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Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 10

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Reacting blankly to proffered candy

Hello, again, and welcome to the latest edition of Annotated Anime, the weekly Japanese cartoon recap that knows exactly how to respond when a attractive, older woman that outranks you offers you candy: With blank, expressionless silence.

While that might be the proper response to cougar sweets, we also know correct protocol for watching hot anime from Glorious Nippon: Watch, Enjoy, and Write About It! See the results below, for the latest from The World God Only Knows, Sundays Without God, Servant x Service, Day Break Illusion, Danganronpa, Watamote, Uchouten Kazoku, Genshiken, Rozen Maiden, Majestic Prince, Railgun S, High School DxD New, Love Lab, Silver Spoon, and Hyperdimension Neptunia! 

Brad Rice

Silver Spoon episode 8


You knew Hachiken couldn't run from his family forever. Who shows up on Aki's farm but Hachiken's older brother? The genius who got into Todai but quit is on a mission from God to make ramen -- too bad he can't cook for beans. Everything turns out copacetic, as we find out he's just there to check in on Hachiken. Mom's worried, after all.

But Dad? Well, he's the asshole of the family. Mad at everyone for ruining his good name, or for doing things not according to his plan. You get an idea of where all the family stress comes from, and it's certainly not the overbearing mom texting her son all the time. Hachiken just has rage for his father, but ends up taking it out on his mother.

Oh, and in the course of the episode, Hachiken goes and spills 40,000 yen worth of milk. It sucks, but he learns to get past it -- these things do happen, and it's not the end of the world. It's another piece to the puzzle of Hachiken learning what it means to be a man, and what taking responsibility is like. Learn the lesson, but move on. If you let it hang over you, then you won't ever be able to finish what you're doing -- the stress of the guilt will immobilize you.

And now we prepare for the return to school. Who knows, maybe we'll see Hachiken's father appear at the school in some sort of finale conflict? I know, most of you have read the manga, but it's fun to be the ignorant one guessing!

 

Love Lab episodes 8 and 9


Finally, we learn the reason behind the Newspaper Association hating on Sayo! All because her and Mayo downgraded the club to an "association," which was wholly justified. No new members, down to just two people -- hard to call that a club. As part of the Newspaper-Student Council war, the Newspaper calls out Riko as the "wild one," which she then proceeds to try and change personality.

It ain't pretty.

Good thing Makio is there to save the day! He manages to break Riko out of her terrible funk, and in episode 9, saves Sayo. When one of the newspaper girls got a photo of Sayo and her boyfriend, the school takes it to the nth degree. Kicking her out of the club, severe disciplinary action, the whole nine yards.

I think the woman leading the disciplinary council is just angry over not being in love herself, so she's taking it out on all these young girls. But if she's secretly dating Makio, well, that's nothing more than a slap on the wrist!

 

Pedro Cortes

The World God Only Knows - Goddesses Arc Episode 7-9

As if Keima's life wasn't hard enough, Ryo, the idiotic companion of a different demon comes in while he's sick and trying to juggle two girls. Keima manages to get Ayumi come over, but Chihiro comes over as well. He manages to avoid a total disaster, but Keima fumbles at the end when Ayumi decides to give up on Keima and support Chihiro. Considering how he's running out of time, Keima decides to go all in with Chihiro.  

Before he can do anything to work on that little problem, Diana arrives and calls the other goddess in for an urgent meeting. They work together to contact Apollo, who is still deep inside Kanon. Keima gets through, but Apollo can't leave yet, as she's working to heal Kanon. However, there's a three-day deadline of Kanon is beyond hope. This is all going on while Haqua gets imprisoned in New Hell by what has to be members of Vintage. Nora stops by to berate her, so what we know is that the head of the bureau is likely a member of Vintage. Not only that, but there's no way for Keima to know. Oh, and she's been scheduled to be punished for treason. 

At the school festival, Keima works his magic on Chihiro, but finds that she doesn't remember their kiss. She isn't the right one, Ayumi is. What is interesting here is that this is the first time that I can remember that Keima doesn't immediately fall into gaming pathology. He actually shows some sort of regret. I'll get into more detail in a separate post, but for now, Keima BRUTALLY rejects Chihiro…while Ayumi watches from the shadows. She is clearly not pleased and now Keima's conquest has taken a massive blow. The next day, Elsie shows up to visit Keima at the start of the school's festival. Based off their conversation, Keima is able to surmise that there's more going on behind the scenes. He and Elsie find a hidden nest of mature loose souls being cultivated by members of Vintage, thus proving his hunch. With the stakes much higher than before, Keima resumes his advances toward Ayumi.

