Last Week in Two (Winter 2018 Anime Weekly Review #3 – Side A)

And here’s the two-part weekly feature where I review the shows I’m watching. This part covers the ones which come out between Monday and Thursday.

This post covers January 22nd, 2018 to January 25th, 2018.

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

Monday:

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (episode 3) – I’ve accepted that there’s really little to say about this show on a weekly basis, so I will not comment on this series moving forward.

With that being said, I’ve realized that I don’t particularly care about any of the characters aside from Nishikata. And that’s only because I resonate with his situation a bit too much lately. I do recognize that the characters as a whole are a bit flat. I am especially apathetic towards the three girls and feel like they detract from the show, to be honest. But the three stooges mix-up the temp and provide a change in dynamics so we’re not watching a silly boy get outplayed and outsmarted by a smug girl for 20 minutes straight, so there’s that.

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Tuesday:

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (episode 4) – the viewers are properly introduced to another onee-san (she’s Gin, the stern captain of the expedition and someone who personally knew Shirase’s mother) and gets to see how Mari’s cheerful attitude and determined mindset works to motivate the other girls and will probably help her do well in Antarctica. The girls are also shown to properly and diligently practice instead of rushing through trial runs (which is actually quite mature of them) and the episode captures a bit of their group dynamic which is silly, humourous, and endearing. Hopefully Shirase cheers up by the next episode since a lot of her vibrant energy from the previous episode was absent due to Gin’s presence.

The fact that Megumi seems to feel a bit left out after seeing Mari’s honest efforts to join Antarctica has me feeling a bit cautious. Is she jealous that Mari has other friends beside her? Does she regret urging Mari onwards? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m worried the pacing for the series will be slowed down once again as the next episode may potentially revolve around Mari reassuring Megumi. If that really is the entire focus for episode 5, then there will only be a little more than half of the season left for the girls to go on their adventure.

Given that there’s a sense of impending progress (after all, the girls basically did training camp in this episode to prepare) I shouldn’t be worried, but I don’t want to see the girls start on their journey right before the series ends. I want for them to reach Antarctica, for them to achieve their goals, and for the viewers to experience a sense of closure. But maybe I’m expecting too much. I hope I’m not.

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Thursday:

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (episode 3) – if I’m going to try to be subjective, then I want the records to show that I’m dropping the series because it wastes so much time telling and not showing by going into details about mundane events such as eating and buying stuff. Frankly, I don’t feel immersed or engaged by this clumsy attempt. I just feel like my intelligence is insulted and my time is wasted. The UI was pretty nice, though.

But if I’m allowed to be petty, then I want to say that the main character’s in-game voice annoys me, the weird vocal effect that happens when characters cast magic vexes me, and the series just plain ol’ bores me. I can think of a lot of things I can get done in 24 minutes and that I’d rather do instead of watching this lackluster series. But Run Girls, Run! and Wake Up, Girls! fans might want to at least listen to the OP and the ED, respectively. Those are some pretty nice tunes. Too bad it’s attached to a show like this.

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Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (episode 3) – I’m not sure this series has the chops to earnestly tackle the trials and tribulations that’s associated with a relationship between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl. As she’s a pushy adolescent who doesn’t really consider the consequences of her actions and dances to the rhythm of her emotions, Akira’s behaviour is to be expected. But I found myself to be disappointed in Masami’s conduct since he ends up getting swept up by her confession(s) and (reluctantly) agreeing to taking Akira out on a date. He’s a good man, but he’s also comes across as a weak and meek man in the face of Akira’s forceful approach. To his credit, he did try to talk her out of it, but it seemed half-hearted at best. At any rate, I’m still watching Koi wa Ameagari no You ni with bated breath to see if the series can gracefully handle this delicate issue.

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Märchen Mädchen (episode 3) – some needed world-building occurs since the meaning behind this battle tournament, as well as the meaning behind “library duty,” are both finally explained. Some nebulous adults who are pushing for elitist and exclusionary agendas and more (side) characters, who happen to be hotshot students who doubt Hazuki’s abilities, are also brought in.

The introduction of these doubters and haters just happen to align with Hazuki flubbing with the simple magic that’s a requirement to participate in the tournament. Even though Hazuki is overjoyed that she’s finally made friends and can perform some difficult magic, she still has a poor self-image and low self-confidence which means she is unable to successfully complete the aforementioned entry-level magic. She’ll have to personally change and confront her personal demons before the tournament occurs, which is set to happen soon.

