[Side A] Spring 2017 – Week 3 in Review

mpv-shot0002.jpg

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! Continue reading

Spring 2017 – Initial Impressions

mpv-shot0001.jpg

IT’S HEEEEEERE!!!

Man, this is a pretty stressful season as early as the first two weeks. And I say that because there are just so many shows, and yet at the same time not all of them are leaving that good of an impression. This was a pretty weak start to a season, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve ever experienced something like this. But maybe that’s because there are three or four more shows that are still coming up. Regardless, I feel like most of the shows have some serious work to do if they want to keep things interesting this season.

And to some extent, that actually makes things a little exciting. But if your’e the kinda person who wants to be sure about what they’re watching, I suggest holding out until mid-season, once the shows have more or less established themselves.

So yeah, let’s run down the mess of a season we have before us, from my favorite to my least! This is Spring 2017! Continue reading

Spring 2017 – Previews (Part 1)

mpv-shot0010.jpg

Wait, what year is it?

No seriously… This season is filled with sequels and re-calls from seasons long passed… it’s almost like looking at the cinemas and seeing Beauty and the BeastMighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and Ghost in the Shell innocuously lined up like it’s no one’s business. That’s basically how the first few shows I watched this season made me feel. So yeah, for this part of the previews, we’ve got mystical girls falling from the skyultra-powered humans blasting from the earthover-sized monsters tumbling across the plains, and tsundere little sisters drawing erotica behind closed doors.

Yeah, pretty descriptive, but let’s RUN EM’ DOWN! Continue reading

Spring 2016 – season end ranking

Spring has finally drawn to a close, and man was it crazy. I burned myself out half-way through the season, and apparently so did the CR staff handling the newsletter. As a result, NONE of my articles were ever published this spring, leaving a bitter taste in an otherwise enjoyable season. But my “enjoyment” was only to the extent that the shows were pretty much there to fill a void. It certainly wasn’t as dismal as the winter season, which only had one or two titles which I could consider worthwhile. But at the same time, Spring 2016 wasn’t exactly what I would call stellar, either. Sure, I was quite delighted mid-way through to have a pretty good spread of titles, but as the season dragged on, things began to stagnate. In the end, majority of the shows were pretty ho-hum with one ending up in the “dropped” category on its final episode before proceeding on to a double-length cour (which I’ll get to in a bit). So after all is said and done, though nothing was really “bad”, nothing was all too memorable, either.

So just what happened this season? Let’s run down all the titles, season end ranking, from worst to best! Continue reading

My Hero Academia – Episode 6

I think I’m beginning to understand what people mean when they say that the pacing of My Hero Academia is very slow. In retrospect, it would seem that MHA has achieved very little come the mid-point of its season. We got two episodes worth of background on what drives Deku (yes, I’m adapting his moniker, and for good reason as we see later), another episode on him training up in order to receive All for One, one episode for the entrance examination, and now two episodes that basically follow the formative “rites-of-passage” for Deku and his fellow superhero classmates. That certainly sounds like something that could have been condensed into half the number of episodes, but for what it’s worth, MHA has remained consistent in highlighting its core values to the point of excess. Episode six continues this trend, now pitting Deku directly against his childhood friend Kacchan.

But then the episode ends.

It’s a little frustrating, but oh well. What can you do? This is a major serialization we’re talking about, so the decision to drag out the show is probably standard play when it comes to translating it into the anime format. I’m probably not in the best position to comment on how well this translation is going given I haven’t even read the source material, but perhaps what I can (and will) focus on instead are the themes of formative education — a central theme that I believe deserves a little in-depth discussion.

mpv-shot0002

Continue reading

Spring 2016 – Week 5 in Review

This wasn’t one of the strongest weeks for spring, which is quite surprising given the shows have actually been doing fairly well. In fact, this season has turned out to be one of the better seasons as of late. At the start, there weren’t even any signs that the season’s offerings would do as good as they are doing now — that and the fact that genre spread is quite diverse. It’s going to be interesting looking at how these shows will fare in the mid-season review, which is — wow, next week? Holy crap, time flies when you’re having too much fun.

