I’ve noticed a few times since starting these rankings, that occasionally there’s a week where virtually every episode that airs seems better than usual. Most recently, Week 10 of Winter 2015 fit that description. So did Week 9 of Spring 2013, back when Attack on Titan was still airing. Those sorts of weeks always shake things up, giving weaker or average shows a chance to stand alongside those that I’ve already established as favourites. And occasionally, once a series shoots up, it stays up.
Sadly, week 4 of the Spring season wasn’t one of those. It was the opposite – a week largely consisting of side-character introductions, or build-ups for later events. They weren’t all necessarily bad episodes, but there wasn’t much to make them stand out from each other. It took a lot of skimming through, rewatching certain scenes, and a lot of scratching my head in confusion, but I was finally able to rank them. Don’t think I’d have ever predicted these results this time last week! 😮
2 – Arslan Senki ep 4 (↓ 1)
4 – Kekkai Sensen ep 4 (↑ 1)
5 – Hibike! Euphonium ep 4 (↑ 5)
6 – Shokugeki no Souma ep 4 (↑ 1)
7 – Show By Rock!! ep 4 (↑ 4)
8 – Tribe Cool Crew ep 28 (↑ 7)
9 – Plastic Memories ep 4 (↓ 3)
11 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu ep 15 (↓ 2)
12 – DanMachi ep 4 (↑ 1)
13 – Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku ep 4 (↑ 4)
14 – Owari no Seraph ep 4 (↓ 2)
15 – Re-Kan! ep 4 (↑ 3)
16 – Gunslinger Stratos ep 4 (↓ 2)
17 – Oregairu Zoku ep 4 (↓ 1)
18 – Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works S2 ep 4 (↓ 14)
It’s been a few weeks, and it seems my brain can now process what’s going on in Show By Rock!! 😛 So far it has been quite formulaic, introducing a new band each week and having them put on a concert in their 3D chibi forms (presumably with the intention of selling a lot of toys and merchandise?), while Plasmagica develop closer bonds as friends and fellow band members during the rest of the episode. It’s far more fun than repetitive though – SHINGANCRIMSONZ’ ramen song was fantastic, Plasmagica’s experiments with different costumes were amusing, and poor homesick Moa was especially cute. Though, isn’t Cyan technically an alien in this world herself?
Even in an easier week than usual, Re-Kan! failed to escape the red zone. Other shows are funnier, more original, have more interesting characters and better production values etc… but to be honest, I don’t think Re-Kan! is trying to be anything special. It makes for easy viewing, doesn’t require a lot of thought or attention, and if it makes me smile even once each episode then I can justify keeping it on. Episode four’s highlights for me were the shadowy cliff jumper’s ‘life’ pose, the revelation that Esumi used to be known as the ‘Flame-Haired Messiah’ back in her delinquent days, and the events that led to her meeting Yamada’s policeman brother. The perverted cat is starting to get annoying, but at least the ghosts are on to him!
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! We’ve seen ↓ 12 before, but I think ↓ 14 is a record. Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works S2 got off to such a great start, though even then it had issues. I’d have loved to have seen more of what happened with Caster’s former Master, or a bit more time dedicated to Ilya, and her relationship with Berserker, but these scenes were very rushed. Which I was happy to overlook at the time… but then they had to go and devote the entire fourth episode to the most inane chatter and flirting between the series’ most boring characters (namely our lead duo, Shiro and Rin). And then they got Lancer involved in it as well. Clearly, the director’s priorities are different to mine. Epic battles next week, please!
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on Gunslinger Stratos. Unlike in other series this week, stuff happened. But that ‘stuff’ is a bit too ridiculous to take seriously, so the show falls into guilty pleasure territory, where even the death of a major (if barely developed) character has little effect on its rating. The dialogue is fairly boring too, but not to the extent of Unlimited Blade Works. 😛 Still, something about the plot and setting is keeping me interested, the character designs are pretty, and though the animation quality is still patchy, the action scenes are still enjoyable. I’d like to see more interaction between the doppelgängers besides shooting each other for energy cubes, but maybe that’ll come in later episodes.
Shokugeki no Souma started of as usual, with Souma creating an amazing dish from seemingly unusable ingredients, this time to earn himself a place in the Polar Star Dormitory. He aces this, and we were treated to another fun food reaction (they’re so much more about the fanservice than the reactions from Yakitate!! Japan). We then got to meet the other dorm residents, characters that we’ve been seeing in the ending theme since the start of the show. Old cliches abounded, with a bath walk-in scene and everyone getting drunk on non-alcoholic beverages, though the naked apron dance was new! They seem like a fun bunch, each with their own specialist area when it comes to cooking, and I look forward to seeing more of them. 🙂
Oregairu Zoku is probably the most consistent of my Bottom 5, though it has been sinking slowly but surely. For some reason I gave the sequel a shot despite not really liking the first series, all because the first episode heavily featured my favourite side characters. Now that they’ve been side-lined again, we’re back to boring discussions about mundane events. Deep discussions which have to a lot of drama between the characters, but still boring nonetheless. This show ranks higher than Unlimited Blade Works because Hikigaya is at least a better lead character than Shiro, but in all likelihood I’ll be dropping Oregairu mid-season to make room for something else. It has another episode or two to convince me otherwise.