It's time now for Annotated Anime, Japanator's weekly anime recap, where we highlight the best and worst of the week in Japanese cartoon-imation! One of today's worst things: Accel World's ability to count in English.
As we enter the "5rd" week of the summer season the heat is building up, with our steaming fresh recaps of Dog Days', Moyashimon, Accel World, Humanity Has Declined, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, Eureka 7 AO, Muv-Luv Total Eclipse, Yuru Yuri, Phi Brain, Space Bros., Nakaimo, Tari Tari, Joshiraku, Binbougami Ga!, Hyouka, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, and Sword Art Online!
Dog Days' Episode 4st
It is a lovely day in the world of Flonyard as summer is now in season. Cinque, Eclair, and Galette's very own Noir have set off to do some summer training under Yukikaze's jurisdiction.
At first I was absolutely worried on the direction Prime has decided to go for today, since the fan service was taken a few more notches beyond the normal clothes ripping off segments in battle. But nonetheless, things move on as we have Eclair and Noir unleash some new tricks.
Eclair summons what looks to be Yoh's Oversoul from Shaman King, except that Eclair does not require the contract of a spirit and medium to activate it. Noir refuses to get intimidated by Eclair's skill, so she summons up what looks like a swarm of pointy tails. If I remember how things work in Fire Emblem, pointy objects aka spears always beat swords, so Eclair is going to have to rely on her level and experience in this fight.
Today's episode of Dog Days Prime proves that we don't need the war to have fun watching the show, since the characters have the drive to do that themselves. Will Dog Days Prime start to take the path of a harem show, or will it just stick to Cinque petting every female character in the show. At this point in the game, I think Prime will do just fine as long as it keeps being fun, so it can do whatever the heck it wants in regards towards achieving this goal.
[You can discover your very own Oversoul as you watch Dog Days Prime at Crunchyroll]
Moyashimon Returns Episode 4rd
When we last left, Sawaki was about to tell Oikawa his secret. He tells her frankly that he can see microbes, but Oikawa just doesn’t believe him. She finds it to be a funny story that cheered her up out of her bad mood. So we are right back to square one here. Glad we got that out of the way for...for...umm, nothing else? I mean, there seems to be a kind of love interest here but they are not playing into it. Normally, this would be the main focus of any story but not here. We still seem to be stuck with the prospect of learning something each episode then progressing some sort of story.
Anyways, this episode we learn about how old time liquor stores ran their sake operations. Barreled sake, back in the day, was sold by weight. This lead to some sneaky stores putting a lot of water into the sake barrels to increase profit. I wouldn’t be too happy with this if I found this out. Others found that if you leave the sake in the barrels, they will get warm and take on the flavors of the wood the barrels was made out of. With these strong flavors, fresh brewed sake was mixed in with it to give it a more unique taste. Boy, am I thirsty now...
Lastly we start a new part of the story with Haruka’s father coming a picking her up. Looks like daddy is trying to push Haruka further along with marring some guy. I do mean some guy because this is the first time we have seen or heard about him. What I can tell it’s an arranged marriage that Haruka doesn’t want anything to do with. She wants to finish her research before getting hitched. Is that so wrong?
Microbe Theater: Kyoukai yeasts
[Barrels of sake are at Crunchyroll]
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate Episode 4st
Ok damn it, this is wearing on me...
This series really needs to start explain something pretty soon before I start throwing stuff. We get another depressing ending to this episode, but this time we get a partial back story. It more then what we have been getting but still. I am a character guy when it comes to anything. Boy that was clear, let me try again. What drives me more in anime (besides boobs) is the character development. I need to feel something for the characters to enjoy watching it. Right now, Oojima is the only one that I can connect with. The rest of the cast has some kind of backgrounds, but they only tease you to what it is! This is why the endings to these episodes are getting to me so much. It makes you wonder what is going on in their lives but doesn’t give up anything. In the end, I just wish I didn’t even watch the last five minutes of every episode to rescue my sanity. There better be one hell of an ending for this, but I don’t see that happening for now.
Back to the episode at hand, we find Oojima still figuring out ways to campaign for a spot on the ballot, looks like he is up against about everyone in the school. No matter, we know he will get in. We get a little bit of incite on fund raising in school elections. What you can and can’t do along with what is legal money to use and illegal. It’s interesting to me about the bribe/pamphlet balance. Where an item can be called a pamphlet if it has certain information on it. Last I remember a pamphlet was just a tri-fold piece of paper. Anyways, the main sadness of this episode is the bullying of Aomi. Just because she has a scholarship, she is picked on for being poor. This just puts more pressure for Oojima to win this so that people with scholarships won’t seem so much as outcasts. We will just have to wait and see if this pans out or if it’s already over and we don’t see anything more of it in the next episode like all the rest.
