Could This Tournament Be Over Before It Even Really Begins? | Anime TKO Fall 2018
The time has come. The Quarterfinals are upon us. And so, let the first seasonal Anime TKO commence!
Voyager: So. You ready for this?
EvilBob: I was born ready. We already know who’s going to win this.
Voyager: I mean sure, but you don’t have to give up so easily.
EvilBob: Ohoh! Voyager’s got jokes!
Voyager: I mean, I am the funny one, so…
Voyager: All right, folks. This is how things are gonna work. We’re going to go through all four brackets and discuss which show we think deserves to advance to the semifinal round.
EvilBob: After that, we decide if there are any shows we want to use as a lifeline and revive for one shot, one opportunity at the semifinals.
Voyager: Oh, nothing.
Bracket 1: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind/Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
Voyager: Now, you see, at first glance, it would appear that a long-running and established title, like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure would demolish something new. Especially with a title like Bunny Girl Senpai.
EvilBob: And it does, of course. With its signature style, bombastic action, and zany characters.
Voyager: Oh? So, tell me… what else does the show have to offer, at the moment?
EvilBob: I-it doesn’t have to have anything else! It can totally overpower-!
EvilBob: T-that’s a low blow! It hasn’t even hit its stride, yet! It’ll get better, just you watch!
Voyager: Oh, and I have absolutely no doubt about that. Buuut, not in time. The tournament exists to judge shows as they are this season. And the current cour of Golden Wind is, uh… it’s taking its sweet time to get anywhere good. Meanwhile, Bunny Girl Senpai has not only managed to please audiences with its intriguing concept and clever writing, but it went beyond and Plus Ultra’d its way through three great arcs with charming and incredibly well-realized characters. In just 8 episodes.
EvilBob: OH NOOO!!!!! JUST 8 EPISODES?!!!
Voyager: It would appear that all of your efforts have just come up…
Voyager: The winner is Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
Bracket 2: Toaru Majutsu no Index III/Akanesasu Shoujo
Voyager: All right, so-
EvilBob: Index wins.
Voyager: …I mean, if you’re just gonna say it.
EvilBob: Dude. We guessed this one, dead on. There was no way. Akanesasu Shoujo is a fine show. But it’s kind of a slave to its own formula, in a way. There’s nothing wrong with having a formula. Bunny Girl Senpai does. But this is an action show, so it has a lot less time to work on the development and stuff.
Voyager: Uh… action shows can have amazing character development in just 12-ish episodes. Just look at the second season of-
EvilBob: Yeah, yeah, we know you’re obsessed with Boku no Hero. But this definitely ain’t that.
Voyager: …You gonna keep cutting me off, or-
EvilBob: The problem with this is that it’s just 12 episodes.
Voyager: Okay. Answer’s yes, then.
EvilBob: And the way they’re going with the formula, it’s not giving them enough time to really flesh out the characters fully. Each one’s basically just had two-episode arcs, up to now. And it’s made some of the stuff that would’ve been great with more time just come off as kinda… meh.
Voyager: Man. I had the whole debate written up and everything… well, fine. The winner is Toaru Majutsu no Index III
Bracket 3: Golden Kamuy/Yagate Kimi ni Naru
EvilBob: Okay, there’s no way I’m losing this one.
Voyager: *deep inhale*
EvilBob: What are you-? No. No! You stop that! We already decided it in the first culling! You are not gonna fight this!
Voyager: Well, actually you’re the one that said “To be fair, this one has a better chance of an upset than that last one.”
EvilBob: …You shouldn’t live in the past, Chris.
Voyager: I’m not. I’m living in the future. A bright future where I win this tournament by a landslide.
EvilBob: HA! Like I’m going to allow that. Fine. Well, Golden Kamuy is as much fun as it was, last season. Everyone’s back, we’re even getting backstory, this time! And how about the action? Also, let’s be honest. The plot is really interesting. Unlike a certain Shoujo Ai anime, I can mention.
Voyager: Yes, yes, if this were purely up to plot, you’d bury me with this one. Buuut as with any story, plot is just one element of a greater whole, my friend.
EvilBob: Well, duh. We learned that in college.
Voyager: Did we, now? Then you should know that plot is the railing on which the trains of character development travel. So, tell me, Bob. How goes that character development?
EvilBob: I… well… I mean… the female characters are great! Asirpa’s cool. And Inkarmat actually got a lot out of the most recent episode!
Voyager: That she did. Inkarmat’s actually skyrocketed up to being probably the best character in the show not named Asirpa. Unfortunately… that’s not an especially high bar.
EvilBob: Hey, the guys have grown!
Voyager: Closer to each other, perhaps.
EvilBob: Okay, that was one time.
Voyager: Look, it’s a sad reality, but the fact is that the character development in Golden Kamuy, while not nonexistent, is hardly the most interesting or engaging thing in the world. Hell, side characters have now gotten more attention than the two leads. Meanwhile, there’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru. A show which has constantly impressed with not only its strong character writing and its ability to advance character relationships in a natural and interesting way, but also its amazing direction and knack for visual storytelling.
EvilBob: …But… but… Golden Kamuy.
Voyager: Is a fun show. But that’s about it.
EvilBob: Oh, come on, man. Ya gotta give me something.
