, who is accompanied by the idiotic and emotional Chika. So basically, the anime has misunderstood what and how they contrast, and in doing so have greatly taken away from the entire anime.
Konosuba (ep 6) – [N] Mmm… This show is better when we have more of Kazuma’s cynical narrations. I can still get a laugh out of this series, but episodes really can be hit or miss. This time around, I enjoyed the first half with Aqua’s godess issues, and thought the second half could have been executed in a more humorous way. Konosuba shines when it does not take itself very seriously, and relies on the bizarre character interactions to push the comedy forward.
Assassination Classroom 2nd Season (ep 7) – [N/G] Whoa. That was one hell of an episode. I like how last episode spoke to haw far they have come, while this episode outlined how far they still have to go as assassin. I also totally called the flower guy was an assassin of sorts. If you ever meet someone super charismatic like that, they might just be a psychopath. I am interested to see how this conflict will be resolved, as the Reaper doesn’t seem like someone who you can poke fun at.
Erased (ep 7) – [G/N] I really liked how this week the drama was scaled back and the narrative took center stage. The changes Satoru is making will benefit the show in the future. I actually looked up a spoiler and now I know who the killer is (I suck). The scene with Yuki struck me as a bit bizzare, as the leering camera angles and bulge eyes effect felt misplaced. I also thought the scene where Satoru had the red eyes was well done. The red eye effect is beginning to make more sense to me as theme, rather than a theatrical effect.
Active Raid (ep 7) – [N/B] I feel like this episode was almost there, but something about it left a bad taste in my mouth. The new opening would have felt a lot better if we actually had any form of affection for the characters. My dislike for the characters isn’t cured by the new opening. It also seems like they are trying to make the characters seem or look younger. This episode was way too dramatic, but felt extremely anticlimactic due to lack of consistent build up. The end kind of just fizzled out.
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu (ep 7) – [G/N] Oi! That was a decent episode! Yuka has Bunta pinned to a T: “you’re a boring guy, but you’re a good guy.” It would also be safe to say that Bunta is a pretty dense guy. I think this may have been the best episode to date in terms of enjoyment. Also, what the hell is that hook at the end?! Apparently Kuroda is going to lock Bunta away. I hope this show follows this more life-oriented path, as it is much better.
Dagashi Kashi (ep 6) – [N] Saya gets embarrassed really easily. Also we should rename her brother “Tou the harasser” because he is kind of awful to her. This show is pretty consistent in its mediocrity. Sure, some arcs are better than others, but all of them kind of fall under the “blah” category. The dagashi trivia is kind of fun, but other than that I don’t this this series has any thing other than that and unassuming comedy. There just isn’t much to this show.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (ep 7) – [G/N] Another beautiful episode. I especially liked the interaction between Bon and Miyokichi. It told us a lot about how Bon has changed, and what that means for him. His time with Sukeroku was also rich. The attention to detail in the camera angles is key in this instance. Every zoom on facial expressions and change of pace adds mountains to the expressiveness of the series. Next week looks like shit is going to go down.
Heavy Object (ep 19) – [N] Interesting way to hit the peak of this arc. While Heavy Object hasn’t deepened the characters, it does know how to create a complex conflict with not too many plot holes.
Galko-chan (ep 7) – [N/G] Galko is such a homie though. Again, this show uses misconception and misunderstanding as a platform to build irony. I love the contrast between how people thin of Galko and how she actually is. It’s a shoutout to people that no matter how you dress, or the way you want/like to look, what’s inside matters the most.
Sekkou Boys (ep 7) – [N] Shit I totally knew that was coming and it was still funny. Yet again, I am surprised by how expressive statues can be when given a VA. It was interesting to see them fight, as their voices sound a little similar at times. Not going to lie, I lost track of who was who a bit.
Ajin (ep 6) – [G/N] So as you can see, Kei is trash. I think the fact that he lacks basic human empathy makes him more interesting than say Kaneki and Shinichi. He is a true psychopath, and feels nothing for humans. I love how builds up to and makes Kei’s psychopathy believable.There are a lot of characters that think logically, but they can still display genuine human emotion. Kei’s lack of any basic human empathy or emotion makes him different from any other character that I have experienced. It is also key to note that the Ajin in the opening Africa sequence was Satou.
