Sangatsu no Lion S2 Final Episodes (43 + 44): Sad to see it go

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Ah, I’m sad to see another season of this series end. When do we get the next one? These were some nice, heartfelt stories to end on. Right from the beginning, the grandfather’s story was a great look into a character that doesn’t normally get a lot of focus. Even though I couldn’t relate to his situation, I can totally understand his drive to stay alive for his grandchildren.

Hina is adorable.

I always like scenes like this one because they make Rei feel so relatable. I’ve always liked the idea of supporting people with actions rather than using words alone. I’m not saying that words are empty, but moments like this one feel a lot more impactful to me. Rei wants to help, but he doesn’t want to make others worry, so he puts in even more effort to make sure he can help without causing pain.

Bringing the series around with a reference to the first episode is a nice touch. I would have expected this scene to be in the final episode, but I can see how it sets up Rei’s home visit.

Rei’s visit home is one of my favorite stories in this series. The story just does a great job of encapsulating the complicated frustration and love of Rei’s adoptive mother. As with the grandfather, I can’t fully relate to her pain, but I can understand the idea of seeing someone who makes you question your own actions.

I really like the idea that Rei put pressure on his adoptive family by essentially just acting like a good person. It’s a counterintuitive idea, which makes it interesting to ponder. Also, the scene where Rei hugs Tarou, the dog, was just excellent.

And the show ends on a nice note with Hina’s hairstyle change as she transitions to high school. I’m not sure she should be taking Rei’s sense of style too seriously, though.


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 5: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome, Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

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Hey, I got another new show to mention this week.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 38

In case you’re not aware of it already, the next 3 episodes of 3-gatsu are supposed to be on hold because of the Olympics. There’s always the small hope that the episodes are released anyway, but we’ll have to find out as we go. I’m just putting this out there in case I have to drop it from the lineup next week.

I’m a big fan of how Souya was portrayed in this episode. While he does fit into the eccentric genius stereotype pretty well, I like the idea that the media’s reaction to him partly fuels that perception. His inability to hear makes him seem like an oddball, when the reality is much simpler. I also laughed at the fact that Souya just answers the generic questions he expects to get because he can’t hear the actual questions.

I did find it a bit odd, though, when the episode opened with repeated scenes from the previous episode. I was thinking it was an attempt to show the events from last week in Souya’s perspective, but I would have expected something different in the audio.

Nikaidou’s return was also presented well. His genuine ambition is always refreshing. I also liked this line from Nikaidou about wanting his own name on a technique. It makes sense for him to think that way given his sickly nature, as he’d probably want to make his mark before his sickness consumed him.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 17

I have a very skewed opinion of the story in this episode. I didn’t think it was too bad, but I’ve seen something similar in a previous show. xxxHolic has an episode devoted to the potentially destructive power of words that I was constantly comparing to this story. In the xxxHolic episode, the story focuses on a girl who is constantly being told by her sister that she is incapable of accomplishing anything. These words cause her to fail at her endeavors.

In contrast, this episode felt a lot more mundane, focusing on a pretty standard sibling fight. It felt less impactful because the words of children really shouldn’t have as much weight behind them. Also, I might be biased because I was really annoyed with the guy who was abducting Ethan. Since we know nothing about him, he just comes off as a jerk.

That being said, it was nice to see Chise saving the day herself despite having her magic restricted. She’s coming a long way.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni Episode 4

I’m getting in the game late with this show and I’ve always been bad at talking about romance shows, so I don’t want to spend too much time catching up. Overall, I think the story’s been pretty interesting so far, and the show does a great job with visual presentation (especially with eyes).

With episode 4 specificaly, we got Tachibana and Kondou’s first date together. I really liked how the episode paralleled the main couple’s date with the fake date Tachibana has with Kase in the first half. This particular scene in the cafe was funny for me because it showed how Tachibana didn’t want Kondou to find out about the other date without drawing too much attention to itself.

Similarly, the episode had some nice focus on Kondou and his own thoughts on the situation. It illustrated how self-conscious he was about his age and how much of a barrier it was without drawing too much attention to that fact.

I had a bit of a gripe with how the episode started, though. Kase seemed to get dragged into the story with a brief phone call showing his preference for high school girls. It felt a bit too forced as a way to get him interested in Tachibana just in time to mess with her date. It’s not that I think he shouldn’t be there for drama. I just think that he could have been introduced in a better way.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 4: Sangatsu no Lion, Miira no Kaikata, and Grancrest Senki

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This week’s episode of Mahoutsukai no Yome didn’t have too much going on, so I’m rotating in another show I haven’t mentioned yet.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 37

Even though I know basically nothing about shogi, I still enjoyed the game this week. Between the commentary from the other spectators and Rei’s own commentary, I definitely felt like I had a good sense of how the game was progressing. It’s pretty much a given that Rei would lose, but I liked how it seemed like Souya and the other spectators were acknowledging him.

