With the first season of Twitch Plays Pokemon over, I can finally get into my backlog and catch up with all the airing anime again. Maybe even write some new posts. I’ve wanted to write those OVA reviews. I might even get the season preview done in time…
What’s that? They’re starting Gen II? Welp, so much for that.
Scamp: Space Dandy
It’s taken me a while to get into Space Dandy, but I’m really starting to enjoy it now. What I love is how each episode seems to come from this single idea in the back half of the episode that they want to base the episode around, some giant ridiculous spectacle, and then work out how they get to that scene. The episode ending on Dandy surfboarding on an exploding planet was a great example of this. And then they just end the episode there because hey who cares about continuity. The endings of episode almost always crack me up. Dandy travels through time thanks to an errant cake in his petrol tank (something very Douglas Adams about that) and sees an image of himself as Buddha. How does he get back from that? Who cares, that’s a funny way to end the episode so we’ll just end it there. The quality per episode does vary a lot, but now that I’ve gotten into the groove of what Space Dandy is trying to accomplish, I’ve been enjoying it a lot more.
Shinmaru: Samurai Flamenco
I have no idea what in the hell I did to deserve this, Hunter x Hunter and Kill la Kill all being CRAZY AMAZING at the same time, but clearly I should do more of it. Samurai Flamenco gets the nod this month for its absurd, delightful escalation that somehow hasn’t gone out of control because it all fits in to the narrative on heroism, its symbolic value, and the extent to which it matters in good ol’ reality. (E Minor at Moe Sucks has been doing a great job of writing about the show each week) It just so happens that Samurai Flamenco is pontificating on these interesting things while centering episodes on A PRIME MINISTER WITH A SUPER SUIT POWERED BY HIS APPROVAL RATING and AN OMNIPOTENT BEING WHO IS ONE PART GOD AND ONE PART EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. Samurai Flamenco delights me so much every week. It’s serious while being utterly ridiculous and loads of fun. I will be so sad when it is finished. Like every week, I have no idea where in the hell it is going from here, because it seems as if it’s winding down and bringing everything full circle … but there’s four episodes remaining. Please give Samurai Flamenco the finish it deserves. Also, put all the animators in a long line so that I can hug all of them when the show is over. You got through this! You got through this!
Inushinde: Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
I was originally going to compliment Samurai Flamenco, but Shinmaru covered most of why it’s fucking fantastic, and why everybody ever who dropped it is wrong. So I guess I’ll have to settle for praising Mikakunin instead, given that it’s my favourite show of the season, and I need to make up for finding a single redeemable facet of Imocho. Even though Mikakunin lacks a disturbing mascot character, it makes up for it with sharp humour, and a little girl named Mashiro who eclipses everyone else in the season with charm, spiteful dancing, and a love of cryptids. Almost every other character has something that makes them fun to watch, but Mashiro is the sole reason why I find myself yelling at the torrent to download Mikakunin faster week after week. It has nowhere near the same amount of impact or Flamenco Girls of Samumenco, but it’s carving its own niche in the season that I’ve really grown to enjoy.
What’s not so hot
Scamp: Pilot’s Love Song
I was keeping up with Pilot’s Love Song despite it not being terribly good because it had a bit of heart to it. I liked the general outline of the story and the characters had a certain charm to them. However ultimately the amateurish writing got the better of me. The crowning moment that caused me to just give the whole show up was the worst death ever. They’d spent the previous two episode erecting so many death flags they were starting to resemble an Olympic opening ceremony. So when the actual death happened it wasn’t surprising nor emotional and just felt cheap. It could have been emotional if played right, but how they killed him was so fucking stupid. Pointless sacrifices are the worst kinds of deaths, especially when the character could have easily not died and only did so out of stupid bravado. I’m struggling to keep up with anime as it is, so when this show did something that stupid, I was only too happy to drop it.
Shinmaru: Sakura Trick
Watching Sakura Trick each week is a weird experience. I don’t like the show much, but I can’t bring myself to hate on it like a big, angry jerk because it doesn’t try to do much else than be an occasionally romantic, occasionally funny piece of fluff. Where is the sport in shitting all over that? Who can work up FAUX INTERNET OUTRAGE over that? Also, it is difficult to be outraged at something where the dominant emotion it inspires in me is apathy. (Is apathy an emotion? Let’s just pretend it is.) Most romance in anime does nothing for me anymore because most shows don’t make me care about characters in ways that make me care if they engage in unprotected hand holding. It’s the same with Sakura Trick. The times I care about the face mashing is when it’s proceeded or succeeded by something silly and awkward. Who could take teenagers in a mature relationship seriously? My teenage relationships all turned out like a Three Stooges sketch. The humor is generally better because the show at least establishes a set of characteristics and desires to play off of and be funny with. Last week’s episode was the funniest one so far because of that: the swimming contest with the dumb fantasy prize and The Most Shocking Shopping Trip in History Because It Was Actually Sort of Funny got me to laugh. I would rather the show do that all the time, but I am not in any way the audience for this show so whatever.
Honestly, I’m not that down on Nisekoi. It’s good, harmless fun with enough Shaft-ness to choke a horse, and sometimes choking horses through Shaft-ness is kind of nice. But out of everything that I’m watching, I’ve come to realize that Nisekoi is the show that I look forward to the least with each passing week. Hell, even Super Sonico is higher on the priorities list, if only because of the increasingly bizarre ED sequences, and the inherent ridiculousness of Sonico giving other people the will to live their lives by virtue of being an inexplicably successful meatpuppet. I guess what I’m saying is Nisekoi has less redeeming value than the shitty Sonico promotion show, and that’s why it’s ended up not being terribly hot. But hey Chitoge is still Chitogreat.