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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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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Friday’s Feature: Mid-Season Thoughts On ‘KADO: The Right Answer’

At episode 6 I had to admit I had fallen completely in love with this anime. There’s someone in the real world who I think will love this show but they won’t watch it until it finishes airing but at the end of each episode I want to talk to them about it and hear their thoughts. They’ve now banned me from mentioning anything that happens because they want to enjoy it for themselves and that’s fair enough but it means I’m wanting to talk about this show so much and really don’t have an outlet for it. (On that note, spoilers if you haven’t watched up to episode 6 will follow).

That’s part of why I would recommend this anime 100% even though it isn’t finished airing (and I rarely recommend unfinished anime because too many take a nose dive in the second half). But even if KADO follows that trend and does deteriorate into nonsense as the season continues, these first 6 episodes give more than enough reason to watch and discuss this show.

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Certainly there are points to be made about the visuals of the show but I’m not really interested in that aspect at this point and time (although, mostly I think it’s been pretty with the possible exception of a few moments where the characters have gone a bit creepy momentarily). What is really grabbing me about this show is thinking through this scenario if it actually happened.

The list below severely simplifies the plot from the first 5 episodes (in the process leaving out a lot of interesting thoughts and concepts raised by the show but we’ll get back to that later):

01. A cube appears and swallows a plane full of passengers.

02. We learn the passengers are fine and will be released but the being from the cube wants to negotiate.

03. As part of that they want to give all of humanity a source of unlimited energy.

04. The UN attempts to control this new energy source and Japan, the nation that received it complies but only because they’ve got a scientist who has already figured out how to make the energy source anyway.

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Even if that were it for a plot and no further curve balls were thrown, that is more than enough to get my personal curiosity fired up. Of course what most people are wondering is what zaShunina is up to in just handing humanity unlimited energy. A popular theory I’ve seen is that it is the usual alien gives double edge sword and sits back and waits for humanity to destroy itself. Certainly that is a possibility and would fit with what is happening in terms of the UN trying to muscle Japan into compliance, mostly urged by the US and Russian representatives (and did anyone else find it odd that the whole UN Security Council other than Japan actually agreed on something).

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I’d like to believe the anime isn’t going there, though events in episode 6 make me a little suspicious of zaShunina. His ‘next’ step concerns me a great deal both in terms of what it means practically and in terms of what he will need to do to accomplish such a goal. Still, if he isn’t out to destroy humanity (or see us destroy ourselves) I have to wonder what his overall goal is. Is he just benevolent and wanting to improve humanity? That seems unlikely although I’ll admit that is probably my own cynicism coming through more than any evidence from the anime.

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Then again, part of me wonders if zaShunina is actually the one in charge of this at all. I remember when we first met him he kind of was constructed by the cube itself.  As they have very carefully avoided actually asking him anything about himself of note (other than where he comes from) it is quite possible that zaShunina’s intentions are irrelevant as he might just be an agent for an as yet unseen factor in the background. That might be needlessly conspiracy theory-ish but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the nature of zaShunina’s appearance and the fact that he seems to have a check list of objectives but doesn’t explain the reason for them outside of general terms that could be misconstrued.

Moving on from zaShuina himself, the reactions of the people and the world in this anime to the events feel very real. Life in Japan, after the initial surprise of the cube arriving, returns to normal outside of a few interruptions to the airport itself and the episode 6 temporary evacuations of certain districts as a precaution. The media are camped outside the cube and reporting regularly, there are photos and the like being sent around on social media, but for most the cube is a curiosity. While some of the more extreme were protesting the Japanese government’s refusal to comply with the UN, the majority of people kind of went about their daily life.

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For some, this might be a problem because we’re used to seeing Hollywood movies where everyone just kind of stops in their tracks or runs crazy at the mention of the arrival of aliens. Remember early scenes in Independence Day when the President makes a speech about the cities where the space ships were headed and how he asked those who felt compelled to leave the cities do so in an orderly manner and then there was just absolute chaos? We’re preconditioned by movies to think that a world changing event will actually be world changing.

