Bakemonogatari – Episode 12

At last, we arrive at the most acclaimed episode of Monogatari’s first season. Bakemonogatari #12 is a remarkable episode, and I enjoyed it even more upon revisit. This episode basically condenses more chemistry, flirting, and romantic truth into one episode than most dedicated romances manage in a full series, a pretty solid feat for a show that isn’t even really a romance in general. Nice going, Monogatari.

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

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Spring 2017 – First Impressions, Part Two

The season just keeps on rambling! I’m frankly pretty overwhelmed at the moment – not only is this one of the larger seasons we’ve had, well, ever, but I’m also juggling maybe half a dozen other articles per week, along with a variety of other boring responsibilities. So I hope you guys appreciate me cataloging all this crap! I’m guessing the rest of the shows will just be folded into the overall Virtually Every First Episode Retrospective, but until then, you can check out the full list over at ANN or click through to my individual scores and reviews below. LET’S GET TO IT!

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Spring 2017 – First Impressions, Part One

The season’s in full swing now, so it’s time once again to take stock of where we’re at so far. With six shows released as of today, things are playing out pretty much by the script – My Hero Academia has the same issues the first season did, Alice & Zoroku is the most promising new property, and nothing else is really worth mentioning. Titan is still Titan, but I’m not really at a point where I feel obligated to watch the crossover hits anymore, so I’ll probably be skipping that one.

As usual, you can see a list of my scores so far below, and click on any of the titles to link to their full review pages, or just go to the overall review page here. Have at it!

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Nichijou – Review

IT’S TIME FOR MORE NICHIJOU TALK. Unsatisfied with simply rambling about every episode right here, today I’ve got a review of Kyoto Animation’s comic revelation over on ANN. It was actually really tough to talk about Nichijou’s strengths on a macro level – explaining the jokes doesn’t really do them justice, and much of the show’s strength comes in its precisely combined details of execution. Still, hopefully I conveyed the gist.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Kemono Friends – Review

Today on ANN, I offer just a few more words on last season’s Kemono Friends. It’s been a fun show to discuss through the season, offering unique points of critique in both its strengths and weaknesses. Many shows are just generally polished or generally crummy, but Kemono Friends’ strange, imbalanced qualities kept it interesting all along the way. I hope you enjoy the review!

You can check out my piece over at ANN.

Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 15

Penguindrum’s fifteenth episode begins with a young Yuri declaring that “I’ll never be free as long as that tower stands.” In the distance rises a giant, improbable skyscraper in the shape of Michelangelo’s David. It’s a testament to her sculptor father’s power and influence – wherever that tower can see, Yuri remains under his watchful eye. A metaphor made real, standing as the cruel arbitrator of Yuri’s life.

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Why It Works: Five Pitches for Kemono Friends

As the season winds to a close, it’s time once again for me to scramble for Why It works topics. Last season gave me the infinitely unpackable Flip Flappers, which made this easy, but winter’s selections were a little more thin on the ground. Fortunately, I still had plenty of scattered feelings on Kemono Friends, so that’s what you get today. TIME FOR KEMONO FEELINGS.

Why It Works: Five Pitches for Kemono Friends

Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 8

Let’s get back to Ojamajo Doremi! When we left off, Doremi had just flunked her level 9 witch exam, though there were admittedly some extenuating circumstances – not only did Doremi need to help Pop all day, but the test questions were up to interpretation. Still, Doremi probably would have found a way to screw it up anyways, so I guess it’s all the same in the end.

I assume we’ll be learning more about fairies this time, since both of Doremi’s friends now have their own familiars. Outside of that, we’ll have to wait and see. Let’s get right to it!

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 11

And so we finally enter Bakemonogatari’s final arc. My review format’s gonna get shaken up pretty shortly by Crunchyroll’s lack of streaming, but hey, at least twelve is a reasonable end point by itself. Anyway, this episode was all about Hanekawa, and Hanekawa was great. I’ve certainly written enough words about it, so go read those, you big goofball!

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

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Kokoro Connect – Episode 4

Kokoro Connect’s fourth episode is about: I D E N T I T Y.

The show’s always about identity to some extent, of course. The fundamental conceit plays directly into that topic, with body switching facilitating not just romantic drama, but also questions about “true” selfhood and perception of self. It’s one of the reasons I expect my readers picked this one for me to write about – many of my favorites obsess over how we define ourselves, and how we navigate the impossibility of conveying our truth to others. Kokoro Connect uses a classic conceit to facilitate those conversations, and this episode’s conversations center on two of its main characters: Iori and Inaba.

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