Winter 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 11

One week left before the winter season ends, and things start to finally feel a bit warmer (even if it’s only in the mind). Two series ended this week, taking my lineup back down to 18 for the finale… would they have benefited from another episode or two? My thoughts, as ever, are below.

Back at #1! I loved the conversation between these two.

Back at #1! I loved the conversation between these two.

1 – Durarara!!x2 Ketsu ep 11 (↑ 4)

2 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ep 24 (↑ 1)

3 – GATE S2 ep 11 (↓ 2)

4 – Boku dake ga Inai Machi ep 11 

5 – Haikyuu!! S2 ep 24 (↑ 3)

6 – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu ep 11 (↑ 1)

7 – Schwarzesmarken ep 11 ( 5)

8 – Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! ep 10 (↑ 4)

9 – Bubuki Buranki ep 11 (↑ 7)

10 – Osomatsu-san ep 24 (↑ 1)

11 – Dimension W ep 11 (↓ 2)

12 – Norn9 ep 10 

13 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 11 ( 7)

14 – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen ep 24 (↓ 1)

15 – Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm ep 11 (↑ 3)

16 – Active Raid ep 11 ( 6)

17 – Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu ep 11 

18 – Dagashi Kashi ep 10 (↓ 4)

19 – Haruta & Chika ep 11 

20 – Lupin III (2015) ep 24 ( 5)

:I

😐

Ending:

The final episode of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! was decent enough. I might have rated it higher, but it was a bit too similar to the dullahan fight for me – the sudden appearance of a powerful enemy, great mix of serious action interspersed with the usual comedy, and a huge reward that was instantly confiscated from our heroes to pay for the collateral damage. It felt a bit rushed in comparison as well, and the fact that the Destroyer couldn’t talk or react made it the less-interesting opponent (though the story of its creation was brilliant). Perhaps the best part of the episode was the announcement of a sequel right at the end, I’ll definitely be up for more Kono Suba, and I’m just glad I decided to give it another shot!

I really wasn’t expecting Lupin III (2015) to end this week; the episode count in Italy was 26, but apparently two episodes are going to be BD/DVD specials in Japan, so I’ll wait on those in order to watch them with the voice cast I’m used to. I found the final showdown with Da Vinci underwhelming in the end… Lupin trying to reach Rebecca in various different painted worlds was mildly amusing, but the way he eventually restored her memories was very cliche, and Da Vinci dying because his ‘clone body couldn’t contain his genius’ even moreso. Lupin III was never going to be the highest scoring series in my lineup, being mostly episodic and largely comedy, but on the whole I’m glad I watched it. A competent 4th series for the long-running franchise. 🙂

Haikyuu!! isn't only in my Top 5 because Sugawara got a chance to play. Honest!

Haikyuu!! isn’t only in my Top 5 because Sugawara got a chance to play. Honest!

Moving up:

Haikyuu!! S2 effectively ended this week as well, with the conclusion of the Aoba Johsai match. Even though the result was obvious to anyone who’s watched any sport anime (or shounen anime in general), the tension still kept it entertaining. That last play was amazing, possibly the best moment of either series, even if Sugawara did take a ball right to the face. 😮 Unsurprisingly, a sequel has also been confirmed for Haikyuu!!, and I will of course be watching that~

Moving down:

As is so often the case, Schwarzesmarken leaves my Top 5 more due to tough competition than through any fault of its own. Though the final showdown with Lise was always going to be a tough act to follow, episode 11 did a good job with its double-double cross and decent-enough mech fights. Shame that Beatrix didn’t get more character development, since her sudden rise to the position of ‘final boss’ could have been far more interesting if she had – as it is, I don’t really care about her that much. Gretel got killed off, saved, then killed off again in the space of a single episode… I hope she has the plot armour to survive once more, since I do actually like her.

I really like the backgrounds and character designs in Norn9, it's a pretty series, if nothing else.

I really like the backgrounds and character designs in Norn9, it’s a pretty series, if nothing else.

General comments:

After a week away, Norn9 returned with plenty of drama and action (and a very nice insert theme)! The ship has arrived at its final destination, where the power-users will decide whether to reset the world or not… but first, they’ve still got Kakeru’s father to deal with, and Koharu to be rescued! Bombs, guns, combat robots, and of course the various powers made it a fun episode to watch, but the plot revelations were of less interest to me – Yuiga being a robot and waiting thousands of years for his wife to be reincarnated came a bit out of nowhere, and he was killed off before he really had the chance to leave an impression on me. Pacing has been the real issue all the way through a series that had some really interesting ideas, and a ton of potential.

A very different episode this week from Boku dake ga Inai Machi! Satoru wakes up in an alternate future, where he saved the children who died in his original past, and they went and got married while he was in a coma. Shame, as I shipped Satoru and Hiromi… I mean Kayo. Or do I? Anyway, a lot of the episode focused on his slow recovery, both physically and mentally. Yashiro is still at large, and gets close to Satoru before his memories fully return – leading us to the cliffhanger at the end. While a lot of endings and developments this week were quite predictable, I haven’t a clue what’ll happen on the hospital roof between these two. 😮

The hamster scene was a great way to start this week's Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, giving us some insight into the way Yashiro's mind works.

The hamster scene was a great way to start this week’s Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, giving us some insight into the way Yashiro’s mind works.

<< Winter 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 10

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