Wrapping up Spring 2012

As we venture into a new season, updating our MyAnimeList list, with most of the spring 2012 shows now shown as completed and selecting a batch of shows to watch this season (it is surprisingly decent so far), let me just close off the Spring 2012 anime season with some comments and stats. First off, as Spring 2012 was my second season joining Anime Power Rankings and my first season to try to keep track of my impressions of each week with with SPREADSHEETS, here are some stats to chew on:

 

What you have above is a graph of the score that each series got from week 4 to week 13 of Spring 2012 (I used another system in weeks 1-3 that proved to be not too useful). Each week, I would compete each show I watched against each other, and the show that I think is superior will get a point. For example, if I had watched 13 episodes for different current shows in one certain week, the highest one show can get is 12 points (does not compete against itself). For shows that I did not watch that week (either I dropped it, it was on a one week hiatus, the show is finished), it while it would not get any points, other shows can’t get points from that show in that particular week, and that the line for that graph will not appear for that week.  In addition, by summing the points, I can easily show which the final ranking of each show (obviously this is biased toward an 13 episode show than a 12 episode show, since the former have one more chance to gain points):

Fate Zero – 119
Space Bros - 96
Apollon – 95
Tsuritama – 95
Smile Precure – 89
Nazo no Kanojo X – 76
Mouretsu – 65
Saki Achiga – 63
Natsuiro Kiseki – 62
Hyouda – 56
Sankarea – 49
Tasogare – 37
Jormongand – 36
Eureka AO -24
Zombie desu – 17
Accel World – 8
Upotte – 2
Medaka – 1

As seen from the results, my Fate/Zero takes the crown on being the best show for Spring 2012 with a lead of 20+ points to Space Brothers, whom took second place. Seeing the results, I think this point scoring method was fairly biased against Natsuiro Kiseki, whom I didn’t pick up until way later and hence didn’t give any points to it on week 4 and 5 (+ the 1 week hiatus). Now for the results of each show and how the graph might ended up that way:

Fate/Zero – I have been rather supportive of the second season of Fate/Zero since the very beginning, not only because it is a good show, but because of my involvement in other Type-Moon franchise, in particular the game Fate/Stay Night. Seeing how Kiritsugu was before Fate/Stay Night was always one main reason that kept me interested in the series, also is the fact that Gen Urobuchi wrote the original light novel and Yuki Kajiura is heavily involved in F/Z’s music, and that ufotable is studio in charge of it. On top of that, the second season, having established most stuff from first season already, gave us episodes and episodes of conflict between the masters and servants, and with about 1 character dying in each episode. Lastly, while the ending is less fancy than the previous episode, it was a good wrapping episode to connect to Fate/Stay Night. In short, every episode was decent, just some more than others, as seen in the graph with Fate/Zero constantly on top).

Space Brothers – If anything (and from my recent rankings), this show might be unfit for per-episode rankings. With the plot progressing slowly, and with each episode concentrating on just one or two characters, there are times which this show just seems boring compared to the other shows. As I have said before, this show likes to takes it time to show the details of annoying stuff like the examination process, all to make the show more realistic. This is evident in the plunge of scores starting week 10, where I guess is the start of the 3rd examination, which is just not all that interesting to me (the character detail is strong, just like their plot). At least it still manage to get second, as Space Brothers is starting on the wrong foot in Summer 2012 so far.

Sakamichi no Apollon – Why is this so high, this show is totally overrated and the ending is just downright cheesy. Just by glancing at the graph, the score of the show has a downward trend. On top of that, like a sine function, it almost periodically increases and decreases, maybe it is because jazz only becomes more important every two episodes? Donno. At least this graph shows my continuous distaste of present more drama and not jazz, but similar to economics, my scores for Apollon might have been sticky, resistant to change my high ratings for the show from the beginning (or that the plot is actually decent enough for me to keep such a high score despite jazz not being less prevalent).

