Bakemonogatari – Episode 10

Hoo boy, we’re in it now. Nadeko Snake #2 is a rich and uncomfortable episode, one of those things that’s better for actually being an unpleasant experience. Its visual framing makes it effective in the same way great interactive storytelling can be – you’re not just a witness, you are complicit in the crimes on-screen due to the way you are perceiving them. I did my best to articulate all my muddled feelings on this episode, and hope you enjoy my piece.

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

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Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – Episodes 1-2

Alright, time for some goddamn Milky Holmes. I know from a brief prior attempt that this show is a very very stupid comedy, and thus that you all’s attempt to make me analyze it is your attempt at comedy. Or at least your attempt to promote Milky Holmes itself, which is an extremely valid reason to force me to do these things. But after years of suffering through bad anime comedies and months of unpacking very silly Nichijou gags, I am fully prepared for whatever Milky Holmes may throw at me. Your ball, Milky Holmes.

LET’S GET RIGHT TO IT!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 22

March comes in like a lion arrived at its first season ending this week, thought it really wasn’t much of a conclusion. If the show were actually finishing here I’d probably be kinda miffed, but as it’s only six months until the next season, this served as a fair enough stopping point. And this episode’s second half was actually a minor highlight, so I can’t really complain. Cya next time, March!

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

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Seiren – Episode 11

Seiren’s third arc is almost at its close this week, and dear lord do I not have any more words to spend on this show. Blurrrgghhhhh. That’s all I got. Seiren is nothing. It offers me nothing to talk about. It’s probably not the worst show I’ve reviewed weekly, but it is almost certainly the most Nothing show. This is a seasonal workout I was not expecting.

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

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 7

Today we return to Ojamajo Doremi! From my side, this is actually the day our first fascist in chief is being sworn in, so goddamnit, I need something to bring a little joy into the world. And Doremi certainly fits the bill – a beautiful children’s show with a broad cast and thoughtful worldview, it’s a spot of light in the fast-encroaching darkness. Make art, do public work, be kind to the people around you – do whatever you can to bring a little warmth to the world, everybody. We could all use a little more of it.

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Nichijou – Episode 26

And here we are. The final episode of Nichijou. It’s been a terrific ride, and as often happens near the end of a great show, I’m actually feeling pretty alright about its ending. I certainly complained enough in the intros leading up to this one, but at this point, I’m just happy to know the show ends strong, and truly is an unmatchable comedy from start to finish. Nichijou is a unique kind of masterpiece, demonstrating an understanding of comedic timing and creativity of both conception and execution that puts it in a class of its own. Sometimes anime is good.

Alright, let’s get right to this.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 9

Today we begin Bakemonogatari’s hella controversial fourth arc! Yep, it’s time for Nadeko. I had a bit of a tough time writing about this one, but not really because of the Nadeko material itself – more because this episode’s structure made it difficult to establish a single thesis and then explore it throughout a variety of scenes. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure the second episode will offer an extremely straightforward opportunity to explore What’s The Deal With Nadeko, so I’m looking forward to that. And this one was still a very strong episode!

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

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 21

At last, March comes in like a lion allowed its characters to be briefly happy. After the terrific but harrowing Shimada arc, it was a wonderful treat to see Rei and Shimada actually enjoy their visit to Shimada’s hometown, and also great to check in with the Kawamoto siblings again. There was even some charming character animation in the last act, a genuine rarity for this show. Thanks for being kind this week, March.

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

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Seiren – Episode 10

Seiren pulled off one of its best episodes this week, demonstrating the unique mix of weirdness and naturalism that can occasionally make it a pretty solid show. I’m still not actually invested in this romance, probably because I just can’t bring myself to care about Shoichi, but I can at least believe in it, which puts it ahead of the first two arcs. Baby steps, Seiren.

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

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Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 4

Natsume’s Book of Friends got intense this episode! After three episodes of melancholy pastoral fantasy tinged with slight danger, this episode dipped directly into horror and even action territory for the first time. The results were as uneven as you might expect, but I appreciate the show branching out, and doubly appreciate an extension of the central cast. Loneliness might be one of Natsume’s fundamental themes, but Natsume doesn’t need to be lonely all the time.

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