SSSS.Gridman Episode 6: That was a surprising amount of information

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People standing around next to a river

I don’t really have a problem with going through an episode without Gridman, but is it wrong of me to say that some of the revelations in this episode were kind of boring? I might have unrealistic expectations, but I was looking forward to the moment when the main characters figure out that Akane’s the one behind the kaiju attacks. Having a random character appear definitely deepens mystery in the series, but having her tell Yuuta about Akane is pretty disappointing. Still, I don’t mind waiting to see where things go, since I like this idea that the city might be a lie.

Yuuta wondering if Akane is on to him

I got excited when I saw this scene, but it seemed to show that Yuuta was putting the pieces together. He was starting to suspect that Akane still had memories before the resets. I mentioned an earlier hint from Akane which he could have picked up on as well, so I wanted to see him figure it out.

Rikka gives a sandwich to Anti

We might be okay since the episode ends with Yuuta finding out who Anti is, but I got a bit worried watching this scene. It almost seemed like Anti existed just to force a love triangle with Rikka.

Rikka notices how Anti smells

I tend to focus on the little things, so I’d say my favorite part of the episode was the mirroring between Anti and the mystery kaiju. I don’t have a guess about what it’s supposed to mean yet, but I thought it was cool that Rikka and Hibiki both take their respective kaijus to the same place, eat the same food, and have the same “it stinks” reaction.

Yuuta talks to a kaiju on a train

I liked how the episode tried to build this mystery about the city itself, starting with the kaiju’s suggestion that nothing exists outside of the city. Although the kaiju later states flatly that the city is created by Akane, I do respect how the mystery is built up to that point.

Akane talks with Shou

Akane’s conversation with Shou makes me wonder if she’d be more normal if she could have met someone like Shou earlier. Is that what it was getting at?

Girl talking in front of a screen

These animations were pretty hilarious. I was surprised to hear that Akane was the one repairing the world. I had been led to believe that it was Gridman doing it. There’s always the possibility of a crazy reveal…maybe Akane’s behind Gridman too? Anyway, I’m not a big fan of just having a character appear to tell Yuuta everything. Even if it gives us information about the setting, it doesn’t feel very satisfying to me to learn it like that. I think it’s because the information felt like a guarded secret before, and it was simply given away.

Akane with the mastermind standing behind her

This…really isn’t that surprising. It’s almost too obvious, if I had to comment on it.

Kaiju talking about herself

Is this statement meant to suggest that the battle between the Gridman Alliance and Akane is actually just a representation of a larger battle between two ancient kaiju? Depending on how things play out, that could be interesting.

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Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 6: Mission accomplished?

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everybody stares at the crazy one

Wow, this week’s episode was really fun to watch. I really didn’t expect the episode to end the way it did, and I thought it handled drama in an awesome way to avoid dragging it out too much. I’m still curious to see where the show goes with the looming mystery of Hitomi’s magic. So far, it’s starting to look like most of her problems may have been caused by her own magic, which feels like a cheap explanation. But there’s still plenty of time to see what’s actually going on.

Aoi talking about a fish he used to draw

I was surprised by this revelation that the fish we keep seeing isn’t actually what Aoi normally draws. It makes me wonder about the nature of Hitomi’s magic, since she continually sees it. It’s hard to speculate without knowing too much about the magic of this world, but maybe her magic resonates with Aoi’s personal insecurities or something and manifests itself as the fish.

I mean, I guess the drama of this relationship is still going. I can’t really be upset since it seemed like Asagi made at least a little progress in this episode.

walking around with fake clouds

There’s no way I’m going to pick up on all of the symbolism in this scene, but it was still a great scene. I like the scribbles and X marks that seem to be representative of Aoi’s current frustration with his art.

shadow chasing after the fish

I’m not sure whether this scene is meant to represent Aoi or Hitomi. The argument for Aoi is pretty strong, since you could see the shadow as a representation of Aoi searching for the same feeling or success he had when he drew the fish. But the fish seems more linked with Hitomi and her own struggles, so I’m actually a bit torn.

