With this week, Fire Force returned in an edited form after it’s hiatus last week (I’m not complaining about this before of the massive blow that happened to Kyoto Animation and the anime community as a hole. Maybe they should have waited longer?) and Vinland Saga returning after releasing all three of it’s starting episodes in one week, so much more to talk about in regards to anime this week. Pretty excited about that fact.
Astra Lost in Space Episode 4
I can’t help but shake the feeling that this episode was extremely rushed, but my mind is telling me that it isn’t. I feel like that’s because of the masterful direction that this show generally has. Every character has at least some say into how the plot moves forward, even if they aren’t on screen that much, which makes it feel completely natural. There were a lot of content covered in this episode like how the environment of the planet Shummor is like. The tasty food that tastes like everything, the nice chicken herbivores that allows people to ride on them, and the giant mushroom tours that release spoors that kill whatever life is on the planet to sustain themselves. Oh, that last one is the plot of this episode revolving around finding a cure for all the group members on the ship dying from it. One of those classic sort of science fiction episodes.
And like usual, there was some decent character work that went along with that plot. Yunhua, the girl who is has no confidence in herself because of her upbringing, was the center focus of this episode. We see that she wants to disappear based on how she acts and her appearance and Kanata tries to cheer her up or help her succeed in something. She did find the answer that help save the crew and she did let herself sing, but I can’t help but think how weird it was that Kanata found the mushroom to save everyone instead. That was weird. Oh, the beginning of this episode. It was interesting to see that how thirsty or interested Quitterie is into Zach when he interrupted her shower, but he doesn’t seem as interested. Hmmmm…
Anyway, pretty decent episode. Well thought out, good character stuff, even if it was a bit rushed. Everything was still covered from how the planet’s egosystem works to exploring more of it’s cast. Very well done.
Fruits Basket Episode 17
With this episode, Arisa’s backstory of how she turned from a delinquent to a normal person is completed for now. Man, she has grown so much from just meeting Tohru and her mom, Kyouko. Tohru saving her was wonderful, but Kyouko being a mom and looking after Arisa was absolutely wonderful. Especially when Kyouko was able to save Arisa from the bicycle gang completely beating her up. Arisa’s talk with the would be delinquents really cemented how much she has grown and/or taken in Kyouko’s lessons inside of her. I really do like her a lot. Plus, female biker gangs still sounds so bad ass.
Fire Force Season 3
I know why this show took a break, but it’s so nice to have it back. Especially when it’s establishing evil and villainy things like this one. This is the start of the newbie training arc when Shinra, Arthur, and other characters go through a training mission to save someone in a burning building. Of course, havok happens like Shinra meeting one of the bad guys, getting some necessary intrigue going to propel Fire Force’s plot forward a little more, and world build a little bit. I mean, this is the first time we’ve seen other units though. Each unit working independent from each other certainly makes us look suspiciously at units like the first one. Also, it’s good to see Captain Obi acknowledging Shinra being apart of his unit. Such good boys.
Also, another character was introduced. The female recruit Tamaki who has interesting powers like flames that make her look like a cat. At the same time, her clothing is cut to allow her powers to work in a very fanservicey way and seems to have a chronic condition that constantly puts her awkward and fanservice-like situations. Shinra groping accidentally or Arthur landing on top of her for example. It’s not as annoying as I thought it would be and I’m sure she is a great character too, so not much harm done. Still, I know that Soul Eater is very perverted and had fanservice all over the place too, but the difference is how it’s presented. For example, Blair’s fanservice is self motivated and on purpose while Tamaki’s is forced by the narrative and not. Just a little worried about how annoying her fanservice will affect her characterization and the plot moving forward. Still, good episode like usual. I like how this show is visually directed.
Granbelm Episode 4
This episode is half battle sequence and half scheming. In the first part, Shingetsu’s step sister or adopted sister’s constant attacks were completely interrupted by tons and tons of beams from a hiding Armanox which resulted in each unit just continually dodging or getting cornered before the battle could be finished. Then the second half’s scheming happened as a result of that. Shingetu’s step sister knows where Shingetsu is going to school, Mangetsu’s sister’s friend is the mage that launched all the beams all over the map, and Shingetsu, Mangetsu, and a blind girl whose sister who can’t wake up are forming a plan to defeat the beam spammer.
It was a very fun and educational episode with a lot of good character stuff and intrigue, but I still feel like Mangetsu was an after thought. “Oh btw, we think you might be a new mage.” It’s an interesting concept, but doesn’t diminish her “Mary Sue-ness” that much. I suppose that’s ok. I do like mages forming alliances of conveniences and I like how everything is very character motivated. Even if they are all super simple characters, everyone is established in some way.
O Maidens In Your Savage Season Episode 4
In this episode, all five characters interact with boys and are proposed to in some way. Two caught the attraction of very good boys that either remembered them from childhood a long time ago or were attracted to a girl before their hair style/attraction upgrade. It’s very nice to not meet superficial people sometimes isn’t it? I hope those two accept and the boys don’t turn out to be the worse people ever. At the same time, the girls in question not knowing the difference between lust and love is interesting concept here.
