Weekly Seasonal Watches: Summer 2019 Anime – Week 4

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

On Funimation and Hulu

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

On Funimation and Crunchyroll

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

On Crunchyroll

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

On Crunchyroll

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

On HiDive

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

On Crunchyroll

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

On Crunchyroll

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

On Amazon Prime

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.


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19 thoughts on “Weekly Seasonal Watches: Summer 2019 Anime – Week 4

  1. Good write up. I was surprised that Vinland Saga got the anime treatment. Even though I haven’t read the manga, I’m familiar with the creator’s other work Planetes which I remember enjoying the anime when I was in high school. Goro Taniguchi actually directed that one and from a visual production perspective, it is one of Sunrise’s best works. Funny how it went from space garbage collectors to vikings. Haha!

    P. S. Thank you for liking my rant even though I didn’t expect to shake my fists while making a post at the blatant thievery associated with a certain film franchise. Originality is something I really care about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sort of heard that this was from the same person behind Planetes, but I definitely knew that Goro Taniguchi was behind the anime. I’ve been trying my best to find every single anime he directed and there are some gems like Maria The Virgin Witch and whatever his weird sci fi and needs l mecha anime he has created recently. Oh, that knew Code Geass stuff that’s coming out, but that’s not as interesting.

      You’re welcome. That certain remake has woken up a lot of discussion recently hasn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s from the same manga author. Sure thing about Taniguchi. I’ve seen Planetes, ID-0, and the 2009 Jungle Emperor Leo remake from him so far. It would be cool to check out his others. I never saw Code Geass which some anime fans would be shocked about that. Yeah, I know it’s weird admitting that. Haha!

        No problem. I saw posts from major movie and news sites bringing up Kimba/JEL again and there’s also a documentary I want to check out called The Lion’s Share which is about the lawsuit with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. I certainly opened up a can of worms in the aniblogger and film review community maybe?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no, haha. I do like Code Geass a lot, but it wouldn’t even be a functional anime without Goro’s direction. You can look at how Guilty Crown has a lot of Code Geass’ staff behind it except Goro and it’s a trash fire vs GunXSword that is an underrated mecha classic that carries a lot of Code Geass’ themes. I could probably go on forever with that honestly, so maybe I should stop..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I guess I can’t be with the cool anibloggers until I watch Code Geass, right? Haha! I haven’t seen that or Guilty Crown, but ouch. Taniguchi must have been the backbone with them around. Gun X Sword does look interesting and I wish I saw it back then. I heard good things about that series and how underrated it was.

        Don’t feel bad. Taniguchi seems like a Director you’re passionate about. I could probably do the same if we talked about Yoshitoshi ABe. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fruits Basket this week had me crying from beginning to end. It was just so powerful. The message that it literally only takes one person in the world to make a positive impact on someone else was so genuine and it assassinated my feels pretty thoroughly.

    Still holding out on Vinland Saga because I know i’m going to want to binge the hell out of it lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well, out of this list the only one I’m watching is Fire Force (the rest is mostly unavailable for me unfortunately). But yes, I’m loving that show too. Tamaki certainly was a fun character (love her powers) but I’m also a bit worried she won’t suffer from too much fanservice. She deserves much better that’s for sure. That said, I’m liking where the story is going. It’s getting hard to see who to trust maybe, and I like it when something like that is thrown into the mix. Hopefully it will continue to be as fun as it is now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a lurker who collects data before she starts an anime, I am intriueged by how many people dislike Demon Slayer, yet very few seem to actually drop it. I’ve seen people drop shows for a lot less, so there must be some appeal to it in secret? Totally going to pick up Astra and binge it away once it’s further in it’s run though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s probably a better way to approach these shows, but I can’t do that myself.

      Yeah, Demon Slayer has some great horror elements to it that really sells it.

      Like

    2. I don’t think most people dislike Demon Slayer if they don’t outright drop the show – based on the reviews/buzz I’ve seen around (since I’m both watching it and covering it with some other bloggers), most people just don’t like Zenitsu and/or Inosuke (and may also be pissed at Nezuko’s general lack of screentime)…it’s mostly Zenitsu though. Also, some people like the humour, but even as a person who generally agrees with anime humour, I’ve found it hard to get into Demon Slayer’s.

      This is a Shonen Jump work though, with licensor Aniplex giving the streaming rights to anyone who’ll take ’em…those are the aspects that gave it attention in the first place.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m getting more and more excited about Astra Lost in Space. I’m really enjoying the character work so far and the plot is simple but compelling. Really hope they don’t try and do some weird mid-season twist and it all falls apart because it has been an anime I’m really enjoying so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly envy you because I’m that because I’m in that vain of “I have to watch it now”and can’t stop myself and don’t know how to do stop it.

      Yes, same for me too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah man sorry to hear that, Scott, but if it helps I’m so busy that I no longer have time to relax and watch something without worrying that I’m wasting time due to my own personal life. I really admire bloggers like you who are dedicated enough to stick to anime when they come out and write detailed reviews consistently. I’d have burned out for sure. Best of luck and I hope you don’t feel like watching anime is becoming a chore for you.

        Liked by 1 person

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