The season is ending, and my delay is still not closing up any bit at all. I’ll probably still do those episode comments in the weekly post and see if I got time to do separate review later. The things you do when you get stuck eh.
JJBA Stardust Crusaders – ep45~47
The final act of the long journey toward the fight to end the 100 years feud. DIO does perform the role of the final boss impeccably well. From the initial complete mystery that just instills fear to those unaware, to the eventual reveal, this encounter shapes many of the future stand fights to come. It’s lethal, it’s gripping, and the tension just never let up across those three episodes. One by one they fell, as Jotaro slowly trying to fight back with the awakening of a new stand power. The arrogance and the charisma shown from his actions as he assumed the role of the king during night time, terrorising not just the 4 members of the touring party, but the unfortunate civilians as well.
Similar to Avdol, Kakyoin drew the short end of the stick in the second half of Stardust Crusaders. Took out instantly in the very first fight, against the troublesome adversary in N’Doul. Even his warmup act prior to this fight ended up in bitter defeat against the young D’Arby. Here it’s finally his chance to take back his lost screen time, and gave us more insight into his character as well. 17 years of solitude, 50 days of friendship. This group shared a strong bond between them, and just like Advol and Iggy before him, his demise is not in vain. Poor Joseph though isn’t so lucky. Other than doing the Indiana Jones rope swinging and passing on the findings to Jotaro, he is another punching bag to demonstrate the horror of The World.
I love the presentation in part2 here, on top of the beautiful visuals laid out by the web of Hierophant Green, the distortion special effects used whenever we enter the World zone is just breathtaking. Through the course of the story, this show fully utilises the inherent advantage of anime over manga and expand on the delivery. There may be some physics error in the way DIO throw the knives, and the concurrent influence from DBZ while the manga was serialising was painfully obvious to see. It all comes down to whether the studio wants to take more liberty in “fixing” the errors found in the original manga really. Then again, those are the type of scenarios that don’t distract from the situation.
This arc is a good demonstration of the cat-and-mouse nature in your typical JJBA fights. It just goes back and forth constantly, with occasional moments where Jotaro just simply overwhelms DIO. Ultimately DIO just got let down by his own hesitancy due to the past experience against Jonathan. With DIO reaching the final level up at the end of the arc, the famed Road Roller moment is just coming right up. It has been a great exchange between the two central figures, and I’ll be really sad to see it end next week.
The final episode for Battle Tendency had extra version that has added special effects for its OP, and here just one ep short of it we saw the extended version of this amazing Opening now that the power of The World has been demonstrated. Needless to say that it was such a pleasant surprise that caught me completely off-guard. It probably meant that the final episode won’t have an opening, allowing more time for that epilogue.
Oregairu2 – ep11
As the title suggested, this is the episode where we have a proper look into Hayato’s inner thoughts. The initial juvenile misunderstanding troubles aside, this is about his outlook on his standing in the social circle. He’s always been described as the man for everyone, the one who lives shouldering other people’s expectations. People follow him, and in return he felt obliged to be the one to respond to other people, even though he’s fighting back against it ever so subtly.
It may not be as dramatic as the preview made it out to be, but we get another confirmation on the little rivalry between the two. It feels like a buildup to the final conflict, yet I don’t think we got enough time to go through that properly.
Etotama – ep10
Judging by the preview last week, the deathflag for Mo-tan is firmly pegged into the ground. While she was featured in the second battle, this is her episode. After a quick skirmish between Nya-tan and Uri-tan at the very beginning, we dived straight into Mo-tan’s history with Nya-tan, and specifically why there’s so much obsessions. It demonstrated a significantly different personality from the old Nya-tan to the one we are familiar with, which begs the question as to the true cause behind her amnesia. The old Nya-tan is kind, considerate, and caring. The trait of being unorthodox in her methods is still there, but there’s plenty of warmth in her personality.
This episode has definitely turned for the more serious. Yes there’s an ongoing joke with Uri-tan since ep3, however there’s a distinct difference in the tone and the presentation from before. There’s no “perhaps, what if”, but just plenty of dread once Chu-tan revealed her method. It has one of the best battle sequence in this show so far, and clearly demonstrated how much slack other Eto-shin having been giving Nya-tan thus far. It was so dynamic as usual, and full of tension due to the new development. The same presentation method is used once again, but you can tell that it’s actually serious this time round. In some way, I’m glad that they used the same trick before, to lure us into a false sense of security.
Punchline – ep10
When everything fails, when the trigger that you’d supposed to be preventing is pulled, it’s those moments that separates the men from the boys. Back in the first half we’d heard a loud crash sound coming from withing the room, and now we witnessed firsthand the high level of frustration that Yuta expressed. He was defeated, settled for putting the pen down to that little book of his. In terms of narrative, this is the turning point, it’s the back-to-the-wall scenario that allows the protagonist to break out from the shackles.
We saw Guriko again, the fanatic self that is nothing short of disturbing. It’s an unwelcomed reunion for the trio, and the entire scene is filled with anger, sorrow, and disgust. The regenerative ability is demonstrated slightly, but at this point we don’t really care about it. There’s hints of conflict within Q-may, but it’s the change in Guriko that left the worst taste in the mouth. It’s great that there’s still sense of comradery from back then lingers now, but who knows if that will remain a factor. It’s time for action, time to fix the mess that Yuta inadvertently caused by not being more active enough. With two more episodes to go, let’s see how the crew will solve this mess.
Grisaia no Rakuen – ep9
The one entity that played a huge part in both Yuuji and Amane’s past has returned. Kazuki being the brain behind the operation is no surprise, but for those two it’s a major chance to reconcile and heal the scar from the past. A few shenanigans during the reunion, including MICHIRU stealing the role of the main heroine. Yuuji now has a home to return to, instead of resorting to suicidal tendencies. There are too many people caring for him, so it would be stupid of him to aimlessly throw his life away. Even though he has achieved the quota of 5 people saved, and lucky enough that they didn’t suffer casualties in that reckless rescue attempt, the value of his life is way more important that he previous estimated it to be.
