Spring 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 2

I’m sure many readers are aware of the earthquakes that hit Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture this week; terrible news, and I only hope the worst is now over. Understandably, coverage of these events led to the delay of several series, with three of my lineup (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2Sakamoto desu ga? and last week’s #1 Koutetsujou no Kabaneri) still unaired or lacking a decent release. Rather than wait, I’ll leave them out this week, and hopefully they’ll be back for my next post.

However, because I had so little else to watch towards the end of the week, and in order to bring my list back up to the usual 18 series, I’ve picked up the late-airing Big Order. I’ll be wanting to go back down to 20 next week though, so something will have to go…

Only in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure...

Only in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure…

1 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable ep 2 (↑ 4)

2 – Kiznaiver ep 2

3 – Macross Delta ep 2

4 – Big Order ep 1

5 – Ushio to Tora S2 ep 2 (↑ 2)

6 – Bakuon!! ep 2

7 – Joker Game ep 2 (↑ 6)

8 – Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 ep 2 (↑ 6)

9 – Haifuri ep 2 (↑ 9)

10 – Bungo Stray Dogs ep 2

11 – Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge ep 2

12 – Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu ep 2 (↓ 8)

13 – Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? ep 2 (↑ 3)

14 – Anne Happy ep 2 (↑ 1)

15 – Kuma Miko ep 2 (↑ 4)

16 – Mayoiga ep 2 (↓ 5)

17 – Endride ep 2

18 – Shounen Maid ep 2 (↑ 2)

Feels like 2011 all over again~

Feels like 2011 all over again~

Newly added:

So, Big Order. An Asread adaptation of an Esuno Sakae manga, so if you’re a fan of Mirai Nikki, this one’s probably worth checking out. It’s even going to have an OP theme by Yousei Teikoku! Our main character looks like Yukiteru, but seems far less pathetic; there’s also a Yuno lookalike, but so far she’s all yan and no dere. And if you’ve not watched Mirai Nikki, none of the above is going to make any sense to you… suffice to say it should be a fun action/psychological thriller series featuring some unpredictable and bizarre looking characters with equally strange abilities. The couple of different powers we’ve seen so far make me feel this series has a lot of potential, and the music and animation are good too. That scene at the end, though!

Moving up:

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable has everything going for it that I liked about previous series. Again, awesome-looking stands with truly bizarre abilities are what make this so good – this week, Angelo’s Aqua Necklace managed to turn our new protagonist Josuke’s house into a death trap using just taps, kettles and humidifiers! But obviously our heroes were victorious in the end, with Angelo meeting a suitably comic demise. Not one for the squeamish though, even with all the censorship.

I'm interested to see why the German exchange student fled her ship... seems it isn't just the Harekaze whose school year isn't starting as planned!

I’m interested to see why the German exchange student fled her ship… seems it isn’t just the Harekaze crew whose school year isn’t starting as planned!

By far the biggest surprise of these first two weeks for me has been Haifuri. All of a sudden these happy high school girls on their fully armed battleship have been accused of mutiny, and are fighting to save their own lives… this episode was intense, and the setup for next episode promises even greater things. It also featured character development in the way of introductions to the rest of the cast, and a flashback to Munetani’s past. The big question is, how dark will things get? Will any characters (besides the rice cooker) actually get killed off, or will Captain Misaki somehow manage to get them out of this mess unscathed? Their early plot armour, and the strange contrast of moe and serious drama (which the show isn’t handling quite as well as, say, Madoka Magica or Gakkou Gurashi) are the only things holding this back.

Moving down:

While the slow pacing in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu worked nicely in its double episode debut, the downside was that half as much happened in this second episode. Subaru finally realized he has the power to restart his life from the save point at the fruit seller’s stand, met those bandits a couple more times, also befriended a guard, and tried to negotiate with Felt for the insignia – his battle with her was probably the highlight of the episode for me, very well-animated. We won’t find out the result of his attempts to change the future until next week. I also miss the relationship Subaru had with ‘Satella’ first time around.

Subaru's brief encounter with Elsa was scary!

Subaru’s brief encounter with Elsa was scary!

The only other show to move down was Mayoiga… I was really excited to find out what lay beyond the bridge, but it literally was just an abandoned village. Too early for any big shocks or twists, I suppose. Most of the episode was spent on further character introduction, as they split into different groups to explore their new home, but there are so many of them to cover that we didn’t learn anything meaningful – all that sticks out in my mind is that Mitsumune’s awkwardness around girls could prove amusing, and that Yottsun is a douche (a shame, as I liked his introductory rap). Something probably happened to the driver when they left him alone, but again, we’ll have to wait a while longer to find out exactly what.

General comments:

Even though it likely wouldn’t have made my Top 5 if Kabaneri hadn’t been delayed, I’d never have expected Ushio to Tora S2 to rank so highly back when its first half was airing. I almost didn’t pick this sequel up! But with all the character and plot development covered previously, S2 was able to jump straight into the action. Currently, nobody remembers Ushio and Tora, and they find themselves under attack not only by their old allies, but also by multiple Tora-like youkai (the leader of which is voiced by Norio Wakamoto – plus points for that)! And there was plenty of drama as first Mayuko, then Asako, then Ushio came close to sacrificing themselves in a giant forge. A great episode all-round!

More of this, and less monster-of-the-week, and the series could rank this highly on a regular basis.

More of this, and less monster-of-the-week, and the series could rank this highly on a regular basis.

<< Spring 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 1

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