Hinamatsuri Final Episode (12): This really needs another season

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For the first finale that I’m covering in this season, this episode was pretty solid. It had plenty of scenes that made me laugh, even if I still don’t fully understand using Mao to frame the beginning and end of the series. If the series commits to the time skip, I think it makes a lot of sense, but it’s hard to say with the season over (maybe I should read the manga).

I love the delivery of this line. The response fits the tone of the show, but Hitomi’s not who I’d expect to see saying it. But then again, this is Hina we’re talking about, so that bluntness might just be necessary.

I think the best part of this scene is how impromptu it is. There’s no grand planning stage showing the other students coming up with ways to give Hina enough strength to use her powers. They develop the plan off-camera and we get to watch it unfold without any warning.

“The End” halfway through the episode? Stop messing with me.

I’m kinda sad that Mao gets relegated to such a side story in this series, but I guess time is cruel. Still, I’m glad to see that the series came back around to the events of the first episode.

This scene also had really great delivery. I immediately reacted to this scene by thinking Mao was actually challenging the robot without her powers. So, the very next scene showing her adjust herself to fix the “illusion” was much funnier.

Final Score: 8.5/10 Pretty entertaining throughout the series. Anzu was particularly endearing.

Hinamatsuri Episode 11: Massacred

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Is it wrong of me to want to focus on the Anzu part of the episode again? She’s just such a good, wholesome character. The “misinterpreted” yakuza piece is starting to feel a little bit overplayed with Nitta. Though, I will say that the point where everyone turned on him, even Hina, was pretty hilarious.

I’m sure this counts as character background…somehow.

I’d make a joke about modern journalism, but that feels too easy.

I feel like this is the series from Nitta’s perspective summed up pretty well.

I somewhat resent this idea that you need to experience being homeless to knock the bratty nature out of a kid, but it doesn’t really make Anzu any less as a character. Plus, I don’t think the series is really pushing that idea.

If only it were so easy.

I can’t disagree with this statement.


Hinamatsuri Episode 10: I guess middle school is the gateway into adulthood

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Hina’s stories in this series tend be okay, but Hitomi and Anzu really pulled out some impressive stuff this week. This episode was kind of an insane ride, and I enjoyed it all. I can’t imagine how this is all going to end.

There’s something really funny about taking the archetypal diligent student, the kind most students would call “mature”, and throwing her into actual adult decisions. I never really thought about it before this episode, but that’s actually a hilarious twist.

Jaded by adulthood already, Hitomi?

That work is looking really productive.

This monologue is probably the most relatable one in the episode. One of the first things I had to learn when I started working was how to refuse work and avoid overloading myself. To be honest, I still don’t think I’ve got it down.

I’m a little sad that this episode moves on with Hitomi in such a desperate state of feeling like she has no allies. Still, it look like Nitta had taken notice of her issues during the housewarming party, so I guess he’s going to be a factor in saving her in the end.

Anzu’s story somehow managed to be even more ridiculous than Hitomi’s story. It starts with a typical heartwarming idea of getting a gift for Anzu’s guardians before going in an insane direction by moving to the horse racing. I’m glad it brought things back around, because I don’t generally like the tired story of the gambler who blows it all.

Also, it was a nice touch having Anzu stop herself from using her powers to win. I actually forgot that Anzu had psychic powers as well, but that scene when she gets the cash in the beginning reminded me. I wonder if that was the point…

Hinamatsuri Episode 9: Glorious promotion

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This episode was pretty funny, but I’ll be curious to see how Mao’s story fits in with the rest of the series. I’m really wondering why she was the first character to be shown in the series that has mostly gone on without her. Honestly, Nitta’s promotion stuff was good too, but Mao has me wondering more.

Man, the survival story looks really easy with the psychic powers. I suppose the point was to show how mental fatigue can be the toughest challenge or something.

Accurate Hina representation is accurate.

I suppose it’s about time Nitta’s mobster role came back into the spotlight.

