Akagami no Shirayuki-hime – 18

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Having been held captive many times before, I fully expected Shirayuki to waste no time attempting escape, relying on her Ellie Sattler-like botanical knowledge and MacGyver-like resourcefulness…and the girl don’t disappoint. First thing she does is rip up her expensive ball gown to make it easier to move, then she discovers some seeds among the cargo that give off a thick smoke when burned.

They successfully misdirect and knock out their two guards, but once she and Kazuki are on the deck, in broad daylight, they’re instantly re-caught by Umihebi. I was actually glad about that, because while burning smoky nuts is clever, these pirates would look pretty incompetent if they let her get away so easily.

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Back at Raj’s castle, I’m a little surprised the princes haven’t set off yet, though I liked how Mitsuhide and Kiki give Zen (holding the broken watch he gave Shirayuki) a much-needed slap on the back to focus him and release all the stuff he’s holding in. Kiki also gives him a note from Obi that ends up aiding their search considerably.

Rather than damage her precious cargo Shirayuki, Umihebi punishes her by viciously whipping her crew members in front of her. Shirayuki, ever abhorring violence, only gains an even lower opinion of the pirate queen, and can’t help diagnosing their injuries, impressing Umihebi.

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Meanwhile, Zen finds Obi thanks to one of Kihal’s homing birds, drawn to the bell Zen meant for Obi to give to Shirayuki, but was never able to due to her kidnapping. Obi and Itoya had joined up with other members of the autonomous Lions of the Mountain.

It takes a little while to sort out what’s going on (Raj seems especially lost at moments), but the bottom line is that Kazuki was once a “decorative ornament” to nobles, then a member of the Claw of the Sea, but defected to the lions and made it his personal mission to rescue Shirayuki from what he (wrongly) believed was a similar fate.

Kazuki and Itoya were so intent on carrying out the mission, they never gave her a chance to speak for herself. So while Kazuki’s motives were pure, his assumptions were disrespectful, as well as wrong. All that aside, both the princes and the lions want their people back, so Zen and Raj form an alliance with their leader to rescue them from the Claw.

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It’s not a coincidence that right after the Lion leader mentions that the “half-hearted” shrink away when the Claw leader Umihebi glares at them with her cold eyes, we see Shirayuki glaring right the fuck back at her. Shirayuki’s no half-heart, but she’s not a hardened soldier either, so despite putting on a defiant face for Umihebi and a brave one for Hazuki, the latter still sees her trembling in fear, which is all to understandable, considering she’s on the cusp of being shipped off to God-knows-where, with no way to tell Zen where she is.

Except, at the close of the episode, she’s no longer alone with Hazuki. When considering all their options, Kiki volunteers to get herself arrested and thrown onto the Claw’s ship as another prisoner, so that Shirayuki can have a capable ally by her side both to protect her and give her hope. Kiki has always been a appallingly underutilized character – she’s essentially an onna-kishi – but I’m very glad she gets to shine here. I also like how Mitsu doesn’t like the idea of her going, but doesn’t stop her either.

As for where Umihebi’s ship is headed, another underutilized character who had just complained about being an outsider, Mihaya, thinks he knows the location of the Claw’s secret mansion, since his crooked dad and brother once did business with them. Shirayuki may still be in enemy hands, but the addition of Kiki spices up what could have been a monotonous captivity, and now that she knows Zen is on the case, she’s far less likely to lose heart, even if things get worse before they get better.

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Spring 2016 Season Preview

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We’re now halfway (~six weeks) through the Winter of this new year, so we thought it was about time to take a look at what’s on the horizon once things warm up a bit and the deciduous trees start to bud.

Below is a list of we’ve found that might interest us so far, using MAL as a guide (all shows link there for more details). Note that as always, we have not consumed any of the source material for these shows, be it manga, novels, or games. We’ll be reviewing and rating purely on the merits of the anime adaptations, where applicable.

If we know a show is really bad (or just not our thing) from just the first ep, that show will be dropped. However, we typically give shows 3-4 eps to prove themselves worthy of our limited and very important time. A show below may also change if it turns out to be, for example, more up Zane’s alley than Preston’s. By week 5, we’ll be reviewing no more than twelve (12) shows, which means 9 of the shows below will be cut.

If you believe we’re missing out on an upcoming Spring show, let us know in the comments and we’ll take it under advisement.

* = carryover/second season/sequel.

Braverade

Safe

1. Macross Δ (Delta) – Satelight (Action, Mecha, Military, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi) Anime Original (Preview Special review here.)

Promising

2. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress) – Wit Studio (Genres TBA) Anime Original
3. Kuromukuro (Chrome Black) – P.A. Works (Mecha) Anime Original

Maybe

4. Boku no Hero Academia ( My Hero Academia) –  Bones (Sci-Fi) Anime Original
5. KiznaiverTrigger (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Shounen, Supernatural) Source: Manga


sesameacrylic

Safe

6. Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season* (The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water)  – A-1 Pictures (Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Romance, School, Sci-Fi, Supernatural) Source: Light Novel

Promising

7. Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)  – A-1 Pictures (Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Police) Source: Visual Novel
8. Sakamoto desu ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto) – Studio Deen (Comedy, School, Seinen) Source: Manga
9. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is always languid) – Silver Link (Comedy, School, Slice of Life) Source: Web Manga

Maybe

10. Bakuon!! (Roar!!) – TMS Entertainment (Cars, Seinen, Slice of Life, Sports) Source: Manga
11. Hundred – Production IMS (Action, Ecchi, Harem, Mecha, Romance, School, Sci-Fi) Source: Light Novel
12. Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? (And you thought there is never a girl online?) – Project No.9 (Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School) Source: Light Novel
13. Sansha Sanyou – Doga Kobo (Comedy, School, Slice of Life) Source: 4-koma Manga
14. Shounen Maid (Boy Maid) – 8Bit (Comedy, Shoujo, Slice of Life) Source: Manga


MagicalChurlSukui

Safe

15. Ushio to Tora 2nd Season* – Mappa (Comedy, Demons, Shounen, Supernatural) Source: Manga

Promising

16. Flying Witch – J.C. Staff (Comedy, Shounen, Slice of Life, Supernatural) Source: Manga
17. Kuma Miko (Girl meets bear) – Kinema Citrus / EMT² (Comedy, Seinen) Source: Manga
18. Mayoiga (It is lost) – Diomedea (Drama) Anime Original

Maybe

19. Bungou Stray Dogs – Bones (Mystery, Seinen, Supernatural) Source: Manga
20. Sousei no Onmyouji (Twin Star Exorcists) – Studio Pierrot (Action, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural) Source: Manga
21. Sword Gai – DLE (Seinen) Source: Manga