Another two weeks and another update I guess! I’m not used to being completely caught up on anime at the end of a week.

Full Series
1. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? [▲ 1] – 4 eps – [PLANNED IMPORT] This past episode was gorgeous visually thanks to some Douga Koubou staff jumping in and in addition to being typically hilarious, touched on some sweet moments with Sharo at the end. There are so many things I adore about this series already, and my latest favorite thing is the way Chiya lovingly teases the eminently teaseable Sharo. She’s so adorably devious, ahhhh~! Chino also got some great scenes in the first third of this episode, like that cute bit where she compares her height to her friends’. I continue to find it neat that Cocoa is good at math and physics – it’s just an unusual skill for her sort of character. What makes the show above all is how well the character interactions are set up: I love the way everyone treats Chino like their ideal imouto. I love the childhood friend dynamic Sharo and Chiya have. Really, really great chemistry when they’re together. You’d normally expect them to be the obvious shippable pairing but Gochiusa actually goes Sharo/Rize and Chiya/Cocoa instead – the latter is especially interesting because it’s totally not what I’d have expected, but I love it. Chiya being paired off with the protagonist is great because she looks like the sort of character who would be left out of such things. The show is also eschewing a lot of beating around the ambiguity bush regarding Sharo’s feelings for Rize which is great, though whether Rize will reciprocate, or even realize, is an important unanswered question. Gochiusa is great at tweaking expectations in a lot of ways, even if at its core it’s a very simple show. This is truly iyashikei character interaction at its finest.

2. Akuma no Riddle [▼ 1] – 5 eps – [PLANNED IMPORT] Still great, but I wonder if the “assassin per week” format could slightly hurt the momentum of a very strong start – so too, losing characters each ep after members of the class make their attempts. I’m hoping the formula gets a big shake-up by episode 7 or so – assassins teaming up, or not coming at all, or some revelation about the nature of the game that changes the trajectory. I also feel like the show is a little inconsistent with how Haru is portrayed during assassination attempts. I won’t spoil here, but I wonder if they just sort of conveniently forget some things about her character (which is a very interesting and well written character at its core) sometimes. Episodes 3 and 5 were really different on that front. Still absolutely fantastic on the balance though. Nio, Haru, and Isuke are seeing to that. Especially mischievous Nio, who continues to steal the show.

3. Hitsugi no Chaika [New] – 4 eps – This is the one show I’ve picked up since last time. I watched eps 1-3 together and rather enjoyed them, but I felt ambivalent about episode 4. Chaika herself is adorable and we’ve picked up a new character with some promise, but I’m not feeling Tooru or Akira. Tooru is serviceable as a male lead but evokes absolutely no emotion from me. Insofar as that means he doesn’t evoke annoyance or hate I guess we’re on the right path, but he’s not adding anything for me either. Akira I might actually like even less – her deadpan humor is funny but the whole brocon thing diminishes her character in bothersome ways. Other than the squad pursuing them, who appear for short periods of time (or not at all in ep 4) there are no other core cast members so with only 1 out of 3 leads actively doing it for me I’m feeling conflicted. Maybe episode 4 was just a weak one though (the hero they faced this time was not very interesting either) and episode 5 will bring it back to ep 1-3 levels? Points for Chaika’s eyebrows either way though! ♥

4. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders [▼ 1] – 5 eps – I wonder if this works better marathoned than weekly, because episodes 4-5 were a bit slow for me. It’s still got that dumb, absurd charm to it that makes people love it so much, but it doesn’t grab me nearly as strongly as, well, everyone else. I think I’d actually prefer knowing this was some nearly endless 200 episode, because I’d probably approach it with a different mindset and not care as much if things got a bit slow. I don’t have any intention of dropping it though – it’s very easy to get into the mood to watch it (like most of the shounen-type stuff I watch) and that’s an important quality. I often find it a lot harder to determine the right time to watch shows I have a big emotional investment in, so getting started with something like Jojo or HxH is really handy.

Short Series
1. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san4 eps – [PLANNED IMPORT] Holy shit episodes 3 and 4 were too good.

