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Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 6

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Don't mess with us, we've got skull friends!

Hello, and welcome to the weekend edition of Annotated Anime, the weekly anime recap that don't give a poop what the schedule is, it's been hanging out with skulls. You don't say no to the bony reminders of your mortality!

We may not have denied the skulls, but we'll be skulls ourselves if we'll let the latest in Japanese cartoon goodness go un-recapped! Those of us not at Otakon 2013 drinking in all the awesome cosplay and industry news bring you the latest from Attack on Titan, Servant x Service, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Genshiken Second Season, WataMote, Danganronpa, Rozen Maiden Zurukspulen, High School DxD, Gatchaman Crowds, Kin-Iro Mosaic, Love Lab, Day Break Illusion, Uchouten Kazoku, and Silver Spoon!

Elliot Gay

Attack on Titan Episode 17


Ok Wit, you done good this week.

The Recon Corps leave the safety of the walls on a mission to find a better route to Eren's old home, but find themselves facing a crisis right off the bat. A single irregular Titan appears, sprinting past all the soldiers only to get taken down quickly and without issue. Sadly, the beast only marks the beginning of the problem; a massive female Titan sprints through soldiers, clearly looking for somebody. Armin is nearly killed but ends up spared by the beast after it checks his face. He concludes that the female Titan is after Eren, and is making sure not to kill soldiers without knowing their identities. He also concludes that these special Titans (armored, gigantic, female) all actually have humans inside that are controlling them. 

After getting tossed around a bit, Armin manages to regroup with Jean and Reiner. They realize that Eren is likely in the center of the formation just as they notice the female Titan sprint off in his direction.

The next arc begins now, and I'm more than a little bit happy to see that Wit has showed up for the party. There are some great action set pieces this week with fairly strong animation. The Sasha chase sequence in particular was as tense as it was creepy. Some of the character models were a bit off here and there, but on the whole this is probably the strongest pure action episode the series has had since the first few. The question is whether or not Wit can maintain this quality through the end of the series.

My fingers are crossed.

[Fight the Titans over at Crunchyroll]

 

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Episode 05


The arrival of Saber marks a turn for the worst, with Rin and Luvia immediately knocked out of the fight. Illya finds herself to frightened to properly fight back after a close call with one of Saber's sword swipes. Miyu is forced into action but finds that none of her beams are doing any damage. The pair decide that they need to retreat, but Saber won't even give them the chance to recover their fallen comrades. Things are looking grim, but Rin and Luvia manage to regain their composure and start a counterattack. Ruby and Sapphire, much to their chagrin, momentarily break their contracts with Illya and Miyu so that the more experienced magical girls can give it a shot. The combination of Rin and Luvia manage to drive Saber into a corner, giving them enough time to prepare a super powerful magical attack that'll hopefully turn the tides of battle.

Much to my surprise, nearly the entire runtime of episode five is devoted to the battle against Saber. It's non-stop action from beginning to end, though sadly not all of it is great. After the fun Caster battle of last week, the fight with Saber lacks the necessary oomph to impress. Lots of corners are cut, and there are times when the action just looks outright ugly. It's not all bad, but it was more than enough to distract.

Not surprising, but nonetheless disappointing.

[Watch magical girls do magical things over at Crunchyroll]

 

Jeff Chuang

Servant x Service episode 5


One of the fun things lots of people did during Working was "shipping" the various couples. Servant x Service takes that a step further by setting up not only that strong, natural ship between Yamagami and Hasebe, but it drops the most unlikely pair in Chihaya and Ichinoya. That the show plays the unlikeliness of this pair as a joke goes to show the absurdity of the pairing--as well as how it knows it is absurd.

The second hilarious thing about this week's Servant x Service is the Hasebe family. It's also by-the-book when you compare it to Working, but the troll-ish Hasebe elder sister is simply laughter in a nutshell. It's not like she really has to try hard to do what Hasebe does to Lucy, now that Hasebe-sister Kaoru can poke fun at little-brother Yutaka and Yamagami for twice the laughs.

This week's Servant x Service is generally excellent. It's probably unrealistic to expect this kind of one-two punch every week but I would like to think it's time that the viewers are cashing in on the familiarity and mild office humor we have been putting up with the past month.

