At the start of the season, I made a decision to give every show at least three episodes, a decision I soon came to regret. But now we’re on week four, and I don’t have to suffer through the most painfully boring shows anymore. To keep the changes in ranking consistent, they’re based on where they’d be last week if all the dropped shows weren’t there.
1. Mobile Suit Gundam – Iron-Blooded Orphans (-)
Not a whole lot happened this episode, but I’m sorta okay with that. It’s still developing the characters and setting up the different factions, but not in a boring or hamfisted way. It’s slow, but purposeful.
I did get the feeling that the writers were afraid people would get bored, so they lay on the foreshadowing really thick, with shifty guys talking to themselves about their nefarious plans. Heh, you think everything is going well? What if…
2. One Punch Man (-)
Pretty hard to say something about this show each week. Yeah, I like it. Good job. Keep it up.
3. Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider (+3)
Finally we’ve got the ball rolling. Okay, not quite. The ball is inching forward. But at least it’s moving.
It’s pretty natural for this to be the slowest part of a murder mystery. The first murders have happened, the initial panic has subsided, and now we can calmly start looking at the evidence. So basically it’s a solid episode 2, except it’s actually episode 4. Maybe by the end we’ll all be saying “no, trust me, this show is really good, you just have to get through the first few episodes.”
It’s hard to really draw conclusions at this point, but at least I’m sorta interested in seeing where it goes.
4. Concrete Revolutio (-)
Time for the conclusion of last week’s battle! Oh… it’s about something else again.
This episode follows the now-familiar pattern: cuts to various times and places, a few unrelated plot scenes that stop short of explaining anything, dancing around the real issues, and a little bit of an actual story.
I’m getting a little tired of all the “things aren’t what they seem” talk. Either come out with it or save it for later, but don’t keep bringing it up if you’re not going to do anything with it. Maybe the monsters aren’t really evil. Maybe the heroes aren’t really good. Maybe the superhuman bureau isn’t doing what you think it is. Yeah okay, but I’m not watching it just to find out the answers to these questions. The biggest problem is that the episodic stories just aren’t strong enough to carry the show on their own.
5. Garo: The Crimson Moon (-2)
6. Utawarerumono – Itsuwari no Kamen (-1)
Oh boy, another new girl character. This is starting to approach harem territories. The new girl is Ukon’s sister, and she’s… actually, she’s all right. On the other hand, Rurutie is still trying her hardest to make watching this show a miserable experience. As if being a shy, boring character whose voice sounds like she could fall over and die at any moment wasn’t bad enough, she also had to have a ‘funny’ running joke. Everyone goes off to have a bath, and when Rurutie hears that Haku and Ukon are in the male bath together, she starts getting flustered and imaging them in a gay romance. Ha. Ha. Okay, that wasn’t funny, but it was just a one-off joke, so no need to get worked up about it, right?
What’s that? It happens three times in one episode?
The progression of the show is also really slow. Not that it’s boring, but it all feels kind of aimless. Haku is just hanging around. He’s not that interested in finding out who he is, and he’s even less interested in achieving anything. It won’t be until next episode that we find out what his role in the show is actually going to be. I’m slowly but surely losing interest in the show, and that’s not a good sign when in the previous series the first half was the best part.
7. High School Star Musical (+2)
You’ll never be cool enough to sing a song while a plane crashes down behind you.
8. Sakurako-San (-1)
I’m watching Sakurako-san. The episode is moving at a snail’s pace, and I’m starting to get bored. I look at the clock. It’s 18 minutes in. 18 minutes. I’m overcome by a sense of dread. There’s not enough time left to wrap up everything. This can only mean one thing: it’s a two-parter, and I have to watch another 25 minutes of this bullshit.
A guy thinks he’s cursed and his dog’s cursed and some painting is cursed. Sakurako thinks it’s nonsense. That’s it. That’s the whole episode. What was the point? You know there’s not actually a curse, because this isn’t a supernatural show. So watching the guy fret over being cursed, and watching his wife fret over him fretting over being cursed, is really boring. It would’ve been fine if it was only a few minutes, but it’s a whole episode. There’s just nothing to it. You could watch the first and last few minutes and skip the rest and you wouldn’t miss anything.
9. Hackadoll (-1)
The joke this week is that it plays out exactly like a fanservice comedy.
Wait, that’s not actually a joke. What the hell was that?
10. Young Black Jack (-)
Only Young Black Jack could make the Vietnam war boring.
11. Asterisk (+2)
Wait, what’s going on? Why is Asterisk suddenly kinda decent? Julis is being logical and competent. She figures out who’s behind all the attacks and who he’s working for, and ends up facing down the traitor together with the man with the best name of the season, Lester MacPhail. Hmmm… Something is missing from this scene, something vital to Light Novel anime, something that makes everything suck more.
Oh, that’s it. The protagonist isn’t here.
