Attack on Titan Season 2 Series Review

Overview:

Continuing on from season 1 after the fight with Annie, the scouts are trying to investigate when reports of titans inside the walls come in. Then we spend a lot of time running around and screaming. It is attack on titan afterall. I reviewed individual episodes of this while it was airing so if you are interested in my thoughts on the episodes click here.

Review:

This season was very much like season one for me in that I really loved the first half and let myself get swept away with it, and then in the second half the nagging feeling that this show can’t remember that it is actually supposed to have a plot started kicking in. The difference being that season one started with that incredible titan attack sequence that just blew me away and sucked me straight into the story whereas season two’s first episode, while it had its own charm, just isn’t going to stack up. The other major difference being with half as many episodes, things derailed a bit faster this time round then last time.

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Before I get into the positives, of which there are many given despite my complaints I’m still watching this show and still actually hopeful season 3 will come out next year as announced, I am going to go through my major issues with this season.

The first is the pacing and the way plot points are introduced and dealt with. Attack on Titan does not have good pacing. It didn’t in season 1 and it hasn’t fixed the issue in season 2. The Beast Titan makes an appearance early on, we get one other appearance and then he vanishes until the tease right at the end of the series. Delaying information is a fine tactic for building suspense when done right. Something like ACCA did it very well. But in this instance we don’t have any clues or ideas and there’s no reminders of this particular plot point. It just kind of appears and then goes and nobody even seems to mention it thereafter. Much like the titans in the walls who seem important only no one seems to be in much of a rush to deal with that issue. Or what happened to Annie? Or the key from last season? And when did Eren actually become the hope for humanity? Stuff happens or is said but nothing is built on.

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Another problem, the first half of this season deals almost entirely with the side cast as each seems to get an episode focus and then once they are reunited the focus shifts entirely onto Eren and Reiner. And while some of these episodes are very good (more on that when I get to the positives), there isn’t really a lot of cohesion between these stories and when we eventually slam all these characters together only a few actually survive all these plots being crammed together to have any further relevance. It kind of feels like most of those episodes exist only so you stop calling Sasha ‘potato girl’ and can actually distinguish characters from the support cast if you have never read the manga.

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Honestly, the show really only knows how to deal with one thing at a time. There’s never any subtlety in the presentation and as a direct result when we are investigating the titans in the wall, that’s all we’re doing. When we are learning about Ymir’s back story, that’s all we’re doing. While some shows might get away with that, Attack on Titan has created the problem of far too many ideas, and if it is only dealing with one at a time that means it has shelved everything else and the audience is just left waiting. I think Eren’s basement got mentioned once in this second season. Season 1 it seemed like a big deal but apparently it isn’t a big enough deal that we actually need to mention it or even seem to remember it. More importantly, once the action starts, all of the ideas kind of get tossed and instead we just get to see this show be cool action.

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Of course my final major issue is our supposed protagonist, Eren. He says it himself that he hasn’t changed at all and while he might have said that in the midst of understandable depression and desperation, it really rang far too true. He hasn’t changed. He’s the same angry little kid shouting at the world and just kind of demanding that it fix itself in a way that benefits him. While he has had some development over the two seasons, he’s still just plain unlikable. The fact that the other scouts seems to realise he is the single most irritating person in the world doesn’t help. It isn’t exactly surprising that his return to the main group at mid-season marked the down-turn in my enjoyment of the show.

So now that it sounds like I hate the show, I’m going to turn this around and tell you why you should probably watch this season anyway (if you haven’t already).