Voyager: ‘Kay. Here. You can have this.
EvilBob: …I hate you.
Voyager: I know!
EvilBob: …The winner is Yagate Kimi ni Naru…
Bracket 4: SSSS.Gridman/Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
Voyager: And now to go for checkmate. Shame I’ll have to knock all of your shows out before we even get to the semifi-
EvilBob: Hold up!
Voyager: Oh. Still interrupting. Got it.
EvilBob: You may have taken my ringers, but you shall not have my Gridman. It’s my last true chance at winning. I’m putting everything into this final show!
Voyager: Hoh? And what makes you think this show has any chance at all?
EvilBob: One word. Trigger.
Voyager: That’s your big gambit? You know that has about a 50/50 chance of going your way, right?
EvilBob: Yes. So I have one question for you.
Voyager: And what might that be?
EvilBob: Out of the two of us… which one do the RNG gods tend to favor, again?
Voyager: …Uh… dude… all three earlier brackets were decided by dice roll.
EvilBob: …Gods like underdogs too.
Voyager: Uh huh…
EvilBob: I’m putting everything in this show. Because I believe in the Gridman that believes in me! So take this! My love, my anger, and all of my sorrow!
Voyager: My god… he’s finally lost it.
EvilBob: Okay… we may have gotten carried away…
Voyager: What is this “we” nonsense?
EvilBob: But seriously. Gridman deserves this spot.
Voyager: Because otherwise you’d already be out of the tournament?
EvilBob: Yes. NO! Stop that! Because it’s the better show, so far. It’s a love letter to tokusatsu and mecha shows of the old days, right down to the animation used to ape the effect of a guy in a big, rubber suit. But obviously enhanced with Trigger’s gorgeous animation style that helps everything really come to life. The plot’s also seriously intriguing and the characters are-
EvilBob: Okay, Yuta, Rikka, and Akane are pretty cool! Plus they can’t go to space, now, so it should be fine!
EvilBob: I know… “Trigger finds a way.” But seriously. It’s also just such an enjoyable show! It has the potential to be a homerun!
Voyager: Aaand if they happen to pull a Trigger?
EvilBob: There’s always Spring.
Voyager: Hm. Meanwhile, Irozuku is well-written character drama-
EvilBob: That’s actually a preeetty slow burn.
Voyager: I swear to god if you don’t stop interrupting me, I will turn this article around, mister!
EvilBob: How… what… huh? That’s not physically possible!
Voyager: You’re not physically possible. Now. Irozuku is also downright gorgeous.
EvilBob: Buuut, let’s be real, here. Trigger.
Voyager: Yes, Gridman is certainly stylistic, but is it quite as beautiful?
EvilBob: Well, even if it isn’t, we get to see how good it does look in every episode. How long do you have to wait between the really pretty parts, again?
EvilBob: And let’s be honest with ourselves. You love watching giant robots punch things. Gridman is riiight up your alley.
Voyager: S-shut up! It’s not like I like Gridman or anything! B-baka!
EvilBob: I think it’s clear who our winner here is.
Voyager: Hold up! I never said that!
EvilBob: Ssh. It’s okay. The winner is SSSS.Gridman.
Voyager: So… got any shows you wanna try to revive for a shot at the semis?
EvilBob: …You did this.
Voyager: Me? What ever are you talking about?
EvilBob: You knew darn well that none of the shows I kicked stood any kind of a chance. You let me take them, you sneaky, conniving-
Voyager: *ahem* Boss.
EvilBob: -Wonderful, amazing person!
THE SEMIFINAL BRACKETS
Voyager: All right. And now it’s time to decide who faces off against who in the semifinals. Unlike last time, though, this won’t be decided by random dice rolls.
EvilBob: Nope. This time we decided to have the most compatible shows face off. So, let’s do this.
Bracket 1: Toaru Majutsu no Index III/SSSS.Gridman
EvilBob: Trigger. You might be the light that lights my darkest hour!
Voyager: Or the black hole that swallows your entire universe…
EvilBob: Can you not?!
Voyager: 50/50. S’all I’m sayin’.
Bracket 2: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai/Yagate Kimi ni Naru
Voyager: All right, girls… and Sakuta, I want a good, clean fight.
EvilBob: Not like you need to care. They’re both yours…
Voyager: Hoh? This news report is stating that cholesterol levels are reaching record highs. Seems some people need to cut back on the sodium.
EvilBob: Shut up!
EvilBob’s Anime Recaps
Sunday – SSSS.Gridman
Monday – N/A
Tuesday – N/A
Wednesday – N/A
Thursday – N/A
Friday – N/A
Saturday – N/A
EvilBob: Shut up, Chris.
Voyager: Whaaat? I didn’t say anything. Ahem.
Voyager’s Weekly Anime Redux Lineup
EvilBob: Size isn’t everything…
Voyager: Sure, buddy. Sure.
Voyager’s Next Full-Series Review
As it was foretold in the ancient texts… and the most recent poll.
Voyager: And that’s all she wrote, everybody.
EvilBob: I still have a chance. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.
Voyager: You sing?
EvilBob: …I do, actually. But that’s not the point!
Voyager: Anyway, thanks for reading, folks.
EvilBob: Hey, don’t ignore me!
Voyager: Take care.