Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 7

Tsuki ga Kirei’s leads took a trip to the amusement park this week, giving them a chance to sigh and fumble and generally not be sure what to do with their hands in an entirely new setting. This episode also saw the show at its most thematically focused, as basically everything here was designed to articulate one more specific and very relatable moment in adolescent love. Good stuff all around!

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

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Chihayafuru – Episode 3

It’s time for more Chihayafuru! Episode two led us to the founding of Chihaya, Taichi, and Wataya’s original friendship, after Taichi’s jealousy resulted in a pretty tumultuous sixth grade karuta tournament. The episode did solid work for both Taichi and Wataya’s characters, while also offering plenty of sunny Chihaya spirit to counterbalance her alternately gloomy and vengeful friends. The show hasn’t really hit a propulsive stride yet, but it’s still an enjoyable and generally well-realized production. Let’s see what episode three brings!

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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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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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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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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 11

You know what, let’s watch some more Ojamajo Doremi. I’ve been feeling kinda low lately, and Doremi is about as pure of a pick-me-up as you could hope for – goofy and upbeat yet brimming with thoughtful messages, it exemplifies many of the things that can make children’s anime so uniquely rewarding. I wish this one had a dub if only so more kids could enjoy it, but either way, I hope you’re enjoying this journey through one of anime’s lesser-known classics. If this site can at least celebrate some shows that would otherwise be disregarded in the seasonal rush and pursuit of some prestige canon, I’d count that as a win. Let’s get right to episode eleven of Ojamajo Doremi!

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Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 6

Tsuki ga Kirei wasn’t very kind to its leads this week, but its illustration of their respective setbacks made for one of its best episodes yet. I’m apparently a bit of a sucker for lengthy tonal interludes – whether it’s this or March comes in like a lion or Grimgar, I’m happy we’ve been getting a lot of shows that understand the power of silence. Tsuki ga Kirei doesn’t have the visual execution to realize all of its ideas, but it’s making a terrific effort all the same.

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

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Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 8

Natsume’s relationship with his ability to see youkai has evolved considerably over the course of this series. Initially seen as a total burden, his power isolated him, leaving him abandoned by relatives and without any close friends. Natsume wished only to be rid of his power, and barring that, he craved contact with anyone who could in some way relate to his experience. Actually getting closer to youkai was inconceivable – they were the source of his pain, the reason he couldn’t live a normal life.

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