Spring 2018 Grab Bag Week 6: Some of the extras

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Since we’re halfway through the season, I figured I should take the chance to do some quick impressions on some of the shows I haven’t been talking about as much in the season.

Dorei-ku

I’m kinda fed up with this show. Every episode seems to focus on a random new character before the main characters somehow show up on the scene as if to validate the character’s existence. I don’t know if there’s some source material that explains things better, but the setup as portrayed in the anime continues to make little sense. The SCM just appears with an app and built-in functionality, and the characters just seem to know how everything works.

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi

This series hasn’t been terrible, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. When I’m watching something folklore-based, I’m looking for interesting stories that relate well with the underlying folk tales. This series seems to focus more on using the stories as a setting while pushing its own characters. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not really my thing.

Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru

I fell off with this show a while back because it didn’t . The story ended up taking some interesting turns, but the main villain really doesn’t really appeal to me so far. He seems a little too full of himself to the point of being annoying.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

This show ended up being a lot more entertaining than I expected. It doesn’t have the overblown drama of the original, so it’s a lot easier to watch. Also, it seems to be genuinely interested in focusing on the game (it’s almost like watching a game of PUBG or something). The main character’s superpowers end up feeling a bit awkward, but it’s not a huge problem in my eyes.

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Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru First Impressions (2): Kept in the dark

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I never expected to see a line like this in an anime. I’m having a hard time watching this series. I feel like I don’t know enough about this world, and the story wants to march along despite that fact. And this series seems like the kind of show that benefits from really strong world building, so I’m quite confused.

Is there a point to this romance? I get that Gaius is in some kind of stable relationship, but these scenes feel like such a waste of time. They would make a lot more sense if Jiv is actually going to betray Gaius later or something. There’s a really weird scene in the battle at the end of the episode where the focus suddenly shifts to showing Jiv, so I get the sense that I’m supposed to be suspicious of her.


This scene really felt like the show’s way of insisting that it’s a sci-fi show rather than a fantasy show. You’re not fooling anyone.

Okay, I get the “brain vs. brawn” dichotomy of Gaius and Gigina already. What the heck is a chemical manipulation type?

This is not the conversation I expected to see…

I was actually okay with this scene. In an earlier scene Gaius mentions that he happened to train under a “great master”, so the combination of that conversation with this one is probably supposed to introduce the main characters a bit. It sounds like the two trained under this Diorg person, and that person’s job was passed on to them. I’m guessing it was the result of some kind of tragedy? They don’t seem too sad about it.

Given that the only thing we’ve seen in this series so far is the fight against the black dragon, this girl’s accusations seem pretty clear. So, the confusion of the main characters seems like unnecessary mystery that doesn’t add anything.

Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru First Impressions (1): Definitely a science show

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Curses, I’ve been baited by scientific terms yet again. I could easily hate on this show for being a bad science show, but it’s clearly a fantasy show, so I’m willing to give it a chance. The science talk is just an excuse to smuggle magic into the world. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I think it depends on where the series goes with it. I wish the episode hadn’t started with so much (seemingly) meaningless jargon, though.

This introduction makes it really hard to realize that this series is set in an alternate world.

If anything, though, the episode did a good job of showing off how ridiculous science names can be. Are there Defensive Jushikiists? We only hear about the Offensive Jushikiists in this episode.

This scene would do a better job of introducing its world and the main characters if it explained why the two weren’t getting paid. What exactly did they do wrong? Am I just supposed to assume that they’re typically troublemakers and broke some rule fighting the dragon?

So, do these guys fight dragons or do they fight other Jushikiists? I feel like I’m just supposed to assume that they fill the common trope of working as “odd job” specialists.

Too many things in this episode felt like they shouldn’t have been introduced if they weren’t going to be explained. I get that Gaius is supposed to be the rational/scientific one while Gigina is supposed to be the traditional/spiritual one, but those descriptions seemed like they were just shoved in my face.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 12: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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Aww, shows are ending.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 42

I always find episodes like this one interesting because I never really had the crisis of conscience when I was in school. I can relate with being indecisive about life goals, but I’ve never been in the situation of choosing whether or not to continue with my education. This arc is a fun one to end the season, using the transition to high school as a stopping point.

I like how Rei and Hina’s situations are contrasted. Rei felt forced into his path in life but learned to accept it. Meanwhile, he’s watching as Hina earnestly pursues what she likes. If anything, I’d say my situation was closer to Hina’s. I always had vague interests, but I didn’t feel like I could commit to one as a career.

I really love Rei’s facial expressions. It doesn’t feel like his expression should be much, but it’s so hilarious to me.

Good on Hina for being conscious of money. I liked her grandfather’s reaction because it was similar to the mentality my parents had.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Final Episode (24)

I’m pretty satisfied with the ending we got. Sure, it leaves room for more, but it seemed to resolve story points as far as I could tell.

As I’ve said before, I wanted to see Chise survive in the end, so I have no problem with this development. I really should have seen this ending coming, but I was so focused on the idea that Chise would reject Joseph and Cartaphilus. Still, I’m fine with the idea that she’s now basically “normal” with the competing curses inside her.

