Well, not as late as it could have been, but I digress.
We’re roughly on episode 9 territory for most episodes at the moment; and though I’m a little behind, so far, I have to say it’s been a season of serious ups and downs. I’ve picked up, dropped, returned to, and switched shows more times this season than ever. Which is pretty odd, eh?
Anyways, as usual, I’ll summarise the five shows I am currently watching:
Oddly enough, this is show that I’ve remained watching all the way through. It’s had consistant development and an ever-present entertainment value. Hilariously, for a show dedicated to Yamada getting laid, there’s almost zero fanservice involved; and you know what: it’s far better that way. I know the concept would put some people off; but you really have to give it a chance. I’d hazard it’s probably the most entertaining of all this season.
And ye gads…there’s far more relationship progression in a show like this than is usual. Though it’s Yamada, so she gets the order wrong all the time (our progression is: Show chest => Put through Hell => Vote for me! => French Kiss => OMG A rival appears => Somehow fall for => Take photos of me! =>OMG Romance => Realise Feelings => Amazingly gutsy public confession from male character => Actually I don’t mind => OMG A rival appears again)
The fact that I can make that flow chart so long is incredible. A normal ‘romantic comedy’ might not manage that in 26 episodes, but B-Gata has done it in 8 one shots!
Yamada re-affirms her lifelong goal. Cue Ojou-sama laugh. Bwahahahah! (It! ITS OKAY! I’m not in love, everything is fine!!)
Although ^ this girl ^ is the real Ojou-sama (the aformentioned ‘rival’). She has a perpetual sparklies aura and a two-face personality. And she loves her brother too much.
Wait, you’re not allowed to compliment me now. Wait what? Wait, Yamada is confused. Gah…
Anyway, it’s gone from strength to strength, and I look forward to seeing what they do with the ending (I mean, content wise it’ll be fairly obvious, but the execution continually surprises me in a good way).
K-ON Season II
I was very wary of what they might do to K-ON this season, and whilst it has had it’s ups and downs, it has been generally decent. There’s been very few laugh out loud moments like they managed in season 1 though. I hear alot of people have been bitching about the fact that there’s not been enough music (there’s only been 1 new song so far, and almost all their performances are cut short to under 30 seconds). Even so, I’ve often been of the thought that the music side of things was always merely a Plot McGuffin to give us a basis for the comedy to spring from, so it hasn’t really bothered me too much.
One does have to wonder about KyoAni, though. They seem to be rich enough these days to Sponsor THEMSELVES in the most recent episode. Which, whilst funny, does make you wonder if they’re being a bit arrogant, eh?
The recent episodes have had more gems in them such as this one. It was an episode studying Yui’s relationship with her Guitar, Gitah. The way they treated Gitah as somekind of boyfriend character was pretty funny.
Which led to Mio getting all broody over her Bass and even calling it Elizabeth. (Eleezabassu, in Japanese, LOL)
And then there’s comedy gold with Yui and Asuza doing the Manzai routine. (i.e. The straight guy/funny guy act, complete with slaps from the paper harisen (Fan))
It looks as though K-ON will almost certainly end with Season II, however, as the girls have just done their senior final exams; and Asuza will be left in the Light Music Club all by herself (!) for a year. Though, who knows what tricks will be pulled?
Mayoi Neko Overrun
Well, I’ve never seen a show so intent in taking the piss out of itself than this one. This works magnificently up to about episode 5; especially their freaking amazing take on the cliched hotsprings episode , which had me REALLY splitting my sides, it was that good: from the Nyaa-Fan, through the epic table tennis battle, right up to conservation of body heat rule gone VERY VERY wrong.
Unfortunately, it goes so damn far at certain points, like in episode 6, that it sort of stops being funny and loops into this feeling like they’re trolling the viewers because they start to head into Excel Saga stupidity and randomness, whilst dropping the interesting relationship development, good character cliches and just the right amount of tongue in cheek.
Thankyou for that insightful comment, Nozomi.
Epic Table Tennis battle from episode 4 that had slow motion Matrix moves (and of course, crazy needless fanservice).
And now, suddenly it’s a cliche Mecha show called Grand Braver. Wait what!?
I’ve been a little reluctant to carry on past episode 7 after the crazy mecha show piss-take, which, whilst funny in its own way, seems to have completely lost the plot. I have heard that things suddenly find themselves again on episode 9, however, so I may get around to plowing through the 8th episode, which is apparently about Jenga (yes, the blocks removal game…).
This is the textbook case this season of ups and downs, which it really has had…nevertheless, I certainly recommend you look into the earlier episodes, as they are pretty great.
Senkou no Night Raid
This has been suffering from a rather slow translation speed, with a 2-3 episode lag. However, this is actually to be roughly expected, since it mixes up a copious amount of Mandarin and Japanese and covers a highly contraversial bit of history, so I guess it’s quite a challenge for the fan-translators to keep up. It is very interesting, from what I’ve read about later episodes, that they’re not afraid to tread highly contraversial ground (the Japanese don’t like to talk about the Mukden and Manchuria incidents).
What’s even better is that they’re perfectly lampshading that fact by overlaying the political, historical story with a whole bunch of very well chereographed battles between people with powerful special abilities and contrasting beliefs. Hence, if anyone calls them on their views, they can just say: “look its a fictional story, no really!!” and actually get away with it.
Whenever Kazura and this guy fight, you know you’re in for a treat, as they both have instant rapid teleportation, which makes for some great fight scenes.
Epic Subtitle, eh?
I’m sure this cat also has special abilities. It steals a bag and perfectly wears it without anyone noticing. Why a screencap of it? Who knows?
Though it didn’t turn out at all like ‘Allison & Lillia’ as I first anticipated it might do, I am rather pleased with it’s direction and look forward to seeing the eventual translation of the later episodes.
This is one of those shows where you may not laugh immediately upon seeing the gags, but somehow, when you think about it later, it cracks you up. Well, at least this was the case with me. Many episodes leave you with a hmm, but by the time the next ep swings around you sort of want to watch it again, like some kind of persistant habit. I guess this is because the whole situation is so…dysfunctional. I’m sure any regular resturant with these staff members would be out of business faster than…well…they wouldn’t last long…
What is perhaps most interesting here is how they sort of did a heel-face turn on main characters. It LOOKED like Popura was going to be our female lead, but really, Inami has gradually slipped into the spotlight, and Popura has become just a target for height gags. I was at first immensely irritated at her wild destructive androphobia, but they have gradually twisted it into something marginally likable; especially when it was finally explained in the most recent episode with a decent moral about how bad parents can really screw up a kid (and it was, in fact, a very good episode, despite involving crossdressing…).
Poor Souta. When HE was a 4 year old, his father thought it would be best to make him into a trap.
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Inami, now is not a good time to admit your hobbies…poor Souta…
Yeah, though we’re clearly on the Inami route now, I’m not too concerned anymore, though its a little bit of a shame that Popura got shafted as a result, since she IS probably cuter. Though this is (I think) an original anime, it does almost lend itself to being made into a visual novel. Which would be an ironic reversal.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed this mid-season post! Stay tuned!