Yet, what we see in reality is quite the opposite. Though there have been mass protests and the like to various election outcomes and situations in various countries, for most people they’ve kept going about their daily life. While most people have a vague awareness of situations occurring, they don’t know the details nor do they really care very much unless it directly impacts upon their daily life. You might disagree with that but when we look at the numbers protesting compared to the numbers just going about their business it is clear that the majority would prefer to maintain a status quo life-style even if they take to social media in the evening to pass on a few memes without really troubling themselves to act.

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KADO latches on to this notion, that people prefer their daily routine and the things they understand, and uses it to its advantage in forging what is becoming a very believable storyline, even with a premise that seems incredibly far-fetched at first glance. Of course there are characters directly effected by the events and they are responding. Of course governments are troubled by the offer of unlimited energy. There’s so many ways that could politically and economically go wrong and yet could have an extreme benefit if used appropriately. Of course scientists are fascinated by the chance to go further and research ideas that they couldn’t have before. But for everyone else, other than a possible flight delay and a traffic jam, life is going on. The more socially or politically aware individuals would be watching the news to keep up with developments, but during the day they go to work and things move on (whether for the better or worse is something the show hasn’t commented on in any way at this point).

KADO has totally won me over at this point. It is science fiction done very well. No sensationalist fight sequences to entertain the masses, but a tight focus on the human condition in the face of one very clear intrusion into the normal world. The reactions and flow on effects to that intrusion have been handled with care and what is being woven is a fairly compelling story that asks us to really consider the idea of humanity and national borders, yet at the same time doesn’t seem to want to preach its own brand of morality (at least not at this stage). And that isn’t to say that sensationalist fight sequences aren’t entertaining or a part of science fiction, but at its core, a good sci-fi really should get us to re-evaluate ourselves and the world at large, and KADO has succeeded admirably at that.

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If you haven’t given KADO: The Right Answer a go yet, this is the one show from this season I think is unmissable. Certainly there are more sensational shows, and shows that look prettier, or move at a faster pace, but none of the shows this season have made me want to think and talk as much as KADO has.

What do you think so far about KADO or what is your theory about zaShunina?


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KADO Episode 6

Review (definitely spoilers if you haven’t watched the episode):

You know, we’ve all been asking what the deal with Shindo is and this episode decides to finally show part of its hand on this issue. Yes, Shindo is definitely no longer normal in the strictest sense of the word, however zaShunina attributes that to the processing for Shindo to leave the cube in the first place (given he was the first human to be processed) rather than the poor attempt at first communication so that was a bit of a surprise.

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The Shindo focus continues this episode as he visits his mother, plans the relocation of the cube, and it is pointed out by the female negotiator that he needs to rest leading to the realisation by Shindo that he hasn’t been. Instead of leaving this plot point dangling the final part of this episode has zaShunina straight out acknowledge what we’ve all been thinking though as a next step I’m really not sure what zaShunina is up to.

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I’m totally hooked on this at this point. The answers come when they are needed, there’s amusement at times in the dialogue which ensures that it doesn’t become a monotonous babble of science and politics, the characters are more and more endearing as the series progresses, and I am just completely curious about what the end game of this series might be.

KADO is available on Crunchyroll.


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Spring 2017 Week 6

And we’ve hit the halfway point for the Spring anime season. While there are a lot of fairly ordinary but watchable shows this season, the shows I am enjoying or having put on my must watch list are really blowing me away. It is going to be hard to decide what my overall favourite from the season is when it ends (unless all of these shows suddenly derail). As always, I’ve got my list below, please let me know what you think of the season in the comments below.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 6)

I had to move KADO into the number 1 position this week. This show has been great from the start. It’s a slow burn but completely worth it and this week’s episode confirmed that there is some solid story telling and characterisation going on. Seriously, if you aren’t watching this and you didn’t try it, give it a go.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 5)

That was a fantastic episode and a great part 2 for Natsume and KADO overtaking it as my first must watch isn’t actually an indication that the quality of Natsume dropped. It really is that Natsume tens to be solid and stable, whereas KADO is definitely building somewhere. Still, I hope we don’t have to wait a whole season to find out what the fall out is from Natori finding out Natsume is hiding something but it doesn’t look like the story is in any rush to deal with this particular plot point as the preview for next week has moved us back to Natsume’s school friends. Still, wow!