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For all its faults with story and character, Attack on Titan gets one thing right every single time. It gets into the audience’s head and it moves the audience. Whether it is the visual spectacle and tragedy of Mike getting torn apart at the start of the season, the horrified expressions on the young scouts faces as they realise that the older scouts (the only ones with weapons) have finally lost and are being eaten alive by titans, Reiner’s casual but show stopping declaration that he was the armoured titan, of the final episode of this season where they mirrored the death of Eren’s mother right in front of him yet again, this show manages to make you sit up and take notice. It might be shock, it might be sadness, it might be anger, but while watching you feel these emotions surging through you and these images and the sounds stick in your head after the episodes are done. Plus, the titan tossingmoment in the final battle was kind of fantastic. This season is worth watching just for the touching Eren/Mikasa moment in the final episode. As much as I dislike both of those characters, that was one excellently handled emotional point.

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Part of this is due to the artwork. The world, the titans, and the characters while not beautiful (not the right descriptor) are perfectly suited to the story they are telling. There’s an enormous focus on character reactions to the horror surrounding them and this is told largely through their eyes and they are impressively expressive. The titans this season no longer had the surprise factor that season one gave them, but they still managed to make them suitably creepy and devastating. Even the smaller titans were made incredibly terrifying, particularly when Sasha was facing off with one without and gear. There’s a few moments where the animation might be off, but this show is still incredibly impressive from a visual point of view.

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The music also remains on point. It took nearly half the season before the theme song grew on me but it certainly did and while I still don’t understand the point of some of the visuals in that opening, I actually began looking forward to it as it framed the episode nicely. However, it is the music and sound-effects throughout the episodes that will really just drag you in. They aren’t intrusive but rather add to an immersive viewing experience. The show also makes fairly affective use of silence in the final episode which was a pretty excellent choice.

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So pretty much if you are going to sit a pick faults with the storyline, you will most definitely find them. If you want to pull characters apart and look at whether they seem like real people or have real motivations or any kind of normal reaction to situations, you will probably find it fairly easy to fault this season. If you think too hard about all the story threads that seem to get pulled into the spot light for a brief moment and then tossed aside, you will absolutely be disappointed. However, if you strap in and just watch, you will probably get swept away by the grandeur of the moment and watch some pretty cool fights and some really tragic deaths.

My review of season 1 finished like this:

It’s beautiful, fast paced, and dramatic and when it is at its best it truly shines and those moments will carry you over the slower bits. If we actually get a continuation that matches the feel and quality of season 1 then this could be a very memorable anime. Otherwise I think it is one of those ones that had its moment in the sun but without finishing won’t have staying power.

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My thoughts have changed a little as season 2 was far better during the first half when it did finally focus on some of the more interesting characters. However, it still suffers from a lack of ending and without knowing where all these conspiracies and plot threads are going there’s little other than a wait and see mind set when thinking about how I feel overall about this show.

That said, I’d love to know your thoughts on season 2 if you’ve finished watching it. I know some of the bloggers out there loved this season a lot more than I did but some have been more critical please feel free to share your stance now that it has concluded.


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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 12

Review – Yes Spoilers:

Okay, I’m still kind of annoyed that we don’t know what’s up with the Beast Titan (but hey, there’s a nice tease at the end of the episode in case we forgot he was supposed to be significant), we don’t know what’s in Eren’s basement, we don’t know why some Titans can shift and some can’t and why eating someone transferred that power to Ymir, but credit where it is due, they did answer something in this final episode of season 2.

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Levi, I totally agree with this point given the speed of reveals compared to the speed of the deaths in this show.

The episode began with the smiling titan advancing on Eren and Mikasa. Hannes swoops in to save them and after putting up quite a good show manages to die heroically and bloodily right in front of Mikasa and Eren (because those two need more trauma in their lives). This actually led to a fairly nice moment of near silence. For a show that normally pelts us with sound from everything (horses, wind, capes, weapons, screams) the sudden silence was jarring and probably one of the most affective things it has done in terms of creating a moment. Still, hard to take Hannes’ death too seriously after watching some of the other deaths from other scouts. Why does this one smiling titan insist on splattering the surrounds with blood and gore while others manage to eat in a way that looks like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon?

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This is the cartoon version – I will never stop laughing at this image.

