Flip Flappers – Episode 2

Flip Flappers’ second episode begins with Cocona waking up in her bed, as if her adventure with Papika were all some strange dream. The sequence of shots here directly echoes the last time she woke up, further emphasizing the unreality of the moment – and even her glasses are intact. But beyond just casting doubt on the reality of the previous episode, this opening’s sequence of precisely repeated shots emphasizes Cocona’s sense of complacency in this life. In comparison with the first episode’s dreary tone, the frightening excitement of Pure Illusion now makes her everyday life seem like a kind of comfort.

And then Papika arrives, and so much for all that.

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 18

Let’s mosey on back to Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi in its most reliable and frankly rewarding mode, using the focus on a new member of Doremi’s class to articulate great points about growing up and finding people you can rely on. It also featured one of the show’s most aesthetically powerful sequences yet, with Masaru’s flashback to his father demonstrating this show still has a fair number of execution tricks up its sleeve. Doremi’s little visual flourishes are as reliable as its moral punchlines, and I’m happy to be back on board. Let’s see what our witches get up to today!

Episode 18

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Koi Kaze – Episode 1

Alright, we’re storming right into Koi Kaze. Koi Kaze has a very unique reputation in my anime circles – in short, it’s basically “the show that does incest right.” Instead of using incest for immediate fetish material or gags, it’s actually a character drama about two siblings that have romantic feelings for each other, and the consequences of those feelings. It’s not just “an incest show,” it’s a romantic drama that happens to center on an incestuous romance.

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Classroom of the Elite – Episode 6

Classroom of the Elite seemed to finally settle into its comfort zone this week, offering consistent goofiness and also some legitimately well-articulated drama. Not expecting Ayanokoji to be a traditionally “good character,” and instead enjoying him as some kind of scholastic Kirito stand-in, is letting me have a much more fun time with the show on its own terms. And given we’re already in the second half, I’m expecting the show to consistently ratchet up its melodrama from here out, something that will make it even more fun. We’ll make a good time of this show yet.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Tsuredure Children – Episode 7

After last week’s cumulative piece, my actual episodic Tsuredure Children writeups began in earnest this week, forcing me to find out if I actually can write full articles about twelve minute shows. There turned out to be no problems there, and in fact, Tsuredure Children’s four skit setup allowed me to do a pretty close read on what worked or didn’t across each comic bit. This should be fun!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Casshern Sins – Episode 20

Let’s get back to Casshern Sins. We’re coming off a pair of Lyuze-focused episodes at the moment, where she ultimately confirmed both her feelings for Casshern and her own will to live. It’s been interesting to get such a deep dive into Lyuze’s feelings this late into the narrative, but it makes sense – having spent the first half of the series blessed with the certainty of hating Casshern, she’s only now forced to reckon with the ambiguity of an open, even possibly hopeful future. The power of certainty, of giving yourself up to a cause or a god or just a personal goal, is a real and almost physical thing in Casshern Sins. Those that can raise their eyes to the horizon and see something worth seeking endure – those that lose hope fall to Ruin. Lyuze had to trade the certainty of vengeance for an uncertain hope, but she can see a real future now. I hope she makes it through.

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Chihayafuru – Episode 8

We’re back with more Chihayafuru! The last episode was very likely the strongest episode of the show to date, merging an excellent character introduction with some desperately needed Taichi development. Taichi had really gotten the short straw up until that point, being forced to act as the third tag-along pillar of a Destined Romance that had constantly presented Chihaya and Arata as fated partners. Seeing him articulate his frustration about his lack of talent, and also legitimately earn a win off Chihaya, was a very satisfying experience. And with four members in the bag, we now only need one more signee to make the karuta club real. Let’s get right to it!

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One Piece – Volume 12

Look, I’ve spent eleven straight volumes offering staid, craft-oriented critiques of One Piece. I’ve discussed key structural decisions, the composition of action setpieces, Oda’s evolving visual repertoire, and all manner of other theoretically interesting facets of comic design. I have been very good about trying to ensure you generous supporters get your money’s worth out of these writeups, and that they aren’t simply the style of fan-gushing you can find on basically any forum.

With all that in mind, I think I’ve earned the right to say HOLY SHIT THIS VOLUME’S JOURNEY INTO THE GRAND LINE IS SO FUCKING COOL.

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Tsuredure Children – Episodes 1-6

Welp, I guess I’m reviewing Tsuredure Children weekly now. With the season being what it is and Symphogear streams still nowhere to be found, I’m now picking up Tsuredure Children for ANN. The show’s certainly given me plenty to talk about for Crunchyroll, so I guess it’s about time!

You can check out my overview of the show so far over at ANN.

Aikatsu – Episode 9

Alright everybody, let’s get back to our Aikatsu. The show’s last episode wasn’t really a highlight, but it did do some reasonable work in integrating Ran into the main trio. Both Ran and Aoi have gotten recent focus episodes, so I’m guessing we’ll be getting either group conflicts or more Ichigo stuff this time. That’s fine by me – Ichigo seems closest of the main three to what I associate with the “spirit of Aikatsu,” the kind of nonsensical positive attitude that leads to stuff like painting your signature with a giant car-sized brush. More of that bullshit, please. Let’s get right to it!

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