Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil – 04

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This week Cecil wrestles with her entirely understandable and justified reservations with defending a Wud serial killer who not only murdered fifteen wizards, but by all accounts thoroughly enjoyed doing so. Thus the show brings up the concept of universal versus personal justice: regardless of a wizard’s crime, it’s the duty of a Wizard Barrister to defend them to the fullest extent of the law, countering the prosecution’s efforts.

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Chouno Ageha can understand Cecil’s reticence, but has no intention of sugar coating the profession they’re in, no matter how young and inexperienced she is, Cecil has to understand that some clients are monsters, and even monsters have rights. That’s the law, and as long as it is, Ageha will always defend the accursed, even when their threats and crimes become personal. In this case, they win life imprisonment and remanding to a psych facility due to the accused’s dissociation personality disorder, which his twin brother attests to. Of course, the moment we saw the accused’s twin brother, we just knew he’d turn out to be another bad guy.

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We’re a little disappointed that Cecil lets herself get lured into a giant dark chamber where there’s no metal to form Diaboloids; one would hope such a talented wizard would know the limitations of her powers and mind her surroundings accordingly. Not to mention she went off on her own once she learned the truth, which was just plain dumb. This episode underlined that no matter how bright and driven and talented Cecil is, without the last-minute intervention of her colleagues, she’d have been killed at least five times in four episodes already.

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Mind you, we kinda enjoy the fact that even when she finds out the bad guys’ evil scheme, her fallibility is exposed in how she acts in response to the knowledge. There’s also the distinct feeling that confrontations with her are being set up in an effort to awaken more of her powers (this week she gets sand magic), which, combined with the twin’s knowledge of her condemned mom, suggests Cecil is being targeted for some dread purpose she (and we) know not what. We for one hope Cecil tries to learn more about her “admirers” and perhaps plan the appropriate countermeasures.

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End-of-Month Rundown – March 2014

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13. Pupa

It’s was a pretty meh March for nobody’s favorite horror omake. All month the Hasegawa siblings have been prisoners, and once they were free, they merely reiterated that they were find with their eat-and-be-eaten situation, followed by a somewhat random flashback. Very strange little series, but had some powerful (and gross!) moments.

Average Rating: 5.250
MyAnimeList Score: 4.14

12. Sakura Trick

In the Spring a young lady’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…for another lady…

Average Rating: 6.455
MyAnimeList Score: 7.47

11. Samuai Flamenco

We appreciated this show’s devotion to almost constant devotion to blowing up the status quo and reinventing itself, but usually preferred when it stuck to the otherwise ordinary lives and problems of its characters.

Average Rating: 8 (episodes 1-13), 7.111 (episodes 14-22), 7.636 (total)
MyAnimeList Score: 6.97

10. Witch Craft Works

The buildup of the last couple weeks was better than the payoff, but we were kinda expecting that, so we don’t feel particularly ripped off. The lush, whimsical visual style and guy-as-the-damsel dynamic sustained us till the end, but Witch Craft Works never really got better than its first couple episodes, due to ultimately lame villains and way too many extraneous side characters.

Average Rating: 7.083
MyAnimeList Score: 7.43

8 (tie). Nobunaga the Fool

As we reach the halfway point, many of the masses that have put their trust into Nobu have died, gotten maimed, or lost their houses for their trouble, thanks to Jeanne’s shield deflecting Caesar’s weapon onto the civvies. So things aren’t ideal, but Nobu and his crew still hold the regalia, and whomever controls those control the world. After seeing and hearing from very little of Arthur and the other Knights of the Round Table, we imagine they’ll play a bigger role in the second half.

Average Rating: 7.333 (12 of 24 episodes watched)
MyAnimeList Score: 6.83

8 (tie). Nisekoi

This show isn’t over, but we can see it turning into something like OreShura, where a colorful harem gradually builds around the male lead and he is ultimately forced to pick one, and only one, from amongst the girls he apparently made promises to. While the story is neither magnificent or original, Shinbo’s bawdy direction and the lovely character design and voice-acting has kept us involved.

Average Rating: 7.333 (12 of 20 episodes watched)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.10

7. Noragami

Noragami turns in a decent but unspectacular finale that provides relatively sufficient closure but doesn’t quite deliver the same emotional or visceral impact as Yukine’s ablution (we were rooting for Yukine to be saved, but Rabo was a rather dull lost cause) In the end, the trio of Yato, Yukine, and Hiyori are whole again, which is nice. We wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more of their adventures in a second season down the road.

Average Rating: 7.667
MyAnimeList Score: 8.29

6. Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

Zvezda sometimes went totally bonkers, but it never got too serious, and was a wellspring of charm, wit, and whimsy throughout its run, backed up by great design and music. A story of how childlike aspirations of conquest and unfounded optimism can overcome even the gruffest, most jaded adult sensibilities.

Average Rating: 7.833
MyAnimeList Score: 7.38

5. Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta

The final episode seemed to be setting up a sequel, when we’re not sure we really wanted one. We wanted closure, but instead we got something of a “To Be Continued,” which to us is a disservice to a show with a very nice (if doomed) central romance and some truly thrilling and gut-punching depiction of the hell of war, aerial or no.

Average Rating: 7.615
MyAnimeList Score: 7.38

4. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

KyoAni makes it look far too easy to craft beautiful-looking, moving shows populated with characters who feel vital and alive who we couldn’t help but invest in. As there’s been no new Suzumiya installments for a while, we consider Chu2Koi to be KyoAni’s present flagship. If they do a third season, we’ll watch, but not out of slavish devotion, but because we know we’ll get great bang for our twenty-odd minutes of time.

Average Rating: 8.250
MyAnimeList Score: 7.61

3. Golden Time

After plunging Banri, Koko, and the audience into a cloudy sea of uncertainty and despair, Golden Time triumphantly maneuvers out of its self-made abyss and delivers a classic happy ending where everything works out for everyone (except maybe Chinami). Your mileage may vary, but we loved it, and we’ll miss this colorful, compelling gang of young adults.

Average Ratings: 8.417 (episodes 13-24), 8.458 (episodes 1-24)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.94

2. Space Dandy

Space Dandy showed us a little bit something for everyone, but we have no doubt that what it has yet to show us could fill an entire second season; minus a dud or two. Variety was definitely its watchword this Winter, but where it truly excelled wasn’t necessarily comedy, but in its moments of genuine drama and human (or humanoid) emotion.

Average Rating: 8.727
MyAnimeList Score: 7.73

1. Kill la Kill

We do believe we’ve heaped enough praise upon this show, but we’re of the mind that it deserved a good 80-90% of it. Truly awesome entertainment; the guilty pleasure to end all guilty pleasures. At the same time, we’re kinda glad it’s over; too much of a good (and manic) thing, and all that.

Average Rating: 9.417 (episodes 13-24), 8.958 (total)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.51