In recent seasons, my ability to judge series based on one episode has gotten better, with most of my mid-season pickups being guilty pleasures or average-but-watchable. This is not one of those seasons. I messed up.
But now’s the time to put that right, and my lineup has increased to 20 once more, with the addition of two anime series that I’d have been stupid not to have gone back to!
2 – GATE S2 ep 6
3 – Boku dake ga Inai Machi ep 6 (↑ 4)
4 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 6 (↑ 2)
7 – Schwarzesmarken ep 6 (↑ 2)
8 – Durarara!!x2 Ketsu ep 6 (↓ 7)
9 – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu ep 6 (↑ 1)
10 – Bubuki Buranki ep 6 (↑ 7)
11 – Dimension W ep 6 (↓ 8)
13 – Norn9 ep 6 (↓ 2)
14 – Active Raid ep 6 (↑ 4)
15 – Haikyuu!! S2 ep 19 (↓ 7)
16 – Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm ep 6 (↓ 2)
17 – Haruta & Chika ep 6 (↓ 2)
18 – Osomatsu-san ep 19 (↓ 14)
19 – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen ep 19 (↓ 3)
20 – Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu ep 6 (↓ 7)
Making its debut in my Top 5 this week is Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! A victim of my preference for plot/action over comedy, not helped by its late airing (notice the episode number is one behind the others, otherwise I’d have to delay the post a day or two for ep 6). This series has just been hilarious, with its near-useless characters and the poor NEET-turned-adventurer who has to put up with them. I even feel sorry for the villain, the unfortunate dullahan who’s been stationed near their village. As if unwittingly blowing up his house on a daily basis wasn’t enough, our heroes then ignored his challenge for a whole week! I can’t wait to see what he has in store for them this time. 😀
Just behind it is Dagashi Kashi, another comedy series I skipped. I figured that most of the jokes would be lost on me, seeing as it’s about the Japanese equivalent of penny sweets, none of which I’ve ever tried or seen on sale here. However, you don’t have to have tried a bottle ramune to appreciate the humour of Hotaru and Kokonotsu’s dad acting as though it’s some illegal and highly addictive drug! It works because it’s so over-the-top, because the characters are amusing and likable, and I also like that it’s educational (even if all the facts about dagashi go in one ear and out the other for me, since I’m hardly going to need this info). Just to clarify, no episode aired this week, but I decided to throw in ep 5 since it’ll be one behind the others from now on either way.
The two new additions aren’t the only big change, with Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans taking the #1 spot! We got a proper introduction to the (quite obnoxious) Commander Carta, followed by a flashback to her shared past with Gaelio and McGuillis… doubt it’ll be the last time we get backstory on those three. But the main attraction this week was of course the gratuitous space battles, which didn’t end well for Ein at all! Somehow, I can’t see them killing him off though. I was half-expecting them to kill Mika off during the descent, since his handshake with Kudelia and final arrival on Earth were enormous death flags, but of course I’m happy he’ll be sticking around. A truly excellent episode from start to finish.
I said last week that it was the only series in any real danger of being dropped, but Bubuki Buranki is here to stay~ I wasn’t overly looking forward to weekly 1 on 1 duels interlaced with flashbacks, so I was pleasantly surprised when the 4th ‘Heavenly King’ Akihito showed up ahead of schedule to shake up the formula a bit. And then, I was even more pleasantly surprised by the revelation that my favourite character Shizuru was some sort of combat genius! I think I know why I like her now, she’s got the same eccentric artist quirks as Phi Brain’s Ana Gram, while also being badass. To be fair, Zetsubi’s ZA WARUDO timestop battle against Hiiragi was really entertaining too, with the latter finally doing something to make himself likable. She needed a slap.
With the possible exception of Osomatsu-san’s 14 place plummet (it just wasn’t as funny this week), Durarara!!x2 Ketsu‘s quite large drop from the #1 spot it had held for 5 weeks is probably the most significant. Whereas earlier episodes have had plenty of action, featuring on all sorts of fantasy things such as Celty’s head and clashes between Saikas, this week focused more on talking between humans. It felt weird seeing Mikado, Anri and Kida at the centre of attention again, seeing as they sort-of felt like the main characters of the original series! Plenty of plot and character development, and by no means a weak episode… just a bit short on explosions for me. 😛
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu has been skirting my Bottom 5 all season, and a beach episode during an otherwise strong week really didn’t help matters. A whole load of nothing happened for the most part, as the characters ticked off every generic beach trope, some parodically as the characters researched things for their game, others just for the fanservice. There was a little bit of drama in the end, with Yuuka finally snapping over Buntarou’s ignoring her and spending all his time with Kuroda. There wasn’t as much humour this week either, that or it was present but so unfunny that I didn’t notice it.