2. Puchimas!!27 eps – Yep. Still Puchimas. Golden Week “arc” was great.

3. Mahou Shoujo Taisen4 eps – We’ve moved onto the second magical girl and her mascot is exceptionally obnoxious (and here I thought the bird was bad). That’s a shame because I quite like the new girl. With 3 minute episodes it’s not enough time to annoy me to the point of dropping, but it is disappointing. At least we’re still getting a lot of great faces though.

Dropped Series
Nothing so far

3+ Cour Series
1. Fairy Tail – The recent Gray fight was pretty bad but I really loved the latest episode. It’s been great seeing Wendy grow over the course of the series to where she can now fight alongside even Natsu, against very very powerful opponents, and not be a burden or slow anyone down. The innate teamwork between those two speaks volumes to how she has matured. She’s becoming a top tier fighter in her own right and in retrospect that’s a lot more satisfying than if she just started out as powerful. Of course for this sort of gradual growth to pay off you need a show that’s willing to let a young girl (who initially specialized in healing, at that!) to kick some ass. Thankfully, Fairy Tail is just the kind of shounen battle manga that would actually allow such a thing, and that’s why I love this show so much. (Oh and oh my god how easy are Cosmos and Kamika to ship? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh~)

2. Hunter x Hunter – Couple good episodes lately, especially 126 which was basically a theatrical-level action scene, goddamn.

12 Responses to “Spring 2014 viewing update #2”

  1. Progeusz says:

    >I wonder if this works better marathoned than weekly, because episodes 4-5 were a bit slow for me.
    Yes but not only that. Pace is significantly slower. While in Part I and Part II they were rushing things, now it’s calmer and there are even some little fillers. You’d indeed be better off treating it as some 200 episodes show (with very good art though) because considering current pace and size of Part III, it’s quite likely they won’t be able to wrap it up in 26 episodes.

    Have you thought about watching Escha & Logy no Atelier? I think it’s surprisingly pleasant show. Even though there is male MC there, romance parts might as well not exist and difference would be hardly noticeable. The female characters are all very nice. Show has this special easygoing feeling of adventure, bright and relaxed. I wouldn’t put it at the same level as Gochiusa but if you have time you could try it out.

    • something says:

      I’m skipping EscaLogy because they took a franchise that’s never had male leads and oh hey the very first one to get an anime is one with a male lead. I know that’s supposed to have some relation to the company changing hands and is to an extent just a coincidence of timing, but it’s a coincidence that annoys me enough to not want to watch it.

      • Progeusz says:

        Fair enough. I was also surprised about it because before anime I only heard about Atelier from yuri fans.

        • something says:

          They can bring me back if they animate the latest Atelier game, that one with two female alchemists. I’d watch that. Shallie or Sharry or whatever it’s called (you can tell I don’t play videogames).

  2. musouka says:

    I’m only really watching five shows: Ping Pong, Haikyuu, Kamigami no Asobi, Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, and selector infected WIXOSS.

    Of the five, the only one I’m really passionate about is Ping Pong, which is excellent and looking to be a likely import for yours truly. I love the characters, their interactions with one another, and that slightly painful feeling that comes with recognition of negative emotions being so accurately portrayed–because all of us have been in that position before, and it’s sucked. I also feel like it has a lot of interesting things to say about sports and competition, instead of simplifying the matter with “BURNING PASSION”.

    Haikyuu is a more typical sports series, but I’m watching it for relatively shallow reasons–I like the artstyle and I like the manga–but also because most of the female side of my father’s family played volleyball, so it’s a sport near and dear to my heart. Moreso than most others.

    Kamigami and Sekai are mainly being watched because I like mythology and fantasy (respectively) and they come from source material aimed at women. I sort of wish the English version of Nico Douga hadn’t folded, though, because Kamigami is the type of series that really needs scrolling comments while you watch.

    WIXOSS I’m watching because it’s terrible, but not terrible in a way that gets me genuinely upset, like Mahouka.

    • something says:

      I thought you were a big Jojo fan? Maybe that was someone else. Or, everyone else I guess, it has a bizarrely broad appeal for that kind of show, at least among the people I talk to most often.

