You’re probably wondering where weeks 1 and 2 went, so here’s a shot of me throwing a fit due to the messy airing schedule. But oh well, you can’t have it all. I decided to consider Friday as the start of a viewing week, since it makes things a bit neater in my viewing schedule. That means the first episode of Sword Oratoria falls under “week 3”, but who gives a hoot. So long as I get my thoughts out there without me having to undergo a seizure due to OCD.
Speaking of OCD, I’m watching 14 shows this season, meaning each side is neatly split into 7 shows, each. Naise. That’s quite a lot of stuff to crunch into a single post, but I’ll try to avoid rambling. As with the previous season, you can click on a show title you’re interested under the “currently titles” sub-menu to the right to view all posts that refer to that show in chronological order. Just scroll down to whatever show you’re watching with me — you get the drill.
So yeah, sit back and relax as we run down just what happened these past three weeks!
I must say, I’m quite impressed with how Re:CREATORS is treating its little pseudo-isekai, parallel-universe, cross-over experiment. Granted this isn’t something new, the show takes things a little further by embodying each universes’ own world-view within each its characters, and directly challenges them (and in effect the franchises that they embody) by giving it “weight” in a literal “real world” setting. We see this when Mamika is horrified to see someone bleed from her attack, simply because the mechanics in her world doesn’t emphasize the brutal consequences of violence. And all this serves to amplify the incongruence in the animation of Mamika’s facial expressions from what is essentially a bubbly mahou shoujo into something out of a horror show. It’s here that I believe the whole setup for what is essentially anime Smash Bros. becomes a bit more complex and engaging. I will admit that the first half of this episode was mostly borderline technobabble care of our resident jughead librarian, Meteora — but that still doesn’t change the fact that this episode simply gave me more and more reason to give this show a chance. I’m really, really digging the concepts and execution so far, so let’s hope this show continues along that same path.
Attack on Titan (Season 2)
I’ve sorta given up trying to remember all the names of the bit characters in this show, but at the same time I’m somewhat more engaged now that they’re bringing up some of the back stories to the supporting characters. Case in point Sasha, who I seem to only recall because she’s a jughead. It was nice to see some mini-triumph from her part, but all of this is really just a digression from the main conflict. In some ways you can say this is a bit clumsy in terms of telling story, like saying “oh by the way, this is who he/she/it is”, but I guess it works insomuch as you feel a little more invested in the character. That’s always been one of my gripes with this show, in that many characters are introduced and eventually killed off with no other reason other than to fuel Eren’s own sense of self-righteousness. This is the reason why I enjoy characters like Levi, because he has a more nuanced approach to the grim situation of living with and fighting against titans. But perhaps that’s also the point in making Eren so brash and ill-tempered, being an adolescent with a messianic complex. But that’s over-analyzing things. This week’s episode was basically a set-up towards a new revelation point regarding one of the show’s other mob characters, who apparently happens to be more important than she is given credit for. I have some reservations about how this reveal was made — you can’t just create shock value by deliberately downplaying a plot variable throughout most of the show’s run — but I won’t deny the fact that I’m enjoying this show nevertheless. Clumsy, but enjoyable.
My Hero Academia
My worst fears were realized when four minutes into this week’s episode of My Hero Academia, I realized I had been watching nothing but repeat footage from last week’s episode. The slow pace and incessant shounen lines being spewed out like a Buddhist mantra are, indeed, part and parcel of this genre, but it’s getting a little tedious when the point is very clear — yes, Deku is very, very determined. But this is really a problem with the format than the actual story — it’s a popular shounen manga. But that also doesn’t change the fact that I just wished things moved a bit faster. I will admit that the twist in mechanics for the second event did give me a little chuckle. Shounen battler handicaps are always inherently ridiculous, so giving Deku a point value of 10 million points was nothing short of insane. But I like how the show tends to go all out in terms of amplifying Deku’s inescapable need to surmount all odds. This show is like a real relationship at this point — there are things I love about it, and yet there are also things I absolutely hate about it. Regardless, I’m sticking with it through thick and thin.
Yeah, I shortened it to Sword Oratoria, since it’s quite clear that this is a spin-off to DanMachi. And I know I was a bit hard on this show for its premier run, but that’s simply because I really enjoyed the original show. I’m really not a fan of industry jumping on shows for popularity and creating spin-offs just to milk as much as they can out of the franchise. They did it to hell with things like Final Fantasy VII, and the result is usually mediocre experiences that don’t even add up to the entirety of the franchise. There are those spin-offs that become self-inspired on their own account, like A Certain Scientific Railgun, for instance — but the success of that title had much to do with how its characters stood their own ground to create an otherwise self-functioning franchise. The same can’t be said for Sword Oratoria, or at least of what’s been shown at this point. Ais is both flat and uninteresting, only earning some points for her eccentricity thanks to her tropey make up as the kuudere character. And then there’s Lefiya, who I hardly even remember from the original franchise. Heck, I remember Tiona and Tione better than her. Regardless, I think I just have to give this show the benefit of the doubt and see where it takes me. To be fair, there was some decent action in this episode, and the attempts at character development for Lefiya are earnest, if anything. So maybe there’s something in this show, but as it stands it has yet to prove itself of being capable of standing on its own right. We’re just not there yet.
I guess this episode was just… okay? To be fair, it really does feel like I’m watching a JRPG plot unfold on the screen, what with ridiculously considerate people helping the main characters out, which begs the question “so when are you going to join my party?” I can’t hate on Granblue Fantasy for sticking to a tried and tested formula for fantasy RPGs, but it’ll take more to sell me on its premise. All I get so far is that there’s the “empire” going after our heroes — that’s as generic as you can get. So yeah, nothing really wrong with this show as far as ticking boxes is concerned, but that’s exactly what makes this show so uninspiring at this point.
Alice & Zôroku
Blatant sponsor alert! So yeah, I’m starting to get a little confused at this point. Not only is the show’s sci-fi aspect a little weak in terms of development, it’s also inconsistent with some of the established character attitudes. Alice, for example, is suspiciously quick to trust Zôroku’s friend, who also just so happens to work for a group that tries to protect these so-called “dreams of Alice”. I almost felt like I was missing some plot development that linked the third party that was shown in the first episode and the current party that was trying to protect Alice. This messy development meant for a rather uninspired bit of chase after Alice was kidnapped, which was then marred even further by introducing a character backstory as the primary focus of the episode. It’s as if the writer for the sci-fi aspects of this show was an entirely different person from the one writing the slice-of-life aspects. It’s a tough combination to begin with, but unless the plot flows are carefully rounded out to rule out any inconsistencies, the result will be the mess that is episode 3. God I hope this improves further down the line.
Wow. Just, wow. We’ve hit an all new low as far as offensive titles are concerned. I was honestly warming up to how adorable Sagiri can act sometimes, but this show is just ridiculously out there in terms of blatantly bad humor. Oh well, at least I get the benefit of fun gifs, like this one I made of Sagiri dancing:
Whew, seven shows reviewed in just under 1,600 words. Not bad. Either that or I just have very little to say about the shows this season. I dunno. So until next time, ciao!