Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 2: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome, and Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku

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Why does it feel like I take on more shows every season?

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 35

Hey, this show is happy again. I’m really glad we’re through this arc. While I liked the content, there’s something terribly wrong with seeing Hina suffer. She seems like the kind of person who would deserve it the least.

The scenes between the teacher and the bully kid were pretty cool. I like how “no nonsense” that teacher is. It’s really easy to be swayed by comments about society’s influence, so I agree with his approach of forcing responsibility where it belongs. I also think it’s reasonable that everything isn’t magically resolved immediately.

Chiho’s letter was just a great development. It created such a grounded ending for the story. While it’s great that she’s doing well and that Hina gets to find that out, Chiho’s experience was still a harsh one. The whole ending gives a sense of “making the best of things” rather than getting the perfect happy ending.

This scene was another one where I found Rei relatable. I honestly agreed with him that he didn’t seem to contribute too much, because I similarly underestimate the effectiveness of just being supportive.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 14

While I quite liked the story with Joel and the leannan sidhe, I have issues with how this episode started. I mentioned last week that I felt like last week’s episode was a decent amount of nothing, so I was really bothered with how quickly the fox debacle ended. It really only amounted to a few minutes of screen time, so why didn’t it happen last week? Was it just meant to force a better cliffhanger?

That aside, I thought the main story of the episode was nice. I liked how Elias and Chise complimented each other. Elias provided blunt knowledge about Joel’s conditions without regard while Chise sought to console her friend. I also really like to see Chise so proactive about using what she’s learned about magic. It makes her feel less like a lackey relying on Elias all of the time.

I’m curious. How effective is this cliffhanger given the one we just got?

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Episode 1

I don’t really want to devote an entire post to this show because I know I won’t have much to say. From what I’ve seen from the manga, it’s really not doing anything too special as an isekai show. In my eyes, it was just a decent thing to casually read. As for the anime adaptation itself, I had a lot of issues with it from the first episode.

I wasn’t really expecting so much of the episode to be devoted to Suzuki’s job. To be fair, it was a fairly relatable portrayal, so it wasn’t boring. I mostly thought it was weird that they had to establish that he wasn’t a pedophile by showing that scene with the lost girl.

I think my major comment with this show is that it’s basically asking for the ending where the entire story was just a dream. The isekai experience starts when Suzuki falls asleep. The Meteor Rain mechanic also fits better because it would have been fresh in his mind. But I’ve been told that this idea gets addressed later, so maybe I shouldn’t say much.

Also, was it really too much to ask that the notifications get a translation? I found them pretty funny in many situations when I was reading the manga.


Overlord S2 First Impressions (1): Back to business

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Well, this episode certainly was good for making me realize how much I’d forgotten about this series in its absence. I think I have the important bits, but I’m curious to see how it will affect my perception of this season. Still, I always saw this series as fun, and this episode was pretty entertaining.

I actually don’t have too much to say about this Rubik’s Cube scene. At least, the cube was displayed well. I didn’t notice any lazy animation when it moved and the pieces didn’t look obviously wrong.

I was also paying too much attention to the cube to actually read what the two characters were saying. Are these people supposed to be the enemy?

The first scene in this second season referenced a “vampire” who pretty much has to be Shalltear. This dragon also flashes back to an encounter he had with Shalltear. Is this just some random background for her or she supposed to be even more important in coming events? I suspect I’m just forgetting something really obvious from the first season.

The fact that this guy’s name is “Climb” makes me wonder if Renner should actually be “Runner”. The names would be equally ridiculous then.

Okay, I admit that I forgot this piece of Albedo’s introduction. At least it’s a useful flashback, right?

