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Power Rank – February 15th – March 7th March 30, 2015

Posted by navycherub in Anime, Power Rank.
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death parade 1 https://i2.wp.com/www.deathparade.jp/images/top/floor-main_tit_01.png
blackpack kid The best thing about Death Parade is that it knows how, and when, to pull its punches.  Every moment seems perfectly planned throughout.  What also has me surprised, is just how much world-building they’ve been able to pull off in such a small amount of time.  We are given fully-fleshed out characters that don’t feel shoe-horned in to explain the workings of the afterlife, but instead give a natural vibe that from each one’s specific corner of this world that they occupy, they have very different stories and viewpoints to tell.  This comes across clearly in episode 7.  We’re not given a game, but instead a look into the bigger pieces in play for what I’m sure will be part of a much larger plot at hand.  It also works excellently as a precursor to the two-parter that immediately followed.  It felt like everything Death Parade has been leading up to.  All the pieces came together for one of the most well-rounded stories yet.  Watching the girl react to everything unfolding and then throw herself into the game was satisfying because it’s something I think the show has known we’ve wanted to see for a long time.  The story between the two players was absolutely enthralling.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a game lasting two episodes but I ate my words as soon as the second episode began.  As everything culminated to the final confrontation. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire heart-wrenching scene, and it says a lot about the writers that they can make us care so much about characters that only show up for such a short amount of time.  Watching Decim react during the ending was amazing as well and really has me excited for what the show has next.  The scene that occurred right at the end of the episode  as the credits began to roll cemented just how much this show deserved the top rank this PR.  It’s an amazing study of humanity through just small games.  I sound like a broken record saying that I can’t wait for the next episodes, but after a two-parter like this, can you blame me?
culley711 Well that just happened. Decim got called out! Is he gonna have to smack a ho? I can’t wait! This round of Death Parade took emotional to a new level and made me question all of Decim’s past arbitrations. How much more will we get to see behind the curtain? I realize this isn’t much but that’s because I don’t feel the need to reiterate how amazing the framing, actions, or plot are. Basically flawless as always. BDs when?
hamdog92 Death Parade continues to impress the hell out of me. The episodes covered by our PRs in this round expand the scope of lore a great deal. The two parter is perhaps the best the series has reached yet. It directly challenges Decim’s viewpoint thus far and ends on such an incredible scene. It may be one of the best use of an ED in an anime I have ever seen. One aspect I want to say about the anime is that does a very excellent job of juggling its large cast of characters. Despite it only being one cour, I still feel that the other characters are getting a fair amount of screen time and development. Even when they’re often overshadowed by the revolving door cast of the recently departed.
navycherub Yep, Death Parade can do no wrong.  This joins Maria the Virgin Witch in “most misleading titles of the season”.  I don’t think they could have framed the cruelty of the arbiter process more cruelly than this –  Decim is right to be extremely unnerved that his most direct parallel introduced thus far is literally an unfeeling psychopath searching for a twisted “justice”.  Despite this, we still feel sympathy for Decim, because his desire to understand people is still pure, his intentions still good.  Nona wants the status quo to change, but it seems she has a long way to go before that actually happens.
shirobako 2 Logo_Shirobako (1)
blackpack kid Shirobako does it again. Some really grade-A episodes prove that this show always has something up its sleeve. There is always something in each episode that will appeal to just about anybody. There are multiple levels of enjoying the show and Shirobako pulls off the balance superbly. So much happened in the first episode of this PR I had to go back and rewatch it to make sure that I wasn’t crazy. Aoi’s stress feels palpable and they’ve done a very good job portraying that. The execution in how they portray her problems makes you really feel involved, and seeing as I’ve complained a few times with how they’ve portrayed people and their problems in this show, I feel they’ve improved markedly. These scenes were good but they really hit a home run once Marukawa explains how production went during Andes Chucky and showcased the many similarities between the past and present. Using the anime they created to portray the tough conditions was splendid and just another example of how much this show cares about really giving the viewer a performance to the best of their abilities. As the episode is coming to a close they really send it home with Ookura’s scene where he is hard at work, while surrounded by famous backgrounds the real Ogura Hiromusa(whom Ookura is based off of) has worked on for movies such as Ghost In The Shell and Jin-Roh to name a few. For anyone who doesn’t get that, the scene is still heartwarming and a great interaction sequence between him and Aoi, but for someone who caught on it felt like Christmas in July. The next two episodes really build up and give a lot of backstory and development to Hiraoka, Midori, and Misa which is a real treat. Given that the episodes also delve into why they got into anime and what it means to them deep down really gives you a feel for why they act, or act out, the way they do. Hiraoka’s inability to fully communicate was just one of the many amazing parts and how they go about handling him and how the others view him is a sight to see. The scenes he’s in feel tense and that is sometimes easier said than done, but they pull it off here. There are some other great scenes like getting facial features down by riding roller coasters and visiting previous studios that didn’t hire Aoi really lead into building these characters into stronger people than they were before and it’s great to see how they improve. Much like last time I praised their scenes of Third Aerial Girls Squad and this time was no different. I actually found myself moved during some of the sequences and caring about a show that is not even real. We feel like we’ve been there since this anime’s creation so seeing excerpts from it is a lot like watching the characters grow up and improve as well. I cannot wait for the next couple of episodes.
