We’re into week 1-2 of the winter season and I thought that since I probably couldn’t handle doing episodic reviews per show, I’ve decided I could attempt a weekly review post encapsulating all the shows I’ve been watching. I may be adding to this list at some point – I still haven’t gotten around to seeing what other shows have to offer.
Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish)
This season so far has been a bit lackluster in terms of first episodes and the spread is a bit sparse. There’s an abundance of romcom’s this season, but while they’re entertaining they’re not gripping. I had a few on my anticipated list found here, and so far Scum’s Wish has pulled me in more than all my other shows.
Scum’s wish doesn’t fall under the romcom genre, it’s more serious and a bit on the dark side. A story about two teens engaging in a physical relationship to cope with their unrequited love for another person is all kinds of messed up – especially when they start pretend they’re being physical with the person they’re in love with. I had started the manga a few months ago and found the premise a bit dark and twisted but I was intrigued because I love stories like that. I was pleasantly surprised by a number things on the show. The story of unrequited love is quite strong and the despair indicated by both Hana and Mugi is expressed well with their dull expressions, empty eyes and monotone voices. The art style is beautiful, and the sequences of scenes pulls you in. The breakout panels put an emphasis on the character’s demeanor. For example, in the screenshot below, Hana watches her crush engage in a flirtatious conversation with another teacher there are two independent panels that float on screen. One panel shows Hana’s point of view looking at the two from far away, while the other panel, is the watcher’s point of view with Hana just behind her unrequited love’s shoulder. I found this isolation of Hana framed behind him further emphasized her loneliness as an outsider looking in and that as shown, she’s probably furthest thing in the back of his mind. I found this scene to be really powerful in terms of expressing what loneliness looks like to our characters.
As for the Others this season:
Acca: 13-ku kansatsu-ka
Right off the starting line, I’m hooked onto this show for some architectural reasons more specifically urban planning. As the show progresses I’ll be paying attention to what I’ve picked up on, and at the end I’ll probably put together a ‘Sunday Special’ dedicated to some architectural theory on the urban landscape that makes up the Dowa Kingdom and the 13 districts. There was a lot of info given in the intro so I made sure to make note of it for a future post! I’m kind of excited about the possibilities this can go into.
Masamune-kun no Revenge
Ah sweet sweet revenge. The vindictiveness of Masamune-kun is not a bad gimmick for this rom-com. I’ve found the first two episodes to be enjoyable and it has given me quite a few laughs. What I like about Masamune-kun’s character so far is that despite the false bravado that his vanity gives him he’s still the same insecure kid on the inside. I had a feeling that Aki’s subordinate was the one that remembered him; but the twist that she’s willing to help with revenge makes this a bit more interesting. I wonder what her motive is? Tired of being a subordinate? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The trio is headed to a beach house for a summer job to earn money to buy instruments for the band that they’res starting. Okay, so now I’m getting to see why it’s tagged as ecchi; lots of fanservice, but I think it’s not overdone too much…yet. The love triangle is a bit cliche, but I’m curious who Yuu will end up choosing now that they’ve all met. The spunky out going girl he doesn’t know much about, or the childhood friend that’s been in love with him since forever…I personally don’t think the childhood friend brings anything compelling, sure she’s an idol but…I don’t know, I’m not a fan.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Futatabi-hen
In an interesting turn of events, Sukeroku struggles as the media brings his past to light causing some trouble for him in the Rakugo world. He’s off kilter in his performance, struggles with practice with Yakumo and has issues keeping the audience entranced. He’s definitely in a rut. On the homefront, Konatsu’s baby finds his way to Yakumo leading him to find Konatsu passed out; as he tries to leave Konatsu grabs him in tears – so he tells a story her father used to tell her to calm her down. My mind went blank for a second and maybe I need to rewatch the first season, but Konatsu’s hatred for Yakumo is really intense – but he’s willing to take on the hatred and to allow her to kill him as revenge for what happened to her parents; but now she’s holding off on her revenge because she wants her kid to learn his Rakugo. I knew she disliked him, but don’t remember any of that hatred from the first season.
Also, 8th generation Yakumo/ Kikuhiko never ceases to command my attention when he’s on screen. His prickly cold demeanor and disdain for just about everything has me hooked on him. But we also got to see a bit of his warm side towards Sukeroku/Yotaro when he told him he needs to embrace his past to move forward. I thought that alone was the best scene of this episode.
Ao No Exorcist
I’m still a bit thrown off by Season 2, since it picks up halfway through season 1. So seeing the character’s re-cope with the fact that Rin is Satan’s son is still jarring. We’re introduced to Bon/Suguros’ family that takes care in the inn, and the conflict between him and his father, the priest. Still don’t know much about what the ‘bad guy’ wants with the impure king’s eyes’ just yet, but we saw that the character had one of them in his left eye. Not too much action in this episode.
Super Lovers 2
Season 2 picks up where season 1 ended last year, with Haruko suggesting that Ren leave Tokyo and accompany her to Switzerland to pursue his studies there since his learning curve is higher than most typical high school students and the curriculum in Japan can’t accommodate him. Ren doesn’t want to leave Haru and he has to make the choice. Haru tries to suggest that if Ren did want to go – he should; which pisses Ren off who doesn’t want to leave his side, and he doesn’t want people making decisions for himself.
I know a lot of people aren’t interested in this due to it being of the BL/Yaoi genre, as well as the fact that there is an 8-year age gap between our two characters. This is definitely not just about the physical part of the relationship but also the two characters’ emotions and how they’re dealing and coping with the age gap and the loneliness they both felt before they met one another and navigating their love on top of everything. I was looking forward to the adaptation of this manga because it’s one of the few BLs that got me into the genre to begin with. But if I had to be completely honest, I sometimes find the anime to be lacking when compared to the manga. I don’t think its necessarily the art style – it just doesn’t grip me the way the manga does. But I’ll still be following this show despite it because, I always finish a show that I start. lol.
Nanbaka: season 2
Hajime’s little brother comes to work for the day at Nanba, and the gang is curious how they could possibly be related when they’re personalities are so different. This episode didn’t have much to move the plot forward, but it did have some hilarious moments as a filler episode. This one is pretty much pure entertainment – I’m not sure that I’ll get anything necessarily meaningful out of this one.
Continuations from Winter 2016:
March Comes in Like a Lion
I’m still behind on these shows, so hopefully this weekend I’ll catch up and be able to write about them the following week.