Welcome to the second week of the Fall 2013 season of Anime Knockout! Every week, we will review the new anime of the season, rate them, and kick the weakest show off of the queue.

Spoilers ahoy! So, if you don’t want to know what happens, come back after you’ve seen this week’s episodes!

For the Fall 2013 season, here is our chosen lineup:

Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Beyond the Boundary
Galilei Donna
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods
Golden Time
Kill la Kill
Log Horizon
MEGANEBU!
Nagi no Asukara
Samurai Flamenco
Strike the Blood
Walkure Romanze
Wanna be the Strongest in the World


Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods

Briar’s Review:

Please have a little more action than the last episode.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

We opens with a couple of little girls praying at the Inari shrine to Uka-no-Mitama, an agriculture god. We also get a recap about Gintaro. Saeki is late to school again, but makes the time to stop at a little roadside shrine and prays at it. She has gym first period? Yumi thanks Saeki, but tells her that she won’t ever trust her fortunes.

A dark haired student named Funabashi is class Vice President and considered a model student. There’s obvious strife between her and Yumi. Funabashi warns Saeki to choose her friends wisely. She also tells her to stop distracting students with fortune telling. I have no idea why she tells her that. Later, Saeki complains to Gintaro about this. Gintaro seems completely bored by Saeki’s little girl chatter and calls her a hypocrite. He thinks Funabashi sounds reasonable.

Funabashi is driven by chauffeur to school and that annoys Yumi. After Yumi stomps off, Funabashi tells Saeki that she put Yumi into an uncomfortable situation. After Funabashi gets scolded for not dropping off some papers, she recalls some girls saying that they would do it for her the day before. They lie to her about agreeing to such a thing when she confronts them. Saeki’s friends tell her not to get involved. The girls are friends with Yumi. Again, Saeki dumps her emotional baggage on Gintaro. She apologizes for it, but he tells her to vent.

Funabashi is confronted by Yumi’s friends in the bathroom. Yumi tracks down Saeki and asks to stay at her place. Saeki agrees. Then Saeki goes to the bathroom and sees the girls cornering Funabashi. Funabashi tells them that their business is with her, not Saeki. Yumi walks in and asks if they are teaching her a lesson. She tells them to stay out of her problems.

Yumi says those girls aren’t really friends. Funabashi blows up about people being judgmental about her. Saeki invites Funabashi to join her and Yumi for a sleepover. And Saeki apologizes and cries again. What is with her and waterworks? They dump the chauffeur and laugh about it.

At the shrine, Funabashi remarks about how quiet and calming the shrine is. Tatsuo tells them about always walking on the left side. Funabashi asks Saeki if she is going to take over the shrine. Saeki asks her if she will take over the tea ceremony school. Funabashi doesn’t know. We get a nonanswer from Saeki. Yumi wants to be a vet, but her grades aren’t good enough. Funabashi offers to help her study. Gintaro peeks into the future and tells Saeki that the three girls will be together for a long time. Saeki shows the other girls how to pay their respects at the shrine.

Plot Score: 6/10

Makoto is sweeping up the shrine while the fox spirit, Gintaro-sama, lazes nearby. Makoto goes to school and as the episode title suggests, this episode is all about learning to compromise. This time, Yumi, the same girl from the last episode that was having problems with her boyfriend and they made up, is now having problems with the class vice president, Funibana, a girl that come from a traditional tea ceremony home. After a couple spats, Makoto uses an opportunity to have them both come to her shrine. Along the way and when they get there, they resolve their differences and become friends. Gintaro-sama peaked into the future and saw they would be together for a long time.

The theme of this episode was just that. “The center of the path is reserved for the gods.” Makoto’s dad says this also teaches people to not run into each other, it’s a compromise when everyone walks to the left.

It was a simple episode, but solid. It’s understandable and relatable as far as high school rivalry goes.

Character Score: 5/10

Our central character of the episode is Funabashi. We even see her family life, where she wears traditional kimono, in a traditional Japanese home, with traditional manners. She comes from a tea ceremony family and her father is part of the Diet.

Gintaro remarks that there haven’t been many priests like Tatsuo, Saeki’s father. Tatsuo has fully embraced the notion that there is an invisible fox herald that only his daughter can see or hear. He could have easily decided to take Saeki to get analyzed and scanned, instead. For all we know, Gintaro really is just a figment of her imagination.

I forgot that Saeki was a high school student until halfway through the episode. She looks and acts like a middle schooler compared to her classmates. She’s also a teary-eyed doormat most of the time and I find that tedious.

Character Score: 5/10

Got to know the characters a little more. Introduced a new character, Funibana, who comes from a strict and formal home, so she is quite the opposite of Yumi. Girls not getting along in high school is a very simply and realistic problem to address.

Gintaro was not in the episode much, but he does help Makoto a little each day. He also blushed when she said she loved him, he was flustered for a moment. I don’t know what that says about him. It seemed more like a joke she likes to play on him.