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 5)

This was a really enjoyable episode and slowly all the threads in this story are coming together though at the moment they are definitely still forming and aren’t quite ready yet. I’m really enjoying some of the character moments and interactions as well as revisiting old grudges. For a relaxing viewing session with a bit of humour and a lot of warmth, The Eccentric Family works well for me.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 7)

While this second season is still amazing, I liked this episode a little less (oh, look, Eren’s back in the spot light). Between the Eren heavy focus and the fight that lasted an entire episode (minus flashbacks) this one was a little less enthralling than the previous ones (though I guess people who watch the show for the massive titan battles got exactly what they wanted). Still definitely a good follow up season and I’m still pretty hooked on finding out where they are going, but this week’s episode left me a little indifferent to the outcome of the current fight.

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Usually Entertaining

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 20)

I’m torn about whether this needs to move up into the Must Watch or not. This episode was so incredibly two speed and I loved part of it but found the other part relatively plain. Essentially, the characters and some of the commentary in this episode shine (and Todoroki is just fantastic in the few minutes he gets) but the plot is pretty much stagnant for the duration. Now March Comes in Like a Lion proved to me that a non-moving plot isn’t an instant strike against a show, but in an action story it would be nice to make some sort of progress and while two matches were decided, this is only the first round of this particular tournament, there are other contestants waiting and then there are other rounds. How long is this going to be stretched out?

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 6)

Some real positives continues to come out of this show in terms of narrative, pacing and delivery, which continues to surprise me given the first episode was a poorly paced, lazily written, cliché filled piece of drivel. Amazing what a decent premise can become once they start actually telling a story and don’t just try to jam in every standard anime trope they can fit into twenty minutes.

Sagrada Reset (Episode 6)

This week gave us a pretty solid episode (and this series needed one at this point after the weak delivery of episode 5). I’m back to being very intrigued and only marginally annoyed that I have no idea where episode 5 fits in the grand scheme of things. Honestly it feels so much like filler at this point but the timing of that seems odd. Anyway, a lot happened this week and clearly this little arc has a couple more episodes to run so hopefully they can maintain the standard from this week for a bit.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 6)

I thought The Royal Tutor had risen as far as it would on this list when it made it to the top of the Okay category. However, this show actually gets a little bit more interesting each episode and I’m really enjoying the character moments. That isn’t to say that The Royal Tutor is some super-amazing royal saga. It is comedy/slice-of-life/drama and there are certainly weaknesses in the way it is delivered. But, it is quite a charming way to pass twenty minutes and I’m finding myself looking forward to it more and more each week.

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Okay, I Guess

WorldEnd (Episode 5)

This one dropped from Usually Entertaining to Okay this week. Mostly that’s because other than the first episode and some of the ideas in the premise, this show has pretty much been determined to just be okay. It is watchable and fun enough, but is hardly doing anything overly interesting or good. If we ignore the first episode, it really is just an okay kind of fantasy story with the usual harem antics going on. It actually is worse because underneath that is a half-decent plot that they just keep kind of avoiding dealing with.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 6)

This show continues to be what it is. Watchable, a little bit different from the others on the list, but not particularly noteworthy. Odd little stories of people having casual brushes with a supernatural salesman.

