One third of the way through the season and, although there’s not much separating them, my top 4 seems to have stabilized! Hopefully we’ll see some movement before long, as these posts could get quite boring otherwise… moreso than usual, I mean. 😛
5 – Berserk (2017) ep 4 (↑ 2)
6 – Alice to Zouroku ep 4 (↑ 7)
7 – Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho ep 3 (↑ 4)
8 – Granblue Fantasy The Animation ep 4 (↑ 2)
9 – Renai Boukun ep 4 (↓ 4)
10 – Re:Creators ep 4 (↓ 2)
11 – Clockwork Planet ep 4 (↑ 3)
12 – Danmachi Gaiden: Sword Oratoria ep 3 (↑ 4)
13 – Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine ep 4 (↓ 7)
14 – Little Witch Academia ep 16 (↓ 5)
15 – SukaSuka ep 3 (↑ 4)
16 – Kabukibu! ep 4 (↓ 1)
17 – Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation ep 16 (↓ 5)
18 – Sakura Quest ep 4
19 – Hinako Note ep 4 (↑ 1)
20 – Sagrada Reset ep 4 (↓ 3)
Alice to Zouroku got off to a shaky start. The double-length intro episode was good, but after that, we didn’t see a lot of Sana and Zouroku interacting together. First he leaves her with his granddaughter, then he gets in touch with a government worker (this guy seems to have contacts all over the place) who surprisingly knew what she was. Pigs were created, and there were many cute scenes, but the pacing seemed really sluggish. Then this week, we learned that unlike the other ‘Dreams of Alice’, Sana is not human, something that even she wasn’t aware of. Minnie C’s cruel words and methods, Sana reaching out to Zouroku in a moment of deep despair, and his not caring about her true form and wanting to love and protect her anyway, made for an amazingly strong and emotional episode, definitely the best the series has offered so far.
Just above it is Berserk (2017), which has quite a different feel to the previous series already! Guts seems to have embraced his new role as mentor for Isidro, accepted Farnese and Serpico into his party, and now it looks like Schierke and Evarella will be tagging along as well! All the more people to help him keep his rage in check and protect Casca, I guess. This episode had some great comedy moments courtesy of Isidro and Puck, as well as more serious character development as Farnese starts to feel like the useless member of the group, and Serpico finally gets to talk one-to-one with Guts. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the CGI, but I don’t think I’ve seen any horrendously badly animated parts this series. The trolls were scary, and I liked the golems as well – I look forward to seeing what other monstrosities this dark fantasy world has to offer!
I’m surprised that Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine remained so high in my rankings for so long, given that it was quite slow-paced even compared with other comedy series this season – It took three episodes to get the princes into their first class! I think the extra time spent introducing them all worked in the show’s favour, however; it was great to see how quickly Haine was able to win over even the stubborn Leonhard and (my fave of the four) Bruno. Haine’s monotonous voice and the numerous chibi moments just seem so out of place given how skilled and intelligent he is, and it proved to be a winning combo. Four weeks in, however, and already it could be getting a little predictable/repetitive. I’ve seen the whole ‘sheltered royals not knowing how to buy things or eat fast food’ thing before, and there doesn’t seem to be much to the brothers aside from their extreme personality quirks (yet). Their surprise party for Haine was adorable, however.
I took a gamble in giving Sagrada Reset a chance, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off. As I said in Week 1, the premise is great, but the execution leaves much to be desired. Characters deliver long, complex, philosophical info-dumps in the most monotonous voices ever (works for Haine, but certainly doesn’t here!). There are so many characters with so many abilities, many with rushed introductions, so I often can’t tell who is who, what they can do, or what their relationship is to other characters. And then of course there’s the time travel element – brilliant if done well, but in this case the poor scripting, pacing and overall presentation just made it impossible to keep track of what was going on. For me, at least. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough to understand it, but the show doesn’t excite me enough to justify multiple rewatches. Thankfully, the next ep is stand-alone, as opposed to another 2-parter; that’ll be it’s last chance to win me over.
I am absolutely loving Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul so far! 😀 The returning cast are as brilliant as they were in Genesis, but new character Nina fits in brilliantly, and is a suitably fun-but-powerful replacement protagonist for her Master Favaro (whose own reappearance I await with great anticipation and excitement). Her explanation to Azazel of how she transforms into a dragon, and the conversation that followed was hilarious. I love and hate our new villain Charioce too, haven’t a clue what his motives are at this point. As well as being hilarious, the series also caters to my need for action, especially this week, though so far Shingeki no Kyojin and Boku no Hero Academia have offered longer/more intense action scenes… hopefully it won’t be stuck in third forever.
Despite ending up in the red zone three times out of four, I doubt I’ll end up dropping Sakura Quest. It’s a slow-burner, given that it’s got 25 episodes to tell its story, and there’s not a huge amount of comedy either… but it’s different. It looks at a struggling rural Japanese village, desperate for tourist income, but unsure of how best to attract it. The new ‘Queen’ and her ‘ministers’ spend time talking to the locals, look at old projects to ensure they don’t repeat past mistakes, and come up with wacky ideas that please some people while infuriating others, who see them as blasphemous, disrespectful, or who simply dislike change. I can’t say I’ve particularly warmed to the large cast yet, but I am interested in sticking around to see what else they come up with, and what other problems they face along the way.