[Watch Lucy sleep with Hasebe on Crunchyroll]

 

Day Break Illusion episode 5


We got from last week's Day Break Illusion that this week will talk about Ginka, or the girl who loves octopus and everything stereotypically associated with Osaka. Naturally, her back story sort of plays on this with his enterpernual father and the family's close friend, a well-off businessman who turned Demonia because of the mysterious fortune-teller-type from episode 4. In the conflict that follows, Ginka tells us about her heartwarming story and the events this week helps Ginka connect to Akari via Akari's power of being able to hear the damned hosts of Demonia.

I suppose it's heartwarming because when the victim is someone very close to you, being able to hear their final wishes for you as the rest of the world forgets about him leaves something to remember the person by. Day Break Illusion, however, seems to just play its cards straight in this week's episode, laying down the emotional foundation for Ginka.

Next week is Seira's turn, hopefully. Maybe Day Break Illusion will also get around to show us how Luna's angle fits in--it certainly seems curious. It certainly is more intriguing than following through this by-the-book formula of character development.

[Watch Day Break Illusion on Crunchyroll]

 

Hiroko Yamamura

Gatchaman Crowds Episode 4


Woo hoo, it's finally getting dark in here! Gatchaman Crowds is starting to slowly deliver the goods, and if you were able to endure the messy first episode I think you'll be pleased with this week's results. They've already ditched the first show's set up of rules, including stopping the MESS that's haunting Japan, as well as questioning the whole intention of the Gatchaman team. Quick work if you ask me, flipping things by episode 4 is just the pace I like to see.

If you would have asked me where I thought the show might be by this point, I couldn't have it it here. It's not overly dark yet, and still maintains some of its cheery innocence, but things are getting there. There's a quite a body count this episode, with them not playing out the whole Berg Katze/ Rui deception too long. We also see the origins of the GALAX system, giving further evidence to it being the return of Galactor. Also, they finally use O.D., showing a not so silly side, implying that underneath it all he may be some kind of badass.

Joe finally shows his wings, literally. His suit is the only bird-like one so far, and I'm glad he got his butt kicked so easily in his first shown outing. I guess this episode created as many questions as it did answers. What are the notes, and why does both sides of the equations have them? Did something happen from the original Gatchaman series that I'm missing that could clue me in? Where's the darn God Phoenix? Is that the fire that's coming to burn everything?

Yeah, I'll admit I'm exciting about next week. I'm still confused about what's going on in the show, but they have my attention. The show seems to suffer from trying to hit each character at least once in each episode, spreading out how much they can detail them. No one's motivations are apparent yet, except for maybe Berg Katze, his just being pure evil. Is the fact that JJ is voiced by the actor who played Ken from the original series a coincidence? Let's find out!

[Wait for the God Phoenix with me over at [Crunchyroll]

 

Salvador G-Rodiles

Hyperdimension Neptunia Episode 4


Just as I predicted, this whole episode was the setup for Nepgear to awaken to her CPU form. Sadly, the transformation wasn’t until the end of the episode, which was a bit of a drag. While it gave us enough time to see the younger sisters stand out, most of their segments were dedicated to them learning to be more independent. But hey, at least we got to see Abnes get beaten up good.

Despite my issues with the sisters, I’m still hoping that the folks at David Productions have plans to make them shine, since they were the main characters of Neptunia Mk2. Hopefully, things will change when the other three sisters learn to transform, because their development could play a hefty contribution to the story and humor for Neptunia: The Animation.

At this point in the series, Neptunia: The Animation hasn’t entered the drop territory yet, but the fate of the series will be determined by how Nepgear resolves the current situation. Depending on how things go, we might get some actual progress. It’s a good thing that Warechu’s connection is running on dial-up; otherwise, Neptune and the other girls would’ve lost a ton of Shares by now. Come to think of it, I might have to take some of complaints back, since Neptune’s positive attitude made Noire mad. On that note, things might get better after all.  

[You can overcome Neptunia's slow connection at FUNimation]

 

Brad Rice

Silver Spoon episode 4


Let's make a pizza! It seems that all these kids, living in the farmland, have never gotten the chance to eat a real pizza. They live outside the delivery zones, and can't call up Domino's or Papa John's to get something delivered. Hachiken, being the Big City boy, is tasked with making the pizza.