The Silver Guardian (Episode 7)

The Silver Guardian this week dropped below Salesman due to the excess of fanservice and the absolute zero plot progression. While I have been enjoying this, I get the feeling I could have watched maybe two minutes of this episode and got the basic rundown and then pick up the next episode without really missing anything. A little bit disappointing after its improvements over the last few weeks.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 7)

This continues to be bland but not too bad and while I’m not rushing to recommend it any time soon, there isn’t any reason not to enjoy watching it even if it isn’t particularly memorable or overly interesting. Okay, the cute kid syndrome is definitely kicking in with the introduction of Io and they definitely like crying things out to get to a solution, but mostly it is just a pretty ordinary fantasy adventure.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 5)

Well they were fighting with magic which was kind of cool. Mostly this episode introduced a whole bunch of different factions into a show that already seemed to have enough different groups fighting and didn’t offer a lot of explanations. We do know that Zero is super possessive of her mercenary though.

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 5)

No episode this week but a special (surprise). Given last week felt like a season final, and then this week we didn’t get an episode, it really does feel like the story is done. Next week this title has its work cut out for it because to be honest I’d be happy enough to drop it satisfied with the ending I got last week.

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They Made This

Nothing this week.

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Tried and Dropped

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

There’s a chance I’ll go back and finish Sword Oratoria once its finished airing, but to be honest, I’m bored and I’m letting it go.

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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KADO Episode 5

Review:

After the UN made their declaration in the previous episode I was ready for Japan to either capitulate or defy and I was ready for the inevitable war to get rolling along or for zaShunina to do something really crazy but this show once again surprised me in the best possible way.

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Even the reporters in this show expected that outcome.

While a lot of attention is given to the scientist who works in the lab (the one who wanted to crash a drone into the side of the cube and no I cannot remember her name at this point) during the episode, I am more interested in the older scientist’s observation about Shindo. It’s been observed previously that Shindo is too calm and collected and while even before episode 1 (in episode 0) he was shown to be fairly brilliant and flexible in his thinking, it seems odd to belive that a negotiator could help a scientist figure out wam in a matter of hours. There’s something up with that and it probably comes back to the direct communication with zaShunina in episode 1 but to be honest that is my speculation.

Episode Spoiler Ahead

However, here’s the bomb that zaShunina wanted to drop (admittedly it may not be and this is my interpretation of his previous statement and the events this episode):

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For a show that has so far been all talk, they still manage to make things thrilling as you really just get caught up in the possibilities.

Kado is available on Crunchryoll.


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Spring 2017 Week 5

Well it has been an incredibly busy week with the anniversary and all, if you missed any posts they are all tagged anniversary so please check them out, particularly the follower features. However, regardless of what else I’m doing, the Spring anime season is marching on and there have been some great shows to check out this week so below is my list and my current thoughts. Love to know what you are watching and how you feel about them so be sure to comment.

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Must Watch

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 4)

Natsume delivered a great part one of a story this week and given my favourite exorcist has made an appearance in this episode I’m pretty thrilled. So far this series is giving me exactly what I was looking for in another season of the show so I have no complaints.

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 5)

Kado may very well pass Natsume on my list of must watch shows next week. It isn’t that there is anything wrong with Natsume, more that Natsume always maintains a nice, sweet story, whereas Kado gets just a little more thrilling each episode. My only concern is where Kado may end up going because Natsume will end well, I already know that from experience, and Kado may very well derail itself as so many anime do. Still, loved this episode and love how the tension continues to build in this series.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 6)

Another show that may just topple Natsume next week. Episode 6 was pretty thrilling and the reveals were fantastic. While the first season started strong and then kind of meandered, season 2 is taking the opposite approach as it builds just a little bit more each episode. If this continues for the whole season, this is going to be a great watch.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 4)

This is still a must watch but I have to admit in terms of which show is moving along and getting me excited for the next episode, Attack on Titan is definitely stronger at this point. Still loving the relaxed approach to narrative this show has and the characters are fantastic, but it doesn’t really drive forward as it is happy just to meander along its own path. That makes the experience fun but individual episodes less striking.

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Usually Entertaining

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 19)

This was a fairly nothing episode if you think about grander plots and the like and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this transition between the second and third competition in the tournament. The character moments were well handled and because we moved between several different groups and scenes it never felt like it was standing still but rather like we were still driving forward. This second season is still being quite fun and I’m hoping it continues.

WorldEnd (Episode 4)

I’m thinking by the end of this show I’m going to want a rewrite. Take all the good parts of it that have been engaging and fascinating, cut out some of the filler cute moments and the parts that just kind of feel like they are there for the obligatory light novel adaptation check list, maybe trim down the cast though we’ll see if all of these characters actually do serve a point or not, and repackage the whole thing as WorldEnd: Will You Watch if We Remove the clichés? Despite that, I’m still enjoying this quite a lot so I’m guessing my complaints are pretty half-hearted.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 5)

This episode continued to be surprisingly good. I really do have to write episode 1 off as an anomaly at this point and just accept that this show is actually entertaining. It isn’t brilliant and you are certainly going to encounter a whole barrage of clichés, but it does the job and is actually kind of decent at times. As a definite plus, the world continues to be more fleshed out and there’s some quite interesting back story coming into play. The minus would be the radical re-characterisation of the protagonist after episode 1.

Sagrada Reset (Episode 5)

While Sagrada remains very intriguing, it is becoming increasingly problematic in terms of delivery (and it already had enough problems with characterisation and pacing so it really didn’t need to add in any more issues). There’s still hope that this show might be quite good but episodes 4 and 5 have kind of left me thinking this show is going to end up more of a failed attempt at something and I’m not sure yet what that something is.

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Okay, I Guess

The Royal Tutor (Episode 5)

This one is now firmly entrenched. Much like The Laughing Salesman, this is pretty set in its position. There’s certainly the mystery of who Heine is that could become quite an interesting plot point, or the show might just give us more semi-funny/semi-sweet family moments between the princes and either way I’ll probably enjoy it enough but it isn’t really making me fall in love with it. Definitely watchable and cute, but that’s all.

The Silver Guardian (Episode 6)

This show is surprisingly decent. It would be better, I think, just to watch it in one hit. Given the short run time on each episode and the fact that it is one continuous story, watching it in a binge fashion would probably make it far more entertaining, but at episode 6 this is actually pretty okay.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 5)

While I think other shows will bounce either above or below this title, it is pretty set in its position at this point. There are a few interesting ideas that might later be explored or it may remain episodic and either way this is watchable but not exceptional.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 6)

There’s only so many times you can say that something is mostly harmless before you realise it really is just bland and there’s not a lot of reason to continue watching. That said, I won’t drop this show, but it is certainly falling down the list, not because the quality got any worse, but just because I get a little less enjoyment from this particular slice of nothing each week.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 4)

Episode 4 is kind of good in building tension and drawing the audience in to anticipating what is coming, but doesn’t really do anything else (we learn a tiny bit more about magic and some of the character background but not in any depth). This series remains watchable and there are a few signs that it might be able to build a half decent narrative, but at the moment is still just kind of nothing.

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 5)

Mid-season final battle? Kind of felt like they were wrapping up the whole story in this one episode so wondering what the plan is going forward. More importantly, one of the reasons I actually wanted to keep going with this show, to find out what the whole shady organisation was up to, kind of just got punctured and tossed to the side. They could revive this plot line but it seems like they effectively shoved it to the side in favour or Sana learning how to be a cute girl who sings to plants.

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They Made This

Sword Oratoria (Episode 4)

Episode 3 I nearly dropped this into this category and at episode 4, while I am really close to just outright dropping this, my questions about why this even exists remain. Ais is so incredibly boring. Loki as a goddess is absurd (even more than Hestia because at least Hestia was kind of amusing and cute even while clearly being fanservice bait and little else). None of the other characters have given me any reason to care about them. And what is the story? DanMachi it was clear that Bell wanted to be a hero and an adventurer (even if part of his motive was to pick up girls). The story was about him getting stronger. Every episode contributed in some way to his growth as a character and every encounter led to that outcome. What is Sword Oratoria about? Girls who don’t understand the function of armour wandering about and occasionally fighting monsters? This is an unfocussed mess and I am nearly done with it.

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Tried and Dropped

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 sequels are you watching and which ones have made the strongest impressions on you so far?


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Karandi James.

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KADO Episode 4

Review:

While this show has previously moved at a snail’s pace (though this has been needed given how much information we’ve had to take in), episode 4 seems to have finally planted its foot on the accelerator. Part of that came from the absence of zaShunina for the large majority of the episode as we instead focussed on the humans scrambling around trying to figure out what to do with the infinite energy literally dropped into their laps.

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That said, this episode isn’t without zaShunina’s particular take on the world and his discussion about countries and their purpose and how they operate is kind of interesting. Though, more interesting is his declaration that the wam are not for countries but for humanity, cleanly separating the concepts even as the UN and other countries work to put pressure on Japan.

Not sure what the intention is for the next move but things are definitely rolling along now and certainly we saw a lot more tension in the narrative during episode 4 than in the previous episodes. Really enjoyable story so far.

KADO is available on Crunchyroll.


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Spring 2017 Week 4

Pretty sure the watch list is set at this point. There’s a handful of shows that I’m still kind of thinking about dropping even though we’ve past the three episode point. I guess it really depends when they push me past being just kind of bored with them into disliking them. The rest of the shows I am most likely going to finish. Though with 8 shows as either Must Watch or Usually Entertaining I’m really enjoying Spring so far. That said, with writing anniversary posts, some of the shows I watch on Sunday haven’t been watched yet or updated on this list. Will fix that for next week. How are you enjoying the Spring season?

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on the shows this season so please leave a comment below.

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Must Watch

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 3)

Natsume continues to be its usual self and was just the fun and relaxing watch I needed this week. Still no complaints about how this season has started as it is very much what I would have expected going into yet another season of Natsume.

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 4)

After saying this show was not in any kind of a rush, episode 4 felt like it was speeding along nicely. Events are fully in motion (I guess you can’t offer humanity infinite energy and have them just sitting around). This story continues to be fairly intriguing and quite clever, though it is still very dialogue driven and there is quite a heavy political focus at times.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 3)

Benten is back! Okay, that statement alone would probably be enough to keep me going another week with this as a must watch regardless of how scattered or absent any kind of overall plot has been so far. Throw into the mix Nidaime’s very cool personality and to be honest I’m pretty happy to forget about the Tanuki and focus on those two for awhile. Still, it will be interesting to see what Yasaburo chooses for his next move after all of this.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 4)

Okay, it took 4 episodes but Attack on Titan is getting better each week. The slow start to this season is paying off as more and more pieces are coming together and the show is finding its pacing and tone. I really enjoyed episode 3 and episode 4 was better. Hoping this can maintain for the remainder of the season. Plus, the opening song is finally growing on me.

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Usually Entertaining

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 18)

The kids have gone all out with their quirks during the second part of the cavalry battle and, despite the lack of danger being faced, they managed to build some real tension in those final moments. Again, this season continues to be entertaining and enjoyable even if it is also fairly predictable.

Sagrada Reset (Episode 4)

Episode 4 was somewhat less satisfying and has given me some concerns about the intended future of this show. There’s still a lot to think about in terms of what it is doing and where it is going, but for the first time, this show felt like it was rushing to get information out to the audience and as a result it all just felt kind of messy.

