Spring 2016 – Week 13 in Review

The spring season came to a full end this week, finishing off with a double helping of Flying Witch to help make up for our dearly departed Lost Village and Conrevo. Most of the other shows I’ve been watching have been pretty consistent, and this week confirmed that – Kiznaiver’s conclusion was the best it could be given the circumstances of its existing narrative, My Hero Academia finished a fairly simple arc with as much passion as it could muster, and Flying Witch charmed for every dang minute. Luluco was probably the biggest upset, as its fairly strong conclusion raised my overall impression of the show a tick. And heck, if I just pretend the cameo episodes never happened, it’s even better!

Anyway, enough preamble. Let’s sweep up the season’s loose ends and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Kiznaiver – Episode 12

Kiznaiver ended on a fairly reasonable episode, all told. The introduction of Sonozaki’s crusade frankly could have done a lot more narrative damage than it did – in the end, this episode actually went a long way towards humanizing someone who’d been the show’s worst major character. And everybody else got a sprinkling of great moments, so I can’t really complain. Uneven as it was, there was still a whole lot to enjoy in this show.

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

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Spring 2016 – Week 12 in Review

We had a bunch of very fun episodes this week. Rallying from a weaker start, the conclusion to Red Hot Chili Pepper was one more power episode of Diamond is Unbreakable, and My Hero Academia refused to give any ground in its big All Might battle. And we also had a pair of solid season endings, with Concrete Revolutio and The Lost Village both impressing in their own extremely, extremely, extremely incomparable ways. No Flying Witch did result in a bit of a comfy shortage, but I hear there’s a comfy surplus coming up next week, so things should even out in the end. Let’s get right to it and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Kiznaiver – Episode 11

Kiznaiver had another fairly strong episode this week, one that again demonstrated how this show is often much better at its small emotional and framing details than it is at the big narrative strokes. I frankly don’t care much about Sonozaki’s attempted coup here – it’s an okay place to take her sense of isolation, but it’s only going to get interesting once Katsuhira attempts to talk her down. It’s that communication that always becomes the key, and the way this fantastic director elevates such small moments into high drama. Chidori keeping a brace face on the phone, or Katsuhira admitting he’s not necessarily confident in his answers. Little gems all around.

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

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Spring 2016 – Week 11 in Review

The season is wrapping up at this point, but this season’s shows still have a few surprises left. In this case, the main surprise was My Hero Academia and JoJo switching places – My Hero Academia was on fire this week, easily vaulting over its usual failings, while JoJo turned down the temperature for an episode that unfortunately evoked some of Stardust Crusaders’ worst tendencies. But aside from that, everything was pretty much business as usual. Concrete Revolutio is speeding towards what’s likely to be an astoundingly good finale, Flying Witch is as consistent as ever, Luluco is still unsure of whether it wants to be a real show or not, etcetera. All this and more in today’s week in review, as we cast our eyes backward and RUN ‘EM DOWN.

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Kiznaiver – Episode 10

Kiznaiver got pretty exposition-happy this week, but fortunately the dull Kizna project material didn’t manage to overwhelm the strong personal stuff. Kiznaiver’s cast is established well enough that at this point, simply letting portions of the main group spend time together creates new texture through their evolving relationships. It’s a pretty crucial point for an interiority-happy character drama to achieve, so I’m glad Kiznaiver’s on schedule. The show remains messy, but a messy articulation of a great thing is still a lot of fun.

You can check out my full review over at ANN. I watched this one straight through, so NO NOTES FOR YOU.


Spring 2016 – Week 10 in Review

Anime was plenty strong this week, full of epic punches and cathartic emotional revelations and long afternoon naps. JoJo added another feather to this arc’s already outrageously festooned cap, and My Hero Academia finally started in on its higher-tier material. The Lost Village and Flying Witch both did the kinds of things you hope for from those shows, and Concrete Revolutio seems to be sticking the landing by smartly tethering its overall ideas directly to Jiro’s personal development. The season would be strong even if the more questionable shows actually did fall apart, but it’s nice seeing that even stuff like The Lost Village and Kiznaiver are rallying for their last acts. This is a season to be proud of.

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Kiznaiver – Episode 9

Jeez, what an episode this was. Kiznaiver is always a very pretty show, but this episode was gorgeous from start to finish, full of wonderfully dynamic shots and great transitions making use of the show’s equally excellent sound design. The writing was a little more suspect, as always, but even there, the best moments were really worth celebrating. Kiznaiver’s not quite hitting the ceiling it could have shot for, but it’s still offering plenty to love every week.

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

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Spring 2016 – Week 9 in Review

Anime held pretty darn steady this week. In a season this strong, I’m not forced to watch shows that I have to pray for every week – the only inconsistent show I’m watching is Kiznaiver, and even that has established a really strong rhythm over the last several episodes. Concrete Revolutio had a very rich episode this week, and Flying Witch continued to make strong use of the magical cafe for fantasy and humor. Luluco was crap, but hey, Luluco’s been crap for a few weeks now, even that’s not a surprise. I’ve still got plenty (of Conrevo) to discuss though, so let’s start with the conclusion of Koichi’s whirlwind romance and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Kiznaiver – Episode 8

Kiznaiver’s eighth episode couldn’t match the ridiculous highs of the seventh, but I wasn’t really expecting it to. It was still a very respectable episode suffused with a strong sense of atmosphere, elevated by Kiznaiver’s reliably terrific direction and sound design. The show would be in classic territory if its writing were just a bit sharper, but as is, it’s still a very respectable character drama with a variety of noteworthy strengths. I continue to be thrilled with the prospect of this director having a long career ahead of him.

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

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