Naturally, he goes overboard, doing in-depth research on making a pizza. It's simple, but of course they complicate it. It'll cost too much to get the flour! Where will we find cheese! You're on a farm that can handle all of it. Calm down and make it.

We see, just as Hachiken's middle school teacher sees when he drops in, that the boy is normalizing with this group of kids. He's got a group of friends, is socializing, and might one day fall in love! Now, the only roadblock seems to be eating cute little Pork Bowl.

And, before I leave this topic, be warned: this episode has the sound of a hundred people all chewing at once. It'll make Dale and Tim cringe.

 

Love Lab episode 5


The girls are hijacking the radio booth! Under the guise of an English lesson, they dispense love advice to the mysterious girl who doesn't know how to give a gift to a guy she likes. The plan goes off without a hitch, each person in the student council playing their role to distract teachers and win over the radio controls. It's a great first half to the episode. The second half, the fallout, helps bring the girls a bit closer together after they chastise Riko for taking the fall for everything.

And then there's Makio. Hoo-boy, I hope we see more of him.

In the final minutes, we find out the gift girl fails in her pursuits, but won't give up. That sounds a lot like the Newspaper Club, which is about to start investigating the student council for that mysterious broadcast that took place. Now, how will the girls hide their love research?

My bet is that by the end of the show, the love research will be freely available to any and all who need it -- especially the biggest of the hard-ass teachers. Until then, the girls will have to dodge the worst of the criticism and continue their research!

 

Chris Walden

Kiniro Mosaic Episode 3 and Beyond


So, uhh, yeah. Sorry guys, but I'll be dropping Kiniro Mosaic from here on. 

Now, for those of you that might be reading this to work out if the show is for them, don't let me put you off. See, I understand that Kinmoza is pretty well made, has likeable characters and is being praised left, right and centre. I know it isn't a terrible show. My reasons for dropping it are relatively simple.

My interest in this show stemmed entirely from the representation of the English it was going to have. It's something that I find endlessly entertaining, and the first episode didn't disappoint. It wasn't really the representation that I enjoyed in the end, but rather the innocent misunderstandings between the two main girls. This was lost pretty quickly, and unfortunately, so was my interest.

The biggest reason is that I'm just not that interested in "cute girls being cute," if that's all there is to a show. I enjoy Yuru Yuri for the comedy, not how adorable and necessarily likeable the characters are. It's kind of why I got bored of K-On!, but hey, that's just me. There are plenty of people that will enjoy this show, and I'm curious to hear from you about how it continues. A c-blog, perhaps?

(I could also do with some extra time to spend on other shows.)

[I like the stream Crunchyroll! Do you understand?]

 

Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen Episode 3-5


This Rozen Marathon I had after coming back home from holiday had me all sorts of worried, but it turns out I needn't have been. Now, this show still has its problems. The story jumps about more than a hyperactive grasshopper, and I still don't care much for the musical offering (and that is everything, excluding the ED.) However, I've found the new art direction, and the loose parts of story I could actually make heads or tails of, rather charming.

While I couldn't care less about the socially-awkward future Jun, the situation he finds himself in with Shinku is rather saddening. No, I don't mean that she's left at home alone, or even that her new companion is about as socially stimulating as speaking to a discarded carrier bag, but because of the way she acts when there's a countdown to death looming over her. It's clear to viewers that she's hanging around for reasons more than curiosity, and as odd as the whole scenario is, it seems to work.

Suigintou also finds herself in a similar situation, deciding against forming a contract with her human companion due to her health situation. I also have a strong suspicion that her drive to become Alice isn't all that self-centred, at least at this point, and may have something to do with her health. I'm not quite sure if she actually made a contract in the end (this anime is going at crazy miles per hour,) but besides that, I'm kinda digging this plot point, too. 

What I really don't care for about this whole thing, is this mysterious seventh doll and whatever it is she's doing. I understand that it's bad news for a lot of dolls, and I know there's all this funky stuff going on with roses and thorns, but beyond that, what's really going on? The bullet of a first episode didn't really explain it well enough, and there's zero urge to go back and rewatch that trainwreck, but as a consequence it's just made the plot something I'm not at all attached to.

