Lately I’ve been struggling with a couple of things. The first is this little injury to one of my knees. Well, it probably wasn’t little as I couldn’t extend it for about a week. However, it’s effectively killed one of my non-anime hobbies for at least a few more weeks. Then to top all things off, there is no terribad here this week as a 2 hour project at work turned to a 10 hour failure with all of the addressing failure that will come with in in the next few days. At least I’d get a couple of life-affirming episodes from this week. Also, next week will see the return of the average chart, that I’m going to try to make a bit more accurate.
Currently Airing Top 5
Once again, Space Brothers continues to be in one of the richest runs of form in many a year. The ending this week was particularly poignant. Having saved Damian and accepted his own death, Hibito sees that flash of light that bothered him when they first arrived on the moon. Despite it being completely meaningless to everyone else, his spirit of exploration and curiousity overrides his acceptance of death. He ends up finding the other astronaut figure that the Jay brothers had, and yet another sign of the message of faith this series has taken up lately. Though I do know how this whole arc will turn out, it’s done a brilliant job of making the drama that came from two dumb decisions (vaulting into the ravine and Hibito initially trying to save Damian prior to busting his own oxygen tank) into something captivating.
I have to admit I was blown away by this week’s episode. It just had the right mix of dramatic tension and character development that really makes an episode stand out for me. Kai finally came through as a character who really fulfilled the role of protagonist as he did all that he could to protect Kona and saved the day. The only problem I could see with this episode is that Kona could be seen as having suddenly turned this show into a love triangle with the ending of the episode. Akiho had never seemed to have had any sort of romantic interest at all, so I can see this as fair game. Also, happy robots invading the Diet seems a bit funny.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Head Maid really stole the show this week. It was almost as though she was speaking for every person in the audience when she was talking to Demon King and Hero. It’s frustrating that the two of them are unable to talk to each other. They are essentially married, but in a platonic relationship at the same time. Hero ends up being the person at fault here because he returns regularly, but still avoiding responsibility for his end of the relationship at the same time. As for the rest of the episode, there were some silly moments (Head Maid’s thoughts on what happened to Hero), and the negotiations with the merchants seemed pretty well done. I just struggle to think how that all managed to jump straight to marriage proposals.
Silly comedy can truly be a great thing to watch in 5 minute bursts. I mean just look at the character design for Alba’s mother. That really came out of the ether as did having Alba’s ribs break from going through the portal he was forcibly dragged through. There was also some semblance of plot development as well. The whole part in the intro about a hole being burned into the world was caused by (yet another female) Demon King trying to make popcorn. Also, the Demon world has a prosperous democracy and the whole prior war was caused by a previous ruler having chuunibyou. You would would think the director had something against Kyoto Animation or something.
Zetsuen no Tempest
The transition of this show to Shakespearean-quoting mystery drama to romantic comedy is fully complete. Mahiro is forced to reckon with the thought that he was in love with Aika, a thought that virtually everyone else wanted to say to his face, but only Megumu could. Meanwhile, Jun springs the same thought on Hakaze with Mahiro. She adorably denies it in the same way that say, I don’t know, Inaba from Kokoro Connect did. While there were no drawings of positions here, it clearly had a level of passion beyond the simple hints of attraction. Also, Megumu with the prospect of having to wear a superhero costume completed the transfomation to comedy.
The Rest of the Week
Ishida to Asakura
I feel absolutely terrible for liking this week’s episode. It just highlights all that’s wrong with making jokes about transgendered people that are nothing more than lazy stereotypes. Of course someone trying to live like a woman wouldn’t go into a men’s room and use the urinal. I think the real reason I have this up here is two-fold. The first was a bit of nostalgia. There’s this scene in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (plot spoiler: Einhorn is a man) where Einhorn briefly leaves her office to go use the adjoining toilet without closing the door. Yes, it reminded me of that. Second, is probably the fact it has made me question why I liked it. So in a hypocritical way, it gets credit which I never give to Psycho-Pass.
This franchise has returned from the abyss in the last two weeks to finally remember what made it great. Even my prediction of a terrible Hosaka episode turned out to be false. His creepiness and ignorance of anyone’s feelings really came off well when it came to the comedy. Maki, Atsuko and Hayami were especially funny when it came to playing off of him. The only part of the episode where I really felt let down was the bath scene. Maybe that had a lot to do with it being Hosaka-less and not as funny by comparison.
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuruba Sugiru
I can’t say I felt especially sympathetic to any of the characters after this episode. Eita basically took a beating for the sake of a girl who won’t flat out tell him she likes him. While at the same time he’s getting closer to a girl who won’t be honest with her own feelings. And next week comes the delusional girl who believes she was with him in a past life. I’ll be perfectly honest here, I was sort of hoping that Eita would be beaten up to the point where he had to be taken to the hospital. Masuzu’s still pretty awesome though, so I guess that’s good.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
When it’s Misaki being horribly depressed, this show seems to find a more solid foundation. Oh who am I kidding, it’s the characters who aren’t even involved regularly that steal the show here. Sorata’s parents show a maturity that this show has needed for ages. Even his father, drunk off his ass, is able to give better advice than Sorata does to Mashiro and Nanami on a regular basis. Also, he was right to try to tell him to choose which way to go. Maybe he will end up alone, as Jin should. Speaking of him, it looks like next week is back to the usual dorama with him. Misaki seemed better by the end of the episode, so expect the character development in this episode to mean nothing by 4 minutes in to next week.
Apart from the scene where Kyoro was being mercilessly trolled by the girls in the club for far too long, there wasn’t much memorable about this episode. Kirara seems to be fulfilling some sort of generic stereotype of weird people who are both foreign and from Osaka. I don’t understand either. Mao’s character is slowly becoming more a reason to make this show worth watching. She has the slight tsundere thing going without going anywhere near Kugyuu territory. It felt like the other 2 girls were but passengers in this episode. At least until the omake at the end where everyone was afraid of refusing tea.
At times, it feels like this series has combined the worst aspects of ecchi comedies and dramas, and this episode was very much the case in the latter. The ending to this week’s episode was really ill-conceived in that it basically tossed away 2 episodes worth of character development only to have Manabe, Haruka and Yuriko return to how they were when they were first introduced. Having Haruka run away from the rest of the group now doesn’t feel right either. There’s still many episodes left to go, and the whole prospect of this happening repeatedly just feels frustrating. The only thing I can give this series credit for so far is trying to break out of conventional romantic comedy cliches. It’s just awkward when it does so.
Shocking twists to a story do not work well when the twist can be seen from thousands of miles away. Haruka and Kanata are twin sisters. I could have told you the very first time that the two were introduced. Yet, this will probably be news to every other character. They don’t have the excuse of being blind to go off of. Before then, however, we had to go through the typical experience of mob characters in En Anime från Jun Maeda. For the sake of those unfamiliar with his work, this meant that every person in the world hates Haruka for existing, except the protagonists. Then, as soon as Haruka gets redemption, only Kanata will go back to not hating her and everyone else will cease to care. Even the polygamy featured in this episode couldn’t be as silly.
The writing for this show is starting to resemble someone who was throwing at a dartboard filled with dystopian future cliches. This week it was “People Killed in Cold Blood in front of Regular People”, “Technology Breaks Society” and “Grand Conspiracy Involving Those In Power.” Ok, I don’t know if those are actual tropes as I wouldn’t be caught dead hanging around TV Tropes willingly. I’m starting to think that this whole thing ends with Mid-Boss Makishima being controlled by the police who use him as a tool to maintain order among the detectives and Enforcers. All I know is that as soon as this helmet arc came to an abrupt end, any potential for an interesting storyline from my perspective was lost. Essentially nothing happened that furthers the story apart from Makishima’s phone call to the Final Boss.