As promised, I’ll be adding two additional shows to my lineup that didn’t air in time for Week 1. I had five in total to choose from, all pretty good, but in the end I settled for the Danganronpa 3 duo.
I decided from the start that I’d either be picking up both or neither, in case there was any overlap that meant I wouldn’t get a full story by watching only one, but they both had promising enough first episodes. Will I still be glad of this decision in the future, or (as with last season’s Week 2 addition of Big Order) will I be left in despair? 😛 One thing’s for sure, I’m not using the ridiculously-long full names!
2 – 91 Days ep 2
3 – Berserk (2016) ep 2 (↑ 2)
4 – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu ep 2 (↓ 3)
7 – Amanchu! ep 2 (↓ 3)
8 – Rewrite ep 2
9 – Tales of Zestiria: The X ep 1 (↑ 6)
10 – Macross Delta ep 15 (↑ 3)
12 – Orange ep 2 (↓ 6)
14 – Handa-kun ep 2 (↓ 2)
15 – Cheer Danshi!! ep 2 (↓ 5)
17 – Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara ep 2 (↓ 3)
18 – Taboo Tattoo ep 2 (↓ 11)
19 – Hitori no Shita: The Outcast ep 2 (↓ 1)
20 – New Game! ep 2 (↓ 3)
Starting with the higher-rated Danganronpa 3: Mirai-hen! This one focuses on a few characters we already know from the first Danganronpa anime. Naegi has now been accused of treason for helping the terrorists known as the ‘Remnants of Despair’, but what starts as an interrogation quickly descends into the same locked building survival game/murder mystery format as before, complete with Monokuma – but who’s the real mastermind this time? The new cast members all seem as bizarre as I’d expect from the original, so this should be good fun~
I was worried that Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen was going to be the same thing as Mirai-hen, but with different characters, which could have gotten repetitive fast. Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case; this first episode felt more like Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, with its eccentric teacher and disillusioned classmates – the shared staff and studio also contributed to that feeling, they’re very similar-looking! All that this episode did was introduce the (again, very eccentric) characters, so I haven’t a clue where it will be going from here… aside from the fact it’ll all end in despair.
So this week the proper ‘episode 1’ of Tales of Zestiria: The X aired, and we were introduced to characters who will hopefully survive a bit longer than those from the prologue! I really got into this episode, it delivered plenty of horror (such as the demon lice swarm, the living storm, and Alisha’s suffering in general), but also a real sense of adventure as both the Princess and new duo Sorey and Mikleo explored the beautifully drawn ruins. The next episode preview, animated in the same format as the game dialogue, was a great touch.
Also jumping 6 places is Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin. I was surprised that the party escaped from enemy territory so quickly, but I have no complaints – the way the show dealt with their killing enemy soldiers for the first time, and being respectful of the dead (and their Spirit companions) was well-handled, especially since a lot of series don’t bother with such things. This episode also threw in a great deal of the world- and character-building I was hoping for, but completely naturally, bit by bit, never feeling as though it was forced exposition. Ikuta really isn’t happy at having been made a soldier, noble and hero in one day, as a ‘reward’ from the Princess he worked hard to rescue, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here!
The biggest move this week was Taboo Tattoo‘s 11 place drop… I was impressed by the animation in the fight scenes last week, but this second episode focused more on plot and characters, and it just felt so generic (from the sudden transfer of Bluesy Fluesy into Seigi’s class, to her prolonged groping Touko’s breasts for no apparent reason). If that’s the writing quality we can expect from this series, my expectations will be set far lower moving forwards. The second half was considerably better, with the (quite rushed, but certainly memorable) introduction of villain Princess Aryabharta and her creepy assassins – hopefully we’ll be in for some great battles in episode 3, since that seems to be where Taboo Tattoo really shines.
I have to comment on Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, because that episode was soul-destroying perfection. It started with the deaths of virtually everyone Subaru held dear – quite standard for Re: Zero, I thought, this happens 2-4 times each arc… but of course it must be completely different to go through it in person, again and again. Then came his own first death of the episode – the horror of seeing your fingers snapped off and frozen to a door! 😮 But it really was just getting started. After spending his next revival as an empty, unresponsive shell, Subaru and Rem once again travel back to Roswaal’s mansion… and we finally get to meet the person responsible for these particularly gruesome deaths. He seems surprisingly energetic and enthusiastic for someone who embodies ‘sloth’! More death and despair follows, this time accompanied by Betelgeuse’s wonderful facial expressions. Yeah, this arc should be a good one!