[Dollfie 2.0 has advanced previews on Crunchyroll]

 

Genshiken Nidaime Episode 3-4


Thank you, Genshiken, for being a fantastic pick-me-up amongst the other, rather serious shows I'm watching. This is the kind of goofball comedy I like, so at this point the show may as well do an endless eight, because I'll just eat it up regardless.

There's been quite a focus on Hato and his crossdressing habit, and while I was initially been a little wary about how much of a focus they were giving it, and worrying that they were trying to make it his one and only feature, it seems that really isn't the case. No, there's more to Hato than this, and am I ever glad that this is the case. That chat with Madarame while not dressed as a girl was one of the most interesting scenes I've seen in an anime hands down. It certainly made me respect Madarame more for literally not caring a bit about the hobbies and sexuality of this guy he barely knows. What a bro. 

Then some other stuff happened with the other guys or something, I dunno.

[The fujoshi club is chilling out on Crunchyroll]

 

Brittany Vincent

WataMote Episode 5



The adventures of socially disastrous Tomoko continue with another harebrained scheme to engender high school popularity. This time our heroine attempts to emulate a "cool, quiet girl" character from an anime series that resembles a certain teenage god -- Suzumiya, to be exact. As expected, this plan backfires magnificently as Tomoko awkwardly scarfs down breakfast, saying nothing to her bewildered mother and wearing a hideous expression on her face. She learns tHat trope doesn't work as well without a male companion character to "interact" with her. We all know how well that's going to work out.

When this plan is a bust, Tomoko is jealous of the popular girls taking cute purikura photos together. After unsuccessfully propositioning Tomoki to go with her, Tomoko takes some pictures on her own. They're...interesting. Is she ever going to get it together?

[Partake in a purikura disaster at Crunchyroll!]



Uchouten Kazoku Episode 5



For some time now the Friday Fellows have been a curiosity in Uchouten Kazoku, and a group I found myself wanting to know more about. They cook and eat the adorable tanuki, but why? What significance does it hold? Being cooked in a hot pot is a very real danger to the cuddly family we've come to love, and the Friday Fellows could be just the group to do it. So why do they seem so casual about eating tanuki every year? And why do those who tend to favor the shapeshifters (particularly Benten and the Professor) seem to be the most eager to gobble them up?

It's a strange episode with a strong focus on this bizarre group and their traditions, and though it doesn't explicitly answer all questions, it still manages to open several doors of understanding that felt closed to us only a few episode ago. Perhaps even more impressive is the continued attention to detail and high level of quality animation I see week after week. Uchouten Kazoku continues to be a slow burn, but it's kept me engaged thus far.

[Stay out of the hot pot and head over to Crunchyroll]



Danganronpa Episode 5

After some shocking revelations last episode, this one had to keep up the momentum. And it delivers, especially with the reveal of Genocider Syo's true identity. Was anyone suspecting Touko? I mean, how could you not, right? She only has the best set of expressions in the entirety of the game and series. Just look at that face. It's deliciously violent and psychotic. Overall, this was a fairly strong episode in other respects, if a bit rushed. While the pacing has felt true to the game thus far, I couldn't help but feel this episode tended to rush through some important details. The trial was one thing, but some explanations could have used more time in the oven. I'm still satisfied with this anime adaptation as a whole, but how is everyone else feeling? Is Monobear grating on your nerves yet?

Josh Totman

High School DxD New Episode 5


Get ready for battle!

The gang is about to get themselves into one hell of a battle. The fallen angel Kokabiel is looking for an epic battle to entertain him. What’s with these powerful monsters and getting so bored? Go read a book or something. Anyway, the holy man Valper has now combined four pieces of Excalibur into one sword. This could give Kokabiel the power to whip out the entire city in one shot. Not a good thing at all.

Pretty much the entire episode is serious. There is not a whole lot of room for comedy at this stage. It even has a very touching scene with Yuuto and his friends from the Excalibur training experiment. Even got everyone around crying. Most of the action, on the other hand, was in the form of battling Cerberus the three headed puppy from hell.

All of this was just a prelude to the main battle against Kokabiel which is where the episode leaves off. It’s looking to be a gruesome battle and I hope it doesn't disappoint. They say that Kokabiel fought with God and the Devil and survived, so I hope that he doesn't lose to anything simple and stupid. It will be just be a waste if it did.

 [Pet the puppies at 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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