Tsuritama - Before you all start bashing me of putting it before Apollon even when I clearly didn’t like it that much, Tsuritama didn’t grow on me until later in the series, and even then, there are still many stuff that I still don’t get of it. Yes, it was really quirky and stuff, and the ending was really well done.

Smile Precure – This show is a blast to watch, and I’m totally an Akane fan. Ya, nothing really deep or really superb, but I had fun watching them, which is evident in the constant score of around 8-12 (ie not the best, but still decent).

Skipping some, going to some that are more interesting:

Saki Achiga – This show have horrible pacing. They rushed through the whole prefectural tournament, skipped the battle against Ryūmonbuchi, speed through the first round of Nationals, spends 3 episodes on the second round, and then spend almost the rest on the first player in the third round. At least we see Teru playing and owning everyone, and Toki stealing the spotlight from Achiga’s Kuro. All these just to show how weak Achiga is. Despite all those complains, watching Toki suffering trying to outwit Teru, Kirame being a optimist, and all the better character from Saki reappear and beat Achiga (www) just made Saki Achiga quite a thrill to watch, even if it is just the second half.
Natsuiro Kiseki - As I have said, Natsuiro Kiseki should get higher points, since 3 of the weeks I did not assign any points to it, with the show getting an average of 8.86 points per episode. (62/7) This show has some pretty good writing in it, and it is just interesting to see how the four friends, each with their distinct personality, just join together to have their last summer before Saki leaves. Some episodes has some really interesting ideas on top of just seeing them chill and deepen their friendship, but each was at least average if not decent.

What happened to Weekly Musings?

I started weekly musings first because I wanted to have new content on this blog at least once per week, and second to expand on my impressions based on my APR votes…..Then I procrastinated and then recently Muv Luv Alternative happened. Worse of all, there are some more posts that I want to post but never got around posting, which if I continue doing weekly musings will get pushed even more. I guess that I also operate better on an ah-hoc mode, as I tend to enjoy more writing that way (ie, my previous post). Dropping weekly musing for now.

Weekly Musings – For the week ended June 10

ワハハ的クルマ生活 / リチャード・クレイジーマン

I did skipped last week’s post, didn’t I? Aside from me being lazy, there wasn’t really much to write about for last week (for the week ended June 3), especially knowing how much more solid this week’s shows are. Sure, Space brothers was excellent since it dealt with the minor characters and looked at several of their reasons for joining the examination and the support that the family members had to the candidates, Fate Zero was also rather solid in preparing both the viewers and the remaining masters in the War for the final battle,  and… Tsuitama is Tsuitama. Nazo no Kanojo X was starting a weird path and I am starting to not like of how possessive Tsubaki is. Hyouka keeps on doing what it was doing from the very beginning, solving mysteries; while process of how they solved it is interesting, nothing else really stands out again. Sakamichi no Apollon is just more about the love drama. Finally, I wasn’t too thrilled of how last week of Smile Precure turned out, especially the ending, while it was a bit heart-breaking, it felt rushed and unnecessary since it was quickly solved (unless it will be used as a plot device latter on).

That being said, I am much more excited in talking about this week’s shows, since I have enjoyed a lot of them, especially the ones that haven’t been on my top half lately:

Fate/Zero – Episode 23 (14 points): Welp, having invested so much time in Type-Moon franchises, I guess I’m biased for Fate/Zero. Aside from the high production values of action scenes and seeing the different servants pull out their big guns, I really liked the contrast between the kingship of Rider, Saber and Archer. With Saber fighting the mad Lancelot, it causes Saber to question her kingship as it was questioned by the other two kings back in first season. Contrasting that with Rider, who pulled another Ionioi Hetairoi, showing how united and loyal his army is to him, but which ultimately lost to Archer, the lone king who just needed one friend, Enkidu. Lastly, while the scene where Rider was running forward to try to land a blow on Archer was a bit on the cheesy side, it was a good fight where it shows Rider’s spirit to struggle until to the very end. O and Kotomine was totally quoting from Psalm 23 in the end.

