Three weeks in, and things are starting to get tense. For the most part, that is.
May as well get right to it so we stop delaying my opponent’s inevitable defeat… But for real, OOC, for a sec. Go watch Promised Neverland. Do it.
Shows like this are honestly at their best when they allow the not-couple in question to show little bits of individuality outside of their ongoing game of back-and-forth. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san did this masterfully. And this episode actually showed us our first real peek into the characters beyond their galaxy-brained duels. The duels were certainly funny. Even knowing, full well, what the punchline was going to wind up being, the execution of the obvious gag was spot on. Right up to, and including Chika having to give poor Kaguya “the talk.” Really, Chika just generally enhances this show in a way that the side characters of other, similar shows, tend to miss.
But to me one of the episode’s better moments was actually the last skit, where Kaguya walks to school and winds up taking a detour to help a grade-schooler. It brought her character back down to human for a bit, and it was nice. Silly bit of Junk Food entertainment, but enjoyable, nonetheless.
Ah. There it is. So Shido goes on several dates, most of which are rather amusing. The Origami one, in particular, was pretty funny because Origami’s just so bizarre as a character. The one with Miku was brief but cute. But the date with Kaguya, while starting off amusing, took a turn for the heartfelt and I actually really liked it because, again, the Yamai twins were pretty “meh” in their debut season. Their presence here has a lot more emotion behind it than just the fairly comedic situation that introduced them. It’s not particularly adding to their characters, because it’s built entirely on that which was already established. But it humanizes them by letting them be something outside of their caricatures.
The conclusion of the issue was likewise fairly well handled, especially with the Tohka scene that preceded it. The scene in the bunker, where Shido tried to find the correct answer was fun. But it’s the actual conclusion that sets up for a point in the arc that could be anything from reeeally funny to reeeally cringe-worthy. We shall see which. In the meantime, though, this episode was once again good Junk Food, as this series has proven itself to be rather good at. Though the animation did, oddly, take dips in places again. I’m looking forward to seeing when the actual action starts getting involved. That’ll be the real test.
I swear to god, I should be enjoying this more than I am. For all intents and purposes, this is yet another really Super Effective episode. One that, on paper, provides (almost) everything I would’ve wanted from this series, so far, given the events leading up to this point. He did the heroic thing, people acknowledged he did the heroic thing, Raphtalia was great (as usual), the action was really solid, and he even got to make a fool of some blowhard knights. All of that was handled well. I mean, sure I want the slavery thing to be evaporated and I want Naofumi to punch at least the spear guy in the face, if not his little partner in crime, as well. But the former just doesn’t seem likely to happen and the latter would be an actual bad idea that could make things worse for him. Fine.
It’s technically a very competent episode and I certainly don’t dislike it. Very much the opposite. Yet either because of the stupid controversy or because the series is struggling to actually be entertaining, somehow, on top of its technical success, I’m finding myself just… not having much fun with it. And this very much seems like a series I should be having fun with, at least on some level. Getting to see Naofumi crack a genuine smile for once at the end was nice, at least. And Raphtalia’s arc continues to be a major strong point. I liked it fine. I’m enjoying it. But something’s keeping me from enjoying it as much as I want to. And I’ve no idea what.
I teased this, last time, but this episode, despite featuring a fairly straightforward issue, was handled marvelously. Mob maturing, becoming more conscientious of his dual nature as someone between the corporeal and supernatural worlds, is handled amazingly in this episode. And his conflicting emotions over this have been fascinating to watch. The quandary introduced was actually pretty interesting, as well. Especially with Dimple’s part in trying to further instigate things.
But as much of a conflict as was provided there, I think the scene that really sets it up the most is the one with the bullies who try to harass Mob. We all know he’s not going to do anything to them. But other friends of his keep coming to his defense. Then seeing the complication he has with the spirits plays exactly parallel to this, but with him in the opposite position. It’s just so well handled, and I loved every minute of it as an excellent example of some of the World’s Finest storytelling.
Overall Episode Medalists
Shock of all shocks, Mob Psycho 100 II takes the Gold Medal. That leaves Tate no Yusha no Nariagari with the Silver Medal and Date A Live III with the Bronze. Honestly, we can probably expect the rest of the season to look like this. Unless Date A Live III drops the ball or Tate no Yusha no Nariagari really picks up the enjoyment factor, I doubt we’ll see the order of this change.
I’m fairly certain I don’t need to say any more about this. Mob’s emotional turmoil over the events of this episode just sold the entire thing, and I really enjoyed seeing that out of him.
Unique Achievement: Best ED
I mean, I’m sure you already know about this as it’s been all over Twitter. But this ED is a treasure.
Unique Achievement: Best Animation Sequence
It’d be really easy to give Mob something here because the show just looks so darn good. But the fight where Naofumi and Raphtalia double-team the wave monsters in one long, fluid take was just extremely satisfying to behold. It wasn’t even overly flashy. I just like shots like it. Where one motion from one character blends seamlessly into the motions of another, showing how in sync they are while playing a bit with perspective. It’s just cool.
One week to go before the qualifiers of Anime TKO: Winter 2019 Edition kick off. What are you guys thinking of the season so far? What about our non-competing shows? Let me know, down below! Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome and Take Care.