Maou-sama, Retry! – 04 – Doctor Sailor Leg

Girlish Boy and Boobarian stride into the wasteland to fight the sand wolves… but there are too many so they run away! Meanwhile, Maou and Aku and Luna are riding a carriage in that general direction. Maou wants Luna to put on a sailor uniform and goes out for a smoke. He’s annoyed he needs a ton of skill points, which he gets right away by killing all the wolves.

Later, while Luna and Aku are taking a bath in his magic portable base, Maou spends skill points to summon Yu Karino, who is one of his many in game underlings. Something something mad scientist doctor, but she heals Aku’s bum leg and then falls in love with Maou.

Maou-sama Retry is an odd duck and this week’s expansion of Maou’s harem from three to seven, including a transvestite teenager and the working-man coach driver, doesn’t make it any less weird. Sure, there’s sarcasm aplenty, what with Luna now wearing a school girl uniform but I’m not even sure if Maou is aware enough of itself to be making fun of genres?

Something something production values still terrible but more enjoyable to watch than Isekai Magic Cheat. Still, remarkably little happened this episode :(

Isekai Cheat Magician – 03 – Fruit PUNCH

After an awkward wet dream, Taichi and Rin are summoned by the Guild Master. While he motionlessly expositions the guild quest system, it becomes apparent that someone forgot to animate his lips. That’s okay. Rin and Taichi beat up a bar full of black market thugs off screen anyway.

Later, Rin and Taichi beat up a trio of assassins, and level up to Rank D. Then they have sacks of money for some reason before Myre asks them to join her party. Apparently we’re not supposed to laugh at a show for having characters ‘miss’ each other even though we, the viewer, have experienced less than ten minutes (and zero developments) of that separation.

It’s okay. Rin, Taichi and Myre go to a pear orchard and beat up monsters. Some lady kills animals and maybe a person at night and swears revenge…

Isekai Cheat Magician thinks it is better than Maou-sama Retry. This is not the case. It is dull because it is poorly paced, often not animated, and filled with generic characters who lack motivation, consistency, and context. Viewer discretion advised!

Granbelm – 03 – 満月に鐘は鳴る

Bloodline adoption, missing moms and cursed sisters, lead Granbelm into stronger, more interesting storytelling waters this week. Unfortunately, Mangetsu is still the main character, and remains so utterly uninteresting that no one even cares that her having magic COMPLETELY BREAKS THE RULES OF THEIR WORLD.

Granbelm isn’t incompetent and it isn’t boring or frustrating to watch. Granbelm is just completely ineffective, at everything, on every level.

For example, the opening scene that carries over from the previous week ends with a confrontation between Anna and Ernesta. In it, Ernesta catches Anna’s hand mid-slap as she repeats the fact that Anna can not win. However, Anna’s leaving (and the non-resolve of Mangetsu’s mega flower magic/Anna’s accusation of being a demon) transitions unseen while the viewer watches the opening credit sequence…

Bizarrely, Anna and Ernesta’s confrontation scene semi-repeats later in the episode. The sky is again red but this time Ernesta gets slapped! The visual link of the red sky and the fight is baffling as it makes the sequences between the open and this show down feel unnecessary.

Last week should have ended addressing Mangetsu’s WORLD BREAKING USE OF MAGIC and Anna should not have been given a confrontation scene until this week’s mid point.

Don’t even get me started on Mangetsu’s elementary school age sister, who is in some sort of flirty relationship with Nene, an adult who only looks like a child. I’m not even going to try making sense of the duality of Mangetsu feeding Ernesta and Mangetsu’s sister liking Nene because she shares food with her…

There are now fourteen interlocking characters to follow, each with moderate characterization, motivations and magic powers. After three viewings, I do not know half of their names.

The action is hard to follow as well. It took a second viewing for me to catch Mangetsu’s mech somehow getting in Anna’s puppets’ way. After three viewings I don’t even know what Nene is doing. Something about floating gems with magic power? For the length of time the Granbelm shows us, it doesn’t actually explain what is going on…

In conclusion, Granbelm is a highly polished collection of incorrect choices. That polish makes it easy to watch but it’s choices make it very difficult to care about. Meh?