Kantai Collection: KanColle – 05


I’d thought that Fubuki, Mutsuki and Yuudachi would remain roomies for some time, but the Admiral decides to shuffle the fleets in preparation for a wider southeast offensive. Fubuki would prefer if the new fleet she’s in has Mutsuki, but she’d prefer it even more if Akagi was in it. Everyone needs a big sis!


There was a nice bittersweet vibe to their last night in their present bunks, with Fubuki and Mutsuki sneaking out for a walk and finding the rest of Torpedo Squad Three, who all promise to do their best no matter where they end up. Change is scary, but it can also lead to growth.


And growth seems to be what everyone in Fubuki’s new fleet is in need of. Whether it’s the need to stop messing around and being so airheaded like Kongou, or the need for torpedo cruisers Kitakami and Ooi to think about someone besides Kitakami, or for Fleet Carrier Kaga and the slightly lesser carrier Zuikaku to get over themselves, Mobile Unit Five is the very definition of dysfunctional.


One could also call it a damned mess. But Fubuki’s presence in it seems to be a calculation on the part of the Admiral, because Fubuki is in need of a different kind of growth: the kind in which she is able to put aside her insecurities and perceived inferiority with everyone, stand tall, grab this misfit fleet by the scruff of its neck and make it work, because nobody else is going to do it!


The other five ships are bigger and stronger than her, but each time one of them tries to be the flagship, their training exercises end in unmitigated failure. But Fubuki has a torpedo girl’s soul, and while she does despair for a brief time, that soul (and Akagi’s encouragement) won’t allow her to give up and ask the Admiral to reconsider, which is what Zuikaku wants to do.


She tells Zuikaku as much, and Zuikaku, who sees that fire in Fubuki’s eyes, doesn’t have the time to respond, because they’re sent out into battle right then and there. This time, Fubuki tells everyone to cool their jets and follow her commands. She is the decoy who charges forward while everyone else attacks the enemy, and after five straight failures in training, Mobile Unit Five’s first real battle is a convincing victory. And there’s nothing like a shared victory to break the ice between them.


In the end, the others choose Fubuki as their flagship, which is the right (and if we’re honest, quite obvious) choice, and Fubuki accepts, trusting in her new comrades’ judgement. Turns out she was the one to bring them together; someone who could neutralize their clashing personalities; someone they could all agree on and rally around. Fubuki immediately asserts her authority by insisting Zuikoku and Kaga get along, because at the end of the day, all three of them think towel rabbits are cute. As was this episode.


Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 17


Parasyte continues its liesurely Winter stroll, in an episode that even to me, Princess Patience, felt sluggish and uneventful. Sure, there’s an interesting multi-vector battle between parasytes in the beginning, but it takes its time. And then the storyline shifts to the detective and things slow down even more.


Nothing more unnerving than having a woman with half a face and a mouth that’s way too big for your body to ruin a lovely night out! But Tamiya Ryouko doesn’t have much of a choice; her former allies have turned on her, something she could probably have predicted based on her kind’s unswerving logic.


But Ryouko is different. Not only does she have the kid, but a lot more knowledge of the parasyte body, which she uses to her advantage against her foes, making pretty quick work of them…but not until she thoroughly explains how she beat them. Franklin mentioned how while battling the parasytes are very static, and that was more evident to me here, especially when compounded with their emotionless-by-nature dialogue.


Also, as macabre as it may sound, the fact no humans were harmed in this battle, even collaterally, lowered the stakes somewhat. Ryouko hasn’t quite earned the right to be someone I’d route for. I’d sooner they all destroyed each other and leave Shinichi with a couple fewer problems to worry about.


Ryouko returns home to find her baby gone; kidnapped by Kuranomi, so she breaks into Shinichi’s house, goes through his baby pictures, and asks him to meet her at the same park where Kuranomi told her to meet him.


Ryouko then exits Shinichi’s house just when Satomi happens to be outside, hoping for him to be home. It’s very understandable for Satomi to get the wrong idea here (especially when Ryouko says she’s not his mother), but Ryouko also screams “answers.”


Then just as Satomi is wishing and hoping for Shinichi to come back soon, he passes right by her in a bus, and she just happens to see him, and then chases after the bus. Satomi’s luck continues when she arrives at the bus station to find Ryouko and then chases her down. Uhh, what? That’s a lot of timely coincidences to get Satomi involved in one day!


Kuranomi and Ryouko meet at the park, though I’m not sure what Kuranomi wants, but he seems to think no matter what he does, Ryouko will simply shrug it off, because she’s an unfeeling monster. Despite this, he feels the need to have her experience an iota of the grief he has, so he prepares to toss the kid over a balcony, when Ryouko’s maternal instinct kicks in, kills him, and snatches the babe up, surprising not only him, but herself as well.


So yeah, at this point Satomi is simply sitting around in the park. Unaware how much of the episode had progressed, I assumed one of two things would happen: she’d finally witness Shinichi in action (shocking truth!), or she’d get herself killed (far less likely). Surprise: Neither happens. Nothing happens, which was kind of deflating.


Kuranomi is killed, but our time with him was so brief, and his choices often so idiotic (do not kidnap crazy monster’s infant or face he alone, ever), I can’t say I’ll miss him. Truth be told, we only saw his family for one brief scene. In terms of emotional impact, Kana he is not (Kana’s death still gets to me).


Well, here we are: Shinichi and Ryouko facing off once again. Will this be another calm chat that turns more heated when Ryouko pushes Shinichi’s buttons? Will Ryouko tell him her buddies tried to kill her and now she’s alone with her baby and her philosophy? Will the blades come out and they’ll just start hacking at each other, when all of a sudden Satomi strays into their attack radius? I wasn’t able to say this before, but at this point, I’ll take anything, as long as it’s…something.


