As promised, now that I’ve had time to catch up on half a season’s worth of episodes, I have two new series to add to my lineup: Occultic;Nine and All Out!! They may not have debuted particularly highly in my rankings, but that only gives me more confidence that I picked up the best that the season had to offer right from the start~ That, and they’re far better than the shows they replaced. 😛
2 – Bungou Stray Dogs S2 ep 7 (↑ 4)
3 – Drifters ep 7 (↑ 1)
4 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 ep 34 (↓ 1)
5 – Shuumatsu no Izetta ep 7 (↑ 6)
6 – Flip Flappers ep 7 (↓ 4)
8 – Yuri!!! on Ice ep 7 (↓ 3)
9 – 3-gatsu no Lion ep 7 (↑ 1)
11 – Haikyuu!! S3 ep 7 (↓ 2)
13 – Occultic;Nine ep 7
14 – All Out!! ep 7
15 – Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari ep 7 (↓ 1)
16 – Lostorage incited WIXOSS ep 7 (↓ 1)
17 – Bloodivores ep 7 (↓ 4)
18 – ClassicaLoid ep 7 (↓ 2)
19 – Nanbaka ep 7 (↓ 1)
20 – Show by Rock!! # ep 7 (↓ 3)
Occultic;Nine was my most highly anticipated new series of the season, another story from the brains behind Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes, but with a paranormal twist instead of the usual science. However, the first episode was a mess. Diabolical pacing, too many characters saying too many things too quickly, and the little dialogue I could follow didn’t seem to have much substance to it. But it did end on an intriguing cliffhanger, so I gave it a second chance… and eps 2-7 have been far easier to follow. The most recent big revelation: all the main characters are dead, part of a huge group of 256 who just walked into a lake to their deaths, seemingly part of some dubious experiment. Yet here they still are, talking to each other and trying to solve the mystery of their own deaths. There’s tons going on besides that, all of it interesting enough that I can forgive the still-shoddy pacing.
Another high school team sports anime, when I already have Haikyuu!!? That’s pretty much the only reason I turned down All Out!! in the beginning, as most shows of this kind follow the same basic formula, regardless of the sport involved. But after revisiting it, I see enough differences here to justify keeping on both – rugby has far more physical contact, far more dirt, and a larger team of funny (and often funny looking!) team of characters to get to know. Like Haikyuu!!’s Hinata, All Out!!’s Gion is a short guy who seems ill-suited for the sport at first glance, but who possesses one specific skill that makes him stand out. Unlike Hinata, Gion has no respect for his elders, going off and hiring a professional instructor without telling anyone. 😛 These recent eps with the new uber-strict coach have been particularly good… and this is just a training arc, so with any luck the actual competitive matches should be even better!
Not many to choose from here, and I’ve said enough about Izetta, Drifters and Bungou Stray Dogs for now, so 3-gatsu no Lion it is! Definitely one of the better slice of life series I’ve seen in a long time, quite bittersweet as it continues to contrast Rei’s sad past and lonely home and school life with the happier times at the Kawamoto household. Ep 7 continued where the previous one left off, with Hina’s crush Takahashi arriving on the scene, Hina herself running away flustered, and Rei being left to talk with the huge middle schooler by himself. But rather than descending into the love-rival drama I was expecting, it turns out Takahashi is a fan of Rei, and took inspiration from his decision to go professional at a young age! This leads to Hina learning about Rei’s job, then to her wanting to learn how to play shogi herself, then to Rei and Nikaidou instructing her. A lighter and funnier episode than the last few, and I loved the cat shogi ending theme.
Flip Flappers finally leaves my Top 5… the episode was far from bad, but this week’s Pure Illusion wasn’t as weird and wacky as usual. It was fun to see Cocona interact with all the different ‘Papikas’ though, and there was something very unsettling about the lack of all other life in this version. I’ve enjoyed reading other peoples’ interpretations of what it all means, as I’m completely lost at this point. 😛 We finally got an explanation about what Pure Illusion is: a parallel world, simple as that, but one with deeper levels that can have ‘ripple’ effects on their world if interfered with. We saw this after last week’s ep, where the duo seemingly changed Iro-senpai’s past, resulting in her having a very different personality in the present. We also learned that Yayaka isn’t the most respected member of her rival organisation, owing to the fact that she doesn’t have a partner like all the other ‘amorphous children’ do. All very intriguing stuff!
I continue to be disappointed with Show by Rock!! #. I mean, it features characters I love doing cute and/or amusing things, so I’ve yet to see an episode I’d call bad… but while the first series had constant conflict with Dark Monsters, the new threat posed by Dagger and Bud Virgin Logic seems to be the last thing on anyone’s mind, even though we’ve seen that it could end with the destruction of their whole galaxy! Instead, we saw Cyan struggle under the pressure of having to write a new song, and run away from the rest of her band instead of asking them for help, only to learn the error of her ways with some helpful ‘training’ from King. Very predictable. King’s constant presence by her side as ‘Strawberry Heart’ is another thing I miss from this series, thinking about it. On the positive side, ShinganCrimsonZ and Tsurezure were as hilarious as ever.
Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin, meanwhile, continues to be far better than its first series was, for me at least. After Azuma and Guy met up at the end of the previous ep, I couldn’t see things ending well for our main character, but Guy just let him go. Always the deceptively friendly puppet master, I can’t say I dislike that type! Meanwhile, Tsuwabuki teaches the rest of Azuma’s team how to bring out their Bubuki’s full potentials, allowing them to fight on the same level as the enemy Buranki users… while sacrificing defenses and putting themselves at greater risk. There were laughs as Epizo’s group mistook clear symptoms of lovesickness for heartburn (quite a deliberate play by Farrah, I believe), and there were tears as Kaoruko finally came to terms with her father’s death and made up with her brother. I still don’t know exactly where this series is heading, but it’s far more enjoyable this time around!