Once again we arrive at the fifth week of an anime season, the last post before I usually chop and change my lineup by dropping series I don’t like, and instead giving a second chance to some of those that failed to impress in week 1. The difference this season is that virtually everything impressed in week 1, and I had to force myself to keep to the usual eighteen series! Barring any surprisingly horrendous sixth episodes, my decision this time should be much easier. 🙂
2 – Gangsta ep 5 (↑ 3)
3 – Gatchaman Crowds Insight ep 5 (↑ 4)
4 – Arslan Senki ep 17 (↓ 2)
5 – Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX ep 5 (↓ 1)
6 – Durarara!!x2 Ten ep 5 (↓ 3)
7 – Gakkou Gurashi! ep 5 (↑ 4)
8 – Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki ep 5 (↓ 2)
9 – Tide-Line Blue ep 5 (↑ 3)
10 – Overlord ep 5 (↑ 3)
11 – Aoharu x Kikanjuu ep 5 (↓ 3)
12 – Shokugeki no Souma ep 17 (↑ 4)
13 – Ore Monogatari!! ep 18 (↑ 1)
14 – Non Non Biyori Repeat ep 5 (↓ 5)
15 – Classroom Crisis ep 5 (↓ 5)
16 – Tribe Cool Crew ep 41 (↑ 1)
17 – Ushio to Tora ep 5 (↑ 1)
18 – Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ep 5 (↓ 3)
I haven’t mentioned Gangsta since way back in the first week, mostly because it’s been a bit slower than the other titles in and around my Top 5. A lot of flashbacks to Worick and Nick’s pasts, gang fights and politics in the present, while Alex sits and worries about her future. I was sure this series had the potential to score higher once the pieces started to come together, and some of the mysteries surrounding the protagonists and the Twilights in general were answered, and that’s what started to happen this week. Throwing in some of the well-animated action scenes I love, and some new interesting characters only served to make a great episode better. 😀
Another series that’s taken it’s time to set up is Gatchaman Crowds Insight… though having said that, Gelsadora can’t have been on the planet that long, and already he’s been elected as Prime Minister of Japan! A leader who can literally read the thoughts and emotions of his people, and give the majority what they think they want, regardless of any long term consequences? I’m really interested to see where they’ll go with this. Meanwhile, the Gatchaman members all have differing opinions on the Crowds, which is causing internal conflicts. The run-up to the election, with its inaccurate polls and the petty attacks on candidates by the media, was reminiscent of the UK General Election in May, and no doubt several others worldwide.
Episode five of Durarara!!x2 Ten was mostly a build-up episode – a lot of focus on the changes happening within the Dollars now that Blue Square’s Kuronuma Aoba is involved, on Hijiribe Ruri’s stalker who is rumoured to be a member of the Dollars, and on the friendship between Mikado, Anri and Masaomi, with the latter finally set to return to Ikebukuro. Also, Shizuo gained a cat. All in all, a brilliant episode that set the scene for what will likely be even better episodes to come, but less actually happened this week than in the likes of Gangsta and Gatchaman Crowds, which seem to have hit their mid-season peaks.
It’s hard to tell what makes one episode of a slice of life series better than another. This week’s Non Non Biyori Repeat, while cute as ever, didn’t have the same emotional impact as last week’s episode (Flatty! 😦 ), or as many laughs as the second episode. However, this is the first time that Repeat has placed in the red zone. Compare that with my rankings for the first series, which barely escaped the bottom five all season despite the arguably weaker competition of Autumn ’13. Is this sequel just that much better? Have my tastes changed that much in two years? I haven’t a clue, but either way I now consider Non Non Biyori Repeat a highlight of my week.
Speaking of sequels that are out-performing earlier series, Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX still hasn’t given up its place in my Top 5! It is almost certainly the guilty pleasure of the lineup; the storyline (while present) feels secondary, just an excuse for very nicely animated battles. The animation quality does seem to have improved though, and there’s been a lot more action than I remember from the previous two series. So far, Hibiki and the others have been suffering defeat after defeat at the hands of the Autoscorer and the Alca-Noise, though with Project Ignite finally nearing completion, hopefully the improved Symphogear will level the playing field a little (as well as providing awesome new attacks and abilities, of course!)
I’ve been putting off talking about Tribe Cool Crew for weeks due to all the newer and shinier series, but feel I should at least give it a mention before the mid-season point (but don’t worry, I’m too invested in the series by now to drop it). This particular episode was an uneventful beach episode, but earlier this season we’ve seen plenty of developments – the last stage of Dance Road is approaching, Crowd High and the anti-Jey-El sentiment is on the rise, and old rivals Team Sakura and the Explosive Machine Guns have joined forces to become Blossom Bullets! With all this going on, the series definitely feels as though it’s building up to end this season.