Goodbyes can be difficult. Can’t they?
Voyager: Uh… dude? What’re you doing?
EvilBob: *GONG* Oh, what, you mean this? *GONG*
Voyager: Y-yes. Stop doing that.
EvilBob: But why? It’s a funeral bell. Two of these shows are about to die, right?
Voyager: Where… did you even get that from?
EvilBob: Storage. *GONG*
Voyager: …All right, so this is it, folks. It’s time… for the Culling. This is the Anime TKO-
EvilBob: TOURNAMENT ARC! *GONG*
The Week In Review
DANMACHI SEASON 3
EvilBob: It’s doing the thing!
Voyager: It is.
EvilBob: It’s starting to rev up! Ooooh, this is gon’ be good!
Voyager: And preeetty dark, if I recall correctly…
EvilBob: Uh… so! It’s cool that we got a bit more plot in this episode! With the Familia getting summoned to the dungeon and told to take Wiene.
Voyager: Yep. And the whole “Xeno” concept is neat and leans further into that whole moral dilemma we brought up before. Not only that, but the action was reeeally good. Like, all across the board, it looks awesome. But I’m especially interested in what will develop as a result of all this. And what role Hestia, herself, is going to wind up playing. Because after seeing her grow and develop over the last two seasons, it’ll be interesting to see how she steps up. Bell is a Flat Arc protagonist, so I really want to see what his influence over others leads them to do.
EvilBob: There were also a lot of really small moments I really liked. Like when the advisor went to give Bell the message and told him to ask her for advice. You know. Like the good old days. Back when things were pretty simple. It was a nice way of showing that things are different now. WAY more complicated. And Bell isn’t telling her, not just for Wiene, but also because he doesn’t want to get anyone else involved. It was actually kinda heartbreaking.
Voyager: Yeah. Little details like that are really some of DanMachi’s strong points.
Golden Kamuy SEASON 3
EvilBob: I was expecting that, but also… not.
EvilBob: Also, EMERGENCY MEETING!
Voyager: Oh god, no…
EvilBob: Bruh. Lieutenant Tsurugi. That whole story of yours was reeeally sus. I’unno, man.
Voyager: Hm. Well, I will say it was nice to finally get some backstory on the shorty. Though I’m starting to wonder if literally all of these guys have some sort of dramatic sob story involving secrets being kept from them or whatever. Still, I didn’t really expect we’d be getting the Lieutenant’s Super Villain Origin Story in the same episode.
Voyager: All right. Let it out.
EvilBob: New girl… IS AWESOME. She’s funny, she’s spunky, the hammer fighting style is really cool, and she even has her own nifty little backstory. If a pretty sad one.
Voyager: I actually really liked it and how the series delves into everyone having their own reasons for doing this. And hers, while simple, was nice.
EvilBob: That little test of character – that “What you are in the dark” moment – was great. I liked seeing her actually process that situation and everything. How she made her choice and almost paid for it, showing that this world isn’t so forgiving or idealistic and how we can probably expect things to get reeeally dark later.
Voyager: Hm. Top that off with some fun action and really amusing character interactions and bam.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
EvilBob: Finally! Something happens!
Voyager: Indeed. Well… something “happened” last time. But… yeah. Something significant and interesting this time. I really enjoyed learning more about Setsuna’s past after getting separated from Towa and getting a bit into her mind. Also the thing about her not being able to sleep or dream, or even remember her past beyond a certain point… it’s no wonder she’s such a stoic.
EvilBob: Also, the whole situation with Towa unearthing her latent demon powers, only for her body to get hijacked was pretty cool. Actually, the body-hopping demon jumping into the littlest sister was a pretty nice moment for Towa… though probably a bit unintentionally funny with the kid hitting Towa with… a rock….
Yuukoku no Moriarty
EvilBob: OH MY GOD!
Voyager: Oh. We’re still doing the JoJo thing, then.
EvilBob: The real William was the dog! He was Danny! New William is Dio, Confirmed!
Voyager: You’re next line will be “But I didn’t expect it to be that brutal!”
EvilBob: But I didn’t expect it to be that bru- wait.
Voyager: I’ve gotta say, this was a pretty great follow-up to the previous episode, laying out all the backstory and showing us exactly how the fire went down. It did a good job of maintaining the atmosphere and building the tension to that boiling point, especially with Albert. So when crap finally hit the fan, that payoff was somethin’ else.
EvilBob: Yeah. It was, um… it was somethin’, all right.
EvilBob: So. The heist has begun.
EvilBob: S’about it, really.
EvilBob: Lot of fun, though.
Voyager: Oh yeah.
EvilBob: It’s nice seeing all the zany characters working together towards their objective and all that.
Voyager: Still though. Would be nice if I was given a reason to care about… literally any of them. At least it looks like we’re about to start getting things soon, if the main girl’s interactions with Hacker and Courier are anything to go by.
100-Man no Inochi no ue ni ore wa Tatteiru
Voyager: Why does the protagonist in the extremely compromising situation never just calmly explain the circumstances to absolve themselves of any fault?
EvilBob: Because then there’d be no conflict?
Voyager: If the conflict is something that can be easily resolve with a conversation, it’s not a great conflict. Still, the new girl was fun, if a bit wince-inducing. I’m not a high school girl. I don’t know how true her situation rings for people (and I don’t really care), but the logical part of my brain found her little plight to be a bit iffy.
EvilBob: Hey, at least Iu’s story was better.
Voyager: Do you remember the first TKO we did?
Voyager: And do you remember the winner of it?
EvilBob: …I mean, if you’re going to remind me of how hard I got clobbered, then… Bloom Into You.
