Dororo Episode 23: Things are going great

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Tahoumaru tries to talk down the raging Hyakkimaru

This episode is really not making me feel good about how this series is going to end. However, I like that the episode finally attempts to address the moral question that has been looming over the series as a whole. Dororo is a great advocate for Hyakkimaru in this episode, and I’m hoping that the ending won’t end up as grim as the series seems to be foreshadowing.

Hyogo taunts Hyakkimaru

I get that these people are trying to protect their land, but it’s lines like these that make it hard to sympathize with them. Hyakkimaru’s sacrifice is necessary to keep them alive, but they could at least accept the cruel thing that they’re doing. The idea that Hyakkimaru’s body was Daigo’s to give to the demons feels like a way to dodge the guilt the sacrifice to me.

Mutsu and Hyogo finally take down the horse

The scene with the flaming horse was interesting for me, since it seemed like a clear parallel for Hyakkimaru. A cherished loved one calls out to the horse, allowing it to regain its senses. However, Mutsu and Hyogo use the opportunity to cut the beast down, losing their own lives in the process. Dororo is even clearly shown in the reflection of the horse’s pupil as it dies, which heavily implies that something similar is going to happen with Hyakkimaru.

Dororo berates the villager

I’m happy to see this debate happening. Many of the conversations before now have been fairly sanctimonious, so they never felt like they were getting at the core issue. Hyakkimaru isn’t even exempt from this, since his quest to regain his body has become entirely one-dimensional without Dororo’s intervention.

Hyakkimaru's mother comments on the situation

I’m not entirely sure I understand the outcome of the interaction, though. Dororo seems to side with Hyakkimaru, but she also looks ready to beg Hyakkimaru to give up his body in the next episode. Perhaps she’s just saying that she wants Hyakkimaru to do whatever it takes to remain human.

Daigo faces off against the Asakura army

Part of me is annoyed at how much Daigo is sidelined in this series by the war with the Asakura lands. This is really his problem, but it looks like the battle is being entirely decided by his sons.

Jukai prepares to do what he must

Seeing Jukai doesn’t inspire confidence. Hyakkimaru’s surrogate mother and his real mother are both racing to his side at the moment along with Dororo. This can’t end well, huh?

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Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 11: Apparently not a liability

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Tanjirou steps in for the sparrow

When I said that Tanjirou should interact more with his fellow Demon Slayers, this isn’t quite what I had in mind. I guess someone like Tanjirou needs to be grouped together with some extreme personalities. That being said, Tanjirou’s abilities were getting a bit stale, so I think this is a good time to introduce some completely new fighting styles. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that in the next episode.

And because it absolutely needs to be said, the sparrow was the best part of this episode.

Zenitsu takes a beating

I can understand the idea behind a character like Zenitsu, but I still think he was overdone in this episode. I think he’s fine as a background character for someone as resolute as Tanjirou, but giving him center stage for 80% of the episode was not the best idea. He’s a bit much on his own…

Zenitsu hears something

I think it’s pretty clear that Zenitsu is secretly going to have strength comparable to Tanjirou. I’m not sure I agree with the idea that the first Demon Slayer that Tanjirou meets has a similar heightened sense. Is this the hidden requirement to become a Demon Slayer? Does the boar man have better eyesight or something?

That being said, I do like this scene. Later parts of the episode seem to explain the sounds that Zenitsu hears, which gives this scene a better sense of purpose. It can be inferred that Zenitsu is hearing the demon changes the layout of the house to combat the boar.

Tanjirou leaves behind the box

I’m a little sad that Nezuko gets no scenes in this episode, but the comedy surrounding her is funny. In a later scene, Tanjirou is crestfallen to see that the kids have abandoned Nezuko’s box, which I thought was a nice joke.

Tanjirou is out of commission

I’m happy to see that Tanjirou isn’t walking away from his previous encounter unscathed. The crow doesn’t give him any time to relax, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t be fully healed. Of course, this scene is undercut slightly when he attempts to fight the demon, but at least it’s here.

The boar man appears

This guy looks pretty interesting (and quiet). Serrated blades always seem really inefficient to me, so I’m curious to see how he fights with them.