Hitomi getting some advice

The way this scene played out was really interesting. It doesn’t seem like much, but I saw it as a nice step forward for Hitomi. In the previous scene, she discusses her relationship with Aoi with Kohaku, the person she seems to trust the most. Kohaku basically tells her that their relationship will work out fine. Here, Kurumi and Asagi give Hitomi similar reassurance, which leads to Hitomi trusting them more. Again, progress is nice.

Hitomi seeing Aoi talk to another girl

I definitely expected this scene to devolve into a typical misunderstanding between Aoi and Hitomi, but I was happy to see how it turned out. Once again, Kohaku’s support is amazing, and it was great to see Aoi go after Hitomi to clear things up immediately.

Hitomi looking out to see color

I can’t believe Hitomi got her colors back already. I was honestly expecting that to be a climactic scene in the show. Don’t get me wrong. This scene was still really strong and impactful. It’s just so early…

Fall 2018 Grab Bag Week 6: Karakuri Circus, Sword Art Online – Alicization

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I guess I should keep up the trend of talking about new shows. This season has a lot more shows with talking potential. It actually puts me at ease. This section lives!

Masaru clutches his arms while negotiating with an assassin

Karakuri Circus First Impressions (1-4)

I’m really glad I chose to wait until now to talk about this series. To be honest, I think I would have been pretty harsh if I had been talking about the first two episodes alone. My main gripe with the series had been Masaru, who spends most of the beginning as the wimpy rich kid. His character felt stupidly repetitive, and it was a nuisance every time he spoke up. He’s still that guy, but his character has been making a huge shift in this most recent episode. As a result, I have a more favorable impression of the series. Woo?

Narumi faces off against a large group of enemies

The series overall is entertaining as an action series. The fact that the story is set around puppets and the circus still doesn’t sit well with me, but I think the general story is interesting. I guess I just think puppets are weird?

Masaru takes control of Arlequin

I think it’s cool that Masaru is able to join the fight as a puppeteer. It would be interesting if he gets his own puppet to fight alongside Shirogane.

Narumi sacrifices himself to save Masaru

Okay, I take it back. Maybe I should have waited one more episode before covering this series. I’m really surprised that Narumi was killed off so quickly in the series (so much so that I don’t believe that it’s a real death). I’m actually a little torn about Narumi’s death. On the one hand, he’d been building a solid rapport with the other main characters. On the other hand, his Zonapha syndrome thing was starting to feel old.

Asuna in a waiting room

Sword Art Online – Alicization First Impressions (1-5)

I know I’m just going to get written off as another SAO hater. I really do like some of the changes that were made in this season. Making Kirito go full isekai actually works pretty well in my eyes. I also think that the fight scene against the goblins was solid and a nice step up from the previous seasons. I just…have a problem with the soul thing. I’ve written a whole post about my thoughts on the soul, so it’s probably not that surprising.

Kirito lying in a hospital room with brain damage

I somewhat understand why the series chooses to do it this way. Since Kirito suffers brain damage, the series needs a reason why Kirito’s soul can still exist without the brain. But I think the microtubules pose an even bigger problem, since you suddenly have a soul that becomes a lot more vulnerable to damage. If your soul resides within every cell, then any cell death would damage your soul. So you’re not exactly solving the problem…

Yui tracking Kirito on the map

This episode takes a fairly large detour to show what’s going on in the outside world, but the general story so far has been alright. Eugeo, in particular, seems like a character with a lot of promise. He’s clearly a program that has been locked in a routine, and he has the potential to grow into a much more human-like character with Kirito’s help.

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6: Back with more quantum physics

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pondering the situation at the window seat

While I personally think that this arc gets weird in its resolution, this series is still incredibly enjoyable to watch. I thought the scene about quantum entanglement was silly (I don’t need to be a quantum physicist to know that much), but I absolutely respect the show’s attempt to bring the story back full circle to Sakuta’s first encounter with Tomoe. The rest of the resolution also felt a bit rushed with all of the montage scenes, but I guess we’ve seen it all before.

sakuta becoming a bride

I’m assuming this is a jab at the trope of the girl who wants to become a bride. I’m okay with that.

mai returns with the bunny suit

The bunny suit is back? The title must remain relevant!

the loops start again

I suppose it was inevitable that the time loops would return. To be fair, it was a lot better than I had imagined it in my head. They only went to half of Endless Eight, right?

