The bad boy samui’s forgotten to write an intro paragraph, so here I am! Although this weekly anime round-up’s name has been changed from Samui’s Weekly Round-Up to The Weekly Samui (it’s shorter and cooler), the formula’s exactly the same! Just what has he seen in the past week’s shows? Without further ado, let us discover this!
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
If the first three episodes of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu’s second season are an indicator, I guess we are off to a brighter closure to this series. This week finally deals with the characters’ confrontation of their respective pasts and boy it was dark. We learned Yotaro’s affiliation with the yakuza was not out of his own will. Coerced and framed, he did odd jobs for the sake of his father, only for the latter to die while Yotaro was in prison. Watching him go angry is a painful scene to watch and his actions are just as ugly. Yet that’s human nature, isn’t it?
Then it all comes round with Konatsu, as the father of her son turns out to be the same man Yotaro grudged ten years ago. She is the same as Yotaro in terms of being afraid to face her past. Konatsu is aware she might have ended up like Miyokichi, but Yotaro serves as her fallback to set things on the right path again. The two make perfect partners, romantically or not.
It depends on your taste whether you like this show’s tendency to go all theatrical. On the artistic side, the direction remains sublime, pointing all the necessary body language to amplify a scene. Yotaro’s rant about his former boss is beautifully animated and was delivered akin to a rakugo. The river scene and the lighting reflected his pent up frustration, and was well timed with the fireworks display symbolizing catharsis. In all honesty, it was a fun ride seeing Yotaro in a different light without the jarring transition.
On the other hand, this theatrical approach makes the delivery emotionally distant. I get it. They are human characters who are morally grey but it feels like they are acting rather than actually getting caught up in the moment. Nonetheless, this is a minor flak in this excellent show. Winter 2017 is no race – we are just waiting to see how great this show becomes by the end.
Little Witch Academia
Partly a chore but mostly a whimsical ride, the second episode of Little Witch Academia channeled a naïve Harry Potter sans the sinister background. We were shown Akko’s daily life in Luna Nova and I am just as bored as her. The good thing in that matter was the show being aware of that fact and making things exciting after that. This episode also featured the introduction of Diana, and it’s a nice thing that it was immediately clarified she is not a villain figure. She is the anti-thesis of Akko, in that she’s refined and well-bred, but just as a believer of Chariot. The show isn’t bringing out her fangirl side yet but you can catch hints of her vast knowledge about the magician.
On the bigger picture, I guess the traditional witch values versus the emerging beliefs might be the strongest point of Little Witch Academia, plot-wise. Professor Ursula took care of Akko even if the headmasters were against the idea. We know Akko’s childlike enthusiasm will land her great things later, despite her unorthodox background. The same can be said of Professor Ursula. She is the youngest faculty member in Luna Nova, and she’s already causing friction with the older staff. This idea gives the show depth, and it does not spoil the fun when Trigger decides to go whimsical.
Other than that, yes, there is nothing much to say about the episode in terms of production values since Trigger knows where to place sakuga when needed. The last five minutes of this episode were magical, living true to this show’s mercurial nature.
Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen
We are still on the world-building phase of the Kyoto Arc and the pacing is beginning to show signs of wobbliness. Re-enactment on the foiled attempt to steal the right eye ensued and suspicions arose regarding a traitor in the group. With the absence of Suguro’s father, he became an easy target in the meeting. I am not sure how Ao no Exorcist will present some red herrings but for now, I think the Shima clan is innocent in this matter.
Nonetheless, the show surely knows how to keep us entertained despite its low-key offering this week. Present character moments to make us further attached to them and give the new characters a moment to make their circumstances more believable. So far, Ao No Exorcist is doing a fine job in this department.
To be honest, the characters are decently written but your tolerance may fluctuate depending who is in the screen. It goes on without saying Rin retains all the likeability. Konekomaru on the other hand is a bit too angsty to be taken seriously. Worst, Moriyama displays the trope-y “I cannot do anything at all” shtick. Perhaps the main star in this arc is Suguro, and the show was kind enough to make his stance clear regarding the suspicion of his father.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
So this Megumin-centric episode still registered high in the lol-meter thanks to the charm of these useless characters. Well, the reprise of the monster frogs remains funny and Sena getting caught up with the mess is just plain hilarious. As usual, Kazuma is the reason why most of the gags in KonoSuba worked. He is already labelled a scum and being a lolicon-NEET is another laurel to his crown. I also want to commend the show for refusing to label him as a harem lead. The girls hate him, and he feels the same and he does not go in circles when he says he hates trope-y anime girls. Someone get this boy a succubus please!
Well, we get a not-so-new character this week in the name of Yunyun. She appears in the OVA and it seems like this episode predates that. Seeing their funny duel in the OVA, I think this episode was hit and miss regarding her role as a comedic device. The friendship crystal gag was great as we saw how screwed they got in their past but anything beyond that was a chore to watch.
My problem with this episode is it seems like the staff is up to give us a spit fire of jokes, only to see which ones worked and which ones didn’t after the fact. Of course, I place anything Aqua as funny but she did not get much airtime this week. Some Megumin and Kazuma scenes dragged (the bathroom skit was funny as hell though) and Yunyun’s formal introduction in the show was a bit meh.
In case you still care about the plot, yes, Darkness is about to attend a ball (it looks like she’s forced to wear a gown) and Kazuma is still under the surveillance of Sena. How many times will she be eaten by these frogs? I love how she makes those sounds though.
ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
I am puzzled how ACCA throws something that feels important to the plot, then proceeds with idle moments you associate with slice of life titles. The series still poses a sense of paranoia between the spy spying the spies, and the nature of an auditor’s job. World-building is also giving it a distinct personality as far as the setting is concerned. We are brought to Jumoku this episode, and the district for giants is also a fascinating sight on paper.
That aside, the twist that should have moved the plot this week felt a little eh. The trope of someone’s best friend betraying them has been played too many times in anime, and new shows must pull off a good variant to be memorable. Unfortunately, ACCA played it safe and the resolution fell flat big time. There’s also too much talk that we don’t need to see. A little usage of the ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ approach could help spice up things here.
PS: So what’s the point of making ACCA all caps when it was named after a fictional (extinct) bird?
PPS: Can’t we just all agree that the Director-General and Nino are hot?
“This week in Fuuka, Haruna grew a pair and pursued the doomed but obviously better childhood friend and left Fuuka because he thinks the girl is irritating. Mikasa hooked with Yassan, and everyone is happily living ever after.”
God – why does this show have to be so normal it become dull? The confrontation scene bait last episode was fizzled within five minutes this week. Then we go down this obligatory ‘we are not misunderstanding things, okay?’ route. Worse, Koyuki is just there. The love triangle was played so straightforwardly you coukd even change the characters and not notice a thing. The gay best friend, Mikasa, remains the best character in this show for tending to these stupid leads who like to beat around the bush. I would love to see his own arc soon.
On the other hand, the second half of this episode is actually good albeit too plot convenient. We can now see a band is forming all thanks to the HEDGEHOG members performing on stage. Well, Fuuka unleashes her vocalist side and Haruna… just stood there. And they’re now okay? What? Some heartwarming conversations ensued and the episode ended on a totally misplaced ecchi scene. Err.
PS: Please someone explain why these people are so enamored with the titular character. I know she’s moe but her behavior is grating on my nerves. Koyuki deserves better to be honest.
PPS: I am just enjoying the show for Yassan. He is hot. Bye.