So… is this a comedy or what? We have serious stuff like a bully threatening to sexually assault a girl in front of everyone — and I mean, everyone. Practically no one lifts a finger to help her, by the way. What’s up with that? I thought these were just internet addicts, not scum of the earth. Why are these kids characterized as if they’re morally corrupt or apathetic at best? Even Hibiki does nothing until his crush also finds herself in danger. You then see one of the least impressive attempts to dive in front of a rock that you’ll ever see. She could’ve just avoided the rock herself. Speaking of Hibiki’s crush, Shiori is the only one who bothers to to help the poor victim, and naturally, she’s armed with a trusty box cutter. Classic anime heroine weapon. In the aftermath, she attempts to treat the Hibiki’s wounds, but he ends up popping a boner. I wasn’t aware anime characters were allowed to have boners. This is all Tencent’s corrupting influence.
Yeeeep. But before you go and crown Shiori as the show’s only beacon of goodness, you should know that she only helped the victim in exchange for the girl’s phone. Shin, however, gets his hands on the device, and says he’ll give it to anyone who can turn Hibiki into a man. That means SEX. You can only be a man if you have SEX. As Shin turns to leave, he tosses a condom in Hibiki’s direction. How considerate. As it turns out, Shiori will do anything for the phone, so she tries to put on a brave face as she straddles Hibiki and lets him awkwardly grope one breast. Just one, though. Just the grasp alone is apparently enough to send Hibiki to a higher plane of existence. It’s almost funny, but not quite. Meanwhile, the girl is not exactly enjoying the experience. This, I can buy. Internet addicts like Hibiki probably won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re Ryan Gosling. As a result, Shiori ends up puking on him, which in turn makes him puke, then they both puke. Talk about a boner killer.
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeep. But it doesn’t really matter if the show is actually “in-the know.” It doesn’t matter if the show is actually has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. All that matters is whether or not the show is entertaining and it’s currently not. It’s just kinda trashy in a half-assed sort of way. The characters are unlikeable, but not so much so that I’m actively rooting for their demise. And the humor so far is tepid unless boner jokes really get you going. Why is Tencent doing this anyway? Aren’t they sitting on the League of Legends cash cow? Wouldn’t a LoL anime rake in money by the bucketful? And if you want T&A, LoL has plenty of that too. Hell, just do a spinoff series about Evelynn.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond Ep. 2
Don’t these stories feel just a bit rushed? Due to the anime’s episodic nature, the ultimately inconsequential side stories are forced to wrap themselves up in an incredibly short amount of time. Kekkai Sensen thus maintains its brisk, frenetic pacing, but none of the conclusions ever feel all that satisfying. Our bad guy of the week barely has time to establish himself as a threat before going down. Likewise, is there a missed connection between Klaus and the doctor that I am supposed to lament? Well, the story’s over and we’ll probably never see her face again.
“That’s neat, I guess,” is the most glowing praise I can ever offer to any given Kekkai Sensen episode. The city’s nightmarish transformation during the Great Collapse looks… neat, I guess. The doctor’s resolve over the years sounds… neat, I guess. Hell, the action is sometimes very neat. But we never get to dwell on anything for very long. Now, now, let’s hurry along. After all, the episode is about to come to an end. We should begin preparing ourselves for next week’s entirely new set of characters and problems.
Shokugeki no Soma S3 Ep. 3
I was kinda hoping Soma could win by simply sticking to his black pepper buns. His booth struggled mightily, however, so he tried to branch out to handmade noodles topped with the same meat filling that is used in the buns. Hey, that sounded good too, but even then, his booth failed to crack the top 30. As a result, he’s going back to the mapo tofu drawing board. Can he put together a less spicy variant of the dish that will still blow people away? If I had to guess, I would add some texture to mapo tofu. I love it, but it’s a very soft and mushy dish.
Cooking aside, I actually wished the episode had focused more on the business side of things. It’s obvious that Soma’s limitations aren’t just due to his food offerings alone. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “Customers will only favor the strong,” but restaurants need to market themselves somehow. Giving out free food at night is a start, but why wait till then? Why not give out free samples to the masses of people waiting in line to get a taste of his rival’s food? Ah well.
But anyway, the basic plot structure is the same as it has always been. Soma runs into an opponent with infinite resources and clout. Our plucky hero thus finds himself in a huge hole right from the outset. But through ingenuity and spunk — and homey diner charms — he’s about to stage his epic comeback. Rinse and repeat. Kuga is just the latest victim-to-be. At worst, they’ll tie or something.
I actually do enjoy one thing about the latest episode, though. I kinda like the Sadako-ripoff. Everyone else is just so tropey, but she’s so ridiculously silly that I find her interactions with Soma amusing. She actually enjoys the same weird concoctions that he whips up. They might be kindred spirits! Forget Soma x Megumi or Soma x Erina. The former is too boring, and the latter is just another basic tsunderekko. I know the show doesn’t really have love interests, but screw it, let’s go all in on weirdo girl.
Juuni Taisen Ep. 3
I said I would stop last week, and I really should’ve followed through. The third episode is just more of the same basic formula that we have seen previously. This week dives deep into Chicken’s past — full of voiceovers and even more voiceovers — then after she’s told us everything we could possibly want to know about her, she dies just as pathetically as Boar and Dog. I guess if I absolutely have to say something positive about the girl, who ever knew chickens could be so sneaky and conniving? We briefly get to see Ox and Horse face off, but not too much. Not enough to be satisfying. If we’re not going to see cool fight scenes, then at least give me a mental battle of wits. We don’t get that either. There’s also the problem where we learn about X, so it means X has to literally die by the end of the episode. How suspenseful. The only cool moment in the entire episode is when Chicken accepts her death and allows the birds to feed off her flesh.
Kino’s Journey (2017) Ep. 2
What an odd episode. There’s no doubt that the king is rotten to the core, but sadly, the people — as they gleefully chant for murder — are bloodthirsty maniacs, too. So this might explain why Kino commanded them to slaughter each other in cold blood. But why would the country just go along with it? The same reason why they hardly questioned the former king, I suppose. They don’t even seem like people at this point. Just weird flesh automatons that do whatever they’re told to do. So I have to ask… is this an extended critique from last week’s episode? See, laws are bad, my dudes! Leaders can enact terrible laws, and people will just follow them like sheep! May as well not have laws at all! Well… this season of Kino’s Journey is painting a very strange world. While I enjoyed this week’s episode a bit more than last week’s offering, I still can’t say I really like this anime at all.