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Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 5

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An exercise of IMASINATION

Welcome to the latest edition of Annotated Anime, the weekly Japanese cartoon recap that comes to you straight from the fruit of  your IMASINATION. 

Today's slate brings a host of television animations for your consumption, including the grand return of The World God Only Knows, alongside WataMote, Danganronpa, Love Lab, High School DxD, Uchouten Kazoku, Attack on Titan, Free!, Fate/kaleid liner, Servant x Service, Gatchaman Crowds, Day Break Illusion, and Hyperdimension Neptunia.

DON'T THINK. IMASINE.

 

Brad Rice

Love Lab episode 4


The forces have joined up! Now that Mayo and Eno are back on the student council, they've become a part of the love research team. Riko continues to dig herself a hole as May nudges her on, knowing that she's talking out of her ass on matters of love. Still, Riko keeps a brave face and soldiers on.

The love research council is assigned the task of finding out what to get a guy, things get interesting. The girls reveal a bit more of their personal side, and it's nice to see Mayo, Eno, and Suzu all step up and contribute, rather than just being the Riko and Maki show. The manzai jokes are still abundant, though. Especially with Maki's father's lingerie theme song.

Things still turn out to be awfully light-hearted, but at least they're building up to a few different plot threads: Mayo's long-distance boyfriend, this romance play they're putting on. We'll have to see where the show goes, but thus far it's still an enjoyable romp.

 

Elliot Gay

Attack on Titan Episode 16


After spending a few episodes with Eren and his new home, we finally jump back to Mikasa, Armin, and the rest of the old crew. As it turns out, they're all being investigated after the two captured Titans were murdered in last week's episode. With the clock ticking, our new recruits have little time left to decide which squad they want to join. Everybody is struggling with their own fears, but Jean is perhaps the most burdened by the final words Marco left him about leadership. 

Night hits, and Erwin stands before the recruits, speaking with full honesty about the nature of the Recon Corps. Stories of low survival rates, seeing friends die, and sacrificing yourself for the good of humanity are the order of the day. Even his own soldiers seem surprised and worried by how honest Erwin is with the youngsters. He dismisses everybody who wants to join another corps, and the curtain rises on the final roll call of our main cast.

Everybody but Annie decides to stay behind as a member of the Recon Corps, despite their fear of the Titans and perhaps certain death.With that settled, training begins as Erwin looks forward to the upcoming mission outside of the walls. Old friends reunite, rivalries are relit (?), and time jumps, as the day of the exhibition arrives. 

Another exposition heavy 25 minutes, episode 16 cast the spotlight primarily on the secondary characters, Jean in particular. Much like in the manga, his character progression is in some ways one of the main pillars of the series. His transformation from an asshole to a guy just trying to do the right thing is pretty typical fair, but in a show that often lacks decent character beats, I'm willing to take anything.

Next week is looking to be a wild ride, provided Wit manages to finish the episode on time. 

One can only dream.

[Fight the Titans over at Crunchyroll]

 

Free! Episode 04


I think we can all agree that anytime Rei is onscreen, hilarity is bound to ensue. 

Swimming lessons aren't going so great, and as luck would have it Rei is pretty much a rock the moment he enters water. No calculation can help him when he's incapable of moving forward no matter how hard he tries. The members of the swimming club each take a turn at trying to teach him a different style, but nothing seems to work. With the prefectural tournament in a few weeks, Rei has to learn how to swim in only seven days.

Things look pretty grim.

Rei concludes that the fault rests with his bathing suit, and he drags everybody out to the local sports store. Haru bumps into Rin at the store, and the two go outside to have a little chat. Haru agrees to give it his all at the tournament, provided Rin doesn't act like a spoiled brat if he loses.

Aw shit.

The week ends, and even after Haru attempts to help out, Rei just keeps sinking deeper and deeper. The two have a bit of a heart to heart, and the next day, Gou and the others arrive at the pool to see somebody doing the butterfly in the water. Turns out that the one style Rei never tried is the one that he can do without too much trouble.

Derp.

