I decided to slightly change the weekly feature (which I started last week) from here on.
So instead of covering the entire week in one post, I’m splitting the feature into two different parts. I’ll first cover the shows I’ve watched between Monday through Thursday in one part (Side A), and then I’ll cover the shows I’ve watched on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the second part (Side B). This particular feature, by the way, was inspired by Ed’s Weekly Review Feature. He may not be as active these days (he did post something earlier this week, though, so yay), but I sure do miss his writing.
I liked the ranking thing I had going on in the first installment, so I’ll use the huge tier list for every week’s Side B. For the Side A’s – I’ll include pictures, I guess?
This was supposed to be published on Thursday, but I ended up having to catch up on more episodes of different seasonal anime than I usually do which pushed this post back, haha.
[From 1/15/2018 to 1/18/2018]
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (episode 2) – The series isn’t diverging from the gameplan that was established in the premiere episode and is content to follow its simple structure to the end – Nishikata and Takagi attempt to make the other blush through teasing and pranks, but Nishikata inevitably fails, blushes, and/or gets in trouble.
Contrary to what others have said, it’s refreshing to realize that their behaviour suits them since they’re only in middle school. There’s too many shows in which middle schoolers are pondering the philosophical meaning of life and the pursuit of happiness, which comes across as being too unrealistic.
As a comedy series, Takagi-san will be rather divisive – some viewers will find it to be hilarious, some viewers will find it to be boring, but nearly all will agree that the humor continues to be relatively wholesome. And sometimes some viewers may need that sort of humor in order to cheer up and get through the week.
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (episode 3) – Shirashi Yuzuki, the fourth and final member of the group, is introduced and is recruited to join their little circle. It just so happens she’s a high school celebrity, is guaranteed to accompany the expedition, and enables the others to officially join by her own request.
This particular episode explores the concept of what it means to be friends as well as revisiting the concept of having a meaningful youth. Both Mari and Shirase want to accomplish long-standing goals or dreams. Hinata wants to hang around authentic and sincere people and achieve something crazy before she’s forced to deal with entrance exams. And Yuzuki wants to make some friends for once. Although the fact that she’s a professional singer creates a sense of distance between the character and the viewer (since most viewers don’t sing for a living), Yuzuki’s personal desire and definition of a meaningful youth is perhaps the most relatable and may resonate for many viewers.
After completing the mandatory groundwork for a Cute Girls Doing Cute Things series, Sora yori mo Tooi Basho seems set to have the girls finally progress. Perhaps we’ll eventually find out what exactly happened to Shirase’s mom since there has already been several hints towards something deeper than expected in these last three episodes. For now, though, I’m very pleased to come along for the ride.
I wanted to believe that Hinata is the best girl, but Shirase sure provides some stiff competition. The fact that Shirase is self-aware of her own personal weaknesses is really admirable!
Violet Evergarden (episode 2) – Violet largely remains a stoic girl, a robotic and rude ex-solider who’s completely failing to re-enter society due to a failure to understand nuance and emotion while trying to learn what it means to love someone.
However, other characters, namely the other Auto Memories Dolls, are properly introduced and the viewers are given some insight into Erica Brown’s headspace. Violet’s straightforwardness and lack of social tact provides a solid parallel to Erica’s own inability to properly communicate as well as her lack of confidence in her writing. Both girls also come to realize that they’re not suitable to be Auto Memories Dolls but they still decide to keep at it for personal, important reasons. It’s also confirmed that something happened to Gilbert, but that’s been obvious since the premiere episode.
Violet will slowly continue to grow as a character, so expecting drastic results by the second episode is a bit silly. She does, however, change slightly towards the very end of the episode due to Hodgins’ kindness. This is going to be a slow burner and people will either love that fact or resent it.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san (episode 3) – dropped. Didn’t even bother finishing the episode because I became so bored. Even the yuri undertones can’t save this mediocre series involving girl(s) eating ramen.
Yuru Camp△ (episode 3) – The Outdoor Activities Club members (save Nadeshiko) find part-time jobs so they can buy camping supplies. Nadeshiko and Rin grow closer as they camp together. That’s basically all that happens in this episode, but it sure was cute and charming. The way Nadeshiko stuffs her face makes Shokugeki no Souma and Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san, two shows that are supposed to depict the joy of savouring delicious food, look like second-rate shows which lack purpose. And Rin’s deadpan manner and delivery is quite fetching, too. I imagine that not much is going to happen in this easygoing series, but that’s perfectly fine.
Märchen Mädchen (episode 2) – Suzuki, the main character, receives a crash course on the magic world, gets into a misunderstanding with a fellow mage who was helping her learn for ulterior reasons, befriends said mage along with another mage who happens to be insecure of her height, and learns about how there’s an upcoming competition for amateur mages.
In other words, Suzuki has already started her yuri harem and the series is already jumping into a battle tournament mini-arc. Suzuki also happens to have a strong power but is totally inexperienced when it comes to using it, so the battles in the upcoming episodes can really go one way or the other. So far, Märchen Mädchen is really standard fare for an isekai (which is sort of questionable given that Suzuki seems to freely enter and leave the two different worlds) / action series, aside from the fact that Suzuki is a wallflower who is easily flustered.
I’m just left wondering how the flow of time works between the real world and the magic world. Is she being a truant student and skipping classes to learn about magic?
Side note: I found out that the author of the light novel source material died almost two years ago. Light novel authors leave us all too soon.
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (episode 2) – Yoshikawa unfortunately can’t take the hint that Akira isn’t interested in him and can’t even remember who he is. But maybe Akira’s co-worker can help him look away from the girl who only has eyes for her middle-aged manager, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on what you think of this age-gap relationship that’s currently not a relationship.
It turns out that Akira’s injury was very serious and that she had no choice but to quit the track team despite being a talented runner after the audience witnesses exactly what happens should she choose to actually run.
The series continues to be incredibly not subtle with Akira looking like a sparkling painting of a candy-and-sweets shop whenever she looks at the manager, but I really do like the manager for his goofy and hapless nature. Still not sold these two should be a couple, however.
Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (episode 2) – it gets into the minor details no one cares about such as paying for things and the sensation of eating food. At least the audience is given some insight into the background of the world’s setting and we get to see Suzuki Ichirou / Satoo make use of some skills to get out of sticky situations. He’s also shown to be an actual nice guy since he helps out some demi-humans (which also parallels his behaviour in the real world where he tries to help out the lost little girl). His little snide remarks about how he would react if he was younger is also somewhat amusing, especially considering how he’s still obliviously misunderstanding despite being an older, “wiser” man in real life. The girl you saved near the end of episode 1 is totally crushing on you, you dunce.
Be that as it may, the episode was rather boring in general and I’m really considering dropping Death March by next week.
Miira no Kaikata (episode 2) – dropped. It may be inoffensive as a whole, but I already am juggling a lot of fluffy shows this season and this show simply isn’t as cute as the others.
That’s all for now, folks, until I write up Side-B on Sunday.
Do you have a favorite main character thus far into the season? Please let me know in the comments section down below!