Bungou Stray Dogs Episode 35: A secret duel to decide it all

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Ranpo chooses to fight

I guess the fight between the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency wasn’t a lie after all. This week’s episode had some surprisingly entertaining interactions despite being mostly action-focused. I’m curious to see where this plot line is headed, since it’s looking grim.

Ranpo asks Atsushi to find Katai

It’s kind of weird for Ranpo to be the one gearing for a fight. I’m also not sure I like the fact that he conveniently gives Atsushi an out from the decision. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily go anywhere, but it seems like a quick way to cut off the conversation.

Katai is shot

Given the fact that he appears in the opening, I have a hard time believing that Katai is dead. I’m going to guess that Fyodor has him captured to keep him out of the fight.

Ranpo tricks Chuuya

Seeing Ranpo trick Chuuya was pretty awesome. Despite having no real combat effectiveness, Ranpo manages to neutralize a large threat from the Port Mafia with some help from Poe. It definitely took me a while to remember that Ranpo has no abilities, but it’s a cool scene.

Akutagawa sees himself in Kyouka

I definitely didn’t expect it, but this is a nice moment between Akutagawa and Kyouka. Akutagawa in particular seems to be softening with his interactions with Atsushi, so it’s nice to see him acknowledging that Kyouka has found her place. I like the idea that he sees himself in her and wishes her the best, even if she chose the other side.

The president meets with Mori

I was expecting the virus to fully incapacitate the two leaders, but it looks like we’re getting an epic fight instead. I’m curious to see the president in action a bit more, to be honest, but I look forward to seeing the fight overall.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 10: Disaster strikes

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Being Roddy is suffering

It does almost feel like this series is powering through the performances at this point. The performances are fun, but the episode seems to be introducing some drama in the end. I get that the overall theme is that Carole and Tuesday run into obstacles on their path to success, but I’m honestly hoping it’s not drawn out too much. At a certain point, it feels unrealistically like the world is literally out to get you, right?

Ertegun joins the crew

Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting Ertegun to make a surprise appearance. I know he’s supposed to cause trouble for Carole and Tuesday in particular, but I don’t particularly mind this development. He can be pretty funny, so I actually look forward to seeing how he interacts with the girls when they actually get a chance to perform.

GGK comes back to life

Yeah, that GGK origin story goes about as well as I would expect it to go. I have to agree with Catherine in this episode somewhat. For me, it’s hard to distinguish GGK’s first performance from her second one. Once again, Angela’s song isn’t much better, but at least it’s a more memorable performance.

Tao changes the song

I feel like this stuff with Tao would be more meaningful if we knew more about him. I get that his personality is supposed to be mysterious, but his actions seems to imply that he recognizes Carole and Tuesday as a legitimate threat. So, some hints of that would be nice.

Carole can't find Tuesday

I kind of forgot about Tuesday’s birthday until the end of the episode. But looking back, I missed an entire subplot of Carole attempting to give Tuesday a birthday gift. That explains why she complains that the two aren’t on the same wavelength. It’s a small thing, but I think it’s nice.

Pyotr tells his story

Maybe it’s a terrible bias, but I still have a hard time taking Pyotr seriously. This is meant to be a heartfelt story about his past and where he came from, but it sounds too much like pandering to me. Perhaps I’m just too cynical.

Tuesday receives a gift

That doesn’t look good. Presumably, something about this present is meant to interfere with Carole and Tuesday’s performance. It is a bit strange, though. Cybelle seems like the obvious candidate given her creepy tendencies and the fact that she specifically asked about Tuesday’s birthday in a previous episode. But then again, there was also that weird moment with Angela’s manager staring at Angela’s phone. I’m not sure what to make of that.

Spring 2019 Grab Bag Week 10: Kono Oto Tomare

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Hiro begs for help

Kono Oto Tomare Episode 10

To be fair, a lot of the interesting character development happens in the previous episode, but this week’s episode went well too. This is not the kind of show I would expect to have a training camp, but here we are. Honestly, I’m enjoying the character focus in the series so far. Many of the developments tend to be small, and we get a larger change like Takezou’s every now and then.