Part of me related to Souya a bit in this episode. I’ve always been hard of hearing as well, so I will often respond based on what I think the other person is saying rather than constantly asking for it to be repeated. Souya kinda takes this to another level. Still, his single comment to Rei is pretty cool. The show’s really pushing the similarities between the two without being too overt about it. In other shows, you’d probably have side characters saying that the two players play in a similar style or something. Instead, we’re given these small hints that they think similarly.

I really liked how Souya was presented after the game. We’ve been given clues so far that he might be a bit of an airhead. As we saw in the previous episode when wine was spilled on Souya’s suit, the chairman always seems to be doting over him. It makes Souya seem less self-sufficient. However, he still wordlessly acts as a guide as Rei attempts to handle their predicament.

Miira no Kaikata Episodes 1-3

You know, I was really going to skip this show, but the mummy won me over. I didn’t think I’d find a tiny mummy adorable, but I do. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much more to the show quite yet, so I can understand not finding it appealing.

There’s a certain mystery around the mummy that I also find interesting, but I’m not going to act as though that’s a major factor in my enjoyment. I barely caught this comment from Kaede, which seemed pretty curious. I’m not sure if it was a throwaway joke.

Additionally, I’m still not sure why Mii had to be a mummy specifically. Other than the whole idea of finding out what’s beneath the bandages, has anything really required a mummy in particular? I mean, he came in a casket and eats dog food, after all.

Grancrest Senki Episodes 3-4

Okay, I’m finally caught up with this series…and it’s really not that impressive so far. I admit that I don’t particularly hate the show, but I don’t feel like it does enough.

This entire skirmish overall has a bit of a strange impression. Because we’re only concerned with seeing what the named characters are doing, the battle looks really one-sided in the heroes’ favor. But the reality is that the heroes are fighting a losing battle and it shows in the end. However, we’re shown so many scenes where the main characters are routing their enemies pretty easily, which gives a completely different impression.

Aishela’s “death” was particularly frustrating for me. I didn’t believe for a second that a major character who hadn’t even been developed yet would die from an attack that wasn’t even shown on screen. However, she’s given a death scene that doesn’t even have time to feel dramatic before it’s yanked away by the priest. What was this meant to accomplish?

This whole “old timey” death scene for Savis didn’t really work for me.

I just feel like this show could have accomplished more if Siluca was a bit more mysterious with her motives. Instead, the series makes it blatantly obvious that she’s fallen for Theo, so it’s really hard to suspect her motives like some of the other characters.

I couldn’t ignore this scene. During this entire scene, the dying soldiers on the ground were frozen in their death pose. It was pretty hilarious and sad at the same time.

Winter 2018 Grab Bag Week 3: Sangatsu no Lion, Mahou Tsukai no Yome, and Grancrest Senki

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I’m going to try mixing things up by using this post to talk about more of the shows I’m watching in the season. I might start rotating more of the shows in this post in the coming weeks.

3-gatsu no Lion S2 Episode 36

Hey, it turns out this show is about shogi. Now that Hina’s bullying situation is finally resolved, we’re back to Rei’s pro life. I definitely enjoyed this episode. I’ve said many times that I find Rei relatable and this episode certainly helps demonstrate that. My favorite scene is probably the one where Rei recoils from the guy asking for his bag.

That being said, the scene where Hayashida predicts how Hina would react to Rei when he told her that he felt like he wasn’t helping was a close second.

This scene felt like another great illustration of how far Rei has come. As he starts to take shogi more seriously, he realizes that he’s entering rough territory. It’s also cool that he recognizes that Nikaidou was already aware of this world that he’s just starting to find.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome Episode 15

I wasn’t too keen on the first half of this week’s episode. The whole concept of a “will to live” isn’t anything particularly new. I acknowledge that it’s an important step for Chise to take, though.

I’m pretty sure this water’s depth magically changed to suit the scene.

Silky’s story was my favorite part of this episode. Her past was sad, but it’s nice to see why she cares about the main characters so much. She also has really cute scenes despite saying nothing.

Grancrest Senki Episode 2

I’m still not fully caught up on this series, but I decided to watch the second episode. I still have my issues with the show, but some of it seems promising. Theo’s background was pretty interesting and I really liked Siluca’s blunt responses.

I’m intrigued by the new characters that were recruited in this week’s episode. I wrote this series off as a standard adventure series in a fantasy world, but I think it could be interesting if this series instead follows Theo as he builds his own kingdom in the world. We’ll see where it goes.

The fights in this episode continue to frustrate me, though. Theo’s battle against the enemy mage was just a series of sword clashes in the same position. Also, a lot of the movements felt like they were too quick, which made them really hard to follow.

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.

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.