Some big shuffles in the weekly rankings this time around.
Angels of Death Ep. 4
Did the characters really talk this much in the game? I hope not. Then again, I’ll never find out since the anime adaptation actually managed to turn me off on the prospect of giving its source material a fair shake. It’s funny how that works. Caligula, for instance, was a terrible anime. Absolutely horrible. But oddly enough, I preordered the PS4 remaster and it should arrive early next year. For some reason, I just feel like the game will be so much better than its adaptation, and I have the spare cash to find out how much better. On the other hand, I don’t want to go anywhere near Angels of Death. Even if the game is better than its adaptation (and it probably is to some degree), I just get the feeling that it still wouldn’t be a game that I’d enjoy.
Anyways, we get a female killer this week, and her name is Cathy. Cathy likes traps. Luckily, not that kind of trap. Just good ol’ hard-working, people-killing traps instead. Cathy also looks dumb with that tiny hat. I don’t get anime subculture and its love for girls in tiny hats. But enough about that. To get out of Cathy’s traps, you’ll have to solve puzzles in grisly ways. For instance, Rachel had to dice up a few puppets in order to free Zack from an electric chair. But at the end of the day, they were just puppets, so it was no big deal. This is very much unlike, say, Jigsaw. Cathy is sadistic, but we’re still very much watching an anime. The puppets could’ve been creepier, but it’s hard to establish much of an atmosphere when Zack is trying to scream in pain in that shitty voice of his. Point is, nothing here will leave you feeling disgusted and hollow. Sure, the second puzzle deals with a cutting up a corpse to literally balance the scales, but it’s better than cutting off your own foot.
More importantly, I just can’t get myself too immersed in Angels of Death‘s convoluted meditation on sin and punishment. I don’t see a story here that requires a season’s worth of episodes to tell. Even without watching the rest of the series, I’m willing to bet that they could’ve just turned this into a movie. Instead, we got such a meandering anime series. Most of all, I’m flabbergasted by Zack’s portrayal both visually and aurally. Every single thing about him is a detriment to this story: his edgy character design, his grating voice that sounds like it belongs to a shitty side villain in a shounen series, his non-stop chatter, so on and so forth. He is the reason why Angels of Death goes from being a mere bore to something absolutely cringeworthy every single week that I tune in.
Cells At Work! Ep. 4
Sure, there was another pathogen this week (in addition to the parasite that you see above), but at least I’m learning something? I’ve never heard of eosionphils. Granted, anything related to biology was never my strong suit in the first place. You wanna teach me about stars, planets, and quasars? I’m in! But if you try to teach me about the human body, my eyes start to glaze over. Anyways, I’ve gotten food poisoning once, and it didn’t come from seafood. It came from chicken (probably undercooked and I didn’t notice). Man, food poisoning is no joke. I was out of commission for a week. I won’t undercook chicken again, but I’ll still gladly eat medium rare steaks and sushi.
Chio’s School Road Ep. 4
This show is so hit-or-miss with me. The first half of the episode was entertaining. On the other hand, the second half of the episode bored me to tears. Maybe the biker guy just doesn’t appeal to me. I notice that I’m often bored whenever he’s around.
Grand Blue Ep. 3
These guys sound like a bunch of date rapists. The show almost seems alright when it settles down a bit to talk about diving. But as always, dumb, nude hijinks are always around the corner. After three episodes, this show still sucks. The humor blows, the characters are terrible, and the animation is piss-poor. The preseason hype seemed to revolve around Grand Blue and High Score Girl. The latter may very well live up to its lofty promise. Grand Blue, on the other hand, has been a huge letdown.
Happy Sugar Life Ep. 3
Should I get therapy and/or treatment for my mental trauma? No… no… I should pin my hopes on a tiny, little girl. There’s nothing wrong with putting a child on a pedestal. Because of the screenshot above, you probably think I’m referring to Taiyou, but this is actually true of every single major character in this sad, pathetic show. Yeah, Hanebado! has gotten pretty damn hamfisted lately, but it’s still nothing compared to Happy Sugar Life. How exactly are we supposed to stomach an entire season of this tripe?
Anyways, Satou resists the temptation to murder Asahi, but she’s definitely pissed that someone else knows the words to Shio’s vows. I wanna say they’re probably siblings, but I doubt that small, little detail would make a difference to Satou. You can’t reason with the mentally ill. When she returns to the apartment, she discovers that Shio has gone missing. Meanwhile, Shio bumps Taiyou, and… well, he obviously needs help.