I like the idea behind this story. Nitta tries his best to support the lieutenant, but it ultimately makes him look even more suspicious. He’s been talking to people in the organization to unite them, after all. Who knows what kinds of deals were made?

The delivery of this line was amazing. It was a pretty good family moment to end the episode.

Hinamatsuri Episode 8: The time has come?

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This week’s episode was pretty funny, but I hope it’s not just getting my hopes up. The fact that Ikaruga showed up seems to suggest a shift towards the alien side of the story. But I won’t pretend to be able to read this show.

This line from Ikaruga is especially funny given that we’ve already seen Hina agreeing to return home at the beginning of the episode.

Funny stuff with the checklist and all, but am I the only one bothered by the fact that this is happening in the rain? Is this special psychic paper that doesn’t get wet?

So, the stuff with Mami was kind of a weird distraction in the episode. It was actually kinda hard to watch her embarrass herself so much.

I didn’t know this comedy show had character death!

Well, that was nice.

I’m not sure whether this is a believable character regression or not. I know that Nitta has been constantly annoyed with Hina, but he seemed to be acting more caring recently. Still, this is some pretty instant karma.

Spring 2018 Grab Bag Week 7: Hinamatsuri, Grancrest Senki

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This post continues to be random.

Hinamatsuri Episode 7

Why is Anzu such a better protagonist than Hina? Her story in the first part of the episode was both endearing and funny, while I largely lost interest in Hina’s student council run.

I quite liked this line from Anzu’s new guardian about denying what Anzu was taught by the homeless elders despite telling her that they are still part of her. It’s an interesting take on an otherwise kind gesture. I wonder if it will go anywhere.

This whole sketch about Hina becoming student council president felt more like it was trying hard to be ridiculous. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t work as well for me.

I was surprised by the final scene in the episode, even if I’m not sure I understood what it meant. I just liked the fact that it seemed to show how much Nitta cared for Hina. He wasn’t taking the comment about getting Hina a mother lightly, so he put the effort in to console her.

Grancrest Senki Episode 19

After much delay, I’ve finally caught back up with this series after falling super far behind. It still has weird pacing issues and feels like it’s skipping a lot, but I’ve enjoyed the series in recent episodes. I think once the series got past a lot of its smaller skirmishes, it started to get a lot more interesting. Perhaps Villar was holding things back a bit too much.

With recent developments, I really liked where the series is going with creating the three major factions. Even if it was a bit manipulative, I was happy to see Theo and Siluca bring Alexis into the fight. Honestly, I think it’s a shame that the series didn’t go into Crests so much. The fact that Theo uses his Crest to inspire his army feels important, but there’s no sense from the series of its significance.

Similarly, Alexis brings kind of a fresh style to the battles with his art-focused Crest. The Crests feel like an important distinguishing factor for each lord’s fighting style, and it doesn’t always come across well.

Honestly, I would have liked to see a bit more fierceness in Alexis, but I guess his fear fits with his character. The first fight in episode 19 was fine to show that Alexis was actually capable, but the sharp contrast in the second fight felt really jarring.

Hinamatsuri Episode 6: Finding the real protagonist

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Hina had some funny moments in this episode, but Anzu’s story was just great. Anzu seems to be doing a better job of developing as a character than Hina is, even if Nitta reminisced in the episode about how much Hina has changed. I’m not sure where the series is going with Anzu, but I like what I see so far.

This facial expression coupled with the action of pouring a drink was surprisingly funny.

Who are you trying to convince, buddy?

I definitely thought that this setup was going to lead to a rehash of the bar scene from last week, so I was glad to see that the joke went in a different direction.

Why are you doing this? This show’s supposed to just make me laugh!

I’m really happy that this week’s episode didn’t rush to restore the stasus quo for Anzu. In a comedy series, that tends to happen. I was really expecting Hina’s new guardians to run into some kind of freak financial crisis to push Anzu back into the homeless lifestyle. I kinda want this to just work out for her, but the story might not be over yet.