Natsuiro Kiseki – Episode 10 (13 points): I’m going to repeat what I have already said in Anime Power Rankings, but I’m surprised of how much I enjoyed this episode. After the two episodes of where the four girls went to where Saki will move to, we see an episode of them just chilling around and using the wishing stone for random crap. The twist in this episode is that they ended playing with time and managed to get their 4-years younger selves to time travel to present time. Hilarity ensures as the two groups meet each other, with the younger group antagonizing the older group. In the course of the episode, the girls finally remembered why they appeared in the mansion in the first place, their childhood memories, and later the older girls were able to help the younger ones from getting swept away from the storm. The intertwine of wishes (younger wished to go to 4 years later [which they were able to and listen to their older selves sing], while older wished to remember that day, which they did), the idea of going back in time to help yourselves, the idea of remembering your childhood memories, and the hilarity of the two groups’s interaction and the effect it had on them all makes it a rather heart-warming and fun episode to watch.

Smile Precure – Episode 19 (12 points): I think this might have been the first episode where the mood was heavy more often than cheerful, and man, it was nicely executed. First, this episode seems to be for Father’s Day, which they had to push it a week earlier since Smile Precure is not showing next Sunday (;A;). With the girls given an assignment to find the meaning of their name from their parents, it gave time to show a bit of personality of each Precure’s dad and by extension the family. We get to see Nao’s hardworking and kind dad, Reika’s wise grandpa and Akane’s simple (hot-blooded?) dad [and we didn't see Miyuki's dad]. For Yayoi, she had to slowly remember her memories she had with her deceased  dad, finally remembering what the name Yayoi meant for her dad, with Yayoi remembering tons of fatherly love her dad had for her along the way. Yayoi’s progress from depressed of her not remembering her dad right away to the warmth of knowing how much her dad loved her was critical to making this episode so touching. Ya, I guess my only complain was that there were some minor QUALITY animation here and there, o and that now that I have no excuse to not remember Father’s Day.

Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode of Side-A – Episode 8 (11 points): I like to play mahjong (I have way more experience in Hong-Kong style mahjong than in Japanese mahjong, so when you actually play against me  on Tenhou, and please do so, I’m rather weak), I also liked Saki, especially with how over the top the mahjong plays were. Saki Achiga is nothing compared to that, with the Achiga girls obviously weaker than all the main schools that were shown in Saki; the sisters with the special abilities also had major disadvantages that other players can and did take advantage of. Now, guess how happy I’m to see not only some of the old cast back, but to see how they, despite being 3 and 4th in Nagano, was able to trash and shock the Achiga girls with their more flashy style of playing. Aside from seeing that battle, we get to meet 5 new character which might or might not show up later (and from the short time of seeing them play, some seemed to have some kind of special abilities also). More minor stuff: Yuuki wearing a cape was the over the top stuff I like to see more, and Wahaha president Satomi HNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG, o man, she looks like a little kid, but she is driving that mini van, HNNNNNNNNNGGGGGG. O ya, next episode, we finally see how powerful Teru, Saki’s sister, is. In short, this episode was SUBARA DES.

Sakamichi no Apollon  - Episode 9 (10 points): Last episode was mediocre, but this episode was solid, mostly because we are finally seeing some resolution to the whole love polygon issue instead of being all emo and getting stuck. This added with the spectacular jazz session, in which Junichi and Sentarou just jam it out, expressing their raw emotion in music form, with Karou and the old man trying to follow them. This jam session was able to  rebuild Junichi and Sentarou broken relationship, just like how it rebuild Sentarou and Karou’s relationship, all to show the power of music. It didn’t get even higher was because for the first half of the show, they were stull mostly emo.

Tsuritama – Episode 9 (9 points): While the bunny suits used by the Duck orginzation was pretty funny, I guess what I really liked was how friendship/family was shown throughout this whole episode, of how Haru was willing to be hated so that everyone in Enoshima can be protected, of how after talking to grandma, Yuki was willing to go back to Enoshima for his friend, and how Akira is also trying his best to help Haru despite being enemies at first. Yet at the same time, the whole plot development just feels…weird.