Takezou asks Takinami

It’s a small nod to the previous episode, but I liked seeing Takezou stand up to Takinami in this episode. It’s nice to see Takinami’s “cool guy” act cracked by Takezou’s new resolve. It’s about time he was taken down a peg, and this episode seems to start him on a journey to becoming a more sympathetic character.

Chika learns from Satowa

I’m a little bothered by the fact that Chika seems to be a natural talent in this series. I know it creates a gap with his delinquent tendencies, but I’d be more on board if he wasn’t so quick to learn. I don’t have a problem with him being good at copying Satowa, but he should still struggle, rather than getting it right on the first try. Maybe I’m being too harsh.

Hiro worries about her teaching

While it’s severely subversive, I do like how Kouta’s troubles are handled in this episode. It’s not overly dramatic, and everyone seems to react in a reasonable way. Hiro’s own reservations show that she continues to feel worried about her place in the group. She doesn’t know Kouta as well, so she makes a logical conclusion when he disappears.

Kouta is found

Meanwhile, Kouta’s friends correctly figure out that Kouta isn’t one to wallow in his insecurities. Instead, he shows some surprising strength by going off to work on his own. I guess I admire that the series doesn’t force him into that using the other characters. He’s more self-motivated.

Takinami tries to teach

I’m kind of hoping Takinami has a general music background, rather than experience with the koto. I know it’s not going to be case, but I get the feeling that too many people are koto veterans in this show. I know it’s Japan, but the instrument seems too niche for that.

Fruits Basket Episode 10: Double date

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Hana the great detective

After introducing a few more zodiac animals, this week’s episode surprisingly shifts back to the main cast. There’s a lot more to Shigure and Kyou than I was expecting, and it was fun to see. I’ve been hearing the rumors of a 63 episode adaptation, so I might be in for a grind. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how Tohru breaks through Kyou’s shell and softens the darker side of Shigure. We all know it’s happening.

Shigure questions Kyou's feelings

Manipulative or not, I liked seeing Shigure call Kyou out in this scene. It’s interesting to see Kyou using his rivalry with Yuuki as a crutch, and Shigure’s calm analysis of the situation draws it out. I’m curious what Kyou could be hiding that would make him resent Yuuki. It seems odd for the two to have their current interactions if it was as simple as Yuuki sacrificing himself for Kyou in some way.

Tohru tries to comfort Kyou

I respect that Tohru doesn’t try to push Kyou too much. He’s clearly dealing with some kind of trauma, and I guess she’s too much of a calming presence to force him to face it before he’s ready. It’s like a bit of back-and-forth between Tohru and Shigure in some senses.

Shigure faces some criticism

On the other hand, I think the duality behind Shigure could lead to some entertaining developments. It seems that he plays the fool, which makes it hard to take him seriously when he talks about taking advantage of Tohru. It makes me question whether it falls into the standard scenario of overselling his dark side. That’s at least my initial impression of his confession in this episode.

Shigure tends to Akito

That being said, it’s definitely creepy that Shigure pretends to be an ally to Akito. Despite not really liking what we’ve seen of the character so far, I’m almost rooting for Akito to have some idea of what Shigure is doing. It’s not as fun if the “battle” is one-sided, right?

Shigure's editor introduces herself

I suppose Shigure’s editor also introduces herself in this episode. I’m not sure how to feel about it, though, since she doesn’t seem to do much. Future plans?

Dororo Episode 22: Poking the hornet’s nest

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Hyakkimaru vows to get Dororo back

Well, it seems that things aren’t going much better in this episode. As expected, Hyakkimaru isn’t taking the kidnap of Dororo very well, and his new demon friend probably isn’t helping. It actually makes for an interesting setup for a finale, because it’s hard to truly decide who to root for. Hyakkimaru seems to be standing in a better position, but I get the sense that his current course of action won’t ultimately work.

Mutsu succumbs to illness

Mutsu goes through kind of a weird arc in this episode. I think she has a strong performance throughout the episode, but I’m not so sure about the ending. With her speech about being Tahoumaru’s right arm in the previous episode, I really liked this line to Hyogo. With Hyogo’s left arm lost, Mutsu is effectively asking him to fight in her place and fulfill her role as Tahoumaru’s right arm. It’s a great interaction.