      I both do and don’t understand how it became such a phenomenon. I think the things I like about it are the same things other people like about it, so I understand that part. Where I get surprised is how passionately others like those things. I mean that’s cool and all, just slightly befuddling!

      • musouka says:

        Nope, I’m actually not a big Jojo fan. (My brother, on the other hand, really enjoys the series.) Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the series or anything. I enjoyed its goofiness when I read the first couple of parts some years back, but nothing about it really got me passionate about it. Also, I tend to find Koyasu Takehito distracting at the best of times, so him as Dio just wasn’t working for me when I sampled the anime.

        I don’t know, I think I respond best to unintentional camp as opposed to series with a very tongue-in-cheek feeling. On the other hand, I am watching and enjoying Kamigami, so maybe that’s thrown out the window…

        I also keep on forgetting you’re a HxH fan. I’m also watching that with a friend, but I didn’t think to count it as something I’m watching this season, because we’re so far behind. It’s hilarious, because watching it reminds me of how much I enjoyed reading the manga, but also how very much I can’t stand Nen as a fictional construct…

        • something says:

          Nen manages to be both “super ambiguous does whatever the heck is convenient at the time plot device” *and* annoyingly over-explained power the narrator can’t shut up about. Some of the applications to which it’s put are pretty cool though, like basically everything Hisoka does. I do so love Hisoka, probably the only character in HxH I like more than Killua.

          Anything specific about it though (unless it’s a spoiler)? Seems like all battle shounen rely on a poorly defined power source so I kinda just take it at face value. I suppose HxH does stretch it a bit more than most.

          • musouka says:

            My patience for shounen power sources reaches its limit at Saint Seiya’s “Cosmo” which is basically “your body is a universe, blah blah, explode the atoms of said universe, blah blah, punch people in the face”, an explanation given once at the beginning of the series/spin offs and pretty much never revisited thereafter. We all know it’s just willpower with a pretty name slapped on it anyway.

            Nen drives me nuts because things will just start to be getting good and then everything must screech to a halt so the combatants can tell each other (and the audience) exactly how something was accomplished. My friend summed it up best when we were watching the episode where Machi and Hisoka are giving commentary on Hisoka’s Heaven’s Tower match: “At first I thought you used magic to [spoiler regarding Hisoka's body part], but how silly of me, it was obviously Nen…which is pretty much the same exact thing as magic!”

            Like, yes, sometimes I’ll nod and admit things like, “Yes, I like the way Kurapika’s weapon works and how people get the wrong impression because of it” but those moments are few and far in between in the middle of “blah blah zetsu blah blah hatsu blah blah blah” when it would just as easy to say “I’m suppressing your aura.”

            In other words, yes, pretty much what you said.

          • musouka says:

            Oh and I know how you feel about spoilers, so I tried to be very vague for the sake of anyone reading–you’re already long past anything I talked about. If you think it’s still too spoilery, feel free to delete!

            • something says:

              Nope it was fine. And okay, yeah, thought it might be the interminably long explanations. This is a shounen trope I have never understood. What about that appeals to young boys? It’s just wordy jargory blather stopping powerful people from punching each other in the face. That’s no fun!

              I guess it had more to do with filling space and time than anything else. Way easier to have two opponents talk at each other for 10 pages/10 minutes than to have the action scene run the whole time…

              This is an aspect of Jojo I’m pretty torn over – it does it in such a parodying, self-mocking way and I found it really funny how over the top Speedwagon was about it at first. But then… it didn’t stop, or even slow down, and even if you’re doing something ironically, you’re still doing it. Hard to know how to react sometimes.

  3. rederoin says:

    Gochiusa is also my favourite show the season, although No Game No Life is a close second. Maybe I just have a thing for fantasy LN adaptions that aren’t set in a school. I also loved Mondaiji from winter 2013. Selector Infected WIXOSS is more enjoyable than I expected from the first episode. Gakumon! is a good comedy, but a shame I can’t understand all of the jokes, because its not getting subs. But that was to expected, since its by the same author as Senyu. M3 has been rather disapointing, especially since it got my favourite director and Kawamori taking part in the project.

    Speaking of Selector Infected WIXOSS, its very yuri shippable(aside from mrs.brocon), and its getting fansubs now.

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