No new series entering the Top 5, and absolutely no change at all in the positions at the bottom! Perhaps things are less close this season than I thought? I’m certainly starting to form favourites now when it comes to the characters, which can count for a lot.
1 – Shuumatsu no Izetta ep 3 (↑ 4)
2 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 ep 30 (↓ 1)
5 – Drifters ep 3 (↓ 3)
6 – Yuri!!! on Ice ep 3 (↑ 1)
7 – Haikyuu!! S3 ep 3 (↑ 1)
8 – Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku ep 3 (↑ 6)
9 – 3-gatsu no Lion ep 3 (↑ 3)
11 – Bloodivores ep 3 (↓ 5)
12 – Hibike! Euphonium S2 ep 3 (↑ 1)
13 – Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin ep 3 (↓ 2)
16 – Nanbaka ep 3
17 – ClassicaLoid ep 3
There was no real competition this week – Shuumatsu no Izetta‘s third episode was spectacular. It started with very brutal and realistic-feeling war scenes, as Germania’s superior weaponry and numbers start to crush Elystadt. It felt very emotional, and very scary. But just when all seemed lost, Izetta jumped to Elystadt’s rescue, riding anti-tank rifles, taking down tanks with medieval javelins, and fighting tanks with swords. Felt a bit like the animated suits of armour from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. 😛 I doubt Germania will take that lying down though, and wonder how much of a difference one witch could make against a larger invading force…
3-gatsu no Lion kicked off with some serious shogi games, as Rei faced Nikaidou both in past childhood flashbacks, and in a present professional game. I can’t get my head around the rules for shogi, and the fact the pieces all look the same to someone who can’t read the characters on them doesn’t help! Despite that, it kept me entertained – it was more about the characters, and their desire to win than about the games or the moves themselves. It ended on a sadder note, with the outwardly jolly Hina crying over her lost mother when the rest of her family can’t see her. Plenty of great character development all around this week, and I hope we’ll be seeing more of Harunobu.
The pacing in Bloodivores has slowed right down – how much time has passed in-series since they arrived at the warehouse, and had these weird monsters unleashed on them? 10 minutes? 20? Despite that, and the below-average animation quality I’m coming to expect from Emon, the setting still interests me a lot. You’ve got a Battle Royale-type scenario where several people are forced into a survival game, using random weapons left for them in bags. Their collars explode if they attack each other. All the characters are vampires, and some of them have extra ‘hemomancer’ powers. Our protagonist Mi Liu has a really interesting past as the half-human, half bloodivore ‘child of hope’… and in this episode, it was heavily hinted that they’re in the future, perhaps having been cryogenically frozen after their ‘executions’? This show has potential. I just hope it ends better than Hitori no Shita did!
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans S2 was one of my most anticipated series of the season, given how much I liked the first half… but I’m really not feeling the same levels of excitement from it this time. Tekkadan were real underdogs to begin with, effectively child slaves and soldiers on Mars, who rose up against Gjallarhorn invaders, saved a Princess, and against all odds managed to escort her all the way to Earth, getting involved in a colony workers’ uprising on the way, and a battle to decide the next Prime Minister of Arbrau upon arrival. Now that they’re an established company on Earth and Mars, with upgraded mechs, plenty of new members, have close links with Teiwaz and Arbrau, and are even working alongside (one branch of) Gjallarhorn in this latest battle against the Dawn Horizon pirates, they no longer feel like underdogs. Still love the characters, but it’ll take a better plot than space pirates to recapture the excellence of S1 for me.
As much as I love UtaPri, it really doesn’t change much from season to season, or episode to episode, so I can’t see Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Legend Star rising up the rankings very far. That said, I was surprised at how well the Duet Project started! I was expecting sparks to fly as rival STARISH and HEAVENS members were paired off with each other, but Tokiya and Eiji instantly took to each other, and their first acapella song was really nice (despite the Engrish). 😛 Instead, the drama came from the fact that they sounded almost too good together, with Raging Otori attempting to poach Tokiya, promising him worldwide success. Of course, he decided to stay with STARISH, who resolved to up their own game. An enjoyable episode.
The Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru cast just keeps growing, far too large and too quick for me to keep track of anyone’s names. There’s very little time for meaningful character development. And this week, there weren’t any attacks from the History Revisionists either. Basically, it was just cute sword guys doing cute, meaningless things, which I’m fine with, but which doesn’t score well in these rankings! It started off with a trade quest, as Hirano (wanting to give Uguisumaru a gift) managed to turn a four-leaf clover into a castella cake through a series of unusual interactions with other characters. Then in the second half, they tied pieces of paper to a mystery tree, in hopes of turning it into a beautifully blooming cherry tree. Way to make it feel insecure about itself!