Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
I think I might as well rename The Weekly Samui to Rakugo Ramblings because this show eats a lot of words, and deservedly. From the theatrical portrayal of the lives of these characters to the brilliance of rakugo performances, there is a lot of fascinating things to say about this series.
First, we start with the wonderful first three minutes of this episode. It managed to capture the confusion and listlessness of these characters after Yakumo collapsed in the middle of their rakugo show. Yotaro continued the show despite being on the verge of tears, and Konatsu decided to accompany Yakumo. What is amazing this time is that the show’s theatrical approach actually worked.
For the rest? Damn this emotional rollercoaster of a show loaded with outstanding rakugo performances. I honestly do not know if I should be sad Yotaro has to work double time since he is now also doing Yakumo’s job, or be glad because the dude has found his own groove as far as rakugo is concerned. Higuchi, on the other hand, still plays as the show’s observer and gives great insights into our lovable idiot’s rakugo style. Yotaro certainly lacks the sensual appeal of Yakumo and the ruckus of Sukeroku but the guy knows to be invisible to give life for the characters of these rakugo stories.
Another amazing insight in this episode is the rakugo industry finally trying to keep up with the modern times. As you can notice, the buildings are too old and the Association is aware its conditions might cause discomfort to the customers. With them filling up theaters again, it is a bold move for them to build a new theater for rakugo performances. As for Yakumo? Sure the dude wants to die, but damn him for leaving Konatsu without her needed closure. I am dreading the end though. I know this season has been a sunnier affair so far but the sad bombs will be dropped soon.
Man, the show has a goddamn habit of outperforming itself whenever we think it has already peaked in terms of excellence. Last week was surely dim, with snippets of Miyokichi and Sukeroku appearing in Yakumo’s delusion and his near-death experience. Nonetheless, this week sealed the deal with its ability to mix emotions without leaving the audience exhausted. Can Saturday come already?
Little Witch Academia
I thought of putting this episode under Very Good but the anticlimactic resolution left me sour in the end. Well, to the show’s credit – it finally managed to inject some sense of danger in Luna Nova when the Sorcerer’s Stone was stolen. I know I am not alone that hoped it would pull a Harry Potter in this one, and it did for most of its run.
Akko’s group dodging dragons was probably the most visually enjoyable Little Witch Academia scene so far. Until the time it was revealed the dragon isn’t necessarily an evil, the show flirted with darkness and gave itself some depth. I was kind of curious about what would happen to the witches when they were caught by the dragon. I wish I didn’t hope that much.
Well, Dianna is a good character but her timing in this episode was so cheesy I rolled my eyes in frustration. I still love her though.
Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen
On the other hand, we got this faithfully adapted sequel that moves at a snail’s pace. Sure – it is nice we see things animated panel per panel but damn, this way of presentation sucks the life out of Ao no Exorcist’s energetic flair.
So for this episode? Uhh… yeah, Yukio read the letter and we were shown some flashbacks that I honestly think were horribly misplaced. The grand revelation just happened in episode 5, then we spent three fourths of the time trying to give a damn about the Koma Sword and Tatsuma’s past. Ugh. Much to Rin’s premonition, Tatsuma is dead and we are sure to witness some teen angst later on.
To be fair, Myoda’s secret was really grim but don’t you think it was revealed too early in this show? The remaining parts are mildly entertaining – only that the action was shortened to give way for that freaking flashback. I am also getting tired of anticlimactic resolutions at this point. Come on, I want some fireworks in this show!
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
Unfortunately, this episode is below passable, which is the worst thing I can say about this show as a whole. The dungeon jokes were fun at first but died later as they dragged on for so long. Darkness is just not a good comedic partner for Kazuma and damn, it feels like a chore to watch this episode. Beyond that, I think we have now seen Kazuma’s relatively slow response in crisis management whenever his scum set of friends are involved.
Another thing I found irritating with this one is the mishmash of moods that did not gel together. It felt way too rushed, as poignant moments were jarringly inserted right after a good comedic gag. The last minute of this episode was also… uhh… confusing in a way I cannot seem to care nor emotionally invest myself with Kazuma’s freedom with debt and death penalty. I was honestly disappointed.
ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
So color me disappointed with this episode. The last week’s foiled coup d’état offered something that might be a catalyst to move this show in the right direction. Unfortunately, it went back to its dialogue-heavy side and its uncertain payoff. I understand if the show wants to take its time then surprise us when shit hits the fan, but I do not think the Prince’s interest with Jean’s sister has something deeper to it. Ugh.
Another thing that made me sizzle big time was when Jean finally found out what Nino’s real job. Damn, am I the only one who expected a confrontation or something? That was surely anticlimactic. At this point, I want more than just vague exposition on the districts Jean goes to as an ACCA man. The cigarettes given to him might be pivotal to the plot as well as his social standing but I just cannot seem to care at this point.
On a more amusing note, ACCA may be boring and all but the show knows how to present food. And a lot of it, at that. I guess I am only watching this show for the cuisine.
Wait – the series finally gave us some convincing conflict and damn! Look how boringly that was handled. It was honestly the best Fuuka episode to date, but damn, the show forgot to do something that would make us root for the doomed childhood friend or for the milquetoast harem lead. The band is up for their first public performance and… they just kind of got good because reasons. Blah.
In theory, this week’s Fuuka is loaded with tasteful drama now that our lead is dragged in the messy life of an idol. However – the show sucked the life out of this. And I ended up looking somewhere else fifty percent of the time.
To this episode’s credit, it managed to evoke some mildly disturbing emotions because of the mob fans who are threatening Yu’s safety. I am a sucker for social media in anime and I think Fuuka used the right medium by presenting the conflict in Twitter.
Seriously, if you are still sticking with Fuuka at this point, please do yourself a favor and watch Kuzu no Honkai instead. That’s one of the better high school series in years all thanks to its ballsy attempts at showing how low humans can get.