Yet another week has passed in the world of animation from Japan, as well as real time of course. It’s safe to say that we are now firmly entrenched in the middle of the season. Typically, I find that this isn’t a very interesting part of the season. Usually, the really terrible shows have been weeded out by now. Those that do fail in the end will be known about 5-7 weeks from now. So what we are left with is a bunch of shows trying to make things interesting. So how did they do this week?
Currently Airing Top 5
For the first time since I could remember, an episode of an anime in which Urobuchi Gen was involved did not feature anything misogynistic in nature. So what we were left with was actually exactly what I was expecting from this type of series. A pilot who is used to war having to adapt to peaceful scenery and trying to find his place in new surroundings. This episode conveyed that idea in the best way possible. Red was shown slowly adapting to the language of the natives as best as he could, but at other times he was pretty much useless to the rest of the Gargantia residents. Also, his moment of sadness when he remembered someone who showed him how to make those flutes was actually really well executed. On the downside, since Urobuchi is involved I expect manly deaths and slow drawn out deaths/rape of women now.
It’s starting to become fairly obvious that the quality of an episode of this franchise is directly proportional to the amount of Kuroneko. The first half of this episode was fairly dumb stuff. Kirino needing to convince some model scout that she has a boyfriend so she can go away, so she chooses Kyousuke to fill the role is about the level of story you would expect from this massive franchise. When it gets to the part where Kuroneko has to sell some doujinshi at the Summer Comiket does this episode get interesting. Here, it becomes a group of friends with a similar interest who happen to be selling some books for profit. The fact that this part of the episode is most entertaining and features Kirino in as minimal a role as possible is not coincidence. Only at the end where some guy comes in and appears to be her real boyfriend does this episode come off the rails.
This week wasn’t as great as last week for the 3 girls looking up stuff on the internet. I think it started to fall back into the 4-koma that it was adapted into this week. I think the only real moment where it broke out of that this week was when Yuzu was trying to convince Yoriko (the one students have taken to calling “Mom”) that she doesn’t really have a mother. As much as Yui struggling to stay awake may be entertaining, I just didn’t find the secondary characters who became part of that story very interesting at all.
I’m just not buying Hachiman as a main character. It was as though he was written as the most self-insert fan-fiction character at times. He’s perfect when it comes to solving problems, but he rejects women like he thinks he’s some sort of bad-ass. I think that’s the major problem with this show, it has to make the other characters who have a relationship with him one-dimensional in order to not look silly. I mean, what is the point of Yoshino now? She’s part of a rich family, but can’t relate to people and is generally useless as a result. Maybe that’s the point; to make Hachiman look good. The more interesting characters are the single-episode characters related to the problem in each episode. So a girl working as a bartender to pay tuition is more interesting than the people trying to figure out what she is doing at night.
The Rest of the Week
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
This was a Tamao episode for as entertaining as Shanta’s RPG quest was. I think that was actually the problem. She’s just on the periphery and never even attempts to follow her feelings. It’s frustrating enough when a harem lead does that, and this is a harem comedy after all, but to spend so much time on a minor character doing the same thing is just filling time. She should just give up on Mahiro and go with Takehiko. They’re paired together in the OP for a reason.
This was the episode that was supposed to create some sort of depth in the relationship between Kazuya and Haruka. Instead it just feels kind of petty. Kazuya acts like the typical harem lead lacking in confidence when everyone starts trashing him in secret. Then he acts like a real man in the last third of the episode until the silliness that is the scene of him screaming in the rain. What is this, some sort of 80s teen angst drama? I’d almost wish this was going omnibus format with an ending of this story being this episode, but it’s not going to happen. The other girls will just take pity on him, and unlike say School Days, there will be no pity sex.
Date A Live
Sure the Yoshino story was resolved in this episode, but the episode was completely unremarkable in nearly every aspect. Origami continues to be the scene stealer in each episode in my opinion. The completely head-over-heels while maintaining no emotional expression at all is an example of what some may call gap moé. The big revelation this week was that Shido had some spirit power in him which explains the being able to heal after being shot thing, but this week’s resolution showed that it kills any sort of dramatic tension now.
There’s a teacher that can pass as a student. This is supposed to be cute. It’s really just over the top dumb. Why can’t they just fully animate the crab story they have in the opening animation. That would work a lot better.
How could the Sakuya episode be so dull? Why do they keep riding Fumi like she is the main character? Was this really a Chiharu episode in disguise? I don’t know about any of those questions. All the matters is next week’s Hinagiku episode. It’s the make-or-break episode for this 4th season. However, I’d imagine that almost everyone with an interest in Hayate has already given up on Manglobe. It’s still possible for it not to suck.
There’s the name gag that the girl with comically oversized breasts is named Fuji. Other than that it was a typical Muromi episode in that it tried to make the same joke over and over. This week is was Muromi repeatedly punching Fuji in the breasts. To quote a character from Kuragehime, fat does not work like that. The only other highlight I would take from this episode was the cicada yelling. The talking animals have been one of the best features of this series, and it continued in this week’s episode.
Updated Spring Season Average Ranking
|Season Rank||Overall Rank|
|Suisei no Gargantia||2||2|
|Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W||4||7|
|Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties||7||15|
|Date A Live||8||18|
|Attack on Titan (dropped)||9||22|
|Space Brothers (dropped)||–||9|
|Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san||–||–|
Baby Princess 2D Paradise 0 [Love]
This week is a rare example of a terribad anime that I would have actually voted for in the Anime Power Rankings legitimately. That’s more of an indictment on the lower portions of the top 5 than a statement of the quality of this particular anime.
So what is Baby Princess? It’s an adaptation of a light novel which centers around a high school boy moving in with his new step-sisters. All 19 of them. You read that right, nineteen. They are all one year apart, and it’s surprising that the mother hasn’t featured in one of those freakshow TLC reality shows, but I digress.
Now you’re probably thinking that there’s all the potential for this to be a typical skeevy OVA. There’s a little of that, and thankfully it is limited just to the older sisters. Also, it lacks the parts of Sister Princess that makes you hate a world that allows that sort of thing to exist.
As for the plot of this episode, it’s pretty much an onsen episode. Yotarou, the lead of this piece, just documents it with his camera, saves a couple of the girls from going over the poorly positioned waterfall, then ends up re-enacting The Hunt for Red October in the family hot spring.
While I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is trying to watch good anime, I can only give it the faint praise of, “it isn’t as bad as the premise indicates.” That won’t go on a poster anywhere.
Time of First Female Nudity: 2 frames at 15 minutes, 41 seconds otherwise lots of strategically placed obstacles
Corrections: This post originally stated that there was no nudity in Baby Princess, this has been changed to correct the error.