culley711 Anime is hard but it was even harder thirty years ago. Shirobako broke the fifth wall in an amazing way and I just want to give a shout out to the hard work people of the past did to advance anime technology to where we are today. This round of Shirobako was amazing. The ride isn’t easy but it’s going; and the director even finished the storyboards! I really enjoy how strong the characters are becoming. Aoi is filling in her predecessor’s shoes more each episode. Her actions aren’t always the right ones but she’s determined and more authoritative than she used to be. The way she’s handling an apathetic subordinate is interesting because the Japanese work place values commitment to a company, and he seems to have no respect for her or his job.
hamdog92 Getting used to an anime’s presence in your life can really blow sometimes. Shirobako is nearing its conclusion and I really don’t want it to. The cast that surrounds itself around Miyamori are diverse as hell and their struggles and conflicts really fit the structure of a two cour show; a feat that would be impossible if it was only one cour unlike Death Parade. Learning that this anime was originally intended to be four cours only makes me depressed. Beautiful, confident, and classy; this is something P.A. Works should be proud of.
navycherub I really love how Shirobako is able to point out and appreciate the work of people from decades past, while also acknowledging how that inspires people to make not only more, but better material. It might not always happen – not everyone is ecstatic about having to work on a show like Third Aerial Girls Squad – but when given the right atmosphere, the spirit is retained all the same. Whether it is making sure a cut of eating a sour plum looks just right or finding the inspiration to draw emotive clouds, art can manifest itself in surprising but endearing ways.
kimiuso_3 Wiki-wordmark
blackpack kid These episodes were a total blast and once again knew how to nail each scene. Like I’ve said before, the ability for the show to devote so much time to a performance and for that scene to have so much depth and development through just their music is nothing short of stunning. And seeing a piano duet was breathtaking. We were treated to and entirely new form of character interactions. As she pushes herself harder to match and complement his style of playing, you really get a feel for just how far she has come and the hurdles she jumped over to get where she is now. Another part of KimiUso that is always great is the characters reactions after they got off the stage. It’s all the pent up feelings they couldn’t let out while up there put on blast. The interactions with Kousei and Kaori are nothing short of lovely to watch. His plea to perform with her on the roof really shows what this anime is capable of. The colors of the world around them with Kaori’s pale frame in the very middle really makes her stand out just as much as when her colors were so bright the colors around her paled in comparison. It’s a bittersweet beauty. The next episode really hit hard, showing Kaori going through rehab and her speech, brought me to tears. Takeshi’s performance was nothing short of amazing and I only wish they had more time to devote to it. It was great to see the three of them in the hallway before the big show, and felt really natural considering all their histories, and how music has brought them together, despite the fact that they’re all competing. The final episode takes a sharp turn from the performance heavy previous episodes shifting the focus to Tsubaki, and while I originally was against these kinds of episodes, it’s really endearing for the show to still give so much time developing these characters. It really felt worth it during her big moment in the rain and the animation of their bodies and faces for that entire sequence was spectacular. The show’s final scenes this PR are sure to pull at heartstrings and Kousei’s final moment is hard to watch. I’m wary of what comes next, but whatever decision the show makes, I just hope they can pull it off.
