Samui’s Weekly Round-Up – Fall 2016 – Week Nine

Samui’s Weekly Round-Up – Fall 2016 – Week Nine

I must admit – this week in anime is actually great! It seems like every show in the list is finally preparing for some good climax. Maybe this season will end on a good note after all.

GREAT

Flip Flappers

Well, who would have thought Flip Flappers would handle this dense episode with such ease? Papika’s finally given characterization, which proves to be just as important as Cocona’s. I also uttered “holy cow” when I realized Papika is way older than Cocona and the show drops this detail without feeling heavy-handed.

Well, that’s not the reason why I placed this episode as great. For once, I think Cocona has become a fully developed lead at this episode. She is supposed to be a normal school girl but was brought to the mess of the events in Flip Flappers. Having a fragment inside her sounds convenient plot-wise, but it made her snap and trust no one else as of this episode. Man, betrayal sounds painful especially in the case of her grandmother. Well – I still think the show will end on a happy note though. I don’t know why.

Now to my final question. Just what is Pure Illusion and what does it bring to the world? This is a crucial question that needs to be carefully addressed. Should the show fail to answer this clearly, I will be really bummed out.

VERY GOOD

Yuri!!! On ICE

I guess it’s no coincidence that the gayest shows this season are also my top picks for this week. Yuri on Ice, even in its filler episode, oozes with narratives which address Victor’s characterization. It was also fun watching these characters do their things when they’re not skating in the rinks. However, it’s best to treat Yuri on Ice as something that gives focus to three of its characters and leaves the other in the dark. While Victor, Yuri and Yurio are developed to some degree, I cannot say the same with Phichit and others. Heck, even the pompous JJ was relegated to comedic relief in this episode. Ugh.

Well, let’s forget about that.

If there’s one thing Yuri on Ice excels in against all other shows this year, it is its suave integration of visual pleasures. The new ED presented pole dancing and dance show-offs after last year’s Grand Prix. The final three minutes of the show also gave us a Eureka moment wherein Victor actually has the intention of pursuing Yuri even without watching the latter’s video. Hmmm? Isn’t it correct to say that Yuri and Victor are the characters in the former’s On Love: Eros routine?

Talk about some smooth storytelling techniques there, Yuri on Ice.

DECENT

Classicaloid

Okay. Even a show aimed at kids can present a dark take on the hikikomori lifestyle, can it not? I remain firm that this Classicaloid episode is filler but I can’t fault it much, other than it does very little to move the plot. It also had the nerve to drop a sad moment in Chopin’s life and how he coped with that (although it was played in a comedic manner in the end).

I just wish this series would finally move to its plot. Either way, I don’t intend to follow the second cour of this show next season. I had enough.

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Okay. Perhaps the nonstop action in this week’s Keijo!!!!!!!! makes me think that it’s another decent flair of this show. As if the camp plus the ridiculous attack names aren’t enough, they were complemented by smooth animation throughout the fights. Not much can be said about the plot, but I like Keijo!!!!!!!! when it drops the dull school life thing for the action.

I just can’t help but feel pity for poor Aoba. She just had this Gate of Bootylon which basically copies all the techniques of Setochi’s studentry but still loses in the end. Winning is not her thing, is it?

Occultic;Nine

I honestly think Occultic; Nine is a decent flick if it cuts off the unnecessarily verbose dialogue and weird camera techniques that made this more annoying than enlightening. I also realized the show has an awfully slow pacing despite how fast these characters talk! Moreover, darn those Dutch camera angles that occupied 95% of the episode. The fictional camera man sure loves to have summersaults while filming this, doesn’t he?

Now that I am done dissing the series, let me state what’s good about this episode.

Occultic;Nine is up to a neat resolution despite the mess it created earlier on. For once, the three out of six subplots are now converging and color me glad the series actually makes sense after all! Ryo-tas being one of the bad bosses is a tad predictable but her change in stance is quite refreshing. Also color me curious about the looming plans of the evil organization which brought the 256 incident. What are they up to?

Occultic;Nine isn’t so bad at this point. It’s just that the show loves to take major steps back when it moves forward in terms of storytelling.

Poco’s Udon World

Poco’s Udon World is about to enter the melancholic territory and I can say the show is handling it gracefully. While this episode tackled Hiroshi’s character development, I think Tawara’s circumstances got me this time.

Just how will Tawara handle things once Poco disappears? The episode gave us a grim reminder that Poco’s power is beginning to decline and he cannot transform to a human that fast anymore. It’s only a matter of time before our poor tanuki loses its sense of self and acts more like an animal than a human. Let’s say some deus ex machina happens and Poco becomes a human (or stays that way forever), how on earth can Tawara explain his circumstances his sister? For a series that touches on realistic matters, I am sure of what will happen. I also love that Tawara’s finally feeling regret about not spending much time with his father while the latter was still alive. I told you, I am a sucker for regret-themed scenarios and this also hit my sweet spot.

For the negatives? Replace Hiroshi with Nakajima and I think this episode would be much better. The former had been nothing but a comedic relief character since he’d appeared, then he suddenly becomes all dramatic? Give me a break.

Kiss Him, Not Me!

After the last week’s not-so-funny episode, Kiss Him, Not Me! bounces back to its usual comedic nature. It means we get a lot of laughs thanks to the shenanigans of Kae’s group and the latter’s amusing fujoshi reactions. This entry specifically focused on Mutsumi-senpai and offered some fascinating thoughts about him.

It seems like he is really dense with regards to his own feelings. Igarashi had to actually spell them out to him since our reliable senpai does not realize them himself. As if to conspire against Mutsumi-senpai, a wild Pokémon in the guise of his brother appeared to play with Kae. To be honest, it felt like he was a heroine in a shoujo manga and it was sort of funny.

I read these scenes in the manga so I won’t spoil much but if you’re already annoyed with his brother, I guess that won’t be for long. However, the show will not end on a conclusive note. I pray to anime the kami-sama to at least give Kiss Him, Not Me! a good ending.

Drifters

Drifters’ last half is actually great. However, the comedic (aka terrible) first part is like a mood whiplash that destroys the somberness which made this episode passable. Saint Germi’s serious attitude is terrifying but his joking stance is flat-out bad.

That aside, I love how disturbing this series can be whenever it presents ideas. Glorifying Hitler is a taboo but Drifters had the balls to praise him in terms of unifying the Orte empire. Moreover, just who is the Black King? We know these characters are based on historical figures and they died in action. If his take is denying salvation, could he be Jesus? Yikes. It seems the evidence for it accumulates given the Black King’s powers.

Well, that’s all the more reason to watch Drifters despite the mood-ruining comedic acts that fail to be funny.

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