The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Episode 11: Unstuck

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 11

After last week’s effort things looked grim for the Wolf Clan and that continues for a fair chunk of this episode of The Master of Ragnarok. Still, in the grand tradition of protagonists, Yuto is going to somehow turn this around.

Ragnarok11c

Sometimes I wonder about Felicia’s title of bodyguard given she mostly seems to exist to ask questions and give the occasional pep-talk. This week she did momentarily draw a sword in defence of her Patriarch but was pretty quickly shot down and taken out of the fight leaving Yuto to fend for himself. Fortunately, as he says, he hasn’t been slacking on his lessons because otherwise this would have been over pretty quickly.

Ragnarok11d

Still, this episode does show us that there was a bit more to the initial plan then met the eye with reinforcements joining the fight. Then with Yuto taking to the front lines and raising the morale of his troops (even if I question the logic of them standing with their back to the enemy and cheering for seemingly as long as they did) the fight was turned in the Wolf Clans favour. That by itself would have been reasonable for an episode but the Panther Clan is not willing to accept defeat (even if Lightning Clan boy does a runner – fairly sensibly after Rune has taken a slice out of him).

The Master of Ragnarok

I think more villains need to take a page out of the book of the Panther Clan’s book though. Killing the patriarch of the Wolf Clan means victory for them regardless of whatever else happens and with Sigyn’s magic that should have been plausible. It didn’t work out because protagonist plot armour is strong, but I at least admired the attitude.

But, the episode ends with a final twist and Yuto is sent back to his time, though he has left his smart phone with Felicia which I guess means he’ll be calling her next episode and who wants to bet on him being re-summoned?

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Frankenstein Family Episode 3

Episode 3 of Frankenstein Family is quite logical in that we see Tanisu looking for help for his family and going back through his very limited contacts out in the world. It doesn’t exactly end happily, but the experience of watching him and his sister figure out their way around the city and meeting with someone and genuinely trying to explain their situation was kind of low-key entertainment.

Frankenstein3a

I would like to ask just how messed up is that tutor? She went from perfectly normal to fairly crazy in the blink of an eye and her reasoning was just silly. Okay, I could understand her not wanting to help Tanisu but why agree to meet him at all if that was all she was after?

Frankenstein3c

Anyway, this anime knows how to soften a moment. Immediately following this encounter and Tanisu’s brush with self-doubt and facing a near loss of faith in everyone, he runs into the girl from last episode and has a pretty adorable encounter. He probably didn’t even need his mind-reading sister to help him come to the conclusion that there are some decent people around.

This anime continues to be very laid back but entertaining enough to pass the time. It is still fairly forgettable, but for 15 minutes of actual episode it is doing enough.

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Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 9: To Kill A Titan

Attack on TItan Episode 9

Credit where it is due to this episode. Firstly, it reminded me that Attack on Titan is very good at making me really dislike humans. One of the things that really bugged me in season one was the absence of characters I could care about because everyone just seemed to be a truly horrible human being, and that included the huddled masses.

Attack on Titan episode 9

Well, season three gives us this episode where the military are lying to the people about running a training drill and the people get all huffy not because they are being lied to but because the people who are fighting to save their lives are inconveniencing them. Seriously, are the military sure anyone in this world is worth saving? Still, the generally despicable nature of people in this anime is part of what makes it interesting to watch when contrasted with all of those anime of fluffy and happy people who just try to make everyone smile so I’m actually pretty happy that we get this solid reminder that this anime is not about sweetness and light but about a very gritty and sour reality.

Attack on Ttian Episode 9

Secondly, thanks for the reminder that Titans are horrific. I mean, Rod Reiss’ Titan form looming at the wall is one truly disgusting image and one that isn’t going to leave me anytime soon. It has been awhile since there’s been any real repulsion or emotion at all felt toward a titan (curiosity about the still missing in action beast titan isn’t quite the same thing), so the genuinely moment of recoil when we got a look at this thing was fairly welcome.

Attack on Titan Episode 9

Thirdly, Eren. I know I’m normally all for beating up Eren and I really don’t like him as a character but it is like he’s finally turned a corner and grown up just a little bit. Whether he ruins it all by doing something utterly stupid in a couple of episodes remains to be seen but it is almost as if he’s come through the ordeal of the past 7 episodes finally seeing the world just a little bit clearer. It if sticks I might even have to look back at Eren and how that growth happened over the course of all three seasons, though I’ll wait and see if it sticks before I revise my opinion of him as a character.