culley711 OH NO! Nonono. Feels train express has left the station. I am ready but I’m not ready. I want to know why she is sick. I want to hold her had but those angry nurses just yelled at me! Life is harsh. What new emotions will Arima play with? Or will he just crumple under the weight of these feelings. These ones so familiar to his childhood. However this is a new pain as well because this isn’t the death of a mother who he saw as a protector and a comfort. No, she is not his heart’s home, but rather his sun. She is his hope and happiness, his desire. Will she become a was? A used to be? How can you still desire something you know is gone from this world forever? I’m in this for the hope.
hamdog92 These last episodes have just been relentless. Nagi’s role in bringing Kousei back into form has been very different from what I expected. She’s a nice character, and the pressures brought upon her also reinforce the pressures placed upon all these kids. It’s pretty messed up really. Kousei’s experience with the dying cat can only mean we must endure further suffering before it all ends.
navycherub Revving up, revving up, continuing to rev up. The Kaori material is heartbreaking but has been built up for months now, so I am more impressed by Nagi’s relationship with Kousei. Throughout the story Kousei’s relationships have been one of two very different extremes – being largely controlled, whether by her mother or Kaori, or a far-off ideal that doesn’t actually exist, through the eyes of characters like Takeshi and Emi. Nagi is different; she has an investment in her relationship with Kousei, but it isn’t parasitic or unhealthy at all.  Instead, they help each other grow in their own ways, mostly through their very different places in life, their different levels of experience.  Kousei is a bit jaded, and so is Emi, but not at all for the same reasons.  It is a cute sight to see.
yowapeda 4 granderoad_logo
blackpack kid It’s no holds barred shonen battling now! In comparison to last season, this season has not had much in the way of a breather and this episode is no exception. We get the little moments like flashbacks, but despite being reused content really works to hype you up for the moments the show goes back to the characters to really build them up. You just want to cheer for Onoda and the others just as much as they cheer each other on. Every part of Makishima’s description of Onoda appears as he races up the hill and victoriously catches up to the Manami and Midousuji. His determination to catch up, ability to raise his cadence on a dime, and even when he caught up with them brieflu and flew off course displayed his ability to get right back up when the chips are down. The flashbacks can be a means of filler, but as long as it has a point that is reflected in the following scenes I can be quite fine with them, and Yowamushi Pedal has done an excellent job of reworking flashbacks in a way to further the story or adventure. The end of Manami and Midousuji’s battle is nothing short of exciting. You can’t help but be sucked into the final moments of the race, but the end of that battle immediately throws you into the beginning of an entirely new battlefield. Right before the new fight, we’re given yet another endearing look into how Onoda views his own achievements. He fights for the team and gives his all, but his own inability to notice just how strong he is himself, and having others have to point it out to him always keeps him grounded as a character that you want to root for. Meanwhile they keep every other character interesting enough that you want to see just how far they will push the main characters. The Imaizumi vs Midousuji battle is more than enough as you see Imaizumi quite literally scraping ahead. We get closer and closer to the end and I can’t wait to see how this will all play out.
culley711 Bikes go faster when you scream. I really liked how Sakamichi made it to the front. At that moment he was the best rider of the interhigh! I wonder how far he will go, since the final is a hill finish. I don’t have a lot to say but wow is this ending in a high point.
hamdog92 The duel between Manami and Midousuji was unsurprising but nonetheless enjoyable. I feel for Midousuji but his downfall seems all but inevitable. I think he has transformed himself far too early to make it to the finish line. Imaizumi continues his sudden stride in my mind. I really could not have known that he come into his own as a character so late into the race. I had him pegged as a broody contrast to Onada’s eager and unprofessional attitude towards cycling, I’m glad to see that he’s a bit more than that.
navycherub I feel a little bad for Midousuji. One can argue that his race with Onoda and Manami was stretching the amount of content that Midousuji can hold up through three days worth of race, and I certainly agree, but the more tragic result of that is that I am less sad to see Midousuji fall and more relieved he won’t be in the way any more. At least Midousuji becoming a less interesting aspect of the race has only continued to make Imaizumi a more compelling character overall, something I am still consistently surprised by.