Hinamatsuri Episode 4: Back to business

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This episode was pretty sweet even if the conclusion was inevitable. I quite liked Hina’s side of the story in the episode over Nitta’s side. I’m still not totally sold on Anzu yet, but she was pretty relevant in the episode.

Watching everyone in the bar turn on Nitta was pretty funny. I kinda side with Nitta because he has no real obligation to take care of Hina, but the room’s reaction was funny nonetheless.

I liked how Hina’s story went. It felt weird to see her use her powers for monetary gain, but I thought it was cool that she did it to buy the vase for Nitta. I was thinking that she would have a scene where she stopped herself from using her powers because of Nitta’s influence, but this works too.

The double meaning in Hitomi’s bar conversation was nice too. She would be the one to know about living a separate life in a bar.

Hinamatsuri Episode 3: Money problems

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I’m continually surprised by how much fun I have watching this show. The show has a reserved goofiness to it that makes it feel less like it’s forcing gags to happen.

Having Anzu remain homeless is such a weird thing. It feels like one of those developments that you’d expect to be heavily overplayed, but it ends up working out when you consider her adamant pride. I think it might say something about Nitta too, as a normal protagonist would just take Anzu in.

It’s super random, but I like Hitomi as a bartender. It’s a fun contrast to her straightlaced personality in school. Plus, her interactions with drunk adults are hilarious.

I was going to say something about the fairly generic nature of Hina’s clumsiness in this episode, but it was surprisingly funny. In particular, I really liked the way the episode ended. Cutting to the ED song before showing Nitta’s reaction completely caught me off-guard. It’s one of those situations where it’s pretty clear how he’ll react.

Spring 2018 Grab Bag Week 1: Hinamatsuri, SAO Alternative, Devils’ Line

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Spring season’s in full swing, so I want to go over multiple shows today. This section lives!

Hinamatsuri First Impressions (Episode 1)

I had a lot of fun watching this episode. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but the opening sequence certainly didn’t scream “comedy show”. That being said, I thought the episode was pretty funny and I liked where it was going. As for the opening sequence, I was pretty impressed. Despite the blurred attacks and the fact that this series isn’t really an action show, the fight choreography looked really good.

The interactions between the two main characters were fun. I’m curious to see where they go with Nitta. The episode kinda paints him as the “good guy” gangster, but I’d find it more interesting if he isn’t just a nice person (as he seems to be).

I did think it was a little weird that Hina grew attached to Nitta for not treating her as she was treated by other adults. Nitta did technically try to abuse her power for his own gain, after all. But I guess the distinction is that he was more asking her for a favor rather than seeing her as a tool. That seemed to be implied, so I’m fine going along with it.

Sword Art Online Alternative – Gun Gale Online First Impressions (Episode 1)

I don’t have all too much to say about this series. I was surprised that the episode went straight into the action without really introducing much, but I guess it can borrow a lot of setup from the original Sword Art Online. That being said, I didn’t particularly mind it. The episode was pretty entertaining overall. It had the feel of watching a live stream of a game.

The only weird part (for me) was when Karen went god mode in the end. It kinda makes the strategy seem less important when she can take on entire teams by herself.

Devils’ Line First Impressions (Episode 1)

Well, they can’t all be winners. I was curious about the premise of this series, but this first episode really didn’t appeal to me. All of the fights felt like they had excessive shaky cam in them and the major scenes in the episode seemed fairly drawn-out and boring. The opening scene also felt way longer than it should have been for how little it seemed to contribute.

This episode really did a good job of making me not care about this guy. He got way too much background for an opening episode, so it was pretty much a given that the story would get rid of him quickly.

How exactly does this work? How do you identify this guy based on his semen? Did you have a DNA sample already? This line feels like typical “forensic magic”. You could at least put a little effort into it.

Gasp! He was the protagonist all along!