It’s week 5, and as usual I’m considering making some changes to my lineup for the second half of the season.
While I usually turn to members of a forum I moderate for help deciding what else to pick up, my calls for recommendations have gone unheard this time for some reason. So, if there’s anything not listed below that you think I should be watching, please let me know, as not even I will have the time to revisit everything.
1 – 91 Days ep 5 (↑ 2)
3 – Danganronpa 3: Mirai-hen ep 4 (↑ 1)
6 – Macross Delta ep 18 (↑ 6)
7 – Taboo Tattoo ep 5 (↑ 1)
8 – Berserk (2016) ep 5 (↓ 1)
9 – Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen ep 4 (↑ 7)
10 – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu ep 5 (↓ 4)
11- Amanchu! ep 5 (↓ 2)
12 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 ep 18 (↑ 1)
13 – Orange ep 5 (↓ 3)
14 – Handa-kun ep 5
15 – Rewrite ep 5 (↓ 4)
17 – Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara ep 5 (↓ 2)
18 – Cheer Danshi!! ep 5 (↓ 1)
20 – New Game! ep 5
The only series I haven’t mentioned even once this season (outside of the ranking list itself) is Macross Delta, which has been quite lackluster recently compared with the frequent Top 5 places it got this time last season. Less action + new songs and more talking + politics may be the reason for that. It shoots back up this week though, thanks to some great plot and character development – I enjoyed Cassim’s chat with Freyja (and later Hayate), a nice change of pace. Also great to see that the awkwardness between Freyja and Hayate didn’t last long, as I don’t think he should be judged by the actions of a father he doesn’t even know much about. And then there’s all the flashbacks and weird behaviour affecting Mikumo all of a sudden; she’s the one member of the main cast that I haven’t really warmed to (which I think is deliberate on the writers’ part), so hopefully that’ll change as we learn more about her past.
Representing the Danganronpas this week is Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen~ I’ve consistently rated this the lower of the two, though I notice it’s got a slightly better average score on most anime list sites… nothing new there! I guess my main reason is that I know what to expect from the survival game that is Mirai-hen, it’s everything I liked from the first series, and less formulaic to boot. On the other hand, I’ve found Zetsubou-hen’s wacky but increasingly dark school antics a bit hit-and-miss so far. The overlap that I was expecting between the two is starting to emerge though, and Zetsubou-hen benefited hugely from it this week; with Seiko chasing down Ruruka and Sounosuke in the future, and both sides blaming the other for getting them expelled, I enjoyed learning what really happened a few days later – neither was really to blame, it was all down to luck. More of this, and Zetsubou-hen should climb back up.
Orange just goes to show that even the best romance/drama series can’t compete in a summer full of action shows. Other than the lack of fights and the slower pace, I really can’t fault it. I’m definitely one for thinking back on events earlier on in my life, and wondering what would have happened if I’d made a different decision or acted another way, but Orange and Naho raise a good point in that, even if I received a letter from a future self telling me to do things differently, would my past self actually be confident enough to act completely out of character to achieve this? All the discussion surrounding parralel universes this week was interesting too – and with it, the realization that no matter what main character Naho does, it won’t help the Naho that sent the letter. I also enjoy the scenes showing the casts’ future/parralel selves, slowly revealing more about what happened to Kakeru week by week.
I don’t usually drop sequels, as obviously they must have done something to win me over first time around, and I’ll usually want to see the plot or character’s development through to the end. Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara is really pushing me though, as these continuous, repetitive food battles are starting to make me forget why I cared about the characters to begin with. Certainly from a blogging point of view, it’s giving me nothing much to talk about – the chef matchups and food themes are different each round, but that’s literally everything. Even taking a short break from the elections this week didn’t make any difference. Definitely in danger, but as ever I’ll give it another episode, in the hopes that Souma’s defeat of Mimasaka (or surprise defeat BY Mimasaka, that’d be an interesting twist) will win me back over.
New Game! is another series that’s doing far better in the average rankings on other sites – it was also named the most anticipated series each week by a large majority in a poll by Japan’s Charapedia. I have to say though, it’s barely doing anything for me. This isn’t just my preference for action speaking, I do usually enjoy these slice of life, 4-koma adaptations, but New Game! really hasn’t won me over. I’m not interested in the characters, the comedy rarely makes me laugh, and the game development is very much secondary to these things. I’m also not convinced that the constant yuri-baiting will go anywhere outside of fan-art and -fiction. Episode six had better be a good one!
Lastly, Handa-kun is one of the most consistent shows in my rankings, placing 14th four weeks in a row. While it still feels inferior to both Barakamon and Sakamoto desu ga?, two series that it’s hard to not keep comparing it to, it does at least make me laugh regularly. The first segment introduced the student council president, an androphobe who sees Handa and his popularity as a threat. I wouldn’t have had any problem with her character if it weren’t for the fact she kept calling her beliefs (chiefly making men slaves to women) ‘feminism’; the movement gets enough flack as it is without such stereotyping in fiction. I’m also disappointed that seeing Handa in a skirt was limited to the characters’ imaginations, but that’s just me. 😛 The second half, which saw him lose his memory and act obnoxiously, was probably the better of the two for me.