The first culling fast approaches. Let’s see which of our competitors are really serious about staying in the running. Also, let’s all welcome and oldie but a goodie to the Weekly Anime Redux – Noragami!
I’ll be honest. I am was not even remotely expecting this to go where it did. And I actually kinda love it for that. We already know how much I like the chemistry between Sakuta and Mai. They just play off of one another more or less perfectly. But this episode delivered a lot more on the mystery of this “adolescence syndrome” thing in a compelling, albeit convenient way. The idea of people losing their memories of Mai when they sleep is interesting. And Sakuta’s response to that information was actually very well handled. But what’s more, I also liked Mai helping him finally get some sleep and her thanking him for being there and trying so hard for her sake. Yeah, she drugged him, but the man was basically destroying himself. So I let it slide.
I also like how the episode elevates their relationship, but only by a small step. Which I think is better than the alternative of a fully realized romantic relationship, right off the bat. But another thing I like is that this episode kinda resolves her situation, but not really. There are certainly still plenty of questions. Does anyone outside of the school remember her now? Can anyone other than the students and faculty see her?
As much as I’d love the answers to those questions, I’m also happy this means we’ll get to look into other characters with other “adolescence syndrome” situations. There’s potential for a lot of interesting stuff with the rest of the series. And as long as Mai and Sakuta remain at the center of it, I’m sure it’ll be a good time. For now, though, this episode was Super Effective.
So that was fun! This show continues to have the slow pacing I’d expect for a two-cour series that isn’t a continuation of anything. There’s a lot of setup and whatnot to deal with. But Rimuru taking on the Dire Wolves was neat. I like that the Dire Wolves are apparently telepathic. I wasn’t really surprised by how easily he took them out. Nor that they wound up joining him and the Goblins after the pack leader was taken down. I also liked the bit about the Goblins and Dire Wolves evolving upon being given names. However, there’s not much else to say about this episode. So far, because of that slower pace, the series is basically just a sequence of things happening and… well… that’s it. Nothing wrong with that. But this episode was basically just Junk Food.
I can kind of see where the “boring” criticism comes from, here. But I think this series is basically an exercise in patient viewing. Because I’m not bored at all, watching this. Maybe it’s just another example of me being easy to please. But I’ve been enjoying this. I wouldn’t call it “edge-of-my-seat” viewing, but I’m interested in the characters. I like them. The tender moments, the moments of confliction. The subtle details, the interactions. I think it’s all handled really well and in a package that’s also quite nice to look at, I might add. Sure, it’s no Irozuku. But it’s not going for “most visually captivating of the season.” I think it’s more appropriate to call it “most visually pleasing of the season.” It’s a very calming, serene kind of visual work where nothing (barring the OP) are all that visually stunning, but the visual element of the show is, for whatever reason, really satisfying and calming to behold, in a way.
That all being said, at first I was a bit apprehensive about the whole “shopping trip” thing. But what they decided to do with it was nice, having it turn into something a bit more dramatic in the end by bringing up Yuu friend, Akari’s love life. And Yuu’s observation was handled well, even if her response to it was, uh… unintentionally brutal. In general, I like how the show plays with the different ways people deal with rejection, among other things. I also really like how Yuu and Touka interact even with their circumstance being what it presently is. Like outside Yuu’s family store.
Seeing that moment of weakness from Touko before her speech was also great. Often times one forgets that the people who seem to be the most put-together are still human. We put them up on a pedestal but they tend to be just as vulnerable as (if not more than) the rest of us. The operative phrase being “as the rest of us.” And that’s perfectly fine. Seeing Yuu comforting and talking some sense into her regarding this was a nice move. And that epiphany she had revolving around this was great. I can see there being a question about whether her final decision in the episode is a bit enabling in regard to letting Touko continue being this way, instead of just accepting being… you know… normal. But everyone has their masks and those they confide in. Good on this show for delivering another good round of Easy Viewing.
Ah. Here was the episode I was basically waiting for. I was waiting for Seth to head out on his adventure. And while this episode did that, in surprisingly heartwarming fashion, no less, the main concern was in setting up for that departure. How? By shifting the focus over to Alma, who basically raised him. It dove into her backstory (kinda), as well as his. But only the backstory of them being together, as they both have memory loss of any time prior to when the flashback starts. It wasn’t the most interesting backstory in the world. But it was definitely nice to see how Alma came to care for Seth.
With the exception of the absolutely brutal training, it was a very Piccolo/Gohan type thing. And I really like those. The series promises to start, proper, in the next episode. But for now, things are looking up. The villagers even seemed genuinely (if reluctantly, in some cases) grateful to Seth for saving them. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. As for now, the episode was actually Super Effective. It hit all the beats it wanted and did it well.
Well, this episode was basically inevitable. “Newbie goes on missions, newbie messes up missions, newbie redeems herself.” Very standard fare, all this considered, but I liked it. The show knows its strengths. It’s fun, the characters are charming, and the action was actually really good, this time around. The message of cooperation was indeed a good one. I’m really interested in learning more about the whole “traitor” angle. If that isn’t the moment when this series just takes a hard left into madness, then it’s not gonna happen. But for this episode’s part, it was definitely Super Effective.
The joke is actually incredibly easy, but… one can’t help but think a lot of these problems would be avoided if she’d just… you know… tell people she couldn’t see (most) color. Her reasons for not doing so were a bit odd, as well. Is colorblindness not a thing in this universe? It’s not like it’s some horrid affliction that people wouldn’t understand. But, that issue aside, I actually really liked this episode. I liked the agency Hitomi’s given to actually do stuff. I like that she’s being proactive about pursuing things she wants, and not just waiting for things to fall into her lap. That isn’t to say she’s not given a nudge, every now and then. She definitely is. But I think it just says a lot that she’s even willing to do any of this.
And I also like how she handled the whole pool situation, helping the others clean it. Yes, as far as they know, it’s not her fault. But she knows it is and, even without telling them, is trying to make up for it. The monochromatic photos thing was a nice compromise, though. Something she could do and still have a reason to be around. All in all, some nice Easy Viewing. Though this show remains difficult for me to really talk about. Based on how it’s choosing to do things, it seems like this is a series that’s best seen in the full picture, rather than an episode at a time. The themes aren’t really hitting, is all.
Perhaps now’s a good time to point out that I’m not a fan of watching characters suffer any kind of large-scale humiliation? That’s not a criticism of the show. It’s a personal thing. As to how the show handles it? It’s pretty fun. Juliet continues to be a rather understanding angel of a character. Meanwhile, Inuzaka is… well… Inuzaka. I’m not sure we’re gonna get much more out of him, unfortunately. The new introduction – Char – wasn’t exactly the most surprising things to see out of a series like this. But as obstacles go, I think she does the job and sets up a reasonably entertaining, if standard, blackmail plot. All in all, a nice little Junk Food episode.
Huh. So. 54 episodes in and we finally get some depth out of Asta. Nothing groundbreaking, mind you. But I think this episode may be the most he’s done since the show began to differentiate himself from… well… pretty much every Shounen protagonist ever. I understand that the appeal of the series is basically to just be the Shounen-iest Shounen to ever Shounen. But I still watch things – Shounen in particular – for the characters. And thus far this series has only really delivered three that have been all that interesting… and one of them keeps getting shafted. But thankfully things are getting better now. This episode spares us the action and slows down long enough to actually deliver us a bit of drama in the form of Asta potentially losing the use of his arms… well… forever. And Asta’s response to learning this is actually really nice, while still being peak Shounen. And seeing the other characters set off to help him out was nice. So overall, I think this episode’s actually worthy of being called Super Effective. Good on it for stepping up.
Rewatching Noragami (Episodes 1 – 3)
Just so I can keep things aligned with the rest of the season, here’s a quick summary of my thoughts on the first three episodes of rewatching this. For starters, I’d completely forgotten how much of an arse Yato makes himself out to be in the beginning. Doesn’t entirely change… ever, really. But he still manages to be an arse in that uniquely charming way that few characters can pull off. Like Reigen from Mob Psycho 100. Actually, I like the characters in general, though Yukine is a bit less defined in these first three. But Hiyori is probably my favorite character overall. I just like how she first seems pretty typical, then we’re slowly made privy to her actual personality, which is rather feisty and take-charge in a way, while also being really kindhearted and spirited.
Also, the action scenes and overall look of this show are so good. Better than I remember them, in fact. They just look really cool and stylistic, with great musical accompaniment. Something we’ve all come to expect from Studio Bones, really. The world is intriguing and the upbeat energy of the show is really enthralling. I’ll keep from rating any of these episodes, though, and just save my rating for the full series when I get there.
Overall Episode Medalists
For now, I’m going to restrict the first two categories to competitors in our little tournament. And with that being said, the Gold once again goes to Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai. It’s… it’s just that good. Hopefully, the series continues this momentum, going forward. I’m really loving it.
As for the second and third place winners. Well, much to my surprise, I actually think this week’s Silver has to go to Yagate Kimi ni Naru. I just really like the characters and their interactions with one another. And that leaves the Bronze to Release the Spyce. So yeah. With the exception of the top spot, basically just a flip of last week. But special props to Radiant and Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara. Both cranked out a pair of episodes I really enjoyed as well. And that bronze spot came down to the wire, really.
MVP: Koito, Yuu
This category continues to haunt me since I don’t wanna give it to two characters at once. But that’s probably for the best. Otherwise, Sakuta and Mai would probably be here every week. I almost gave this to Alma because, really, the whole episode was basically about her. But most of it was a narrated flashback, which seems a bit unfair. So this time let’s hand the honor to Yuu, whose progress through the episode I genuinely liked. I won’t repeat it all. I just really enjoyed seeing Yuu’s interactions with Touko and how she deals with her senpai’s affections, as well as helps with her problems. And her slowly piecing together her own feelings is also really nice.
But the moment where it became apparent that she was holding the episode up, basically herself, was when she and Touko had that talk outside before giving their speeches. I think that was sort of the moment when it became apparent that she took the episode by the horns. Yes, it’s fairly late in the episode, but the show’s fairly slow anyway. And the episode did set up an immediate dilemma that concluded when it was all over. I liked seeing that growth in her, however minor it was. So she gets this spot.
Unique Achievement: Best Mom
Despite the episode not being that great, Alma was easily the best part about it and I’m looking forward to seeing her again (because you just know she’ll be back… though she’s probably as good as dead). Be that as it may, Alma proves, in the episode, that she really cares for Seth and I like her. Rough though she may be, these types of relationships are always some of the strongest in any Shounen.
Unique Achievement: Goodest Boy
I mean. Look at how happy he is to see his master awake.
And that’s that. Phew. Quite the roundup. But I’m actually liking everything on my list, so far. Some better than others, of course, but this season’s been pretty good! What do you think? Let us know, down below. That’s all for me. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome. Take Care.