Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne Episode 6: The school trip episode

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Mile wonders about the world around her

This week’s episode was a bit awkward, but it does a good job of enforcing the character stories from last week. We’re starting to see more of the world through the travels of our band of goofs. I do wonder if this series is having a hard time deciding whether it wants to be serious or silly, though. I think the show excels at being silly, so maybe I’m just biased.

Mile goes for a trip

Seeing Mile turn the group’s quest into a class trip was pretty entertaining. I’m always skeptical when a series does a screenshot montage, but I think sightseeing is one of those situations where it fits. The episode also does a good job of steering into the comedy by throwing a modern-style gift shop into the mix.

Reina confronts the bandits

Reina’s anger at the bandits makes sense in context with the previous episode, so this seems like a reasonable progression for her. I also think it makes sense that she gets defeated by the diverse nature of her enemy, which goes back to her need for backup.

Mile takes out the enemies with interesting tactics

I do think that Reina shifts her personality more quickly than I would have expected, though. Mile’s speech about Reina being family feels like it should be correcting Reina’s impulsive solo nature. However, we see Reina stopping herself from killing as well, which seems like an overreach. Maybe it makes more sense as progression from last week rather than progressing from the events this week.

The grandfather watches everything

This might also sound cruel, but I think the episode would have made more sense if the grandfather didn’t survive. It’s weird watching everyone rejoice at the end when most of the caravan was slaughtered. I can see it being unnecessarily cruel to the little girl who already lost her parents. But in that case, it might have fit better if the soldiers had taken the caravan captive. After all, they were soldiers pretending to be bandits, not ruthless killers.

Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne Episode 5: Everyone has a past

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Reina remembers her family

I guess this is the stuff they skipped from the light novel. Last week’s episode teased Reina’s character story, but it turns out that every character gets a chance to share. While it’s nicely compact and all, I do wonder how much of Mile’s story is missing here. I also would have appreciated if the tone of the episode had shifted with the tone of each story. But that aside, we certainly have a colorful cast of rogues.

Reina loses her father

I’m surprised that the character with the most suffering gets to go first. Well, I suppose Reina has decent reasons for being less forgiving than her companions.

Reina burns her foes

This might just be me, but I felt like Reina’s story could have benefit from some spacing. It’s sad to see her lose her second family, but I think it’s much more effective if reinforcements didn’t arrive right after their deaths. Let her wander a little first. That being said, I liked seeing this explanation for the flashback in the previous episode. I wasn’t expecting this level of darkness in a series like this.

Pauline's mother hatches a plan

So, Pauline gets it from her mother. That’s my takeaway from her story.

Mile wakes up as a noble

The isekai awakening seems so much less intrusive as a delayed flashback. My main comment on Mile’s past is that the episode seems to go to a disturbing length to force the Cinderella parody on her.

Mile doesn't know how to react

I guess this is the weekly reminder that Mile has the best faces. Also, it’s a pretty small scene, but I think my favorite part of the episode is the depiction of Reina’s inner fire. It’s shown flaring up when she unlocks her magical abilities, but it dims when she finally tells her friends. It’s a cool thing to add.

Mile pretends to be a goddess

Mile really knows how to keep a low profile. Part of me wonders whether her friends from the academy will return in the future. It seems strange that they just disappear from her life.

Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne Episode 4: Official duties

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Pauline thinks financially

Hoo boy, it’s time to get into the character stories. With the Crimson Vow officially formed, this week’s episode largely focused on the girls as they set out on their new career. As the girls start to get to know each other better, we learn a bit more about Pauline and Reina. As always, it’s a fun episode, and I look forward to learning about these characters.

Mile works as a maid

You have to give Mile credit. She’s doing a great job of introducing Japanese culture to her new world. She’ll make them all weabs in no time.

Mile uses cold against the reptile

Time to save the day with some science, I guess. I feel like I have to give Mile credit for not utilizing some obscure trivia knowledge to save the day. She has every right to do so, after all. She was supposedly a genius in her previous life.

Pauline tricks a merchant

I feel like there’s quite a gap between merchant and cleric, but Pauline certainly keeps it fun. Also, she’s moderately frightening.

