The Return of the Recap 33

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Since the last installment of this particular feature, the following has happened to all of the shows I had been watching:

  • Oregairu – since picked back up after I dropped it on episode 1, see I can change.
  • Space Brothers – Dropped after the 3 consecutive recap episodes reminded me of how badly this series has been edited.
  • Devil Survivor 2, Attack on Titan, Aku no Hana all dropped for being too boring in my opinion

I sometimes worry about stuff like this, probably too often. I find a series boring, it then becomes popular. Or the reverse, I like a show so much early only to have it go in a terrible direction. It feels like I cannot win sometimes. It just becomes a problem having my finger so far off the pulse of what the rest of this community is watching  that I just kill conversation, or get left out entirely. Perhaps I intentionally isolate myself when it comes to the series I watch. Yet it just feels like I’m insulting people by responding “oh, I dropped that” when a show comes up in conversation.

Anyway, that’s obviously not of much concern to you my readers, you want my thoughts on the shows that I’m still watching instead, so here you go.

Currently Airing Top 5

You're already dead.
お前はもう死んでいる

Yuyushiki

The series that may turn out to be the best of the season from my standpoint is Yuyushiki. It succeeds by keeping it very simple. It’s a group of girls with outstanding chemistry between them. None of the three is one dimensional. Case in point, the one who seems the dumbest of the three, Yuzuko, is actually the one with the best grades and does her homework. Yui seems the most responsible of the group, but never in the overbearing way that it could go. Ultimately, this ends up being the rare series in this genre where the cast is more than the sum of its parts. I’d even go as far as to say that this is off to a better start than even K-On. Why didn’t I choose to blog this episodically?

That's surprisingly adorable.
Closer to Hideyoshi than I thought.

Oregairu

I put this episode up here because it led me to the most discussion of any character I’ve had on Twitter this season. That would be the tennis club member Saika. Now this conversation involved debating whether he was more like Yukimura from Haganai or Hideyoshi from Bakatest, which I’d have to say is more like the latter. Apart from that, I’d have to say that Oregairu has somehow made a decent start despite lacking any characters who are relatable to. Even this week’s story about Hayato trying to make his classmates friends fell apart at the end when everyone rushed in to join his group.

Emi fell down the stairs.
Emi falls down stairs.

Hataraku Maou-sama

Mahiro will literally erase the enemy.
Mahiro holds on to this story’s MacGuffin.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

For once, an episode acknowledged just how dumb a plot arc was. This whole story was simply about messing with the idea of how to tell a story. So there was a lengthy conversation in this episode on which part of the previous episode was really foreshadowing what happened in this one. Then there was the notebook in which the evil monkey that was conjured up was invincible because it was written like it came from a grade schooler. Nyaruko is just so self-aware that it can get away with going for a meta story like that.

Love Triangle Mode Engaged.
This isn’t awkward at all.

Date A Live

Date A Live isn’t so much a harem show as it is a test of will. This is one of the better looking shows this season, and all of that effort goes toward Shidou getting into various misunderstandings with Tohka and Origami being a creepy stalker. The new spirit by the way happens to be fairly interesting in using a hand puppet to talk, and she seems rather timid in a not wanting to hurt people sort of way. Plus, I think this episode did a good job of not doing the typical harem thing of having girls who had been “conquered” just go away for a while. He has a relationship with Tohka now, and he can’t just ignore her.

The Rest of the Week

Nice drawing on top there.
That’s just wrong on so many levels.

Aiura

The other girls doing nothing show this season is one of those 2 minute short series, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it apart from noting the obsession with crabs and Steve Jobs in the opening animation. Really, this episode wasn’t so bad as it just focused on names after their teacher gives a quiz asking for them to write her name. Kanaka’s answer is so left field it earns her special recognition, but then it was back to the normal nickname stuff from the first couple of episodes.

Fumi takes delivery of the money.
That’s the last thing Fumi was expecting when she opened that.

Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties

This week was the Athena episode, which is something of a problem if you had watched only the anime. She’s Hayate’s first girlfriend from 10 years ago, but that’s never really played up for much. Rather she’s just another ojou-sama character. I fully expect Hayate fans to tell me I’m wrong there. Anyway, this was really a chase themed episode as Hayate and the others try to track down the money that Fumi’s dog Armageddon that Sakuya had originally given Wataru in cash. It’s horribly contrived throughout, but as a comedy that’s acceptable. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t that funny at all.

Time to stop caring.
Gen? Really?

Gargantia

I’ve started playing this little game with anything written Urobuchi. When the first incident of something sexist happens in an episode, I cease to to care. After episode 2’s 20 minute spell, this week went 8 minutes. It isn’t that I decided to stop watching, it was more that I didn’t really think the episode was trying to make me sympathize with the self-insert pirate leader over the people of the Gargantia. Going forward, that’s going to be the major issue. It’s going for moral ambiguity when it comes to Red and his actions, but I feel more for the people who don’t have a massively superior technological edge.