Voyager: Right. And what was Touko’s entire backstory, again?
EvilBob: Oh, well she-… oh. Oooooh.
Voyager: Yeah. Ain’t that new. I guess I’ll give ’em points for having that bit of insight into her past. And it was just different enough to give it a pass and see where things with her character go. Elsewise the action was… fine. New chick was basically useless, though.
Assault Lily: BouqUet
Voyager: Whaaat? That girl was a ghost or memory?!
EvilBob: Shocking Truth! It’s almost like that was obvious or something!
Voyager: No, but really. This episode was reeeally good. A minor hiccup I’ll get to in a bit, but this episode was always going to be the make-or-break point. It needed to deliver.
EvilBob: And boy did it deliver. It took a while to get there, but that final fight was freakin’ epic.
Voyager: Yeah, sure, whatever. But the characters. Dude. Okay, so finally getting that extremely necessary backstory was nice, but the way it plays into the episode was even better. I will say that the way they went about delivering that backstory was a liiittle suspect. But I love the full-circle nature of the episode itself. With the training coinciding with Yuyu’s declining mental state and Riri improving, then the closure of Riri overcoming the obstacle that is Yuyu in the last fight so she could reach her “sister’s” heart when Yuyu went berserk, it was just some great storytelling.
EvilBob: Yeah. I did find it funny though. A whole two episodes of “What’s her deal?!” “We can’t just tell you.”
Voyager: Only for them to just… tell her. Yeah. Bit on the sloppy side, that.
Voyager: And here we are.
EvilBob: The culling is upon us. Two unlucky losers will be sent home! Without Lunch. Mwahahaha.
Voyager: Is your brain renting a room in your stomach, or something?
EvilBob: You kiddin’? My brain can’t afford that real-estate.
Voyager: …So the eliminations this time ARE – drumroll please…
Voyager: T-that’s not… whatever. Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon and 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru!
EvilBob: OOOH MY GOOOD!!!
Voyager: Stop that.
Voyager: Yeah. This was actually… well… Million Lives was a pretty easy one, honestly. It was easily the weakest of the shows on the dock. And that’s… honestly not saying much? It was a decent show, overall, but not going anywhere fast enough for us. And despite some pretty interesting ideas, nothing about the execution was particularly special.
EvilBob: Yeah. The harder part was kicking out Princess Half-Demon. To be honest with you guys, it was between this and Akudama Drive. Both shows were on a razor’s edge. I even gave Akudama Drive a penalty, only for him to save it…
Voyager: What? It looks fantastic.
EvilBob: …it does. But anyway, we basically wound up keeping that one because we decided two of its episodes were stronger than two of Yashahime’s. Even though the more recent episode of Yashahime put it in its place.
Voyager: That and it’s a matter of intrigue. Princess Half-Demon is, for the most part, playing it pretty safe. And while that can be a good thing, ensuring that its scores would’ve stayed relatively high, Akudama Drive is playing fast and loose. So there’s a possibility that it’ll either explode to the top of the rankings, somehow…
EvilBob: Or completely implode in on itself. It’s exciting!
Voyager: Indeed. So there you have it. But there is a special rule we’re bringing back from one of the earliest TKOs. The “Saving Grace.” In short, this is our ability to sacrifice one show on the bracket for another show in the Graveyard if the bracketed show tanks hard enough, allowing us to – at any point – bring back a previously eliminated show. You want Yashahime back? Then you better pray one of the 6 shows going forward bombs.
EvilBob: I will Fast too.
Voyager: HA! Oh, wait, you were serious…
EvilBob: …Hello, police? I’d like to report a murder? Yes, the victim is my feelings. Hello?
Time For The Play-Ins!
Voyager: And now we’ll explain how the Play-Ins work. So now that two of the shows are out, we have six shows left. Ah, but your next line will be “Wait, how does that work? That’s not enough for an even bracket.”
EvilBob: Wait, how does that work? That’s not enough for- stop that!
Voyager: Well, that’s where the play-ins happen. See, now we each choose our teams from the bottom four shows in our internal scoring. The top two shows each earn a bye period while the bottom four have three weeks to compete and earn a spot in the final four.
EvilBob: I see, I see.
Voyager: …I should certainly hope so. You helped come up with it…
EvilBob: Wait, THAT’S what we were doing?
Voyager: …All right, let’s get this over with.
Top-Rankers – DanMachi Season 3 and Jujutsu Kaisen
Voyager: Across our internal scoring, the top two shows were DanMachi and Jujutsu Kaisen. And since DanMachi is locked into my team…
EvilBob: I guess that means I’m getting Jujutsu. But I’m cool with that. I was probably gonna take that one anyway.
Voyager: As for the rest of the bracket.
Voyager: You already know I’m snatching up Assault Lily.
EvilBob: And Golden Kamuy was already locked into my list.
Voyager: Hmmm… In that case, I’ll take Moriarty. It’s a nice little change of pace for me. I haven’t really covered a mystery series or anything like that on the site before.
EvilBob: And that means I get… waaait a second.
Voyager: Enjoy your crazy criminal show!
EvilBob: Well… I do like to live dangerously… in my house… away from people.
Voyager: Oh… that’s so sad.
Voyager: And there you have it. That’s our line-up and what you can expect from us for the next three weeks.
EvilBob: This is gonna be good, dude.
Voyager: Yep. But for now, that’s-
Voyager: …*takes the bell* Stop that.
EvilBob: Wha-? But… but you’re tiny. How did you-?
Voyager: Thanks for reading, as always.
EvilBob: My bell…
Voyager: Keep up the Awesome and Take Care.