Lightning Round (Week of 1/28/2019)

Still late with the Lightning Round but I’m learning to be okay with that. The midseason is approaching soon so once my watch list finalizes, I might be able to get these out on a more timely fashion.

The Rising of the Shield Hero – Ep. 4

Watch on Crunchyroll.

I was going to give Shield Hero another standalone review but to be honest, my interest in this show is starting to flame out and I kind of want to save myself a headache.

To be fair, I kind of love just how arrogant and stupid Motyasu is. The guy challenges Naofumi to a duel for Raphtalia’s freedom but you’ll find yourself siding with Naofumi because the plan is so poorly thought out. Does the man not realize very few share his anti-slavery views? Freeing Raphtalia would just send her back into the slave market. If Motoyasu really cares so much about this issue, he should really make bank on his influence as a Hero, not try to free one specific slave simply because he hates Naofumi. I’ll also admit that the fight between him and Naofumi is decent. Seeing all the different shields can be fun to watch and I like the contrast in the two’s fighting styles. One relies on ingenuity to survive while the other is a physical powerhouse and so only feels the need to try to hit things really hard.

The whole slavery aspect though still bothers me. I’m sorry but take Raphtalia telling Motoyasu that he should own a slave if he cares so much about helping them and not respond with a very baffled “What?”. I get that she’s calling him out on his lack of spine and selflessness but the articulation still feels like something straight out of the 1700s. And to repeat what I’ve said before, I doubt the author is really pushing any sort of politics but that still doesn’t stop the series from coming across as clunky and underdeveloped.

My Roommate is a Cat – Ep. 4

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

I’ll be damned, My Roommate is a Cat has stayed fresh this far in. It’s definitely a slow burn but that’s hardly a detriment when the characterization and the feels have been this strong.

In this episode, Atsushi eggs him into getting a collar for Haru and at first, he doesn’t get why he should bothered. Eventually, he comes around when it reminds him of how his mother sought out to get him the trademark sweater that he still wears to this day. Trivial stuff like this can just click for people and I love that Subaru comes to recognize by connecting past experiences with what’s currently happening in his life. The trip to the vet also made for an enjoyable time. Subaru’s social awkwardness and introverted side is in full effect here and his fear of not wanting to bother people with requests is easy to relate with. 

As for Haru’s POV time, I just find it really sweet how the neighborhood dog asked if they can be friends. I thought for sure, it was going to be the usual dogs vs. cats routine. The dog wondering what happened to Subaru’s mom though…man, this show can actually be cruel sometimes. 

The Quintessential Quintuplets – Ep. 4

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

I’m totally not showing favoritism with all these Miku screencaps. Not at all…

Anyway, this episode was fine. It’s more or less your usual summer festival scenario though a few scenes stand out to me. I’m normally not fond with the imouto trope but Raiha’s ability to guilt the quintuplets into acting a little more civil with Fuutarou and comply with some of his requests is pretty great. The fact that the girls willingly get their homework done in time is a reassuring sign that they can take their studies seriously if the circumstances is just right. The final act where Fuutarou sets off to locate all the sisters for Nino feels kind of symbolic, suggesting that one who’ll help Nino secure the unity she longs for will be Fuutarou.

Evidently, it looks like Ichika will be the next focal character. Quite a lot of mystery has been built around her so I’m curious what exactly her deal is.

The Price of Smiles – Ep. 5

Watch on Crunchyroll.

I almost considered bumping The Price of Smiles back to standalone coverage last episode but I hesitated and I see why I did now. How much commenting this series merits seems to vary and in the case of this episode, I don’t have a whole lot to say. The imperial army is carrying out another operation and we get a glimpse at Stella’s character through the perspective of her friend, Lily. That’s honestly is it really.

It’s still decent enough though. You get a clear sense that Stella and Lily have some history together and it’s a bit uplifting to know that Stella is still capable of feeling genuinely happy from time to time. What surprises me most though is the fact that Lily is still alive. I thought for sure she’d pull a Joshua during the episode’s climax so that the show can shift focus to Stella’s eventual friendship with Yuuki. Now, I kind of wonder what’s in store for this character instead.

Endro! – Ep. 4

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

Of course, there’d be a beach episode. Then again, everyone excluding Seira picking the beach as their next destination feels awfully in-character so the excuse feels a little more legitimate here.

Endro! sure went places anyway. The fact they complete the objectives by coincidence is fun enough but things get stranger when they accidentally catch a sentient mackerel who asks for their help in freeing his people from an evil god. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. For a while, I thought maybe this signals the start of the girls’ journey as heroes. With Mao giving up on ruling the world, there ought to be a new threat to fulfill the prophecy. Ultimately, that is not the case as the girls manage to beat him just fine and most hilariously, the god ends up getting eaten by Chibi. It’s hard to tell if Endro! actually intends to invest in the idea of Yusha saving the world but to be frank, I’m actually okay if it doesn’t. This show just continues to be a fun ride anyway.

The Magnificent Kotobuki – Ep. 4

Watch on Crunchyroll & HIDIVE.

What a strange anime The Magnificent Kotobuki is proving to be. So continuing off of last episode, the squad sets off to take the mayors plane back from the con artists. Zara gets the spotlight this time and she concocts a pretty clever plan to infiltrate the enemy base by pretending to be part of a performing troupe that’s schedule to entertain there. That and get most of the men drunk and knocked out during the after-party which I’ll admit was really stinking funny.

Oddly enough, you find out that the paintings the con artists have using to trick people are actually the innocent works of a young girl whom the boss is taking care of. It’s a strange turn of events but it does humanize the con artists beyond their cartoonish personalities. I really enjoyed watching Zsara genuinely befriend the girl too, encouraging her to keep pursuing her passion and honoring the girl’s request to save the boss when some of the other pirates plot to betray him. What a strange series of events this episode proved to be though I really enjoy how adventurous it all feels.

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2 thoughts on “Lightning Round (Week of 1/28/2019)

    • I’m approaching Endro as a CGDCT anime, hence my leniency, but I kind of agree that an actual plot would be nice. If the punchline really is that the girls end up doing jack shit, well, I like it on paper at least. Execution is a whole other matter though.

      Liked by 1 person

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