Definitely one of the better episodes of Rolling Girls this week, sold almost entirely on the strength of that last, fantastic sequence. The rest of the episode actually kinda dragged and repeated itself at times, but the resolution to Chiyo’s conflict was graceful enough, and we’re still getting endearing offhand jokes from the Rolling Girls here and there. The show’s doing okay.
Yeah, I’m running out of steam. Blame Shirobako for demonstrating that good two-cours can feel just as energetic at episode 20 as at episode one. Or blame Parasyte, because it actually is Parasyte’s fault – the show dragged, the show somewhat recovered, and now the show’s just indulging in an arc with absolutely no coherent plotting at all. The police plan was dumb, the way too on-the-nose theme declarations are dumb… man, this all makes me pretty sad. Parasyte was a good show.
Shirobako ruled the roost this week, with a standout episode that pulled all of the show’s ideas about finding your purpose together into one lovely, melancholy time capsule. The other shows were pretty cool too, but man, that Shirobako. That Shirobako.
Yeah, let’s just start right there. Running them down!
It’s bear o’clock once again! Kureha seems to have finally remembered her old friend, but most fairy-tale friends don’t sit there and watch as your lover is murdered, so I dunno how well this will turn out for anyone. I’m currently suffering through some hellish stomach virus, so this week’s post might be a little more brief than most, but I can’t let sickness keep me from what I do best!
Alright, yeah, this sucks. My body is a festival of pain. FIGHTIN’ THROUGH IT.
There’s always time for more Log Horizon! That said, I think I might be ready to take a slight break from Log Horizon. Pretty happy with this review, though – I think I covered the compelling stuff more gracefully than I did in the first one, and even got in a bit about Log Horizon’s politics. Having just rewatched all of season one, I think can solidly confirm that season two has just been a step up for the series – the original had highlights, but it also had plenty of slow stretches, and Log Horizon 2 has been stellar for a long time now. But who knows – we’re still in 2’s hot streak, so I might just be misremembering how interminable the Akatsuki arc in the first half was.
Fun times in Kyoto this week! The show seems very comfortably in its groove at this point, with each new episodes major highlights generally being the tiny details. And this week had plenty of great tiny details, along with some lovely animation, backgrounds, and a more consistent sense of humor. I kinda wish I’d been a little faster getting on the “the main characters are barely going to do anything, and that’s okay” train, because the show itself seems to be having a lot of fun with that state of affairs – their limp attempt to rescue the Rockers captain was one of the episode’s best moments. Rolling Girls has turned out to be a pretty cozy ride.
Another rich and exciting episode of Log Horizon this week, as Nyanta confronted a boss rush’s worth of opponents and ideologies while the kids fought to keep the town standing. The contrasting perspectives of Londark and Mizufa offered a nice microcosm of how this show engages with both specific gamer identity and larger political ideology, and the fights that accompanied them gave Nyanta a welcome chance to show off both his skills and personal convictions. I wasn’t expecting the magic bag adventure to climax in a lengthy swordfight-slash-philosophical-battle atop a moving train, but I’m not complaining. Log Horizon’s apparently decided to absolutely make sure we all miss it when it’s gone.
Parasyte shifted into cop procedural mode this week, leading to a few scenes that were kind of accidentally hilarious in their genre-standardness. In spite of that silliness, it was definitely an easy watch, and it’s nice to see the show finally escaping from the slow, repetitive drama of its middle act. It’s weird for me of all people to be cheering for a show to toss away its character arc and thematic focus and instead simply revel in action and plot, but Parasyte’s character and theme stuff has just not been its strength. I’m happy that all resolved well in the end, but I’m even more happy to get on with the final act.
Rolling Girls’ second side-arc ends… reasonably, I guess. It’s hard to point to any one specific reason this arc didn’t really do anything for me emotionally, but it just didn’t seem deeply felt. The character arcs were all very obvious and standard, and there just weren’t enough small character moments to make this feel like its own story, and not just Rolling Girls riffing on an established template. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, and the fact that the show has clearly forfeited its animation highlights almost makes me wish it’d never misled us with them in the first place.
Dear god, it’s somehow that time again. The time when we all get together to celebrate the cartoons we love by putting them in a meaningless ranking system that denies the very purpose of storytelling altogether. The halfway point rankings feel even more meaningless than usual this season, as the current season is both very good and also full of shows that I’m enjoying all around the same level, but trifling problems like that won’t stand in the way of tradition. Let’s run ‘em down!