Mile fears Pauline

This is the weekly reminder that Mile has the best facial expressions.

Mile is astonished by her enemy

It’s really entertaining to watch Mile gush over her otaku dreams coming true during moments of great peril. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go full otaku while seeing a somewhat realistic mech sequence, but Mile takes it to another level.

Reina asks if the group has killed anyone

I look forward to seeing what happens with Reina’s character. There’s a brief flash of her burning two people to a crisp, but I initially assumed it was a hallucination of what could have happened to the bandits. Based on this comment, it might be more likely that it’s a memory from Reina’s past.

Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne Episode 3: The rematch

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Mile tells the girls a story

The time skip in this episode was so random that it makes me wonder if the light novel did the same thing. Regardless, this series has a fun lightheartedness to it that makes really enjoyable to watch. I think it’s almost sad that Mile still thinks she can get away with being average after everything she’s done so far. On the other hand, her friends seem to have effectively accepted this.

Mile creates a new illness

I’ve been having fun with the references in this show. Watching Mile infect her friends with chuunibyou with Sentai stories made this episode so much better.

Six months pass

I suppose the point of the time skip is to get the other girls roughly up to Mile’s level before they venture out into the world. It would be awkward if they held her back, right?

The plan is unveiled

Oh, is she actually going to be a recurring villain? I already forgot her name, though.

The old man surrenders

I guess the main showcase in this episode is the exhibition match. Each of Mile’s friends gets to showcase her unique talents. Of the three, I think that Pauline was the funniest, since she effectively plays full damage sponge to win. She’s probably the least straightforward of the group.

Mile wins by default

I was pleasantly surprised with Mile’s fight. Her movements are ridiculous, but I thought that her sword fight looked great. Even though she’s supposed to be incredibly fast like Mavis, her movements were still very clear. It’s more than I would expect from a show like this.

The Crimson Vow unites

Does this mean that the girls are finally independent? I look forward to seeing how the Crimson Vow fights outside of the school environment.

Granbelm Review: Magic always brings suffering

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Mangetsu is apparently a genius

I suppose you could call this series “magical girls with mechs”. To be more specific, the show takes place in a world where magic has long been sealed away. However, it’s last remaining vestige is Granbelm, a monthly battle amongst mages who wish to become the Princeps Mage and gaining their one true desire. The main character, Mangetsu Kohinata, is randomly drawn into that battle one night. She’s rescued by Shingetsu Ernesta Fukami, who teaches her about Granbelm and inspires her to help Shingetsu win Granbelm.

Shingetsu can't be defeated

While the overall outline of the story is a pretty familiar tale, I think the series has some interesting twists along the way. There’s a lot of discussion about identity and finding meaning that I quite liked while watching the series. The main characters also have strong personal stories, but I would say that this comes at the cost of side characters.

Mangetsu tries to flee to safety

To give an example, I thought that Anna had a decent arc, but I found her personality to be frustrating to watch. Other characters, like Rosa, are completely cast off after the first episode, never to be seen again. On the other hand, I quite liked Mangetsu’s character. She starts out as a girl seemingly stuck being mediocre, and she eventually finds her own sense of purpose.

The spell is complicated

If I had to point to a single issue that I had with the series, it would be a weak explanation of the world. Granbelm is supposed to be a special competition that happens once a month, and yet the series tends to skip to the battle whenever it can. In addition to that, the magic of the world pretty much does whatever it wants. There’s no sense of consistency when it comes to the abilities that a particular mage has, and it’s hard to tell who deserves to win any given fight.

The robot is summoned

Unfortunately, the logic behind a magical world is one of those things that I like to think about, so I would say I had some trouble getting through the series. Overall, I thought that it had some cool ideas, though, so I would still be willing to say that it was a decent showing for the season it was in.

Final Score: 7/10

Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne First Impressions (1-2): Totally normal

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Mile is busted

I totally didn’t delay talking about this series because I was already covering enough isekai shows. That would be crazy. I can’t even call this the silliest premise because Shinchou Yuusha exists, but it’s a hilarious show with less of an end goal in mind. And good lord, the facial expressions are strong.

As a side note, I’ve heard that the anime starts further in the story than the light novel does. It’s something that I plan to investigate more when I get around to reading the light novels, but I haven’t noticed any problems with it so far.

Mile introduces herself

In summary, the series follows Mile, a Japanese girl reincarnated into a new world. In her previous life, she felt isolated by her natural talents, so she wishes to be average in her new life. However, the gods take that request quite literally and adjust her talents to the average of all creatures in her new world, including dragons. This leaves Mile unfortunately overpowered compared to other humans as she sets out to live a normal life.

The girls don't believe Mile

This series has a fun sense of self-awareness with its jokes, making clear references to things like Truck-kun. I enjoy the lighthearted nature of the show, even if the premise is a bit strange. Mile’s airheaded personality also makes you really wonder just how gifted she is, which I think is a nice character trait. She’s kind of a weird character to try and relate with, though.

Mile tries to escape

The one thing I’m not sold on so far is the “gods” of the world. They’re apparently supposed to be nanomachines or something, with Mile’s main companion being nicknamed Nano in reference to it. I hope there’s something more to them, since “nanomachines” are somewhat of a buzz word.

Mile tells her tragic backstory

Come on, Mile. You had an entire life of reading fantasy light novels, and you choose a backstory from this world? Rookie mistake.

Reina is no longer surprised

I think it’s hilarious that Mile makes friends who get so fed up with her excuses that they end up just accepting her. That certainly sounds like true friendship to me.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Final Episode (13): Wrapping up

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Caules talks about his sister

Well, this episode doesn’t really wrap things up, but I think it’s a decent character moment for Waver right up at the end. Gray has a cute moment with Waver when she finally gives him the gift, but I don’t think there was much else. I think this series worked well as a Fate series, but I didn’t think it worked as a mystery show. It’s kind of a shame, since I think it would be a good combination, but the show was enjoyable overall.

Adashino admits her identity

I like this moment. It’s something we’ve seen before, but I’d forgotten about it with the arrival of Doctor Heartless. Now that I think about it, I think the series cut to Adashino when Luvia and Shishigou figure out that she’s related to Heartless. I think that’s a solid use of misdirection at that time.

Waver sacrifices his Magical Crest

Other than that, I think this episode was mostly flavor. I guess it sets Waver up some more for a potential second season, but I thought it meandered a bit.

Waver gives up on the Grail War

I thought it was cool to see Waver give up on the Grail War in the end. It’s been said to him multiple times throughout the series, but he was clearly trying to give himself peace while pretending to honor his friend’s legacy. In the end, he chooses to move forward on his own path to truly honor Iskandar.

Waver has one last chat with Iskandar

I liked this scene at the end between Waver and Iskandar a lot. It felt like Waver was finally owning up to himself and moving forward. Looking back, I think he ends up with a decent character arc, ultimately finding his role as the teacher.

Final Score: 7/10

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 12: True identity

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Melvin has no idea what's going on

Well, this wasn’t a bad episode to end the arc. I felt like everything fit together in the end, and I understood more than I did in previous episodes. That being said, I don’t think I was properly equipped with the knowledge to guess the culprit before Waver’s final deduction (evidenced by the fact that I got it wrong last week even after it was technically revealed). Perhaps, this is one of those mysteries that’s better watched the second time around.

Caules admits to everything

I know that Waver explains that the healing magic was what tipped him off to Caules, but was that really the only hint? It might be enough for him to go off of, given that he’s Caules’s teacher, but it’s not a great clue for the audience. If I watch this arc again, I wonder how much I’ll be able to pick up on things that Heartless does as Caules.

Waver puts it all together

While pinpointing the exact culprit wasn’t the easiest task, I do commend the arc for making it pretty clear that a third party was involved. I’m not sure how I feel about the attempts to misdirect through Adashino, but I don’t think that Heartless came out of nowhere. I think the show does a good job of tying him together with the Animusphere investigation and the detour into the Forest of Einnashe in the previous episodes. His connection to the previous arcs are admittedly more shaky, though.

