Winter 2017 – Week 11 in Review

And so the winter season approaches its end. We’ve got one more rough week after this, but the season’s shows are already beginning to turn out the lights at this point, starting with the scrappy March comes in like a lion. Other shows have a bit more life left in them – Rakugo is certainly tidying up, but Tanya’s narrative shows no sign of ending, and Dragon Maid is as lively as ever. This was definitely a lesser season, but as always, there were odd pleasures to be found here and there. Watching anime on a seasonal schedule means you’ll probably end up watching a lot of crap, but that’s all part of the experience. Let’s take a look at this week’s contenders and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 22

March comes in like a lion arrived at its first season ending this week, thought it really wasn’t much of a conclusion. If the show were actually finishing here I’d probably be kinda miffed, but as it’s only six months until the next season, this served as a fair enough stopping point. And this episode’s second half was actually a minor highlight, so I can’t really complain. Cya next time, March!

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

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Winter 2017 – Week 10 in Review

The anime was very cheery this week! I mean, I expect that from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, but even sadsack productions like Rakugo and March comes in like a lion turned in remarkably optimistic performances. I certainly didn’t mind that – frankly, it feels like all of us could use a little sunshine as the winter trudges to its end. And these were certainly well-earned strokes of positivity, given what the characters in both of those shows have recently suffered. With all that on top of this week’s wonderful episode of Dragon Maid, this was a pretty alright week in anime land. Let’s start with those reliable dragons and RUN THIS WEEK DOWN!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 21

At last, March comes in like a lion allowed its characters to be briefly happy. After the terrific but harrowing Shimada arc, it was a wonderful treat to see Rei and Shimada actually enjoy their visit to Shimada’s hometown, and also great to check in with the Kawamoto siblings again. There was even some charming character animation in the last act, a genuine rarity for this show. Thanks for being kind this week, March.

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

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Winter 2017 – Week 9 in Review

The winter heavyweights were both firing on all cylinders this week. Fresh from directing what’s apparently the most perfect anime film ever, Yamada turned in what was likely Dragon Maid’s most technically accomplished episode yet. And over in Rakugo land, the final act continued in fierce fashion, as Bon struggled mightily against his own obsolescence. Seasons aren’t necessarily defined by only their best shows, but Winter ‘17’s top tier is making a strong argument in that favor. We only ever remember our favorites from any given year, anyway – even if nothing else stands out, as long as they shine bright, anime will keep. Let’s dive right into those and the other shows of the week!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 20

And so Shimada’s battle comes to an end. This episode wasn’t necessarily a full highlight, but the opening dream sequence was one of my favorite things the show’s pulled off yet, and there were plenty of other little highlights scattered throughout. I’m going to miss this focus on Shimada, but March doesn’t seem like a show that’d let a good character go to waste, so I’m sure we’ll see him again. You fought hard, Shimada. Now get some goddamn sleep.

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

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Winter 2017 – Week 8 in Review

Anime was perfectly alright this week! No ridiculous highlights to report, but also no dramatic failures, with pretty much all my trusted shows turning in reasonable performances. Tanya apparently spent its week off meditating on the true ugliness of war, which was nice to see, while Dragon Maid recovered from last week’s missteps with a perfectly satisfying beach episode. Seiren wasn’t great, but Seiren isn’t great, so that’s not really news. And most importantly, I caught up on all of Kemono Friends, and even wrote an article over at Crunchyroll about one of the show’s various strengths. It’s been a satisfying week over here in anime land. Let’s take a look!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 19

This week’s March comes in like a lion spoiled me, offering a full twenty minutes of non-stop Shimadaservice. Shimada’s backstory immediately joined the pantheon of top-shelf March sequences, offering a poignant look at the origins of a fundamentally sympathetic man. Tethering crucial reflections on talent and growing up to some very specific childhood memories, it only strengthened the overall definition of one of March’s greatest characters. This arc has been a joy.

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

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Winter 2017 – Week 7 in Review

This week in anime was… not so good. In addition to Dragon Maid making its first legitimate missteps, there was also no Tanya, and apparently a week without Tanya pretty much instantly demonstrates that this season is resting on the thinnest of ice. There’s nothing like Flip Flappers here for me to constantly gush over – Rakugo is great, but it doesn’t really enchant or speak to me in the way my true favorites do. In the absence of Tanya (and with me having dropped ACCA for the moment), I’ve been forced to watch a bunch of Kemono Friends, the show about cute animal-girls who clip through their surroundings because their CG is so bad. It’s a rough time out there. Stay safe, everybody.

Alright, enough doom and gloom. Let’s get right to it and run this week down!

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March comes in like a lion – Episode 18

March returned to its usual level of execution this week, but was still a generally good time, and still had a couple nice visual highlights. Shimada continues to be a remarkably welcome addition to the cast, to the point where he already feels like one of the main characters. I’m still looking forward to whenever Rei actually visits the sisters again, though, and am guessing Akari will have some interesting words for him next week.

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

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