yona 5 logo
blackpack kid Akatsuki no Yona is just flying up the ranks, but these episodes prove why, more than ever, this show deserves to be on the top ten. Yona is given a test to prove herself to join the ranks of Captain Gigan’s pirate crew, and this marks a big moment in the series because this is finally Yona fighting for herself. Each time the others have been there, and to be fair she had someone watching her while she went into this, but it was her first solo adventure in its entirety. She’s been able to rally the troops and that has been all well and good, but proving why she can do so much more is what really sold me. In fact, that was the theme of these three episodes. It really knocks it out of the park as she fights through shaking legs and tears because that shows me a character that knows where there limits are and how they are actively trying to push through those limits. A character scared of what’s to come but steps forward anyways is in every way what makes a strong character. And that’s just the beginning. As the episodes progress, she devises a plan to fight the kidnapping ring devastating the town and enlists herself to be the bait. She’s come a long way from her early episode self and it’s captivating to watch. Her team of dragons don’t ever feel one note either as each is given an appropriate amount of screentime to voice their own feelings on each subject at hand, and that’s not something I see too often from comparable shows, but that’s a testament to how good this show has gotten. The Captain and Yona’s talk the night before the plan is set into action, is really a sight to see and gives each character development, with Yona receiving some that she would not particularly get from interacting with her dragons. That goes for when the dragons interact with each other as well, like Hak and Yun’s talk the next day as he laments the easiness of his life up to this point. As the final episode plays out her interactions with the bandits blew me away and the literal fire in her eyes when the big bad was holding her by her hair. From there on out, the characters only further how this show is strong off of their adventures and choices. There is a lot going for this show and I can’t wait to see how this arc turns out. After she lit the fire and completed is so gratifying you can’t wait to see what happens next. I can’t wait to see what this show will do.
culley711 AH! WOW! FEELINGS! Yona is on a train to the top! The cast is perfectly sized now, with rivalries and secrets. Yona has won over Green with her actions and apparently us as well. Since the beginning I enjoyed this show as a steady story of adventure. Initially I was frustrated at the pacing and thinking Yona will never confront the new King, but now I don’t care and the pacing has paid off many times over. The depth of relationships they party has built would have seemed superficial if we had rushed to gain all four dragons. Now I’m not even worried about dragons, I’m worried about saving this town from corrupt officials and slavery. The finale will be so satisfying and I think I’ll be okay watching the group walk into the sunset.
hamdog92 Oh dear. I guess I have to say something bad about Yona now. However, first I want to compliment it for the current pirate arc. It is the best the series has been. I would say it’s really going places but the sudden revelation that this is in fact only two cours is quite tragic. The relaxed pace in Yona’s quest for the dragonss had me convinced this would go on for at least another cour like the first season of Yowapeda. I’m doubtful at this point if they’ll even pick up the last dragon before the season even ends now. As for my problems with the anime, my reasoning for them seems more and more hollow with each PR. I will say that its first cour was exceedingly slow, the art style is fairly bland, and I still find the overuse of chibi to really annoy me. At the end of the day I think it’s just that it doesn’t appeal to me as it does for the others. I sometimes feel like I’m actually the one Yona is pointing her bow at the end of the OP, begging her to forgive me for doubting her so much, I’m fairly sure I’m only going to get that arrow though.
navycherub We can talk and talk all day about how Yona has grown so much since the beginning of her show, but this arc really highlights it so that we can finally point to something and say “this – this is what I mean, this is what I wanted”. Of course, it is a bit sad that this occurs as the show wraps up, but I am satisfied nonetheless. Of course, we can also talk about the characters who surround Yona; in any other fantasy reverse harem adventure show (do we need more genre labels?), the narrative could get away with a flat cast, relying entirely on their archetypes to carry tried-and-true scenarios to some foregone conclusion. Akatsuki no Yona is too good for that though. Every character, even ones such as the captain who are unique to their arcs, have a proper amount of characterization that allows them to stand out as unique and also bounce off of other characters with grace. Still might not be your bag if you aren’t interested in this kind of show, but it will impress anyone with even a little interest.
