Yeah, just rollin’ along through the week and I’m all like
It’s stressful enough as it is that my deadlines are fast approaching and I have a f**kton of experiments to do. But at least I was able to carry out the stuff I messed up on last week this week, so I got that going for me… which is nice.
But on a sorta related note, Week 8 for Side A actually did reasonably well compared to its past few attempts. That’s not to say that the shows in general are any much better; rather, I’m starting to get used to their general “temperament” to the point that nothing really surprises me anymore. So yeah, enough chit chat and let’s DO THIS!
My Hero Academia
Strictly speaking, this episode was pretty much a filler episode, leading up to the more interesting match-up between Uraraka and Bakugo. But even so, My Hero Academia did a good job of inserting its characters in entertaining set ups; in particular, I enjoyed Mei’s blatant trolling of Iida. Beyond this, the show was also constantly building up tension behind Uraraka as her own personality and disposition is steadily contrasted to the very nature of physical combat and competition. Her decision to leave the grandstands early on highlights not only her timid nature, but also her own desire to not rely on Deku for everything all of the time.
Which made it very satisfying to see Uraraka’s own monologue eventually lead up to that conclusion. It made for a very consistent bit of character framing that actually enriched the entire episode leading up to the more important bit — Uraraka vs. Bakugo. Which is just utterly frustrating because now I REALLY want to see what happens next. Haha, well played MHA. So yeah, this was a pretty satisfying episode this week, and dayum that next episode preview with a beat-up Uraraka ala-Son Goku looks so damn cool.
Attack on Titan (Season 2)
Yes. Give it to Araki to make anything emotionally charged, right down to eating a Calorie Mate. But hey, I actually found this episode’s flash back sequence a welcome change of pace after the action-packed climax of what came before it. It was also nice to see some inclusion of Hannes, who apparently has a deeper bit of attachment and sentiment to these three misfits-turned titan killers. It doesn’t help me warm up to Eren one bit, but at least there’s a good amount of drive to re-orient the character’s emotional tension now that Eren has been kidnapped.
Which is why I give it to this episode for bringing up the stakes and essentially calling out the entire cavalry. To me, at least, the revelation of who the titans are amidst the scouts was secondary to the movement of the human forces that are hell-bent on getting Eren back. I can only hope that next episode’s reveals will be reasonable enough to keep things leveled throughout the duration of this show’s run, but that might be asking for a bit much.
I was pleasantly surprised by Granblue Fantasy this week. And that’s weird because this episode was essentially a side-step away from the main plot, and featured a lot of silly comedy and 90’s action-adventure movie references — and for some reason, all of this actually worked! At least for the purposes of a show like Granblue Fantasy that is based on an RPG, a less-plot oriented, character-driven, quest-of-the-day approach might have made a little more sense. Otherwise, if the plot were such a heavy element, then at the very least try to build up a bit more on the premise rather than use generic elements like an evil empire or a collect-a-thon.
Because to be honest, I really enjoyed the silly comedy in this week’s episode. In fact much of it felt divorced from what we’ve seen in the past, like Lyria’s quasi-sentient cowlick suddenly acting like a Gran-detector, or slam-dunking a bomb in the mouth of a golem. Yeah, that kind of stuff happened in this episode.
So yeah, I think I’m more amused by this show when it’s actually allowing its characters to have fun in its adventure-like setting. Otherwise, they’re just running the rounds and moving from point A to point B, with the occasional skirmish in-between. I seriously doubt episodes like this will occur again further down the line, and it’s weird that I find a side-story more amusing than the main plot… which still makes this show pretty weak, now that I think about it.
Well, I guess you could say that Ero-manga Sensei has officially become a harem show. And I know it was pretty obvious as early as the introduction of Yamada-Elf, but now it’s literally official. But to be fair to the show, there was a nice bit of dramatic tension that lead to a strong movement in Sagiri to actually stand up for her own belief — even if that meant semi-confessing her obsession for her own older brother. And it’s funny that Muramasa doesn’t even call them out on it — something that Kuroneko would have done in Oreimo, no doubt.
But it’s not fair to have to create parallels between the characters of Oreimo and Ero-manga Sensei (even though it’s very easy to). At the very least, Muramasa has some compelling reasons to compete with Masamune, even if her choice of words and actions to express this were utterly ridiculous. But “ridiculous” is a staple for this show, which ends up making most of its morals somewhat insincere. It’s the curse of the format, I guess, but who am I to say you can’t be touched by a show like this, right? At least Masamune and Sagiri found a better reason to push their story beyond the lofty ideals of their “dream” or the (more practical) financial incentive, which is to say that they’ve become more serious in expressing their emotional connectedness in the form of a romantic short story. At least there’s SOME movement on that regard.
Alice & Zôroku
I’m pretty convinced now that the sci-fi premise of this show is totally peripheral to the events that are now happening on-screen. Episode 7 of Alice & Zôroku basically sticks to the slice-of-life antics whilst forcing some of its characters superpowers for the sake of conflict. In fact, you could very well just remove these scenes and mention them in passing, and you can still get pretty much the same sort of dramatic effect that was being gunned for — which I think is just maintaining the plot at the status quo.
Because the only thing that moved was the character motives and relationships, which is the point of a slice-of-life show. That’s not to say that the same doesn’t happen in a sci-fi show, but again — sci-fi shows are heavily dependent on a dynamic plot to forward its own agenda. Slice-of-life shows operate independently of any overt plot, and so we’re stuck in this limbo of sorts that doesn’t really permit any actual plot progression other than “oh, so that’s what happened to those twins after the police raided that evil organization’s hide-out“.
And it didn’t help much, either, when I was expecting some other dire force being responsible behind the errors in Sana’s powers, or that feeling of being “frazzled”, when in fact the show simply downplays it as her experiencing complex human emotions. Or maybe it actually IS foreshadowing of sorts; but even if this were the case, the show is currently making no attempts to make it seem consequential at all. Sana just states she makes errors with her powers as matter-of-factly as possible, and Sanae just hugs the “frazzles” away. So yeah, so much for anything plot-oriented this week.
I’m not trying to be vulgar, but where exactly is Ais’ nipple supposed to be if THAT much of her boob is showing?
Kidding aside, I think I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this show has no intention of being an independent series in itself. It’s just a side-story — an optional backstory — which although isn’t really necessary, still works on the level of its own triviality. Meaning it’s cool if you were one of those people who wondered what the heck Ais’ was doing every time she randomly pops in to save Bell. On that note, Sword Oratoria actually does well as a side story — the only issue is that it’s been cluttered with unnecessary story elements that compete with its supposed goal.
Is this supposed to be a supplement back-story to the main canon? Is it supposed to provide a more in-depth focus on Ais’ character motivations? Is it supposed to build up some yuri-goodness between Ais and Lefiya? Is it going to bridge the first and (possible) second season of Dan Machi? Or is it just a cheap cash grab for DVD sales?
The exposition in this show is starting to get really tedious. That and the fact that it’s already so obvious that Sôta drew that Military Girl character, and that he’s reluctant to share it because of some traumatic experience with the author of the story for whom he made the illustration for. And that traumatic experience is probably the suicide we saw from the very first episode — holy shit, Sôta, you’re already useless as a protagonist as it stands, the very least you can do is get your shit together.
Fine, I might be too hard on him, but this is just so frustrating. The story is barely maintaining a foothold on the randomness of its own characters — the next thing you know, someone’s dead and we’ve just walked into a suspense/thriller show. The whole show is just literally all over the place.
And there you have it! How was your week this week? How do you feel about any of the shows I discussed above? Feel free to share your comments down below. Until next time, ciao!