Another week with a lot of movement, this has been a dynamic season! Things are really heating up now that several shows are nearing their end, making my decisions much harder, but I’m relatively satisfied with the order below – and am always happy to discuss my reasons in the comments with anyone who disagrees!
2 – Koutetsujou no Kabaneri ep 9 (↑ 2)
3 – Ushio to Tora S2 ep 10 (↑ 6)
4 – Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2 ep 22 (↑ 1)
5 – Bungou Stray Dogs ep 10 (↑ 3)
6 – Macross Delta ep 10 (↑ 8)
7 – Bakuon!! ep 10 (↑ 3)
8 – Kuromukuro ep 10 (↓ 5)
9 – Sakamoto desu ga? ep 9 (↑ 3)
11 – Joker Game ep 10 (↑ 5)
12 – Haifuri ep 10 (↓ 5)
13 – Anne Happy ep 10 (↑ 5)
14 – Kiznaiver ep 10 (↓ 12)
15 – Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge ep 10 (↓ 4)
16 – Kuma Miko ep 10 (↓ 3)
18 – Big Order ep 9 (↑ 2)
20 – Mayoiga ep 10 (↓ 5)
Bakuon!! loses only to action-heavy shows building up to their finales, or mid-season climaxes… wish I wasn’t so biased in favour of such episodes, but I can’t lie in my own rankings! But aside from its lack of explosions, combat and character deaths, Bakuon!! was on form this week. New character Chisame is brilliant – a professional circuit minibike racer, who puts off getting a public road license because of her short height, and belief that modifying bikes goes against the design of the manufacturers. Her excuses to try and avoid riding on any of the other characters’ bikes, even going as far as to compliment Rin, were very amusing. Then when she did eventually choose to take her driving test, it was assumed she was already an expert, so the instructors didn’t even bother to watch her before passing her! I also loved how seriously she took the arcade racing game. Nice to see Hijiri making some progress as a rider as well~
I wondered why Ushio to Tora S2 seemed so fast-paced compared with its first half… or should I say first two-thirds (that sounds weird), since it turns out it’ll be finishing at 13 episodes! So we really are in the midst of the final battle here, which is just as well since I can’t see how they could string out the fight against Hakumen much longer, or follow it up with anything as good after all the buildup that went into it. Fantastic action scenes all around, and finally the tide is starting to turn in Ushio’s favour, but it was the Hyou vs Guren battle that really impressed me this week. I was wondering where they’d gotten to!
I only ever seem to talk about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable when it’s moving down… maybe because ‘awesome’ is its default setting, so there’s not much to say when it’s up in my Top 5? Either way, I don’t believe I’ve ever watched a bad episode of JoJo’s. This one was far from that, and was in fact hilarious – but it largely relied on one joke throughout, and I predicted the twist early on. Why should all other Stand users be presumed to be enemies, without a puppet master like Dio holding their brains at ransom? The initial ‘healing processes’ of the items on the menu were pretty horrendous though – that seems to be a theme this season, with this series’ own Crazy Diamond and Bungou Stray Dogs’ Yosano also taking the ‘hurt before healing’ approach.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a lacklustre reaction to the idea of a festival as in this week’s Haifuri! Maron proposes one to celebrate their crossing the Equator, a Japanese take on the line-crossing ceremonies of Western navies… and having read the Wikipedia article, I’m glad they didn’t faithfully reenact everything on there! For the first half of the episode, the rest of the crew don’t seem the least bit excited, but after Maron pouts and the Captain dons Groucho glasses, they decide it might be fun after all, and their skits and songs in the second half were some of the funniest things I saw all week. Shame it took them so long to get motivated, more of that and this episode could have been up there with Bakuon! No doubt this is the calm before the storm, with the location of and the situation aboard the Musashi still unknown.
Apparently the next episode of Big Order will be the last, so I’ll save any comments on the series as a whole until then, on the off chance that the ending somehow redeems everything else that happened. I suppose ep 9 was *somewhat* better than the terrible episodes 5-8, given that it had so little time in which to basically reveal everything about Eiji’s father, Sena’s order, this whole gate thing with the multiple universes, and who was actually to blame for the ‘Great Destruction’. All this while also managing to fit in yet another heavily censored sex scene, and giving screen time to the rest of the show’s large cast. It certainly wasn’t boring, but that’s about the only positive thing I can say about it.
Despite my overwhelming positive thoughts about Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, I’m starting to realize that it’s also lacked a real plot for the majority of its run. It’s literally just been fun characters fighting zombies on a train with glorious action scenes (which was still enough to get it to #2 this week!). Now that the Hunters have been introduced at this late stage, and their leader Biba has shown his true colours by releasing a whole load of Kabane into a previously safe station, I hope they can follow it up by telling us more about his relationship with the Shogun, and his reasons for doing all this. We really don’t know all that much about the government in this world at this point, after all. At least Koutetsujou no Kabaneri still has three episodes to play with, so there’s still hope this will be addressed later.