Spring 2015 Season Preview


Spring is coming. Here’s what will air that interests us. Promo art and info from MAL. Eventually you can check out countdowns to first episodes over at Anichart.net.

Amusingly, the initial batch of Spring show’s we’re either interested in or at least going to give a look is 19, the exact number of shows we’re currently watching (not including Steins;Gate retro reviews). Certainly a less ridiculous field than the 42 of last Fall (of which we reviewed 17 to completion).

We’re not sure yet if we’ll be going back with brackets, or just taking shows as they come, and as always, the choices below are subject to change.


Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation Plastic Memories

1. Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki (Knights of Sidonia: The Battle for Planet Nine) – Starchild / Polygon Pictures (Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Space, Seinen) Second season of the best anime of Winter 2014 (reviews here). Unlike Aldnoah.Zero, I was actually hoping for a second season. It happens to have an awesome sci-fi title, to boot.

2. Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation – A-1 Pictures, Square Enix, Nitroplus (Action, Sci-Fi) Anime adaptation of Square Enix’s arcade action game Gunslinger Stratos. Urobuchi Gen planning.

3. Plastic Memories  (Plamemo) – Aniplex, Doga Kobo, Mages (Sci-Fi) My first thought: “promo art looks like Infinite Stratos.” Which makes sense because as it turns out they have the same original character designer. Amamiya Sora voices the heroine.


Braverade + sesameacrylic

4. Gintama’ – Sunrise / TV Tokyo / Aniplex (Action, Comedy, Historical, Parody, Samurai, Sci-Fi, Shounen) – We’ll be taking a short glance at this new version of a wildly popular show. If it’s good, and we have time, we might review it…but we’ll be tourists. Our only exposure to the franchise is when the three main characters had a cameo in SKET Dance 26.


Denpa Kyoushi Hibike! Euphonium Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu Nisekoi: Shokugeki no Souma Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

5. Denpa Kyoushi (He Is an Ultimate Teacher) – A-1(?) (Comedy, Romance, School, Shounen, Harem) Genius-turned-NEET-turned-teacher, thanks to his sister. Ono Daisuke will voice the male lead; Asumi Kana will voice his sis.

6. Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium) – Kyoto Animation, Lantis, Pony Canyon, Rakuonsha (Music, School) That this is the latest work by the director of Suzumiya Haruhi and Chu2Koi, makes it worth an automatic close look, despite its similarities to A-1’s Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

7. Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu  (The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Satelight / Lantis / Kadokawa Shoten / The Klock Worx (Comedy, Romance, Shounen, Harem) – This spin-off of the beloved and extremely popular Suzumiya Haruhi series has all the voice actors returning, but isn’t being produced by KyoAni. That being said, Nagato Yuki cemented her place as my favorite character in the franchise after the movie, so the fact she’s the main focus here (and Chihara Minori will voice her) makes me hopeful the change of studio is of no concern.

8. Nisekoi: – Shaft (Comedy, Romance, School, Seinen) – Will Raku end up with Kosaki (or any one girl) at long last? Ehh…Doubtful. But I’ll watch anyway, without committing to any particular pairing, because that’s not really the point of this kind of harem show.

9. Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars) – J.C. Staff (Ecchi, School, Shounen) – Sounds like a higher-stakes Koufuku Graffiti and Chihayafuru. involves cooking so I’ll be taking a look.

10. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku (Oregairu 2 / My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 2) – Feel / TBS (Comedy, Romance, School) – Like Nisekoi, I’m familiar with this franchise and it wasn’t bad, so I’ll be watching. Its first season got off to a slow and uninspiring start but got much better.

sesameacrylic + Oigakkosan

Ore Monogatari!! Punchline

11. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!) – Madhouse, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Comedy, Romance, Shoujo) A “big awkward guy gets some love” in an industry full of “regular-sized guy gets some love” shows. Worth a look.

12. Punchline – MAPPA (Comedy, Slice of Life) – “follows Yūta Iritatsu, whose spirit has been separated from his body.” Studio and promo art suggest this won’t be a bad-looking show.


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Owari no Seraph Re-Kan!

13. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (DanMachi / Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?) – J.C.Staff / Genco (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance) This has a long an obnoxious title, but I will be watching this along with Zane (not sure who’s reviewing). The director has comedic chops (Kill Me Baby!) but that was a short. Here’s hoping it’s not terrible?

14. Owari no Seraph – Wit Studio (Drama, Shounen, Vampire, Supernatural) – Pros: Those genres are up my alley…and it co-stars Hayami Saori. Con: There’s already a second season planned, so this will be a long commitment.

15. Re-Kan! – Pierrot Plus (Comedy, School, Seinen) – Kido Ibuki voices the lead.


Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season Triage X Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo

16. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season – Ufotable (Action, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Supernatural) Like regular blade works, only unlimited. Having lost Saber, Shirou will retire to Okinawa with Rin and they’ll spend their days working on their tans.

17. Triage X – Xebec, DAX Production, Nippon Columbia (Action, Adventure, Ecchi, School, Shounen) – Boob Hospital.

18. Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo – Lidenfilms (Comedy, Mystery, Ecchi, Romance, School, Shounen, Harem, Supernatural)

Ninja Slayer From Animation

Braverade + Oigakkosan

19. Ninja Slayer From Animation – Trigger (Action) – Trigger’s third TV show after Kill la Kill and InoBato. Will have future ninjas in it, and a theme song from Boom Boom Satellites.