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blackpack kid There’s always a lot going on in Yurikuma Arashi that I find difficult to explain. That is to say the show has opened up and given us a bigger and better look at the world they inhabit and just how all the pieces are starting to fit together. The characters are really continuing to come into their own. The first half deals with Kureha’s memories returning and it’s a pleasant sight to see much of what Ginko has been working for to finally start to take an effect. It’s a complete 180 from what we were given in the beginning of this show and the audience, or at least I, feel completely sympathetic towards the two main bears. The balancing act of showing the present and their adapting to new circumstances, and their past and how it has molded them into who they are now, even if in Kureha’s position where she remembers very little, is just excellent in that it gives an equal presentation to each of the main characters. The second episode blows everything out of the water with its many twists and turns and how it has shaped the entire focus of the series. The antagonists decisions are interesting and portray a very interesting way of looking at how the choices in this show are made. The series really takes a turn as a character betrays one of the largest pillars of this show, love. The following sequences are increasingly tragic and only serve to excite those watching to see what will happen next. Despite everything that the show has had going for it, I’ve never felt much in the way of tension when it came to its intense sequences. However this all changed as we witness Reia’s final moments. The change in how the court decisions go and the final scene on the roof have me very excited for what is coming next in the show. My only complaint was that the thunder kept me from the final conversation, but I’m sure I’ll get an answer to that next time.
culley711 Metaphors and shit! Woo! I like where this is going and the girls never catch a break. Everyone is a damn bear and there’s lies and deceit! Everyone is full of sin so who should MC girl pick? I wait with bated breath.
hamdog92 I haven’t really spoken about the characters much in this anime. I want to fix that in this round because Ginko has really gone from annoying antagonist to best girl in my mind. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a character route like this and I always enjoy them. I almost believe that this anime’s ambitions alone allow it to be in our top ten. It doesn’t need that really; its art style and direction are more than enough.
https://wideface.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/10.png?w=54&h=19navycherub I like everything about this show except for the characters. They are, ironically, more like tools and symbols than any of the tools and symbols used in the rest of the show. This is all, of course, in order to push forward the greater narrative that Yuri Kuma Arashi has in mind, which is entertaining and compelling in its own right; I am just not emotionally connecting with the show how I would like to, which is disappointing.
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blackpack kid It’s great to see Leon and Alfonso working together again. It’s great to see them both more confident and competent in their positions than they have been in previous episodes. However, the first part of these episodes is Ema-centric and it’s great to watch. The battles have always been great to watch, whether it was 2D or 3D, and this one, despite how short it was, was just as interesting. We haven’t had a good look into Ema’s full story between her and Luciano so these episodes are a treat to watch. By the end we are left with a satisfying story on her end, some great fight scene choreography with her fight in the sky and an unexpected ending to the show that leaves it feeling a bit more adult than I had previously believed it to be. The next episode dealt with problems from within the castle walls and while the audience is privy to much of the information very early on, watching how Alfonso and Leon follow the trail is still quite interesting. Much of it feels like the old murder mystery stories I watched as a kid, and although I’m sure that wasn’t their intention, it still gave off that feeling. You have a sensation that you know what is coming up next, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, so you can only sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s exciting to watch as they get so far and then the audience is treated to how far the villains will go to protect themselves. It really gives you the feeling of, good or evil, survival is what really matters and when backed into a corner, people can be capable of anything. As the final episode strays from this to show just how far Leon has come since his banishment and re-admittance into the world of the Makai Knights. The fight between the two and subsequent flashback showing their relationship through the years was touching and felt just right for this battle in particular. Leon taking his father’s words to heart and working so hard to protect everyone felt like exactly everything German has been working towards. Even if things ended up with them on opposing sides you can get the feeling that he is proud of what his son has become. As the episode ends with a bigger bad than we’ve seen before, I look forward to what the next episodes have in store.
culley711 Mendooza is on the rise and “shitlord dad” is on his side? Well things aren’t going so well in Leon’s world and sadly it seems the city/country/whatever is doomed. Leon fought his dad and we got some great flashbacks of tender moments of Leon as a young child or preteen. I enjoyed that and the fight was well done but I don’t like the path the show is going down. Mendooza has the backing of the Watchtower and Makai Knights for stupid reasons. There is a pretty well-known thought experiment presented in the show. Kill ten people by doing nothing or pull a lever and kill one person. I’m shocked their logic is so basic but it is how this show is going. Let’s see how badly it pans out. As an aside at least Leon can die happy knowing he got some with a used old lady (jk that milf is pretty appealing).
hamdog92 Mendoza’s return has been pretty weird I think. It isn’t surprising at all but how it’s been thus far implemented seems a bit off to me. The episode involving his agent/apprentice is probably the best one out of this round of episodes. Her ruthlessness is certainly not in doubt that is for sure. Endgame is approaching it looks to be one hell of one.
navycherub Positives: Ema is great. She and Leon have come from pretty rough backgrounds, which leads into the other great stuff Garo did this time around: Leon’s edgy outlook on life has been justified about as well as it possibly could. Anyone would end up like this when they essentially have to raise themselves in a medieval fantasy world. Negatives: Why does it have to be Mendoza again? He wasn’t even interesting the first time. Also, after a really good run of avoiding this, the plot now seems to be heavily leaning on lore that seems to be assumed knowledge from the live action series. Wish we could have avoided it entirely, but at least it doesn’t seem to be making things completely impossible to comprehend. 
