Spring 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 3

Back to twenty series, but I didn’t have to drop anything (yet) – Shounen Maid was delayed this week. Apologies in advance if I get my episode numbers confused at any point this season, they usually match for longer than this!

Best villain of the season so far, for me.

Best villain of the season so far, for me.

1 – Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu ep 3 (↑ 11)

2 – Koutetsujou no Kabaneri ep 2

3 – Joker Game ep 3 (↑ 4)

4 – Kiznaiver ep 3 (↓ 2)

5 – Macross Delta ep 3 (↓ 2)

6 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable ep 3 (↓ 5)

7 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 15

8 – Ushio to Tora S2 ep 3 (↓ 3)

9 – Bakuon!! ep 3 (↓ 3)

10 – Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 ep 3 (↓ 2)

11 – Haifuri ep 3 (↓ 2)

12 – Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge ep 3 (↓ 1)

13 – Big Order ep 2 (↓ 9)

14 – Sakamoto desu ga? ep 2

15 – Anne Happy ep 3 (↓ 1)

16 – Mayoiga ep 3 

17 – Kuma Miko ep 3 (↓ 2)

18 – Bungou Stray Dogs ep 3 (↓ 8)

19 – Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? ep 3 (↓ 6)

20 – Endride ep 3 (↓ 3)

Beautiful backgrounds as always from Production I.G.

Beautiful backgrounds as always from Production I.G. Clouds just about visible. 😛

Moving up:

I seem to be talking about Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu a lot, but I’m not exactly spoiled for choice in terms of series that have moved up… This episode was just one long, fantastically animated and directed battle, and nothing else this week came close to beating it. Elsa was even more skilled than I imagined, with Subaru, Rom, Felt, Emilia and Puck barely holding her off. Then Reinhard appeared, and showed us the true meaning of OP. I’m glad Elsa survived though – and Subaru as well, since it would be nice to progress beyond the whole insignia theft quest! All I hope is that he finds another ‘save point’ somewhere soon, though how this world or his power actually works remains a mystery.

The third episode of Joker Game had me disorientated at first, suddenly taking us away from the spy training in Japan, and into newly-occupied France, but given that our spy of the week (let’s go with Shimano, though who knows what his real name is) was suffering from amnesia and confusion himself, that worked well in my opinion. The rest of the episode was basically just him doing cool spy things, while his new friends in the French resistance betrayed each other. It’s really interesting to see a series like this where killing enemies and targets is actively avoided, even in as dangerous a situation as he found himself in. Presumably the show will continue to take this episodic approach, looking at different spies on different missions – good if so, but hopefully we’ll get some 2-3 episode arcs.

Atsushi still makes the best facial expressions, at least.

Atsushi still makes the best facial expressions, at least.

Moving down:

I like action. Episode 3 of Bungou Stray Dogs had action. Explosions, fights, all well-animated – I’m surprised at myself for rating it so low! But, for some reason I was left very underwhelmed… I guess it just feels too early for this kind of serious battle, we’ve had very little character development, just comedy, and now I’m supposed to care that two of them are grievously wounded? Akutagawa was a fairly cool villain, I guess, but it really feels as though he and the Port Mafia came out of nowhere, some buildup would have been nice. Hopefully the pacing and scripts will improve in later episodes, as I love the look of the show and its setting.

If we’re talking underwhelming, though, Endride is far worse. Endora is such a beautiful fantasy world with its green morning sky and purple twilight, and the character designs are nice as well, but that’s about all the show has going for it currently. Pascal keeps providing plenty of exposition and flashbacks, warning of the dangers of connecting their world to the surface, while our two male protagonists quarrel like particularly annoying children. If Bungou Stray Dogs went from 0 to 100 too quickly, Endride could really do with picking up the pace, or at least making better use of this time with better character development and dialogue.

Macross is a good one for facial expressions too!

Macross is a good one for facial expressions too!

General comments:

I really look forward to Macross Delta each week. While there’s not a lot happening here in terms of plot development either, with Hayate and Freyja both in training to be pilot and Walkure respectively, this series manages to remain highly entertaining thanks to great character interactions, small doses of action, and of course the usual brilliant Macross music. I like how Hayate does what he wants, when he wants, making him more interesting than a lot of bland protagonists (though I’m guessing he’ll have to tone it down eventually). Freyja is just cute, and I’m warming to Mirage now that we’re seeing more than just her serious military side. Bonus points for pointy ears, and for mercats~

The season’s other big mech franchise offering, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096, isn’t doing quite as well in the rankings – seeing as it was originally a series of hour-long OVAs cut down to TV length episodes, it’s inevitable that the pacing would feel a bit off. The unedited cut from the first to the second OVA in this episode was particularly jarring. The big advantage of being an OVA, though, is that the animation quality really blows everything else out of the water. There’s so much going on that there’s not been a chance to pause for character development or anything, but it’s setting itself up for an interesting story, and the fight scenes (and accompanying music) more than make up for the flaws so far.

Gundam Unicorn is too serious for silly faces... I love the older-style character designs, though!

Gundam Unicorn is too serious for silly faces… I love the older-style character designs, though!

<< Spring 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 2

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