Another strong episode full of man ass, stupid high school hijinks, and plenty of laughter. Free! is turning out to be a much more enjoyable sports anime than I was expecting. With the big tournament right around the corner, I'm looking forward to what idiocy are swimming club finds themselves involved in next.

[Swim with hot dudes over at Crunchyroll]

 

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Episode 04


With both magical girls having entered the stage, it's finally time to start collecting class cards. Things go awry on their first joint mission however when it turns out that the heroic spirit was anticipating Illya and Miyu's arrival. They're beaten back by a flurry of magical attacks from the sky, and forced to retreat with Rin and Luvia.

The more experienced mages conclude that the only way they can stand a chance against the spirit is if the two magical girls learn how to fly. Convenient, considering Illya manages to fly up into the air with no problem due to her love for magical girl anime. Unfortunately, Miyu can't seem to get the hang of it; her knack for logic prevents her from visualizing a person flying on their own. After a few failed attempts at learning the hard way, Miyu finally asks Illya for help. The latter tries her best to help her new partner find a style that works, but feels like she's being no help at all. Their study session ends with Illya showing Miyu some magical girl anime.

Night comes again, and our crew heads back for a rematch against the heroic spirit. Much to Illya's shock, Miyu has found her own way of moving through the air freely. She creates magical foot holds that allow her to hop around with relative ease. The spirit puts up a mean fight, but can't win against magical girl teamwork. Just when the battle appears to be over however, Saber appears and knocks Luvia and Rin out of the battle completely.

Well that came as a bit of a shock. Episode 04 was a great entry, with a ton of well animated magical girl action, some funny scenes, and some more Miyu time. Much like Fate/kaleid itself, there's more to Miyu than the typical mysterious transfer student archetype; she's a goofy character that plays well against Illya's normality. With Saber having entered the fray, hopefully we can look forward to some more crazy action next week.

DON'T THINK. IMASINE.

[Catch the class cards over at Crunchyroll]

 

Pedro Cortes

The World God Only Knows - Goddess Arc Episode 1-3

I had forgotten how much I loved TWGOK. Keima is such an amusing jerk, yet oddly capable when he needs to be. What's interesting at the start of season three is that things get quite series right from the jump. Some of the girls are getting their memories back of their time with Keima due to possession by one of six goddesses. While that would be enough of a twist on Keima, agents of Hell are going out of their way looking for these goddess to try and destroy heaven, leaving Kanon with a sword in her gut and a creeping death on the horizon.

What does this mean for Keima? Well, it looks like this season is going to be Keima attempting to "reconquer" several of the girls from the last two seasons. Unfortunately, he's only got a week to do it before Kanon is consumed by whatever is in that hellish sword in her gut. The humor shifts away from references to anime and games and goes more toward the comedy of errors that is juggling five girls at once. You really get a better appreciation for Keima's Lelouch-style manipulations.

My only critique is that I started the season pretty confused. I'm guessing there were a couple of OVAs, as Keima references a couple of girls that I don't remember from last season. That or they skipped them over to get to this longer, story-heavy arc. Besides that, the show looks and sounds just as good as the first two seasons and, with what I'm guessing is a season-long narrative, should work better as a whole product.

 

Jeff Chuang

Servant x Service Episode 4


The sexual harassment merry-go-around continues this week when Yamagami appears to be honest, cute and defenseless. This wouldn't be so funny if only Hasebe ends up taking advantage of her in a very innocent and relatively harmless way. It becomes a lot more amusing when everyone gangs up on Lucy's lack of awareness, with Chihaya taking the lead. Servant x Service seems to hit its stride when the relationship underneath all the jokes and teasing develop in an earnest way.

The other notable event this week in Servant x Service is the introduction of the section chief, who is really a robot in the appearance of a stuffed rabbit. That "Intel Inside" joke in the OP turns out to be no joke after all. Perhaps ignoring its fantastic robotic nature, the section chief plays into a lot of the physical humor in the show. I don't even know how it can drink alcohol and suffer its effects, but things like this happen.

I don't know how many people would ship Hasebe with Yamagami, but they do make a strange couple. It's helpful to understand that after all that teasing, Yamagami isn't really too bothered by it and Hasebe is actually a very nice guy, if you can get past his manipulative nature. That said, I'm not sure if Servant x Service has disarmed me enough to let it do that.

[Harass government workers on Crunchyroll]

 

Day Break Illusion Episode 4


Day Break Illusion is settling down into a "monster of the week" format, although it's more like for each Demonia that appears, some kind of plot thread concludes, even if it may take more than an episode. With this week's episode, an art student driven by jealousy and a feeling of unfairness turn into a Demonia after the help of a mysterious fortune teller, and his "bad" magic tarot card. The audience and Akari learns about the elemental tarot cards and their dark counter parts, diabolis tarot cards, will come into conflict.

Akari's power of hearing continues to help the story add context as the tortured art student shows down with Akari and company. Instead of a mercy kill, Seira simply had enough of it and takes out the Demonia swiftly once Akari and the victim reach a deadlock. Coping with these deaths and kills continue to drive the pathos for our protagonists, but now at least Luna can too hear what Akari hears, perhaps as a matter of the sunlight reflecting off the moon. Day Break Illusion is holding back.

[Paint your Inu Curry-dan knockoff on Crunchyroll!]

 

Josh Totman

High School DxD New Episode 4


Excalibur! Got to collect them all!

Looks like a new war between the factions is brewing. There is always someone out there trying to stir the Kool-aid. A new powerful Cadre-level fallen angel has appeared and is not too pleased with the current peacefulness. He knows all too well that the factions are on edge right now and only a tiny ripple is needed to start the war he really wants.  Along with that, he is also out to gather all the Excalibur swords for some reason. They don’t really get into it yet, but I’m sure it means something big.

Everything so far is clicking along at its normal pace. A little fighting here, so nude shots here, more plot stuck somewhere in between. It’s almost like they are happy to have a slightly serious series talking about swords and boasted gears, but then remember that they are a ecchi series. They just seem to fit in some time for sexy stuff here and there. Example for this episode is; after a small battle the team gets punished for disobeying an order not to, then, go home for some nude apron time which is also Mom approved. It starts to make things even more awkward when your own mother enjoys what’s happening....

So far it’s still mindless fun to watch and there haven’t been anything so far that makes me feel like not watching the show. I’ll just have to “gear” up for next week! I’m sorry...

 [War never changes at Funimation]

 

Hiroko Yamamura

Gatchaman Crowds Episode 3


This week's episode of Gatchaman Crowds stood out for two main reasons. First, it just confused me even more. Two, they finally justified the usage of the Gatchaman name, and finally used the word "crowds".

So, we pick up right after previous episode where Hajime seems to befriend and communicate with a MESS, much to Paiman and the team's dismay. We still don't really know what the MESS are, and what the team's motivation is at this point. Where the show does start to focus on is the cross dressing Rui, who seems to be running the whole GALAX system.

There are references to the original Gatchaman team this episode, implying that the series is canon to the original. Also, the whole GALAX system seems to be in reference perhaps to the villains of the original series, Galator and Sosai X. Could this all be a new manifestation? Also, a lot of the icons being used within GALAX look just like the original Galator uniforms. This new Berg Katse seems just as crazy as the original, all I need is for him to don his purple fox/bat mask!

My feelings for the show as a whole are still neutral. It's one of those shows that you still feel like you're waiting for the punchline, but there's enough going on underneath the bubbly exterior to keep you interested. Something is afloat, and it's a matter of weather we're going to wait around for the reveal. How shocking could a show like this end up to be? Will they follow recent trends and try to flip the show upside-down at the midway point?

You know I'm hoping so. There's enough here to keep me entertained. The entire GALAX system is intriguing, and yes… even Hajime is growing on me. I hope we get to see the other transformations soon, and you know I'm waiting around for the reveal of the God Phoenix. I think I'll know when I see it whether I love or hate this show. Until then, let's save people from contaminated milk!

[Join me in my confusion over at Crunchyroll]

 

Salvador G-Rodiles

Hyperdimension Neptunia Episode 3


Man, that was one bad air show that Neptunia: The Animation pulled off during 5pd.’s supposedly amazing concert. While I wasn’t expecting anything too grand, those planes were moving too slow for an actual air show. Thank goodness this wasn’t a real concert, because I would’ve fought hard to get my ticket refunded. If there was one merit that they get, it’s that 5pd was singing the opening for Neptunia Mk2

It looks like my prediction last week was partially wrong, since the story did pick up after we finished spending some quality time with Vert. I honestly didn’t expect Microsoft’s parody to be a fujoshi that gets distracted with MMORPG games. At least she’s more competent than Neptunia, since she's able to rack up more Shares than her. Surprisingly enough, Vert’s Kinect-like device makes it more appealing than the original, due to its ability to create holographic environments and holographic skins for the players. If the Xbox One somehow manages to utilize this sort of tech, I might consider getting the system. Then again, my wish is too unrealistic, so it’s never going to happen during the next console generation.

Episode 3 may not have been as silly as the previous two, but the appearance of the show’s main villain seems to be setting up for something grand during the next episode. Who know, we might see Nepgear awaken to her transformation, since that seems to the key that could free the three goddesses from being tangled up by Magiquone’s trap. 

[You can mess around with Vert's Holo Kinect at FUNimation]

 

Brittany Vincent

Watamote Episode 4



Tomoko tries to force herself to sleep face down in order to cause sexual dreams, and fails completely while doing so. This follows an all-nighter she pulls reading random articles online, and one of the nonsensical articles puts this misconception in her head. The next day at school she's fallen asleep at her desk, having what are presumably the naughtiest dreams she's ever had. That sets the tone for this episode, where Tomoko practically begs for someone to molest her on the train. It happens to every "pretty girl" apparently, so why not her? Riiiiight. 

When something finally does happen to Tomoko, it's so embarrassing you can't help but feel for the poor girl. It's been the most extreme case of second-hand embarrassment I've seen in Watamote thus far, and that's saying something. Somehow the solution to not being molested or treating like a "cute girl" is for Tomoko to buy cute panties...apparently. I want to help this girl out in the worst way. The cringefest continues, and Tomoko even goes lingerie shopping with Yuu. Oh, Mokocchi. You're adorable, but you're killing me. Let's never talk about that bathroom stall scene again.

[Watch Tomoko embarrass herself again and again at Crunchyroll!]

 

Uchouten Kazoku Episode 4


Uchouten Kazoku is a peculiar series in many ways, though mainly because it appears to give us brief glimpses into the life of the tanuki and their brethren rather than a full-fledged episodic narrative. Over the span of the series so far we've learned so much about these characters, and yet so little.

This episode gives the yet-to-be-seen Tanuki father Shimogamo a voice, going over a massive con pulled off on the tengu in return for their harsh treatment of Professor Akadama. It's a celebratory-themed episode that paints a clearer picture of what it means for the Shimogamo family to be tanuki, as well as how they fit in with the rest of the world of magical creatures. It barrels ahead at full speed and as usual serves up a mishmash of gorgeous visuals, endearing characters (how adorable is the youngest tanuki?) and of course a bevy of more questions. It may be a little slow to develop, but Uchouten Kazoku may be the friendliest show of the season. Give it a look.

[Take a peek into the world of tanuki at Crunchyroll!]

 

Danganronpa Episode 4


Did anyone detect a note of weirdness about Fujisaki? If so, you were right on track. After last week's grisly events, it's easy to start locking away potential clues for later, and that's what happens when Asahina innocently asks Fujisaki if she would join the girls in the locker room -- what's up with that? It becomes obvious very quickly that our "Genocider Syo" has another victim in his crosshairs. After all, as one of our keen students points out, his victims are always male. That's something to chew on, eh?

The investigation will reveal secrets many of you may have already been forming theories about, and shines a suspicious light on Togami, of all people. He seemed fidgety and strange and all, too quick to cast blame. Are we edging closer to an answer? Who's going to bite the dust next, and how?

Danganronpa continues to follow the game narrative, sticking like glue to plot points and shock scenes. I'm still engaged, even though I already know what's coming -- it's evolving nicely and taking shape into a series on its own merit, and I'm happy to come along for the ride. How's everyone else feeling about it so far? Ready to pick up the game?

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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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  • Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 10 - Josh Tolentino
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