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https://wideface.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/10.png?w=54&h=19blackpack kidWhat really surprised me about Cinderella Girls is its ability to be directed with such finesse at times. The quick transition scenes between the Producer and Mio showing them in similar positions of helplessness and self-imposed isolation was stunning to watch. As that scene ends we’re immediately shown the breaking of glass as one of the girls steps on it, in a sense showing the crushing of the basic Cinderella dream by destroying the glass slipper used to bring her into the world of the upper class and the famous. This, building along with the music creates a really amazing sequence of events that really sells the show whether you like idol shows or not. In another light, this show has been great at slowly humanizing the Producer. As the character was somewhat of a joke in the previous series, or at the least a positive character that was slightly comical, this new one has his demons and it’s interesting to see the series to focus on his problems in a sense. A departure from the pure happy-go-lucky setting of the first idolm@ster, Cinderella Girls is plagued(in a good way) with gray skies and constant rainy and stormy weather. It’s great to watch as the other girls try to step up to the plate to combat the enveloping woes. Each girl has her own perspective of the show and it’s inspiring to listen to each one. As he shows Mio what he believes is the start of something great, revitalizing the troops and getting everyone together, there is a great scene that ends the episode. The clock is shown throughout the episode as stopped, unable to move forward, a metaphor for the progress of the new idols and the team as a whole, but as the episode closes in full color, the clock is shown ticking with everyone in high spirits. This episode by itself was great. It was a showing of just what the show is capable of. The next episode was quite good as well, as we’re given a look into each of the girls’ lives with their own special items. Along with that, the episode has some light-hearted scenes that are quite funny as Ranko and Producer try to communicate with each other. It’s also great to see the girls interact outside of the studio, like Anya and Ranko as they make their way back to their dorms and attempt to hang out. Outside of these scenes there are some heartwarming scenes as Producer works to be able to figure her out and has his sit-down with her where they finally see eye to eye. It’s great to see sequences like this because they really sell the show. We only got two episodes this time but I’m clamoring for more. Until next time.
culley711 Solid episodes that just weren’t satisfying enough for me. I don’t care about the girls in New Generations. Two of them showed absolute insulting behavior to Producer and the team. I’d fire them. There’s plenty of other girls with the talent and ambition. I had a job where if you miss 3 days of work without calling in they assume you quit and just terminate you. The world is harsh. Those two girls deserve to be let go. Now for the decent episode. Ranko is adorable. I like her style and her personality was more deep and interesting that I initially thought. She’s very withdrawn but by the end of the episode after Producer sees her notebook, she’s very outspoken and endearing. I also like the fact that she’s a gothic Lolita instead of a horror Lolita. It’s a subtle distinction that was actually shown off well in the episode. Ranko is in contention to be the dark flame master of my heart.
 hamdog92 Navycherub and I went through episode 6 without catching the obvious Cinderella reference with the clocks. It was embarrassing to be sure but also just goes to show how fucking based this anime can be when it feels the need to. Love the girls, love the producer, and love the sense of direction. It’s a really great show and I’m very happy it’s getting a split cour..
navycherub Yeah wow. This season, my spot around this rank seems to change a lot, and this time it was iDOLM@STER‘s time to shine with some of the most beautiful, understated directing I’ve seen all season.  It echoed the feelings from the first couple episodes; the idols feel powerless again, lost in the disillusion of realizing you still have a long way to go, and that is reflected in the visual choices throughout those episodes.  The scenery is large and intimidating, while the girls are small and defenseless; in one episode, no one is allowed to occupy the center of the frame unless they are either deciding to take control (Producer) or they are simply unaware of the situation, which is soon contrasted by the overbearing visuals I mentioned earlier.  Really beautiful, really powerful, I appreciate this show a lot when it tries hard.
