Lightning Round (10/24/18) – Double Decker | Zombie Land Saga | Boarding School Juliet | Release the Spyce

Time to belatedly play catch up again. For record, I was going to include The Girl in Twilight but I think I’ll actually save that for its own write up. That show just fascinates me one way or another. Besides, this post is long enough.

Double Decker! Doug & Kirill – Eps. 4 & 5

Double Decker Ep. 5

The plot thickens.

Kay got her time to shine after all. Episode 4 of Double Decker! is a pretty self-contained adventure though I am happy to see the show branch off into the other members of Seven-O. Kay and Deana have a pretty entertaining dynamic going on. It’s somewhat similar to Doug and Kirill’s in that you have a rookie cop and the seasoned veteran but the difference in personality is apparent. Like Kirill, Kay has a strong sense of justice though she seems to follow things a bit too by the book. In fact, her trying to follow protocol ends up having her place trust in the wrong people and almost jeopardize the mission. Deana may be rude and not follow the rules but like Doug, she has experience and can think outside the box. Overall, the two make an entertaining pair.

It’s Episode 5 that the plot truly begins to thicken. A death row inmate seeks the help of Doug by confessing he’s killed one of the biggest crime leaders in town code-named A. As it turns out, Doug has been hunting the crook down for eons and Kirill begins to feel concerned for his partner’s well being now that there’s a new lead. At least thematically, this feels like the closest tie to Tiger & Bunny so far. Doug’s obsession with A reminds me a lot about Barnaby’s obsession with the Ouroboros and both of their respective partners try to keep them in check. There is also of course, the Bamboo Man showing up and revealing that he has powers that don’t require taking Anthem. Perhaps we’re seeing the emergence of NEXTs? Regardless, it seems that Double Decker has formally begun its main storyline and it’s looking to be really fun and compelling ride from here on out.

Zombie Land Saga – Ep. 3

Zombie Land Saga Ep. 3

That CGI. Oof, those girls really are zombies.

It pains me to say it but that was a pretty weak offering from Zombie Land Saga. Whereas the first two episodes went as over the top as possible, this episode opts to play the whole idol plot completely straight. Barring the fact that the girls are zombies and Mamoru Miyano’s hammy delivery, you could mistake this for any other idol show. Whatever strengths the first two episodes had, it simply isn’t utilized here and the whole result is very underwhelming.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if it wasn’t for the musical number being so bland. The song and dance are both very forgettable not to mention the wonky CGI. Oof, those girls really are zombies. It worries me as I personally think that a lot of idol anime live or die depending on the soundtrack. If this anime is going to start using J-Pop and it can’t be on par with a bunch of screaming and an impromptu rap number, then we have a serious problem here.

The stuff with Junko and Ai is alright though you’re not given a lot of insight regarding their apprehension about being idols again. I mean, Kotarou’s plan is really goddamn stupid but the only implication regarding these girls’ past is that being idols was hard. It’s hard enough to enjoy idol anime and shrug off the insane work environment it has in real life. A show such as this really shouldn’t delve into that if it’ll only tackle it on a surface level.

Since I really enjoyed the first two episodes, I am willing to sit through Zombie Land Saga some more. That said, this is some shaky ground it’s standing on right now.

Boarding School Juliet – Ep. 3

Boarding School Juliet Ep. 3

If only this actually starred Char Aznable. 

I’m finding myself less jazzed about Boarding School Juliet as time goes on and while the later episodes could be amazing, I’ve learned from my experience that it’s sometimes best to call it quits while I can. The novelty is there and I think Romio and Juliet’s relationship is pretty good. But look past that and you’re kind of left with a pretty generic romantic comedy anime. Maybe if it leaned more towards playing around with its Shakespearean roots, it could stand out more but it’s been a rather safe ride so far.

To be honest, I wasn’t terribly thrilled about the introduction of Char (sadly not, Char Aznable though that would’ve been amazing). I guess we need a blackmail plot in this episode and I’ll admit that the surprise at the end was indeed hilarious. But apart from that, Char is your average cruel mistress type character and I frankly zoned out for most of the episode.

For now, Boarding School Juliet has been dropped from the watch list though I’ll keep an eye on how it fares with the anime community.

Release the Spyce – Ep. 3

Release the Spyce Ep. 3

They’re not Chise but they might do.

Just when you think Momo is finally ready to be a cool ninja spy, Release the Spyce proceeds to have her learn the ropes once again. I suppose learning the hard way is very different but with how good she was getting last episode, it’s a little jarring to see her this green. It kind of also just stagnates her apprenticeship under Yuki who just continues to be harsh on the outside but caring on the inside. There’s still some good moments. An overarching plot is kind of moving along and I particularly dig the message behind having all three rookies work together against the enemy of the week. It’s just…surely, we can pace a bit faster here.

Not to sound like a broken record but perhaps I am spoiled by Princess Principal. I don’t want to keep putting that show on a pedestal (okay, maybe I do) but it was incredibly smart of the show to start in medias res. Forgoing all the fluff about how to become a spy in favor of focusing squarely on the characters and their friendship with one another. It’s not necessarily innovative but it is pretty bold and compared to that, Release the Spyce just feels too safe. I hope the next episode will change my mind but right now, I’m not holding my breath.


Thanks for reading!

Double Decker! Doug & Kirill is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

Zombie Land Saga is officially available on Crunchyroll.

Boarding School Juliet is officially available on Amazon.

Release the Spyce is officially available on HIDIVE.

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