And fun we shall have! Here’s this week’s week in review! (NB: I might not have mentioned it before, but I’m starting to order the shows in this list based on my overall impression for the week, meaning the best shows appear first, and the not so good shows round up the end. Anyway, enjoy!)

mpv-shot0009

Continue reading

My Hero Academia – Episode 5

I recall saying last week that I was worried about MHA’s approach to depicting modern education as a subjective paradigm that, for the sake of narrative progression, favors the situation of the protagonist over the world-view with regard to “evaluating what matters most”. For one, the entrance examination of U.A. Academy did not disclose an additional factor for acceptance — the “Rescue” component — which, when you think about it, makes it more “real world” in terms of evaluative approach. But the reason why educational systems clearly state criterion for acceptance is primarily due to standards. When those standards are vague (or deliberately not disclosed), the result is a confused student who feels cheated.

Tenya reflected that sentiment somewhat when he saw the true hero in Midoriya. “True” here being a pretty charged word, because MHA has always focused on contrasting the popular worldview of heroes being “superpowered individuals” against its own proposition of a “heroic personality” that underscores heroic intention. But this “heroic personality” falls flat in the absence of “heroic action”, and so the examination clearly recognizes that the former cannot be measured by procedural duty (i.e. defeat x-number of enemies). Instead, it “measures” this personality through decision-making processes in a situation-based context (i.e. surprise enemy attack). In short, they didn’t break any rules here just to give Midoriya an excuse to enter the academy. It simply showed that Midoriya DOES have what it takes to be a hero in terms of attitude (and possibly even strength), but the one thing that he lacks at this point in time was control and resolve.

Continue reading

Spring 2016 – Week 4 in Review

There was some misunderstanding over at Crunchyroll, hence my writeup on Asterisk War didn’t get published in time for the April 27 edition of the Crunchyroll Takeout. Oh well, no biggie. I just decided to edit it up a little and post it here. But the process of reviewing Asterisk War actually made me realize how well-constructed it was as a battle show, and so if you have yet to pick up the show and are looking for a reasonably competent battle anime to watch, then by all means watch this show.

Otherwise, the fourth week was pretty much the settling period for most shows. It’s that sort of tentative period before the mid-season where shows have gained a rather comfortable rhythm for themselves, not opting for anything too daring (or too risky either, for that matter). So just how did the shows fare? Read on!

mpv-shot0009

Continue reading

My Hero Academia – Episode 4

We hate to be judged.

We hate to be placed in a strict rubric of standards that dictates our worth and what it is we are capable of achieving.

That’s the goal of standardization. Or at least in the context of MHA episode 4, the goal of standardized examinations. And you can’t help but accept the fact that standards are necessary in order to maintain a certain level of quality. Variation is difficult; conformity is desired. To a certain extent, it makes sense — both in the academic sense and even more so in the heroic sense. The practical examination in the U.A. entrance exams basically distills the “essential” qualities needed for heroes in high-tension situations in a quantifiable manner that can serve to rank students for acceptance.

Continue reading

Spring 2016 – Week 3 in Review

I’m wondering if I should retime these week-in-reviews to mid Wednesday to accommodate the first half of shows, then a second week-in-review to handle the remainder. Because as it stands, there are just so many shows on my watchlist, that these week in reviews are getting really long. And that’s troublesome because there are times that I have quite a lot I want to say about certain shows, but I have to limit myself in the interest of not boring you to death.

And it didn’t help much that this week had lots of shows giving pretty good arguments to warrant further watching. It’s been a solid season of anime thus far, and majority of the shows that have been shaved off of my list were pretty easy to let go of. The remainder, not so.

mpv-shot0011

Any, enough of that. Let’s do this! Continue reading