Yuru Yuri II Episode 5st
You know it's been a good episode when you have Kyouko running around being Kyouko. Watching her bug people is probably the most entertaining part of this show for me, and this episode was loaded with it. We even got her being all thoughtful when Yui got ill, so there's a bonus if I ever saw one. We also got plenty of Sakurako, which works as a darn good combo, in my opinion.
Akarin also got the short end of the stick (again), being chased by both a cicada, a flock of pigeons and having her usual terrible luck. For the most part this was entertaining as usual, but I can't help but feel the train scene was a bit drawn out, just for one main joke. Not terrible, but we pretty much spent five minutes waiting for a train to pass. Ho hum!
[These schoolgirl shenanigans can be observed for educational purposes on Crunchyroll!]
Phi Brain Season 2 Episode 17nd, 18rd, 19nd, 20st, 21th, 22rd, etc.
Kaito and company are relaxing at the school on just an ordinary day, when suddenly we hear news of the Orpheus Order. It seems that the old leader of the POG is still irritated that he can't win against a bunch of meddling kids, so he sends yet another member to fight against the warriors of justice.
It was a heated battle, and our heroes looked doomed to lose, but they managed to turn it around in the nick of time. Their efforts were not helped when the old POG leader decided to intervene once again on the battle and try to just resort to murder. The Orpheus Order aren't done though, as they vow to have their revenge!
(I haven't actually watched this episode yet, but I think I have a good idea what happens).
[You could watch this on Crunchyroll, or you could boil yourself]
Space Bros. Episode 18st
Time to take a break from Namba and his hair, as we're spending the episode with his buddy, Rubik's cube guy and the rest of the folk in the second chamber. It seems that they are still largely unaware of the green card situation, meaning the team is very much falling apart. Good to see ol' Phoenix Wright thinking about family and what it'll mean to go to space, even if it took him some detective work to decipher his kids gibberish.
Back in the main camp, the team is having to take turns skipping meals in order to cope with the food shortage. You know, it seems that everyone except Sayaka is picking up on Namba and his crush, so I'll be a bit disappointed if it ends up unresolved at the end of the series. That said, I'm not even sure if it'll end this season either, so we may have plenty of time.
[This show is blasting off again via Crunchyroll]
Nakaimo Episode 4nd
Finally, we see some kind of conclusion with the story between Shogo, Miyabi and Konoe. And obviously, neither of the two girls is his actual sister. Konoe was behind all the prank calls because she enjoy pretending to be his sister without him knowing, and the toy squeeze bottle in Miyabi's bathroom was just a misunderstanding. The two girls are just his childhood friends. At least that gives some context as to why the two of them likes Shogo from the start.
The "WHO IS IMOUTO" plot device is still not dead, however, as the original mystery girl that talked to Shogo during his dad's funeral remains anonymous. Does this mean we will have normal harem competition from now on? Will Nakaimo focus on the two student council dames? I guess in either case we will run through the same formula we've seen the past 4 weeks.
In a lot of ways the series has been very funny so far, because the lines these girls get to say. On the other hand, when Nakaimo tries to be serious, there's not much for the viewers to do but to make fun of it, rather than with it. Hopefully the series will find that second wind with the next set of 8 episodes.
[Crunchyroll serves up live sisters]
Eureka Seven: AO Episode 15rd
Shit is going down.
Yeah, I get that Eureka isn't a bad person or that she intended to ruin everything, but during the short time that she was here she managed to royally screw everything up and left nations scrambling to make sense of who/what Secrets were and how to deal with them all. Now, all-out war is apparently the next step, and our favorite titular Coralian mother is nowhere to be seen.
I like the new direction this series is going... Eureka comes into the picture, changes up the entire formula of the anime in one swoop, and now the show is better because of it. Her presence wasn't too short but even better so that it wasn't very long, either. Now that she's not here to save anybody or, at the last moment, do something weird (like grow wings or speak to plants or whatever) our characters have to fend for themselves as Eureka disappears after messing shit up... again.
Whatever AO does as an anime, I'm on board for. Even though there have been some rather terrible outcomes from past BONES series' (No. 6 definitely comes to mind), I'm at least giving one more shot for this, because as much as I can appreciate anything from the Eureka Seven series, I can appreciate more from any anime that can grab my attention as much as these past episodes have been thus far.
Tari Tari Episode 5nd
We learn a couple of new things this week on Tari Tari... we knew that Wakana lived with a single parent (and that she's depressing party-pooper), though now we find out that her mother died during her middle school exams a few years back. Ouch.