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blackpack kid The funny thing about Yatterman Night is just how sweet it constantly is. Despite the constant danger the main characters find themselves in, and even with many of the places they visit being unfairly ruled over by the Yatterman, their spirits remain high. Even as Voltatze and Elephantus try to convince Leopard that they might be outmatched, there is always something that brings them right around the bend to push them to keep fighting the good fight. It seems that the show especially pays attention to the dreams of all the people whom they meet. Whether they succeed or fail, what pushes them is to fight for the the oppressed and downtrodden, is their dreams of freedom or better living. The old man who saves Leopard, and Galina’s impending execution all push the team to do their best to push through whatever trouble stands in their way. Most episodes follow this formula and while it makes it harder to write something new about what I’ve experienced, the experience is still the same in that I feel calm and warm after each episode. The final episode, however, threw us a curve ball by showing us some of the secrets this show has had up its sleeve for a while considering Goro and who, exactly, he might actually be. While the scene is played off for laughs there is a really interesting side-story going on with his character and Galina and Alloutette. I’m very intrigued as to where they will go next and hope this show knows how to keep us entertained, and guessing.
culley711 I don’t like Yatterman at its best and honestly this was its best. I liked the feel good emotions inbetween the trio and finally the trio got split up. I don’t like how the action is getting very tacked on to the end like it’s required. In the episode where the lochness monster is trapped, that part of the story wasn’t even brought in until the middle of the episode. I think the focus on characters was great but then they were forced back onto a plot rail to defeat the evil general guy. Whatever. It’s a show.
hamdog92 Episode 8 was such a simple lost dog episode and yet it fucking pulled my heartstrings like you couldn’t even imagine. This anime has managed to do it so many times its incredible.
navycherub Yatterman spent a lot of time meandering. There is something to be said for touching upon your roots, but I feel like Yatterman Night was already doing that in earlier episodes while still managing to stand out and be something much more special and insightful. I enjoyed some of these stories, sure, but I was certainly not particularly impressed by them like I have been before.
log horizon 10 log+horizon+logo
blackpack kid We’re really getting into it now. The show has been steadily building upon everything they only talked about earlier in the series. As Nyanta fights Londark he laments over what has been a common theme through this season, and that’s players that legitimately feel trapped in the game, and have yet to fully accept this world and everything around them. There is a battle of ideals as they fight over what the world seems to constantly choose for them, whether it be in reality, or the game. It’s great getting a chance to see Nyanta go one-on-one in battle, and also just in debate, against these antagonists. I also find it interesting that after this fight with characters feeling so distressed by being trapped in the game, the first character they return to in the show is Tohya, who was fighting the soldiers who felt equally trapped. It’s short but it’s a nice attention to detail. As the characters save the town, a great scene appears through Rudy trying to talk them into leaving, instead of staying behind to help clean up, and it says a lot for how he’s grown through the series and can see from both points of views. It’s a nice layer of depth we don’t get because the other characters are so heavily rooted in their pasts from the real world. This all comes to a great end as Isuzu sees a couple of children singing her song, effectively proving that she can change the world, and that is honestly one of my favorite parts of Log Horizon. The ability for the characters to change this world already created with its own set of rules is what sets Log Horizon apart from similar shows. While other shows are confined to the rules, Log Horizon is not afraid to break them. The last episode having Shiroe’s backup character as a character in the game communicating with him opens the upcoming episodes up for all sorts of changes, and with an all-out war looming and a plan involving making their way to the moon, I am quite hyped for what Log Horizon has in store for us in the coming weeks.
