With this, it occurs to me that three-quarters of the shows on my remaining list have a heavy romantic slant. So. That’s interesting.
Anime TKO is in full effect and, as a result, half the competitors were culled, leaving me with this unlikely assortment. But will they hold up against the likes of things like SSSS.Gridman on EvilBob’s list? Let’s find out.
Oh, good. This episode graced us with the avoidance of unnecessary drama. Sakuta gets to explain to Mai and that’s that. That isn’t to say she likes what she hears, of course. But as long as there isn’t some forced wedge driven between them, I’m good. We even got a few really fun dialogues between them because they just have that effect whenever they’re in one another’s presence. And it was as charming as ever.
The rest of the episode was also really good, though. I like that Sakuta’s selflessness in this situation actually has a root cause, that being the similarity to his own little sister. It’s not just born of him being nice for its own sake. That’s certainly not a problem, on its own. I do admire those types of characters, but I think it’d have been oddly out of character for Sakuta to decide to help “just ’cause.” Seeing him stick up for Tomoe in the face of rumors and an entitled jock was also extremely satisfying. Overall, just another Super Effective episode. I really enjoyed it. Though I’m curious as to how this whole situation’s going to get resolved.
I’ll just cut right to it. This episode made me smile, much of the way through. Probably because of Touko. She’s just so endearing. This is also the funniest episode I think the show’s had, thus far, starting on an amusing note with Touko buying something from Yuu’s family bookstore. Just watch it. It’s great. Also, pretty much the entire scene in Yuu’s room is perfect. Both adorable and funny. I think this show is just really good at bringing out the warm fuzzies and making me quite happy.
At the same time, I still think Yuu’s internal monologue is one of the strongest things about it as she slowly works through the situation and the feelings swirling around in her head, whatever they ultimately end up becoming. It’s actually the main thing propelling this show beyond simple Easy Viewing. That and the gradual evolution of the relationship between the leads.
Something I think this show handles well is actually the concept of relationship building. Any meaningful relationship, be it romantic or platonic, requires a certain investment of time and effort to cultivate. And this show’s done a pretty good job of illustrating this point. Watching them grow closer, wherever it ultimately leads, is engaging and cute and makes this episode Super Effective.
So the relationships between these characters just kicked it into overdrive. Probably because this is an original project, so they don’t exactly have the luxury of time to spend, slowly building on the relationships since it took a third of the show just to set everything up. That being said, the show did it in a way that felt rather natural, rather than forced. Sure, we’re now in for a love dodecahedron. But I like that Kohaku both instigated the angst over this and did what she could to diminish it. Whether or not it worked at all, we’ll see. But Kohaku seems pretty dead set on the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP and all that, so I’m fairly certain she’s not going to let something like this get between everyone.
Meanwhile, Hitomi continues to gradually come out of her shell and I’m really enjoying her character growth, which is happening at a pace that I like for the story and feels like something she’d be able to deal with. The steps she takes in this episode were her biggest yet, pushing her further out of her comfort zone, but not unreasonably. And she’s talking more. It also seems like her factor in this little romance plot is dominantly unwitting, which is also good. Overall, I’d call this one a Super Effective episode, if a bit tame.
Oh, look. Another flashback. The exact thing I said I’d have preferred not to get, last time. But hey. To its credit, this one’s at least more coherent. This time it focuses on how Asta’s new friend from last time wound up meeting with the Black Bulls, and why Noelle’s going to visit him. It does eventually get around to the present, which sets up for an arc from the manga that I know a bit about. But yeah. All that buildup for a simple “Oh, you should try going here” line just seems… unnecessary, really.
I get that they wouldn’t have known to ask Vanessa about this. But I still think these flashbacks would’ve done better to actually be placed where they chronologically belong, rather than halting the entire show to tell us this stuff. On that note, the action was actually pretty neat. So I can’t complain too much. And the pacing was significantly improved. Noelle also does get a pretty good mini-speech in, that speaks volumes of her character development and further points to why she’s a better character than she’s generally given credit for being, if they’d just stop shafting her. But that’s about all there is to it. That aside, the episode is just Harmless and setting up for a hopefully more interesting arc.
This episode did a lot a worldbuilding that seriously pays off later. The elaboration on how Regalia “sting” their divine masters is great setup for later. I liked the strong focus on Yukine and his problems, slowly building everything up and show how Hiyori’s kindness can have consequences because of how much she doesn’t yet understand. The resolution of the episode is also fairly dark. But not unnecessarily so. It’s all splendid foreshadowing for later, accented with some great humor, early on, and cool action, later.
Overall Episode Medalists
With A Certain Magical Index still not due to start showing up in these for another week (at which point I’ll do a half-season catch-up), this week it’s between the only three shows remaining. So who walks away with the Gold, this week? Well, it’s honestly tricky. But the top spot’s going to none other than, you guessed it, Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai.
Despite Mai not being as prominently featured in the episode, she was there long enough to give us some fun banter with Sakuta, who himself gave us a pretty good show, for the week. The Silver is going to be even harder to determine because the remaining two shows both had engaging episodes, this week. They both further their character relationships, they both continued their main character’s development. But I think I’ll give it to Yagate Kimi ni Naru, because while both episodes did have similar strengths from a narrative standpoint, its episode proved to be a bit more entertaining. Which leaves Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara with the Bronze again, albeit barely. It could’ve been decided with a coin flip, it was so close.
Well, since Mai gets largely sidelined in this episode, I can actually count Sakuta on his own, for once. While the two of them do interact for a bit in this episode and it’s great, Sakuta manages to hold up the rest of the episode on his own. His interactions and advice for Tomoe are done well, he manages to come across as nice without being implausibly so for his character, and he beats up on and humiliates an entitled arse. What’s not to like?
Unique Achievement: Best Fight Scene
Only one elimination, but man it was a satisfying one. The fakeout at the beginning was great, too. Pretty sure that guy needs healing.
Unique Achievement: Adorkable Points
At this point, it’s honestly impossible not to like Touko. She’s just so darn awkward and cute, not just when Yuu is around, but even when the subject of Yuu comes up. It’s so darn sweet. And produces so many opportunities for screen caps. Seriously. How does one choose from all her expressions?!
And that’s that. Lots of love to go around. What do you think? What relationships (I mean, aside from Sakuta and Mai. C’mon. That’s too easy) are your favorite of the season? Let me know, down below. Or, if you want to see something older that I decided to cover, I finally published that DanMachi Retrospective! That’s all for me. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome. Take Care.