The Summer season continues its patchy start, with Shokugeki no Souma airing a recap episode, and Tribe Cool Crew taking the week off entirely, bringing my list down to 16 series. All the more opportunity to focus on the new series I guess, and how my thoughts have changed since their first episodes. 🙂
1 – Durarara!!x2 Ten ep 2 (↑ 2)
2 – Arslan Senki ep 14 (↑ 3)
3 – Rokka no Yuusha ep 2 (↓ 1)
4 – Gangsta ep 2
5 – Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX ep 2 (↓ 4)
7 – Aoharu x Kikanjuu ep 2 (↑ 1)
8 – Overlord ep 2 (↑ 2)
9 – Gatchaman Crowds Insight ep 2 (↑ 5)
10 – Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki ep 2 (↓ 3)
11 – Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ep 2 (↓ 2)
12 – Gakkou Gurashi! ep 2 (↑ 5)
14 – Classroom Crisis ep 2 (↑ 2)
15 – Ore Monogatari!! ep 15 (↑ 3)
16 – Ushio to Tora ep 2 (↓ 1)
Despite what I just said in the intro, let’s talk about Arslan Senki first. 😛 Maybe in my excitement over the new Summer offerings, I was a bit harsh on it, saying in several posts on various sites that I couldn’t see it scoring that highly this season… but here it is at #2 already. The animation remains its big flaw, with episode 14 featuring some particularly bad CG in the battle scenes, but aside from that it was a fantastic episode! More of Narsus’ battle tactics and more of the usual entertaining dialogue were the highlights. I was not expecting Arslan and his followers to turn their sights away from Ecbatana so quickly, especially to go and invade another country, but I guess he needs all the powerful allies he can get.
Rating Gatchaman Crowds Insight in my bottom 5 last week made me feel terrible, but such is the strength of the competition this season. After the action-packed ‘episode 0’ Insight Inbound, the actual first episode’s introductions of the new characters felt quite slow – this despite the fact it involved a UFO crash landing, a new Gatchaman, and a weird ability that displayed people’s true feelings above their heads! This week’s ep was more to my tastes, with the Red Crowds causing mischief in a shopping centre. I do wonder about how comfortable everybody seems to be with Gelsadora’s power so far, though; perhaps their society is reaching the point that, with so much of their lives shared online anyway, privacy is a dated concept?
Surfing on rockets and slicing the tops off of mountains ensured that Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX‘s first episode made an impression! That ridiculousness was toned down slightly this week though, to instead focus on this season’s main villains – alchemists. Alchemy, sentient dolls with different personalities, and the return of old enemies the Noise in a new and far more powerful form. The more the merrier! 😀 Aside from the brilliant fights taking place in three different locations at once, we got some explanation as to why Maria, Shirabe and Kirika were suddenly free, and some hints that Hibiki’s father might be relevant to the plot at a later stage…
Technically better than the first, but less interesting to watch is how I’d describe this week’s Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki. Most of the cast is now assembled, but I’m not feeling any attachment to them at this stage, and the dialogue is still lacking. I wasn’t expecting the revelation that Ibuki’s contract with the Red Dragon requires constant renewal – it wants a human sacrifice EVERY TIME the power is activated. Now that he has left behind his disposable orphans to go questing, presumably his party members will be at risk instead? Again, I see potential, but only if the series doesn’t keep forcing Ibuki to use his power every single week. I like to think any decent character would consider every other option before resorting to it.
It was only a matter of time before Durarara!!x2 Ten took the top spot. So far Ten seems to be focusing on characters who were largely sidelined during the Winter’s Shou, this week it was Seiji’s yandere love rivals Namie and Mika. The crazy lengths they’re both willing to go to for him, from the use of forced plastic surgery to EATING THE HEAD of a supernatural being… that’s two more additions to the list of characters from this series that I probably should’t adore but totally do. 😛 Almost as scary is how much Mika knows about all the characters, almost as if she were quoting the Durarara!! wiki. Meanwhile, people continue to bother Shinra during his outing with Celty, gotta feel sorry for those two!
I wasn’t expecting to pick up Non Non Biyori Repeat, as I imagined there would be a lot of other anime with more going on in them than this slow-paced slice of life series. However, the first episode won me over, I’d forgotten how much I liked the characters and humour, and a change of pace is nice anyway. Still, you’d be surprised (and I certainly was) at how intense and strategic a game featuring just rulers and pens can be! 😮 This epic showdown even gave the silent Nii-chan a chance to shine, and was probably one of my favourite segments from either of the two series so far. The second half of the episode wasn’t bad either – we now know how Hotaru’s obsession with Komari began!