Sankarea – Episode 10 (8 points): Episode 9 was really out of place, putting an episode independent to the main plot right after a cliffhanger. So after one week of being frustrated with Sankarea, we are finally back on the main plot, where Chihiro was kidnapped into the Sanka house. Yet, before we actually get to see the confrontation  of Chihiro and Rea’s dad, we were given background history about Aria Sanka, Rea’s mom and Rea’s dad. While it mostly gave us background to Aria and may have cause some of the viewers to sympathize with her,  showed how Rea’s dad was raised, of how every maid’s goal was to get him to pick her for wife, most without any concern for him personally. It also showed the devotion he had for Rea’s mom, even though she was still really young [she was 15 while he was already in university] (warning warning, danger danger). In the end, while it might not make us sympathize with him, it was able to give basis of why he was so overprotective of Sanka Rea.

Space Brothers – Episode 10 (7 points): Did I seriously just watched an episode of the cast just being on a bus for most of the time. D: And some of the new character were kind of annoying.

Others:

Mouretsu Pirates – Episode 23 (6 points)

Jormongand – Episode 9 (5 points)

Hyouka – Episode 7 (4 points)

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? of the Dead – Episode 10 (3 points)

Nazo no Kanojo X – Episode 10 (2 points)

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – Episode 9 (1 points)

Eureka Seven: AO – Episode 9 (0 points)

Weekly Musings – For the week ended May 28

主食は紫陽(ry / クラソラ

They say good thing comes in pairs (Wikipedia). This saying is especially true for this week: not only did I get the chance to go to Anime North and see Twitter friends in real life, this week’s anime were generally excellent, with some series that were doing not that great for the previous weeks displaying their best episode this week. While it is all joyful, it is a bit troubling also, since I was not able to see some of those good episode before I had to hand in my ballot for Anime Power Rankings for this week because of Anime North, which in turn made me overrate some shows while completely leaving some really good episode off the ballot. I doubt that it will change the result that much, but it is still a bummer to see you not actually voting what you actually think is the best. (FYI, I voted Apollon, Space Bros, Natsuiro Kiseki, Tsuritama, Hyouka for APR)

Fate/Zero – Episode 21 (14 points): The week’s Fate/Zero can be divided into two main parts, the first part being the confrontation and battle between Rider and Saber. While the main battle only lasted a short time, a lot more time were spent on the race between Rider and Saber. The idea of the race itself was an interesting idea, since by definition Rider must be excellent in races, and because of Saber’s special ability of riding, she is also quite equipped for races, and putting the two for a race around the roads with different types of mounts (horse chariots vs motorcycles) is just an obvious but awesome idea. Aside from the idea, the execution of the race was fluid, all to remind us of how excellent ufotable is at making such animations. The second part….O DANG YOU GEN, how much more despair must you put into your characters. As if making Kariya take Sakura’s magic wasn’t suffering enough, now he must face anger and rejection from the one that he loved and did all to help. Ya, the second part of the episode was quite haunting, especially Kariya’s speech… Lastly, it is really embarrassing, but it seems that I was totally off in my conclusion in my previous Weekly Musings, at least it is good to see that Rider is still true to his beliefs, but it is also true that the toll from the previous battle have caused him to be more reserved.

Sakamichi no Apollon  - Episode 7 (13 points): After few episodes of mediocre jazz-lacking episode, we are finally given a powerful and touching episode between Kaoru and Sentarou. Yea while the first part is more of the romance drama, which I don’t enjoy a whole lot, there is always this issue with the strained friendship between the two, something which I like more. Then finally, coming in full conclusion, the two finally overcame the wall with music, complete with Ritsuko commenting on it and tearing up. The scene where the whole school running to the gym to listen to the two is a nice addition, but really it is the ability to finally incorporate jazz so deeply into this episode’s plot that I have finally put this episode back so high.

