Welp, there’s no way around it – this is probably the most underwhelming season since I started watching seasonally. Basically the only new show I’m legitimately enthusiastic about is Classroom Crisis, and even that’s just “hey, this is pretty okay, I hope it turns out well.” Aside from Gatchaman Crowds insight, there’s nothing this season on the level of the top three from either of the last two seasons, and things only get more dire in the midrange. This week I’m serving pink slips to both Rokka and Himouto-chan, leaving me with… four new shows I’m watching? Jeez.
Welp, always time for backlog! All this dropping will hopefully give me time to get through Love Live S2 in time for the movie (seeing it in theaters, YEP), and maybe even watch some old classics! If that happens, I’ll likely be adding those to this space, since hey, what else am I gonna talk about? Gotta write about something.
Anyway, let’s run this sad-sack collection down!
Classroom Crisis 3: This episode was definitely a step down from the first two, but Classroom Crisis is still a compelling show. This one just leaned a bit too much on humor that was far from load-bearing, even as the actual plot remained relatively engaging. Kiryu still isn’t the most interesting character, but Sera does a lot of heavy lifting – I’m obviously a big fan of shows that hammer on optimism, but you have to do it in a way that feels real, and scenes like Sera drinking with his old boss and wondering if he really was pampered fit the bill. I’m a little worried this will turn into a simple underdog story now that the team is in the old garage, but the consistent highlighting of the needed combination of idealism and pragmatism gives me hope. Classroom Crisis is still all potential.
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan 15-16: And Nagato Yuki-chan ends with a pair of episodes reflective of what a wet fart of a series it turned out to be. We returned to the nothing happening of the pre-disappearance arc, complete with “classic” scenarios like Kyon falling on Nagato and a confession that didn’t actually change anything. Overall, this is the kind of show that makes me feel pretty cynical about anime, but I’d still recommend the disappearance arc to anyone who liked the old Haruhi series. A shame it was wrapped up in all… this.
Gatchaman Crowds insight 3: Well God Damn. This episode was a stunner, far and away the best episode of the sequel so far, and I’d say probably the first “great” episode of this entire season. In contrast to the first two weeks’ somewhat rambling structure and scattered concepts, this was taut and propulsive, its interrogation of Rui’s ideals as consistent as its thunderous pacing. Like with the original season, this was a third episode that felt like a third act episode, already at the point of discarding all that had come before. Rui’s current belief in totally distributed CROWDS frankly couldn’t last, but this was as harsh a wake-up as I could imagine. And Hajime’s theoretical peace with Katze remains an open question as well. Is she really the same person as before, and could even the person from the first season deal with these newly complicated questions? Currently the dark heart of humanity is stabbing Rui as a literal knife in the gut, so it seems unlikely our heroes will be able to rely on simple optimism from here out.
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers 3: Welp, that sure was another slow and uninteresting episode filled with conversations that weren’t particularly compelling. Flamie and Adlet made for an even less interesting pair than the original two, and it seems clear at this point that Rokka will not be returning to the engaging pacing or combat of the first episode. It’s disappointing, but honestly not that disappointing; this is more the normal course for action shows than them staying high-energy and dynamic all the way through. The plotting and character writing is far from strong enough to carry this (hell, I was even getting Kirito vibes from Adlet in this episode – having a bunch of female characters be charmed by a smarmy guy does not make him actually charming!), so this is where I get off. The seasonal culling continues!
Monster Musume 3: Monster Musume remains the very silliest harem. With three very dangerous girls around, the fanservice-to-abuse ratio has never been worse, and the whiplash remains pretty damn funny. “Darling” is less an actual person than a ragdoll to be terrified and flipped around and mashed to pieces by his fatally infatuated house guests, which really works for this kind of show. There were even some fun bits of animation this week, with the terrifying outline-less sequence in the middle demonstrating the animator debt this show owes to stuff like Yatterman Night. Monster Musume is still a classic slapstick harem with ridiculous characters, but that’s exactly what I want to it to be. I mean, the moral of this week’s story was “don’t be indecisive about marrying monster girls unless you want to get sexed to death” – you really can’t go wrong with a show like that.
Overlord 3: Yeah, I ended up giving this one another chance. The third episode ended up being one more mix of strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, there was no crappy light novel humor this time, and this episode actually moved well – none of the scenes really dragged for me, and it kept up a steady flow of new information to add some context to the world. On the minus side, there’s still no real reason to care outside of the very base hook of “an evil boss takes over an MMO world.” Our main character just isn’t much of a character at all, and none of his subordinates have risen above being, well, subordinates. Additionally, this episode seemed to hang pretty heavily on “this is like Log Horizon, but look, BLOOD!”, which I can’t say is the most compelling trick. Plus the big fight was all ugly CG. Overlord remains “watchable,” but not anything more than that – it’s something I might continue watching just because I want a break from shows I’m marathoning for review, but it certainly hasn’t hooked me.
Himouto! Umaru-chan 2: This episode wasn’t tremendously worse than the first one, but I think this is where I’ll step off. Well, I take that back – a combination of the premise being inherently thin and the ways this episode mixed it up really did make this one sparkle less than the first. None of the material with Umaru’s friend here was particularly funny, and in fact her crush on Onii-chan was probably the most bland direction they could have taken her character. On Umaru’s end, the constant jumping between Umarumodes was pretty funny, but her gags are better in small doses. And in this case, since we’re not seeing this as a short, I think “small doses” means one episode every once in a while, when I’m in the mood for it. Repetitive humor and strict weekly scheduling don’t mix so well, so I’ll probably see how I feel about an episode of Umaru in a few weeks or so.