Attack on Titan Episode 9

And finally, Historia. For a character that had never left much impact on me, even when they spent a lot of the second season trying to find Christa, she’s really stepped up as well this season and with both her and Eren having fairly solid character growth this is pretty much the best I’ve seen from Attack on Titan since its beginning.

Titan9f

So, yeah, credit to a fairly solid episode of great moments. Still want to know why they even bother having the other soldiers standing around firing canons. It never works and the other soldiers seem woefully under-trained which makes sense but is still pretty pathetic. This episode certainly gave us enough spectacle and with the set up at the end for next week things seem to be rolling along nicely for the season so far.

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Cells at Work Episode 11: This Episode is Hot

Cells at Work Episode 11

Things are getting hot this week in Cells at Work as the body face dehydration and heat stroke. However, in amongst all the sweaty red blood cells and adorable platelets, how was the actual episode?

Cells at Work episode 11

I really loved this episode. It is definitely returning to the straight formula of setting up a specific issue for the episode and explaining the different steps the system takes to deal with it, but this time, much like with the pollen allergy, the body failed to overcome the issue without external help. I think it really helps the plausibility of the setting to know that sometimes the body just can’t cope with the issue on its own despite all the cells doing their jobs and working hard.

Cells at Work Episode 11

The characters this week were quite fun even if the platelets and red blood cells spent most of the time sweating and mentioning how hot it is. I also liked the cracked and barren landscape of the epidermis to represent the dehydration that was occurring because of the temperature.

Cells at Work Episode 11 - Platelets

Once again, I feel this episode really found a great balance between entertainment and education. It most definitely is walking you through the steps your body takes to regulate temperature but the cast really bring it to life and make it seem kind of fun. Plus the side story with the white blood cell fighting a germ despite the extreme conditions kept things lively and moving along. Really enjoyable watch this week.

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100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams Episode 11: Confusing Villain Motivations – Check

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams

I’m almost hoping that this series ends with the characters waking up and realising the whole thing was all just a dream because that’s about the only way this is going to make actual sense. Then again, I guess I wasn’t expecting all that much from a villain who sits around for 90% of the series doing nothing but watching because to be honest you have to really question how motivated they are to do anything at all.

Dream11a

Any compelling story line that may have existed as Kihel went to find Setiq to figure out what happened in the past and maybe save his kingdom more or less got shot in the foot when Setiq just decides its time, for reasons unknown, and essentially sends the road straight to our group of travellers bringing them to Kihel’s forgotten Kingdom. It isn’t exactly a satisfying or particularly interesting way for a quest destination to be reached given it just kind of happens with no real triggering event to justify it, but this is more or less par for the course in 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Switched Off Audiences.

Dream11b

With one episode to go, it is abundantly clear that the majority of characters we’ve met will get no further anything. Also clear that by the time this story wraps up Kihel’s plot and we figure out what is happening in Atlas, that will be it. The unnamed Princess is unlikely to suddenly get some kind of backstory or point and has essentially been a spectator and Avi is entirely superfluous to anything at this point in time given his Kingdom has never come into sight at all.

Dream11c

I’m actually interested in Setiq’s deal, I’m just not convinced that I’ll be overly impressed with how this anime chooses to execute it. It is all kind of a shame because the initial premise was actually kind of promising and mostly this show has meandered along and now we’re finally at the end but I don’t really feel like we’ve gotten anywhere. Oh well.

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The Best and Worst Anime of Summer 2018 – Have Your Say

Cells at Work Episode 10 Platelets

Readers, you have chosen the best anime of Winter 2018 and the best anime of Spring 2018. You’ve also let everyone know what you felt the worst show of the Winter and Spring seasons were. Now it is time to once again stand up and be counted. From now until September 30 you can vote on the shows you feel are the best and worst of the Summer anime season.

The top three shows from the best of the season poll will go on to face off against other great titles from the year in my anime of the year poll whereas the worst shows will just kind of slink off into the sunset and be forgotten. As always, I ask that you vote only for shows you actually watched rather than a show you started and dropped or put on hold.

But as always, I am very much looking forward to finding out what people enjoyed this season, and what really missed the mark for you. And as always, the more the merrier so if you can share the post, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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Best of Summer 2018

This is not the technically most proficient show nor any other measurable criteria. This is simply the anime you enjoyed watching the most this summer. For whatever reason at all, which show did you most eagerly await the next episode of and which have you been happiest to watch week after week? You can have three picks so make them count.

