Spring 2017 – Week 7 in Review

Look, this season is just great, guys. I don’t know how many times I can say it. A season that’s simultaneously airing one of My Hero Academia’s best arcs, the sequel to one of my favorite shows ever, and the spiritual successor to Shirobako would frankly have a damn hard time being bad. Even with Tsuki ga Kirei taking the week off, there were no shortage of high points this week – Sakura Quest had one of its best episodes, My Hero Academia ran through an entire goddamn tournament bracket, and even Re:Creators pulled off some of its most rewarding conversations yet. This is a fine time to be an anime fan!

Alright, let’s get right to it.

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 7

Holy crap they killed Soun. Really didn’t see that one coming. I’d figured after the first season, he’d either be gone forever or a threat forever – I didn’t expect him to come back, briefly threaten Yasaburo once more, and then die in ignominy. This episode managed to draw a poignancy out of his passing that I also didn’t expect, but then again, that’s Eccentric Family’s bread and butter. But anyway, let’s get to the piece!

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

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Ode to Nichijou

Where do I even begin with Nichijou.

I could start with its technical merits, I suppose? Because the show certainly is technically meritorious. Where other Kyoto Animation highlights like Hyouka and Sound! Euphonium use their beautiful, well-observed character animation to present an illusion of heightened realism, Nichijou features a cast of simplified character designs and over-the-top motion. And that is the first element of its genius.

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Casshern Sins – Episode 15

It’s time for more Casshern Sins! The show’s last episode was… well, not the best. In the wake of the show’s halfway point revelations, Casshern Sins spent basically a full episode letting Casshern shake himself out of his I’m A Monster stupor, climaxing in another battle with Dio. Dio and Leda are easily the show’s least interesting characters, and having them just continuously repeat their motivations didn’t really do all that much for them. Still, it’s nice to see that Casshern is out of his funk again, and I’m certainly interested in where the show will go now that the new Luna has been formally introduced. Let’s apocalypse!

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Spring 2017 – First Half in Review

Well folks, it looks like we’re somehow halfway through the spring season. Things have been insanely busy on my end, as I’ve been scrambling to deal with a bunch of work-related backend stuff that’s altogether far less exciting than watching cartoons. Fortunately, the cartoons themselves have been as strong as ever – this spring has an extremely sturdy lineup, so stuffed with watchable shows that I’ve essentially had to shave off an entire second tier of contenders. Keeping up with my Current Projects means I don’t really have the time to watch nine airing shows a season anymore, but I certainly can’t complain about having too much to watch!

As usual, this is the point where I vaguely rank the shows I’m watching in some kind of descending order. Also as usual, these rankings are essentially meaningless – I like making ranked lists, but I don’t think they have any meaningful value, and establishing this hierarchy while none of these shows are actually completed only underlines that. So sit back, relax, and let’s have an enjoyably pointless time!

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Aikatsu – Episode 4

You know what, let’s watch some goddamn Aikatsu. It’s been a while, I’ve still got a fair number of funded episodes to get through, and I’m in the mood for some ridiculous idols. I recall the first three episodes of this show didn’t get into particularly strange territory, but the show has a reputation within my broader circle for truly absurd episodic shenanigans. And even if it just remains a pleasant idol show for a younger crowd, that’s also a pretty fine thing to be. Aikatsu ho!

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 6

The Eccentric Family seemed to step back into the mode of the first season this week, offering the same sort of rambling afternoon adventures that defined the original’s first half. I was perfectly happy to see that – The Eccentric Family excels at its own whimsical interpretation of slice of life, and this episode was no exception. The Eccentric Family’s hell is a pretty great time.

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

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 11

You know what, let’s watch some more Ojamajo Doremi. I’ve been feeling kinda low lately, and Doremi is about as pure of a pick-me-up as you could hope for – goofy and upbeat yet brimming with thoughtful messages, it exemplifies many of the things that can make children’s anime so uniquely rewarding. I wish this one had a dub if only so more kids could enjoy it, but either way, I hope you’re enjoying this journey through one of anime’s lesser-known classics. If this site can at least celebrate some shows that would otherwise be disregarded in the seasonal rush and pursuit of some prestige canon, I’d count that as a win. Let’s get right to episode eleven of Ojamajo Doremi!

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Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 6

Tsuki ga Kirei wasn’t very kind to its leads this week, but its illustration of their respective setbacks made for one of its best episodes yet. I’m apparently a bit of a sucker for lengthy tonal interludes – whether it’s this or March comes in like a lion or Grimgar, I’m happy we’ve been getting a lot of shows that understand the power of silence. Tsuki ga Kirei doesn’t have the visual execution to realize all of its ideas, but it’s making a terrific effort all the same.

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

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Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Review

Today I’ve got a streaming review of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid! The show obviously charmed the hell out of me, so I was happy to talk about it at greater length. Maidragon is one of those shows whose weaknesses are so clearly partitioned that they don’t really affect my enjoyment of the whole; the show’s side characters aren’t very good, but they don’t really impact the power of the show’s domestic material at all. And the comedy is strong throughout, making for a generally excellent ride. I hope you enjoy the piece!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.