Nazo no Kanojo  X – Episode 8 (11 points): Aside from the difference between male and female in relationships, this episode shows the similarities of responses between the couple, with Tsubaki tearing up as he understand the texture of Urabe’s oppai’s and then with Urabe tearing up when Tsubaki starts licking her ears. By the end of the episode, we can conclude that both are akin to tears of happiness, but it is interesting to see how with the similar responses the other partner can interpret it so differently. In this episode we also see Urabe starting to experience and get confused by physical pleasures, to the more intimate levels of relationships. Also, seeing Oka fogging up her glasses because of the strong emotions she received from Urabe’s saliva is pure gold. Lastly, the music continues to do a great job in adding the whole mystery feel in the idea of dating and knowing your partner.

Smile Precure – Episode 17 (11 points): The rumored 6th Precure has appeared, and his name is Cure Gorilla. O man, that comedy duo, I don’t care if they are actually based on a real comedy duo or not, but they are pretty jokes. Yes, with Kansai-ben and comedy, this is another Akane episode, and man does Akane shine (ahahaha) during the battle this time. To be honest, I was a bit tired out by how active they were in the beginning, but that was made better by the good amount of jokes in this episode. I lost Yayoi in jankenpon but that’s OK, since Akane is the star this episode, and surprisingly, I enjoyed on how well Reika played the confused tsukkomi here. Yet, the best scene is still the ‘transformation’ scene of Cure Gorilla.

Space Brothers – Episode 8 (10 points):  With Mutta knowing his results and going back to Japan, it concludes what was discussed for the last two weeks. Aside from the potential cliffhanger from the end, there wasn’t really anything special or anything that stands out. It is still a steady solid show, taking time to develop the plot slowly, sadly making it less interesting than some of this week’s shows.

Natsuiro Kiseki – Episode 8 (9 points): With the four going on a trip to where Saki will move to after the summer, the show again does not shy away from the issues of coping with the moving of a close friend and more so, Saki’s unwillingness to voice her opinions in this whole issue. While it is still fun and games as the four enjoy of what it might be the last trip the four has together, a big focus was on Saki unease of going to the island, and her personality of just “going with the flow”. O ya, since friendship is a major plot in this show, I’m continuing liking this; too bad this week was ruined a bit by QUALITY animation.

Sankarea – Episode 8 (8 points): As much as I don’t like Rea’s father, I do think the presence of her father and the issues that arises from her father is much more interesting to look at than just a love triangle between Rea, Chihiro and Wanko. It is interesting when you compare Chihiro and Rea’s father (I think I have talked about this already), but in this episode in particular, Chihiro was fixated on filming Rea for observational purposes, while as we can recall, Rea’s father did something similar to Rea at her birthday, all to ‘measure her growth’. While it is argueable both are filming her for observational purposes, we see two completely different responses from Rea, one of embarrassment and another of disgust. Obviously, Chihiro is doing so out of care and want to know more about her so he can help preserve her better (as his responsibility), while her father is well….hmmm, to protect her from all traces of evil, and to preserve her innocence? This is why Sankarea is more interesting when Rea’s father is in it, since it compares the issue of love (Chihiro) and obsession (Rea’s father).

Others: Tsuritama (7), Hyouka (6), Saki Achiga (5), Mouretsu (4), Tasogare (3), Jormongand, Eureka AO (2), Zombie desu OTD (0)

What do you know, both Tsuritama and Hyouka didn’t even make the top 7 after all, sigh.

Weekly Musings – For the week ended May 21

夕子さん / 軽部かる

This coming weekend, from Friday to Sunday, I will be attending Anime North, mostly just to go and see how an anime convention is like in North America (went to one in Hong Kong before). For anyone else going to Anime North, just hit me up on twitter to hang out. =P. That being said, since I’m at Anime North, I will most likely be missing shows from Friday to Sunday, meaning I have some catch up to do after the convention. You know what part of Anime North I’m looking for? It is to meet up with people that I have known through Twitter. Also since I don’t have anything really planned during Anime North, talk to me on Twitter or email =P.