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Worst of Summer 2018

Just a reminder, this is the worst show you actually watched, which means the show that gets the dubious honour of winning is still a show that you felt the need to finish even if it is somewhat lacking. Which anime did you start with high hopes (or maybe not) that ended up disappointing?

As always, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to vote and if you leave me a comment below letting me know what you picked and why that would be fantastic. But, as I mentioned above, the more the merrier, so please help me share the post so that the poll can be as reflective of the community as possible.

And look forward to the beginning of October when the poll results are announced.


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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11: No More Games

When Alicia decides its time to drop the charade, she doesn’t go half-way about it. There’s very little subtlety to be found in any of the events in this episode of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord but with one episode to go I can’t say that is necessarily a bad thing.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Alicia

This episode has Saddler’s return, Alicia’s betrayal, a Fallen army marching on the city, a torture sequence and the real resurrection of the demon lord… That is kind of a lot to pack into an episode and yet all of these story elements have been building up nicely over the course of the season so none of them felt suddenly thrown in or unnecessary. The Biscuit Song potentially could have been cut down a few seconds of screen time, but everything else in this episode felt fairly purposeful, if a little blunt.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Klem

And that is probably the only criticism I have this week. Due to how much the episode was trying to cover everything was just kind of thrown at the audience and explicitly stated by the characters. Even Diablo’s momentary panic attack about how he could act like a Demon Lord and ask for help wasn’t as nuanced or interesting as previous scenes that have dealt with his internal personality freaking out. Though I did like the reaction of the guild.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Guild

But overall, this series has managed to maintain a fairly cohesive plot that’s had relatively good pacing and so as we draw closer to the conclusion, while I personally may have liked a little less fan service along the way, I can’t help but feel that this story has been a pretty enjoyable ride and as long as it doesn’t hurl itself off a cliff in the final episode, I’m going to remain pretty happy I watched this.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Saddler

Though, I kind of would have liked Saddler’s end to have taken significantly longer. That guy was a sadist and totally deserved a more painful ending. Still, at least we don’t have to listen to him declaring himself god anymore.

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Steins;Gate 0 Episode 21: I’ve Missed Hououin Kyouma

Steins;Gate 0 Okabe Rintarou

Right, as much as I kind of feel Steins;Gate 0 has been overly drawn out for the amount of content it has and that about half the characters in it haven’t been needed for much of anything, I cannot deny the pure joy I got out of this episode. Hououin Kyouma is back.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 21 - Hououin Kyouma

There’s been some fairly solid narrative reasoning for Hououin Kyouma to have been missing in action for the majority of this season of Steins;Gate and yet the pure joy at his return, the way the whole show seemed to spring to life with his presence, and just how much more entertaining everything was just made me realise exactly what I’d been missing this whole time. And I get that the contrast is there for a reason, but all it did was emphasise that I haven’t really enjoyed spending time with a defeated Okabe. It might be argued that the long wait makes the return even sweeter, but for me it just makes it clear I don’t plan on rewatching this particular branch of Steins;Gate ever again. Once has been enough and there just wasn’t enough fun in the journey for me to do it over.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 21 - Okabe and Amadeus

That said, I’m very keen on seeing how it finishes at this particular point in time. There’s been some interesting ideas along the way and some solid plot work weaving a parallel narrative that hasn’t undermined the original series. While I personally didn’t end up enjoying the characters as much as the original, I can’t deny the effort to make this fit in with the larger story.

So other than the resurgence of our favourite mad scientist, what did this episode do?

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 21 Okabe in a lab coat

Well, Okabe completed over 3000 time leaps to make it back to the lab in time to try to save Mayuri yet again. This was impressive given how many times he might have wanted give up and how many things could have gone wrong with the plan along the way. Yet it really does show us just how committed Okabe is to his new resolve to no longer accept that there are fixed events that cannot be overcome. Which makes the end of this episode even more affective because just when it seems our hero is thing control of the situation fate or time or whatever decides to mess with him for one more round. While I don’t feel this will break Okabe’s spirit again, it is definitely not the outcome he was hoping for.

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Steins;Gate 0

Angolmois: Record Of Mongol Invasion Episode 10: Things Are Going About As Well As You Would Expect

Angolmois Episode 10

Jinzaburo wastes no time in dealing with the betrayal from last week, we get a weird kind of romantic maybe sequence from the Princess, and then we have yet more Mongols moving in. Angolmois isn’t slowing down and it was great that they reminded us that everything that has happened has taken place over 5 days so far.

