Lightning Round (Week of 2/11/2019)

The Rising of the Shield Hero – Ep. 6

Watch on Crunchyroll.

I did, as a matter of fact, say in my Midseason Rankings that I’d be dropping The Rising of the Shield Hero but given this show’s popularity, I want to comment on the show one last time. To clarify, I’m just dropping this show out of disinterest. There really isn’t anything offensive about Shield Hero and while I think I was fair in my First Impressions, I do want to take back some of my fear over how this show would portray its characters and themes.

That said, I still find the show extremely clumsy. The slavery stuff is weird. The RPG stuff I could still do without. By this episode, it dawned on me just how downplayed Naofumi’s rape allegations have gotten. There’s still the obvious detractors such as Malty and Motoyasu but apart from them, it sure looks like a lot of the townsfolk are becoming quite fine working with Naofumi. It was bound to happen but by Episode 6? It feels a bit too soon if you ask me. The big culprit though is the character development. I wanted to see Raphtalia mature into a confident young woman. I wanted to see Naofumi develop a rapport with Filo. The chemistry the trio has now is admittedly still pretty decent but I still can’t shrug of the steps skipped to get to that point.

I’ll finish off by saying this: it’s not often I last half of a cour in an isekai anime. I normally drop much sooner, sometimes at the very first episode. There’s far worse shows than this one. Hell, to call it awful would be a stretch. I, however, think my time could be better spent with something else so this show can still go.

My Roommate is a Cat – Ep. 6

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

The whole conversation between Subaru and Yuugo sure was something. Sure, Subaru was bound to bump into fans of his work but to think Nana and her brother would be among them is still quite the coincidence. I wish Subaru revealed himself there but it is more in-character of him to panic and leave, especially after seeing Yuugo speak so glowingly about his stories, something he’s definitely not used to dealing with.

Much of this episode is actually dedicated to elaborating Haru’s past…which as you can expect, is depressing as hell. I especially like how this episode shows two of Haru’s siblings get adopted by a family, then proceeds to leave us hanging over what happened to the two strays that helped Haru’s family survive and once again remind us that one of the siblings straight up died. It is an effectively harrowing flashback but goodness, I’m still stunned how dark this show is willing to be.

Also, they drew young Haru with such big, innocent eyes…someone stop this anime!

The Quintessential Quintuplets – Ep. 6

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

Oh no, I’m liking Ichika a lot. And here I thought Miku was a lock for Best Girl. What’s weird is that Ichika is winning me over because she’s rooting for Miku. I’m so conflicted as I am still rooting for Miku but goddamn it, Ichika deserves a chance too!

That aside, it is great having three quintuplets on board with learning under Fuutarou’s tutelage. Why, it feels like an actual group now. I’ve been finding Quintessential Quintuplets as its strongest when it’s just focusing on one girl so it’s doing itself a favor fleshing out the overall chemistry of its characters now.

The other girls sure are stubborn. I try to keep the Nino tangents to a minimum but this girl really does lessen the entertainment value of the show she’s in. She’ll no doubt come around but right now, she doesn’t have enough redeemable qualities. She’s just rude and lazy. Give Itsuki credit, at least she is trying to study on her own. I can’t blame her for disliking Fuutarou either. Sure, the guy’s job is now on the line but that doesn’t excuse how rude he got. I just wish he was able to properly apologize to Itsuki like he wanted. Damn you, Nino!

Endro! – Ep. 6

Watch on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

The sudden sympathetic angle for Mao-sensei’s character took me by surprise. You kind of have to look past the fact that she’s, you know, a demon lord, and probably/most likely caused many deaths during her conquest. In her defense though, she literally got born into the role of a demon lord and only did what she did because she was raised by her own servants to act the part. And if not that, I do buy the idea that she was lonely. With her army fighting elsewhere, she barely got to know anyone and the contrast between her small stature and the sheer size of her throne room greatly reflects how listless being a demon lord must be.

Also, Mao-sensei apparently is just a loli. The more monstrous form she took at the start of the series is now chalked up to shapeshifting. That kind of clears up some confusion.

The real highlight of the episode though is the gang taking care of a sick Mao-sensei. The evil side of me wishes this was an assassination plot a Mao-sensei assumed but I nevertheless enjoyed how wholesome this scene is. Mei reveals she’s really good at cooking, Seira helps Mao-sensei eat the food, and Yusha and Fai clean the whole house. These four really get to show how much they appreciate their teacher which is a curious set-up given the roles they are fated to play. One has to wonder what will happen then when destiny catches up.

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