Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 23

Let’s get back to Ojamajo Doremi! The gang are at their lowest point yet this week, having not only lost the shop to Majo Ruka, but also entirely run out of magic spheres. The show spent pretty much the entirety of last episode stripping them of their few remaining resources, so it feels like some sort of change has gotta come. That said, this arc has largely defied my expectations from start to finish, both in positive and negative ways, so I can’t begin to guess how they’ll resolve it. Maybe the actual witch government will step in? It seems like they’d have some vested interest in dealing with a witch queen successor who spends all her time poisoning ignorant humans, but I guess I don’t really understand the mechanics of witch politics anyway. Maybe poisoning people is good to them. Who can say.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling. Let’s get right to the Doremi!

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Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars – Review

Today I’ve got a review of… a deeply mediocre giant robot show. Regalia has some sweet robot fights and cool sound design, but its actually storytelling is pretty darn bad. I like the base concept of a giant robot show centered not on Masculine Power but on the nature of sisterhood, but Regalia’s writing was just not strong enough to capitalize on that premise. Still, it does have some sweet traditionally animated robot fights, if that’s what you’re into.

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

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Fall 2017 – Week 8 in Review

Having honed an already-strong season down to a fine point, my experiences with this week’s anime were altogether pretty darn good. March comes in like a lion is perhaps the biggest surprise – I’d established fairly middle-of-the-road expectations for the show the first time around, but this time it’s consistently keeping up with the season’s top heavy hitters. And of course, both Just Because! and Land of the Lustrous have been great from the start and remained great, with only Just Because!’s production woes really pulling it down. We’re reaching the point where it’s time for me to settle on my favorite shows of the year, and the fall season will certainly be well-represented there. Could either Kemono Friends or Land of the Lustrous secure that top spot, marking a new dawn for CG anime? ONLY TIME WILL TELL! Alright let’s talk shows.

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Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 23

Penguindrum’s twenty-third episode opens with one of Sanetoshi’s memories, underlining the fact that we’re truly in the endgame now. From a vague figure defined by cryptic mysteries, Sanetoshi has reached the point of addressing the audience directly, literally speaking to the screen as he describes his philosophy. “This world is made of countless boxes. People bend and stuff their bodies into their own boxes, and stay there for the rest of their lives. In those boxes, you lose your sense of self. That’s why I’m getting out. I’m one of the chosen.” Speaking of anonymous fates and chosen people, Sanetoshi seems to be twisting the philosophy other characters used to save their friends from the child broiler. Sanetoshi’s explosive terrorism is just another response to the world’s own fundamental violence.

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 29

After several weeks focused on Hina’s unique and often emotionally crushing conflicts, March returned to a more standard mode this week, balancing the Kawamoto drama with a renewed focus on Rei’s shogi fortunes. This season’s aesthetic strengths remained as clear as ever though, making this a fine episode on all counts. I’m not sure if it’s because I forgot how good this show was or because this season has legitimately improved on the first, but I just keep being impressed by how consistently strong these episodes are. March is good stuff.

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

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What Does Your Favorite Juni Taisen Character Say About You?

For this week’s Crunchyroll article, I embraced the silliness of character listicles and made a very ridiculous Juni Taisen article. I’m actually pretty happy with my breakdowns of all the character psychologies here, but I can’t say I’d rely on my findings for any personality horoscoping. But hey, if you like Rabbit and also murdering, I guess follow your bliss.

What Your Favorite Juni Taisen Character Says About You

Chihayafuru – Episode 18

Let’s get back to Chihayafuru! It’s been a full one and a half episodes since the show’s last tournament, so given our prior pace, I’m guessing we’ll be getting back into the action soon. Last episode was necessary, though – Chihayafuru has established Chihaya’s play as binary in a very specific way, and interrogating her speed-focused play was a smart way to provoke her into growing as a player. Illustrating a sports hero’s weaknesses is just as important as illustrating their strengths, since if we’re to invest in their growth as a player, we need to see a solid progression from stage one to wherever they end up. In a show where the tactical mechanics of competition are critical to the stakes of the drama, characters can’t just grow in an emotional sense – they have to level up in a clear tactical one as well. I’m excited to see how the show illustrates Chihaya balancing out her skill set, and can’t wait for her next confrontation with the Queen. Let’s get to it!

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Just Because! – Episode 7

Why the heck did Just Because have to go and make the Mio-Eita pairing just as compelling as the Ena-Eita one. I was all set to have a definitive ship for this show, and then this episode had to come along and just totally sell the warmth of their bond and the power of Eita’s feelings. This was a very good episode outside of its visual failings, but seriously, show. You can’t be doing this to me.

You can check out my much more informative review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

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Fall 2017 – Week 7 in Review

The anime was, uh, brief this week. Just Because!’s production woes finally flowered into an entire week off, while my persistent issues with neo-Kino’s Journey led to me finally dropping it. Outside of those missing contenders, things didn’t actually get that much better – I had issues with this week’s MMO Junkie, Love Live, and Juni Taisen, leaving it to just March and Lustrous to carry the banner. Fortunately, those two performed admirably, with Land of the Lustrous in particular continuing a pretty much unbroken streak of excellent episodes. With Kino out of the picture, it’s likely time to actually pick up Girls’ Last Tour, but that unfortunately has to come after actual work-related shows. Hopefully that’ll make it in by next week, and in the meantime, let’s run down this week’s unfortunately lackluster offerings!

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Simoun – Episode 3

Today we’re returning to Simoun! The first two episodes of this show were very good and very different from each other, and I’m eager to see where it goes next. The premiere itself was a pretty stunning affair all around, demonstrating a terrific balance of worldbuilding and narrative movement while introducing us to a very unique world. The second episode further illustrated some of the specific tenets of that world, putting concepts like the inevitability of visiting the Spring in stark personal terms. This world feels like both a fully realized fantasy and a clear parallel of many of our own world’s charged topics, and I’m excited to see where this story goes next. Let’s get right to it!

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