There are always multiple paths in life for us to take. We don’t always make the best decisions for ourselves, but we don’t always consistently shoot ourselves in the foot either. In Happy Sugar Life, however, these characters can’t help but stumble into one terribad situation to the next, victimized left and right by the horrible adults in their lives. Unfortunately, they aren’t even given the luxury to make decisions. There’s just one straight path ahead of the characters in Happy Sugar Life, and it leads right to a cliff overlooking some mighty jagged rocks. It’s up to us to decide if we wanna witness the ensuing mess. Unfortunately, this impending tragedy is done with as much finesse and subtlety as your average anime series. Therein lies the problem. A better director or writer could’ve saved Happy Sugar Life from farce. In its current form, however, we are forced to laugh at the characters and their plights lest we become jokes ourselves for caring too much about these two-dimensional characters and their obsession with pure, virginal lolis. I think I might make it to episode six before I call it quits.
Holmes of Kyoto Ep. 4
This show is obsessed with cheaters. It feels like we can’t go a single week without mentioning Aoi’s ex (ironically, her ex-best friend was supposed to keep an eye on him) or how Holmes had his girl stolen from him. I almost want to ask the writer who hurt them. Who made them this way? Anyways, Holmes’ ex is back, and it sounds like she wants to now cheat on her husband with her high school sweetheart. Izumi even claims that the guy cheated on her, but she still married him. People are funny like that. So what does she want now? A brief fling with Holmes to get back at her adulterous husband? Or to honestly rekindle old flames? If Izumi truly wanted the latter, she would’ve broken up with her husband by now. Granted, I don’t really know how divorce works in Japan. In any case, this is anime, so people can’t communicate properly. So instead of talking, they try instead to convey their feelings through art and poetry. A certain teacup supposedly tells Holmes that her love for him is still undying — something like that. In the end, however, he rejects her much to Aoi’s relief. Obviously, she’s attracted to him. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure that out.
As for our heroine, a few of her old classmates have decided to drop by Kyoto for an upcoming festival. Unfortunately, her cheating ex and her terrible ex-best friend are also tagging along. As soon as Aoi tries to meet up with those that she still consider to be her friends, she is immediately ambushed by the new couple. They want her blessing. They want her forgiveness. They never meant for it to happen. They were lonely and couldn’t help but find comfort in each other’s arms. Boo hoo. Anyways, it is kinda weak of her other friends to spring those two on Aoi like that, don’t you think? She’s right; they’re not here because they truly care about her. In general, people don’t really seem to understand how being cheated on can mess someone up, though. Aside from the initial heartbreak, it can fundamentally change you as a person. You become less optimistic, more anxious, less trusting, more closed-off, so on and so forth. Being cheated on will likely even affect all of your future relationships. Anyways, Aoi wants to tell them all off, but she’s got no sass. She’s not a tough girl who grew up on the wrong side of the train tracks. As a result, she just pretends as though she’s now okay with everything even though she’s mentally screaming on the inside.
Luckily for Aoi, Holmes swoops in and pretends to be her hot college boyfriend. Not just any college, mind you. We’re talking about Kyoto University. Yeah, impressed yet? Haha, not really. Where I’m from, it’s kinda creepy for graduate students to be dating sophomores in high school. I guess it’s cool shit in Japan, though. But really, how do you justify that? A guy steals your girlfriend, so you go and date a teenager? Bro. Broooo. I know he never planned to meet Aoi — and to be fair, they’re not actually romantically involved (yet) — but it still looks shady. Moreover, the writing here is sophomoric at best. Aoi’s ex gets super riled up when he sees Holmes, which in turn pisses off her ex-best friend. Looks like there’s trouble in paradise already. The scenario plays out like a wishful dream that you might fantasize about in the showers, but c’mon, these situations never play out so perfectly in real life. You never get the perfect comeuppance that leaves your enemies’ jaws hanging as you walk away triumphantly with your head held high. The show is lucky that it’s so enjoyable to see cheaters get what they deserve, so we can turn a blind eye to all of its huge blemishes.
Holmes of Kyoto isn’t a terribly exciting show, but I guess it could be worse. It’s like batting .250 in the majors. Yeah, sure, you belong in the big show, but just barely. For instance, I like how when the characters talk, only their lives move. Their facial expressions are completely frozen. It looks so goddamn cheap that it’s almost funny.
Overlord III Ep. 4
Watching Ainz bully a bunch of trolls, I’m hard-pressed to understand why this show is supposedly head-and-shoulders above something like How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. They both have dorks pretending to be badasses, and they both have women fawning over them. Overlord just doesn’t have wall-to-wall fanservice (most of the time). But hey, if the plot’s going to be this boring, it may as well give me some eye candy to look at. Sure, it all comes down to a matter of taste. As they often say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Maybe watching Ains explaining to Lupisregina why Nphi and Enri are so important to him is entertaining to someone. Maybe watching Ainz absent-mindedly feel up Aura’s tiny waist and talk about sending her off to dark elf school is entertaining to someone. Maybe watching Ainz test a troll’s super healing ability is entertaining to someone. Maybe. But it’s all boring as fuck to me.
