Friday’s Feature: Strong Female Character?

I’ve mentioned before that I am a huge fan of Joss Whedon’s work. As a teenager in the 90’s it was more or less impossible not to get on-board the Buffy bandwagon, and it was such a great bandwagon to be on. A female character who was reasonably attractive, had street smarts (though struggled at school), was articulate, and for the most part didn’t end up in ridiculously revealing outfits (after they got over the season 1 mini-skirt thing). Buffy kicked butt, literally, and was such a great character. Add in Willow, who also took the geek girl role and made it something empowering, and Cordelia, who proved that just because you are vapid doesn’t mean you can’t help save the world, and the story was full of these amazing characters that gave a range of ways to be feminine but not helpless.

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One of the things that occasionally bothers me about anime is the lack of female characters that I can really get behind. Part of that is probably the genres I prefer to watch as I know there are more female characters in other genres, but at the same time, it seems odd that whole seasons can pass without a single female character that I actually like or admire. Female characters are there and sometimes they are doing the over-sexualised thing, the damsel in distress thing, or just come off as pretty useless and dead weight to the script. Worse, they exist just to be a love interest or to rotate around a central protagonist who is usually male.

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That said, I find the statement that we need more ‘strong female characters’ to be a little bit mis-leading. Not every female character needs to be strong. Imagine how boring a show would be if every character was ‘strong’. And it isn’t as though every male character out there is strong. There are some pretty despicable depictions of masculinity to be found even in shows where there are some fantastic male characters. And that is more my point. What we need are more diverse female characters to be shown.

Shirayuki

Shiaryuki from Snow White With The Red Hair is an excellent example of this. She isn’t a ‘strong’ character in that she doesn’t wield a sword and she isn’t a martial artist. Yet when you read descriptions of her, her strength always comes up. She has a strong moral character, strong willpower, strong belief in herself and in her actions, and so she gets the label of strong female character. And while she is an excellent example of a different kind of female character, neither the hero nor the damsel in distress (though at times moving through both roles), I think labelling her strong kind of minimises how interesting she is as a person.

Erza

See the strong label puts Shirayuki on the same stage as Erza and Buffy and at the end of the day, if we made this a test of strength, Shirayuki isn’t exactly going to hold her own in a fight against these two. She has a different kind of strength of character and is exceptional, but she isn’t a fighter and we wouldn’t want her to be. Though, while we’re on that note, Erza might be exceptional in her magical and physical strength but with where I’m up to in Fairy Tail it seems her personality is fairly fragile. And that’s fantastic that she is more than just stoic and tough because if that was all there was to her, strong as she might be, she’d be pretty boring.

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However, I’m going to move away from red-heads for a moment (otherwise people might think I’m biased towards female characters with absolutely beautiful and stunning scarlet hair) and look at the cast from Princess Principal. This cast is kind of what I am talking about when I said earlier I think we need diverse female characters. None of the members of the squad in Princess Principal are useless and none of them are one-dimensional. Each comes into the squad with back-story, with some skills, some weaknesses, some baggage and motives, and they all contribute to the team. None of them fall into a single descriptor such as damsel-in-distress or childhood-friend (though those descriptors can be applied it isn’t the sum total of their character at any point) and as such the cast are really interesting to watch and the girls are characters I really enjoyed seeing on the screen. They all get moments where they can be strong, and other moments where we see them in a less desirable light as they crumble under emotional pressure, hesitate, or make poor decisions.

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And that is where a show like Orange kind of annoyed me. Of the three females who had significant screen time, two of them had almost no development as characters. We don’t know their backstory or their motive, and mostly their interactions could have been cut down to a single character (there was no real reason for two of them as they didn’t add anything all that different from the other – lovers of these characters will now hate me). And Naho as a main character could be summed up as ‘nice, shy girl’. There really wasn’t much else to her. Sure she wanted to help the guy but that was kind of coming from the nice attribute and she wasn’t overly effective at actually helping him. One could argue that the male friend ended up doing all the actual work that succeeded at anything and Naho was merely the catalyst for him to act because he didn’t want to see her unhappy. Basically, I didn’t dislike these characters (well, I did dislike Naho) but I didn’t find anything appealing or memorable about them either and I only remember Naho’s name because I kind of prodded at her in my review of Orange and I can’t remember the other names at all.

