Summer 2017 – Week 11 in Review

It’s time again for the week in review! This week in anime was… acceptable, I guess? When you’re only really hanging any hopes on three shows, the caliber of your week is pretty easy to diagnose. And this particular week, all the things I’m caring about pulled off episodes that were reasonable, but not exceptional. On the plus side, Rick and Morty’s third season continued to impress, offering a replacement for interdimensional cable that easily eclipsed that tradition’s lukewarm reprise. And hey, we’re basically at the end of the season anyway. If this fart of a season wants to go quietly into the night, I won’t complain. Either way, let’s start with the anime frontrunners and run this week down!

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The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya – Review

After weathering a rewatch of the very inconsistent Haruhi Suzumiya TV series, it was wonderful to learn that Disappearance was actually even better than I remembered. Takemoto is a terrific director, and Disappearance is easily one of the most compelling stories in the franchise so far. I had a whole bunch to say about this film’s visual storytelling, and watching it just made me even more eager to get to High Speed. Haruhi Suzumiya may not be as great a franchise as I remembered, but Disappearance is a tremendous sendoff to one of the 00s’ stranger phenomenons.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Why It Works: My Hero Academia’s Final Exams: Preliminary Report

Today on Why It Works, I jumped back to My Hero Academia for a pretty silly concept piece. My Hero Academia’s sturdy tactical foundations both make its action very satisfying and also make it a rewarding show to break down in a narrative sense, and today I spun that quasi-criticism into an after-action report. “Who would win in a fight, Goku or Naruto” is generally not the most illuminating genre of criticism, but My Hero Academia is actually constructed in such a way that it rewards such in-universe tactical discussions. I had fun with this piece, and I hope you enjoy it too!

My Hero Academia’s Final Exams: Preliminary Report

Chihayafuru – Episode 10

Let’s get back to Chihayafuru! With her team fully established and a tournament goal already in sight, last episode saw Chihaya and the gang setting up a grueling training regimen. I had somewhat mixed feelings on how the episode handled Chihaya’s behavior there – it initially seemed like the show was going to acknowledge that Chihaya was acting in a pretty terrible way, but the finale saw her teammates forgiving her in a way that seemed like the show tonally supported her actions. Chihaya’s let’s-plow-ahead exuberance is her most powerful quality, but her actions aren’t always justified, and I’m hoping the show mines that for interesting drama eventually. Either way, we’re fast approaching the school team’s first tournament, so let’s get to it!

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Classroom of the Elite – Episode 10

Classroom of the Elite’s tenth episode continued this arc’s very solid run, easily establishing this as the most consistent arc of the show so far. It’s a little unfortunate that the show’s ending right around the same time it becomes consistently watchable, but I suppose that’s just another of the odd quirks of watching not-so-great anime. Regardless, I’m happy things are going well, and hope Classroom can hold it together through the end.

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

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Dimension W – Review

It seems like a lot of people really, really wanted Dimension W to be a great show. It had every promotional advantage you could hope for, and it inhabited an extremely fan-friendly genre space, but the show just didn’t have the strength to follow through. Today I’ve got a sturdy review of this unfortunate anime stepchild. I hope you enjoy it!

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

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Summer 2017 – Week 10 in Review

Let’s strap in for the week in review! We’re nearing the end of the season now, but it doesn’t really feel like it, at least from my perspective. With My Hero Academia simply ending a fairly minor arc and Tsuredure Children sticking largely to self-contained skits, Made in Abyss is the only show providing me with all that much closure – and even there, this week’s episode felt more like the introduction to a new stage in Riko’s adventure than anything truly final. But climactic or not, this week’s Abyss was a stunner in all regards, the dramatic payoff to all these weeks of knowing fandom titters. So let’s start right there, and then ramble our way through this week’s choicest offerings!

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Tsuredure Children – Episode 11

Tsuredure Children returned to its usual upbeat wheelhouse this week, offering another endearing sampling of romantic foibles. The show has been remarkably consistent all throughout its run, and I’ve heard there’s even more material, so I hope we somehow get a season two. The world needs more Tsuredure Children.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Casshern Sins – Episode 23

And so we approach the end of Casshern Sins. With Leda seemingly destroyed and Dio having embraced his chosen purpose, we’ve arrived at the final battle between Casshern and his brother, a clash in the rain that, no matter what happens, will certainly provide Dio with the closure he seeks. Meanwhile, Luna’s healing gift has proven to be a lie in more ways than one – not only is her blood a fickle power that doesn’t seem to permanently heal people, but too much of it can actually destroy someone. With Lyuze having entered the castle to rescue Casshern, that presumably leaves Ringo with Ohji, and I’m seriously hoping he has enough sense to keep her away from Luna. The pursuit of eternity has become a cursed thing in Casshern Sins, but I still feel these characters deserve some kind of salvation. Let’s see what the end of everything brings.

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The New Champions of Atmosphere in the Crunchyroll Catalog

Today on Why It Works, I took advantage of Crunchyroll’s recent slate of acquisitions to rep a few lesser-known but very beautiful shows. It was nice to return to .hack, even if I was just looking for background images, and scouring through Aria episodes convinced me yet again that I really need to find time for that show. There sure are a lot of terrific anime out there.

The New Champions of Atmosphere in the Crunchyroll Catalog