At the same time, there are more awkward things going on. Like our female novelist. Ever since she’s black mailed their advisor to join them, she’s been making more advances on the the young, male teacher in question and has gotten quite a thrill from it. You know, in a lustful way. Also, Sugawara and Kazusa have a little love triangle going on with Izumi as the focus. Interesting. So many complicated things going on there. I do love how realistic everything is here. Another A-Plus episode.
Lord El-Melloi ii Case Files Episode 4
This episode was the first half of a murder mystery centered land ownership around the Codrington mage family. The owner of a massive Mage Workshop called the Marburry Workshop on a broken down leyline, Trevor Codrington, and his assistance have died at the workshop. Willis Codrington, the head of Spiritual Evocation at the mage Tower, asked for Waver’s help. With his adopted sister Reines and Grey, Waver and Willis investigate the manner and hopefully stop the leyline from blowing away people. Something that Reines sees is wrong from her magical eyes hurting her. At the same time, A Codington from the main family whose name is Waletta makes an appearance as well and automatically blames Willis for crimes. After some eery investigation of the maner, Willis shows Waver the fairy that he sees before bad things happen in which Waletta dies.
Man, this episode is just filled to the gills over mage lore just for a simple “who done it” mystery. I suppose that is the problem with fate things. Extraordinarily simple concepts interrupted by mage lore and since this is another addition to this franchise, that’s going to happen. I didn’t even mention the holy grail war lore that was all over this episode in my little synopsis. Still, I can’t help but really love how these characters are explored and explained despite all of that. Waver is still affected by Alexander the Great and wants to see and summon him again. Willis seemed like a nice guy too and I really like how playful Reines is with Waver and her control over him. Plus, the little bit of world building with Reines and Willis meeting in public, but creating an alternate plane to talk with each other in public is incredible. It’s a simple series, as far as fate series go, with great characters.
Demon Slayer Episode 17
This week, Demon Slayer focuses on probably the worst character in it’s show, the dorito boy Zenitsu. It’s a combination of backstory elements of Zenitsu’s training and his current situation of being bitten by spider demon venom and slowing turning into one. So yeah, we see how Zenitsu was always a scared by who people abandoned except for his grandfather who tried his best to teach Zenitsu how to use the thunder technique. (Of which he only learned one out of three breathing techniques). Then there is that how spider demon situation which involves him defeating the spider demons (which are absolutely horrifying) and trying to slow the poison coursing through his body. It’s not a bad episode, but I can’t really say it’s a good one because of who it focuses on. It’s ok I suppose, you know, for a Zenitsu focused one. And I don’t even dislike the guy.
This is the kind of episode that explores why a character like Zenitsu who wants to run away all the time doesn’t work very well. His personality is way too exaggerated and ear grinding for the viewer. I do think that at least understanding where he comes from with this episode helps a bit, but I still don’t think we learned enough about him or why he’s scared. I realize that he’s like Shinji by being forced to do something that he doesn’t want to do, but I can understand Shinji because that attribute affects every part of his life. It doesn’t for Zenitsu, so he’s very inconsistent and yet constantly overbearing. When he sees a female character anywhere, he doesn’t know how to let go or stop asking them to marry him. That’s the problem with this show’s characters. Demon Slayer doesn’t know how to do anything besides make it’s over exaggerated in one direction or another..
Vinland Saga Episode 4
The last three episodes were a great set up for Thorfinn losing his father Thors and here we are at episode 4 with the pay off. After Thors single handedly defeated an entire viking boat by punching it’s inhabitants lights out, including the guy using the berserk mushroom, Thors challenges their attacker’s leader, Askeladd, to a duel. And of course, Askeladd accepts, Thors soundly defeats him to, but Askeladd knows how to not play fair and has one of his men hold Thorfinn hostage. Thus this leads to the complex situation where Thors sacrifices his life so his viking friends can go. There is some passages and lines of “a true warrior doesn’t need to use a sword” and so on. Askeladd takes villagers boat with him, but Thorfinn not understanding his father’s wisdom at all, stays on that boat with his dagger and says that he wants to kill all of the attackers.
Thorfinn is just going to work for Askeladd in the future until he can kill Askeladd isn’t he? That’s just how it seems to me. The story of this anime is pretty obvious. I absolutely love Vinland Saga’s characters, world building, and action scenes so far. Especially the world building because it goes into every attribute of this show including action scenes where swords can actually break. At the same time, the story is pretty typical fantasy and shonen action wise. Even if it’s a very grounded fantasy series with no magic and realistic world building, it still features a protagonist (Thorfinn) losing their sword master (Thors/father) and then learning to figure out their father’s/sword master’s ideal eventually. So in general, it’s still a good series not a great series. Maybe I am still hit by the over hype machine like I was with Doctor Stone before I dropped that one. I don’t know.