You’d think that with as many as 20 series on the go, I’d have plenty to watch every night – this isn’t the case, as half of my lineup are either already out, or due to air between my posting these on Sunday morning and Monday evening before I return to work. With such a large pile of episodes and two days off to watch them, any plans to hold some back for later inevitably fail. 😛 At least it gives me more time for gaming during the week~
1 – 91 Days ep 3 (↑ 1)
3 – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu ep 3 (↑ 1)
5 – Berserk (2016) ep 3 (↓ 2)
6 – Danganronpa 3: Mirai-hen ep 2 (↑ 5)
8 – Taboo Tattoo ep 3 (↑ 10)
9 – Orange ep 3 (↑ 3)
10 – Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen ep 2 (↑ 3)
11 – Amanchu! ep 3 (↓ 4)
12 – Macross Delta ep 16 (↓ 2)
13 – Rewrite ep 3 (↓ 5)
14 – Handa-kun ep 3
15 – Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara ep 3 (↑ 2)
16 – Tales of Zestiria: The X ep 2 (↓ 7)
17 – Cheer Danshi!! ep 3 (↓ 2)
18 – New Game! ep 3 (↑ 2)
Since all the big gainers this week are series I’ve already talked about recently, let’s look at Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara instead. On average, the highest rated series of the season on sites such as A-P and MAL, but so far for me it’s been in or around the Red Zone. I’m finding it repetitive ALREADY, seeing the same old judges reacting in the same ways to remarkable food that I myself don’t get to taste, and we’re still quite early in the election! I’m more into this show for the comedy and the characters, but they’ve had less focus in this sequel so far thanks to the tournament (unless the comedy is there, but isn’t making me laugh?) This week’s episode was slightly better, as it introduced an interesting character in Subaru, and the fact that his match against Takumi will be a Shokugeki should add some excitement.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable returns to my Top 5, now that the excitement of all the shinier, newer shows is starting to die down a bit. Also, it had Jotaro and Josuke facing super intelligent sniper rats, what’s not to like about that? 😛 Here’s a series that somehow never gets repetitive, always finding new and unexpected ways to be bizarre and gruesome. My only real complaint about Part 4 as a whole is the lack of true direction or ‘adventure’ – it’s more wandering around Morioh, stumbling upon and mopping up rogue Stand users, with no ‘big boss’ since Otoishi Akira and Red Hot Chili Pepper were defeated. A minor quibble, since every episodic Stand user they’ve met so far has been great, but having a main villain to aim for certainly added to earlier series.
Another series that already feels repetitive is Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! Love!, but that was inevitable since it parodies highly formulaic magical girl shows. Seeing more of Yumoto’s past and Gora getting some focus was great, but overall the comedy and bath talk wasn’t as good this week in my opinion (aside from the throwback to the toothbrush episode), and the monster battles at the end have never been particularly gripping to me. The previous episode got a boost from the Beppu twins’ introduction, song and first transformation scene, but now that I’ve seen that all twice, I’m starting to feel already that they’re not as interesting as the school council.
I really hoped that Amanchu! would hold onto its high ranking despite being slow-paced and lacking in action, the polar opposite to the kinds of episodes I’d usually stick in my Top 5… but I can’t lie, all the conflicts and drama of the higher rated episodes appealed to me more than the pure happiness radiating from this lovely series. Learning the basics about air pressure while diving was nice, and I laughed when Pikari and Teko were confronted about their sneaking into the club room previously. Their developing friendship is brilliant. Hopefully the introduction of new characters in the coming episodes, and seeing some actual diving will bump this show back up a bit.General comments:
In terms of content, Berserk (2016) was always going to have a lot of appeal to me. So far, we’ve had three episodes of concentrated blood, guts and horror! I find Guts (the character!) a really interesting protagonist, from the way he fights to his reasons for fighting. His dialogue is a lot more amusing than I remember from the 1997 anime too, now that he has Puck to retort to. Obviously, the animation style will be the key factor for most people when deciding whether or not to watch this – on the one hand, it does make the action scenes a lot more dynamic and entertaining than the first anime (which often used static pans and movement lines)… but on the other hand, as we found out in this week in particular, the quality is very inconsistent. The sudden switch to 2D animation for a certain horse scene was unexpected, and looked far worse than the studio’s 3D efforts. If it weren’t for that, this episode would be rated much higher.
Finally, Handa-kun is an odd series. It pretty much takes last season’s Sakamoto desu ga?, but replaces the protagonist with Handa Sei of Barakamon. The similarities between the two shows are the reason I’m not enjoying this more, it’s too similar, too soon. The only real difference is that to us the viewer, Handa is far less mysterious. We get to see what he is thinking, and know he isn’t trying to impress his classmates (and is in fact completely unaware that they respect him)! Early episodes have focused on members of Handa’s fan club, who all went from hatred to adoration in the space of half an episode or less (just like in Sakamoto), as a result of mutual misunderstandings. Again, it was getting a bit repetitive, but the last segment where we learned the reason behind Handa’s situation really made me laugh, and is the reason this ep avoids the Red Zone. Here’s hoping future episodes are more varied, now all the fanclub members have had their introductions.