Lightning Round (7/30/17) – Fastest Fingers First | Gamers! | Et Al

Considering how behind I am on everything, I think a Lightning Round is warranted.

New Game!! – Ep. 3

This episode of New Game!! was less dramatic from the last one but there are still signs pointing towards a more character-driven season. It’s surprising for me because the first season was so light on story but if Season 2 really is investing more time towards character development than I can hardly complain about that.

I am finding Aoba’s new role as the lead character designer more fascinating than when she was learning the ropes last season. It’s pretty understandable that she feels conflicted when Iijima offers advice on rendering her character designs since Aoba is still new to 3D modeling. Thankfully, Hifumi’s there to help Aoba accept the situation and move forward but I think Aoba leading her own creative voice in this project will be a huge part of Season 2.

We also got to see more on Nene’s programming and I can’t help but curious about it. She’ll probably get hired by Eagle Jump but I really do like seeing her bond with Umiko over a common interest. It’s an nice evolution from Umiko getting annoyed with Nene causing a ruckus in Season 1.

Fastest Fingers First – Eps. 2-4

I want to give my two cents on Mari’s voice since it seems to be a huge point of contention for some viewers. I personally don’t want to harp on Umika Kawashima’s performance as Mari. It’s her first VA role and she’s apparently done TV Dramas for most of her career. I do think her delivery is flat at times but I don’t think that’s enough to warrant dropping this show.

For the most part, 7O3X is shaping up quite nicely.  I would’ve never expected quiz bowls to be so complicated but 7O3X sure makes a compelling case that it is. You not only have to be knowledgeable but also you have to notice wording, accentuation, and patterns so that you can buzz sooner and there also question types and common (“classic”) questions that exist too. There’s a lot of depth to quiz bowls and it makes the competitions pretty intense. I was rooting for Shiki but it is clear that he has a long ways to go until he can match with Mari’s memorization skills and compete against the extremely keen Mikuriya.

If a sports anime is able to make you interested and engaged in a sport you originally were unfamiliar with, it’s clearly doing something right.

Gamers! – Ep. 3

I don’t really have a whole lot to add on Gamers! Its depiction of gamers is still pretty accurate and I still think the show is trying a bit too hard at being funny.  I do like the addition of Chiaki Hoshinomori since she’s another otaku like Keita but she can’t seem to get along with him completely because they fight over the most trivial things in games. Be honest, who hasn’t had that kind of argument with their friends? I also like seeing all the different chemistry each different pairing has. Chiaki and Keita arguing was my favorite but I am curious about Chiaki’s crush on Tasuku and Keita and Aguri getting acquainted with one another. Karen seems to be shoved to the wayside though so maybe that should be addressed soon.

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits – Eps. 2-3

This is probably the last time I’ll blog about Action Heroine. It’s not really a show that merits a lot of discussion but it’s decent enough that it remains on the filler list for now. There’s been a couple new characters and I will admit that it gets a little overwhelming at first but most of them are fairly likable. Mikan still looks like an Alternate Universe Kotori Minami to me. I am kind of shocked that no one thought replicating Kamidaio wouldn’t get them a copyright strike but give the show credit, it’s at least addressed by Episode 3.

Altair: A Record of Battles – Eps. 3-4 

Given the reputation the manga has, I keep expecting something amazing about Shoukoku no Altair but so far, I’m just not feeling it. A ton of the story just fly by because of how overwritten the dialogue is so it’s hard for me to really be attached to anything that’s going on.

That being said, I think the issue is entirely on execution and less actual narrative content. Honestly, I do like seeing the political and conspiracy-driven atmosphere of the show. I also just find Mahmut to be a very enjoyable lead. His heart is in the right place but it is clear that he has little idea as to what he’s getting himself into. When he kills that mercenary in Episode 2, it felt like Mahmut really needed to convince himself to do it. It’s a little surprising that Mahmut gets demoted for acting alone and on impulse but it’s perhaps the right move in order for the boy to really confront his naivete. I particularly took notice when Kara slapped Mahmut in the face for suggesting to fight the villains on his own. It’s an extreme yet almost necessary move to remind Mahmut that he has to work with others if he is to be a leading politician again.

One last thing, can I get those weird eagle whistles? Those are super cool!

The Reflection – Ep. 2 

My most consistent thought throughout this episode was, “Yeah, this is starting to get interesti—wait is that recycled footage from Episode 1?”. We do learn more about the Reflection, the Reflected, X-On and I-Guy and it’s all nice but the trade-off is that half the episode was a repeat of the premiere. I’m sure Nagahama’s crew wanted to recontextualize the premiere but I can’t shrug off the feeling the move was to also save up on animation time. Minimalist approach to narrative and artwork can only go so far if the budget becomes so blatantly obvious. I’m still curious enough to give it one more episode but I can’t blame anyone if they already dropped the show by now.

Thanks for reading!

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is officially available on HIDIVE.

Altair: A Record of Battles is officially available on Amazon.

Fastest Fingers First is officially available on Crunchyroll.

Gamers! is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

New Game!! is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

The Reflection is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

For more Gamers! posts, check out the show’s archive page!

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