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Strength comes in many forms and even then, strength isn’t necessarily the only character trait female characters are sometimes missing in stories. Rather than fighting for stronger characters, I think what is really needed is diversity. If there were as many female characters out there and as many types of female characters as male ones, than most of us would be able to find a reasonable selection of characters that we can connect with or find interesting. Not every female character has to save the world or even shoulder the entire emotional burden, but it would be nice if we could see female characters carrying more roles than the traditionally assigned ones in stories. Or even if they have to carry the traditional role of mother and house-wife, at least let them do it with their own touch on the role so that it feels like they are a person and not a stand in for an understood convention.

As always, I’ll turn this over to the readers and ask you what you think.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Friday’s Feature: Avoiding the Paradoxes of Time Travel or Plunging Headlong Into Them with Sagrada Reset

This post was written after watching the first three episodes of Sagrada Reset and while it discusses those episodes everything in this feature will be pure speculation and opinion. Keep in mind this post is not trying to tell you that Sagrada is an amazing, must watch anime given there are a lot of issues so far with it as an anime. It is however, looking at the premise of the show and how it is dealing with, or not dealing with, time travel.

And then episode 4 came out and a lot of my speculation has already been tossed out the window. On to the next lot of theories then, still, this was where I was after episode 3.

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Previously I wrote a feature article focussing on the use of time travel in Orange and essentially the fact that no matter how I looked at it, even if the mechanism they used for time travel worked, it made no sense that the future versions of a person would actually take the actions they took. As a result of how time travel played out I essentially found the basic premise of the show flawed because the character in the future assumed that changing the past would create a parallel timeline where her past self could experience the different version of her life while future self continued to live her current existence. There was no evidence to give the character confidence this was how time travel would work other than one off hand spur of the moment discussion by a science teacher back when she was in high school For all she knew she was undoing her entire future life and the life of her child.

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Essentially, while I like science fiction, and quite enjoy stories that use time travel as a mechanism, I find these stories tend to by and large fall apart once you step back and actually question the internal logic of them. Even Terminator makes very little sense given the AI has figured out how to travel through time and sends only one machine with a specific target rather than sending an army to hit multiple targets simultaneously. Assuming there’s an energy consumption reason behind that decision, taking out Sarah Connor is still a really pointless move. Even assuming John Connor never exists it is highly unlikely that no human would stand up in his absence. John Connor became the leader of the resistance, but if he hadn’t been there, someone else would have become the leader and maybe they would be more effective. Let’s be honest, if no one had ever tried to kill Sarah and then John, his childhood (assuming he existed at all given his father is technically also from the future) would have been completely useless at preparing him for the end of the world. Surely the AI is smart enough to draw these conclusions and to realise that given the machines seem to be winning in the future anyway, messing with that timeline is unlikely to tip things in the machines favour.

But none of that has anything to do with Sagrada Reset.

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To start with, Sagrada Reset is not using time travel. Nobody moves through time, the world is reset to a particular point (literally to a save point predetermined by Haruki). In the first episode she tells us that it changes nothing and no one can be saved because even she does not remember the reset until she tries to reset again to the same point (because clearly the same events would occur uninterrupted leading to the trigger that makes her want to reset) and she realises she can’t because each save point can only be used once and she can’t set a new save point within 24 hours of the old.

This made me interested in how this show would deal with time because it seemed like a neat way to avoid the usual time travel paradox  discussion without creating parallel worlds because she was literally destroying everything that had come after the save point and starting over to admittedly let events repeat themselves unhindered. This was more or less confirmed in episode three when we got this line from Kei who is the only character we know of who can remember events that have happened during the days that were reset:

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It’s an ugly way to put it but if the reset works the way Haruki has described then it is rather accurate. Meaning you are giving up the three days that have existed, erasing them from everyone’s memory, and starting over.

But then we have Kei who does remember what has happened and who shares that knowledge with Haruki in order to change events (although far more cautiously after the events of episode 2). All of this leaves the story open to be a fairly basic protagonist goes back three days to solve the mystery of the week kind of story without any further issues of concerns about the mechanism that allows that story to operate. This, by itself, would still be a fairly watchable premise and could even be entertaining if done well (though not particularly original – hardly a sin in the entertainment industry these days).

What got this show stuck in my head were the other complications and mysteries that have crept into the story or been hinted at. We’re only three episodes in and yet there’s an almost endless stream of questions and possibilities.

