Paranoia Agent – Episode 4

The paranoia continues, this time visiting trusty Officer Hirukawa. This was less of a mood-focused episode than the last couple, but gave us a better look at the police chief’s philosophy, which was a nice tradeoff. I also just loved Hirukawa’s ridiculous face. This show has extremely expressive character designs in general, and Hirukawa’s among the best of them – his bulbous nose, beady eyes, and utterly untrustworthy grin make for a perfect cartoon face that can squash and stretch into all sorts of absurd expressions. Hurray for Hirukawa’s silly face.

You can check out my ANN writeup over here or my notes below!

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A Bride’s Story, Volume 4 – Review

Time for A Bride’s Story! ANN already had reviews for the first three volumes of this one, so I’m picking up where Rebecca left off. Volume four is all about the twins Laila and Leily, whose irrepressible scampishness makes this the most comedy-heavy volume yet. That means Kaoru Mori doesn’t get to indulge in quite as many breathtaking full-page spreads as usual, but the volume’s still a lot of fun. A Bride’s Story is good, you should read A Bride’s Story.

You can check out my full review here!

A Bride's Story

Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 5

This was a big one! Gatchaman basically crammed every idea it could think of relating its central themes to the election process into one jam-packed episode, and the result was stunning. As I say in my review, this episode could have felt busy or cynical, but the way the show made use of its characters very understandable motives to center each of their perspectives made it feel as poignant as it was dense. This is the way it is, but nobody’s happy about it. Idealists are used, pragmatists make cynical steps for the greater good, and relying on anything more than the base tides of public opinion will likely get you swept away. This was a stern dressing-down of everything Rui hoped for in the first season, and likely insight’s best episode yet.

Here’s my full review at ANN, and you can check out my notes below!

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Classroom Crisis – Episode 5

Well, it was bound to happen. You can’t have a show with “classroom” in the title and avoid a derpy beach episode at some point, I suppose. And this episode certainly was Beach Episode As Fuck, which I used as an excuse to largely talk about how this show can sometimes feel at war with itself. It feels like the pitch for this show went “we can let you get away with this corporate struggle between simplistic but bold ideals and the necessities of business, but you’ll have to stick in at least one classroom setting, three ‘I’m not an old woman’ jokes, and a beach episode.” Hopefully the devil has now been paid his due, and Classroom Crisis can be strictly good from here on out.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 – Review

Time for another review, and this time we’ve got… a random-ass show from the late ’90s. And boy is this show EVER from the late ’90s. This might the most “from the ’90s” anime I’ve ever witnessed, absolutely dripping with a specific cyberpunk aesthetic, sound, and idea of “cool” that at this point comes across as more quaint than anything else. And as I say in the review, once you get past that, the show really doesn’t give you all that much else to talk about – Bubblegum Crisis is a very simple scifi-action thing full of very simple characters acting out a very simple story. Overall, I’d basically describe it as “harmless enough.”

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or read some of my frankly unnecessary notes below!

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JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (Egypt Arc) – Review

And we’re back for the second half of Stardust Crusaders! This one won’t be a huge surprise if you’ve been following my week in review posts – I found SC’s second half to be a huge improvement over the first, and a legitimate return to form for the show overall. Lots of exciting fights with far better narrative composition, some really great visual tricks echoing the style of the first season, and even better music. The last dozen or so episodes of SC in particular were almost all the series at its best, from Pet Shop through Vanilla Ice and on to Dio himself. Egypt Arc has me eagerly awaiting the third season/fourth arc, whenever JoJo returns to us.

You can check out my full JoJo review right here!

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Summer 2015 – Week 4 in Review

Wednesday has come again! And I’m at a bit of a loss. As I’ve mentioned before, the fact that I’m watching so little this season means these week in review posts feel a little barren to me. So I’m gonna take that situation as a chance to experiment a bit – get a little looser and more conversational with the style, and actually cover how my “week in anime” really was, and not just blurbs about the specific airing shows.

So how was this week in anime?

It was extremely damn good, actually. Because I’m not being overwhelmed with airing shows and am somewhat ahead on my ANN work, I was able to get to a bunch of backlog stuff. I’ve got a pretty diverse mix of shows I’m watching now, but I guess we can start with the stuff that actually was airing. Let’s run it down!

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Paranoia Agent – Episode 3

Classic watch continues, with an episode that felt more impressive than emotionally resonant, as I go into in my piece. I suppose it’s just the kind of show this is, but I’m kind of worried about Paranoia Agent steering too far into cynical condemnation of its characters. This episode seemed to exist on the far side of that line from the first moments, where we got about as big of an “otaku are gross” moment as is humanly possible. I guess we’ll see where it goes!

Here’s my full piece over at ANN, and my notes are below!

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Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 4

Gatchaman Crowds continues on its rich and engaging way, this time zooming in a bit to really focus on the naive idealism of Tsubasa and Gelsadra. They’re basically simple heroes in a world that’s far too complicated for them, and the clash between their beliefs and the more nuanced perspectives of everyone around them actually felt like an improvement over the first season’s “Hajime versus the world.” This second season is going really, really well.

You can check out my full writeup over at ANN, or see my more thorough and specific notes below!

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Classroom Crisis – Episode 4

Classroom Crisis continues to be, well, whatever Classroom Crisis is. The show has rough edges, but a lot of great qualities, and an extremely strong thematic/emotional core. At this point I feel like the show itself is basically like its own protagonists – everyone’s counted it out, and nobody seems to be watching it, but damnit, there’s something worth rooting for there! Especially in this dire-ass season, it makes me sad Classroom Crisis seems to be somehow slipping through the cracks.

Anyway. This episode was fun. You can check out my full review over at ANN, or see more specific notes below!

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