Casshern Sins – Episode 19

Let’s return to Casshern Sins. It’s been a while since the last episode, at least on my end, but I’m very happy to get back to it. The last two episodes were both important ones for the series, cementing both Leda and Lyuze’s characters while also pushing us towards show’s endgame in concrete ways. I’m a little worried for Ringo’s sake, but otherwise happy to see the show revealing a few more of its secrets. Casshern Sins has generally been at its best when embracing episodic storytelling, but much of the relative weakness of the main narrative has come down to the fact that it’s been so cryptically illustrated that it’s really hard to hold on to anything. With Leda’s goals becoming clear and Casshern’s friends having clear objectives of their own, that’s now less of a problem, and the events of these upcoming episodes will hopefully land with more impact. But hey, this is only episode nineteen, so there may be some episodic stragglers yet. Let’s get right to it!

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Classroom of the Elite – Episode 3

Classroom of the Elite got pretty pulpy this week, as I’d always kinda figured it would. There are certainly very interesting ideas at the heart of this series, but its ear for character voice is almost non-existent, and a lot of the mechanics of this story seem mostly designed to facilitate backstabbing and shocking reveals and all that nonsense. That kind of show can be good too, but this one didn’t really handle its pulp all that gracefully. But hope springs eternal!

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

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 16

Let’s get right back to Ojamajo Doremi! I recently watched a couple episodes of Aikatsu, and frankly was so unimpressed that it actually made me appreciate Doremi all the more. An upbeat sensibility is one thing, but Doremi’s mix of strong characters, great aesthetic strengths, and consistently thoughtful messages make it a legitimately excellent show by any standards. Doremi isn’t “great for a kid’s show,” it’s just good television. Let’s see whatever new adventures this episode brings!

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Aikatsu – Episode 8

Let’s keep on riding this Aikatsu train! The last couple episodes have both been a very fun time, so it seems like we may have finally shrugged off those early episode blues. Aikatsu #6 turned out to be almost as silly as I’d hoped from this show, while #7 had an oddly sharp take on twitter. I don’t really expect this show to have much to say regularly, but if it can maintain the last two episodes’ combination of reasonable storytelling and general charm, I’ll be more than content. Let’s see what today’s Aikatsu brings!

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Casshern Sins – Episode 18

Let’s gather round for some Casshern Sins! Last episode was a pretty crucial one for the series – not only did it basically set Casshern on a direct, overt quest to save this world, it also provided critical context for Leda’s character. Leda is no longer the show’s most threadbare central pillar, and now actually feels like a pretty reasonable person. I’m still not really sold on Dio’s conflict, but everything else here is resolving Casshern Sins’ apocalyptic storytelling in suitably mythic fashion. The old man has received the key, and now Casshern must journey to find the truth about Luna. Let’s head out!

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Classroom of the Elite – Episodes 1-2

We’re starting off this season’s ANN weeklies with Classroom of the Elite, which offered a pretty intriguing opening pair of episodes. I’m kinda guessing this show will get weaker as it goes along, but a strong start with a whole lot of social relevance is still a fine thing. My review ended up sprawling out in order to touch on all of this one’s various thematic parallels, so you guys get plenty of Fresh Content today. Hope you enjoy the piece!

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

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Chihayafuru – Episode 6

Let’s get back to Chihayafuru! When we last left off, Chihaya and Taichi had successfully rekindled Arata’s passion for karuta, meaning it might be time to actually compete again! But I’m guessing the first order of business will be establishing Chihaya and Taichi’s school club, which means it’s also likely time to introduce some new characters. I’m totally cool with that – Chihaya’s been great, but Taichi and Arata both often feel like they’re stuck in her shadow, and I’d appreciate some characters who are less clearly infatuated with our admittedly charming lead. Either way, let’s get right to it!

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 15

Alright, let’s get back on the Doremi train. I’ve recently been playing a whole bunch of Nier in order to get context for Automata, and I could really use some happiness to counterbalance all of the sads. Doremi’s cast certainly experience their share of problems, but the show is so suffused with optimism and love of its characters that pretty much every episode is an inherent pleasure. The world could definitely use more unabashedly joyful things!

Last episode saw us learning about two members of Doremi’s class at once, in an episode where Doremi, Hadzuki, and Ai had almost nothing to do. I’m totally cool with that style of story; our three leads are entertaining enough that I enjoy just watching them act as commentators, and it’s important for the show to demonstrate how people solve problems without magic. Let’s see what our clumsy witches get up to this time!

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One Piece – Volume 11

At last, the moment has arrived! After nearly a full volume of Luffy slowly drowning, the Luffy-Arlong battle begins in earnest this volume. I’ve discussed before how the fundamental assumptions of One Piece make it awkwardly inevitable that Luffy finds himself tied up for long stretches of fights. The fact that Luffy’s power adheres to cartoon logic as opposed power level logic is one of One Piece’s most distinctive features – but it also means that it’s tough for him to share the stage, or for his fights to maintain tension for long. The simple fact is, nobody in One Piece has yet managed to test the limits of Luffy’s very silly strength. And so it goes with poor, doomed Arlong.

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Casshern Sins – Episode 17

Hey all, and welcome back to Casshern Sins. The show’s last episode was probably the best episode of the second half so far, offering a rousing look into Ohji’s backstory that tied him and Ringo into the heart of the narrative. It also saw the show’s principal players congregating and moving ever closer to some sort of final confrontation, with both Casshern’s group and Dio now on the immediate path to Luna. Of course, we’ve still got a full third of the show left, so there are bound to be a few complications on the way. But as long as no bad thing ever happens to Ringo at any point, I think we’ll be okay. Let’s get to it!

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