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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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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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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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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Spring 2016 – Week 8 in Review

Anime was good this week! Anime was extremely good this week! ANIME WAS RIDICULOUSLY GOOD THIS WEEK. Kiznaiver and JoJo each had their best episodes of the season, with Kiznaiver offering probably my favorite episode of any of these shows, and JoJo basically just synthesizing all of the things that have made Diamond is Unbreakable great. Concrete Revolutio was right up there as well, as Urobuchi penned one of the most pointed episodes the show has ever seen. And the rest of the lineup was not far behind – only The Lost Village and Luluco had weaker episodes this week, and I’m sure they’ll both survive. That’s enough summary! Let’s get right to it!!!

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The Heroic Spirit of My Hero Academia

Time for a new essay! This one focuses specifically on My Hero Academia, but is more generally about a spirit of optimism in fiction that I find really compelling and valuable. It was frankly kinda tough cutting down all the various topics I wanted to cover into one editorial-sized piece (I could easily write another entire article about the ambiguous ways idols interact with this concept), but I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you enjoy the piece, and wish you luck finding some spirit of heroism in your own life!

The Heroic Spirit of My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

Spring 2016 – Week 7 in Review

Our strong spring season continued to chug merrily along this week, offering a few new highlights and a clunker or two, as you might expect. My weekly list has been paired down to the point where even the disappointing episodes are only mediocre entries in fundamentally strong shows, which feels like a real luxury (I dropped Macross Delta, incidentally, which I realized I hadn’t really been impressed with for a good 4-5 episodes). And both Kiznaiver and The Lost Village actually seem to be improving as they go along, which I wouldn’t expect from such shaky and unpredictable productions. Top that off with the reliably competent My Hero Academia and the consistently stunning Concrete Revolutio, and you’ve got a season that never fails to at least entertain. Let’s RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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My Hero Academia, Volume 4 – Review

My Hero Academia is in absolute peak form all throughout this fourth volume. The school competition premise allows all of the manga’s characters to just wail on each other for eight chapters straight, which is pretty much all I could ever wanted from this series. The setup of the competition’s second round really facilitates having the characters both find new uses of their powers and see how they can work in concert with each other, making for the most consistently thrilling battles of the series. Individual unique powers are cool enough, but forcing these very imbalanced characters to play off each other is just a far better application of the manga’s premise. It’s nice to see an author so aware of what makes their own story compelling.

No notes this time, since I just sped through this one without taking a breath. But you can check out my full review over at ANN!

My Hero Academia

 

Spring 2016 – First Half in Review

The halfway point is here! I’m not the only one who feels like this has been a really fast season, right? I mean, it’s obviously going to feel like I’m running through anime faster if I’m enjoying it more, but it feels like Flying Witch and The Lost Village and My Hero Academia just got started a couple weeks ago, and suddenly here we are. As has at this point shifted from “it’s cute to say some silly blog thing is ‘traditional'” to “wow, this really is a tradition, I’ve been doing this crap for a substantial portion of my adult life,” I’ll be running down my current schedule from best to worst as your seasonal reminder that rankings don’t matter, we’re all going to die, the only truth is the abyss. I’ve got a lot of very fun and very different shows to get through, so let’s not waste any more time in preamble. From top to bottom, here are this spring’s very best cartoon contenders!

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Spring 2016 – Week 5 in Review

We had a fresh new crop of anime roll in this week, and I’m here to sort out the top tier cartoons from the rest of the cargo. It won’t be easy this time – there were plenty of great episodes this week across the board, with a wide variety of genres and favorites pulling off excellent performances. The Lost Village’s fourth episode more or less cemented it as a ridiculous semi-classic, while Concrete Revolutio had another stunning vignette, and Flying Witch maintained its clean streak of strong episodes. This is the best season I’ve personally had in about a year, and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. Let’s dive right into this pile of nonsense and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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