Winter 2015 – Week 12 in Review

And so the season ends, with solid episodes and flops both largely where you’d expect them. Shirobako ends with a lovely tribute to its entire cast and spirit, Death Parade ends with a brilliantly personal episode that demonstrates the show at its best, and Yuri Kuma pulls out all the stops with one of its most personal and beautiful episodes yet. The rest of this week’s finales varied in quality, but the season remains one of the strongest in recent memory. We’re gonna have to remember this one through the potentially darker months ahead – we’re always lucky to get a season this good.

Incidentally, next week’s Week in Review will be replaced by my eventual, absolutely overwhelmed First Episode Retrospective of Absolutely Everything. I’m guessing I won’t be able to give status reports every few shows this time, since this is going to be the most overwhelming preview week I’ve ever taken part in, but I’ll make sure to let people know as soon as the flood begins. See you all on the other side!

Alright, enough news and reflections. LET’S RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Log Horizon II – Episode 25

And so season two comes to an end. This was about as much of an “ending” as I expected – we got a variety of resolutions, but even more gestures towards future material that may or may not ever exist. The raid boss fight was a lot of fun, Kanami and Shiroe have really great interactions, and it was nice (if a little anticlimactic) to see Crusty’s perfectly okay. Overall, season two felt significantly stronger than the first, and though we definitely cashed in a lot of the show’s existing conflict-chips, I’m sure this author could think of all sorts of ways to continue the story. Here’s to hoping we actually get that season three one day.

My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!

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Winter 2015 – Week 11 in Review

Oh what’s this another stellar week in anime jeez tell me something I don’t know. All the best shows feel like they’re not even competing with each other anymore – they’re competing for placement on the end-of-year list. In contrast to last year, where I struggled to think of more than seven shows I’d be happy recommending, here we’ve almost got half a list already filled out. Shirobako is a legend, Death Parade is uneven but has staggering highs, Maria is consistently excellent and brimming with great characters, and Yuri Kuma Arashi is a little emotionally lacking but full of ideas and beauty. We also had a great finale for KimiUso and strong episodes for both Log Horizon and JoJo. What the hell is up with this season.

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Log Horizon II – Episode 24

A surprisingly excellent episode here at the tail end of Log Horizon II. The focus and production were just on a much higher level than usual, and Shiroe’s very understandable dilemma gave the whole thing a well-defined structure. Seeing the whole team work together was nice, seeing that team brought to life through some actual animation was even better, and in general the whole thing just worked, and moved the quest to go home in a fairly compelling direction.

My full ANN post is available here. Sadly no notes this week, as I actually watched this one on my house TV as opposed to my computer.

Log Horizon

Winter 2015 – Week 10 in Review

A strong week in anime this time, with few surprises but plenty of impressive episodes. Some shows have been jostling in position recently, with KimiUso in particular making a major stab at a recovery, but things have mostly settled – Shirobako, Maria, Death Parade, and Yuri Kuma are consistently strong, JoJo and KimiUso are rallying, and the rest are, well, the rest. This has been a very strong season, and I’m ready to see it close out in kind. Let’s run ’em down!

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Winter 2015 – Week 9 in Review

I’ll just come out and say it – this week kinda sucked. Almost everything on the weaker half of my list either hit a season low point or continued a losing streak, and even Shirobako’s episode was only “great.” I felt kinda awkward just dropping sad remark after sad remark, but this was just not a respectable week for a lot of shows. Fortunately, the top tier remains strong, and that’s definitely the most important thing. Both Death Parade and Maria nailed absolutely critical episodes, Yuri Kuma didn’t make any real missteps, and Shirobako just settled back into “a very solid Shirobako episode.” The season isn’t ending gracefully for some, but things are still gonna be okay. Let’s run ’em down!

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Log Horizon II – Episode 22

In addition to just being another one of those slow-ass episodes full of cake and gags that Log Horizon occasionally stumbles through, this episode also featured what felt like the show’s first potential narrative misstep, in the “woooo aliens did it” explanation for Elder Tale’s genesis. The show’s obviously built up enough trust that I’m hopeful it will turn out in an interesting way, but Roe 2’s initial explanation struck me as one of the least interesting ways this show could have resolved its underlying issues.

On the plus side, while I didn’t really like this episode, I’m quite happy with my explanation of why I didn’t like this episode. So here’s that full writeup! Notes below, as always…

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Winter 2015 – Week 8 in Review

Highs and lows this week, with stellar performances from Shirobako, Death Parade, and even Rolling Girls, but some real stinkers from Parasyte, Yatterman Night, and others. Honestly not a strong week overall – several of the more reliable shows really dropped the ball, and there’s only so much Shirobako can do to save the entire week by itself. Come on, anime. I know you’ve come to lean on Shirobako, but you gotta at least put out an effort. Shirobako’s not gonna be here to save you forever.

Alright, that’s enough talking about Shirobako, let’s talk about Shirobako. RUNNING ‘EM DOWN!

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Log Horizon II – Episode 21

Well, the kids’ arc ended, and with it Log Horizon’s recent insane hot streak. This was a cooldown episode, full of little end-tyings and new beginnings and small character moments. It was fine enough at that, though it is always a little sad when Log Horizon gears down out of one of its peaks. If only all the episodes were that good!

It’s also a shame to think we won’t get another arc like that for literally years, given that Log Horizon has more or less run out of source material, but there’s still plenty of story to tell, and we’ve still got a few episodes left regardless. Gotta stay positive.

My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!

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Winter 2015 – Week 7 in Review

Shirobako ruled the roost this week, with a standout episode that pulled all of the show’s ideas about finding your purpose together into one lovely, melancholy time capsule. The other shows were pretty cool too, but man, that Shirobako. That Shirobako.

Yeah, let’s just start right there. Running them down!

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