Without further ado:

Fate/Zero – Episode 20 (14 points): You know what, since the very beginning of the second season, someone important dies in every episode, and this episode follows the trend by killing off Maiya, which is kind of a pity since we didn’t really get to know more the relationship between Maiya and Kiritsugu (that speech only seemed to surface that), so her death was less heart-breaking then, say, Natalia (so a bit of a let down). Aside from Maiya’s death, this episode was mostly all talk, with each surviving master, bar Kotomine, getting their own focus. We see the toll that the previous battle had on Iskander and how he not only had to hide his presence, as opposed to being constantly visible before, and ultimately used underhanded methods for battles, and not running to the battlefield with pride. Kariya’s sequence was even more cringe inducing, of how he was given Sakura’s magical energy obtained from the process that he was fighting the War to get Sakura out of. In short, we see both the desperate situation that each are in and their resolve to win and obtain the Holy Grail.

Space Brothers – Episode 7 (13 points): This episode is just the continuation of what was started last episode, with the idea of luck being tossed around again, but also we are given a bit more about Mutta’s quirks and ability. Yea, it is less fresh and less touching, but since it just progresses what was revealed last episode, I still enjoyed this episode quite a bit. I guess also because of the change in my personal life recently that I can relate more with the show. While I didn’t recently get fired as Mutta did, I have finished all my undergrad courses the past April but do not have a full time job lined up, and hence is currently undergoing job search. The tension of going through the interviews, the depression of knowing you did a bad job in the interview and knowing that you are likely to not go into second round. With all those happening recently, it is no wonder I was tearing up last week, because of how much encouragement that last week has shown.

Nazo no Kanojo  X – Episode 7 (11 points): You know what, this show has a great formula, and as long as they are able to follow it properly, and to make each episode different enough to make it not boring, I will continue to like this show. This week, we deal with Tsubaki’s sickness and Urabe’s possibility of joining a club. Within those two issues, we again see Tsubaki’s desire to want her all for himself, and Urabe’s happiness from knowing his desire. This shows the differences between male and female, of how male tends to think more physical, so our desires when we are in a relationship tends to be more physical, whereas females tends to be more emotional, and hence they tend to desire more the emotional aspects of their partner [citation needed]. This is shown through Tsubaki’s sadness from the idea of Urabe possibly not being there with him when he is walking home from school (physical presence), he hugging her when he is happy for what Urabe did/said (physical touch), and finally by Urabe putting Tsubaki’s nametag on her leg, showing ownership of her legs, and by extension, her body. As for Urabe, she was happy when  he supported her during the race, and from knowing that he would be sad if she joined track team, both showing how much Tsubaki cares for Urabe. When I put it that way, the relationship between Tsubaki and Urabe is nothing out of the ordinary, but really, for both of them, fresh new to this dating thing, every step is mysterious. Again follow The Untold Story of Altair & Vega’s for more in-depth write up.

Aside: You know what, I sometimes do find Oka to be annoying, espeically for her to intrude the relationship between Tsubaki and Urabe, but I guess she is important in helping their two in progressing their relationship. [Ok, I donno why I like it]

Tsuritama - Episode 6 (11 points): If we are to put arcs into this show, we must have gotten through Yuki’s arc this or last episode, since in this episode, Yuki, fully enjoying fishing, have stopped having any kind of panic from talking to people, showing the fruits of both his friendship with Haru and Natsuki and his new found hobby of fishing. With that arc done, this episode was more so a lead in to Haru’s arc, where Akira actually is finally a major part of the story (and not just being awesome and DUCK). To be honest, I am quite surprised at the gradual but unexpected development (the plot twist seems a bit…alien), and as always with this show, I will just go with the flow and see what this twist will lead us to. (I seriously need more fish puns)

