We’re two thirds into the Winter 2020 anime season and these shows are starting to throw out the haymakers. But will they all land? Let’s find out!
Voyager: Ooooh! Things are heating up, now that we’re close to wrapping this up!
EvilBob: It’s drawing nearer. The end of days. Repent! The end is nigh!
EvilBob: Wait… *checks script* Oh. The end of the TKO. My bad… but seriously. Can we just crown the winner, already?
Voyager: Nope! On with the show! This is the Winter 2020 Anime TKO!
EvilBob: BATTLE ROYALE EDITION!!!
1 – Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun (88◎)
Voyager – 100
EvilBob – 85
Episode Average – 93
EvilBob: One word… Oof.
Voyager: Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! It’s so saaaaad!
EvilBob: Oi. Stop pretending to have a heart, ya clown.
Voyager: You’re unexpectedly mean, you know that?
EvilBob: Excuse you?! Look who’s talkin’!
Voyager: But this episode was just an emotional ride! So warm, in moments, and incredibly dark towards the end! Sure there’s that glimmer of Shonen determination to make things better, but in the here and now it’s so… so… *sniffle*
EvilBob: Oh please. You didn’t feel any of that.
Voyager: Y’know, just because you’re correct, doesn’t make you right…
2 – Runway de Waratte (83◎)
Voyager – 90
EvilBob – 85
Episode Average – 88
EvilBob: *raises hand*
Voyager: Ahaha! My turn now, right? Okay! You, there! In the back!
EvilBob: Um, yes. Teacher? Do I have permission to punch Kokoro’s mentor, right in her stupid face?
Voyager: Heeeh~ I don’t think that’s something you ask permission for… Ah… that… would be bad. Wouldn’t it?
EvilBob: Well, maybe. But, you see, I have this problem. Her face. It’s just… so incredibly punchable.
Voyager: Well… it’s hard to argue, but… Let’s, ah… let’s just all rein it in, eh? I, for one, think the episode was very good… for the most part. The hits just kept coming to Ikuto and everything started mounting up on him. But it just made that little catharsis, at the end, that much better, right?
EvilBob: Well… yeah… but about Kokoro’s mentor.
Voyager: Completely ignored. Ah. But that opening was really something.
EvilBob: Oh yeah! For a second, I thought his mom died!
Voyager: Jackpot! Right, right! It was suuuper weird! I think the show has a really strong grasp of how to convey the emotions and intentions of its characters. But its pacing can come off as pretty awkward and clumsy, at times.
EvilBob: *nods* But I still really liked seeing Ikuto remain determined to stick to his values while also finally getting to see all the pressure very nearly get him to break.
Voyager: Ah! An excellent observation, student! Wait… isn’t this dynamic totally different from usual?
3 – Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. (80◎)
Voyager – 85
EvilBob – 90
Episode Average – 88
EvilBob: And with this episode, we have confirmation. The final boss… is a player.
Voyager: She just keeps finding new ways to break the game, entirely by accident. It’s pretty great, and a lot of fun. I wonder if they’ll even be able to 1-Up themselves, after this.
EvilBob: For once, I’d like to see what all these other guilds think of her. We’ve got little glimpses, but hoo boy.
Voyager: Yeah yeah yeah! All-in-all, the episode was pretty basic. More of a showcase of Maple just being Maple. But it was a blast. And the action was superb, this go around!
EvilBob: Seriously, though. Sephiroth, eat your heart out.
4 – Somali to Mori no Kamisama (77◎)
Voyager – 70(-5)
EvilBob – 70(-5)
Episode Average – 65
Voyager: So this… was an episode.
EvilBob: You wanna say it, or should I?
Voyager: Eh. Go ahead.
EvilBob: Ya done goofed, boy.
Voyager: Aw. So tame. Adorable. Yeah, this was the weakest episode, by far, for me. I mean, we both gave it a penalty, so that should tell ya something. But we’ll get to the reason for that later.
EvilBob: Frankly, the main reason for the dip, even without the penalty is that the episode dragged us away from the main story – the part we actually cared about – for a prolonged amount of time to tell us a story that was decidedly less interesting.
Voyager: It was stupid! Ahaha!
EvilBob: Sure, the episode wasn’t bad, on the whole.
Voyager: But pretty much all the backstory stuff was suuuper lame. Mega lame! Maximum Over-lame! Like… wow! Way to be lazy and uninspired, guys! What a tired and overly simplistic trope! You really went for the gold in that race!
EvilBob: Yes. Humans are stupid, intolerant, and violent. All that which we don’t understand, we seek to destroy.
Voyager: Which explains how we’ve come to live in an advanced society! Instead of being curious and taking the time to learn about things, we’ve made successful efforts to eradicate absolutely everything good! We’ve had absolutely no drive to attempt to further our understanding of things at all!
EvilBob: Man. That’s some right delicious sarcasm, right there.
Voyager: “Cynicism is mature and I’m a big boy!” Or something…
EvilBob: Also. *raises hand*
Voyager: Oh. This again. Yes, student?
EvilBob: Why were the humans so intolerant of her when they literally worshipped and allowed themselves to be led by a golem? Wasn’t the whole point that the humans didn’t like the monsters because they looked… well… monstrous?
Voyager: You’re right! And, furthermore, if they revered him as a god and leader, why couldn’t he just tell them to stop being a bunch of whiny bigots?
Voyager: Yeah. See? It doesn’t make any sense. So! That’s where the penalty comes in!
EvilBob: …Can we change our answers? I wanna give this episode a lower score.
Voyager: Then give it the score you want the first time!
5 – Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei shitemita. (76◎)
Voyager – 75(+5)
EvilBob – 75
Episode Average – 78
EvilBob: So, um… that was interesting. I like how the main premise actually took a little bit of a back seat.
Voyager: Yup! This whole thing also gave Kanade a pretty nice, if simplistic arc, and I dug it. Buuut there’s one other thing.
Voyager: I wanna give this episode an accolade! Leave it to the anime about scientists in love to actually make a really good case for some of the many reasons games are valid forms of entertainment and enterprise in modern society and have value to people! Kudos!
EvilBob: Wait wait wait. You mean to tell me that that idiot got this episode an award?!
EvilBob: Oof, mate.
Choice Screen Grab
Voyager: Ahaha! That was my face too!
EvilBob: This scene looked awfully familiar…
Voyager: Ahaha! You too can be a fashion designer!
EvilBob: Yeah, that’s it!
EvilBob: Seriously… oof.
Voyager: *sniffle. sniffle* I’m so sorry for you, Kou. *sniffle*
EvilBob: Phew. That was close. If this had managed to pull out one more point, it might actually have had to go to some sort of decider with Somali.
Voyager: Will Science ever prove their love?
EvilBob: Well, not in this TKO, it won’t. Byyyye!
Voyager: Sayonara! It was fun!
EvilBob: Still pretty amazed it made it this far.
EvilBob: Oh, knock it off, already!
Voyager: That’s all, folks!
EvilBob: This is it. Just four shows left. Things are getting heated… for second place. At this point, we all know who’s winning.
Voyager: We’ll see.
EvilBob: Dude. There is literally no way in-
EvilBob: Don’t bring Mental Abuse To Humans into this!
Voyager: Anyway, we’re off, guys! Thanks for reading, as always!
EvilBob: And for letting us waste your time.
Voyager: Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take Care!