Summer 2015 – Week 3 in Review

Welp, there’s no way around it – this is probably the most underwhelming season since I started watching seasonally. Basically the only new show I’m legitimately enthusiastic about is Classroom Crisis, and even that’s just “hey, this is pretty okay, I hope it turns out well.” Aside from Gatchaman Crowds insight, there’s nothing this season on the level of the top three from either of the last two seasons, and things only get more dire in the midrange. This week I’m serving pink slips to both Rokka and Himouto-chan, leaving me with… four new shows I’m watching? Jeez.

Welp, always time for backlog! All this dropping will hopefully give me time to get through Love Live S2 in time for the movie (seeing it in theaters, YEP), and maybe even watch some old classics! If that happens, I’ll likely be adding those to this space, since hey, what else am I gonna talk about? Gotta write about something.

Anyway, let’s run this sad-sack collection down!

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episodes 15-16

Covered the last two Nagato Yuki-chans together, since Funimation’s “scheduling” is a bad joke. But it was just as well, since barely enough happened in these two episodes to cover one episode review, anyway. Nagato Yuki-chan was obviously a disappointment overall, but it at least gave us the very compelling disappearance arc, so I’m gonna consider that a partial win. Yeah, it was mostly a completely disposable will-they-or-won’t-they slice of life nothing, but hey, four episodes were good!

You can check out my mildly defeated review over at ANN, or read my extremely limited notes below!

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 14

Aaand we’re back to same old regular Nagato. This episode wasn’t the worst, but it sure did feel like an automatic letdown after the consistent highs of the disappearance arc. There were some nice scenes, though – the first one, where the two Nagatos “met,” was an endearing sisterly conversation, and the last bits with Haruhi made solid use of narrative mirroring both between characters and across Haruhi scenes. But still, the majority of this episode was more of the will-they-or-won’t-they stuff I’ve grown more than tired of. With only two episodes to go, I kinda doubt this show will end up offering much more, but I’m actually perfectly happy to leave with just the disappearance arc to remember this by.

Here’s my full writeup over at ANN. Notes below!

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Spring 2015 – Week 13 in Review

The final week has arrived! And there’s… basically nothing to talk about. With JoJo already over and Blood Blockade Battlefront resting up before its oversized finale, the only non-ANN shows I actually had to watch this week were Unlimited Blade Works and Ore Monogatari!! And I didn’t even watch OreMono! Sorry OreMono, I just couldn’t find the time/interest for you – as I’ve said before, OreMono isn’t one of those shows that fills me with desire to catch up when I’m not watching it, and considering the sort of static rhythms it’s gotten into over time, it’s just hard to muster up the enthusiasm. So we’ve got a mini-sized Week in Review this week, but don’t worry – with the summer season about to begin, there’ll be pleeenty to talk about soon enough. The preview guide is waiting. I can hear its call. Soon, soon, all will burn.

Alright, let’s run down what we’ve got!

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 13

And the actual Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan arc comes to a close. This was a fittingly somber episode, full of rich sunset colors and slow scenes of Nagato and friends. I’ve really enjoyed this arc all throughout, and though this seems like a good place for it to end, I’m definitely sad to see this version of Nagato Yuki go. Hopefully the show doesn’t just immediately go back to being its original derpy self now, and has possibly learned something from this surprisingly compelling experience.

Here’s my full post over at ANN. Notes below!

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Spring 2015 – Week 12 in Review

Spring season is nearly ending, bringing with it that seasonal terror of aging and a whole bunch of finales. Spring’s shows seem to be ending reasonably well on average, though this week had its stronger and weaker episodes. The big hit this time was Blood Blockade Battlefront, which rallied back from a weaker episode and a recap with likely its best episode so far. Sound! Euphonium had a stellar episode as well, though it’s hard to pick a favorite in that one. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure also had a fine ending, and Nagato Yuki-chan maintained its streak, though the staying power of its current trick seems like it may be running out. Other episodes were less strong, but nothing seems to be actually falling apart at this point – I’ve dropped too aggressively for that. Anyway, let’s get to ’em!

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 12

Things are gettin’ weird. New Nagato (or, well, Old Old Nagato) has been firmly established now, and so the show has apparently decided it’s already time to start relentlessly messing with her. That messing was depicted in this episode through a wide array of unnerving visual tricks, along with a narrative that kept hammering in her very understandable fear of being erased by Old Nagato’s return. The show can’t stick only in this off-kilter space forever, but it’s really making the most of it so far. I’m excited to see where it goes from here, which is certainly not something I could have said a few weeks ago.

Here’s my full ANN post. Notes below!

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Spring 2015 – Week 11 in Review

The lack of BBB made for a noticeably lighter week this time, considering I’m only watching seven shows, but JoJo stepped up to the action plate with one of its all-time best and also most ridiculous episodes. Those two things aren’t necessarily the same, either – there were plenty of Stardust Crusaders episodes that, while they were certainly ridiculous, simply weren’t that exciting. No sense of danger, and more just wacky and nonsensical than “goddamnit JoJos that solution is ridiculous.” Here, like with the best of Battle Tendency, the absurdity came from the contrast between the heavy, consistent stakes and the wild, ridiculous execution and solutions. It…

Wait, hold on, JoJo’s gonna get its own section anyway. Alright, let’s get right to that then, and RUN ‘EM DOWN.

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 11

Another surprisingly very good episode of Nagato Yuki-chan! This one even managed the noteworthy feat of respecting the huge shift of last week’s episode while giving the show a very steady path forward. The key here was the fact that all three of our protagonists reacted to Nagato’s shift in both understandable and reasonable fashion, not drawing out artificial drama but also making the most of the drama that does exist. Nagato’s behavior in particular was pretty heartbreaking, but her friends being both reasonable and anxious in their own ways worked very well. Where the hell did this show come from.

Here’s my full ANN post. Notes below!

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Spring 2015 – Week 10 in Review

Another very fine week in a very fine season. Oregairu and Euphonium both pulled off characteristically wonderful episodes this week, but the real surprises were JoJo and – I’m serious – Nagato Yuki. On the JoJo side, the Dio-Kakyoin fight managed to not only be exciting and entertaining, but genuinely beautiful. And on the Nagato Yuki side, an abrupt shift in tone resulted in an episode that was almost equally beautiful in its own way, slow-building and melancholy and just brimming with a compelling, deeply felt sense of atmosphere. Color me extremely surprised!

Alright, enough preamble. LET’S RUN ‘EM DOWN.

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