But, I will say this for Eren. He is the type to never give up. He’ll just keep doing the same stupid thing over and over even when it doesn’t work. But he will get really angry with himself and need a pep-talk from Mikasa. And points to her, she actually seemed to be a real person for about two minutes in this episode with a real and genuine personality.

I’m totally overlooking the Ymir and Historia bit but to be honest they didn’t do anything with Christa/Historia. Ymir ultimately went with Reiner after a touching farewell, but weren’t the scouts looking for Christa as well because she knew something about the walls? Why didn’t they even hint at that later in the episode? We got confirmation about Connie’s village and Levi and Ervin now know what the audience has known for a few episodes that the titans inside the walls were the people from the village (did someone poison a well, or how does that happen?) but Christa’s story never gets mentioned.

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So last point I’ll touch on is the actual answer we got. A while back Reiner mentioned that Eren was a coordinate (or might be) and we had no context for what that might have meant. This episode, we get to see just what that means even if Eren is too dumb to figure out what just happened. And I guess Reiner’s point of view about Eren having the coordinate is pretty understandable given Eren is not the person I’d want to entrust with that sort of power either.

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Anyway, I now have to think back over the whole of this season and figure out where I stand on it. There have been some good moments but my overall impression is really mixed. I’ll write a full season review soon.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 11

Review:

There were so many moments in this episode where I just had to stop the episode and ask what on earth they were doing. Admittedly, the first half of this second season seemed like it had finally taken the hint and was working to develop the world and characters as well as lead us toward some answers. It was really, really enjoyable and nicely done. This second half however has devolved into more or less the mess that the second half of season one fell into. Events occurring and then more events (with some shouting in between).

There’s only one episode left of this second season. At this point there is zero chance of anything happening to allow this to end well (or logically, sensibly, or satisfyingly) and that is a real shame. Unfortunately, they will always choose cool over substance in this plot and as a direct result we have a mess.

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When did Attack on Titan start doing panels? I’m thinking back through all the previous episodes and when this style might have been used and I’m drawing an absolute blank. Why in the second last episode of the second season would you suddenly decide to do this? A more appropriate time to try this would have been back when Reiner pulled Eren aside to reveal he was a titan. A reveal of that magnitude would have deserved an artistically different choice and wouldn’t have felt as out of place as this moment did.

Then we have Mikasa revealing what we already knew. Her sole reason for existing in this anime and in this world is to save Eren. While I wouldn’t mind her wanting to save Eren while accomplishing other goals, her absolute single minded focus makes her an incredibly dull character. She doesn’t talk much, but she wastes what few words she has this episode on threats and lines you would expect a b grade villain to utter. Her absolute dismissal of the situation for the other characters also pretty much shuts down any possibility that we might find out their actual motives because you know, we still don’t know where they are going or why they are wanting Eren or Christa other than vaguely knowing they are going ‘home’ and that Christa knows something about the walls (not sure what), and Eren might be something but that point hasn’t been explained and yet:

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Where did that come from? And why does everyone just buy that? Since when was Eren being held up as humanities only hope? So frustrated right now.

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But hey, looks cool. Okay, some people will really enjoy this because we’re back to fast paced action for most of the second half of the episode and it is a cool fight (even if a lot of what is going on makes very little sense and once again a lot of the ‘extras’ get mowed down without drawing a weapon – aren’t these guys trained).  The titan throwing at the end was particularly cool to look at. But cool does not make for a good storyline and to be honest, the parts of the story I’m wanting to see kind of get buried here.

