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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Seiren – Episode 11

Seiren’s third arc is almost at its close this week, and dear lord do I not have any more words to spend on this show. Blurrrgghhhhh. That’s all I got. Seiren is nothing. It offers me nothing to talk about. It’s probably not the worst show I’ve reviewed weekly, but it is almost certainly the most Nothing show. This is a seasonal workout I was not expecting.

You can check out my review over at ANN, or my limited 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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Seiren – Episode 10

Seiren pulled off one of its best episodes this week, demonstrating the unique mix of weirdness and naturalism that can occasionally make it a pretty solid show. I’m still not actually invested in this romance, probably because I just can’t bring myself to care about Shoichi, but I can at least believe in it, which puts it ahead of the first two arcs. Baby steps, Seiren.

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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Seiren – Episode 9

Seiren began its third arc this week, and that’s about all there is to say about it. Shoichi’s relationship with Kyoko does seem like it’ll be a bit more believable than the last two – instead of either being unconvincingly taken by Shoichi’s non-charms or the ultimate gamer girl, Kyoko has simply been friends with him forever. Their believable chemistry could easily make this Seiren’s best arc yet, but the bar has been set pretty low, so that still wouldn’t necessarily be all that impressive. Ah well.

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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Seiren – Episode 8

Seiren’s second arc ended in fairly mundane fashion this week, as Toru and Shoichi headed off to Comiket and then confirmed their relationship through some awkward makeouts. Seiren often really does feel like watching two actual teenagers fall in lust, which ultimately just demonstrates how “realism” isn’t generally the most useful goal in fiction. Real romance is boring, and so is this show.

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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Seiren – Episode 7

I had virtually nothing to gawk at in this week’s Seiren, which was certainly a change of pace. Instead, this was just a remarkably grounded and overall successful slice of adolescent romance – understandable conflicts, multidimensional characters, and satisfying resolutions. I was pretty surprised! I certainly don’t mind, though – if Seiren permanently jumps from a weird oddity to a reasonable show, I’d be very happy.

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

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