Faker reveals herself

I thought only Fate/Grand Order was allowed to make up new Servant classes.

Karabo faces off against Faker

While the final battle was a bit of a mishmash of powers, I really liked Karabo’s fight against Faker. Based on the visual presentation of this scene, it looks like Karabo was using the memories of Faker’s attacks against her. If so, I think that’s an amazing way to fight, since it’s taking advantage of the enemy’s strength while keeping track of the flow of battle.

Gray releases Rhongomyniad

Given how the episode cuts off in the end, I wonder what the next episode will be. This battle seems incomplete, so I find it hard to believe that it will be a new one-episode mystery. Is there going to be some sort of epilogue? If you ask me, they’re making it out like Faker and Heartless are set to return as recurring enemies.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 11: Suspenseful bidding

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Gray comments on the complaints

Yeesh, this series really does enjoy its cliffhangers, doesn’t it? Anyway, it seems like we’re right up at the conclusion for this story. Given that this week’s episode ends with Waver seemingly pointing out a culprit, I wonder what is left for the last episode in the arc. Hephaestion’s story is still unresolved, so it could just be an extended battle.

Waver doesn't recognize Hephaestion

Well, Hephaestion’s comment about being a replica like Gray is becoming more interesting. I forgot that Waver saw all of Iskandar’s subjects, so he has more expertise here than I thought he did. Waver later acknowledges that she could just be using the name Hephaestion, so maybe there’s more to it.

Olga-Marie despises Waver

I get that Olga-Marie didn’t have the greatest relationship with her father, but this statement makes her incredibly pitiful. I can certainly understanding wanting to hear praise for your effort, but she’s not giving herself the best of representations.

Waver realizes Adashino was holding out

Adashino’s not making a great case for herself in this episode. As I’ve said before, I mostly see her as too obvious to be the culprit, so I have a hard time accepting it. However, the scene at the end of the episode certainly seems convincing. She seems to be activating something with Trisha’s head.

Waver makes an outrageous bid

The auction scene seemed a bit off to me. Waver puts effort into winning the auction only to effectively give it up in the end. Is there meant to be more to the bidding after his deduction? I get that he most likely needed to see how the auction played out to make his conclusion, but I wonder if the series will explain that. Stopping the auction seemed like a desperate play for him, which makes me wonder how much he actually has planned.

No head then dead

I mean, I guess this is what I should expect from a Fate show.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 10: The nature of the crime

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Waver has a mental argument with Kayneth

It’s certainly starting to feel like the pieces of this mystery are coming together. It’s nice to see Waver back in action this week, since many of the characters seem somewhat hopeless without him. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with how the time manipulation is being used in this episode, but the way it’s invoked is interesting, at least. I don’t know if it’s because I inherently have trouble following this series, but I’m not sure I’m convinced of the culprit yet.

Waver wishes to see Iskandar again

I liked Waver’s mental argument with Kayneth, even if Kayneth isn’t my favorite character in the world. I think Waver has decent motivation for joining the Grail War again, even if he acknowledges that Iskandar wouldn’t recognize him. He just wants to prove that Iskandar had the qualifications to win all along.

Gray is a replica

I think I’m okay with the fact that the battle between Gray and Hephaestion just ends. I wonder if Hephaestion’s interactions with Gray are meant to parallel Iskandar’s past with Waver in some way. I’m curious about the fact that Hephaestion says that she and Gray are the same while commenting on Gray being a replica of Saber.

Trisha prepares for her death

Trisha’s involvement in her own death didn’t go the way I expected, but I like how it was used here. Adashino as a character seems to perpetually rub me the wrong way, but I do like the idea of Trisha attempting to hide her eyes even if she couldn’t avoid her death.

Waver asks for motive

I have trouble buying Adashino as the culprit, even if the series seems to be pointing at her. The scene cuts to her after Luvia mentions the “man without a heart” having a sister-in-law on the train, and she certainly seems to know too much. I definitely don’t buy Karabo as the culprit, since he seems to have no control over his eyes.

Melvin attempts to buy back the eyes

Well, that’s one way to solve the problem. Hey, Melvin’s here to be useful, right?