Ashen Eye is probably my biggest issue with this episode. He feels like he’s been set up as the big bad orchestrating everything behind the scenes, so he remains a loose end that remains unresolved. If we judge him based on this season alone, he’s just a random mystery that pops up whenever he wants to cause trouble. He’s kind of annoying in my eyes.

Hey, we got Chise in a wedding dress. No complaints here.

Final Score: 7/10 – Fun ride with interesting stories about spiritual concepts.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 11: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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Something witty.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 41

This episode started with a nice break from the action, but it still felt like it had plenty of stuff going on. The bullying incident hasn’t been resolved, which is fine with me. People don’t just change at the drop of a hat after all.

I really liked that the series acknowledged the lasting impact on Chiho. This scene shows her progress as well as the damage that has been done really succintly.

This scene with the new teacher also brings up a point that I quite like. Justice is an interesting topic for me, and I’ve always been curious about how people regard perpetrators after they’ve been labeled “evil”. Do we punish perpetrators just to dispense justice or are we trying to correct their behavior. It’s easier to make the argument with kids, but I think it extends further. Either way, the new teacher’s questions demonstrate the kinds of reactions I find questionable.

This line just feels really relatable. I wouldn’t say I’m the same, but I’ve had thoughts like this in the past.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Episode 23

The first half of this episode felt a little strange in that I didn’t fully get why it needed to be here. I guess the point was to show that the fairies wish for Chise’s well-being, but don’t necessarily respect her wishes.

What interests me about Cartaphilus’s story is that it’s a bit of a role reversal. Based on the setup we’ve seen so far, we expect that Joseph is being held prisoner in this eternal life by Cartaphilus. However, Cartaphilus really comes off as the pitiful one in the flashback. Instead, the “Cartaphilus” that we’ve seen up to this point has really been Joseph, who is desperately trying to free himself.

We’re almost at the end. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this story gets wrapped up.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 10: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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I’m still trying my best to catch on shows that I missed while I was out.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 40

I’m not one who would know anything about the burdens of aging, but I still think this story has been seriously fantastic. I really don’t have too much to say about this episode because I was just having such a good time while I was watching.

I really liked the breadth of visual styles used to express Sakutarou’s inner feelings. You could see his desperation as he tried to keep hold of his friends’ expectations and dreams. It’s great that this match is so memorable despite all of the time spent commenting on how tough it would be to advertise it.

There’s something really satisfying about the episode’s conclusion and its simplicity. Sakutarou’s win felt deserved and satisfying because of how much we saw him struggle. And where do we leave off? Prepared to do the same thing the following year.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Episode 22

And with this, we’ve basically reached where the story is in the manga. We’re on equal footing now. This series really has me curious about how the story will end. The idea of switch Chise’s curse with Cartaphilus’s curse is quite interesting, but I can’t imagine it’s so simple. I do really hope that the series doesn’t end with Chise’s death, though.

Smug child Chise is so awesome. She seems like such a normal girl.

I thought the way in which the flashback ended was pretty interesting. I liked the idea that Chise refused to forgive her mother but ended up finally understanding her mother’s feelings. The whole idea of releasing herself from her interpretation of the situation is cool.

I’m not too surprised about where this is going, but part of me doesn’t really like the idea of “saving” Cartaphilus. I know that there’s another personality, “Joseph”, in there, but it’s really not helping.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 9: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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Gee, I sure wonder what show I’m going to pick this week.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 39

I always enjoy it when this series explores other perspectives. I thought this episode did a great job of making me want to cheer for both players.

I really liked that the episode starts by showing Shimada’s perception of Saku. From Shimada’s perspective, the gathering of Saku’s older friends is a power play to mess with an opponent’s morale. Shimada sees them as a huge advantage that Saku has built with his years of experience, which is a nice way to set up the rest of the episode.

However, we later see that the expectations of those who are left behind can be a burden. I’d never quite thought of things like that, but it makes sense when you think about it. Of course, it’s always tragic when a dream is left unrealized, but I always find it interesting to look at the other side.

The presentation in this episode did a great job of visualizing Saku’s personal suffering. For me, the image of the bandages covering Saku is one of the most memorable scenes I’ve seen in this series.

The concept of the burnt field was also great. Saku basically stands alone in the aftermath of his friends who have burned out.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Episode 21

While it’s pretty easy to hate Elias in this episode, I’d say that his actions make sense. This episode really shines a light on the worst of both Elias and Chise. Other characters have mentioned multiple times that Chise’s relationship with Elias is dangerous and this episode seemed like the breaking point.

In Elias’s defense, we’ve heard multiple times that he’s practically a child despite his appearance. It seems pretty fitting that his actions would stem from a combination of immature jealousy and his general attachment to Chise. Chise’s not fully in the clear on this one too, especially with how much she’s willing to disregard her own life.

