I’ve even picked up another show since last time, though I dropped a short today. Such a busy season for me.
[Standard disclaimer: Not necessarily spoiler free.]
1. Bakuon!! [▲1] – 4 eps, 9/10 – [99% import]
Episodes 2 and 3 each improved over the last but episode 4 pushed this over the top. Bakuon was a strange little show from the start, but this week it really leaned full-on into the bizarre, and damn did it ever work. Sakura becoming bike buddies with god[??], Raimu being like… 35-40 years old, Rin’s Suzuki butt backstory, Hijiri having replacement bikes flown in by cargo chopper. The whole thing was ridiculous and it suited the show incredibly well. I hope it leans even further into this kind of crazy shit because it’s damned good at it.
1.5 Flying Witch [▲0.5] – 4 ep, 8.5/10 – [95% import]
I’m rating this 1.5 instead of 2 because… I can? Episode 3 was my favorite thus far, between Makoto’s sweater & braids look (Makoto is super hot, okay?) and meeting her sister (ditto), and of course yet more phenomenally timed jokes. The comedy kept up in episode 4 as well, particularly Makoto’s failed attempts to cure Inukai. I’m also in love with Makoto’s increasingly close sisterly relationship with Chinatsu (seeing them hold hands is just the most adorable thing) and how Chinatsu has gotten so used to meeting bizarre people and creatures. Like, she’s just stroking Inukai’s ears while totally ignoring the latter’s sad backstory and I’m laughing the whole time. It’s such a joy Oh, I also want to give points to Kei for being so relaxed about stuff that a lot of guys would take as “challenges to their masculinity” or some shit. Happened again this episode when he wasn’t overly embarrassed about being scared in the haunted house. He’s such a chill dude.
3. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge [▲▼new] – 4 ep, 8/10 – [50% import]
A challenger appears and jumps in way higher than expected. I got so many recommendations for this that I figured there had to be something to it. But what pushed me over the top was the promise of some yuri in episode 3. And while Miyano x Ecchan is friggin’ adorable and very very important, it turns out the whole show is damn good too. Even episode 1 amused me despite not involving the girls yet, and as soon as we met Miyano I knew this was going to be a very good show.
What stands out to me is the character designs. Miyano and Shiraishi in particular are. just. absolutely. gorgeous. I wind up screencapping virtually every close-up they get as you’ll notice if you see my twitter livetweet spam.
I’ve been impressed that it’s gone four episodes without any dumb het romance and while I don’t expect that to last (it seems like it’s giving Shiraishi a crush on Tanaka, for no real reason) I do think he show has earned a firm enough foothold with me that I’ll be able to stomach of a bit of that stuff. I just cannot see Tanaka himself giving a shit about romance though, so I hope it never gets serious. But regardless, they can’t take Miyano x Ecchan away from us after having Miyano express her love in such bombastically absolute terms, with Ecchan very happily returning the feelings. (If they /do/ backtrack on that I am dropping this so, so hard… but I think I actually trust the show not to. Famous last words, I know, but…)
4. Sansha Sanyou [▼3] – 4 ep, 8/10 – [80% import]
It’s still great, but I think my initial holy shit reaction was based on how incredibly dynamic episode one was. That OP is a masterpiece and the whole episode was just so well animated and exciting to watch. And while it still has that great animation, I think it showed its hand in episode one and it feels a bit more normal after that. None of which I’d even think to mention if I didn’t want to explain why it dropped down. It’s not that it got worse per se, it’s just that the other shows grew so much more after the first week. Some Teru x Nishiyama would definitely be the shot it needs to get near the top again tho… especially in a season that’s pretty light on yuri with just two side couples (Tanaka-kun and Anne Happy) to offer. Not holding my breath however. Kirara didn’t really bring their gAy-game this season.
5. Anne Happy [▼1] – 4 ep, 7.5/10 – [75% import]
This one has really found itself over the past two weeks! That’s largely thanks to finally introducing Hibiki (with a nod to Ren as well), but I think having the whole cast together made for some great synergy. Hibari’s thing for the construction sign dude is still… stupid… but I really dig everything else now. But episode 4 was truly excellent, well above what the previous episodes had offered – hell it was one of the best episodes of any show this season. Again largely thanks to Hibiki! She’s got that slightly-tsundere/not honest with her feelings character type I tooootally latch onto (same reason I love Rin in Bakuon) and seeing her soften up to the main trio at the end of the episode was the perfect way to score a nice emotional high. Now that I know what this show is capable of, though, I’m going to have somewhat higher expectations. I hope it can live up to them.
6. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai [▼1] – 5 ep, 6/10
It’s very Jojo.
none, clean slate this season!
Pan de Peace – 5 eps – The whole reason I was watching was for a brief free minutes of gay bread fun each week, then they went and had one of the girls start going on about some guy she likes. Bah, if you take away the only thing it had going for it, when it’s like the least ambitious show ever otherwise, I’m out.