The Race To Have The Most Friends Is Lonely | Weekly Anime Redux
That tears it. I have the best-written shows of the season. These shows are sooo good!
The final week before the next culling in Anime TKO is upon us. So let’s see how our competitors do.
So. This arc concluded sooner than expected. But is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, on the one hand, I find it interesting exactly the direction it wound up taking things. I’m sure we all expected the root problem to be Futaba’s crush on Kunimi. But that turning out to be more related to the solution was actually a pretty great idea. Obviously, she doesn’t get what she wants, nor does she expect to. But what did end up happening worked out well for the resolution of the arc. I also dug the idea of what actually caused Futaba to split into two people – the contradiction of her two attitudes about attention. It was cool. Especially with how subtlely they set up the whole desire for attention by having her parents never being around and then suddenly having friends in high school, met with the fear of losing them. I really liked all of that. Among other things, not the least of which being Sakuta really stepping up to put some miles on his Friendship Card, it contributed to this being a Super Effective episode, overall.
This episode was all about furthering the relationships between characters. And I think, after the last episode, that’s something we definitely needed. Because getting all of that background and character development on Sayaka would’ve felt like a waste if nothing was done with it. So having Yuu step up to try getting on better terms with her, for one thing, was great. What’s more, the entire sequence involving the umbrella was just excellent. But hoo boy, the danger alarm that sounded when Yuu said something a bit more romantic than she probably meant to. Touko’s reaction to that set off all kinds of warning bells. And just before that, they were doing so well. It’s things like this, and also Sayaka’s response to meeting her old flame at the beginning of the episode that make this show consistently take home these Super Effective ratings.
As this show moves forward, the characters continue to slowly make their strides, pushed ever-forward by Kohaku. Speaking of which, I just really enjoy her character. And the way she pushes everyone seems natural, in a way. Obviously, she’s taking her catalyst role more directly in this episode, but it just helps advance her own character, in a way, allowing her to take leaps like everyone else. I’m also rather amused at how this show is treating its romantic element. Where all of these emotions and whatnot are implied and known about, yet scarcely brought up outside of Asagi, who seems to talk about hers at almost every given opportunity. All that being said, this is a P.A Works show, so I get the impression that this is building towards a very heartbreaking conclusion, in a way. Not in a bad way. Just that things are probably going to bring in the Feels and Waterworks pretty soon. But as things stand, this was a Super Effective episode that gave us some more insight into Kohaku, further advanced the relationship between Hitomi and Yuito, and allowed Hitomi to continue to grow. I dug it.
This week, all eyes were on Itsuwa as she (kinda) leads the charge in the continued battle against Acqua. The majority of this episode was a fight scene, but it was actually a pretty cool one in which Itsuwa and the entirety of the Amakusa took on the powerful saint in order to avenge/protect Touma. Naturally, Touma’s the main character so there’s no way it was ever going to work. But the fight was cool and showed a looot of forward development for her character, considering she’d previously been pretty one-note: girl with a crush on Touma. In fairness, there still isn’t a great amount to her, but it’s a step towards her becoming a more actualized character, and the fight she puts up is indeed a good one. What’s really interesting, though, is the lead-in to the next episode as Acqua gets ready to battle it out with our favorite saint, Kanzaki. The episode’s such fun Junk Food and I’m looking forward to the conclusion Touma brings to this bout because this is the first time he’s really looked so utterly helpless.
Oh, look. Another pretty decent episode. And now we can just cut straight to the point. So. I already knew about the whole thing with Fana being Mars’s childhood friend. They don’t even really try all that hard to hide it. And it’s an interesting idea (though, in retrospect, one wonders why he even thought she was dead if he has the same Phoenix Recovery magic as her, but whatever). The episode also allowed Asta to shine for a bit, combat-wise. But the real star here was Noelle, who finally got to not only do something, but she got to do something that stuck and also pushed her character development forward a bit. The fight against Fana seems like it’s going to be notably less of a hassle than what Vetto put them through, though. Which would be odd. Of course, there’s also the elephant in the room – the backstory on the elves. I hadn’t read the manga, itself, I just did the research. I’m not sure how I feel about how we learned about this. It felt like a bit too much of a dump to just unload that extended flashback onto us that basically details everything. But, at the same time, I’m not expecting this show to be subtle about… well… anything. Either way, this was perfectly all right Junk Food, as far as this show goes.
Oof. It was only a matter of time before we reached this episode. This one’s a gut punch, straight to the feels. The first half of the episode is a really nice setup for everything and what Yukine is feeling, of course, with the kid being bullied and ignored by the rest of his school. Yato’s way of handling the situation seemed cold, at first, but I actually liked the direction it ended up taking, with him having stuck around to watch what the kid decided to do. And it’s actually kind of a funny coincidence that it also works with what Bunny Girl Senpai put out, this week. The whole “race to have the most friends” thing less so than just finding one or two. It worked for Futaba, right? However, the parallel of Yukine’s spiraling emotional state was handled extremely well, leading up to his inevitable explosion. The loneliness he feels, spilling over from his previous life, led to a really hard scene to watch, but in a good way. And, as usual, Hiyori is great in this episode and gets to be a lot more than an audience surrogate. Good stuff, all around.
As with a couple weeks back, this Redux is late (though not by any fault of my own, this time), so I’ll keep the awards down to the main two, in the interest of keeping things short.
Overall Episode Medalists
Once again, there’s very little contest for the Gold Medal. It’s definitely got to go to Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai.
The episode just handled the conclusion to this mini-arc pretty much flawlessly. A difficult thing to achieve for it being so short, I might add. The Silver Medal, this time, is actually going to go to Yagate Kimi ni Naru, leaving the Bronze Medal to Toaru Majutsu no Index.
MVP: Futaba, Rio
This was a tough one. Yuu had a lot of great moments in this week’s episode of Yagate Kimi ni Naru. And it was all about Itsuwa on Toaru Majutsu no Index, this week. But, as expected from Bunny Girl Senpai, the stellar, character-focused writing allows one of its cast to steal this one away, solo. And this time that person was Futaba. Yes, Sakuta has a lot of good moments in this episode. But Futaba held this one down excellently, purely through her own performance and arc. I really liked seeing her coming to terms with everything and the steps she made towards overcoming her problems, even if she did have a little help.
And that’s it for now, folks. But make sure to stay tuned. Because now that week 8 is over, it’s time to move ahead with Anime TKO. Look forward to it. And let me know what you thought were the best episodes this… last week, down below. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome. Take Care.