One more to go. I’d cross my fingers and hope for a worthwhile conclusion but I’d really hate to end up disappointed so at this stage I’ll just kind of hope for a really cool fight and maybe I’ll get that.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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Spring 2017 Week 10

We’re getting close to the end for some of these shows and I’d love to know which ending you are most looking forward to. For me, I’m actually just kind of sad that I’m going to have to wait on some of the endings because I may or may not get to see them while travelling. That said, the ending will make or break a few of these in terms of where they end up in my final list for the season so let’s hope they end well. Please share your thoughts on the season in the comments.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 9)

I suggested that this show needed to be in a higher category last week (not that I have one) and after episode 9 I firmly believe this anime really is in a category of its own. The enjoyment is different from something like My Hero Academia and Natsume Yuujinchou. It is telling a story and there are characters (and these are both very good), but it is the ideas behind the story and the characters that make it utterly compelling.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 24)

Another rapid fire series of clashes and we’re heading for the final of the tournament next week. Probably just as well, as they’ve probably milked as much development out of these match ups as possible and while its been amazing I’m glad they aren’t stretching the friendship. Even as the tournament wraps up though this show presents a new conflict incoming so at least we won’t be left at a loose end once the tournament ends. My Hero Academia showing it is keenly aware of the short attention span of most of us these days and is happy to keep us entertained.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 9)

Natsume did not get any worse, it’s just My Hero Academia has been getting stronger and stronger and Natsume is more of a consistent and relaxing joy. Comparing the two shows is insane given how vastly different they are in tone and style and yet I’d have to admit that right now I am definitely more eagerly anticipating the next episode of My Hero Academia, even while I’m convinced that long term Natsume will be the show I come back to more often for re-watching. This week’s episode was back to Natsume episodic formula and it worked well.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 9)

Seems my wish for more Benten and Nidaime will be answered with where this seems to be heading. Episode 9 was fantastic and we see a lot of the story lines starting to converge in a fairly intriguing manner which may or may not explode next week depending on how they choose to handle this current situation. All and all, I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next episode.

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Usually Entertaining

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 11)

Attack on Titan is only still this high in the list because of how much I enjoyed the first half of this season. This second half belongs in the ‘Okay, I Guess’ section and this last episode doesn’t even make it that high with a lot of issues in both narrative and delivery. On balance, I’m thinking I’m going to end up feeling much the same about season 2 of Attack on Titan as I did about season 1. Wow, there’s some great visuals and emotions and some scenes are done superb, and wow, this story gets derailed pretty quick and they don’t know how to do pacing or characterisation.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 9)

I was less sold on this episode but this series has still be fairly entertaining on the whole. It wasn’t as though this episode was bad, more it just felt a little bit like they were purposefully delaying any kind of serious dive into Heine’s past. Possibly the events in this episode are more significant than that but it really felt kind of like a throw-away villain for the sake of having one more episode.

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Okay, I Guess

Sagrada Reset (Episode 10)

Much like Kado I’m starting to think this show needs its own category but it wouldn’t be above must watch. This one would be more out to the side of the list in a pile of shows where I have no actual opinion about whether they are good or bad until they finish because they might still go somewhere but meanwhile I’m hopelessly frustrated by it. Sagrada Reset, the show to watch if you like things that go around in circles and offer analogies in place of explanations.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 10)

Another two stories and another two hearts… well I won’t say they’ve been healed but they’ve certainly been changed by the events that have befallen their owners. Moguro continues to dish out some interesting consequences to the deserving and undeserving alike and this story continues to be a bit of an oddity but kind of enjoyable for it.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 9)

Grimoire of Zero is probably going to end up on my list for a show that wasted a lot of its potential. There are good moments and the world itself is fascinating but the story just doesn’t know what it wants to do and there’s too many ideas that just get shafted. I would like this show to be better than it is but while pretty it has rarely been above ordinary in terms of character or plot and unfortunately I’d rather watch something inconsistent than something I find kind of dull with occasional moments of entertainment.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 11)

I’m no wiser as to what this show’s end goal is going to be, but this episode spends a great deal of time trying to make us care about Lyria and the bond between her and Gran, so maybe that’s actually important. As always, this show is watchable, pretty enough, stuff happens, but I’m not overly invested.

WorldEnd (Episode 9)

WorldEnd started so much higher on this list and now it seems to be in free-fall. the inconsistencies, the wasted time in each episode, the scattered focus, it is all starting to wear on me as a viewer so that even the moments that should hit the mark are starting to miss more often than not. I’m gradually losing my care factor about any of the characters in  this show and that is definitely not something that the show can afford given the story has been a meandering mess with a lack of clear direction.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 10)

What little goodwill this show had gained in the mid-season is rapidly fading as we’re regressing to cheap comedy and stereotypical character reactions. That’s not to say it still couldn’t work, but this episode was completely unappealing to me after two fairly ordinary episodes.

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They Made This

The Silver Guardian (Episode 11)

Not regretting the decision to move this down to this category. Episode 11 is just as much of a mess as the last four episodes have now been. That’s almost half a season of mess and if you count the first episode as well, we’ve had more mess than decent content and that is never a good sign for a series. To be honest I don’t even care anymore whether Suigin ever finds Riku Rei.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Which ending are you most looking forward to?


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Karandi James.

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Attack On Titan Season 2 Episode 10

Review:

I’m pretty sure I said this previously, but they are really stretching content now. Last episode they just hung around in the trees chatting without revealing a thing and this week they snatch Christa and run which essentially means other than Christa having been taken, nothing was accomplished because the scouts are still chasing the titans down trying to recover Eren.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t get a little bit more this week.

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This is probably the first time they’ve actually addressed the issue of why they even want Eren in the first place and you know they aren’t even certain he’s the one they want. That would actually turn out to be pretty funny given they blew their cover and went to a lot of trouble to kidnap him and then it turns out, nope, just another person who can turn into a titan. And is the number of them starting to seem insane to anyone else? I mean, the implication this episode is that all of the titans are essentially people who’ve transformed and just lost sight of themselves (if you’ve read the manga and know the answer please don’t share, I’m just speculating based on the anime).

Eren continues to be my biggest problem with this series, though I did get a good laugh out of this sequence.

And then Reiner using unconscious Eren as a backpack was also pretty funny. Eren’s best look ever.

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Though did anyone else find it weird how little attention Reiner was actually paying the trees as he was flying through them. Given the speed he was moving if he actually wasn’t looking forward my assumption would be he should have collided more than once during that sequence.

Anyway, I moved Attack on Titan back out of the ‘must watch’. It’s amazing how much fun I was having earlier in this series when it seemed like we were focussing on the background characters and the mysteries but since we’ve gone to fight, run, fight, run and having to put up with Eren front and centre again, my overall enjoyment of this show has dropped back to finding it fun enough but I could really take it or leave it. I actually read several reviews of this episode prior to viewing and previously I’d made sure to watch the episode before reading anything about it. This week, I didn’t really mind because I wasn’t really expecting much.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 9

Review:

I really enjoyed this episode and then I got to the end and realised that these four characters literally sat in the trees and shouted at each other for pretty much the entire run time and in the process, other than realising that Reiner really had lost his grip on reality, almost nothing was learned about what was going on or why. Then I realised pretty much all my enjoyment this episode came from either characters telling Eren what I’ve really wanted to tell Eren for some time:

Or from Ymir and Eren’s reactions to figuring that Reiner really was just a little bit off:

By the end of the episode the scouts are riding toward the forest and Ymir has decided to throw in with Reiner rather than Eren (though I’m guessing that’s only while it’s in her best interest) and we are done. I did still enjoy this episode but really pretty much nothing happens.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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Spring 2017 Week 8

This week kind of didn’t go to plan in the real world at all so I’m thinking a lot of episodes this week will need a rewatch when I’m a little less distracted. That said, the Spring season is still going strong and I’m enjoying the shows I’ve stuck with. While the usually entertaining category has shrunk, mostly that’s because I currently have five must watch shows which is actually a record. Normally I have two or three shows that I am literally counting down the minutes to release and watching as soon as possible so having five in one season is pretty amazing.  Let me know your current thoughts on the season below.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 7)

