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Annotated Anime Roundup: Winter 2014 Week 6

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All the single bovines (and equines)

Hello, and welcome to the late (but not late late) anime recap that's got you up and rearing to go on Tuesday morning! Your day isn't complete without a heaping dose of hot Japanese cartoon goodness, after all!

Today's complement of sweet and saucy short-order anime recaps comes to you courtesy of Yowapeda, Onee-chan ga Kita, Hozuki no Reitetsu, Pupa, Tonari no Seki-kun, and Engaged to the Unidentified, with special partnerships from our deluxe-sized solo-flight recaps, available each week right here!

Karen Mead

Yowapeda Episode 18

ouch my legs

Thankfully, Yowapeda didn't do what I feared and waste an entire episode on the last 100 meters of the face-off between the first-years and the second-years; in fact, to the show's credit, that business was all done with three minutes into the episode. Yaaay! Unfortunately, this episode still had a lot of oh-so-convenient parts to it that had me rolling my eyes a little.

First, how convenient was it that the second-years (and only the second-years) pulled muscles after they crossed the finish line? If anyone should be in danger of pulling a muscle it's Onoda, who's pulling a heavier bike and only recently started cycling seriously. It seemed like a too-convenient way to knock Perm Guy and Quiet Guy out of the story now that their little arc is over.

Second, why didn't Onoda tell anyone when he broke his pedal? At first I thought he was just going to limp back to the starting line and ask for a new pedal, but then he rode past everyone without stopping to tell them that his bike was broken. Why would he do that? Did he honestly think they wouldn't either replace his pedal, or give him another bike for the last bunch of laps? Furthermore, if the writers wanted to have Perm Guy give Onoda "special" pedals, they could have just done it-- no need to have the contrivance of Onoda breaking his pedal just when his upperclassmen happened to be on the way with new pedals and shoes in tow.

Arrgh, Yowapeda, I want to like you, but you're making it hard lately.

 

Engaged to the Unidentified Episode 6

happiness is chocolate

About half of this episode is about Kobeni trying to get a handle on exactly what kind of supernatural creature she's engaged to, while the other half is about one of those romcom misunderstandings that normally annoy the hell out of me, but the show actually resolved it well. In regard to the first part, Mashiro is willing to answer Kobeni's questions about the supernatural while Hakuya is his typically reticent self. I think the implication is that Hakuya doesn't want Kobeni to know any more about his non-human side than she has to, lest she start to think of him as too alien to be her mate. For her part though, Mashiro still seems to be holding back-- giving Kobeni rather vague answers to a lot of her questions. Even though the cat is out of the bag, it seems like both siblings are still hiding the specifics of what they are.

Now, the annoying romcom misunderstanding. Kobeni wants to give Hakuya chocolate for Valentine's Day, only she feels awkward about it and keeps wussing out whenever she tries to give it to him; and since Kobeni hasn't given him chocolate by a certain point in the day, Hakuya incorrectly assumes she must not like him and starts sulking. See, Kimi ni Todoke did almost the exact same storyline during its second season, and it was excruciating. Fortunately for this show, Kobeni has that awesome friend who says in the presence of both parties "Hey Kobeni, why don't you give Hakuya HIS CHOCOLATE?" and pushes everything back on track. Young lady? Please report for duty in every anime romcom ever made, your talents are sorely needed.

I actually spent most of this episode waiting for the chocolate subplot to get irritating, but fortunately, it never really did. I also found Kobeni's musings about whether or not she "should" set her sights on marriage to be interesting, but I'm sure we'll touch on that more in future episodes.

 

Tonari No Seki-Kun 7

That Seki-kun!

After last week's questionable time-wasting effort, I was pleased to see Seki up his game by setting up an incredibly complex, formal mail system for the class' note-passing purposes. The fact that Seki takes it seriously enough to draft all of the proper forms and whatnot is funny in and of itself, but there's also something to be said for the fact that he's getting the entire class in on his antics. At first Seki was just amusing himself and ignoring the class, to the point where it was possible to make the argument that he was just a figment of Yokoi's imagination. Now, he's willing to involve the others in his schemes. I hope this culminates in some kind of multi-disciplinary orgy of time-wasting, with every kid in class having a complicated role to perform in some kind of living, Rube Goldberg machine-- all without the teacher ever being the wiser.

I've touched on this before, and you may very well think I'm crazy, but I think this may be the most subversive show that's running this season. Ultimately, we're all rooting for Yokoi to stop being a good student and hop on the train of mocking school the way Seki does. Hey kids, for extra credit, look up George Bernard Shaw's "Unreasonable Man." Then Google "Rube Goldberg Machine," while you're at it. Never let your schooling get in the way of your education, you know?

[Get properly edumucated on Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Tolentino

Hozuki no Reitetsu episodes 5 and 6

I'm not surprised that Hozuki no Reitetsu hasn't been making much of a splash despite being "from the Attack on Titan people". The humor is pretty low-key, and heavily rooted in Japanese, even Chinese cultural references. This show begs for detailed TL notes, or the kind of pro-grade localization that doesn't always manifest for a show as it streams. 

There are enough obvious gags to carry at least the spirit of the humor over, though, but there's an overriding sense that I would find this would find this much funnier if I were from the right culture. But enough griping, on to the recaps! Episode 5 was a bit of a dud, considering that Hozuki's rivalry with the Hakutaku is rather bland, coming from two unflappable archetype characters. The contrast between heavenly and infernal cooking did amuse, as did the underworld sportsfest.

Episode 6 took it home a bit harder, though, casting the classical Nekomata as a grasping paparazzo, then transitioning into some top-quality sight gags from Hozuki's encounter with an idol, then to another visit from a representative of European Hell, this time Beelzebub (Lord of Flies and sometime-blogger), rounding it all out with some, er...classic otaku humor about how no man can resist a classy maid. Still no guffaws, but that's not really what Hozuki no Reitetsu aimed for. Really, it would only be appropriate for an office comedy to aim for mild chuckles, so mission accomplished so far on that front.

[Find your mild chuckles on Crunchyroll!]

 

Brittany Vincent

Onee-chan ga Kita! Episode 6


Ichika and Tomo-kun go on a shopping trip in this riveting episode, and a cute "foreign" guy shows up. Turns out he's just Marinacchi's brother, and apparently Ichika can speak English. Who knew? As it turns out, this "cool foreigner" is actually a pretty weird otaku, blabbering on and on about how much Ichika looks like a character from his favorite game, Idol Princess, proving that no matter how cool and "handsome" you might be, you can still be a creepy otaku who doesn't understand boundaries. I always love when Japanese voice actors bust out dialogue in other languages, so this episode was a treat, especially the "Do you speak English?" line that seemed a little out of place, as Ichika doesn't look foreign. Not sure why that all got started, anyway.

[Speak a little English at Crunchyroll!]

 

Pupa Episode 6


The dialogue and plot development in this episode was particularly riveting, especially the parts where Yume said/moaned "Onii-chan" over and over, or "oishii." This was the worst "episode" I've seen of Pupa so far, and it would normally be right up my alley, except it's censored to hell and back, and for a show that desperately needs to make full use of what time it has available, spending a full three minutes on one scene is reprehensible. This was unacceptable. I'm not looking forward to next week's episode if they're just going to continue wasting my time like this. Sigh. We could have had it all.

[Disappointment rolls in at Crunchyroll]


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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 



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