pondering whether the girl is lying while grilling squid

I really liked this development. I thought it was going to lead to a whole thing where Sakuta tries to catch Tomoe in her lie by watching for her to do something inconsistent with the loop. That’s sort of what happens, but it was way subtler than I was expecting.

love is hard to change

This scene was pretty cool. I like the fact that Sakuta’s not so dense that he lets things drag on. This guy’s good at making his feelings clear, isn’t he?

mai kisses sakuta

Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of how the epilogue plays out. Having the whole arc be a simulation in the end makes sense from a logical standpoint, but there’s something odd about wrapping things up so neatly. This kiss scene was great, though.

everything plays out the same

I’m not sure I buy that everything just works out the same way in the end. I guess the repetition could start up again if the jock refused to accept Tomoe’s rejection, forcing her to once again ask for Sakuta’s help. But that almost makes it seem like she doesn’t change enough despite her simulation. She even tells Sakuta that everyone would hate her for the rejection, but everything still plays out the same. I don’t get how that works.

meeting a new girl in the rain through an abandoned kitten

Wait…this is the girl that helped Sakuta in the beginning, right? Isn’t she the girl he’s been trying to find this whole time? I guess she doesn’t remember him. That’s awkward. Also, this series really wasted no time bringing in the next girl.

Golden Kamuy Episode 17: The true treasure is clearly dried persimmons

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bit his face off

I really felt like this episode was getting back to what I enjoy in this series. The episode was an amazing mix of comedy, serious, and surprisingly heartwarming scenes. I was totally expecting this episode to get super serious because of how pissed off Sugimoto looked in the previous episode, but I probably should know better by now. The reunion with Shiraishi ended up being pretty funny, and I loved the way the episode ended.

continental dollar bribe

Dang, I was pretty impressed with how Suzukawa handled this whole exchange. He clearly knew his target well, and using a bill plate to bribe someone is kind of awesome.

shocking shootout

The sheer shock value of this scene was insane. To be fair, it’s great to see that kind of harsh reality in this series, since I think mixing that with comedy is what the show does best. It’s just a bit of a shame. I was starting to like Suzukawa, but he got written off quickly.

swimming through the air

I mean, having Koito swim through the air to catch the balloon is silly, but it was effective.

never betray us

I get the feeling that I’m just forgetting some small scene from the first season that explains the fake tattoo. But yeah…that worked out, huh? I can’t discount the possibility that Shiraishi was just too incompetent to make an accurate copy of the tattoo.

sugimoto during the war

It’s long overdue, but it’s definitely nice to finally get some insight on who Sugimoto was before the war. I guess the guy in the flashback is his friend who died, and the girl is the one he’s trying to help with the gold.

sugimoto saved by persimmons

I didn’t expect feels in this episode! In all seriousness, this was an amazing line from Asirpa. It’s a great ray of hope for Sugimoto, who has clearly had it rough.

Double Decker! Doug and Kirill Episode 7: Serious business

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Oh, I see they just went ahead and resolved Doug’s revenge plot. Huh…that happened. In all seriousness, I liked the way this story was handled, even if it did seem quick. Doug’s personality is explained, and the whole encounter improves his relationship with Kirill. I also thought it was cool because I spent the entire episode waiting for a punchline, and the episode ended up being fairly serious. I guess we’re due for some reciprocation when Kirill’s brother comes back around? I know next week is switching to a completely new character, but a man can dream, right?

Everyone is a jerk to Derick. I can accept this.

The slow build in this episode was cool to watch. At one point, I was wondering whether Good-Looking Joe was actually the partner Doug had lost, since an informant that had infiltrated Esperanza made sense. Still, I liked where the story ended up going.

The Anthem thing hasn’t been doing much in recent episodes, but at least this episode still involves drugs? That totally counts, right? Anyway, I honestly wasn’t paying too much attention to these throwaway characters, so I don’t feel much when I saw this betrayal.

While this strangely petty reasoning to kill an innocent bystander fits the setting of the show, I personally feel like it’s a bit out of place in the overall tone. I admit it works as a departure, but something about killing a child feels excessively harsh. Wasn’t this show supposed to be funny?

Does this mean Doug was a wild cop before meeting Patricia? To be fair, I would say that this also explains why Doug messes with Kirill so much. He generally comes off as an adult teasing a child when he interacts with Kirill.

While Doug certainly isn’t composed during the confrontation, I liked the fact that he remains rational despite his clear emotional attachment to the case. It really fits him as a character.

Was this scene meant to show that Doug lied about knowing the gun would misfire? Personally, I think it’s better if Kirill just gives Doug a nice explanation of the misfire to console him a bit. It’s a great sign that the two are getting closer.

Release the Spyce Episode 5: Surprise birthday party

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I’m still not sure why this episode didn’t happen before the previous episode, but the episode itself was a lot more entertaining than the previous two. I liked the jokes in this episode, so it ended up being more fun. I’m still curious where they go with this traitor thing, but I think I can be reasonably satisfied watching this series if it continues being like this. The overarching story doesn’t seem super interesting so far.

The fact that this episode seems to jump right back into the story left off from episode 2 makes me feel like I was right about episode 3 being standalone. The continuity would make more sense if something happened to either Fuu or Mei, since it would mean that they’d need to resolve their relationship quickly. It’s possible that we’re heading towards something like that, but it doesn’t really fit the show’s tone so far.

They’re really milking this traitor thing. I wonder how important it is that we can see the hair color of the “mystery” woman. It’s hard to tell since the conversations tend to be super cryptic, but it doesn’t seem like she’s the traitor. That would mean that there’s some other reason why we can’t see who she is. My guess so far is just that she’s related to one of the characters, with Hatsume being most likely based on hair color.

It’s a small scene, but I found it charming that Momo worries about the train fare even when she’s in spy mode.

I also think this exchange between Dolte and Momo is great. It’s not every day a raging zombie asks you if you’re a spy, right?

I guess this scene is meant to push the yuri relationship between Yuki and Momo by forcing Momo to share Spyce, but it still feels like a bit of a throwaway scene. Momo drops her Spyce in the middle of a mission after all, so this seems like an incredibly light consequence.

This is probably my favorite joke in the episode. In a mission that takes place on Momo’s birthday, the bad guys ask whether the power goes out because someone is having a surprise birthday party.

It’s nice that Yuki is still suspicious of the science company and all, but it does feel like it devalues the rest of the episode a bit. Also, the fact that Momo’s overworking doesn’t do much to impair her in this episode makes me question why that was important. I don’t know…it just feels like this show spends a lot of time to push things that don’t feel impactful in the end. Is that weird?

Part of me wants this show to be grittier than it is. Momo’s idolization of Yuki makes me really think that something should happen to Yuki. It’s the same with Mei…this series is just asking for character death.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 5: The drills had to show up sometime

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Not too much forward plot progress, but this episode was still entertaining. The episode seemed to be setting up a bunch of smaller plot points, so it’s hard to judge without knowing where they’re going. But hey…I don’t mind seeing a new Gridman form, and I think it could be interesting if Akane starts focusing on more on Yuuta.

I can’t really speculate too much off of a vague blur, but this flashback from Yuuta looked interesting. I sure hope it’s not one of those weird cases where Yuuta is actually the bad guy who injured Gridman or something. That would be an awkward reason to give them both amnesia.

Ah, the classic stealth question. Akane had her suspicions from the start, so this doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me. What did bother me, though, was the cell phone she was hiding in her…wait, let’s not get off-topic. I know it’s nitpicking, but she clearly fell into the river earlier in the episode, so how is her phone working?

Seriously, what is it with this show and the random pauses? I thought my computer had frozen or something. I guess the first episode wasn’t a fluke. A pause for comedic effect is fine, but this pause just lasted way too long.

It’s a very small development, but it’s nice to see that Rikka is starting to feel like part of the team. Last week’s episode had Rikka actively contributing to the fight, and this week’s episode seemed to show that she really does want to help.

Also, I thought it was pretty funny that Rikka constantly runs out of breath after they spent an entire segment making fun of how pudgy Shou was.

I have no idea what to make of the Anti and Akane alliance in this episode. Honestly, I thought the scene was going to go a different way. With the delayed arrival of Gridman, Akane was forced to experience some of the consequences of her actions, which may have given her a better sense of what she was inflicting on others. But that never went anywhere.

I know the fight isn’t the important part of the episode, but these fights still seem absurdly easy for Gridman.

So…what’s the significance of the scarf? Is it just meant to show that Akane continues to reject Anti?

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 5: The power of sand

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The relationships in this series progressed surprisingly far in this episode. Kohaku’s quite the effective support character, huh? That being said, I’m still not completely sure how I feel about Asagi’s character. She definitely seemed to be building towards a breaking point, and she mostly just fizzles out in this episode. I’m sure there’s still room for resentment in the future, but it seems a bit sketchy. Anyway, it looks like next week’s episode might finally go into why Aoi is so reserved about his art.

I find little scenes like this one incredibly charming. Oh, Bangkok has a long official name? Whip out the phone and find out.

Uhh, anyone else think that this scene is strangely mean to Hitomi for no reason? Granny knows that Hitomi can’t see color, but she comes up after the customer leaves to tell Hitomi about the catalog. And what kind of customer asks a new face for “the usual”?

It’s really refreshing seeing how Kohaku uses Hitomi’s trust to nudge her along. Normally, I’d expect Hitomi to freak out and end up hiding her gift from Aoi, but I guess I’ve been watching too many romantic comedies.

Huh…from the name, you’d expect all star-sand to do exactly this.

Wait, since when has everyone known that Hitomi is colorblind? I mean, it’s not too hard to figure out from everything Hitomi’s done, but these are anime characters we’re talking about.

So, I guess they’re fine now? Yay? I mean, I don’t have a complaint about dodging the drawn-out drama-fest, but that’s still surprisingly quick.

It’s hard to tell without knowing how magic works in this world, but I wonder if this fish is an image Hitomi is giving to Aoi through the star-sand. If so, it could be an interesting way for her to convey how his art has affected her perception.

Fall 2018 Grab Bag Week 5: Goblin Slayer, Ulysses

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I’m watching too many shows this season. So, I have quite a lot of impressions to get through. I wonder how many shows are going to make it into the grab bag rotation.

Goblin Slayer First Impressions (1-4)

Hey, I heard people were talking about this show. I’m not really a big fan of super gory shows. I mostly like watching this show because I’ve played a decent amount of D&D and this show plays out like a pretty standard campaign. I can envision that one player who creates a character with a single defining trait and then goes to great lengths to make that character trait relevant in every exchange. Enter Goblin Slayer, the guy who’s obsessed with goblins and will bring up goblins in basically any way he can.

At the end of the day, I’m a sucker for the D&D references in this series. The character jobs are all familiar, and I like the constant references to dice. It’s also fun to see how Goblin Slayer in particular comes up with crazy ways to use his limited abilities to fight goblins. It’s the equivalent of one player asking if they can try something, and seeing what happens when the DM replies with “only one way to find out”.

Oh, the joy of spell slots. Better enjoy that short rest, right?

This is that awkward moment when you realize that Fireball has a 20-foot radius. Huh…I never thought about how ridiculous that is.

To be honest, I really like to see shots like this with Goblin Slayer’s phantom red eye. They’re…pretty cool?

Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi First Impressions (1-4)

I’m really not sure about this show. I have no problem with re-imagining every supposed saint in history as an immortal Ulysses powered by a Philosopher’s Stone. Shifting the perspective of history is something I like to see in a show. My main issue is that the characters in the show have a weirdly childish side to them. The main character, Montmorency, has an excuse, as he literally spent seven years interacting with no one. But I really don’t understand why every other character seems to have an obsessive reliance on Montmorency when they’re all either stronger or more influential than he is.

As a general impression, this show moves quickly. Honestly, I think it moves too quickly for its own good, leaving certain things in the dust. For example, a large part of the series revolves around the fact that Montmorency disappears for seven years because he becomes so obsessed with creating the elixir he needs to tolerate the Philosopher’s Stone. How does one completely lose track for that long? Who cares? I’d be less upset with not knowing why if it wasn’t such a sticking point for every other character.

But hey…Astaroth is a pretty nice character, right?

Speaking of pacing, everyone is basically back together by episode four. Richemont’s capture ends up feeling like a cheap catalyst, since she’s back by the time Montmorency becomes active again.

Sure, why not?

The wonders of elixir. It evaporates immediately on contact with air, but it can apparently survive in your body for…as long as you want? It’s not like the stomach shares the same entryway as the lungs or anything.