Winter 2015 – Week 12 in Review

And so the season ends, with solid episodes and flops both largely where you’d expect them. Shirobako ends with a lovely tribute to its entire cast and spirit, Death Parade ends with a brilliantly personal episode that demonstrates the show at its best, and Yuri Kuma pulls out all the stops with one of its most personal and beautiful episodes yet. The rest of this week’s finales varied in quality, but the season remains one of the strongest in recent memory. We’re gonna have to remember this one through the potentially darker months ahead – we’re always lucky to get a season this good.

Incidentally, next week’s Week in Review will be replaced by my eventual, absolutely overwhelmed First Episode Retrospective of Absolutely Everything. I’m guessing I won’t be able to give status reports every few shows this time, since this is going to be the most overwhelming preview week I’ve ever taken part in, but I’ll make sure to let people know as soon as the flood begins. See you all on the other side!

Alright, enough news and reflections. LET’S RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 12

Well here we are, with bearly twenty more minutes of Yuri Kuma to go. I enjoyed a lot of what this show had to offer, and though I wish it were a bit more emotionally strong, it’s certainly offered plenty to talk about. Even if they did kill the best character goddamnit Ikuhara that’s not okay. Let’s see it end well!

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Rolling Girls – Episode 12

Well, this was a garbage ending. It’s a real shame – I was actually looking forward to whatever theatrics Rolling Girls put together for its final episode, and then the finale ends up having zero animation and even less coherent plot. Friggin’ Log Horizon was more animated this week than Rolling Girls. And the plot ends in about as unsatisfying a way as it could, and the story just sort of falls over itself. How do situations like this even happen? It feels like professional writers should not write themselves into holes like this.

My full ANN post is available here. Incredulous notes below!

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Log Horizon II – Episode 25

And so season two comes to an end. This was about as much of an “ending” as I expected – we got a variety of resolutions, but even more gestures towards future material that may or may not ever exist. The raid boss fight was a lot of fun, Kanami and Shiroe have really great interactions, and it was nice (if a little anticlimactic) to see Crusty’s perfectly okay. Overall, season two felt significantly stronger than the first, and though we definitely cashed in a lot of the show’s existing conflict-chips, I’m sure this author could think of all sorts of ways to continue the story. Here’s to hoping we actually get that season three one day.

My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!

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Your Lie in April – Review

The reviews keep coming! This time it’s KimiUso’s turn, a show so damn pretty that I really wish it were just slightly better constructed. This was one of my shorter reviews, but I got through what I wanted to say – I’m sure plenty of other people can talk about which specific characters could have used more texture, or which episodes exactly could have been excised to fix the pacing overall. I was going for tone here, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

You can check out my full review over at ANN!

KimiUso

Parasyte – Episode 24

And Parasyte finally ends, with an episode that sure was incredibly boring to write about. I’m pretty happy to see it over, honestly – it’s been something of a trial in this second half, doing a full day of work only to know I’ll have to come home and say something about a show that could never quite be as good as I wanted it to. Ah well. I’ve watched plenty of ultimately disappointing anime, I’m sure I’ll watch plenty more.

My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!

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Winter 2015 – Week 11 in Review

Oh what’s this another stellar week in anime jeez tell me something I don’t know. All the best shows feel like they’re not even competing with each other anymore – they’re competing for placement on the end-of-year list. In contrast to last year, where I struggled to think of more than seven shows I’d be happy recommending, here we’ve almost got half a list already filled out. Shirobako is a legend, Death Parade is uneven but has staggering highs, Maria is consistently excellent and brimming with great characters, and Yuri Kuma Arashi is a little emotionally lacking but full of ideas and beauty. We also had a great finale for KimiUso and strong episodes for both Log Horizon and JoJo. What the hell is up with this season.

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Rage of Bahamut: Genesis – Review

More streaming reviews! These reviews are actually a pretty great compromise between doing a Wrong Every Time piece and just, well, not writing about a show at all. Some shows don’t really reward the full theme-based pieces, but it’s still fun to talk about them. Although between Eccentric Family and all the Monogats, I do think I’m getting better at adapting what I liked about my old style into ANN pieces…

Anyway, Rage of Bahamut! Fun show, breezy and stylish and fairly unique among anime adventures. You can check out my full ANN review here!

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 11

The bears have returned! Lulu seems to be out of the picture for the time being, while Ginko has come back to devour Kureha. And Kureha has finally appeared before the bear court, who we now know are clearly here just to fuck with things in ways they find amusing, and adjust the rules whenever they feel like it. Will Kureha have to wager something to save Ginko, as Lulu and Ginko did in the past? Is love impossible without giving up something equally valuable? ONLY THE BEARS KNOW.

Let’s get to it!

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Log Horizon II – Episode 24

A surprisingly excellent episode here at the tail end of Log Horizon II. The focus and production were just on a much higher level than usual, and Shiroe’s very understandable dilemma gave the whole thing a well-defined structure. Seeing the whole team work together was nice, seeing that team brought to life through some actual animation was even better, and in general the whole thing just worked, and moved the quest to go home in a fairly compelling direction.

My full ANN post is available here. Sadly no notes this week, as I actually watched this one on my house TV as opposed to my computer.

Log Horizon