Episode 2 saw Kei use a reset for an almost trivial reason. I guess from his emotionally stunted point of view it made sense to approach the situation that way but from anyone else’s point of view it was a lame reason to ask the girl you just kissed to reset the entire world. As interesting a discussion as that might make as to the true nature of Kei’s character, what makes this moment more than just a minor blip in the story is that after the reset one major thing has changed and that leads to a character’s death (at least she’s reported as dead – let’s be honest, this is clearly setting up a mystery and the girl died off screen so there is every chance for a return later in the series with a faked her own death story). Putting aside conspiracy, she’s not dead, for just a short moment, this made me draw the conclusion that someone other than Kei must remember the reset and have intervened to change events.

However, another blogger (Marthaurion from Marth’s Anime Blog) had this to say in his review of episode 2:

It seems like the reset changed the timeline, but it also seems like…it didn’t?

Which of course made me question the original conclusion I’d drawn and I realised that both options were possible and weren’t actually mutually exclusive which raised even more possibilities further down the track, and none of that addressed the potential of the character not even being dead.

So let’s go back to how the reset works, or at least how it is explained which could be highly suspect anyway given if it worked the way Haruki describes why on earth would she even know she had the power because technically any memory of it should be wiped from her own mind.

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Now this is where I wish my Japanese was better to know how accurate a translation those subs are but the implication here is that if things are being rearranged to a past state there’s no guarantee that some mistakes won’t creep in to the reconstructed version of the world. Particularly when literally everyone and everything is being rearranged. It would seem very unnatural for it to fall perfectly back the way it started.

If we then assume the robot or android analogy they made in episode 1 was meant to be something more than a throw away thought bubble then we could see Haruki and her power essentially like the save function in a computer game. Save before you face the boss and should the battle go south reload and try again. In some games the boss will always repeat the same attack patterns allowing you to learn how to overcome it. This would be the way she describes her power working. However, in other games, while the boss will still attack you the sequence of attacks may not be exactly the same each time and you may even have a random encounter before you get to the boss fight that didn’t show up in the previous iteration.

So I guess that leads me to wonder if this story is leading us down the path of discussion about whether events are preordained (in which case they would repeat identically without interference) or whether they are more random (in which case even if the reset was perfect anything after the reset could potentially change though most people would be inclined to repeat their actions simply because without any change in the stimulus provided there would be little reason for them to react differently).

Meanwhile, none of this gets us any closer to knowing if there is another person who remembers the loops and is interfering or whether the power itself is something else altogether.

Now let’s go full conspiracy theory on this show just for the fun of it.

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My current working theory is that after the Bureau was confronted by Kei and forced to give up on securing Mari because the mother stayed behind, they somehow realised that Haruki and Kei were messing with time but weren’t sure exactly how, or maybe the figured it out but wanted some more details. The next time Kei and Haruki reset, the Bureau used its influence to make one critical change and removed Soma from the picture (either by killing her, convincing her to leave town and then faking the news story as her memory would be gone anyway, or because she was already working for them in her capacity as class rep – which incidentally explains how the Bureau knew about the power in the first place given Soma was the one who put Kei and Haruki together – they simply asked her to disappear). Possibly this was a field test to determine whether or not Haruki really was unable to reset the same period of time.

We then get a two year time leap where it is strongly implied that Kei and Haruki have used the reset and developed a working relationship, though Kei apparently isn’t keen on using the reset easily anymore, and now the Bureau is directly monitoring them through the creation of a club at their highschool and the known Bureau representative being the club advisor.

This time they seem to be testing the three days and the save points by setting up the ridiculous scenario with the run-over/kidnapped cat. Evidence for this includes the advisor knowing when the save points are and Kei reporting the use of a reset to him, the timeline for the cat getting killed and the request that Kei and Haruki help, the suspicious actions of the girl who requested help in the first time line where she’s following their investigation and then in the second where she’s clearly waiting for them to show up (thus confirming they travelled through time and thought something would happen at the bakery), and the advisor’s strange request that Kei not reset time until three days had passed even though they had a new save point.

And that’s a lovely theory that essentially the Bureau are orchestrating the whole thing in order to find a practical way they can utilise this combination ability of Kei and Haruki. The only issue is the hole in the wall thing that showed up in episode 3 at the moment won’t slot into that theory at all.

Basically, more information is needed. To be honest, I’m kind of going to have to finish this show at this point, no matter how bland the characters may be at times or how dialogue heavy the episodes may get while pacing continues to be hit and miss. I may end up really hating this story by the end, but right now I just need to know. Time travel without time travel. What kind of narrative paradox can you create?