GATE 2nd Season (ep 7) – [N] A pathetic older sister with absolutely nothing on her sister? That is a little weak if you ask me. I want this show to be good, but when I look through a critical lense it is not quite there. The characters seem more haphazard and the story arcs feel a little abridged. I also hate how they ruined the interesting character traits building in Zolzar. Now he is just another boring archetype character with little to offer. Also the supporting cast seems to be more neglected this season than last.
Divine Gate (ep 7) – [N/B] Wait what just happened? This show is severely lacking in explanation of cause and effect. Something about this episode was good, in that we see the full extent of Arthur’s resolve. At the same time, there was a general sense of lack that this episode possessed. Lack of understanding, for why these people are following Arthur (only one got developed), and also why the young students were brought into this situation. It is all quite blurry.
Utawarerumono (ep 20) – [N/B] I HATE that Tuskuru is the bad guy. It infuriates me that this war is completely unexplained. I wonder if Oboro is the adored emperor that Kurou referred to, because Hakuoro (who is obviously the best) should have disappeared before Kuon was there. I also greatly dislike the differences in character. Benawi seems pretty similar, but Kurou seems different. This series tends to create more theatrical characters, while the original cast was significantly more down to earth.
Luck & Logic (ep 7) – [N] I thought this was a pretty solid episode in terms od development for the relationship between Yoshichika and Athena, as well as Olga. Olga is kind like the unspoken best man. I really like the way he thinks, even though he is complete cheese. Athena is also iteresting, but I wish they would shed some light on her brother, as well as the conflict on her home world. Luck & Logic still isn’t great, but I wouldn’t deem it a complete waste of time.
Haikyuu!! 2nd Season (ep 20) – [N/G] Well I forgot how much I love Oikawa, that’s for sure! The entire season has been building up to this. You can see what Karasuno learned and how it is helping them in this game. I like how Haikyuu doesn’t let all the prior character development get ignored, and instead tries to work it into the series. This new tiger/savage guy kind of feel like he will be easy to defeat one Karasuno calms down an bit and goes back to what they learned.
Durarara!!x2 Ketsu (ep 7) – [N] Chikage is a bae through and through. Like he is actually one of the cooler characters in this series. I also like how we got to see just how immature Mikado is. Drowning in denial, the wheels of Mikado’s revolution are coming off the bus, and everyone is suffering. I feel like the conflicts are more tightly bound in this season. The original series, and the first season of the new parts, were both full of loosely related conflicts that were brought to one point at the end. I think Durarara is stronger that way.
Ooya-san (ep 7) – [N] Oh my I actually laughed out loud at the end there. I need a meme for this show. I really don’t understand the point of making 220 serving of beef stew for the entire class. Either way, I like how this series is moving away from creepy-vile.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (ep 7) – [G/N] Another episode rich with Haruhiro’s monologue/ dialogue. As always, the details were on point. I especially liked that after and during the time skip, we can see that the crew is going up in the stats. They wear nicer clothes and have more food to eat when they go out. I also like how Ranta and the others are more willing to hear each member contribute to the conversation. Also, it is worthy to note that Manato is beginning to represent the time when they were poor and disconnected, and he serves to contrast their current luxury.
Dimension W (ep 7) – [N/G] Good development for Mabuchi. It was really nice to see him in a new light. That also explains why he hates coils. I still only have like half an idea why everyone is interested in reaching this random coil on the island. Also why is Loser there?! I wish Dimension W would explain things sometimes because it really detracts from the show when close to every conflict begins and ends without much explanation. I feel like his arc might be better though.
Nijiiro Days (ep 7) – [N] What would a group romance anime be without a pool/beach episode?! I like some things about this show, but others piss me off beyond belief. For example: Tsuyopon and his girlfriend. Half the time he only seems half interested and doesn’t appreciate her all that much. On the other hand, when they are on the same level of power their relationship is actually pretty cute. In terms of group interactions, Nijiiro Days one has the same problems as Grimgar (except Grimgar is worlds better).
Well I hope you enjoyed my blog! I will link my [last week] and [next week] down here!