At the same time, he has to come over this wall. There’s too much baggages with him. The encounter with Graham demonstrated nicely how much sins he’s committed in his past. It’s his own mission. When it comes to the decision laid out by Kazuki, he chose to set things right once and for all. For himself, and for those that Oslo has wronged in the past, including the women that’s the important figure in Yuuji’s life. The fightback against the terrorist is underway, with familiar faces returning working together towards the same goal. At the end of the day however, where is Yuuji’s Eden? Is it on the new Academy that found itself on this massive ship? Or is it somewhere else?
As expected from this series, the overall tone from this episode is a great balance in the sentimentality and character building, with some nicely timed comedic jabs from the characters themselves. It has been a highly enjoyable journey as we followed the life of [Kasami Yuuji] through all the highs and lows, and the effect he had on the people around him. This series is coming to an end, and I’m glad that I followed this series. On one last note, JB route where????? Seriously this story needs a proper JB route to justify all these emotional baggages the two carries.
Plastic Memories – ep11
Just like another romance series this season, this one goes into the honeymoon phase after we had our mutual confession last week. It’s awkward yet adorable, with just more typical happy ending romance scenarios. The two lovebirds trying to make the most of it, and after my complaints last time we finally get to see more romantic moments between those two. Coming off from last week, the notion of Isla start writing diaries again 3 years later after her reconciliation with Kazuki is a great little moment.
Yet at the same time I can’t help but feel concerned while watching this episode. It’s great to have a soothing episode, one that will make us like Isla a lot more before the inevitable, but with just 1 (Edit: 2) episodes left, will we have enough time to go through all the necessary stages in storytelling next week? Essentially while this episode builds character and emotional attachments, storywise it can kind of be neglected on the bigger scale. I just hope the pacing is alright near the end.
F/SN UBW – ep23
Final fight yo, and guess who’s still sticking around. After the demise of Caster we all have assumed that we’d seen the last of Kojiro, however that’s not the case here. While Rin is busy lifting the core away from the grail, while Shirou is busy blocking all the goodies Gilgamesh is throwing at him, Saber is having a second round fight against the opponent that gave her so much trouble earlier. It’s Assassin’s last moment to shine, to have the duel he wanted before his inevitable disappearance. For a fake entity like him, his desire raised a point about the purpose and expectations in one’s life. However as given that the story must go on, one quick knock on the sword gave way too much of a free space for Saber to cut through.
I love how the story is spelling it out deliberately how Gilgamesh’s own personal trait is the root cause of his own downfall later on. It’s no surprise that Shirou will win the battle, and Gilgamesh’s pride and arrogance acted as a great leveler for this encounter, even if just a slight collateral damage from his Ea is enough to knock Shirou back far away. The last encounter is within reach, and time to see what Shirou has learnt from his personal development with Archer. He may still be a bumbling idiot, but now an idiot with a clear goal. One thing I do find surprising is how Shinji’s body isn’t entirely fused with the blobby mess and is removable from it. I was seriously expecting some gruesome flesh wounds during the removal process.
Show by Rock!! – ep11
While it’s not unexpected that the big boss battle will occur in this finale, what surprised me is the delivery of the important segment. The Dark Monsters moments always accompanied by the great 3D segments that features dynamic actions, and the one this week is especially longer than usual. It’s a feast to the eyes to say the least. As for the story there’s not much unexpected developments. Dagger is still evil, Grateful King is still stuck, and the pink hair girl from Criticrista being the new Dark Monster.
I just love seeing the CGI moments to be as highly kinetic as Etotama, now that there’s a good stage for a long winding fight sequence instead of using it on mere band performances.
Yamajo – ep10
So here comes the encounter with the final witch in the school, but first we will meet up with another mysterious character first, namely, Miyamura’s older sister who was the previous victim of her. One thing this series has done tremendously well is its execution during the body-swapping aspect, and how it utilises the amount of unpredictability during those moments to create entertaining scenarios. The introduction of the two characters have the directly opposite setup, one’s initially ominous only to be hilarious, while the other one carried a heavy sinister overtone despite the playful nature. It’s the biggest challenge so far for the members of the club.
While the issue on the pacing remain, this episode is extremely effective in evoking one particular emotion out from me. Coming into the series so far, one thing has been the status quo, being that the romance between Shiraishi and Yamada is slowly developing even through all those random kisses. The episode itself is slightly confusing as to the mechanism and the student council’s role in all those, but once the kick is in place this episode has a significantly different tone to the rest of the joyous ones previously. It felt gut-wrenching and empty, as the familiarity that we’d been accustomed to is ripped away from both Yamada and the viewers as well. It’s a new scenario that we found ourselves into, and kind of fitting as the introduction to the final arc.
Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku – ep11
So here we are again, at the midsem battle tournament where all the senior players are part of the fights as well, and whoopie I don’t really care about it. The meat of this episode finally goes back to the very first scene of the series, where we saw the moment of betrayal that shaped Seisa’s reclusive nature throughout the series. The eerie atmosphere once Eruna entered the alternative pocket was done quite well before the true nature of it is revealed.
Oh and Kuzuryu had an official battle with Ninomiya, with an obvious winner.
The biggest reason for this delay is the decision whether to include JJBA writeup at all. On top of the busy week, it just made the release of this article postponed even a bit more. As nobody really comment on this post series, I’ll assume that this is not harming anyone except my own reputation and add on to my frustration. Nevertheless, I am seriously hoping to get it all done soon. FI posts are coming out now.