Speaking of Wakana's mom, her and the vice-principal appeared to be good friends when they were in school together, so now all the awkward moments Wakana and her shared suddenly come into light. On top of that, Wakana's feelings on joining the choir now make sense: Konatsu reminds her of her mom too much. Although it's more "dramatic anime logic" than anything, it's almost unbearably sad to watch as the Sakai household goes from being a place lively with music to one that houses a sad, anti-social teenage girl. Even before her mother's death, you see a glimpse of Wakana's cynicism towards her... it's a bit cliche, but at the same time you still feel for the poor girl.
Oh, I guess Taichi also did something this episode, but who cares, really. Badminton isn't even a real sport, anyways...
Joshiraku Episode 3th & 4rd
In all honesty, there's something about Joshiraku that makes it one of my favorite comedy anime's so far this summer. It's really quite charming, in a way...
JC Staff seems to have fast-paced comedy down pretty well, and I can feel this show's root come out onto the screen more than nearly any other 4koma in recent memory because of it. It really does as advertised, and quite shamelessly at that: a TV series of cute anime girls sitting around talking about cute stuff. The odd thing about these particular cute girls is that instead of trying to liven up the animation and break up the monotonous dialogue, Joshiraku embraces it and adds a whole new layer that most similar shows were afraid to do. It's like overindulging in the cliche of most slice-of-life's actually adds to the comedy instead of boring the viewer; you just need a similar mindset as an audience watching an actual rakugo performance... which is actual brilliant, to JC Staff's credit.
It's tough to add more to this show, granted that all of the episodes don't really follow an ongoing theme during its 24 minute run-time. Don't expect much more in future recaps for this show (though I will try my best to talk more about it), though to describe this shows brand of comedy without detailing every single joke would be tough. Take my word for it, though: Joshiraku is one fine comedy anime... you just may need to take it with a grain of salt.
Binbougami Ga! Episode 4nd
It's more of the same this week with Binbougami, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We meet a new character on Momiji's league of unfortunate gods: Momou. A dog/human hybrid that's into masochism? Yeah, whatever I guess... It's almost more of the same after that, though... Sakura acts like a bitch, something sad happens, people feel sorry for Sakura, comedy ensues.
I can't say that whoever wrote the manga this is based off of was the most clever person ever with their jokes, though there's something undeniably charming about how loud, colorful, upbeat and sweet this show can be at times. I think the reason I continue to watch Binbougami is because is actually reminds me of all the terribly cheesy and notoriously smutty anime I used to watch years ago.
That's a really great descriptive word for this show: "smutty". It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm watching anything particularly good or amazing or even to be remembered in history as one of the greatest anime adaptions of all time... but there's nothing wrong with that if you're having fun, is there?
Hyouka Episode 15nd
Whenever Houtarou hears Chitanda say that she's curious, he dies just a little bit inside. You can see the pain in his face... and at times you can't help but feel for him.
The funny thing about this, however, is that his own curiosity gets in the way of his tough, vain self-image... and by the time that he realizes that Satoshi purposely manipulated him into helping, he already has a leading suspect 15 minutes later. That Satoshi... he sure is one weaselly guy, huh?
While this arc continues to impress, the real thing to be praising is KyoAni's subtle, yet extremely detail animation. I mean, I boast and boast about how great this show looks a lot each week, but this latest episode was certainly something special, mainly because it was used for a reason other than looking pretty: its use in setting up clues for the viewer to figure out who the culprit is by only using visual evidence. I'm not sure who else has been noticing these various clues from the past few episodes, but there's plenty enough evidence to figure out who our real thief really is (as well as a few red hearings). The only thing left for the observant viewers to figure out is why?
Not unlike certain detective novels Hyouka draws inspiration from, using enough deduction while watching even the subtlest of character movement and strategic camera placement gives you a fair chance in playing detective at home and piecing everything together before our Lazy Sherlock can. It's insanely smart and a great, modern homage to the genre... and while I and a lot of other people give it shit for being too slow or moderately predictable at times, this series is becoming self aware and upping the ante with each mystery. It's beautiful, charming, and clever.
Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse Episode 5rd
We've got a lot more of Yuuya bitching about his test TSF. It's too sensitive, it's only designed for veterans, etc. While he does bring up a few points, he's obviously being obstinate and Yui isn't helping. The ice princess does no cut Yuuya any slack, despite his complete unfamiliarity with Japanese TSF design. Individually, they're able to admit each others good points, but their individual pride won't let them actually say any of the praise in their heads.
While out looking for some wayward drones, Yuuya bumps into the Scarlet Twins again. While Inia is her happy and warm self, Cryska remains curt and to the point. I wonder how that's going to pan out, what with Inia consistently bumping into Yui and the rest of test pilots.