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – Episode 6 (10 points): After few mediocre episodes, we are given a more dark episode, yet the twist is that the scary part of the episode was not of any ghost’s doing, but initiated by a human’s hatred and then exploded because of humans’ fears. I have talked about it in Anime Power Rankings about the display of herd mentality in this episode, first used as the means of spreading of rumors, and then later of how it ended up being Yuuko being the scapegoat for relief for their own fears. Me, looking at this, is at least hoping that some of these people who cooperated the act of trying to sacrifice Yuuko as pure BS (aren’t we past the dark ages of doing human sacrifices and such), but it strikes to me on how often irrational stuff like these spreads like fire and we believe it without questioning it just because it is someone close to us that thinks it is correct. This episode reminds us of how terrifying humans ourselves can be….

Natsuiro Kiseki – Episode 7 (8 points): Singing Singing Singing. The four main characters are voiced by Sphere, so an episode where the four girls sings must be a good episode. Also, this episode again shows how friendship is not always fun and games but sometimes arguments will happen just because of differences in personality.

Sakamichi no Apollon  - Episode 6 (8 points): While this is an improvement from the last episode, romance still takes a huge chunk of the show, with a bit of friendship issues discussed/implied in the latter half. I’m a fan of the latter one, but not the former one. Yes, the show is solid, just as I have said how Ano Natsu de Matteru is solid, but I just don’t like the whole icky feeling from romance. Well, at least Karou and Sentaro’s friendship is being shaken now (and the intrusion of rock and roll to the jazz community), so next episode should be pretty good.

Smile Precure – Episode 16 (8 points): First off, I was and still am not a big fan of Reika, maybe it is just because I have yet to know more of her. While this episode does focus on Reika, it still does not seem to reveal much of her, in particular, her conclusion to this episode felt lacking. To add to the insult, I might have known more about the other 4 girls from Reika’s chilling with them then Reika herself. I guess the Defrosting the Ice Queen trope is in another episode. O, I also lost to Yayoi, maybe that is why I’m finding this episode less enjoyable.

Others: Hyouka (6), Saki Achiga, Mouretsu (4), Zombie desu (3), Jormongand, Sankarea (2), Eureka AO (1)

Dropped: Accel World – Episode 7: No Accel World, you don’t use the word Memory Leak like that, it has a totally different meaning to me. And for the preview, no, I don’t want loli fanservice. In general, the show just feels too blend.

Weekly Musings – For the week ended May 13

つり球 / おか

In all, I think this week is kind of lackluster. While there are some really, really good episodes (Space Brothers), a lot of this week’s episode just seem meh; a lot of them actually just feel like it is an intermission episode between two arcs/plot (Jormungand, Eureka 7 AO) so that while it had time to deal with other parts of the show that it is not usually talked about before, it either end up not executing it that good or just because the element that made me like the show in the first place absent or less prominent (Koko not being the main part of this week’s Jormungand) . Also since May 13 was Mother’s Day, three of this week’s shows incorporated mothers into the episode, either as a main device (Smile Precure) or just a small mention (Fate/Zero), and in general, I’m pretty surprised on how directors are able to take real life event into their shows:

Space Brothers – Episode 6 (15 points): I actually teared up a bit while watching this. As I have stated on Anime Power Rankings, this episode was really inspiring, something that I presume that the anime is set out to do. The idea of luck was tossed around quite often in this episode, of how Mutta believed that he is really unlucky, yet at the same time, unknown to him, a judge looked at his situation and went out of his way to help Mutta. This judge not only know him when he was little, but was further set on supporting him because of the judge’s similar past. Heck, this is one huge coincidence (you just can’t believe how lucky Mutta actually is), bordering on fantasy (there is no way that all these things would align to each other so nicely), yet, because of the solid foundation the show had laid before in showing all the details and all the connection to real life events, this whole coincidence just looks like a small ray of hope in the depressing reality of Mutta, and maybe also to some of us who are not in the best of situation. Just seeing how Mutta is supported in the most critical moments is just really touching.