WorldEnd (Episode 3)

Much better third episode. After the weak second entry I was kind of fearing that I’d have to drop this show down. While the first episode was great without a decent follow up that’s all it would be, a great first episode. Third episode put some of those fears to rest by dealing fairly decently with the characters and pushing the story along a bit. Hopefully this show can continue to build from this beginning.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 4)

Akashic Records has finally moved from Okay to Usually Entertaining and other than the entirety of episode 1 and Glenn as a character, the rest of this show is quite entertaining (and even Glenn has his moments, I just personally have issues with him). Kind of looking forward to how the rest of this show plays out and still wondering what they have in mind for an end game.

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Okay, I Guess

The Royal Tutor (Episode 4)

Last week I said that I wasn’t really interested in this show, but episode 4 finally feels like we’ve past the introductions and I did find myself quite enjoying this episode. It still isn’t really my kind of thing, but it has its own appeal and this week I found quite a few sweet or funny moments to enjoy. Unless it takes a serious nose dive in quality, this one may end up in the usually entertaining category because even though it really isn’t my thing, it is working hard to win me over.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 4)

Last week I said, “There’s no reason for me to drop this but little reason to recommend it”. I’m just going to leave that as my description of the show at this point. It is working well enough but it isn’t exactly great.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 4)

This has pretty much settled here. It is okay to watch and fun while its on but it isn’t exactly blowing me away with any particular element. It is 20 minutes each week I will enjoy and then I’ll probably forget about it until the next week.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 3)

It didn’t get any worse this week, and as an individual episode the third one was probably the most interesting. However, the world and overall plot of this story remain pretty flat and as I am only passingly interested in the characters there really isn’t a lot of appeal in this show. Still sounds like it should be far more interesting than it is.

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 4)

I realised that at this point I don’t care about this show or its characters. There’s a tiny part of me still vaguely curious about where they are going with this whole dreams of Alice thing which is why I haven’t dropped this, but I’m not emotionally invested in the slightest. This realisation came as I watched twenty minutes of a young girl being treated cruelly after being kidnapped and not once did I care about whether she was rescued or not. I legitimately felt nothing for her plight. This one may not survive the whole season because usually this level of detachment comes right before I start making excuses to avoid watching the next episode.

The Silver Guardian (Episode 4)

This finally clawed its way out of the ‘They Made This’ category as it finally looks like they are actually going to tell the story they promised us at the start of episode 1. All and all, episode 4 was a pretty interesting episode (not great by any means but compared to episodes 2 and 3 it was pretty good). If the show actually builds from there it might even become passably entertaining.

Sword Oratoria (Episode 3)

Sword Oratoria is dangerously close to hitting the ‘They Made This’ category, because really, why did they make this? They’ve given us no new perspective on Ais, there’s no actual plot being constructed yet, the events that have been retold have been less satisfying from the new viewpoint, and even if we ignore that this is a spin off and simply view it as an entirely new show, it is still flat and uninteresting. The couple of seconds of entertainment that you gain from seeing Bell or hearing a line from the original show, does not make up for the rest of the episode.

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They Made This

Nothing at the moment that I’m watching.

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Tried and Dropped

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

And now the shows have made their initial impressions and are pushing on with their stories. Which plot has you most interested this season?


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Karandi James.

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KADO Episode 3

Review:

They’ve emerged from the cube and finally negotiations are getting underway, but my question is what are they actually negotiating? Given zaShunina has already said the passengers will be released and he seems to be wanting to give information rather than receive it, stating that it is a negotiation seems a bit off. Then again, I’m kind of certain there’s more to it than altruistic higher order being giving humans advanced knowledge so maybe things will become clearer later.

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I’m thinking this show is only going to have a very limited appeal to anime fans in general. It is incredibly dry with most of this episode being focussed on the set-up of negotiations, the press moving into position through security, or the negotiation itself. While the music is amazing and I’m finding the animation really pretty (some people disagree on that one), the slow pace of the dialogue heavy story is probably going to cause some people to walk away despite the fairly interesting nature of the discussion. Okay, the ideas are highly interesting, the delivery might be a little less so depending on your preferences. Despite that, I’m pretty hooked on this show right now.

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KADO is available on Crunchyroll.


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