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight Ep. 3
At a few readers’ behest, I gave this show another shot. I had initially dropped it after the first half of the first episode, but people swore that I was missing the show of the season. After three episodes, however, I continue to feel nothing for the characters nor their auditions. Karen is also unappealing as the lead. For sure, it’s a snazzy-looking show. It just doesn’t mean anything to me. Whether this anime is deep or not, I don’t know. Sometimes, however, a show just doesn’t resonate, and for me, this is one of them. I watch and I watch and I watch… and nothing. I get nothing. Anyways, I’m dropping it, because it’s a chore to slog through the mundane first half of every week’s episode just to get to the action. More importantly, I have nothing to prove. I have no desire to fit in with the cool kids and pretend that I have a shrine to Utena in my apartment. Also, those banana muffins look terrible.
Steins;Gate 0 Ep. 16
Things finally come to a head when Rintaro discovers that the Phone Microwave is back. He and Maho proceed to get into a shouting match. She wants the ideal future — a future with both Kurisu and Mayuri, but also no WW3. On the other hand, he’s only human. His soul can’t keep taking the hits… or can it? The music during this scene is great. The sun tearing through the clouds to shed light on our heroes is also great. This is an argument that needed to happen. Unfortunately, it also needed to happen back in the first episode. I think we took too long to get to this point, so my interest has waned significantly.
It doesn’t help either that Mayuri starts feeling guilty. I don’t blame her for that, but again, her difficult conversation with Rintaro at the end of the episode should have happened a whole lot sooner. Someone should have told him that he’s been in denial ever since he called it quits on saving Kurisu. The fact that it took them this long to mentally slap him across the face… ah, it’s just outrageous. I really do think Steins;Gate 0 has pacing issues.
P.S. We know Steins’s Gate exists because, well, we’ve seen the first season. But infinite possibilities does not entail that everything is possible. There may very well be infinite timelines, but that doesn’t mean that Stein’s Gate is out there somewhere. Speaking strictly from Maho’s genius perspective, of course. Hey, I’m just sayin’…
We Rent Tsukumogami Ep. 2
The tsukumogami-related problem of the week revolves around three hanging scrolls having their images magically changing overnight. It turns out that the men featured in these hanging scrolls like to fight over a certain forlorn woman whenever humans aren’t around. They’re so entrenched in their quarrels with one another that they often forget to get back into the correct hanging scrolls by the time morning rolls around. Our hero proceeds to resolve the issue by proving to the hanging scrolls that they could never compete with whom the woman truly loves, which is apparently the full moon. That’s all fine and dandy, but if you can never stand a chance if the woman you love happens to love someone else, this sounds like bad news for Seiji. Apparently, his sister Oko appears to be hung up on a certain Suou, an incense burner. But why should Seiji care? He and Oko are just siblings, right? Oh, anime…
We Rent Tsukumogami is another typical time-waster that you find every season. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just there.
Yamishibai 6 Ep. 4
Poor woman. As they often say, she doesn’t have a mother-in-law problem; she has a husband problem. Dude should’ve protected his wife from his shitty mother.
Quick & Dirty Weekly Rankings (That You Should Totally Take Seriously)
- High Score Girl
- Banana Fish
- Asobi Asobase
- Sirius the Jaeger
- My Hero Academia
- Steins;Gate 0
- Planet With
- Persona 5 The Animation
- How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
- Chio’s School Road
- Harukana Receive
- Shichisei no Subaru
- Holmes of Kyoto
- Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
- Cells At Work!
- We Rent Tsukumogami
- Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi
- Happy Sugar Life
- Grand Blue
- Dude of Red: The Red Dude
- Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight
- Phantom of the Twilight
- Angels of Death
- The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar
I really enjoyed this week’s episode of High Score Girl. Hopefully, however, the story does something interesting with the time skip instead of just picking up where we last left off. Banana Fish continues to put in a solid effort. Sirius the Jaeger isn’t doing anything impressive. It’s just not screwing up. Having nice animation goes a long way. At least My Hero Academia is back to having some action. Hanebado! is overplaying its hand, trying to be more than what it’s capable of. I’ll always take entertainingly dumb over anything that is blandly inoffensive. This explains why Cells At Work! has sunken so far in just a few weeks. With the exception of The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar (I need to keep it around for the “Harem Something or Other” feature), anything below Dude of Red: The Red Dude is in danger of being dropped. I guess that’s my Mendoza Line for the summer season.
I don’t normally do a moment of zen for the “Everything Else” series, but I just couldn’t resist: