How To Win the Summer 2018 Harem Race | Weekly Anime Redux
Unlike last week, I’m just gonna make this a separate thing, now. Save Flash for the more involved stuff.
The race to be the best in this summer’s anime lineup continues, folks! The superhero academy already has an enormous lead over the competition. The magical knights are in a very distant second. But what’s this? I don’t believe it! Until now, the harem triplets were all fighting the bronze, but one of them’s hungry for the win! They’re catching up! Could they take away the silver in this one? Hold the phone! At the rate they’re moving, they may even be going for the gold! Can they manage it?! Wait! Another of the harem triplets seems to be slowing down! Could it be injured? Will it survive to the end of the race? I think this may just be the end for the youngest racer, already, ladies and gentlemen!
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
Riiight. I think I’m done with this one. Talking about it, anyway. While I can’t really go out of my way to call it horrible, this series continues to just check box after box without going so far as to add any elements of its own. Up to, and including having Kogarashi attending High School, rather than just let him be a young adult or whatever. It doesn’t have a particularly unique aesthetic. The characters are just fine at best (and mildly annoying, at worst). And there’s something uniquely bothersome about its application of fan service. Though I can’t exactly figure out how to word it at the moment. Ecchi is one thing, but something about this one seems particularly… lazy, I guess. I can’t seem to find the words, right now.
Will I still watch it? Eh. Possibly. But I don’t see any point in continuing to talk about it because it’s not producing something that’s worth talking about, be that in a positive light or otherwise. The episode, itself, was just Harmless. Frankly, that’s perhaps the best way to describe the show. It’s Harmless, mindless, and clearly on autopilot. None of which makes for very engaging reading, unfortunately.
The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar
I really have to give this show its props for trying to take itself a little more seriously. The issue I’m having is that, thus far, not much has really happened, aside from setup. Don’t get me wrong. There have been some developments, but this show really loves to run its mouth. This episode, in particular, pretty much consisted almost entirely of characters talking. Now. Some of that dialogue was actually pretty decent, if not outright good, helping to inform Yuuto’s character a little more and confirm his relationship to the girl still in the future. Well… sort of. I’m still not entirely sure if she’s actually his girlfriend or just a friend he secretly loves. I’ll lean towards the former, based on how he talks about her. I liked that he just dropped the act and told Linnea, outright, that he was in love with this other girl.
The one thing I’m looking to see, however, is consequence. We’ll talk more about that subject, later, but… this is time travel, we’re talking about. Yuuto is essentially introducing revolutionary technology and intelligence, well before it would’ve come into play without him. This has to have some sort of repercussion, right? Anyway, the episode was ultimately Harmless. I did like the scene with him and Linnea. And I kind of like Linnea because her character is actually pretty decently realized. In general, it seems like the characterization is going to be what this series leans on most, rather than plot or narrative. Which is fine, so long as it remains consistent. They don’t have to be especially compelling or intricate, as long as they’re well enough executed to forgive the simplicity.
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
And then there’s this. I won’t lie. This episode genuinely impressed me. I did not expect this series to actually do any of what it did so well in this one episode. First of all, Diablo (do we know his real name? I forget) is OP, but his actions aren’t without consequences. His powers do require energy and it’s nice to see this. It means that he won’t be walking through every problem without risk. Yes, he can probably blast his way through any individual problem. But he has to be careful with his resources because he can be overwhelmed and left vulnerable if he does so without anticipating another problem. I also liked seeing how this attack had an actual visible body count and there doesn’t appear to be any solace of resurrection. This series seems to be big on the concept of action and inaction having actual ramifications and that’s pretty novel for a series like this.
My one problem with the episode was the fanservice, actually. Yes, it comes with the territory. I get that. But fanservice is something that I honestly think requires a bit of balance, depending on the series. I can probably write an entire article on that subject, but in this particular case, I think the problem is that the fanservice-y scene towards the end was much too long and much too blatant. This show doesn’t have the edge of being like Monster Musume or High School DxD, where the fanservice is entirely the point or so abundant that it’s basically a feature, ingrained into the show’s very essence (so, ecchi). It’s also not like a Date A Live or DanMachi, where the fanservice is actually used more sparingly or is pretty tame or quick when it does happen. In those instances, the fanservice is balanced in such a way that your mind’s almost tricked into ignoring it if you like the other elements of the show – Monster Musume’s humor, DanMachi’s characters, Date A Live’s action, etc.
This show doesn’t do that and, as a result, it’s just kind of jarring and feels out of place. And because it’s more noticeable, if you’re not one to like fanservice (or have built the tolerance for it that I have), it’ll likely be annoying. Even so, this episode was definitely a nice helping of Junk Food, even with that in mind. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A fairly standard episode, for this show. Nothing especially good or bad about it. Now that Noelle has her new spell, they go to the underwater temple. Which is located in an underwater city. The people are unexpectedly inviting and enthusiastic about their visitors, and without appearing to be malicious about it in any way. Though they don’t warn the gang about their leader, who’s evidently off his nut. Other than that, though, it’s a setup episode for whatever’s happening next week. A few decent gags came out of it. But otherwise, there’s nothing to really write home about in this Harmless offering.
My Hero Academia
Definitely a weaker episode for My Hero Academia, this week, as the licensing exam begins. And a decent amount of it was characters talking. That isn’t to say there wasn’t any action. Oh, there certainly was. But nothing especially impressive from an animation or storytelling standpoint. It was the usual Shounen bit where characters fight, but pause a lot to talk in the middle of the fighting. I generally give this series something of a pass on that since there are so many characters and time did actually go into making them all unique in terms of their abilities and equipment (though not necessarily their looks). Some talking basically has to happen to let you know what the devil is going on, sometimes. But the issue here was that a lot of the talking wasn’t really all that necessary? Not much of it was information we really needed or didn’t know.
The action and animation in general, when it was going, was as solid as ever. And I did like Deku’s opponent – Camie – to an extent. Though I have some questions regarding her powers. Namely, how is she allowed to just undress in the middle of this? The point of the test is that you’re supposed to wear the receivers or whatever. If she removes her clothing (or her powers do it. It’s unclear), isn’t that kind of… you know… cheating? It doesn’t bother me too much because, as I said before, I know how this arc goes, and the role she plays, in particular. But even with that knowledge, it seems to be a considerable loophole. Despite that little hiccup, I actually liked the whole thing with pretending to be Uraraka. I saw it coming, but it was still interesting seeing them using Uraraka’s crush as a misdirect to make the audience think one thing, only for it to be a fakeout. I’m looking forward to next week when the test hopefully picks up a little more steam. But this episode was still reasonably entertaining Junk Food.
Let’s be cute about this and have the bonuses be done with medals and unique achievements. Welcome to Weekly Anime Redux, where the categories are made up and the points don’t matter.
Overall Episode Medalists
No one’s more surprised than myself, but this week I have to give the Gold to How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.
It was genuinely enjoyable and I was pleasantly surprised by it. My Hero Academia takes away the Silver, this week. The action was good, but felt very starty-stoppy, given how the episode played out. Certainly still good, just not quite up to the same standard as past episodes have been. The Bronze, this week, goes home with The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar. This is primarily because of the scene between Yuuto and Linnea. It was honestly just a really nice scene for a show of this nature to have.
This category was actually pretty tricky. The MVP is a character who has to basically carry the episode. And that can be tough to judge. But I think this week it does come down to Linnea, from The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar.
I just like her character. Yes, she’s in love with Yuuto (as are they all), but she also has a believable motivation, which is informed by the world established by the series, so far. She’s surprisingly complex, as far as a series like this goes. Yuuto, himself, almost walked away with this one because I enjoyed seeing how he was able to buck the usual trend of protagonists like him by being unnecessarily secretive and just telling her outright that he was in love with someone else. He’s not some indecisive harem lead. Dude has a definitive love interest and I like that about him in this role. But Linnea’s character establishment and the beginning of her character development more or less anchored the rest of the otherwise uneventful episode.
Unique Achievement: Best Magic Attack
I think this should also come with a Gold Medal in Eliminations, because uh…
“White Nova” from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord is the exact kind of silly, yet outrageous thing I love. Literally summons a tiny little spec of light that has enough power to do that upon detonation. And it’s apparently not even his strongest spell, seeing as Edelgard survived it, point blank (albeit not without being left very badly bruised). I guess we can give the Silver in Eliminations to Inasa. He deserves it well enough.
Unique Achievement: Cutest Wittle Villain
Yes, I am 1,000,000% certain she’s not going to stay a villain (she’s standing with Diablo in the OP, and she’s the only not-ugly Fallen, as well as the only survivor, for crying out loud). But for all intents and purposes, she’s the main villain of the previous two episodes. And seeing as she was the villain of those episodes and made this face-
I’d say she qualifies. Cutest villain. If nothing else, she’s definitely the most expressive.
And there you have it. Week 4 has come to an end and, for the moment, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord has taken the Summer lead. I don’t suspect it’ll keep it. My Hero Academia and (potentially) Black Clover could still reclaim their positions. And though slim, at this point, there’s always the chance that The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar will jump ahead of it, somehow. Still both of the designated Shounen on this list are, at present, all-around better shows. And that isn’t very likely to change. Though, to be fair, they’ve had a while to hit that stride. Let’s see how things go.
And that’s all for me, folks. Did you like the little bonus categories? What are some you might like to see in a future Weekly Anime Redux? Feel free to get creative or as zany as you please. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome.