Spring 2017 – Week 7 in Review

Look, this season is just great, guys. I don’t know how many times I can say it. A season that’s simultaneously airing one of My Hero Academia’s best arcs, the sequel to one of my favorite shows ever, and the spiritual successor to Shirobako would frankly have a damn hard time being bad. Even with Tsuki ga Kirei taking the week off, there were no shortage of high points this week – Sakura Quest had one of its best episodes, My Hero Academia ran through an entire goddamn tournament bracket, and even Re:Creators pulled off some of its most rewarding conversations yet. This is a fine time to be an anime fan!

Alright, let’s get right to it.

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 7

Holy crap they killed Soun. Really didn’t see that one coming. I’d figured after the first season, he’d either be gone forever or a threat forever – I didn’t expect him to come back, briefly threaten Yasaburo once more, and then die in ignominy. This episode managed to draw a poignancy out of his passing that I also didn’t expect, but then again, that’s Eccentric Family’s bread and butter. But anyway, let’s get to the piece!

You can check out my supersized review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Ode to Nichijou

Where do I even begin with Nichijou.

I could start with its technical merits, I suppose? Because the show certainly is technically meritorious. Where other Kyoto Animation highlights like Hyouka and Sound! Euphonium use their beautiful, well-observed character animation to present an illusion of heightened realism, Nichijou features a cast of simplified character designs and over-the-top motion. And that is the first element of its genius.

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Why It Works: The Eccentric Family’s Nefarious Villain

This week’s Why It Works offers a spotlight for Soun Ebisugawa, a true villain’s villain if there ever was one. Soun hasn’t really gotten much material yet this season, but his first appearance was a terrific scene, so I figured it’d be worth a highlight. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: The Eccentric Family’s Nefarious Villain

Casshern Sins – Episode 15

It’s time for more Casshern Sins! The show’s last episode was… well, not the best. In the wake of the show’s halfway point revelations, Casshern Sins spent basically a full episode letting Casshern shake himself out of his I’m A Monster stupor, climaxing in another battle with Dio. Dio and Leda are easily the show’s least interesting characters, and having them just continuously repeat their motivations didn’t really do all that much for them. Still, it’s nice to see that Casshern is out of his funk again, and I’m certainly interested in where the show will go now that the new Luna has been formally introduced. Let’s apocalypse!

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Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 9

Natsume has spent much of this first season circling around one particular goal – finding another human who can share his youkai experiences. Isolated since youth, he’s traditionally framed youkai as solely the source of his pain, and not a potential escape from it. Even now, he’s haunted by the memories of what his gift did to him, and the pain it caused.

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Spring 2017 – First Half in Review

Well folks, it looks like we’re somehow halfway through the spring season. Things have been insanely busy on my end, as I’ve been scrambling to deal with a bunch of work-related backend stuff that’s altogether far less exciting than watching cartoons. Fortunately, the cartoons themselves have been as strong as ever – this spring has an extremely sturdy lineup, so stuffed with watchable shows that I’ve essentially had to shave off an entire second tier of contenders. Keeping up with my Current Projects means I don’t really have the time to watch nine airing shows a season anymore, but I certainly can’t complain about having too much to watch!

As usual, this is the point where I vaguely rank the shows I’m watching in some kind of descending order. Also as usual, these rankings are essentially meaningless – I like making ranked lists, but I don’t think they have any meaningful value, and establishing this hierarchy while none of these shows are actually completed only underlines that. So sit back, relax, and let’s have an enjoyably pointless time!

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Aikatsu – Episode 4

You know what, let’s watch some goddamn Aikatsu. It’s been a while, I’ve still got a fair number of funded episodes to get through, and I’m in the mood for some ridiculous idols. I recall the first three episodes of this show didn’t get into particularly strange territory, but the show has a reputation within my broader circle for truly absurd episodic shenanigans. And even if it just remains a pleasant idol show for a younger crowd, that’s also a pretty fine thing to be. Aikatsu ho!

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 6

The Eccentric Family seemed to step back into the mode of the first season this week, offering the same sort of rambling afternoon adventures that defined the original’s first half. I was perfectly happy to see that – The Eccentric Family excels at its own whimsical interpretation of slice of life, and this episode was no exception. The Eccentric Family’s hell is a pretty great time.

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

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My Hero Academia, Volume 8 – Review

Alright, let’s talk My Hero Academia. This latest volume gave me one of the strangest sources of frustration I’ve experienced regarding manga – feeling annoyed that a certain arc wasn’t padded out. Normally I’d be all for skipping through the dramatically irrelevant fights of Deku’s final exams, but for this story, I can’t think of many things I’d more like to see than the secondary characters of Class A battling against professional heroes. It’s a testament to this manga’s great cast and fun fights that I basically want filler battles.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.