Well, this was a garbage ending. It’s a real shame – I was actually looking forward to whatever theatrics Rolling Girls put together for its final episode, and then the finale ends up having zero animation and even less coherent plot. Friggin’ Log Horizon was more animated this week than Rolling Girls. And the plot ends in about as unsatisfying a way as it could, and the story just sort of falls over itself. How do situations like this even happen? It feels like professional writers should not write themselves into holes like this.
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.
Welp, at least we’ll always have the fights. This episode really brought Rolling Girls’ narrative failings to the fore, with the busyness of this arc’s storytelling offering pretty much no emotional hooks whatsoever. But yeah. The fights! Plenty of fun fights this week, plenty of beautiful backgrounds, not an ounce of narrative sense. Ah well.
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!
Fine recovery from Rolling Girls this week – to make up for last week’s slowness, this one kicked into narrative overdrive, pushing pretty much the whole cast along a variety of story tracks. There were some funny jokes, a great fight, and just a general sense of energy that kept momentum high even when the show attempted to dramatically overreach. Hopefully things stay this fun through the end!
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!
Rolling Girls took a turn towards character drama this week, which unfortunately meant we had to grapple with the fact that the show has spent this entire season ignoring its main cast in order to futz around with side characters. Futzing around with side characters is fine, but if the show was going to eventually turn to this, it really needed to do more meaningful work humanizing its main cast – as is, this came off as a turn I wish worked, but just wasn’t supported by the show. A shame.
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!
Definitely one of the better episodes of Rolling Girls this week, sold almost entirely on the strength of that last, fantastic sequence. The rest of the episode actually kinda dragged and repeated itself at times, but the resolution to Chiyo’s conflict was graceful enough, and we’re still getting endearing offhand jokes from the Rolling Girls here and there. The show’s doing okay.
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!