I didn’t really get this scene. The number of scenes with lips moving makes me think that the scene really should have been voiced. It seemed way too long to warrant a complete lack of dialogue.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 8: Mahoutsukai no Yome, Death March

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I really want 3-gatsu to come back…

I’m travelling for work this week, so I apologize for only doing two shows again.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Episode 20

It’s episodes like this one that make me really wonder how this series is going to end. Chise is already someone with a shortened lifespan and she seems to keep piling things on. At this point, it will take a miracle to keep her alive.

I gotta admit. This “wow” was funnier than I expected.

There’s an interesting idea in this line. It’s a common idea that people who commit suicide are acting selfishly by disregarding the people who care for them for personal solace. From Elias’s perspective, you could make the argument that Chise does the same thing by taking the suffering of others on to herself. Given how little she values herself, she probably sees it as ultimately beneficial, but Elias doesn’t see it the same way.

Death March Episode 7

I haven’t talked with this series in a while because my opinion of it really hasn’t changed. When I was reading the manga, I saw this series as pretty average, as it doesn’t do anything special as an isekai show. However, the anime has been giving me more of a negative impression because I feel like it doesn’t work well as an adaptation.

Nothing against Mia, of course. She’s adorable.

I really don’t understand why this series relies so much on photo montages to pass the time. I can understand having them occasionally, but this series feels like it’s largely showing me a series of screenshots instead of a moving picture.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 7: Grancrest Senki, Marchen Madchen

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Grab bag’s feeling a little light this week.

Grancrest Senki Episode 7

I don’t really understand the pacing of this show. It speeds through large-scale conflicts, but it devoted a large portion of episode 6 to a dance scene. Similarly, episode 7 (this week’s episode) seemed like it was trying to cram two very different stories into a single episode.

I won’t pretend like I understood this negotiation. I guess I’m just supposed to buy that Theo has such amazing charisma that he’s able to earn people’s trust with his words alone.

I guess this guy was related to the suffering in Theo’s hometown or something.

We’re finally back on the wedding from the beginning of the series. However, the fact that this guy spends the entire time talking about his love made me wonder how important this really is to the story. It was pretty obvious in the first episode that he was more invested in the relationship, so did we really need this?

Marchen Madchen Episode 06

This series really took its time to make a point. After half the series, Hazuki finally unlocks her power and introduces the main theme of the series: making your own story. It’s not that it’s a bad concept. I just

I’m slowly developing a pet peeve for unnecessary time rewinds. And this black screen with text seems like a really awkward way to set it up.

This is a really derpy face to leave on screen for longer than a second…

Honestly, I thought that Qazan and her allies had interesting powers. They all seemed to revolve around the kinds of sly tricks a street urchin would use (like stealing and lying).

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 6: Mahou Tsukai no Yome, Marchen Madchen, Yuru Camp

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The situation with 3-gatsu is depressing, but it makes me glad I have this post to avoid having to fill an empty hole in the week.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 18

The episodes that focus on Chise and Elias are always interesting, but I really wish Elias wasn’t such a guarded mystery. I admit that it probably just makes him more intriguing, though.

This week’s episode does a pretty good job of emphasizing the mutual dependence Chise and Elias have. The reminder about Chise’s deteriorating condition is a pretty clear sign of dependence, but we’re also given a reminder of Elias’s own deficiencies. We’ve seen other characters call him childish, and his jealousy in this episode is a good example.

While this is a cute scene, I do feel kinda bad for how sidelined Silky tends to be. Ruth at least gets to contribute.

Marchen Madchen Episode 05

I’m not even gonna try with the special characters.

I’ve mostly been watching this series pretty idly, but I figure I should talk about it. On its face, it doesn’t really do anything new with its setup. The main character happens upon a magic school and joins it. Personally, I think the strength of the series is how it incorporates its story-based theme in small ways. The characters make small references to storytelling quirks or tropes, which fits in a world where magic derives from stories.

For example, this scene here is a pretty blatant reference to taking the blue pill.

This episode also had a small nod at romance series, pointing out that most could be solved if the protagonist just confessed to his love interest.

I think the general weakness in the show is how it builds its setting. The rules of the Hexennacht aren’t explained too well, so it generally doesn’t make sense when everyone rides Hazuki for being a liability. We’re constantly reminded that Origins are important, but there’s not a good explanation about why that’s the case.

The preview bits at the end are certainly funny, though. As for this episode in particular, it ends with Hazuki rejoining the Hexennacht after almost leaving. It’s not too unexpected as far as developments go, but I guess it works. I still don’t get why Japan gets away with having four registered contestants, though.

Yuru Camp Episode 6

I haven’t talk about this show in a while. To be fair, not too much tends to happen. That being said, I think it’s my favorite fluff show of the season. The backgrounds tend to help with that, and I think the series does a good job of presenting the outdoor experience. I say that as someone who doesn’t do too much stuff outdoors.

The way Rin’s progression has been presented has been pretty fun to watch. I like watching her solo camping, but it’s still funny to see how she’s slowly being sucked into the camping group by jealousy.

This is so relatable.