Production Score: 5/10

It’s interesting that the original English sub title is Silver Fox, instead of the mouthful it has now. There’s nice lighting from time to time, but everything is otherwise very standard. Gintaro’s design didn’t bother me much this time around, but we didn’t see him very often.

Production Score: 8/10

I think what really makes it look worth anything is the lighting effects, which is what I liked the best from this anime. By this I mean the light from the sun which casts tree shadows which are overtop of everything. Gives it a more soft and realistic feel.

The details on the characters are there but not over the top with shine and contrast. Very easy on the eyes. Their hair actually moves around quite a bit. The dark-haired girl, Funibana, had wet hair at one point, and I think there was a small shortcut on the style in that shot, because it was still slicked back but also hanging. It just looked a off, but it’s not a detail most would notice.

The fox spirit only talks out of the side of this mouth, so there is little to no jaw movement. I’m not sure if this is a stylistic thing, or a lazy-animator thing.

I also like the wind sounds to highlight how quiet and peaceful the shrine is. I hope I get to hear it rain too.

Briar’s Total Score: 5/10

This is very slice of life with Saeki occasionally confiding in her invisible friend. We still don’t know what happened between Funabashi and Yumi.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.6/10

I’m gonna have to buy me some oranges if I keep watching this show.

Week 2 Total Score: 5.8/10
Season Total Score for Gingistune: Messenger of the Gods: 5.8/10

Walkure Romanze

Briar’s Review:

Will Mio ease up on the whining and gasping?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 3/10

The second episode picks up where the first one left off. Mio picks up the glove that Bertille dropped and Bertille challenges her to a jousting duel. With a back of the hand laugh and panty shot, Bertille retreats.

Mio whines in the coffee shop and her voice is starting to irritate me. Then we go to a school official’s office and find out that the duel can’t be canceled. The proper paperwork was submitted. It’s not a duel, but a practice march. This is the dumbest reason ever to not cancel a duel. So, practice marches can’t be canceled? To avoid the duel, Mio would have to leave the acedemy. Of course, there’s no other way, which is still stupid.

Takahiro will train her, but only for this duel. (So he says.) We get treated to a facepalm-worthy innuendo-laced conversation about a lance. So, Mio goes to a field full of windmills (Don Quixote, anyone?) to train with the lance. She’s took weak for it, so instead of driving the point into the ground, she goes running out of control with it, swinging wildly. Skirts must be made of tissue paper here and girls just take one off the roll in the bathroom every morning, because we get panty shots. Fields of panty shots. Mio’s lance rips off the skirt of the headset wearing announcer. Then Mio starts bawling like a toddler. We get another conversation that is full of double entendres. By now, by head is starting to hurt from all of the facepalms.

Takahiro chases a random, obviously male cat and somehow ends up doing a boob grab on a robotic-acting girl. She could be a robot for all we know. What was this scene for?

Takahiro checks up on Mio, who can suddenly wield the lance one handed. Damn, that was fast progress. Her hands are raw from the practice. Later, Takahiro talks to Rapey-horse about Mio. Celia shows up and asks Takahiro to be her begleiter. They talk about the duel and she says that she’ll wait until afterwards. Rapey-horse stood on the hose and the backup of water sprays all over Celia. Another girl slaps Takahiro for it. What was this scene for?

Mio practices with the lance targetting by charging at a small ring hanging from a tree. Takahiro goes over the basic rules for jousting. A girl attacks with a lance with a carrot on the tip and pulls it short before hitting Mio’s head. Noel asks Takahiro to be her begleiter and offers to help train Mio. Again with the double entendre scenes, this time with Noel stretching Mio. And another accidental boob grab. Shower scene for Mio. Noel compliments her on her body. Will there be more boob grabbing? Thankfully not. What was the point of this scene?

James gives Takahiro a gift for Mio. Mio does late night studying and training. Dear god, enough with the double entendre scenes! I don’t have any more facepalms! The gift is an old suit of armor for Mio. Even Rapey-horse is decked out in armor. Takahiro gives Mio his helmet.

The story moved forward, but wasted far too much time with panty shots, boob grabs, and innuendo scenes. None of that needed to be in there. We could have used those minutes to learn a little more about the characters.

Plot Score: 2/10

Last episode, Mio was challenged to a duel, and she can’t get out of it even after telling those in charge of coordinating the jousting that she doesn’t even know how to duel. Apparently all the paperwork was already submitted… Okay? However, it is just going to be a practice match. Therefore, Takahiro (the only guy) offers to teach her.

The innuendo that lasted for almost a full minute about picking up a lance was lame. These characters are so stupid. How can they be the only ones that don’t hear what they’re saying? Mio instantly loses control of her balance and starts charging off with the lance as if it’s leading her. She runs through the path filled with other female students and the wind from the lance flips up their apparently cheap skirts. This leads to a rather awkward conversation in a teacher’s office about it which was filled with more innuendoes and then Takahiro getting slapped. See? Even the other characters notice the innuendoes.

Then Takihiro chases a tom cat and “accidentally” gropes a girl for more than a few seconds, leading to him getting slapped again by another girl. I think this was supposed to be funny, but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, some ecchi anime is funny, but not this one. Then the girl called the cat a girl, I think, but it was clearly male, so I was confused about that. Another girl helps with the training, resulting in even more innuendoes. At night Mio continues to study and train on her own. Surprising no innuendoes there.

Then when Mio is getting her armor on, she’s bent over and there’s more innuendoes again. I don’t get why she would be leaning over for any of that armor. This scene was worse than the corset scene from Black Butler, at least they got me to smirk that time just because we all know it’s what the fangirls were writing about. And now Mio is ready to duel.

I think this episode’s plot was to train? Get closer to Takihiro? She can lift a lance without ripping off someone’s skirt now… success? I guess I expected more from this episode. The plot wasn’t really there and at least half of the episode was Mio screaming and gasping as if this is a back-room-only adult movie.

Character Score: 2/10

Yeah, we really did need more time devoted to fleshing out these shallow characters. I’d like to actually care for these balloon breasted bimbos. Why do these adult visual novel adaptations always choose the most vapid and obnoxious ditz as the chosen female lead? Mio is a child in an overdeveloped woman’s body. Her voice is really grating, especially when she’s bawling like a toddler.

Of course, Takahiro totally didn’t mean for all of the boob gropes to happen… His hands are just boob-magnets, he can’t help it! He’s really a nice guy! Really! He’s turning out to be the typical clueless idiot protagonist.

Also, dafuq is with the dark-haired girl and the sudden Celia daydream when Celia’s name is mentioned?

Character Score: 2/10

There was no character development this episode. Didn’t learn a damn thing about any of them. It can’t be because of the genre. Ecchi anime CAN have good characters, I’ve seen it done, but this one does not. Mio is even more whiny and screechy than before. Even if I consider this a sports genre, then it’s even more pathetic. It mentioned a transfer student and I don’t think we got to meet her yet. That’s pointless so far.

Production Score: 6/10

The production is still solid in this episode. The animation and background is good, but the music is still forgettable.

Production Score: 5/10

I guess the scenery is still pretty. Characters are officially less than average. Overall the coloring and lighting are average. Could do without all the panty-shots, especially in the opening sequence. In the ending theme, we see Mio with short hair, this is jarring since it hasn’t happened yet. There is a lot of room for improvement on the horses. The breastplates are still awkward. They need to actually look at one before animating it.

Briar’s Total Score: 3.6/10

Just waiting to give this the boot.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 3/10

Sum up my reaction with a screenshot: Also, oh look, more boys, where have you all been?

Week 2 Total Score: 3.3/10
Season Total Score for Walkure Romanze: 3.9/10

Strike the Blood

Briar’s Review:

“It’s the ciiiiircle of liiiiiife…!”

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

We open the episode with a nice shot of the stairway to a temple. Yukina is there to talk to people behind a screen about the Fourth Progenitor and the Sacred Treaty. There is a quick mention of the other three Progenitors, who all claim continents. If a fourth appears, the balance between them will be disrupted and war will erupt. Yukina is given her assignment and a weapon, a Type-7 demon lance. “In the name of the Three Saints of the Lion King Organization…” (“Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase…” I’m sorry, but it’s not leaving me alone.) She is to exterminate the Forth Progenitor. We cut to a destroyed building and a goth loli girl.

Kojou finds Yukina waiting for him outside his building. She’s waiting for her things to be delivered to her new place. Room 705, right next his in 704. She doesn’t have much stuff, because she used to live in a dorm. She doesn’t even have a futon. She was going to get necessities, but couldn’t because she’s supposed to watch Kojou. He offers to go with her after his make-up exams.

The goth loli is Minami, and knows that Kojou is the Fourth Progenitor. She’s a 26-yr old attack mage and teacher. He asks her about the Lion King Organization (“Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craaaaaze…”) and she tells him that they are their competition and his enemy, created to destroy him. Kojou and Yukina go shopping and she mistakes gold clubs, pressure washers, and chainsaws as intended to be weapons.

We meet Nagisa, who is Kojou’s little sister. She met Yukina at the acedemy. She planned a welcome party for Yukina. After Yukina points out that Kojou got his homework wrong, we learn that Yukina has already studied everything up through high school. They talk about how he quit playing basketball and ended up cocky and alone on his own team. He thinks he could use his power as Fourth Progenitor to help the world, but figures that he wouldn’t be able to.

Kojou head out to get something to drink in the evening, Yukina jumps out of the bath to intercept in him wet uniform. He gets a nosebleed. As they walk, she tells him that everyone in High God Forest is an orphan, gifted, and brought there to become attack mages. She sees a crane game for the first time with stuffed kitties in it. Kojou gets one for her. The loli teacher catches them out late. Then some sort of fire breaks out in the distance.