That was a great follow up to episode 6 (I wish I hadn’t had to wait two weeks for it but it was pretty much worth it). This show continues to climb from strength to strength, introducing new ideas as needed and building on what has already been established. It all feels very logical and cohesive so far and hopefully they manage that through to the end.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 7)

With Eccentric Family picking up its game in this second half, Natsume might need to watch out. As much as I am in love with this series, not every episode is a gem, and this week’s offering was kind of average. Not the worst Natsume has offered in six seasons, but not exceptional either. While I still feel season 6 has overall been one of the better seasons of this show, going from strength to strength, it would be a shame to see the second half of the season to not finish on a high note.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 22)

Blown away this week. Literally. Just blown away. My review for episode 22 comes out tomorrow. I didn’t bother trying to cut it down. It’s 1000 words of gush. I loved this episode and following a couple of very good character episodes (even if we are watching a tournament fight that I don’t care who wins), this series is just getting better.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 7)

That slightly more serious tone shift from episode 6 continued and this episode got dark. For a show about the daily life of a Tanuki just kind of seeking interesting experiences, this show really knows how to transition from those lighter moments to the more serious and it all makes the world these characters are living in feel a bit more grounded in reality even as they interact with supernatural creatures and use all manner of magical objects.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 9)

Attack on Titan this week delivered quite a lot of dialogue and yet so many characters were saying so many of the things I’ve wanted people to say to Eren for a long time, I just kind of loved it. Then again, on reflection, we know nothing new about anyone at the end of the episode other than the fact that Reiner’s grip on reality has really slipped and that Ymir has decided that teaming up with Eren is not in her best interest. Amazing how they managed to drag that out for twenty minutes without actually saying anything.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Episode 8)

It is amazing how fun it is when you’ve felt like you’ve been kept in the dark and you’ve come up with all those possible theories and one of them turns out to be true. That doesn’t actually improve this show overall given there’s still a lot of issues, but that moment of satisfaction feels totally worth it right now and will keep me going a couple more weeks.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 8)

Kai’s episode is pretty slow and not overly great but continues the general tone and flow of this show so overall this show has been pretty entertaining this season. I’m really glad I started it and stuck with it after the first episode. I was very iffy about whether I’d enjoy this at all.

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Okay, I Guess

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 8)

Inconsistent is probably going to be my major criticism of this show when I finally review it in full. It has its moments of greatness and pure entertainment but they are sandwiched inbetween some really ordinary to poorly executed ones. This most recent episode hit a bit of both and really just made it clear why this series isn’t exactly thrilling me despite having some half decent ideas.

WorldEnd (Episode 7)

And another show that inconsistent is probably the best description I can give it. The great moments are there but then there’s a lot of down time inbetween and I’m just not sure that overall this is entertaining so much as frustrating.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 8)

This has continued on with pretty much the same tone. I’m enjoying the watch through of it and it is different from the other shows I’m still following so I quite look forward to each new episode. That said, it isn’t exactly going out of its way to be amazing. It’s just doing its thing.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 7)

Episode 6 of this was quite interesting and episode 7 continues that interesting trend. I may even need to start moving this up the list if Granblue and The Silver Guardian don’t do something in the next episode or two. It would be nice if this show could have a strong finish. It still won’t be my favourite ever but it could certainly be entertaining enough if it goes somewhere interesting.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 9)

The only reason Granblue Fantasy isn’t at the bottom of this list is because I like the characters more in this than the ones in The Silver Guardian. They don’t have all that much personality, but they are more likeable. Basically, this show continues to be watchable but pretty ordinary in every respect.

The Silver Guardian (Episode 9)

The downward slide of this show continues. That’s three episodes in a row that have been barely watchable. Any remaining curiosity I had about how we get to what we saw in the first episode has pretty much been killed off. If this doesn’t do something interesting next week I’m almost positive I’ll have reached my limit on this one.