This episode confirms that Hazuki does spend time in “the real world” and in “the magic world,” which makes me wonder if she’s properly keeping up with her studies. This week also confirms that
a) Hazuki becoming naked due to magical mishap is probably going to become a running gag and
b) Hazuki is a yuri fan and her heart flutters around her forceful step-sister. Nothing will happen between these two sisters, of course (do take note how she refers to Shizuka as someone she loves as she lies to her older sister), but it’s nice to see said onee-chan being obviously supportive of Hazuki.

All in all, this week’s episode seemed to have been delaying the inevitable tournament arc which has me a bit worried about how the next episodes will unfold.

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Miira no Kaikata

Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

Yuru Camp△ (episode 3) – Aoi, Chiaki, and Nadeshiko go camping on their own while Rin heads over to Nagano (Saki fans where you at?) to camp by herself. This episode seems to have been intended to serve as a precursor to the next episode which will likely be about comparing and contrasting two very different camping ideologies: to be with others or to be by yourself (the reason I’m making this “bold” prediction is because the title for next week’s episode 5 is “Two Camps, Two Campers’ Views”). I don’t doubt that most viewers will like Nadeshiko, Rin, or Ena (Rin’s friend) the most and will overlook Aoi and Chiaki, but it was nice seeing Nadeshiko interact and get along with the other members of the Outdoor Activities Club. They’ll get Rin and Ena to join sooner or later. Probably sooner.

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Violet Evergarden (episode 3) – this week’s episode is more or less a repeat of what happened in the previous episode except Violet goes to typing school. The fact that she’s only able to interpret words curtly and literally while lacking any sense of nuance is hammered into viewers’ heads once again.

This episode, however, switches focuses from Erica to capture the struggles of Luculia, an aspiring and promising Doll who struggles to tell her true feelings to her older brother, who is a handicapped veteran. Violet actually ends up taking a step forward towards learning what it means to feel and love since she ends up using her bluntness to write a proper letter as a result. In the end, viewers are left feeling like there’s still some hope for Violet. It remains to be determined whether or not the viewers will be let down or if KyoAni continues to lack subtlety as if the ones behind this production were closer to being like Violet rather than Luculia.

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That’s all, folks! See you in Side B!

15 thoughts on “Last Week in Two (Winter 2018 Anime Weekly Review #3 – Side A)

  1. I’ve not started watching too many series this season; sinceI’m fighting to finish series I’ve neglected from seasons past. I was interested in “Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san,” but it seems rather one dimensional from your review.

    You made some good points about After the Rain, some I did not consider. I was focused last week on how Akira’s parents might react knowing that her much older boss took her to a “lover’s lane-esque” spot to deter her from her silly notions about liking him.

    Thank you for the thoughtful reviews.

    Like

    1. Mmm that’s something that happens to all of us. I can relate.
      That’s basically my opinion of the series, yes, but to its credit the humour is wholesome. Comedy shows as a whole can really be hit-or-miss.

      Ah, her mother might have worried about how she and her boss went to such an isolated place, but it might be possible that Akira’s mom had never even considered how such a situation could be dangerous (assuming that Akira even tells her about this particular event, which is unlikely). I’m specifically mentioning Akira’s mother since I don’t believe I’ve seen any mention of Akira’s father. When the manager tried to visit Akira’s place, Akira said her mother was out. When Akira was hearing the news from the physician, we only saw Akira and her mother. When Akira was thanking the manager for the jelly, she only mentioned her mother.

      This leads me to think that it’s very possible that Akira’s father isn’t present in the household. Perhaps that’s why she’s drawn to the manager, who /is/ a dad and acts like a bumbling one. I had never considered this until just now, so thank you.

      And thank you for dropping by.

      Like

  2. I thought Kyoani handled the first episode of Violet Evergarden super well though…I have to agree with you on this episode, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if the lack of subtlety could be due to the original plot as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm I liked the first episode more, but I was also cautious back then, too.

      Ahh…calling out the studio would be unfair of me, then. I hate it when people do that. Buuuut I heard that episode 2 was an anime-original so that’s why I felt like I could say such things about episode 3. I don’t really know about the status of the events which unfold in episode 3, however.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that the story is going to make some progress from this point on. That is my only concern. As much as I love this, we are now heading towards episode 4, but we don’t really have a clue as to where the story is going to head to 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. YuruCamp is a winner in my books. I’m somehow managing to keep up with the other shows I’m watching, – all of them have started strong for me, as well. Hope you’re enjoying this season half as much as I am 🙂

    Like

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