Summer 2017 – Week 9 in Review

The conclusion of Game of Thrones’ mini-season sadly means these week in review posts will be shrinking again. Fortunately, the shows I still have to talk about were pretty much all excellent this week, offering a varied sample of distinctive pleasures. My Hero Academia started off on an exciting new mini-arc, Made in Abyss constructed a “filler episode” that was more satisfying than plenty of its normal episodes, and Tsuredure Children kept up its endearing shenanigans. Really the only outlier was Classroom of the Elite, and we don’t talk about Classroom of the Elite. Let’s start down in the abyss and work our way up through this week in anime!

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 20

Let’s get back to Ojamajo Doremi! The last episode we watched was utterly absurd, turning what theoretically should have been Doremi’s most serious conflict yet into a rolicking, ridiculous caper. Ai and Doremi used magic so freely they both ran out of magic spheres, but the whole “revealing magic to mundane people gets you frogged” deal was handwaved for the sake of an absurd adventure. Doremi is more often thoughtful than ridiculous, but it can do ridiculous very well.

In light of that episode, I’m expecting this one to return to the show’s usual mode, and probably involve some new classroom drama. Let’s get to it!

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Why It Works: A Monogatari Art Exhibition, Part Two

Today I conclude my journey through Monogatari’s various art styles, diving into its evolution in the post-Oishi era. This piece bounces between general style shift appreciation and digging into the actual dramatic effect of Monogatari’s various visual choices, and on the whole I’m pretty happy with it. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: A Monogatari Art Exhibition, Part Two

Decapitation: Kubikiri Cycle

I wouldn’t call myself a person who likes mystery stories. Locked rooms, remote islands, strange killings with no earthly explanation – all of that stuff strikes me as arbitrary in a way I don’t really want to read. Part of it comes down to the fact that such stories are often liars, or at least not tellers of the whole truth. Sherlock Holmes stories are deceivers – Sherlock Holmes himself is not a detective, but a magician. When Sherlock Holmes pulls out a solution, we are astonished not because he used the same information we had in a more elegant or insightful way, but because his brandishing of new, unheard information was so dazzling that we believed in the trick anyway.

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Casshern Sins – Episode 21

And so we return to Casshern Sins. After nineteen episodes of seeking, last episode saw Casshern and his companions finally making contact with the new Luna – but regardless of whatever Dune saw in her, it seems this Luna offers no salvation at all. Though she claims to heal those dying to Ruin, the people who come to her ultimately find themselves in a great mass grave. On top of this, Luna herself seems disgusted at the thought of decay, and would rather pave over the dying than witness their final days.

In contrast, Casshern has come to both value life and also see great dignity in death, having been forced to work with and come to care for many robots and humans across the course of this series. Casshern may not have any kind of healing touch, but he has the forward-looking perspective and hope you need in a prophet, if not in a savior. Even his design, a white canvas touched with red markings, now seems to echo his vitality, aligning him with the cyclical inevitability of blood. I don’t know what Casshern can do to save these people, but it’s great to see him determined to try. Let’s see what the future holds.

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Classroom of the Elite – Episode 8

Classroom of the Elite managed to sink to a variety of new lows this week, which is perhaps impressive in its own way, given the show is already hot garbage in all respects. I’ve basically lost all ability to extract any joy from watching this show be melodramatic, and am in minute-counting mode at this point. Some anime sure is bad.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Tsuredure Children – Episode 9

Tsuredure Children’s ninth episode seemed to be themed around “what do you do when your relationship’s moving backwards,” which resulted in a very realistic but kinda inevitably frustrating viewing experience. This cast is so charming that it’s tough watching them all screw up this badly. Good luck, Tsuredure kids!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Code Geass: Akito the Exiled – Review

Today I’ve got a review of Akito the Exiled, which was a compelling but extremely messy addendum to the Geass franchise. Ambitious failures are pretty much always fun to write about, and that held true here – there was a lot to dig into, and I had a great time exploring the show’s alternate take on the Geass world. I certainly didn’t love Akito the Exiled, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more such distinctive takes on well-established worlds.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Summer 2017 – Week 8 in Review

With My Hero Academia taking a week off before the final exam arc, there wasn’t all that much anime to actually watch this week. Made in Abyss maintained its usual speedy pacing and Classroom of the Elite was, er, itself, but that’s about all I’ve got to cover. I suppose it’s a good thing this week also had one last episode of Game of Thrones, or I’d be in real trouble filling out a reasonably article-length post for you all. But let’s start at the top with this week’s cartoons, and see where the rambling takes us!

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Chihayafuru – Episode 9

Let’s get back to Chihayafuru! Chihaya has her team now, the full squad of five necessary to actually make a club. In spite of that, her new crew haven’t really interacted in any meaningful ways yet – we’ve basically just put each character on the roster and then moved on to recruiting the next one. Chihayafuru’s heavy character focus makes me think we’re likely to see some bonding before we return to the initial love triangle, but that bonding could come in the form of any activity that forces the group to approach a challenge together, be it finding a faculty advisor or training for their first tournament. Either way, this last stage of Chihayafuru was an altogether strong one, so I’m ready for whatever’s next. Let’s get to it!

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