Spring 2016 Episode Rankings – Week 6

As I heavily hinted at last week, Endride will no longer be part of my lineup from here onward. I revisited four other Spring series, before finally settling on P.A. Works’ original mech anime Kuromukuro. The only downside I can see is that from now on, I’m actually going to have to put a show I like in last place!

Koichi seemed a bit wimpy for a JJBA main character, so I like this new side to him!

Koichi seemed a bit wimpy for a JJBA main character, so I like this new side to him!

1 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable ep 6 (↑ 2)

2 – Koutetsujou no Kabaneri ep 5 (↓ 1)

3 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 18 (↑ 3)

4 – Kuromukuro ep 6

5 – Kiznaiver ep 6 (↓ 3)

6 – Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge ep 6 (↑ 1)

7 – Sakamoto desu ga? ep 5 (↑ 3)

8 – Bakuon!! ep 6 (↑ 3)

9 – Macross Delta ep 6 (↓ 5)

10 – Ushio to Tora S2 ep 6 (↓ 5)

11 – Mayoiga ep 6 (↑ 7)

12 – Haifuri ep 6 (↓ 4)

13 – Joker Game ep 6 (↓ 4)

14 – Bungou Stray Dogs ep 6

15 – Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu ep 6 (↓ 2)

16 – Kuma Miko ep 6 

17 – Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? ep 6

18 – Big Order ep 5 (↓ 6)

19 – Anne Happy ep 6 (↓ 4)

20 – Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 ep 6 (↓ 1)

I liked the 'Yellow Crab's long arm, hand to hand mech fights are always cool!

I liked the ‘Yellow Crab’s long arm, close quarters mech fights are always cool!

Newly added:

I initially turned Kuromukuro down due to the CG mechs looking clunky compared with those of Macross and Gundam – the fact it didn’t have reliable subs at the time didn’t help its case either. Still, its strong debut score shows just how glad I am that I went back to it! Samurai mech from the past vs demon mechs from space, what’s not to love about that premise? Episode six was pure action from beginning to end, and it looked fine despite my initial fears. Ended on a huge plot twist as well! The series has also managed to fit in a lot of good comedy, Kennosuke’s reactions to modern civilization and technology never get old, and even in the midst of battle this week, the support crew’s dialogue somehow had time to poke fun at each other. In summary, definitely better than Endride. 😛

Moving up:

My opinion of Mayoiga was getting worse and worse with each week, as weirder and weirder things started happening without any clues or explanation about what was happening. Characters started disappearing, but it was hard to care since none of them had received any development whatsoever. Episode six was brilliant in comparison, as not only did we get some answers (whatever the horror in this abandoned village is, it takes on the form of a person’s biggest fear or insecurity), but we also got flashbacks to the past lives of several characters, which instantly made them more interesting to me. I assumed the flashbacks would trigger death flags for these minor characters, but surprisingly only Mikage remains missing. Seeing as we don’t have a single *confirmed* death yet, maybe they’ll all make it out? Either way, more flashbacks would be greatly appreciated, but hopefully they’ll be a bit less rushed when they reach the main characters.

The animation on the 'breast monster' was very nicely done!

The animation on the ‘breast monster’ was very nicely done!

Considering that this episode was mostly setup for next week’s cultural festival race (which ought to be amazing), ep 6 of Bakuon!! was great! Raimu and the principal have a beautiful relationship, both in the past and in the present, and I hope to see a lot more of them together in future episodes. That fleet of GPZ250Rs in all different colours, while a predictable punchline, was still fun to see. And then the second half focused on bike modding, from the invisible (oil additives etc) to the very visible (drills and mirrors). A lot of things such as the two-stroke engine and its benefits/drawbacks went over my head, as someone who doesn’t drive at all, but I love the attention to detail and the character’s (and original manga-ka’s) obvious love for their hobby. When they’re having fun, it’s contagious.

Moving down:

Eugh, did I say Big Order was safe? Episode five opened on a heavily censored bathing scene, where Kagekiyo groped all the other female characters, as anime would have us believe is tradition. Nothing to see but white light and steam, whether you enjoy such scenes or not. It then emerged that Iyo’s unborn baby disappeared – a huge disappointment, as Eiji suddenly becoming a father would have been a unique and interesting development. Then his sister woke up, learned that her illness was terminal, and… I think they had sex off-screen (but they’re not blood related, so it’s okay~). Rin suddenly started developing feelings for Eiji, in what could have been an amusing date episode if it wasn’t condensed into about 3 minutes… and then a villain with an overriding mind control Order showed up, and turned her back against him. Too much content (a lot of it bad, but some could have been good) in too little time, this show REALLY needs to sort out its pacing.

You don't have to be an expert at motorcycles to realize this isn't a good mod.

You don’t have to be an expert at motorcycles to realize this isn’t a good mod.

Joker Game is starting to suffer from my dislike of episodic series. Each of the spy operations have been watchable so far, and the ones with more in the way of action were genuinely entertaining. But our protagonists aren’t the most interesting bunch to watch, seeing as they’re trained to show as little personality as possible while blending in and completing their assignments. I could live with this if the targets or missions themselves were better developed, spread over 2-3 episodes, but these oneshots don’t allow for much in the way of story building. Still, better to keep things short and simple than to go the same way as Big Order. On the positive side, this week’s agent’s interactions with the three boys were cute, though I can’t believe he got them to do his spy work for him!

General comments:

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge is steadily on the rise, and would have been in my Top 5 if it weren’t for new challenger Kuromukuro. Of all the slice of life/comedy series in my lineup, it probably has the most in the way of character and relationship development, and all of it ridiculously cute. Tanaka-kun’s struggles with umbrellas and rain + his attempts to communicate after losing his voice were brilliant, and his sharing an umbrella with Shiraishi was adorable (I’d ship them, but Tanaka’s destined partner is clearly Ohta). The second half focused on Echizen, who mistook Tanaka’s laziness for a proposal from both him and Ohta, leading to further misunderstandings, awkwardness, embarrassment, and more adorableness. There’s no other way to describe this wonderful series, really.

I'm fine with Ohta's new deity status!

I’m fine with Ohta’s new deity status!

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