Posted by SuperWooper on 5 November 2019 with categories: Weekly Summary

Wooper: The gang’s all here this week. Mario has returned from Isekai Hell with a couple impressions of shows he’s still watching, and our resident shounen expert Amun has an update on an overlooked sequel from this season, plus some thoughts on NGL. Lenlo and I are up to our usual tricks, as well. We’ll be publishing our second ever State of the Season column in a couple weeks’ time, so this post should provide some big hints as to what we’ll be highlighting in mid-November. Until then, thanks for reading!

Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo 4-5

Mario: I’m still on the fence with this one. Episode 4 was its weakest week so far, mostly because it plays exactly like what we expect. While the show so far still offers some minor tweaks to its genre here and there (as bold as pointing out stuff like: I’m like a protagonist of a romcom), the very fact that it’s there to poke fun makes the characters inconsistent for me. The library girl suffers from this the most as for the last two episodes she doesn’t drive the story at all, instead she’s just there, and our Main-kun switches between being an asshole and still acting genuinely nice to his friends. More additions to the cast are welcomed but when they’re there for the sole purpose of interacting with Main-kun, they better be unpredictable.

 

Radiant S2 5

Amun: Surprise sequel: we’re checking back in on our boy Seth and his search for Radiant. Despite the new city, Radiant still keeps things in check and the plot tidy so far. This latest episode also had one of the best confrontation scenes I’ve seen in a while – if you watched the first season and are on the fence about this one: Seth getting schooled by Mellie is definitely worth these 5 episodes so far. We have really only one new character introduced, and that’s more than fair given the number of ones we’ve left behind. So far, aside from past emotional trauma and abandonment issues, Seth’s interactions with the Magical Knights have kept the show from getting too heavy. We’re getting towards revealing some mysteries, so Radiant has me still hooked.

Kabukichou Sherlock 4

Wooper: I complained last week about the static nature of the previous episode – the detective work on display didn’t involve much foot traffic, and the show felt light on both scenery and character as a result. Ironically, this week’s mystery is solved in a single location, but it was twice as interesting due to the uncommon setting and the strangeness of the case. Gathering facts and making deductions in a public bath is exactly the sort of peculiar story that I want from this series, and when you factor in masked bandmates and a naked rakugo performance (interrupted midway through, to Sherlock’s chagrin), you’ve got a great time on your hands. It’s the show’s weirdness that draws me to it, even as it seems to be keeping everyone else away, but there was some nice character work here, as well. Moriarty’s friendship with Sherlock is given an ordinary spin, though the detective seems an unwilling participant, hinting at a deeper history between them. It’s Watson who really finds his stride, however, as a bumbling tagalong with little common sense. His cluelessness at the bath, as well as his emotional investment in the case of the dead band member, gave him a clear voice that’s been lacking in previous episodes. All we’re missing now is a chance for some of the other row house detectives to shine.

 

Mugen no Juunin: Immortal 5

Lenlo: It’s sad to say, but Immortal really missed the mark with me this week. And considering “Immortality and its effects on the psyche” is one of my favorite themes, that’s saying something. Everything about this episode just feels rushed and incomplete. Like we are missing a load of information. For instance the characters talk about bloodworms as if they are common knowledge, but Immortal hasn’t really touched on them much until now. We don’t know most of Manji’s history and such with them. Meanwhile, Eiku could have used more time in the oven. He’s like a beautiful steak, that was just undercooked. Really skipping over his real reason for accepting death, that being he had lived his whole 200 years serving under someone else and was even going to serve under Manji. He had immortality and lived his life as an underling, a “worm”. But Immortal really skips over those sort of details and it’s a shame.

 

No Guns Life 4

Amun: NGL is quietly turning in a steady stream of solid episodes – if they keep it up, this is my AoTS easily. Is this episode perfect? Of course not. I think the main henchman of the moment is a bit overdone in villainy and underdone in design. But where this show is shining is in pacing – I would say the story progresses at exactly the right speed. 1.5 episodes is PERFECT for this remote control Juzo sequence. We’re getting nice world building, nice showing-not-telling of the politics and relationships, and a gentle stream of character introductions. The other thing NGL is getting right is what I would call “fog of war” – basically unpredictable, volatile situations, especially from unreliable allies. Save the kid with remote control powers and have him hidden in a perfect spot? Of course the kid gets antsy and remote controls you! That might not make for neat story telling, but if this was reality – that’s exactly how it would go. NGL so far is imperfect, gritty, and a darn good time.

 

Babylon 4-5

Mario: Okay, Babylon goes full political and philosophical bullshit now, which makes it more intriguing to my eyes. At its best, Babylon still offers some interesting food for thought, like the police can’t find any legal ground to arrest the main villain who legalizes “the right to die”. The unfortunate part is that the show sacrifices its intriguing themes for bland characters. Our protagonist becomes one-dimensional to the point it’s hard to care for him, and for the love of Crankledaush (it’s not a real word) is it just me who believe that the new woman has something to do with that femme fatale Masake all along. I know that the show still has a lot of twists and turns coming, and hopefully they don’t pull any stupid twist like alien coming from other world to advance humankind I will stop now.

UPDATE: So I just watched Babylon episode 5 minutes ago. Based on the current development I’m guessing the final boss is gonna be Masake Ai and not Itsuki. Her backstory told by her uncle embraces Babylon’s quality neatly: it tells a hilarious stupid story with questionable themes with a straight-face seriousness. It’s entirely up to you if you can buy what they’re selling on her character. Personally, I feel it’s crappy of an uncle (and the boys) to feel aroused by her presence and then proceed to accuse her as “rapist” (yeah, the show goes there), but yeah, thought-provoking themes with dumb implications told by dead serious manner is why I’m still watching it in the first place.

Likewise, I’m not sure if Babylon has the most boundary-pushing about its female characters (they can control men like thumbs) or just plain misogynistic (men’s primal fear of women controlling them). The signs are leaning on the latter now but I still secretly hope that Babylon can prove me wrong.

 

Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 5

Wooper: Picking up after last week’s cliffhanger, Iruma-kun expanded quite a bit on its hierarchical system here. We got some backstory regarding Sabnock’s obsession with becoming the demon king, a montage establishing how students fit into the ranking process, and a ring with a biblical appellation that connects Iruma to the Demon King’s vacant throne. This was a lot to swallow in an episode that also mixed in a lesson on the value of pacifism, plus its usual handful of dialogue and sight-based gags. That “kitchen sink” approach hurt my enjoyment of this one near the very end, but it was mostly a light, fun outing, despite the mythological overtones I just mentioned. Clara continues to be a treasure, whether she’s hitching a ride on a more talented student’s back or good-naturedly tossing pebbles at Iruma and Sabnock for placing last in a race. One thing I’m eager to see is what kind of instruction Iruma gets from Sullivan regarding his new accessory. We don’t need a whole episode on the subject, but a bit of follow-up would be nice.

One Response

  1. Avatar evafan says:

    I’m enjoying these post-initial ep writeups. It’s useful. Good job.

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