- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too
Things have been getting pretty heavy this season, and we get a bit of break from the angst this week. The new/old club dynamics are on display as the crew heads to “Disneyland.” There are some cute moments, but there are a few important plot points too. The largest one being that Yukino realizes she needs help and is asking Hachiman to be the one to save her. After last week’s release, we seem to be heading for some messy love geometry with the girls, but that’s not a bad thing. We’ve known that was coming since the first couple of episodes of the first season. Let’s just hope that the changing gears doesn’t disrupt the show’s momentum.
- Sound! Euphonium
So we take a step back this week and deal first with some of the aftermath of last week’s madness and then, of course, the auditions. Neither section holds any real surprises. Asuka-senpai’s outburst shows that even she is feeling the pressure, and Reina and Kumiko’s cute mutual support scene indicates that the romance is real. If KyoAni is playing with us here and does not follow through with these two, I am going to be very angry with them. I know that physical affection isn’t their thing. I just hope we get some kind of solid confirmation by the end of the series.
It’s worth noting that there is a huge gap between 2nd and 3rd. Sound! is very good, everything below this point is average at best.
- Yamada and the Seven Witches
Yamada and co. handled the fast pacing better this week, but it is still suffering from it. Personalities are starting to fade from a lack of development, and cracks are starting to appear. The cast of characters gets larger every week, but there is only so much time to fit them in. Yamada is pretty much the only one who gets enough time to show some personality, and that is a shame. Early in the series they showed some nuance to the characters and situations. Now they are struggling to fit in any character at all.
- Plastic Memories
A return to unfunny gags and just general timewasting are not doing this story any favors. Both the sci-fi aspect of the show and the romance deserved better treatment than this. Being in love with a girl that has a month to live should be more compelling than they are making it, and the myriad issues with Giftias in general should be more interesting than they are making it. What they really seem to want to do, for some reason that I don’t understand, is make you laugh. Except they aren’t funny, and they have burdened themselves with these plotlines that they are ignoring. I am starting to find this show very frustrating.
- Is it Wrong to Pick Up girls in a Dungeon?
So much for what happens next, the show largely ignores the implications of last week’s battle, and instead we are just forging ahead. Our hero has gotten another special snowflake trait that makes him unbeatable, which seems unnecessary. We still don’t have any real idea where this is going or who the true villain in the show is. I assume Bell is acquiring all these special abilities for a reason. A clue to what that is would be nice at this point. Super heroes need super villains and some kind of narrative beyond going deeper in the dungeon.
- Nisekoi 2
Warning: Rant, Minor Spoilers
Well, if content doesn’t look like it is going to sell BDs, then you better add in some fanservice. That is pretty much all there was to the first half of this week’s episode. It was all generally of the victimization variety as well, for added creepiness. The second half actually had a minor plot point that hints at one of the biggest problems with Nisekoi as a whole. Kosaki Onadera has not changed in standing or personality since the first episode. Her sister on the other hand, in only her second episode, has discovered that she has some things in common with Raku. This trend continues. It turns out Haru has quite a bit in common with him. The only reason for the two kids that would actually make the best real couple in this harem not getting together is the older sister that hasn’t mustered up the courage to tell the MC she likes him in 3 years is in the way. Unfortunately, Kosaki is somehow the most popular character in the manga, so she stays in the mix, adding dead weight to show/manga that already has a tendency to bog down. Haru versus Kosaki would actually add some very welcome drama to this series, which sadly means that it almost certainly won’t happen.
- Fate/Stay: UBW
I had a hard time forcing myself to watch this. Another episode that consists primarily of bad guy monologing. Shirou’s future-self babbles on for the first half, and then the original Archer, Gilgamesh, reveals the grails secrets and sets up the final showdown. I continue to be mystified as to why people like this show. The second half has been both terrible and terribly boring. I wish I had the time and skill to make a meme of Saber calmly watching from the sidelines as dramatic events happen in other films or shows. Maybe cut her in a few times during the beach landing in Saving Private Ryan, or keeping it in Anime, during a one of the fights in Attack on Titan. Even seeing Shinji get burnt by the fire he’s been toying with couldn’t make this episode enjoyable.
I’m done with power rankings for this season. I will do reviews at the end, but honestly the first two and last two spots are pretty much locked in. I’m not going to spend the next couple of weeks trying to find a new way to say Yamada is rushed, Nisekoi is floundering, and Fate/Stay is boring every week. I’ll mention them if they manage something interesting, but otherwise I am done. What I will do is episode reviews for Sound! and My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too. They both deserve some more attention as they both have a lot going on week to week.