Fate/Zero – Episode 19 (14 points): O Fate/Zero, I don’t know if it was planned or not, that is just such a depressing way to celebrate Mother’s Day. This is the second episode about Kiritsugu’s past, with this episode detailing the time he was under Natalia’s care. While the first was also solid, as we saw how the various mission have made Kiritsugu more and more stoic, and to have a short sequence where it hinted to form his current ideology and strategy, the best part of the episode is in the second half of the episode, where Kiritsugu communicates to Natalia over radio. Within that chat/small talk, they discussed of how they see each other as family and talks as if everything is fine (while both and most likely the audience also know that there is no way that the plane can land safely without releasing the bees also, creating more victims). In short, it does a good job of showing how Kiritsugu became more and more broken. (Source: Reverse Thieves)

Tsuritama - Episode 5 (12 points): The animation is lively, the characters are quirky (and sometimes a bit annoying), and there is a good amount of character development in every episode, this show is growing on me.

Smile Precure – Episode 15 (12 points): As if I have forgotten about Mother’s Day, Smile Precure did a whole episode about Mother’s Day, showing how important it is to give graititue to your mother (;A; I’m sorry that I only called my mom and not get her something for Mother’s Day). Aside from seeing how Miyuki fails at helping her mom and laughing at her, it is also interesting to see what the other four Precure’s made for their mom, showing their personality and their relationship between their family. Also, the Precure’s were relative collaborative in their attacks, and YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Akane/Precure Sunny for stepping up to help Miyuki and to stop Woflrun’s from dissing Miyuki. O and next episode preview, what is this…

Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode of Side-A – Episode 5 (11 points): Call me biased, but the reason that I forcefully made Saki to be so high in rankings is because of it finally being what I like about it: the characters either on the mahjong table playing or discussing about the game. Finally. The characters are still blend, they are all still rather weak, but at least they are playing the darn game and not just going on about chessy lame stuff. This finally feels so much more like a Saki sequel; now all is missing is the over-the-top playing style or abilities (comeon, I’m not asking a character of Saki caliber, but someone cool like Hisa).

Nazo no Kanojo  X – Episode 6 (11 points): Similar to last week, while there are nothing really to write home about, it just a simple cute story between the two, with each episode of them finding a new aspect that they don’t know/haven’t tried with each other, investigates it and finally understand each other more and grow deeper in their relationship. The Untold Story of Altair & Vega talks more in detail about the episode.

Sakamichi no Apollon  - Episode 5 (9 points): Yes, this is the same show that I ranked it as #1 last week. This episode is mediocre. Suddenly Kaoru’s mother is introduced (relating to Mother’s Day) and this episode talks of how Karou went to see his mom. In the end, more questions were raised than answered, leaving us hanging there for answers (and not as a cliffhanger, but as a “we-might-talk-about-this-later” type of hanging), and while we do see a temporary solution to the tension between Karou and Ritsuko and see the tension between Yurika and Junichi, the whole episode just feels off from the usual plot.

Natsuiro Kiseki – Episode 6 (8 points): Upon dropping Upotte!!, I decided to watch Natsuiro Kiseki, a show that have been getting solid rankings on APR and a show that I was on the verge of watching in at the start of the season (but forgot about it as the season went by), and to my surprise, it is pretty good. Yeah, it is the same old “4 cute girls doing cute things” setting, it does a decent job in viewing the more serious aspects of the friendship between the 4 and about themselves, not to mention the distinct personality that each characters brings into the friendship and the show.

Rest:

Sankarea (6), Hyouka, Tasogare, Mouretsu (5) [filler episode + QUALITY animation] Eureka 7 AO, Zombie desu (3), Jormungand (1), Accel World (0)

Dropped: Medaka Box – Episode 6: The show is just too shounen, with most of the times spent on the action. The characters are one dimensional, and therefore, I don’t really care about them and their battles. For people who enjoy One Piece, Naruto, Bleach they might like it. I guess I just don’t like shounen manga/anime in general, putting it as on-hold (not really dropped, but since I rarely go back to my on-hold list, it is good as dropped).