Yukina tells him to go home to Nagisa and wait while she goes Little Miss Badass on it. She sees the Familiar’s master and the firebird blasts something at a giant hand. The giant hand tears the bird apart and absorbs it. The master is attacked by Blond Monocle. He identifies her lance. He gives his name, but all I got was Combat Deacon Pretentious Pants! Yukina goes Little Miss Badass on him. Astarte the Robogirl Familiar is his servant and she’s the source of the giant hands. Yukina can’t dodge them. Kojou intercepts and saves her. He goes Red Eyes after seeing Yukina’s wound and asks Pretentious Pants to leave. Robogirl restarts her attack. Kojou punches it. He gets bloody. Then electrical screaming time. Transformation sequence ahoy? End of episode.

The story is starting to pick up and we’re getting to meet some of the baddies. Next time, we’ll find out what the deal is with Kojou.

Plot Score: 6/10

This episode mainly just to know the characters little more. Kojo Akatsuki is the Forth Progenitor, which is like a vampire. He’s finishing up school and lives in an apartment by himself. The observer sent to keep an eye one him, Yukina, get the apartment right next to him. Since she used to live in a dorm, she didn’t have a lot of things so the apartment is fairly empty. She didn’t have a bed yet and when she said she can’t go to store because it would mean leaving him alone, he said he’d just go with her.

Kojo’s sister visits him to hand out and make dinner. Yukina gets sucked in and hangs out with them in Kojo’s apartment. Afterwards, Kojo is going to get something to drink from the convenience store, but as soon as he leaves be finds Yukina sopping wet in the hallway because she had to jump out of her bath to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere alone. Since Kojo can’t handle being around a girl in wet clothes, he tells her he’ll wait for her to dry off and change before leaving. It’s not like he was in a hurry anyway.

This, of course, leads to an encounter with an enemy where Yukina takes charge. However, it’s too much for her and Kojo finally turns all Forth Progenitor on them. Cliff hanger.

I don’t mind an episode that establishes what a normal day is to the characters as long as it leads somewhere and still has relevance and a is well paced. I think this episode did well at doing this. Not a lot happened, but we got to see into their lives a little and we get a boss battle started at the end.

I’m still confused about the whole vampire thing in this anime. He appears to still need to eat, drink, and sleep, and only gets a bloodlust when there is a spark of lust, which can be quickly subdued by swallowing his own nose blood. Doesn’t seem this need to be called a vampire story, and that a whole new name could have been given. It is possible that as the Forth Progenitor, he’s special like that, and if so, it needs to be addressed soon.

Character Score: 6/10

As it turns out, Yukina is rather sheltered and the home improvement store gag ran on just long enough to be funny, but not too long to be annoying. Nagisa is a cheery motormouth when she’s excited and she obviously does the bulk of the cooking. And yeah, Kojou is thinking unclean thoughts about a middle-school girl. He’s aware of his loserdom and that while he has the power to do something about it, it might not be the best course of action.

Character Score: 6/10

We got to see a little flash back as to how Kojo became the Forth Progenitor. He doesn’t really remember it, but we are starting to get the pieces of the story.

New character was introduced this episode. Natsuki Minamiya was Kojo’s English Teacher and looks like a gothic Lolita. She’s also mean to Kojo and seems to know a lot about what’s going on since she is a mage of some sort. She and Kojo seem to have a less formal teacher-student relationship.

We also met Kojo’s sister Nagisa, who is also Yukina’s classmate. She’s fairly normal for a teen, she’s talkative and likes to chill. She does not know about Kojo becoming the Forth Progenitor.

Yukina now calls Kojo by Akatsuki-senpai. He is older than her, so it might simply be a formality. It could also be a respect thing, since they have a fairly relaxed relationship this episode. It’s almost normal until things happen.

Production Score: 6/10

Decent backgrounds and animations and the music kept things moving.

Production Score: 7/10

Nothing looks out of place yet. I will give points for the apartment design and details. The characters are interesting, even if one might be themed. Still haven’t noticed any obvious shortcuts and the shots were well composed.

Briar’s Total Score: 6/10

Not a bad continuation and the action is ramping up.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.3/10
Week 2 Total Score: 6.1/10
Season Total Score for Strike the Blood: 5.9/10

MEGANEBU!

Briar’s Review:

It took 2 lemon drop cocktails to get me to watch this show again. Vooooodkaaaaa!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 2/10

So, what is the deal with the club leader’s living situation? Who is the roommate? What is the roommate?

Hayato is cleaning up the exploded room. It’s still in tatters. While, looking for a dust pan, he finds the albums. It has Takuma in the first year. A lot of the photos are out of focus. Hayato isn’t in the pictures and he flips out, thinking he’s a ghost until he smashes his face into something.

Flashback to his entrance ceremony. THE FACELESS ARMY! TREMBLE BEFORE THEM! Takuma arrives riding a glasses shaped hoverthing.

So, he’s a glasses-themed third-rate supervillain and the faceless army are his automoton minions, bent on purging the planet of people who don’t wear glasses. But then Samurai Flamenco shows up to stop his nefarious plot for world conquest. Takuma’s glasses shaped cape flares out dramatically as he tells Samurai Flamenco that he has no hope to survive! Maniacal laughter! Then the superhero launches at the glasses-obsessed freak with an elbow rocket powered punch and… That didn’t happen? None of it? It was all in my head? DAMMIT!!!

In the real show, we find out that Hayato’s glasses are a memento from his father. WTF is with this documentary interview scene? And it was fake. All in Hayato’s twisted little mind. He’s laughing like he lost his mind. It explains so much. What’s with this freak and rolling on the floor? Is this whole episode all about him? Please, no. No. No.

Hayato finds the club in their new club room. Where did they get the funds for all of the glasses themed crap? Is Takuma really going to become a third-rate glasses-themed supervillain? Wait, no one told Hayato about the new club room because of his fake glasses. Wow, what a bunch of jerks. Hayato is still a provisional member? The club finds out that his family tree is on the internet and that his ancestor was the first in Japan to receive glasses. Glasses Soul? They’re arguing about this shit? This is pointless.

There’s a second story in this episode? Noooooooo!

So, is the dark haired one dead? No luck, he’s wearing eye stickers to fake being awake, even though he’s in a bed. I finally learn that his name is Minabe. He must be drugged because hitting him doesn’t wake him up. Cell phone alarm goes off to signify an hour passing for this nap.

He’s testing the strength of glasses frames and still trying to develop x-ray glasses. Minabe falls into a creek when trying to make room for a truck on a narrow bridge. He falls again when trying to get out. Then he takes a rake to the face. Then he gets chased by a crow.

Flashback! Minabe is bad luck charm?

Who is this guy with the head wrap? Minabe shows off his strongest frames to him. Glasses frame wrestling? Ooookay.

Thank god it’s over. What was the plot? Did anything happen? Did this go anywhere or do anything? What was this for?

Plot Score: 3/10

Okay, I have established that this isn’t like Free! at all and they can’t be compared. Let’s try comparing this to another very popular club anime… Ouran High School Host Club… It’s not even close. Done. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement on not only the story, but by also developing the characters. This isn’t even a parody anime, and since it’s not funny at all, I can’t say it’s comedy or slapstick either.

This episode had even less plot than the last episode. It was split up into two parts to focus on two characters: The first half of the episode focuses on Hayato, a first year with weird eyebrows, and it turns out his glasses are just frames. In the last episode I thought he wore clear-lenses, but there’s no lenses. He is cleaning the old club room in hopes of impressing Soma, the club leader, and becoming a real member of the club, instead of a provisional member. While cleaning, he finds the club albums and looks through them, remembering everyone’s old glasses. (How often do these guys get new glasses anyway?) There is also a flash back of how be learned of the Glasses Club and Soma. He thought Soma was cool based on a grand and completely unrealistic entrance on a giant hover-glasses at the entrance ceremony. I was expecting this to be a dream sequence. In the end, it turned out Hayato did all that cleaning for nothing, because the club got a new clubroom and he was the only one not informed because the other shota didn’t give him the memo. The other shota doesn’t like him and competes for Soma’s attention.

The second half of the episode is about Minabe, the tall, quiet, dark-haired, smart, awkward guy. Also, least annoying. He took a nap in the infirmary with open-eye-stickers on his glasses. The teacher awkwardly tried to wake him up, but he’s conditioned to only wake up to his alarm. When he wakes up he uses a workshop to test the strength of a pair of frames for his study toward the development of x-ray glasses. When he’s done, he walks home, but falls into a stream below a narrow bridge when a truck had to squeeze by. He fell in again when he tried to get out, then steps on a rake which hits him in the face, and then gets chased by a bird. After a flashback of meeting Soma, he appears at Soma’s house to show him the new frames and then they have like a sword battle or something with the strong frames. That was it.

Character Score: 2/10

We learned that Hayato is a moron who likes to roll on the floor and Minabe likes to improve glasses. They’re still all one-note weirdos. That curly haired dolt still looks like a girl. Minabe is the low-key one of the group, which makes him the least annoying. Why do we only see one of Minabe’s eyes? Is one missing?

Character Score: 2/10

It’s revealed that Minabe is actually more awkward that I already thought he was. He’s also clumsy. So is this a Gary-Stu? He’s not loved by all yet, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. It seems he is the closest friend to Soma. For some reason they all admire Soma. It might be because he’s… carefree? Passionate about glasses? Laughs at them and hates people that don’t wear glasses? Not really sure. This is something that needs to be addressed very soon, because just saying he’s “cool” doesn’t tell me much. He’s hitting closer to that Gary-Stu level than Minabe.

The shota-boy is mean to his classmate, Hayato, the one that wears fake glasses. Hayato’s ancestor was one the first to get glasses in Japan. I guess that might be important, even though he just found out when Minabe showed him the family tree on his tablet.

The last guy still loves sweets and he’s smiling all the time. He’s just kind of there to be the kind voice. Maybe he’s a stoner and has the munchies all the time? I’d actually be okay with that, as long as it’s explained soon. It would explain so much and actually make sense.

Kyoya Ootori from OHSHC, Syrus Truesdale from Yu-Gi-Oh GX, and Rei Ryugazaki from Free! are each far superior megane characters than all of these Meganebu! bozos put together. This show is trying to define their characters by an visual aid/accessory, which naturally leads to very transparent characters.

Production Score: 3/10

The color palettes did not agree with my vodka. I really don’t like these color contrasts. They kinda hurt. Especially with the fast color flashes. Ugh. There was even more gradient abuse and horrible color palette in the Minabe flashback.

Does nobody else in this town have a face? It this some sort of hell? Is that why these boys are here?

What is with the sitcom song blurbs?

Production Score: 3/10

Still don’t like the use of cut-out clones to fill in the space as the other students. I still think the music doesn’t fit at all and is jarring. This episode even recycled shots when Minabe fell into the stream twice (when he got up was a repeated shot) and when Hayato rolls around on the floor like he’s on something. Does this show really have that small of a small budget? Or are they just lazy? In the evening, everything in the scenery is orange. Not even a washed overlap of orange. It’s just orange. Then there’s normal-colored Minabe walking through. I don’t like this animation style, it hurts to look at. If you don’t already wear glasses, you’ll need to after having your eyes burned by watching this cheap piece of…

Briar’s Total Score: 2.3/10

Enough with the glasses! I don’t care about glasses!

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 2.6/10

One tequila sunrise was consumed for the viewing of this monstrosity.

Week 2 Total Score: 2.4/10
Season Total Score for MEGANEBU!: 2.7/10

Nagi no Asukara

Briar’s Review:

Everyone join the love conga line!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

The talking fish in Manaka’s knee swims out and away. We recap to fisherboy treating her with kindness and accepting the fish. Manaka starts throwing stuff at the weird priest. She wants him to curse her? The priest does nothing. She goes to school and thanks the fisherboy. Manaka doesn’t want to admit the fish went away and still wears the bandage over her knee.

Hikari thinks Tsumugu is guilty by association by being from the surface. Manaka tells Hikari that he’s being angry. Cue the teary eyed drama act. She then goes cries to the dark haired girl that she messed up, because Hikari was angry. A couple of the little brats harass Hikari. And kick him.

There used to be a girl sacrificed, but now they make a doll for the Ofunehiki holiday. Tsumugu volunteers to help make the doll, which gets Manaka to volunteer, which gets Hikari to volunteer, which gets the other underwater students to volunteer. Tsumugu starts asking a lot of questions about life underwater. He can see it from above, but can’t go down there to see it for himself. Hikari gets more and more jealous of Manaka’s attention to Tsumugu.

Akari drives up to the pier and kisses a man before she dives into the water. Hikari says that if she married and left, she would come right back. The other boy says that if a sea-villager and a surface person married, the sea-villager would be banished from the sea. Hikari starts yelling at Manaka and she dives into the sea. Then he starts yelling at the other girl and she dives away. The other boy scolds Hikari and leaves.

Saltflake snow is covering the underwater school. The dark haired girl says that she wants to stay in the sea. The other boy tells her that just because it’s easier. Hikari dreams of a naked Manaka shedding her Ena and leaving the sea.

The kids are working on the doll again. It doesn’t matter what Manaka calls Tsumugu, Hikari still gets angry. The dark haired girl finds out that Tsumugu is going to make a watering hole for the sea people. Manaka goes back to the priest to ask for the curse to be returned. She doesn’t want to lie anymore. She hears a commotion of a bunch of men harassing Akari for breaking the rules of the village. Specifically, that Akari is seeing someone on the surface. Her father is the head priest and he disperses the crowd. He takes Akari to the weird priest.

Overall, we learn more about the cultures, the rift between Manaka and Hikari, and the growth of Hikari’s resentment of Tsumugu.

Plot Score: 6/10

Manaka wakes up in the morning to find the fish in her knee leaving her body. She remembers how Tsumugu, the human boy that helped her from drying out the night before, said he though the fish was pretty. This causes her to try to offend Uroko-sama, the sea god messenger, so he might curse her again so she can get the fish back. It doesn’t work.

When Manaka thanks Tsumugu for last night in class, Hikari steps in to intervene, upsetting Manaka and making her think it’s her fault. Afterwards, Hikari has a small run in with a couple younger prejudice human girls. This doesn’t really effect him besides whatever injury he sustained from getting kicked in the ankle. In class, the four students from the sea town and Tsumugu volunteer for some wood cutting. Tsumugu did first, then Manaka because she likes him, then Hikari because he’s in a self-imposed pissing match with Tsumugu, then the other two friends joined in just ‘cause. During this activity, they learn that Tsumugu knows quite a bit about the sea village and is very interested in it. This makes the girls very happy.

On their way home, they discover Hikari’s older sister has a human boyfriend when he drops her off by the water. This is supposed to be a secret or plain taboo since if someone ends up with a human, they are banished from the sea village. The kids get into a small argument which causes the girls to cry and go home, the other boy, Kaname, follows to comfort the other girl, Chisaki. It has been heavily hinted that Chisaki likes Hikari, so there is a love-line here since everyone likes someone else.

Of course, Hikari’s older sister gets caught and is already being threatened when their father, the Chief Priest, tells everyone to go away so he can have a talk with his daughter. She is probably going to be offered an ultimatum…

The plot is starting to get a little deeper into the prejudice on both sides in this world. I am interested in this anime and learning more about their races, history, and physics.

Character Score: 5/10

The love conga line continues and the emotional extremes start showing up. I’m having a hard time maintaining sympathy for Manaka, because her particular character trope is one that grates on my nerves. She’s a weak, weepy, apologetic mess. She goes so far to cry to the dark haired girl that she messed up, because Hikari was angry at her for associating with Tsumugu. However, the character trope that grates on me even more is Hikari’s. A possessive little jerk. Now, the story could be setting up for a Romeo and Juliet type thing and Hikari will doom the both of them with his jealousy, but I’m not sure this story has the guts to go there. If it does, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and these tropes won’t anger me quite so much.

Character Score: 6/10

So far, I think Tsumugu might be part sea-person. That or he has some other connection. He doesn’t smile or have emotions yet, but he’s nice to them. He’s even making a swimming hole near the school for them, though he seemed to me more interested in the fish on Manaka’s knee than in Manaka.

Hikari is in a major self-imposed pissing contest with Tsumugu over who protects Manaka the most/best or something. Everything about Tsumugu pisses him off.

The friend’s names are hardly mentioned, they are Kaname and Chisaki, and I’d really like to get to know them a little more because they are just there so far. The girl seems to like Hikari, but is torn because of Manaka.

Production Score: 5/10

It’s one of those nitpicky things, but the lack of buoyancy underwater is staring to annoy me. The priest remarks that his sake is weak. Yeah, the sake is underwater! That’s why it’s weak! Also, how does the television work under water? How does soup stay in a bowl? How are the kids using the swing? The lack of buoyancy makes me wonder why bother with the underwater setting? They might as well just be further down the mountain. They could just be valley people. Oh no! A rift between the valley people and the mountain people and the valley people can’t stay at such high elevations because altitude sickness will set in! It might as well be that. It would make more sense to take that route if the animators can’t be arsed to depict how water and buoyancy affect things.

Production Score: 6/10

I’d like to point out that Tsumugu, the human boy, has tanned skin. This might be a subtle indication of his life on land in contrast to the others’ life in the sea.

In a small flashback of Tsumugu on a boat, it shows a lovely shot of what the sea village looks like from above the water. Tsumugu is obviously enchanted by this.

I’m still weirded out by the apparent physics in the sea village. If they’re in the water, how does other liquids stay in the containers like pots and cups?

They haven’t been taking any obvious shortcuts in animation already. That’s good. However, the side characters have very little detail when they are present at all. This is most obvious in the eyes of the various characters. This is a shortcut, but understandable and likely not noticed or cared by the average viewer.

Briar’s Total Score: 5.3/10

I’m really hoping this story takes a dark, dark turn.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6/10
Week 2 Total Score: 5.6/10
Season Total Score for Nagi no Asukara: 5.5/10

Kill la Kill

Briar’s Review:

I’m still wondering if I’ll regret this.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 4/10

We pick up where we left off the last time and Ryuko confronts Satsuki. However, Ryuko has to retreat before she gets her answer. The suit tells her that she’s about to pass out. Satsuki lets her go.

Ryuko faints getting off the train. She wakes up to a fat hentai mouthbreather sitting on her. That’s Mako’s dad. I know that the last review, I called Mako “Meg” the entire time. I don’t know why. It fits her, I guess. Ryuko meets the whole family and finds out that Mako’s father is a back alley doctor. “The dead ones don’t sue you?” I guess that’s true. And they eat garbage. And have a pug in a hoodie?

Satsuki is manufacturing uniforms and soldiers at the Academy to assist her World Conquest. (Of course!) Satsuki gifts a two star uniform to her Tennis Club captain. We also find out that Satsuki does not wear a Goku uniform. Her sword is enough.

Ryuko flashes back to the first wearing her uniform. The uniform doesn’t know what he is, only what is happening presently. It does know that it was created by her father. She names the suit Senketsu.

We learn that the city is ruled by Satsuki. Position in the Academy determines where they live. The tennis club captain arrives to punish Mako for skipping practice. Of course, Ryuko saves her again. Uh oh! Senketsu is dormant! So, Ryuko gets launched by tennis balls.

Her homeroom teacher finds her in the sewers. Why is he there? I dunno. When Ryuko wakes up, she’s naked. Mr. Pervy tell her that he will teach her thing about her body. He paralyzes her with needles, then draws blood. A few drops awaken the suit. Um… WTF is with the teacher undressing and going Playgirl model? Anyways, he gives her a special glove that will make it easier to draw blood to activate Senketsu. So, the suit not only forced itself onto her, it’s powered by self-harm.

