Nurarihyon no Mago – 30
Talk about a massive improvement here. There are the types of stories that should be slow-paced. Nurarihyon no Mago is not one of them. Another big disadvantage of the first season is how little time it spent on backgrounds, so right now this series is really catching up on that, with half of the second season consisting out of background and all. Junji Nishimura really did not fit this series: he should be busy with original stories. That’s where he really shines at. The snappy direction here is much better, especially in this episode. The art also looks much crisper. This could very well be the only actually good thing of Studio Deen this year.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Steins;Gate – 01
After many people recommended it, I re-watched the first episode of Steins;Gate and holy crap What the hell!? If you haven’t re-watched that episode by now: go and re-watch it. Don’t read the rest of this paragraph of analysis and just watch it. This episode did the opposite of what I expected and actually asked more questions than it answered. The big one is the message that Okarin sent to Daru: how the heck did that happen? How the heck did Okarin send a D-Mail when it hadn’t been invented yet? It’s going to be the key to save Mayuri, though: if Okarin never sent the message back to Daru, Daru would never have been able to warn Okarin, and CERN would never have been able to track them down. And holy crap, this show will also turn into a quest to save Makise Kurisu. I totally forgot that some version of Okarin actually tried to warn Makise Kurisu. Now… has the future Okarin created a freaking time-loop for himself? This plot just got even more amazing than it already has.
Rating: *** (Awesome)
Sket Dance – 17
This arc was really strange. I really got the impression that it didn’t know what it wanted to do here: there was this huge build-up with the members of the Sket-Dan joining all different bands and having practicing for an upcoming school concert championship… and here this episode comes and throws in a bunch of illnesses and broken arms causing these bands to disband (no pun intended) immediately. It then turns into some moral life-lesson for a violinist as the three members just do the predictable and form a band themselves. I was really looking forward to see all of the different bands compete with each other, but instead this episode skipped across most of the acts for just a few seconds and the only one that we really got to see was this really cheesy J-Rock song in which Bossun suddenly revealed that he has the singing voice of a J-Pop Idol. This series always did so well in capturing school life, but to me, it felt like it didn’t really do this with the school concert. It all just felt too clean. The song that the Sket Dan performed was just too rehearsed (remember that these guys had very little time to prepare. I don’t care how much you practiced, you’re not going to get THAT good in that little time). It’s a bloody shame, because these school concerts are often very fun to watch. Especially because this one looked to be a REAL concert, unlike those silly unimpressive idol acts.
Usagi Drop – 04
Do note that I’m not guaranteeing to blog every series every single week in this kaleidoscope. This time I was merely late with checking out Usagi Drop’s episode, but there may be weeks where I just don’t have any inspiration about the latest episode. In any case, I like how the children in this series really sound like young children, rather than voice actresses trying to act really high-pitched. I also like that this episode introduced yet another single parent, with whom Daikichi can relate with. He’s by no means a perfect parent, but the tension between him and Rin is quite interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)