Stop staring at those basketballs already.
This girl named Rina carries 6 4 large round objects.

Photo Kano

There’s just something about this show that keeps me watching. I know it’s absolute pants, but it tries its best at trying to be good in its own mind. I think that moment really hit when our protagonist, Kazuya, was inexplicably allowed to photograph all the girls in the gym doing sexy stretches. How the hell does that happen? There’s no contrivance involved in it, the scene just sort of happens. I suppose the one interesting thought I got out of this week’s episode was the whole idea of leverage. Kazuya keeps going to the well against the willing student council president. Now Kazuya is in debt to that gymnastics girl. I don’t use their names at all because it’s not as though this series cares at all.

I bet the image in the book has the same expression as she does.
Why am I in such a stupid scene?

Oreimo.

Here is a case of running out of ideas. This week just felt like they producers had run out of ideas, so let’s just go entirely to pandering. It also did that thing where it attempts to do the same joke repeatedly until it’s funny. In this case it was Kirino spotting Kyousuke with Ria in compromising situations in almost every scene. Plus, let’s not forget that it also had the longest 100m race in history. Next week looks even worse with Kirino now asking Kyousuke to be her boyfriend. I’m sure it’s some sort of act, but it’s just silly how the other main characters have been shoved out of the way.

Does everyone who goes to Kyoto return with stuff like this?
There is nothing strange about mermaids in this world.

Muromi-san

I liked this show initially, but the way that it has handled introducing new characters in the last 2 episodes has been really poor. I can’t be the only one who thinks that it lingered far too long on the Harpy attacking Muromi. I think it could have gotten away with the terrible memory joke once, but it kept coming and coming and coming over and over again. I hope this series doesn’t become the latest example of the consequences of following a show entirely because of the vocal cast, but it’s not looking good.

Spring Average Seasonal Ranking

  Season Rank Overall Rank
Hataraku Maou-sama 1 1
Suisei no Gargantia 2 2
Yuyushiki 3 5
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W 4 6
Oregairu 5 12
Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties 6 13
Date A Live 7 16
Oreimo. 8 18
Attack on Titan (dropped) 9 22
Space Brothers (dropped) 9
Aiura
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
Photokano

For those curious about how those first 3 weeks of my votes went, it was like this:

  • Week 14: Maou-sama, Senyuu, Little Busters!, Oreimo., Titan
  • Week 15: Gargantia, Maou-sama, Nyaruko, Hayate, Date A Live
  • Week 16: Gargantia, Maou-sama, Yuyushiki, Nyaruko, Hayate

With the way these series are trending, I wouldn’t expect the top 2 to stay in those overall positions by the end of May. Of course, this is all subjective and my taste sucks, etc.

Terribad

You Can (Not) See The Ending
This may be a spoiler for this, but there is in fact no ending.

Roots Search

This was one of the early ones from the group that I just happened to miss the first time around. So what would be the best way to describe Roots Search? Probably as a space horror along the lines of Event Horizon (although never anywhere near as nightmare-inducing as that cult classic) but ultimately deciding not to go anywhere with the story in the end.

The central relationship in this story is between Moira, a female crew member, and Buzz, the pilot of a ship that brought along an unexpected passenger. The rest of the crew proceeds to be killed off because the alien projects their inner desires before blowing them up. This continues for about 30 minutes as they ponder existence among other things. Eventually, it gets silly when Moira, after witnessing her lover Scott die horribly, quickly falls in love with Buzz amid an idealized future in her mind. So they blow the ship up, accepting certain death and when it does they wake up in an entirely different world. And that’s it. It ends with no explanation at all.

For a terribad movie, this had plenty of ambition. Plus, for something from 1986, the idea was rather different from the norm. With a running time of just 40 minutes, it actually doesn’t feel like 40 years, but still that ending either means they ran out of budget and/or ideas.

Time of First Female Nudity: 21 minutes, 58 seconds (though it’s a dead body)
Rating: 46

2 thoughts on “The Return of the Recap 33”

  1. I can say surely that I feel your pain when it comes to being off on series. Though sometimes for me it’s just my tendency to be obstinate. I could very well have picked up Tamako Market or finished Vividred last season. Did I? No. I stayed away from Tamako Market for no good reason. And I want to finish Vividred, but I just wasn’t as excited about it as everyone else seemed to be.

    And this season, my watch list looks like a polar opposite of yours. I’m avoiding OreImo because I know it’s gonna to make me furious at some point. And I’m avoiding Maou-sama and Yuyushiki just out of stubborn preconceptions. I don’t understand how anime can make such bad or tired concepts good. Maybe that’s why every season I’m at least somewhat out of touch.

    1. I can understand, personally I can see Maou disappointing. However, I still think Yuyushiki is well worth watching because the characters are more dynamic than you would expect.

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