So the bad guy’s power is to control 128 combat dolls, some of which also have guns, which seems a little unfair, but okay. Julis is holding her own for a while, but eventually he gets the upper hand, and… Oh. Oh noooo. It’s Ayato.
He shows up to save the day, and for the rest of the fight Julis is just sitting in his arms doing fuck all. Then we have to hear someone say they’re going to protect someone else like a dozen times. There’s even a flashback to him and his sister arguing over who gets to protect who.
The only funny part in the second half is that Ayato drops down the bad guy from like 20 meter up in the air, and says “oh don’t worry, that won’t kill him.” Then later that same guy gets blasted so hard that a fountain of blood erupts from his back, and once again, they say “don’t worry, he’s not dead.” Shit, it’s a good thing they’re all experts on the physical condition of this random dude.
12. Lance n’ Masques (-1)
Hey, remember that time a show got better by moving to a high school setting? Yeah, me neither. And while last week’s episode was actually tolerable, it’s now really doubling down on the whole White Knight Syndrome thing and introducing more girls to blush and fawn over the lead character.
They started a knight club at high school where all of them hang out together and practice, but it’s starting to get awkward, because this whole Knight Lancer thing is needlessly convoluted. Some of them know that he trained as a knight and is the masked Knight Lancer. Some of them know that he trained as a knight, but not that he’s Knight Lancer. And some of them don’t even know he was a knight, and he has to pretend to be just some kid practicing with a lance. It’s one big unsustainable mess that no one else even has any reason to uphold.
13. Heavy Object (-1)
I tried watching Heavy Object, but I had to stop watching 10 minutes in. It reached the point where it made so little sense that the words no longer even reached my brain. So in the last arc, the two main characters managed to destroy an Object by infiltrating the enemy supply base and sabotaging it. Now they’re suddenly Object demolition experts, and dropped onto another battlefield about a minute before the attack happens. “Good luck, just go do your thing.” Seriously? The writing was already bad, but it’s sunk to a new low now.
And I didn’t even bring up the extremely gratuitous and sexualized Milinda massage scene, or the scene where they’re in a helicopter for several minutes and the screen is shaking the entire time. If that hadn’t already given me a headache, the dialogue certainly would have.
14. Cavalry (-)
Last week we found out that Ikki backed out of a challenge from some asshole. Oh, that’s potentially interesting. Does Ikki have some kind of actual character flaw? Was he scared of losing?
But then it turns out the other kid just started attacking him out of nowhere. And Ikki couldn’t fight back because he’d get kicked out of school. Oh. So it wasn’t a personal weakness, he was just being the ‘better man’. Yawn.
They also mention that this guy can turn invisible, so he’s unbeatable for people who can’t just set the whole ring on fire. They say he explicitly chooses to fight opponents he can beat, but that seems hard to do in a tournament. It’s all right, though, because Ikki solves the problem by basically just reading his mind. Yeah sure, just throw it on top of the pile of bullshit he can do.
I know now what bothers me the most about this show though. It’s Ikki, and the show’s transparently cheap ways of trying to make you sympathize with him. Oh, look at this poor guy. Everyone hates him! For no reason! His family hates him, this guy he has to fight hates him. Oh, and -why not- everyone watching the fight hates him too. They’re laughing at him when he’s losing, and actually start chanting “Worst One”. It’s so over the top it almost becomes comedic. Don’t you want to cheer on him now, even though he’s a boring sack of shit with no personality? He tries his best, and practices very hard! Or so we’ve been told.
And why do all the students hate him anyway? Because his grades are bad? What, like every single one of them judges people only on their grades? Oh. I guess his evil family made them do it.
Anyway, the tournament. So in the Cavalry world, there is some sort of flawless combat simulation that lets you fight without the possibility of real injury. Hey, that’s very convenient when you’re holding a high school fighting tournament.
But… then they explicitly come out and say the simulation mode isn’t used in the tournament.The kids actually have to click a button that says “Yes, I accept that I might get fucking killed”. Why even have the whole simulation thing in the story? It was only used like once. Most other shows with tournament arcs sorta gloss over the whole injury thing, and you can just ignore the fact that it’s irresponsibly dangerous, but Cavalry shoves it in your face, for no clear reason other than to make it seem more dramatic.
To really drive the point home, Stella’s first opponent just surrenders without even trying to fight her, I guess because he doesn’t want to get his brain matter splattered all over the floor. Then the guy Ikki fights literally announces that he’s going to kill him, and no one seems to care. Are there no rules? I’m pretty sure you’d be thrown out of a cage fight if you tried to murder your opponent. And this is a high school? Why? How does this make any sense?
Oh. I guess his family made them turn off simulation mode so he could get killed…
Dropped this week:
- Dance with Devils
- Comet Lucifer
- JK Meshi
- AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon
- Shomin Sample