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They Made This

Nothing this week.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Which ending are you most looking forward to?


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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 8

Review:

This episode spent a bit of time trying to remind us that there are other characters in this story that have relevance (you know, like people who are actually in charge of things and aren’t just new recruits), but mostly they were just relaying information about stuff we’d already viewed, planning, or, in Levi’s case, delivering thinly veiled threats.

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Then we spend some time flashing back to the ‘good old days’ where Mikasa was always rescuing Eren after he threw himself into a situation he clearly couldn’t deal with. I love the nostalgia lens they put on those days like starvation, bullying, and public brawls are something we should look back on fondly. And this is a very optimistic assessment of Eren’s character. I forget sometimes that he is supposed to be the protagonist so other characters in the show view him through that lens.

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Anyway, the upshot of all of this is the Scouts are heading out to get Eren back or take out the other titans, or who actually knows what they really want. Mikasa and Armin will work to get Eren back. Christa is only tagging along for Ymir. Their motives are clear if a little stuck in tunnel vision mode and missing the slightly bigger picture.

I didn’t dislike this episode, but it really did feel like we were just waiting. Waiting for the horses, for the scouts to recover, for reinforcements and then for the pursuit to begin.

Attack on Titan is avialable on AnimeLab.


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Spring 2017 Week 7

Some of these shows just get better and better. Meanwhile those that were just kind of ordinary remain that way and get a little bit less exciting each week. I have dropped both Sword Oratoria and Alice & Zoroku in the last two weeks so it isn’t as though the list is stagnant (Grimoire of Zero is still hanging in there by a thread). Still there are so many shows where I get to the end and I’m just really anticipating the next episode so this season has been a lot of fun to watch. Getting closer to the end of the season and I’m kind of hoping these shows can deliver a strong conclusion (though I know a couple are continuing on into the next season). Let me know your thoughts on the season below.

I’m also going to try a few shows that I didn’t get to at the start of this season because dropping Alice & Zoroku left a small hole in my schedule that I’d rather fill but if I don’t find anything I’ll do some random movie reviews or something there.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 6)

Recap episode – no movement.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 6)

I want to find a way to bottle the emotions I feel when I watch this show. There is no mood so bad that Natsume can’t make me feel better and even make me smile. I knew from the preview that this week was going to focus on Natsume’s normal human friends but I hadn’t realised we were flashing back to Natsume transferring into the school. This was a really great episode and continued to fill in our knowledge of the world these characters exist in. Absolutely great fun to watch.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 6)

Nidaime was conspicuously absent this week but we did get a healthy dose of Yasaburo and quite a bit of Benten as well as a surprising return from a certain character from season 1 (though I guess that shouldn’t have been too surprising). Add in a brief field trip into a painting of hell and you have a fairly fun and interesting episode even as the tone takes a shift for the slightly more serious.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 8)

This episode really does feel like it’s taking a moment to have a breath before plunging us toward the end of the season (given it is apparently going to end after 4 more episodes). There was a lot of reminders of key players, then we had some flash backs and some motivational reminiscing, before most of the characters got on their horses and rode out. Dramatic conclusion and all but really this felt like we were being deliberately held up to ensure the story ends where they want it to given I don’t think we learned anything new through the flash backs or discussions.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 21)

Fine, My Hero Academia, you win. You are a must watch this season. You make me laugh, you make me nervous for the characters, you make me care about their daddy issues, you have some pretty cool action, and mostly you’re just fun to watch. Please keep it up.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Episode 7)

And I’m back to being totally confused by this show and yet completely unable to stop watching it. This isn’t the fun puzzling out that ACCA gave me or that I experience while watching KADO. This is at times genuinely frustrating because of how this is being delivered and how it is being executed. It doesn’t stop me from being any less intrigued and curiosity almost always wins out with me, but maybe sometimes it shouldn’t.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 7)

The charm continues and pretty much I have to admit I like this show. It isn’t ground breaking or spectacular, nor will it make a favourites list for me (unless that is a list of slice of life/comedies that I’ve actually watched through to the end), but it is a fairly light and entertaining entry into my weekly viewing and I’m quite enjoying it.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 7)

And after praising this show last week on its recovery from a poor start, it spent all of this week reminding me of each and every thing I didn’t like about episode 1. Another episode like this will definitely knock this out of the usually entertaining category for good because while one or two episodes that aren’t great is pretty standard, if it starts to become a real trend it is time to admit the show is just not very good.

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Okay, I Guess

WorldEnd (Episode 6)

The week after I dropped this from usually entertaining we get episode 6 which kind of pulled the overall feeling from this show right back up. This show is very up and down and I think it is going to have to wait until the end of the season before I know where in this list it actually belongs. For now I’m leaving it here but I definitely enjoyed this episode more than last week.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 7)

No change here as the show remains watchable and kind of amusing but isn’t exactly going anywhere (not that it really needs to given its absolute episodic formula).

The Silver Guardian (Episode 8)

This show has definitely peaked already. It is becoming increasingly silly and they are just withholding information for the sake of it at this point. I don’t know how many episodes there are going to be of this but I’m kind of hoping it wraps up soon because otherwise I’m never going to find out how he saves Riko Rei. It’s a good thing these episodes are short because the last two have been barely tolerable.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 8)

Grandblue Fantasy remains watchable but becomes increasingly pointless. This peisode in particular screamed filler or sidequest and while it was fun and all did absolutely nothing to advance a plot.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 6)

Having dropped Sword Oratoria and Alice & Zoroku, this one is probably the last of my possible drops for the season. That said, episode 6 managed to get me interested in where this might go and so I’m sticking with it. The world the story is set in is fascinating it is more the characters and the plot so far I’ve had issues with. So, if they character are finally going to do something in a world that is inherently interesting, then I am all for seeing that.

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They Made This

Nothing this week.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

I knew this didn’t have much chance of staying in my watch list, but wow episode 6 definitely put the nail in the coffin as it focussed on all the parts of the show I wasn’t overly interested in and kind of just moved away entirely from the few things I was hoping to see explored or developed. This is more a failing of my own expectations rather than the show being poorly done, but still, this is where I part ways with it.

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

This is the halfway point for the season, what do you think will be the best of Spring 2017?


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Karandi James.

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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 7

Review:

Well, we’re back to fighting though as usual I have to wonder how much gas they actually have and what that translates to in terms of combat time. Mikasa seems to endlessly fly about and other than the one time where she lost her mind a bit, she’s never seemed to run out. She did at least run out of blades through her futile hacking at the armoured titan’s neck and Armin’s handed over his spares. Let’s be honest, Armin is not getting into this fight anyway.

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The fight is pretty fun to watch, though like with a lot of the fights toward the end of season 1, this one is heavily interspersed with flash back and once again Annie’s training of Eren (or beating him up during training) comes to the rescue. There’s plenty that could be said about all of those relationships but I actually want to focus in on Eren because his character is what actually stops me from really loving this show.

Once again we’re subjected to his inner monologue and seriously it sounds like we are listening to a petulant 12 year old who has been sent to his room. The blame, the over generalisations, the lack of any kind of introspection, it all just get’s on my nerves.

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That isn’t to say that Eren hasn’t had terrible things happen to him. Nor is it to say that Reiner and Bertholdt aren’t to blame for some of those given they did in fact break the wall leading to Eren’s mother’s death. But still, humans have done some pretty dreadful things and just because this dreadful thing happened to Eren, he makes grandiose statements and villainizes them as the worst in all humanity.

So while I enjoyed this episode, part of me wanted the armoured titan to pound some sense into Eren’s head and make him stop his monologues for awhile. Then of course, we end on a cliff hanger, almost literally, as the colossal titan is falling off the wall to land strategically somewhere unfortunate for Eren.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

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Karandi James.

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