If you’ve been watching Sagrada Reset, what do you think?


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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Orange Series Review

Overview:

Ten years ago Kakeru committed suicide. Now his friends, feeling regret, send letters to their past selves in an effort to save him.

I reviewed this week to week so if you are interested in my thoughts on individual episodes click here.

Review:

For those following week to week, it is no surprise that there are definitely aspects of this show that annoyed me. That said, it is actually quite a nice drama and if you are into teen romance between emotionally stunted characters with possible mental health issues you will probably find a truly touching story to follow. That said, I’m probably not the intended audience which might be why I became progressively more annoyed with the characters and plot.

My main issue will always be Naho and Kakeru themselves. You can argue that they are supposed to be flawed characters suffering from various issues (depression, social anxiety, etc) but that doesn’t stop them being irritating to watch. One or the other may have been fine on their own as an exploration into characters with mental health problems but the two together, dominating the screen time, are hard to take and mostly you just want to slam their heads together and tell them to hurry things along. Or maybe that’s just me being callous but the issue is that these two are not engaging to watch (for me at least). Sawako in Kimi ni Todoke has a similar mentality to Naho but I never found her to be quite this frustrating and possibly that was because she was partnered with someone significantly more outgoing (even if he did have his own issues to deal with).

The second issue that comes between me and actually enjoying Orange is the plot. The time travel explanation is rubbish and I still fail to see why (if you could send a letter to the past) you would openly work to undermine the life you have (especially in Suwa’s case). you could argue they are being selfless or maybe we could argue that the characters don’t believe it will affect them because any changes will occur in a parallel world but they don’t know that. It is a theory and speculation. They gambled the life of their future child on a theory that could not be proven ahead of time. The more they discuss and explain time travel (particularly in the last couple of episodes) the clearer it makes it that they did not know what the consequence would be but decided to do it anyway.

My final issue will always be the lack of development for any character outside of Naho and Kakeru. The friends exist to be friends. And while they all get to show up smiley and happy in the pictures, the bottom line is it always comes back to Naho and Kakeru while everyone else put everything on hold.

With those issues on the table I do want to point out some positives.

The story is complete in and of itself. No looking for answers elsewhere, no wondering about the outcome. They have a goal established in episode 1 and they work towards it until episode 13 and then the situation is resolved (whether you like the resolution or not it is resolved).

Neither Kakeru nor Naho actually do a complete 180 and are magically cured of their issues by the power of friendship or through sheer determination. You know what, they aren’t just going to get over it. They are going to slowly take steps forward and backward and may or may not eventually move on or maybe they are going to deal with issues their whole life. I actually liked that they treated their issues with this sort of respect. You can’t get over social anxiety just because you want to. And Kakeru isn’t just going to get over his guilt and subsequent depression just because he has friends and a few good times. While these characters may not be good together, individually it was great to see both of these characters and the way they were dealt with by the narrative.

Visually, Orange is a mixed bag of soft and pretty followed by some occasionally terrible animation. Don’t look too closely at background characters and mostly it won’t bother you. Thematically the story works well and while I’m still annoyed at the time travel treatment there isn’t a lot more you could ask for in thirteen episodes.

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Recommendation: For those into drama and romance that aren’t put off by slow moving stories or awkward characters. I’m not the biggest fan of the show but I can see why it appeals to others. And I can see why it would be irritating to some.

 

 

Summer 2016 Week 13

This is my last overview for Summer 2016. I know some shows still haven’t finished but next week I’ll be posting my first thoughts on the Autumn season shows as they start rolling out (though from the looks of Crunchyroll and AnimeLab I may be a little short of shows this season – I say that now but will have to reconsider once I see what actually gets released). That said, I will begin whole season reviews of the Summer shows in a few weeks (once I’ve had some time to gather my overall thoughts).

No real surprises in the order this week but some interesting conclusions (and non-conclusions) to some highly entertaining shows. I think that’s my main take-away from Summer. I enjoyed watching more shows than I did during the Spring season.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • D.Gray-Man Hallow (Ep 13)
  • Alderamin on the Sky (Ep 12)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ep 12)
  • Days (Ep 12 – No episode this week)

And D Gray Man was awesome until the end. I’ve loved being back in this world and now all I can say is I want more because we are still left without resolution. Let’s hope it isn’t 8 years this time.

Alderamin was not finished yet but with one episode to go it is fairly safe to say that this series needs a follow up. While watching Ikta manage a tactical retreat has been fun, it would be excellent to see how he follows this up. Admittedly they could still kill him off but that would seem to defy any of the narration we’ve had throughout the series about how amazing he was going to become.

Tales of Zestiria the X delivered a stunning lack of resolution but did bring the current battle to an end (of sorts). Objectively I know there are a lot of issues with this show however, I am really enjoying watching it week to week even when I’m being critical. I’m actually kind of looking forward to another season with these characters.

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Still On My Radar

  • The Morose Mononokean (Ep 13)
  • Momokuri (Ep 26)
  • 91 Days (Ep 11)
  • Food Wars (Ep 13)
  • Cheer Boys (Ep 12)
  • Orange (Ep 13)

The Morose Mononokean continued right to the end at showing us an alright show but never tipped the scales toward becoming a great show. And while not every show needs to be great, this one just continued to feel lacking even while what it delivered was perfectly watchable entertainment.

Momokuri finished the way it started. Creepy but adorable simultaneously. This one is going to be hard to write a full review about but I’m kind of looking forward to reading over my impressions from the season and finalising my thoughts.

91 Days gave us a great second last episode. If the series had maintained its momentum from start to finish it would have been a must watch. Unfortunately all the ending is doing is making me wonder why it took so long for them to kick the story into gear.

Food Wars gave us a conclusion to the placement and all the characters came back to school but really this whole series has just been a bit of a let down after the manic energy of season 1. Still, it was worth watching the continuation of the cooking journey.

Cheer Boys left us on a fairly flat note but the series as a whole has been a delightfully empty piece of entertainment and other than an episode 5 recap I haven’t really got any complaints.

At last Orange is done. I feel this show would fair better with a binge watch rather than week to week, though even that may not remove some of the more frustrating aspects of watching the show. I guess the real issue is I’m not much for touching emotional teen drama and that is what this show drips with from start to finish.

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Not Dropped But Close

  • Hitorinoshita (Ep 12)
  • Taboo Tattoo (Ep 12 – Finished last week)

MAL tells me Hitorinoshita is finished but you wouldn’t know it from watching the episode. After leaving us with questions all series they are going to finish it without really revealing anything (odd after two episodes of nearly continuous flashback that we still know almost nothing that we couldn’t have kind of figured out).

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Dropped

  • Cute High Earth Defence Club Love (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Sweetness and Lightning (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Danganronpa 3 (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Mob Psycho 100 (Dropped at Ep 1 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Servamp (Dropped at Ep 2 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Rewrite (Dropped at Ep 2)
  • The Disasterous Life of Saiki K (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Ozmafia (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Scar-red Riders XechS (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Qualidea Code (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • First Love Monster (Dropped at Ep 1)

And now we’re done with Summer. Bring on Autumn and let’s hope we find some more shows worth watching.

Orange Episode 13

Review:

I’m definitely feeling conflicted about whether I liked the way this ended. The extended episode was nice because it meant we didn’t get an abrupt pace shift in this final episode. The story has progressed slowly and steadily and the extra time allowed them to tell this final part the same way. I still think the way the friends approach some situations borders on creepy and I haven’t quite figured out why Kakeru doesn’t call them on it earlier. Naho spends the first part of the episode being just a little bit too Naho and ultimately, despite her being a central character she really doesn’t do all that much. Suwa remains the most interesting and dynamic of the cast and honestly I am still waiting for him to genuinely realise what all their meddling is going to cost him. Anyway, I’m done because if you want to know any more you are just going to have to watch the episode.

Orange is available on Crunchyroll.

 

Orange Episode 12

Review:

Okay, that’s seriously going to be their explanation for how the letters got back to the past? Right…

That was even worse than getting no explanation. However, it does fit the overall tone of the show. Completely irrational. Five different sets of instructions (that clearly weren’t written in consultation given different bits of information have been given to different characters) sent back by wishing and hoping that an insane conspiracy theory might pan out and that some random stranger will be able to read Japanese and will then follow said instructions, giving insufficient detail for the recipient to make an informed choice and not really knowing what the outcome of any of these changes might be… Well, I guess it’s a plot but logic left this particular group of characters a long time ago.

The only positive that really came out of this was at least we finally got to see Kakeru’s point of view and the process that lead to his decision to die in the original timeline. Given the show has been about saving Kakeru, very little time has been given to allow the audience to actually understand him as a character. Admittedly, this half-episode series of flash backs doesn’t give us much more depth than we got from the other characters’ letters but it feels like he’s actually a person now instead of a goal post.

Orange is available on Crunchyroll.

Summer 2016 Week 11

Week 11 and it is the home stretch. After last week’s rather ho-hum performance from so many shows, it seems like some of them were just saving up for this week. Other shows are taking the interesting approach (though one that is common in the anime world) of continuing to derail as the end draws near.

Just as a heads up, I’ll be travelling over the next week or so and while I’m mostly going to have internet access so mostly should continue posting without disruption, there may be some gaps or it may take me a little longer than normal to respond both here and on twitter.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • D.Gray-Man Hallow (Ep 11)
  • Alderamin on the Sky (Ep 10)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ep 1)
  • Days (Ep 11)

D Gray Man, I know I should gush about you every week but I just love watching this show so much. Great to see Lenalee back this week and some great plot reveals just make me want to watch it all the more.

Alderamin on the Sky is an anime that you need to check out if you have not started watching it yet this season. I normally do not recommend things prior to their completion but this one is worth getting on board with. It isn’t the most energetic action spectacle of all time but it is a nice bit of storytelling with some interesting characters and it just manages to balance all its elements in a way that makes it a very satisfying watch.

Tales of Zestiria the X continues to be an enjoyable fantasy. There are issues with plotting and the like but they aren’t distracting from the overall enjoyment I get from watching these characters go about their business so this one continues to be a great watch.

Days continues to surprise me. It’s spent three episodes on one soccer game and I still haven’t quit watching or wanted to drop it down. Logically I know there are a lot of issues with the show but I really want to see Tsukamoto continue to grow as a player.

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Still On My Radar

  • The Morose Mononokean (Ep 11)
  • Momokuri (Ep 22)
  • 91 Days (Ep 9)
  • Food Wars (Ep 11)
  • Cheer Boys (Ep 10)
  • Orange (Ep 11)

The Morose Mononokean delivered a fairly good episode this week. Overall this series hasn’t been as good as I would have liked it to be but it is certainly a pleasant and enjoyable series to watch. I’m thinking it would be good to marathon on a rainy afternoon once it is done.

Momokuri is kind of my surprise for the second half of the season. It’s still a generic romance (with some creepy aspects thrown in hidden by overtly cute character designs and pastel colour schemes) but it has been consistent in delivering its story and characters. I find as the end of the Summer season get’s closer, I’m enjoying this more each week because I know what I’m going to get and it delivers.

It seems like 91 Days has finally come back to Avilio’s revenge and the episode felt a lot stronger because of it. If this can stay a focus for the next few episodes this might actually have a really interesting ending.

Food Wars picked up after leaving the election behind but with the focus on two characters I don’t much like (in addition to Soma) I still wasn’t really drawn in this week. Plot wise, I definitely preferred this.

Cheer Boys should be congratulated on it’s narrative choices this week. The show is still fairly average but continues to entertain.

Kakeru and Naho continue to annoy in Orange but this episode did do something right in the focus on Suwa and having the characters actually begin to question the logic of messing with the past. It’s the first time the show has really taken the time travel aspect seriously and it makes you wonder where they will go next with that (or will be back to high school drama).

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Not Dropped But Close

  • Hitorinoshita (Ep 10)
  • Taboo Tattoo (Ep 11)

These two are still competing for the bottom. Hitorinoshita is kind of holding on to its ‘not the worst thing I’m watching’ status but episode 10 was pretty appalling. That said, Taboo Tattoo continues to show us that it can become even more flat even while it seems like the events should be dramatic and interesting. This is a great lesson in what happens when you skip over character and plot development and opt for ‘isn’t this fight cool’ story development.

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Dropped

  • Cute High Earth Defence Club Love (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Sweetness and Lightning (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Danganronpa 3 (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Mob Psycho 100 (Dropped at Ep 1 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Servamp (Dropped at Ep 2 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Rewrite (Dropped at Ep 2)
  • The Disasterous Life of Saiki K (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Ozmafia (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Scar-red Riders XechS (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Qualidea Code (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • First Love Monster (Dropped at Ep 1)

The question becomes which show will have the best ending? Which shows won’t resolve? And which shows will just splutter quietly into the night?