Daigo's wife tends to the sick

Am I the only who thinks that everything about this episode seems to suggest that Hyakkimaru’s mother is going to die? I’m honestly surprised she’s survived so long, but it seems like she’s meant to contribute to Hyakkimaru’s return to humanity.

Hyakkimaru rides forth on his new steed

Look, I know I’m not supposed to enjoy this outcome, but this combination of Hyakkimaru and the flaming horse is really cool. I also like that Hyakkimaru’s clearly exuding the red demonic aura that he typically sees in others.

Mutsu offers herself to the demon

This scene was one that I feel I initially misjudged. From the onset, Mutsu’s escape seemed to contradict her earlier words to Hyogo, so I was surprised when she comes just to offer herself in Hyakkimaru’s place. I was expecting her to be here asking the demon for power, but she instead chooses to sacrifice herself for the land. It would have put an interesting spin on the moral argument of the episode if it had worked.

Tahoumaru fights with some new eyes

I have trouble with the ending, though. Mutsu goes through an impressive character story throughout the episode, but I tend to think it goes away when she accepts Hyakkimaru’s arm from the demon to replace her lost one. To me, it seems to slightly cheapen her ability to let go from earlier. I get that Tahoumaru needs his loyal retainers to fight Hyakkimaru, but I think it’s a bit unfortunate.

I’ll be curious to see how this turns out, though. From Hyakkimaru’s side, it’s hard to blame him for being enraged at Tahoumaru for this move.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 10: Finding the true humans

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Tanjirou uses his opponent's power to his advantage

This week’s episode felt better than last week’s episode. It seemed more properly paced, and it ended on some good notes. The series as a whole seems to be approaching the idea of what humanity is in a decent way. I think my overall complaint with this series is that it seems to hand-wave many of the explanations, which leaves a general sense of confusion in my case. Anyway, it looks like next week’s episode is finally bringing a different Demon Slayer into the mix, which should be interesting now that Tanjirou has some battles under his belt.

Tanjirou uses his moves to stop himself

This is probably just starting off with nitpicking, but this dramatic scene seemed a bit undercut for me. It’s cool to see Tanjirou pushing himself to survive the aftermath of his opponent’s defeat. However, it’s hard to feel engaged when he just decides that he has to keep using his moves to survive. Any small acknowledgment that the moves cancel the arrows or cushion the impact would have been nice.

Nezuko comforts Yushirou

Ah, Nezuko has the best moments in this episode. I like how she seems to be developed in this episode. While it’s true that her opponent never truly takes her seriously, it’s great to see Nezuko rush forward to defend Tamayo and Yushirou. The bit about the healing serum doesn’t fully add up for me, because the strength still has to come from somewhere. The most reasonable explanation to me is that Nezuko was sleep-deprived in the first part of the battle, so Tamayo restored her to a more normal state.

Tamayo taunts the demon

I don’t know where to start with Tamayo in this scene. My surface-level interpretation of the scene is that she tricks Susamaru into defending Kibitsuji despite knowing differently. Maybe the demons close to Kibutsuji have grown to suspect his true intentions, so Susamaru is goaded into saying something she no longer truly believes. This triggers Tamayo’s ability, which rips her apart. However, Tamayo seems to suggest that the curse is more related to Kibutsuji’s cells, which makes her own ability all the more confusing.

The demons were impostors

Well, that’s a letdown.

Tanjirou hears the demon's last words

I like that the series is continuing to push Tanjirou’s sympathy for the demons. I suppose he has to weigh the death caused by this demon with the fact that she’s effectively a child.

Nezuko recognizes the demons as humans

I still question Nezuko’s hypnosis thing, but I think it’s used well here. It seems to be getting at the question of what truly makes someone human, which Nezuko has identified as something other than pure physiology. I wonder if a similar idea will be leveraged in the future to allow Nezuko to attack some nasty humans. That being said, I will probably continue to believe that this scene would be more impactful without the hypnosis.

