Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 17

Let’s mosey on back to Ojamajo Doremi. Last episode saw Doremi getting repeatedly dunked on for the sake of a doomed crush, fully reaffirming her status as the world’s unluckiest pretty girl. If there was any moral in that episode, it was more for the dads in the audience, with perhaps a hint of “go easy on your parents, they make mistakes too.” I’m guessing this episode will return us back to Doremi’s classroom and the usual thematic cycles, but we’ll have to see! Doremi has been consistently expanding its dramatic range, so very little would surprise me now. Let’s get right to it!

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Classroom of the Elite – Episode 4

Classroom of the Elite continued its general downward trend this week, firmly shifting from “I guess this could maybe be good I dunno” into “nope, this is just a generally bad anime” territory. The show’s odds were pretty long from the start, given it opened with a fair number of weaknesses and its theoretical strengths would be very tough to realize, but it’s still always disappointing to see a show fall apart. Ah well.

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

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Flip Flappers – Episode 1

Flip Flappers begins with a sharp contrast, a vivid illustration of two very different girls. We first meet Cocona, in a series of shots that speak volumes about both her specifically and Flip Flappers at large. The very first shot of the show is an hourglass optical illusion – it tells the time, but it’s also an image of two girls facing each other, and could even be interpreted as a womb. This strangely charged marker of time passing is followed by the reveal of Cocona herself, seated at her school desk, eyes dark. Cocona exists in a blue and silent world, a sterile classroom that feels far smaller and more shabby than most such spaces. Classrooms are ubiquitous in anime, and their prevalence as key settings means they’re often granted great personality, or staged as open and inviting places. This classroom is the opposite – cramped and cold, it tells us that Cocona’s world is a small and unhappy place.

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Chihayafuru – Episode 7

Hey everybody! Today I wanted to watch some Chihayafuru, so damnit, that’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve kinda burned through my buffer of funded Chihayafuru episodes, but hey, that’s what happens when shows have the audacity to be good. Solid character writing and great color work aside, Chihayafuru is fundamentally blessed with a sense of momentum that makes it an easily marathonable show. Outside of a few slower, reflective moments, basically everything in the show is consistently aiming at its next engaging goal. Right now, Chihaya and Taichi are short just two club members, having conscripted the reluctant Kana with promises of fancy competition uniforms. Let’s see who they grab next!

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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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