Spring 2017 – Week 2 in Review

Dear lord has this season ever begun. Having just barely survived the most absurd preview week yet, my relative watch-positioning on this season’s various attractions is an absolute shambles. I’ve got shows I’m already somehow two episodes behind on, shows I just reviewed this week for ANN, and shows that ended weeks ago and I only just now found time to watch. In light of that, I’m gonna be keeping things a little loose for this Week in Review, and just running down what I actually watched this week in whatever order comes to me. It’s been a hectic week in anime, so buckle the fuck in and let’s RUN THIS SHIT DOWN.

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episodes 1-2

Aw hell yeah, it’s time to write up some Eccentric Family. Season two’s first couple episodes have mostly just established our two big additions to the cast, but that’s pretty alright by me – it’s been wonderful to meet all these great characters again, and already interesting to see how their society has shifted since last time. The show’s own throat-clearing allowed for a pretty comfortably structured article too, so I guess that’s nice.

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

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Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 9

It’s time for more Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi finally passing the level nine witch exam, in spite of making every terrible choice possible on the way there. There were no extenuating circumstances like when she had to help Pop this time – Doremi is just pretty bad at doing things, and so most of her time in the witch world was spent sampling cakes and getting lost. Still, she at least did demonstrate that she’s pretty good at riddles, which is certainly a talent of sorts. Let’s see what nonsense she gets up to this time!

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Candy Boy – Episodes 1-2

So, Candy Boy. This is a bit of a strange one, both in structure and in content. As far as production intrigue goes, it seems Candy Boy was initially just one eight minute original net animation, released along with the artist Meilin’s Candy Boy music single. I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason this is called “Candy Boy” at all, as the actual content here doesn’t feature any boys at all (so far). Then the show received a seven episode additional series, along with two bonus episodes packed in with those episode’s DVDs. So it’s basically a strange, media mix jumble from top to bottom.

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Casshern Sins – Episode 12

So here we are, just approaching the halfway point of Casshern Sins. So far the show’s stuck to a pretty reliable formula, slowly building up both Casshern and Dio across a variety of melancholy adventures. Casshern is still bound by his violent programming, but he has purpose beyond that now, and seems to be growing more comfortable in his role of potential savior. And even if Casshern’s still not the most reliable of heroes, he’s at least got Friender there to keep him on the straight and narrow. Let’s see what wacky, desolate adventures these kids get up to next!

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Bakemonogatari – Episodes 13-15

At last, we arrive at the end of Bakemonogatari! I unsurprisingly had a ton of stuff to say about this one, and had to scramble to fit the viewing and writing in on the tail end of preview of week. Rewatching the show’s conclusion was as rewarding as all the rest of it, and now I’m even more ready for the summer’s new season. Just keep feeding me Monogatari forever, goddamnit.

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

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Spring 2017 – Virtually Every First Episode Retrospective

Somehow I am still alive. This preview “week” was one of the most punishing I’ve experienced, spreading out an absurd number of shows across an untenable number of days. The silver lining on this whole affair is that this season actually seems to have a whole ton of worthy contenders. I’ve spent the last week and a half or so sifting through this absurd haul, dragging treasures to the surface and weathering the rest as gracefully as I can. My trials have been numerous, but suffering this fate has granted me a new perspective – at last, I am blessed with moderately informed opinions on basically everything coming out this spring.

Starting with the brightest lights and slowly descending into the depths, I will now share my vast wisdom and narrow opinions with all of you. As usual, you can check out the full list of reviews over at ANN, or click on any of the titles here to go to my full thoughts. If you’re frustrated that your new favorite was only afforded a toilet emoji here, just click through that name and check for Nick Creamer to see me try and justify that takeaway. In the end, I’m just one guy with my own specific tastes, after all. So without further ado, let’s get this boulder rolling!

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ef – A Tale of Memories – Episode 4

And we’re back with more ef! Last episode accomplished something absolutely crucial for this story – it made me actually care about Chihiro and her strange condition. Chihiro seemed designed as that classic mix of frail, demure, and doomed that’s pretty much death to my investment, but by immediately acknowledging and exploring the lived experience of her condition, the show was able to make her feel not just pitiable, but actually relatable. Fantastical situations inherently dampen an audience’s ability to relate to drama, but if those situations are framed in terms of understandable human feelings, that bridge becomes easy to cross. Let’s see what episode four brings!

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Why It Works: Shadows Over My Hero Academia

Today on Why It Works, I plot out the groundwork for how season two will start to mess with the first season’s general thoughts on heroism. I’m kinda cheating, since I’ve actually read through the next couple arcs, but it was still nice to see how the first episode established so many of the conflicts that will play into this arc’s major themes. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: Shadows Over My Hero Academia

Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 6

Natsume and his human friends begin this episode by visiting a massive dam constructed over a former village. The mere fact of Natsume’s presence on this trip implies things have changed for him – from largely being known as that weird, quiet kid who seems to see things, he’s now got stable friends who invite him on stuff like fishing trips. Natsume is growing up, both through his experiences with youkai and his experiences with all the humans around him.

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