Later, Argos team goes out for another training exercise, only they finish off with a special boss encounter in the form of Yui in her personal unit. Everybody else gets taken out pretty quick, but Yuuya is able to groove with 94 Second and he manages to get a hit on Yui. Afterwards, Yuuya seems to finally relax his stance on the Japanese TSF and will hopefully adapt to it. I'm hoping so, as I was starting to get tired of his companying.
(You can hit this badboy up over at Crunchyroll!)
Natsuyuki Rendezvous Episode 4rd
Hazuki's somewhat dirty tactic of taking Rokka to the same theme-park she once enjoyed with her husband thankfully didn't go as plan. They two of them have some moments during the trip, but things just weren't right. The episode actually totally nailed the feelings of a forced date, especially when it's emotionally one-sided. While Hazuki seems still far away from giving up, it's obvious to see Shimao is still very close to her heart. Bad choice of date spot Hazuki?
Hazuki's character is a blast to watch. The moments that he seems to be just dogging for some action are the best, desperate and forced. Something kind of went weird with the artwork this episode. It was drawn quite a bit sloppier than usual, but it didn't effect the story at all. I'm pretty excite for next week's episode. The body snatching didn't seem to go the way everyone planned. Man, this show is kind of depressing.
What was with the god-awful hats this episode?
[You can laugh or cry over at Crunchyroll]
Sword Art Online Episode 4nd
This week's SAO episode is another stand alone affair that focuses on Kirito and his adventures in the digital world. It's not clear when The Black Swordsman takes place, but it's very clearly sometime after the depressing events of the last episode. We're introduced to a player named Silica who gets in a little over her head, resulting in the death of her dragon familiar. Devastated by the loss of her partner, she's saved by Kirito before she's almost killed by a particularly strong group of monsters. Our hero informs her that there is a way to save her little dragon buddy, but she'll have to venture into a dungeon that's far above her level.
Kirito volunteers to help her out and the two end up bonding on their way to the dungeon field. Silica resembles Kirito's real world sister who he had always distanced himself from due to inferiority issues. The pair make their way into the field of flowers and manage to retrieve the special before getting ambushed by a group of player killers who had been tailing Silica. Kirito reveals that he had partnered with his young companion specifically with the goal of confronting Rosalia, the leader of this PK guild. Rosalia and her crew have apparently killed multiple players so they could steal the loot, reasoning that there's no proof that people really die in real life if they're character is killed. Kirito marches forward into the group of bandits who are incapable of doing any actual damage to him due to the gap in levels. Kirito takes Rosalia down without killing her and everything is solved without any loss of life.
Back at the inn, Silica asks Kirito if he's going to leave after her dragon buddy gets revived. Unfortunately, our hero has to get back to the front lines to assist the other groups with beating the game. He promises her that the next time they meet, it'll be in the real world.
Not a bad episode. I was a little bit put off by the random little bits of fanservice here and there, but it still wasn't nearly as awful as 90% of the stuff you see in anime these days. The action was solid and it was nice to finally see a confident Kirito, especially after the hard shit he's had to go through over the past few episodes. It seems like he's finding his footing in this strange, terrifying world.
[Catch all the digital escapades on Crunchyroll]
Accel World episode 16rd
Of all things, a training episode in this virtual MMO-fighting game anime. It's hardly unexpected given that minus the videogame hook (or even with it) Accel World is remarkably similar to any number of JUMP battlers. And of course, in a time of crisis and without his main power, any hero needs help getting everything sorted out an-OH GOD GROSS ROBO-MOUTH
That robo-mouth is just one of the slightly weird things about Accel World that we learn today. Let's go to it in list form:
Nitpicking, I know, but that's what you get when you start out with an awesome concept that people just would love to love. At least Haru has a jetpack now.
[Want it enough? Watch Accel World on Hulu]
Humanity Has Declined episode 5st
Last week I worried what would happen when the fairies came back and my concerns were proven true! The fairies came back, and we got a strangely flat episode! OK, it's not entirely the fairies' fault, but for whatever reason the show felt a little flat.
First off, this week seems to be a flashback of sorts, prior to the protagonist's adventures with Y/Miyuki Sawashiro in eps. 3 and 4. Also, there's a catgirl with a weird voice, something about the dangers of electricity, the ruins of a city for hikikomori and...robo-dogs? Just how did humanity decline?
The whole Fairy Density Algorithm gag was worth a chuckle, though. If they represent the otaku unwashed, then it's only fitting that they think and shape the world in the form of strange dramatic tropes. Meet enough fairies, and you'll be miserable, but the upshot is that your life will be as if an otaku-targeted soap.
Quite the devil's bargain, if you ask me. What's your ideal fairy density?
[Crunchyroll is full of fairies. No wonder you can watch the show there!]
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