Argh. Once again, quite a few non-movers, and most of the big jumps and drops come from series I’ve touched on recently. As ever, I’ll be happy to discuss any of these series and my reasons for ranking them as I have in the comments, but for now, time to look at some of the smaller movers.
3 – 91 Days ep 4 (↓ 2)
4 – Danganronpa 3: Mirai-hen ep 3 (↑ 2)
5 – Tales of Zestiria: The X ep 3 (↑ 11)
6 – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu ep 4 (↓ 3)
7 – Berserk (2016) ep 4 (↓ 2)
9 – Amanchu! ep 4 (↑ 2)
10 – Orange ep 4 (↓ 1)
11 – Rewrite ep 4 (↑ 2)
12 – Macross Delta ep 17
13 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 ep 17 (↓ 9)
14 – Handa-kun ep 4
16 – Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen ep 3 (↓ 6)
17 – Cheer Danshi!! ep 4
20 – New Game! ep 4 (↓ 2)
A second Top 5 place for Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin! This episode had so much going for it, starting with the continuation of the mock battle. Ikta’s strategies were brilliant, and worked exactly as he expected, earning him the respect of his unit (much to his own surprise). But while a character who’s too perfect could end up boring, his speech on the virtues of scientific thought and laziness ensured that wasn’t the case. Those are two things I can definitely get behind. 😛 Nice to see Torway get revenge on his older brother, too! Then suddenly, the Princess is kidnapped by soldiers loyal to Rikkan… and Yatori goes into berserker mode, finishing them all off. Quite a change in mood and pace compared with the first half, no tactics or celebrations. Just a lot of red. Great action, character development and direction; this series just gets better and better!
After several episodes of character introduction, and fruitless attempts to prove the existence of something occult (for the boobs!), Rewrite finally seems to be getting into the type of character arcs I’m used to from Key adaptations. First up is Shizuru – she has the ability to wipe people’s memories (among other ‘healing’ abilities’), and after losing control of this power, her parents no longer remember her at all. It had the potential to be quite tragic and heart-wrenching, but the fact that it came out of nowhere and felt extremely rushed lessened the emotional impact – I’m guessing the VN handled it better. The highlight of the episode for me was when the ‘ribbon ghost’ just walked into Kotarou’s classroom and started nibbling on him – aside from the cuteness and humour, we learned that she can’t be seen by other people, and that she’s not strictly nocturnal. The plot thickens, and all I hope is that there are enough episodes available to resolve everything!
Continuing the usual tradition of not talking about my favorite shows until they’re on their way down (I need to stop doing that), Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu has been brilliant so far – shame that this episode marks the series’ half-way point. 😦 King Andragoras’ unaided escape from prison was an amazing plot twist, but not a good thing for Arslan and his loyal retainers. They now begin the impossible(?) task of amassing an army of 50,000, starting in the seaport city of Gilan. A lot of humour in this episode, largely stemming from Narsus and Alfreed’s ‘relationship’! New character Shagad seems untrustworthy, and the issue of slavery is once again brought up as one of the main reasons why Arslan will struggle to gain more followers. The only real reason this episode failed to make my Top 5 was the lack of action when compared with earlier episodes, though the sea battle against the pirates at the end was very good!
91 Days is another show I’ve put off talking about – a very different pace this week, now that ‘Avilio’ and Nero are on the run, away from the mafia politics that dominated the first three eps. I started the episode expecting a serious, moody, violent drama, but instead witnessed Angelo’s driving skills, and belt-pinching skills, and weird way of eating pancakes, and was left in fits of laughter. Of course, he hasn’t forgotten his vengeance, and managed to learn some extra details about that night from Nero around the campfire. The dialogue and comedy would have gotten this a high rating this week even without the showdown with ‘Big Mexico Gorrilath’ at the end, though obviously as a fan of action, that was like icing on the cake.
The first three episodes of Cheer Danshi!! all focused on gathering new members for the male cheerleading club now known as The
Cherry Boys Breakers. Now that they have enough people to carry out some basic moves, however, I was glad to see them take a break from recruiting to actually practice with a highly-acclaimed girls cheerleading group. Haru’s fear of heights added some drama, but I feel it’s very harsh to write off this phobia as a lack of trust in his team mates. 😕 Aside from that though, Cheer Danshi!! is all about being fun and adorable; just a shame that it’s hard to rate the series much higher, when it’s playing out like every other ‘setting up a club from scratch’ anime.
Objectively, Hitori no Shita: The Outcast isn’t great. Fairly generic plot, below average animation (if extremely well choreographed in the fight scenes), and the awkwardly-timed flashback part-way through the standoff between Jo San’s group and Zensei really threw me off. However, I do like Houhou and Chulan’s developing S&M relationship – Chulan’s desperate grovelling, and Houhou’s attempt to cheer him up after he fell for Kenken’s trap were hilarious. 😀 There’s just something about this one that means I can’t hate it. I’m also curious to learn more about these ‘Outsiders’, and Jo San’s ‘delivery service’.