Angolmois Episode 10 Teruhi

On the surface this episode felt very piecemeal and yet because of the short time frame and the fact that each event that happens is clearly linked to what has happened before, it never felt overly disjointed. The problem is mostly that this show remains an interesting walk through the events on the island (and I have no idea about the accuracy or credibility of this story nor do I have much desire to look it up) but it isn’t making me really care all that much about the characters themselves. The characters remain just a vehicle for moving events along and each one is pretty forgettable in their own way.

Angolmois Episode 10 - Jinzaburo

That doesn’t stop there being some very cool moments in this story. The fight between Shiraishi  and Jinzaburo is so short and yet there’s a fair brutal efficiency. I like that they don’t feel the need to drag out the duel just for the sake of spectacle. This fight is impressive not because of the ongoing trading of blows or any particularly flashy move. It’s impressive because both characters are experts at what they do and they put their best into it from the first blow (no pulling out a super secret move ten hours into the fight). And that kind of plays into what works about this show. For the most part is is relatively believable even if potentially some of the individual feats are a little exaggerated for entertainment’s sake (and I’m not huge on stories needing to be grounded in reality, but with the way this one has been set up as more of a historical kind of thing, it actually works in the show’s best interest not to get too crazy).

However, I do need to look at the omens in this episode as we realise that the Magistrate is perfectly happy to lie to his own people if need be. He was also perfectly happy to stay with no plan and die so I’m not sure if he’s really such a great leader after all unless his people are equally fatalistic and don’t much care about maximising survival. What makes this slightly more tragic is that this is perhaps the best display of characterisation we’ve had since Teruhi got really angry at the Mongols for killing her whole family.

Angolmois Episode 10 - The Exiles

Finally, the episode comes to a close with the Mongols approaching the castle from land and sea and the Japanese are surrounded. Just to be sure we realise that the situation is now officially hopeless we flash to the guy who promised reinforcements essentially being told by his father that, nope, we aren’t sending any. This is responded to by the guy with one of the worse voice performances this show has so far delivered and the animation didn’t do a much better job of making me feel his pain.

So episode 10 is a mixed bag of fairly interesting and competent moments and some moments that remind me why this show keeps just straddling the line between the anime I’m really interested in this season and the anime I’m just kind of watching.

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Phantom in the Twilight Episode 10: Shinyao’s Power Is Impressive, Yet We Now Have an Imminent Ton vs Shinyao Situation

Phantom in the Twilight Episode 10 - Shinyao

Definitely glad I picked up Phantom in the Twilight this season as despite some of the logical issues with the plot, it has been a whole lot of fun. The realisation that Shinyao is more than just the perpetual kidnap victim took awhile to sink in, but I think anyone who watches this episode will agree hers is a pretty impressive power.

Phantom in the Twilight, Episode 10, Vlad

I wondered briefly when I previously looked at the idea that this show seemed to be trying to set up a show down between Ton and Shinyao how that would ever come about. This episode mostly answers that with Shinyao being more or less controlled at this point and seeing a Chris that doesn’t exist who is counselling her to use her power and in the process she’s absorbing a lot of umbra. While this works well enough, fights between protagonists and mind-controlled best friends have fairly predictable outcomes so I’m kind of hoping we end up with a bit more to it than this. Still, that particular power of Shinyao’s is going to be a problem given the company Ton is keeping.

Phantom in the Twilight Episode 10 - Luke

And that is perhaps the strength of this show. While never amazing, it continues to build one crisis on another and to make the audience wonder how the characters will get through the next hurdle or even what their next move should be. The answers are never all that far away and are usually pretty entertaining to watch unfold so mostly I’m happy not to look too hard at the bits and pieces that aren’t exactly the most rational or logical.

Phantom in the Twilight Episode 10 Ton

Despite the set up being about Shinyao, the episode does spend a lot of time with Ton and we really see how attached Vlad and the others have gotten to her in the short time they’ve known her. But we also see that Ton doesn’t want to just be a substitute for Rijan. Fortunately we’re in London so a tea party solves everything and then our heroes are off for a showdown that apparently has two episodes to resolve.

Phantom in the Twilight Episode 10

That said, I can’t finish this post without mentioning that Vlad finally just outright admitted that Wayne is more than just a ghost who hangs around. Then the Twilight Plus added to this particular revelation. Yet another example of a small mystery the show set up a few episodes back before dropping the explanation at more or less the perfect time. While I kind of hope we get more on this, we kind of have enough at this point in time to just get on with the ending. Still, it would be kind of fun.

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