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.
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)