 

Sundays Without God Episode 7 & 8

So we go from a city of the dead a school/concentration camp. An odd switch, but I suppose it works within the context of this very messed up world. While at a pit stop, Ai gets kidnapped by some black suits who work for Goran Academy, an odd hybrid of school and prison that holds kids with exceptional powers. Kinda like a militant Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. You got a pair of twins that are actually triplets, a blind girl with exceptional hearing, a girl with super strength, a guy who can eat anything, the works. One kid is event "haunted" by a ghost/witch named Dee, who has been looking for Ai for a while. Dee manipulated Ai to meet Alis in order to try and escape Goran.

Ai gathers the motley crew of students together to plan their escape, but their collective will isn't exactly very high. While some want to get out, the others don't have anywhere to go. Ai tries to out-tragic Tanya, the single holdout, but not even a dead village and an even deader father can convince her. A few days later, everybody heads out, minus the holdout. Halfway through their escape, Ai decides to say behind and save Tanya. Lucky for Ai, Tanya decides to follow. When they get out, the Goran headmistress attempts to shoot them, but Alis manages to stop them. Yulie arrives in the van and saves the group, only Scar isn't in the car. With an empty bottle on the floor, Yulie says that she's abandoned the baby.

 

Salvador G-Rodiles

Hyperdimension Neptunia Episode 8


Oh man, this has got to be one of the most surprising episodes to come out of Neptunia: The Animation! Right as I was expecting a random censored fanservice episode that would get the uncensored home release treatment in the future, the show takes that this basic concept and turns it into an entertaining joyride. One of the silliest parts was how the Rated-18 Island has a special type of grass that attaches itself to risqué areas, which means that no one will get to see what was under the Mysterious Light Grass when the Blu-rays and DVDs are released into the wild.

Blanc’s frustration with the entry survey reminds me of how annoying it can be when one has to fill out a digital form that purposely throws random questions to throw you out of balance. Hell, I think I’m going to main her when I get the chance to hop on the Neptunia games – except for the first game. Plutia is still by far my favorite character, and I was upset that David Productions didn’t animate the gruesome whipping that she gave to Linda. Instead of accusing the show’s budget, I’m going to assume that it was too graphic for our innocent little eyes to handle.

To be very honest with everyone, I wasn’t expecting to have fun with this beach themed episode. It was thanks to Neptunia: The Animation’s self-awareness of this premise that helped make things good in the long run. The series also gets points for having Uni show more of her tsundere side, which is a nice welcome – I hope she remains that way from now on. Now that Peashy is in the hands of the main enemy, the next episode should lead to something juicy. As long as they avoid the serious route, things could turn out for the best!

[You can strip down with Neptunia: The Animation at FUNimation]

 

Brittany Vincent

Watamote Episode 9



Summer break has finally come to an end, and Tomoko actually has plans with Yuu to see a movie. Or not. Looks like Yuu has to cancel so she can help out at her uncle's cafe, so Tomoko is forced to venture out into the world to interact with her. Obviously, this means Tomoko should aspire to wok at a similar place, since Yuu looks so good serving cake at a trendy cafe. She bugs her mom to find her a job serving cake, but of course the reality of the job is completely different. The factory job she finds herself working is a far cry from her fantasy cake shop. She quits after one day, only to face the wrath of her mother, who asks her to help around the house.

While Tomoko throws a hissy fit and clears out her own room, she happens upon some adorable prose from little brother Tomoki from childhood. It's a nice "aww" moment that comes at a good time considering Tomoko always seems to have a vendetta against him. It's a bittersweet episode in more was than one as Tomoko's summer break ends and she realizes her "high school debut" is about to continue. Will things finally look up for her? Doubt it.

[The high school debut continues at Crunchyroll!]



Uchouten Kazoku Episode 9



After an episode that tugged at our collective heartstrings, we're back to (nearly) business as usual. The tanuki election continues, and we finally get a look at Kaisei at the bathhouse. The Ebisugawa are up to no good as usual, trying to keep the Shimogamo from gathering at a shrine to confer with the Center Stone, where all the Nise-emon candidates are. Kaisei is an interesting character, but doesn't think Yasaburou is fit to win the election. Perhaps she does deep down, but her conditioning as an Ebisugawa sibling may keep her from revealing her true feelings. Will Yasaburou claim the title of leader of all tanuki? If you don't think he's fit, then who should do it? And can we see more of the gentler side of Benten?

[More of the eccentric family at Crunchyroll!]

 

Danganronpa Episode 9



Another trial episode this week, as we see Asahina placing the blame for the latest death on Fukawa, Yasuhiro, or Togami. The real culprit is actually different than what everyone suspects: apparently Sakura's death was a suicide. Asahina wanted everyone to vote for her to have them all systematically executed by Monobear. The suicide note tuns out to have been written by Monobear, who reveals the real one. Of course, there's a punishment game too, during which Monobear bulldozes Alter Ego, under the pretense that he knew about the program since the beginning. And with that, everyone everywhere became collectively, confused. Things are certainly heating up, and if you don't pay attention, you just might get left in the dust.

 

Jeff Chuang

Day Break Illusion Episode 9


Even though you expected something like this to happen, it still sort of shocks you when it does. Day Break Illusion, if anything, do not pull punches.

Short of spoiling the thing, obviously the dark side of Luna-chan manifests itself this week. The way the writing highlights the irony of the situation is actually pretty clever, as far as the sun-moon symbolism goes, but you can't help but to think how it happens to Luna can happen to everybody. It's not quite like, say, episode one of Ga-rei Zero, but the lesson for us all is to be aware of compromised identities and shapeshifters.

What will stay with me with this week's Day Break Illusion is the way Luna opened up to Akari. In some ways that didn't make what happened in the end more heart-wrenching or tragic, but it does make Luna more complete. She's no longer just someone who was unsure of herself and retreat from her friends as a result of her insecurities, but rather someone who is all of that but also someone we can relate to. It's a small victory for the writing of the show, given the circumstances.

[Watch Day Break Illusion on Crunchyroll and Daisuki!]

 

Servant x Service Episode 9


Yamagami grapples with her uncertain future, involving a skirt and a date with Hasebe. She picks on the bigger problem of the two--the skirt. Of course, Chihaya being the icy manipulator that she is, only make things go along towards that eventual date. This week's Servant x Service heats up the two pairings, especially when Hasebe hits on Yamagami in earnest.

Yamagami's idiocy continues in the most Working-like, adorable kind of way. Actually, it's unclear who to feel sorry more for--Hasebe being a cruel victim of circumstances, or Chihaya, having to deal with people like Yamagami and the Ichimiyas. I suppose turning to costume play is a coping mechanism. At the same time, it's very cute to see Chihaya's backstory and how the older Ichimiya bonded with her. Servant x Service takes a step above the coupling from Working, and this week's episode is a good example of that.

[Watch Servant x Service on Crunchyroll and Daisuki!]

Chris Walden

Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen Episode 9


Hnnng. Kanaria, you may not have much of a role in this series, but damn if your voice isn't the most adorable thing. Who's the voice actor? Yumi Shimura? Vocal talent behind Female Customer, Student and Boy in Clannad? So that's why I recognise you. 

So yes, of course the drama doesn't go as planned, and obviously that body Jun made was a vessel for Kirakisho. I think we'd all established this, so hey, whatever. What I'm curious about is that Suigintou obviously knew what was up. Moving the body to the drama hall may have been better so that Shinku could help fight her, but why not just tamper with the vessel ahead of her occupying it? I don't think this is an oversight, so I'll be curious to see what the reason is. Knowing Suigintou, it might just be to theoretically kick her ass and get her master back.

Capturing previous human masters to consume for energy? I can get behind that. It's a nice injection of creep that weirdly this show hasn't really had. It also means Suigintou can assume she's doing the same to Megu, so there's a sense of urgency about getting her back, especially when she's already pretty weak. Oh, and Suiseiseki showed up. Expect plenty of desu next time, desu. 

Good show, Rozen Maiden. You're recovering admirably. 

[Dollfie 2.0 has advanced previews on Crunchyroll]

 

Genshiken Nidaime Episode 9


Genshiken, I know I get a little mad that you have Hato hogging the limelight, but I'll admit, your latest scenario and cliffhanger has got me suckered right in. His school life is already a bit of a mystery, as we're still not all that sure about whether it's bullying, love or anything else that makes him jumpy around the subject, but it seems safe to say that the cause has been thrown right into the mix. Miss big-eyes and her pal have come to see Hato at his new school, and being dressed as a girl won't stop him getting flustered over it.

Hell, I can kinda see why. Look, the girl you have a crush on is right over there! Oh, you're dressed as a girl and she doesn't know about that? Awwwwkward.

This series has, so far, been quite progressive with regards to things like this, so I'm very hopeful that she's going to be pretty accepting about the whole thing. Or she's not and this whole thing gets dragged over the remaining series, but come on, this show is better than that. Right?

[The fujoshi club is chilling out on Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Totman

High School DxD New Episode 9


Say hello to the other bishop.

Once meeting them, I had the same reaction as Issei did. Now we have two female bishops hooray, err maybe not. You see, Gasper Vladi, is a crossdressing vampire man or should I say boy. So, we have a trap in the family now. Not sure if we really need one or not, but it might make for some good comedy later on.

Gasper is a half-human half-vampire demon that just so happens to like to wear girl’s clothes because it’s cuter. Not to mention that he is also a crybaby pretty much all of the time. This could get quite annoying later on as well. Anyways, Gasper’s sacred gear power is the ability to stop time for a short period of time within eye sight. That’s great and all, but he doesn't know how to control its power which in turn got him locked away by Lord Sirzechs.

I’m not sure that this type of character is a good idea this late in the game while we are building up to what seems to be a great battle brewing. These types of characters always seem to just get in the way when things are heating up or have to be rescued at some point for being useless. The biggest thing we are not sure of at this point is just how powerful that stop-time sacred gear could possibly be.  Meanwhile we have another new player to the game, Michael, the leader of the Angels.

 [Hide in boxes at Funimation]

 

Josh Tolentino

Majestic Prince episode 21

It's the beginning of the end as the GDF and all humanity prepare for the final push. It's weird, but it took this long for humanity at large to actually have a face-to-face meeting with the race that's pushed them to the brink of extinction, what with the final reveal of Teoria as the MJP's secret benefactor.

But of course, the point is to get them the hell out of Dodge, and stop the invasion with a surprisingly simple plan: Send all the ships to the gate, and defend a bunch of big ol' lasers until they can blow up the stargate.

Except there's one wrinkle. Our would-be hero Izuru, genetic offspring of Teoria (which suddenly turns it creepy that they were making eyes at each other for so long) and Commander Simon, is...dying somehow, and it has to do with piloting his mecha in its souped-up hyper mode. So he's off the team for the final battle*, and Asagi, his apparent genetic half-brother (brother from another mother test tube) is in charge. Asagi inaugurates his acting leadership by flipping every damn death flag there is. I mean, wow, about the only thing he didn't do was stand and hold open a collapsing tunnel. It'll be sad to seem him go, just as his chronic ulcer problem seemed to be solved. 

I really do hope he lives through this. Sentai shows aren't in the habit of killing major members of the lineup so let's hope that aspect of the genre rubbed off on Majestic Prince. Then again, we're fairly close to the end, so there's a chance.

*With at least two episodes left on the docket I somehow doubt that the humans' plan will work out as expected. 

[Try to avoid flipping a death flag by watching on Crunchyroll!]

 

A Certain Scientific Railgun S episodes 20 and 21

The arc continues as we learn more about Febri and her endless supply of life-giving lollipops, and Railgun S at large tries its own hand at making filler worth watching. Or not. That's the big dilemma with filler content. In the end, none of it is allowed to matter, so anyone cursed with making it is forced into one of two paths.

The first path is to attempt to tell a new and unique story that can't be too new and unique because none of it is allowed to matter, and everything is supposed to go back to some pre-filler status quo by the end. The second path is to deliver what might keep viewers' eyes on the screen for the allotted amount of time needed to secure rating, via fan service, references, or general silliness. For better or worse, the second path is usually the more productive one, and the easier one because no one cares about filler (even good filler).

Now, this is the sort of thing that sounds like something I'd say in Shonen Showdown after talking about the latest Naruto time-waster, but it's true no matter the genre. That said, it was easier to tolerate the first season of Railgun's filler, because none of the first season ever really reached the heights of the second. The higher the peak, the longer the fall, and the Sisters arc was quite a high peak, perhaps for both Index and Railgun, and as such the difference is much more keenly felt. 

But here we are, and if Railgun season one saw J.C. Staff take the first path for filler creation, this new "Febri Arc" in Railgun S is them taking the second path. There are so many namedrops, cameos, and references in this arc to both Railgun and earlier portions of Railgun S (hell, even the arc is vaguely patterned after the first half of Sisters), that it feels more like an extended epilogue to that arc.

Here's a comic book nerd analogy that should explain it for those who like to read Marvel's "Cosmic" line of superhero stories: If the Sisters Arc was Annihilation, then the Febri Arc feels like Annihilation Conquest

This might sound like I don't like the arc so far. That's not entirely true. I'm alright with it, as far as filler goes. My years recapping Naruto and Bleach have certainly exposed me to worse examples of filler. In the end it'll be up to Railgun S to deliver where it counts, and sadly "telling a good story" isn't really where it counts. Hopefully we'll get to that point sooner rather than later.

[Count finger puppets and lollipops with FUNimation]

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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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