Every show this week has seemed to slow down this week. Being half way through the season I was expecting more of a bang, but perhaps that will come next week. Luckily for me this worked out as there was less for me to write about, giving me some time to study for my finals.
Oregairu Zoku 6
Oregairu was more light hearted this week, reminiscent of the first season. Not as fun as the excellent drama that Oregairu Zoku normally has, but breaks in tension are needed before we get too accustomed to it. But even the more whimsical episodes of Oregairu have lots of substance in them. Yui and Hachiman’s had some great moments, awkwardly walking to the club room together. The audience gets to see Yui also take a deep breath before entering the club room, showing that she is more comfortable around Hachiman than Yukinon. Yui has to put up an exterior before facing Yukinon, kind of similar to how Isshiki acts differently around people other than Hachiman and Hayama.
Isshiki then comes to the volunteer club asking for help with presidential duties, immediately showing the consequences of Hachiman’s actions. Hachiman then proceeds to present his inability to change by trying to solve the problem by himself AGAIN. Moving on to the student council meeting, Oregairu goes back to its recurring theme of superficial relationships and conversations. All of the students from the other high school don’t ever engage in meaningful discussion with Isshiki, but due to her personality of trying to keep appearances she always agrees with their “demands”. I get the point of these scenes, but they are boring to watch and make me cringe. From the speaking with people who have already read the light novels, I expect the drama to get back underway next episode.
Arslan Senki 6
I just want another Game of Thrones, but I know this show won’t come close to delivering what GoT does. At the moment Arslan Senki resides in that weird middle ground where I am interested in what happens to the world, but could care less about any of the characters. It hasn’t really gotten into any meaty material yet and maybe one day it will, once Arslan’s journey truly starts. I feel everything up til now has been a set up for Arslan even though we already had a time skip. Still this particular episode had some things going for it. The fight between the bard and the masked villain had a significant improvement in animation from the Vahriz fight. It actually included movement between the main two combatants. The still frame fights returned when Sam and Kharlan fought though. At least the episode ended with our main character leaving the cove they have been hiding in for the last two episodes.
The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan 6
Yuki and Asakura were adorable this week. With much less focus on the romantic drama between Kyon and Yuki the strengths of the show really get to stand out. With the spotlight on the comedy the reaction faces get my full attention. The jokes themselves weren’t that funny but the way the adorable characters play and interact with each other makes it entertaining. I especially liked how Kyon riled up Asakura to fight for their high school leading into her crying when unable to solve the problem. And I felt nostalgic when they showed Yuki speaking in an “alien” language, though it was now for her ability to explain school work. If I had to describe the show at its best it would be cutesy and fun. Aimless episodic episodes with slice of life antics fit the this spin off much better than the drama, and this episode showed why. Even the art style is pandered to this type of media.
Sound! Euphonium 6
The only issue I had with this episode was how they decided to use Kumiko to explain the Concert Band competition. I really dislike how she confidently talks to herself to explain the process to the audience. It could have easily been done by the teacher to inform the first years of how the competition is run. Other than this small problem, I enjoyed the episode’s small moments full of earnest emotions and comedy.
Sound! Euphonium’s ability to pinpoint the struggles of a diligent high school student is amazing. I feel that I have a deep connection with many of the characters because I have went through similar experience through my own high school years. This particular episode focused on Hazuki’s lack of motivation to practice and her frustration at being unable to improve. Getting stuck while trying to learn something new is an unavoidable experience, but being able to persevere and continue on is what creates excellence. But not everyone has the same self motivation that Reina has, and there is nothing wrong with getting a little help from friends. Watching Midori and Kumiko support Hazuki through the help of their seniors was sincere, fun, and inspiring.
Typical Nisekoi shenanigans featuring Marika this week. Marika is generally more comedic than the other girls as she constantly attempts to seduce Raku. Too bad for her, Raku has no romantic feelings for her so it all ends up turning into jokes. Like most anime, the joke are very hit and miss. Too bad all the jokes this episode were a miss for me. I didn’t really laugh at anything until the ending image where Marika was in bed with a buff Raku doll. A lot of my enjoyment is the “cute” moments where Shaft tries to make the girl’s as attractive as possible, and there just isn’t a lot of that for Marika, so she tends to be one of my least favorite characters. As we get further into the season I expect there to be at least another attempt at furthering their relationships (maybe with an anime original ending?), unlike the stasis we have now.