Watching Shalltear pretend to be drunk was pretty funny. Poor Shalltear…I have to remind myself that she was the final boss of the first season. The exposition from Ains helps.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 1: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome, and Slow Start

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Given that a majority of these series are from the previous season, I decided to add another show. I’m curious. I feel like these are getting longer, so would it make more sense to split them into multiple posts? I’m starting to think that’s a better idea.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 34

Hina’s such a strong character that it’s almost unbelievable at times. I really wanted Akari to be the one who spoke out against the angry mother in this episode, and I was pretty shocked to see that Hina was the one supporting her. That being said, perhaps it’s a testament to how much support Hina’s been getting from everyone else (like Rei) that we see Hina speaking up.

The scene with the previous homeroom teacher was okay. I personally still side with Hayashida that she should be the one intervening as a teacher. But I can understand the mentality that her work feels ultimately meaningless after constantly trying. I would just say that it means she should be getting help from another teacher. I’m not completely willing to see her as the victim in this scenario.

You know, I was going to cry foul with the way Kokubu asks for proof here. Typically, the burden of proof lies on the party making the claim that strays from the norm, which would be the claim that Hina is being bullied in this case.

However, I was really convinced with the way Kokubu explains himself and the general lack of proof in the situation. I still think the ethics cross into sketchy territory, but I don’t think the grey areas apply as much in a middle school setting. I’d agree with siding with the victim.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 13

If I’m being completely honest, I’d say I found this episode questionable for this show. The episode opens with scenes we saw at the end of the previous episode, which looked like they were only teasers for events that were coming in the future. They made sense as a mid-season finale to hint at what’s to come, but they make a lot less sense here. The new opening even reuses animation from the previous opening.

As for the episode itself, it felt like not too much happened. I will say, though, that I really liked Chise’s story about her family, though. Despite the tragedy we’ve seen in her past, it’s nice to see that her family truly did love her. I initially thought that she just had generically abusive parents, but those were only her foster families.

I guess this episode was setting up the next story. Chise is a fox now…woohoo?

Slow Start Episode 1

Uhh…I actually don’t have a lot to say about this show. It looked pretty good visually, the characters were interesting, and the conversations were funny enough. My only real issue is the premise. Why is it such a big deal that Hana started school a year late? I get that kids are more likely to focus on smaller things like that, but it just feels like a really boring thing to use as a character’s defining feature.

I thought the fact that the father is pacing in the background here was pretty funny. You don’t usually get a lot of characterization for a parent in shows like this, but it demonstrated that Hana’s mother isn’t the only worrier (despite sending the flood of texts).

This picture seems useful.

Grancrest Senki First Impressions (1): Pretty chaotic

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I ended up having a lot of issues with this first episode. Generally, I thought the fights used too much slow motion, the world was confusing and poorly developed, and the characters were just kinda okay. I found myself asking a lot of questions and getting mostly annoyed. I’m not sure how long I’ll continue with this series…

From the very beginning, I wondered why something like this was even present in the middle of an important wedding. Let’s be honest…this thing looks clearly evil.

I also don’t get why the wedding fails. Based on this portrayal, the groom is at least somewhat in love with the bride. They should have feelings for each other, right? The death of their fathers is a clear tragedy, but it should be obvious to anyone that the demon lord appeared to stop the wedding. Why would they let the demon lord win?

On the brighter side, the guy on the right has the best facial expression.

Something about this scene doesn’t sit well with me. I want to believe that Siluca has a rare ability to create monsters, because this seems like a cheap way to make someone stronger otherwise.

The fight itself is a lot of slow shots focused on specific attacks. This shot in particular annoys me because Theo is slowly spinning in the foreground while the rest of the scene is static. In a later scene, the other lord starts his attack in slow motion and ends up looking completely ridiculous as he shambles forward.

Even the ending of this fight is depressing, as Theo’s literally flailing on the ground when he gets the killing blow. If you combine that with the fact that Siluca just gives him the opportunity to absorb a stronger Chaos Core, the events makes Theo seem extraordinarily lucky.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 25: We made it!

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Okay, let’s finish off this last remnant from the fall season before starting the new stuff. While this ending wasn’t great, it was better than I expected. For many of the scenes, I found myself thinking I could live with that explanation, which is something I don’t think I say often for this series.

First off, let’s deal with Semiramis. While I was annoyed that she survived, her final scene with Shirou was one of the scenes that I accepted as fine. She briefly explains why she fell in love with Shirou, and the explanation wasn’t terrible (that he saw her as a partner rather than a pretty face). Also, I assume her final line is some reference to the real Semiramis that I didn’t get.

So…just don’t direct resources to the immortality wish? Problem solved? I’m sure there’s some rule about magic in this world where you can’t easily stop a spell in progress without additional effort.

The episode also did the thing where the character says something that’s intentionally kept quiet until a few moments have passed. I always get annoyed when I see that.

Is the “Reverse Side of the World” something that’s established in the Fate world? I’m not super familiar with all of the lore in the series, so I don’t recognize it. But it’s brought up as the solution as though anyone should know about it, so I can only assume that it’s an established place.

As for Jeanne and Sieg’s ending, I want to be upset about it, but I can somewhat accept it. It was literally the first scene in the series, after all. I also don’t know enough about this reverse world to know whether it’s possible for a dead Servant to appear in it anyway.

Final Score: 6/10 Could have been worse…it had its moments and some of the characters were solid.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 24: Battle of the blurs

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I find it really depressing how far this series is willing to go to make Sieg the main character. At this point, Astolfo, Siegfried, Fran, and Jeanne have basically been tossed to the side to give Sieg the spotlight for no real reason. This episode was truly rough to watch.

Jeanne got through her issues surprisingly quickly. I was expecting at least an episode of agonizing, but Sieg’s arrival was enough to fix her.

Honestly, I really want to agree with Shirou’s plan, but it seems so poorly explained. As far as I can tell, it’s a pretty simple “get rid of all human suffering” plan with very little thought behind it. Maybe there’s more information in the light novel or something, but it seems like the series focuses too much on the result of his plan rather than the mechanism.

This attack looked really awesome for how ineffective it ended up being. Also, the fact that this scene looked great made it even more frustrating that the sword fight didn’t look great.

Sigh…why did Semiramis have to live?

I’d be more willing to accept Fran’s return if there had been some kind of hint at it. Sure, Sieg got electrocuted by her, but I’m pretty sure that was written off at the time as just a means to revive him. Having the scene suddenly become relevant again just seems cheap. Maybe you could call it pandering to the fans.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau Final Episode (12): Only the beginning?

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I wasn’t expecting too much from this finale, and it pretty went as expected. This episode clearly felt like it was gearing for another season, so it didn’t really resolve much. In fact, I would argue that it was trying too hard for the second season because it kept teasing new information (like the “mama” thing with Falaina and Neri).

I really wanted to care about Masoo’s death, but it felt too much like a side thing. Plus, most of Masoo’s screen time was devoted to showing that he was dying rather than actually giving him characterization. It just felt like it was lacking in impact for how sad his funeral looked.

It seems a bit late to be introducing this guy, right? I’m mostly wondering why his voice always sounds synthetic.

So, I think I was supposed to get from this scene that Orka used to be a cowardly soldier before his current state. Did he change as a side effect of losing his emotions or is there something more to it?

Well, I give Suou points for being honest about Falaina’s effect on the Marked, rather than giving more room for those two guys starting a revolt.

Final Score: 6/10 Interesting start, but it felt squandered. At least the show looked nice, though.

Fall 2017 Grab Bag Week 12: Sangatsu no Lion, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, and Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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Hey, this is probably the last one of these for fall. I made it!

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 33

I really appreciate this episode for giving Rei a chance to just be happy. As far as I’m concerned, he certainly deserves it. I definitely enjoyed the way it was portrayed too, with the subtle reaction to Chairman’s “I’m counting on you” building into the tears Rei can’t hold back in the Shogi Science Club.

Gakuto’s focus was a little weird in this episode, but I liked how he was portrayed in contrast to Shimada. The episode starts with him getting criticized for his lack of market appeal, which is heavily demonstrated in the game. We see a lot of flashy moves from Gakuto as Shimada calmly responds to them.

Having the principal and vice principal join the Shogi Club was pretty funny too. It looks like next week goes back to Hina, which probably means the fun is over.

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou Episode 12

Okay, that was a lot more information than I was expecting from this final episode. It certainly didn’t answer all of my questions, but I can live with this ending. Some of the videos we saw confirmed what we already knew (that mankind basically self-destructed), but I’m guessing I’ll need to watch that part again to get the rest. That was a lot to follow…

I’m still not sure how I feel about the weird creatures. I was perfectly fine with accepting that they were some kind of experiment gone wrong or manmade “living” device. However, this episode seemed to suggest that they were some kind of system put in place to reset the life on Earth. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but I find that harder to believe.

Still, this series has been a pretty fun experience. Watching these two girls find fun in a seemingly bleak landscape has been one of my highlights for the season. Here’s hoping for some more to come.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 12

A lot of talking in this week’s episode, but it was still pretty nice. I quite liked Nevin’s conversation with Chise because it was somewhat similar to something I’ve heard a lot. It’s always nice to help others, but it’s important not to lose yourself in it to the point where you no longer help yourself.

I also really liked Nevin’s positive spin on Chise’s mother’s death, seeing it as an act of charity that she didn’t take Chise with her. It’s never really said, but I’m guessing Nevin saw it as a sacrifice to allow to Chise to continue on and help others.

I knew where the phoenix scene was going as soon as I saw it, but it was still a nice-looking scene.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau Episode 11: The truth comes out

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I didn’t really like the beginning of this week’s episode, but the events and revelations on the Mud Whale were a lot better. The things we learned in the second part of the episode just seemed a lot more interesting and answered some of the questions I had. That being said, I’m still really unsure what kind of ending this series is trying to pull and it’s making me nervous.

The trial really felt frustrating to watch. Orka had no business walking out of that flight unscathed. What really bothered me was that his speech used information that the “elders” really should have known themselves. It seemed like a cheap excuse to allow him to give some exposition to the audience.

I’m conflicted about this scene. On the one hand, I agree that the commander is an incompetent leader. But what kind of society is this where the leader, Orka, isn’t also responsible for the actions of his subordinate?

In contrast, the map scene was a lot more interesting. I liked that they explained the Mud Whale’s isolation by showing the current on the map. It further explains why the Mud Whale has been able to stay closed off from the world, and it fits the fact that the island was meant to be a prison.

Like Chakuro, I somewhat suspected already that Falaina was draining the life force of the Marked, but it was still a cool revelation. It also fits well with the fact that Falaina can’t eat emotions.

I guess we’re revolting now? If I’m being honest, I didn’t find their logic to be too convincing. I might have accepted it if there had been no Unmarked deaths in the previous attack, but I think the one death messes with the proportions since there are fewer Unmarked overall.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 23: Identity problems

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All in all, I felt like this episode was pretty interesting. While it’s sad that Mordred and Sisigo were almost entirely sidelined in this series, their last stand was a lot better than I expected. I was pretty worried when the fight started with Mordred getting slapped around by Semiramis.

Aww…Mordred just wanted to help her father. I think I’m fine with this.

Also, isn’t it a bit weird that both Semiramis and Jack the Ripper used poison gas as a weapon?

In the end, how much did we really know about Sisigo? He worked well with Mordred in pretty much every scene that depicted the two, but I feel like he was just there as cannon fodder. Still, I can very much accept Mordred’s death as going down with her partner.

I’m not fully sure I understood the ending, though. My take was that Jeanne had fallen for Sieg despite her resolve to treat all people equally as a saint. She probably blamed everything she felt along the way on Leticia, but she actually had her own feelings for Sieg. And when Shakespeare reveals the inconsistency, it breaks her. I suppose the girl apologizing in the end is Leticia. It’s really hard to keep track.