Winter 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 8

A good week for plot and action; not so much for comedy. Thought I’d mention that here, since there’s a lot of large drops that don’t really warrant any comment besides ‘last week’s episode was funnier’.

Expect my next post to be delayed, as I’ll be at Minamicon from Friday morning until Monday evening (during which time 80% of my lineup airs), and then back at work the next day. Should be good fun though! 😀

Before we move on to the episode's more serious developments, let's take a moment to appreciate that beard.

Before we move on to the episode’s more serious developments, let’s take a moment to appreciate that beard.

1 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ep 21 (↑ 5)

2 – Durarara!!x2 Ketsu ep 8 (↑ 6)

3 – GATE S2 ep 8 (↑ 2)

4 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 8 (↑ 3)

5 – Boku dake ga Inai Machi ep 8 (↓ 3)

6 – Dimension W ep 8 (↓ 2)

7 – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu ep 8 (↑ 3)

8 – Lupin III (2015) ep 21 (↑ 10)

9 – Schwarzesmarken ep 8 (↓ 6)

10 – Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! ep 7 (↓ 9)

11 – Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu ep 8 (↑ 4)

12 – Norn9 ep 8 (↓ 1)

13 – Bubuki Buranki ep 8 (↑ 6)

14 – Haikyuu!! S2 ep 21 (↓ 5)

15 – Osomatsu-san ep 21 (↓ 2)

16 – Dagashi Kashi ep 7 (↓ 2)

17 – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen ep 21 (↑ 3)

18 – Haruta & Chika ep 8 (↓ 2)

19 – Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm ep 8 (↓ 7)

20 – Active Raid ep 8 (↓ 3)

Andou was clearly up for it!

Andou was clearly up for it! Loved the Engrish.

Moving up:

I have to mention Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, which once again delivered a standout episode that blew everything else out of the water. Shame it has to have slower, character-building episodes in-between, since they’ll obviously bring its average score down… but without the development, events like those at the end of this week’s episode wouldn’t have as much impact. All the usual signs and flags were there, but the ridiculousness of Carta and her fleet somehow made me overlook them, I took her for mild comic-relief. I’m guessing the next episode won’t be the happiest.

Thankfully, not all the comedy series disappointed, as I was in need of cheering up after Gundam! Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu reminded me why I picked it up in the first place, focusing on comedy over weak romance. With the deadline for the game’s release looming, and the script still unfinished, Bunta was locked in his room and forced to work by the rest of the crew. Their efforts to increase his productivity, and his efforts to resist that, were very fun to watch… but yes, Atomu in a maid outfit may also have helped the series’ ranking this week. 😛

EVIL.

EVIL.

Moving down:

I really didn’t want to move Schwarzesmarken down, since things have really picked up over the past couple of episodes, but the competition was strong this week! Unsurprisingly, Lise was the evil Stasi spy we all suspected she was, and seeing her interrogate her former friend and colleague Pham pretty much ruined any chance of her later redeeming herself in my eyes (despite the fact I’m predicting she will later betray the Stasi for her brother-lover). Katia’s past finally becomes relevant, as she gives the anti-Stasi faction a symbol to rally under… seriously though, with the BETA swiftly approaching, you’d think the humans would have better things to do than to start a civil war!

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm was more downbeat than usual, but didn’t really have the serious drama needed to make up for the lack of comedy – while Misaki sulks about the fact she no longer finds flying fun, people are being killed and tortured in other series! Also, is it just me or did the art quality really drop this week? At least the Flying Circus match at the end looked as good as usual. I’m undecided when it comes to Inui’s ‘birdcage’ tactic, since although it’s supposedly spoiling everyone’s enjoyment, it’s not breaking any rules. Surely developing new play styles, and tactics to counter those styles, is something that should be encouraged in sport? I hope that’s the conclusion this series reaches in the end!

Okay, Ao no Kanata wasn't COMPLETELY devoid of the goofy moments we know and love, but I've come to expect more.

Okay, Ao no Kanata wasn’t COMPLETELY devoid of the goofy moments we know and love, but I’ve come to expect more.

General comments:

My thoughts on Norn9 are very mixed. A weirdly-paced info-dump episode, full of interesting revelations and plot development, but perhaps TOO full – I’d barely begun to take in one big piece of information before something even more shocking was announced! Ending with the biggest of all: that the role of the power-users is to ‘reset’ human civilization every 2000 years or so, when we’re on the verge of destroying ourselves. Their year 1919 is actually part of the ‘fourth history’, and is the year 8075 overall. Presumably Koharu and Co. will find some way to break this cycle, with or without using their powers.

Haruta & Chika could have been good this week. The mystery was genuinely interesting, and the usual character interactions (this time with the addition of the bizarre ‘first love sommelier’) never cease to amuse me… but the metaphors completely lost me. Who were the ‘Children of the Forest’? Why did Benjant kill them? And why didn’t Haruta or one of the other know-it-all characters answer these questions for me!? I know I’d have complained just as much if they did, but at least then I’d have closure! Until I learn otherwise, I’m just going to stick to the idea that Naoko’s aunt’s first love was a homicidal furry. 😛 At least the music was nice; every now and then they like to remind us this series is about a brass band club!

I've come across some weirdos in anime over the years, but this guy... and to think he found people to join his club!

I’ve come across some weirdos in anime over the years, but this guy… and to think he found people to join his club!

<< Winter 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 7

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