The Summer 2013 Season in Review

Death Metal training montage in something else I watched this week
Death Metal training montage in something else I watched this week

If I’m perfectly honest about the last week of the season, most of the final episodes I saw this week ranged from poor to mediocre. There were maybe two that I enjoyed, but I think that seems to be a theme lately. Put the climax of the story in the penultimate episode then just throw something together showing the cast having fun in the last episode. I get that it’s really just to sell the discs to the hardcore fans. I only finished 10 shows this season which was a bit lower than normal. I now present what I made of those 10 series that made up my summer.

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The Return of the Recap 44 – Apache Chief Glows at Night

Even if it fires death lasers out of its eyes, I can't take it seriously as a bad guy.
Even if it fires death lasers out of its eyes, I can’t take it seriously as a bad guy.

This past week I did try something different with posts elsewhere. It quickly reminded me that single-digit view counts are pretty much expected when starting fresh. Even when you write on Sword Art Online to start. Then, I did my annual off-site preview of the Premier League season on my personal blog I hadn’t touched in over a year. That was about the same level of interest after blowing 3500 words. Maybe I should have just posted a bunch of screencaps from Attack on Titan and bitched about the episode not meeting my standards. You’re actually here for the few screenshots of shows that I do watch and bitching about those shows, right?

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The Return of the Recap 43

I have a feeling anyone who says this girl is the worst will have missiles launched at them from New York.
I have a feeling anyone who says this girl is the worst will have missiles launched at them from New York.

In recent days, I’ve thought about changing up the design of this blog. Basically it’s been about 2 years with this current look and I have a constant reminder of how unpopular this place is every single time I look at it. Unfortunately, the one thing I can’t seem to change is this dumb title that pretty much inhibits any potential growth (and the writing – self ed.). I wouldn’t really be starting over if I moved this to another address would I?

There’s this small little convention going on somewhere on the east coast of the United States this weekend. I went to it last year, but the person I went with last year seems to have fallen completely off the face of the Earth. There have been any number of people that I’ve mostly just followed on Twitter or in this particular sphere of blogs that have withdrawn or simply moved on with their lives. That’s just something that tends to happen with the passage of time; people get lives, girlfriends, spouses, children and spend time with new groups of people. I don’t think a conscious choice is made to cut people off in situations like that, but this is the era of the declining social community. Yes, people can communicate with each other online, but how long is that going to last between nations?

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The Return of the Recap 42

It’s time to bring this feature back for the 599th post on this blog. I suppose I should do something special for that one. I’ll get around to coming up with something this week. This is the first time I’ve done a roundup collectively of the summer. I hope that’s been enough to separate the bad from the good. Unfortunately, I’m almost certain that’s eliminated any other series that my readers are still watching. I have a tendency to do that almost every single time.

But first a little digression on what’s happened this week tied to the man I’ve pictured above. That would be Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. The undoubted superstar of the club in Major League Baseball’s smallest market, 2011 National League MVP, 5-time All-Star and as of this week admitted drugs cheat. In the midst of that season, I had the unusual luck of catching the same cross-country flight as him, but as it was 2am I really made no note of it other than the coincidence of being on the same plane. This is more about fandom though. While the figures involved in creating something may go on to be a future disgrace, the thing they created will still exist. Urobuchi may now live on overhyped projects that chop women to bits and have characters say funny things just for laughs, but Madoka will still always exist. And while the season may be lost for Milwaukee now, come March 31st next season there will still be baseball played, and Braun will probably be starting in left field.

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Love Lab: A Quick Take

Maki knows her tropes
This is very original material.

A tomboy called Riko discovers the horrifying secret the student council president Maki uses the student council for in the first episode of Love Lab. That secret just happens to be that she uses the student council room as a location in which she can practice all things love related. Riko quickly agrees not to tell anyone about Maki’s secret and she’s quickly appointed as an assistant to the student council president. They then go about testing all manners of love cliches.

Again this was another surprisingly good show in my view since it looks like another show with a club who does nothing. Actually, I’d say this show is endearing just for how naive it all is. The characters of Maki and Riko are pretty much hopeless when it comes to love. Because the latter hangs around with boys, she’s seen as the experienced one and has to try to pass that on, but really she’s just there for the friendship with Maki. That is quite simply how this managed to work for me. Much like Yuyushiki last season, there is outstanding chemistry between this pair. However, there’s the fact that they have to cram in the rest of the cast in next week’s episode that could potentially wreak havoc on that chemistry.

As far as production goes, this is right in line with GJ-bu, the studio’s previous work. I think there will be more venues in this one though since this is more about friends learning about love and each other more than just being humorous in the same room for two years. That’s still a high bar to hit though since the OP here is nowhere near as good as GJ-bu‘s. Visually, it’s got the makings of a solid production.

Reasons to Continue Watching

  • Chemistry between Maki and Riko
  • Completely self-aware of how dumb school romance tropes are, but willing to use it for comedic effect.
  • Hopelessly naive in a good way

Reasons to Drop

  • There’s not much beyond messing about with inaccurate romantic tropes
  • The other new characters could ruin what chemistry there is in the student council
  • Advocates embezzling club funds to buy game consoles (shouldn’t this be above?)

My Verdict: It’s just about charming enough to get another episode from me. When I first watched it I felt much better about it than I do now. That’s not a very encouraging sign.

The Picture Because I Quit Summer Season Previews

Will this win?
Will this win?

The Summer Preview Because I Quit Spring

I needed an image to fill this, and no you don't need context.
I needed an image to fill this, and no you don’t need context.

This is probably the first post where I’ve actually tried to get assistance from other people in it’s creation. For the most part this is just a fairly standard preview with my opinions in it plus some other information. I wish I could have been a bit more creative with that, but I can only work with what I’ve got.

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