Bungou Stray Dogs Episode 34: Staving off the inevitable

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Tanizaki faces off against the Port Mafia

Wow, Fyodor really doesn’t mess around. While this episode didn’t end up being the massive fight it was hyped to be, I still liked what we got. There’s a good sense of pacing in the episode, which works to emphasize the fact that the Armed Detective Agency is racing against the clock. However, I’m having trouble making sense of where some of the story is headed, so I’ll have to wait to find out.

Kunikida is forced to fight kids

I thought that the focus on Kunikida was interesting, but part of me wonders why kids are so often used against him. That being said, I like the reference back to the OVA’s story, and it’s somewhat funny that Kunikida is somehow explosion-proof. What bothers me a bit is that I’m not sure what Fyodor’s trying to get at by bringing Katsura back into the story.

Fyodor plays in front of Katsura

The reference is fine, and I got the sense that the ultimate goal was to show that Fyodor is more ruthlessly trying to break Kunikida. However, he’s not exactly attacking Kunikida’s ideals like Katsura did. It’s more of a parlor trick, coldly killing a kid in front of Kunikida. I wonder how it will affect him going forward, but it’s not exactly related to Katsura.

The target is a trap

I’m curious about the fact that Fyodor uses a non-gifted person for his deception here. Who exactly are the gifted people in his organization? Does he even have any? Given that his ultimate goal is to wipe out the gifted, it’s not surprising that he doesn’t rely on them. So, I wonder if he even has any gifted allies.

Rampo discovers the fake document

Fyodor’s heavy use of misdirection in the series makes him a cool villain. It definitely makes you wonder how the Armed Detective Agency is going to avoid war if their only lead is a wild goose chase. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Fyodor later reveals that the virus doesn’t even work the way he described it. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s outright lied about how a power works.

Tanizaki stands over Mori

I liked seeing Tanizaki in action in this episode. He has a great power, so it’s nice to see it take center stage. It’s clear that he could do some terrible things with his ability, but he largely holds back for the benefit of his sister.

Kouka saves Tanizaki

I’m a little sad that we didn’t get to see Kouka face off against Ozaki. I don’t remember how much it’s been set up before this season, but there’s a clear connection between the two. Is this season gearing towards a face-off between the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency? That’s the only way I see that connection being explored.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 9: The other bracket

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Carole finds out about Tuesday's mother

Memes aside, this week’s episode was another fun string of songs. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t all that much more to it, though. The episode seemed to be setting up a couple of potential plot threads, but it seemed like pure talent show otherwise. I think the main question I have from this episode is about Tao’s interaction with the girls, since it was something I didn’t expect at all.

Cybelle questions Tuesday

If Cybelle wasn’t strange enough last week, she took it up a notch this week. I did like how Tuesday attempts to resolve things within the episode, eventually turning down Cybelle’s offer to start a separate group. But I can only imagine that Cybelle will return in a bad way in the future. From her introduction in the talent show, it sounds like she has a superficial attachment to Tuesday’s appearance, which seems a bit simplistic.

GGK starts to perform

I’m not really one for this kind of “mystical” jargon, so I might have started with a bad impression of GGK. From what I could tell, her music was nice, but her singing didn’t fit with the background song. As a result, the performance felt discordant, which didn’t appeal to me. The Mermaid Sisters may have performed a meme song, but it was admittedly much more catchy. It was definitely a more memorable song too…

Tao finds the girls

From context, I mostly gathered that Tao was in disbelief when he heard that Carole and Tuesday write their own music. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense that he would ask them who wrote their songs. It was something clearly stated before their first performance. Tao’s response to them was extremely cryptic, so I’m curious to see how he proceeds. I’m not sure if he’s meant to have a character arc, so I was expecting him to be more adversarial.

Angela is recognized

From a musical perspective, I got the sense that Angela’s song was meant to emulate a typical pop song, so it’s reasonable for it to get the enthusiastic reaction from the audience. While it’s not what I’d usually listen to, I would probably still favor Angela’s song over Cybelle’s song. Anyway, I’m still wondering if Angela will actually get the chance to compete against Carole and Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it.