culley711 How did this get top 10? Wow! I’m amazed. Three of the worst Log Horizon episodes in a show I actually enjoy. Let’s take this step by step because a summary is an injustice to this bad arc. Episode 20 was a train wreck, literally, figuratively, metaphorically, and whatever other adverbs I’m bad at thinking of. We’re in a brand new city just for the sake of it getting destroyed by the wyverns. Then suddenly we have Nyanta having a train fight for no obvious reason. He’s fighting … WOAH! It’s that one evil underling from that fight in Susukino to save Serararara. Also there’s some pretty strong women of the land in command of the train. Of course it should be because it wouldn’t make sense for the creator to make the cast any larger … oh wait it has been getting larger. Very frequently! Episode 21 was even worse. Start with newbie party that I honestly gave a fuck about initially in Akiba, but surprise that once they’re on their own, the crew devolves into basic childish emotions. We get some bullshit lore about how there’s only 41 songs or whatever and the bard gets her emo moment. Sure, I’m fine with this in ANY other time but stacking this drama into an already messed up wyvern raid is nearly infurating. Samurai-boy is off getting beat up by zombie players because … reasons. He’s trying to get them to stop saving the town? IDK, he’s obviously an idiot. Meanwhile the other newbies are sucking ass at helping anyone and depends on Roe 2 to save anyone, including themselves. Finally, emo kid saves the day by crying so hard she suddenly gets a MASSIVE area of affect and everyone feels healed by the rain and deals massive damage. Seriously. So that drove off the wyverns right? WRONG! It only stopped because the woman who told her evil army to attack the city called it off because while she was in the newbie party as a mole (because she was fucking bored on the train) saw the newbies had promise (REALLY? I don’t think so.) So now the newbie crew can go home because apparently what they needed for their quest to make bags of holding was god damn wyvern drops or whatever. Insert feel good times where children of the land are singing and humming the bard’s new song (i.e. the original ending theme of season 1). Episode 22 and we’re finally back in Akiba. Now this show will get a bunch better right? WRONG! It’s time to explain all the stupid stuff that’s been happening on the side in the past episodes I haven’t mentioned. There’s new shit going down and it makes a bunch of sense. Apparently Roe 2 isn’t another players, but one of Shiroe’s second accounts that was on the test server on the fucking moon! Now I see the name thing wasn’t so subtle. But now the shell is walking around with a soul and weird stuff is going on. There’s good shells (navigators) and bad shells (geniuses) and now we’re in even more shit. Basically that’s all the core content of episode 22. Just introducing an idea that may become interesting but as of now I’m unimpressed and just screaming “WHYYYYY!?” I realize this is pretty harsh but I think this arc just broke me.
https://wideface.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/10.png?w=54&h=19hamdog92 This last arc of LogH has finally brought the anime back into the top ten. It has finally given a new focus for group to accomplish, if only it had been revealed by the mid-season. I’m looking forward to the last few episodes.
navycherub Log Horizon puts all of its themes into one huge, powerful set of episodes that says everything it ever wanted to before and more. Nyanta’s conversation with Londark puts the ribbon on the package that the children characters have been filling since this arc started; until now, we have had very little reason to consider the idea that one day the adventurers might want to leave the world, but we also haven’t seen as much of the negative ways staying in this new world might affect people.  Using gaming as a way to combat feelings of powerlessness has been touched upon before, of course – Shiroe found meaning in how people relied on him in Elder Tale, and William Massachusetts gave an episode-long case, flawed as it may be, for how games empower people who feel slighted by their circumstances in the real world.  Londark is similar to William in this way, but he feels slighted by this new world, a world he did not choose to inhabit and whose rules seem undefined or perhaps even nonexistant.  Nyanta understands this feeling, but is also insightful enough to see that this is not actually very different from being born in the “real world”.  None of us choose to be born, after all, and real life comes with no manual to make things easier, either.  Still, it is frustrating, and having that past brings with it nostalgia and a wish for things to be like they used to be, which is why the suicidal knights are sympathetic even if their methods seem mad.  This is where the weird, foreign, fantasy setting of Log Horizon makes parallels to real life, reaching thematic highs Log Horizon has hinted at but never truly managed to express before.  We may not live in a video game, but our situation as living, breathing people is not all that different from that of the adventurers stuck in Elder Tale.  We all know Londarks, Williams, Shiroes, Rudys, Isuzus – people born into a world of hardship with little to guide them, finding different ways to cope with existence and find a role, meaning, and acceptance in life.  It turns out, of course, that the healthy, constructive thing to do is to protect what we have now while also working ever forward toward a brighter future, which is really what our beloved cast has been doing from Shiroe creating the Round Table to improve Akiba to Isuzu deciding she can find personal happiness in self-improvement.  I am quite impressed by how well Log Horizon has been able to find a way to say this in the context of what began as a simple quest for a magic bag.  Great stuff.
Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu 10(-1) 10 14 7 3 16
Junketsu no Maria 11(-1) 11 11 13 12 9
15(+2) 7 13 10 14 14
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 13(-1) 13 12 15 15 11
Rolling Girls 14(-1) 14 15 8 16 15
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! 16 16 16 16 13 13
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata 17 17 17 9 17 17


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