Flying Witch introduced another new character this week – Inukai, the young witch with the supreme misfortune of being Akane’s drinking buddy. Her story was funny and endearing all the way through, making for another fine installment in what may well be this season’s most consistent show. It’s solid source material being adapted with level professionalism in a genre that doesn’t really need to take huge structural risks – it’s enjoyable to watch and enjoyable to write about, a fine time all around.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.
Aw dang yep I reviewed Konosuba. It was actually kinda tricky to sort out all of my feelings on this show – from its style of comedy to its visual design, the show is a bunch of contradictions all around. It’s very far from a great show, but it’s an interesting one to talk about, and kinda naturally divisive in a variety of ways. You could definitely put forth an argument that someone who finds Kazuma deeply disagreeable is probably too far from this show’s intended audience to give it the “right” kind of review, but at that point you’re already in nonsense true fan discourse land. Reviewing a show means engaging with its politics, and if you disagree with a show’s politics, the correct response as a critic isn’t to pretend that you don’t. Just gotta say your piece and hope that your perspective is at least understandable.
You can check out my full review over at ANN!
My new editorial is up! I took a bit of a different approach this time, as I contrast two shows in order to talk about the craft of comedy and show goals. Konosuba and Dagashi Kashi happen to offer a pretty convenient comparison, and for once I’m actually current on two anime comedies at once, so here we are! Comedy’s a lot of fun to discuss even if I don’t generally think anime comedies are very good – regardless of my feelings on individual jokes, it’s always interesting to interrogate what shows are actually trying to accomplish. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the piece!
Comparing Comedies: Konosuba vs. Dagashi Kashi
Dagashi Kashi continued on its fluffy, relatively harmless way this week, offering another episode largely focused on the endearing relationship between Kokonotsu and Saya. The show is a pretty simple thing, but it’s charming enough, and it’s nice to see a show like this regularly imply character information not through direct exposition, but through the offhand decisions they make. It’s not a paragon of understated storytelling or anything, but it definitely trusts the viewer to make inferences about feelings and motivation, and I really appreciate that trust. It’s kind of the opposite of the problems ERASED can sometimes have, in fact – when that show hammers on its dramatic notes, it feels like the creators think the audience is a bunch of idiots. When this show lets Kokonotsu demonstrate his feelings on the past without actually saying anything, it feels like the creators are trusting the audience enough to know they care.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
And I’m done. It’s over. Beautiful Bones will never bore me again.
You can check out my full review over here. Four whole lines of notes below.
I’m going to go do something of value with my time, like anything other than watching Beautiful Bones.
This week’s Beautiful Bones was really solid! I know, I’m surprised too. But it seems like whenever the show is able to slow down on the overt mystery plot, it does a much better job of making its characters feel like people. That’s what elevated the first half of the Cursed Man arc, and it’s certainly what worked here. Instead of being preoccupied with establishing a bunch of new mystery variables, this one focused on two tiny linked mysteries that were really just avenues to discuss the various characters’ feelings on love and loss. It was understated and thoughtful and just pretty strong all around. Nice work, Beautiful Bones.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
Welp, we’re in full murder-mystery territory now. And as far as that goes, The Perfect Insider isn’t really the best – its variables are kind of hokey, from the nature of Magata’s laboratory to hackneyed twists like the fact that she has multiple personalities. There are still a number of interesting little clues, though, and I still like everything around the mystery. In this case, that mainly comes down to Moe and Magata’s pasts – the show is drawing constant parallels between the two of them, and I’m interested in seeing both how they eventually come together and if Moe ever gets to have a second meeting with Magata, or whatever form Magata might now take. Perfect Insider isn’t making all the right moves, but it’s still an interesting show.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!
And so Nagato’s valentine drama resolves in the most predictable way possible. This whole arc was definitely a bit of a disappointment, and as I said in my review, it seems to demonstrate the limits of this show’s dramatic reach. Hopefully I’m mistaken, but there are far more tired and rote shows than there are unique and engaging ones, and this episode did not give me much hope for Yuki-chan. We’ll have to see.
My full review is available here. Notes below!
Pretty low-key episode of Log Horizon this week, with Isaac and Iselus getting a moment in the sun while the whole cast kind of vaguely ruminated on the possibility of going home. It certainly doesn’t feel like this is a show that could possible end forever in two more episodes, but hey, Log Horizon’s doing its thing. I guess we’ll have to see where they decide to wrap things up.
My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!
Parasyte shifted into cop procedural mode this week, leading to a few scenes that were kind of accidentally hilarious in their genre-standardness. In spite of that silliness, it was definitely an easy watch, and it’s nice to see the show finally escaping from the slow, repetitive drama of its middle act. It’s weird for me of all people to be cheering for a show to toss away its character arc and thematic focus and instead simply revel in action and plot, but Parasyte’s character and theme stuff has just not been its strength. I’m happy that all resolved well in the end, but I’m even more happy to get on with the final act.
Here’s my full ANN writeup. Notes below!