Back at the academy, Mako is getting stoned to death by tennis balls and Ryuko saves her again. She activates the suit and slices the ball assault with her scissor sword. We’re then treated to a Mako meth vision scene cut attack. Ryuko takes a tennis racquet and accepts the challenge against the club captain.

It doesn’t go well to Ryuko and we get an upside-down eagle spread scene, in case the mouthbreathers were running out of saliva. Ryuko decides that she’s had enough of this bullshit and turns the scissor sword into a racquet. Ryuko defeats the captain and destroys the captain’s suit. She gets another thread, but not another piece of the custom. This finally provokes Satsuki off of her lofty perch and she faces Ryuko with her sword. Ryuko blocks the attack, then retreats.

So, we learned a little more about this batshit crazy town, fought the next miniboss, and moved on.

Plot Score: 3/10

So the overall plot of this season/series appears to be that Ryuko must defeat all the student organization leaders before she can fight the student president for information on the other scissor blade that killed her family. Last episode was the wrestling club, this episode was the tennis club captain. That’s right, tennis. Their weapon? A giant tennis racket and tennis balls. Everything about it is very reminiscent of PSWG.

Twice this episode, Ryuko had the opportunity to fight Satsuki, the main boss, but it’s been right after each of the other smaller bosses, so she was running low on energy and available blood for her blood-sucking sailor uniform which talks and giver her power while being very revealing. Since she risks passing out within mere minutes, she must escape each time to recoup. Even though Satsuki could chase her down or let her army of students chase after her, Satsuki calls off any pursuit. Satsuki seems interested in fighting Ryoko herself, but has yet to challenge Ryoko while she’s at 100% energy and has only made any kind of offer after Ryoko’s just battled.

After escaping at the beginning of the episode, Ryoko passes out and is found my Mako’s little brother, who takes her home. When she wakes up, Mako’s dad is creepily hovering above her. Mako’s mom is nice, but can’t cook. It appears their family eat worms and dirt. They have a weird dog too.

Meanwhile, there’s another dark meeting where the tennis captain gets a higher level suit. It is revealed that Satsuki doesn’t wear a super suit, she claims to just need her sword. Could this be the reason everyone is afraid of her?

When Ryoko and Mako get to school the next day, they are immediately assaulted with tennis balls by the tennis team. Fight starts but the sailor suit is still asleep so Ryoko gets knocked out of the school and into the sewers. She wakes up again, this time to find she is completely naked and that her homeroom teacher is the one that saved her.

Does no one in this show wear underwear??

The teacher creepily acts like he’s going to rape her, paralyzes her, and then gets a syringe of her blood, which he squirts on the sailor suit, which immediately wakes up craving more. So now she knows for sure that it’s her blood that activates it.

After saving Mako from the abuse of the tennis team, Ryoko gets sucked into a tennis match to battle. Again, PSWG? Since she’s too powerful for a normal tennis racket, she turns her giant scissor blade into a racket with a thread from her suit. As soon as she wins, the tennis captian becomes completely naked with the destruction of her uniform. It appeared Ryoko gained back a thread from the uniform.

Satsuki challenged her right then, but she was running out of blood power again, so she escapes with Mako. This episode ends how it started. Other than learning her sailor suit requires her blood, which should have been obvious from the last episode, this episode did not make any progress.

Character Score: 3/10

Okay, the costume design here is over the top insane. CROTCH SPIKES??? Other than that, they’re still just one-note charactitures. It’s not as ecchi as the jousting show, so it’s easier to deal with, but not by much.

Character Score: 4/10

I like the way Ryuko stands. It’s a tough girl stance. The characterization of different body language when standing normally is something this show actually does well with. It’s revealed that she sucks at tennis.

The sailor suit is named Sengetsu. He doesn’t know what he is and nothing new is revealed about him. The tennis captain was obnoxious. She wore a rotating eye piece but I’m not sure what it actually does.

The homeroom teacher awkwardly takes off his shirt in a spotlight and poses a lot. He’s weird and creepy, and bordering on pedo at the moment.

Mako seems kind of high, like she’s not all there. She just the ditzy friend that needs to be saved all the time so far. I image it might get a little scary if she gets a super-uniform.

Production Score: 3/10

Still cartoony and cheap looking at first glance, but I’m starting to notice the texturing in the backgrounds. Easing off of the huge blocks of text helped. Maybe the style is starting to grow on me.

Production Score: 3/10

Everything about it is very reminiscent of PSWG. It’s not quite as simplistic, but a lot of the same characterizations and influences are there.

The tennis team was filled with copy-paste clones. Again, I’m not a fan of this kind of shortcut. I know they’re pointless characters, but it makes it as if the only one worth getting a unique is the captain, which is kind of insulting to sports teams out there.

I’m tired of the all the blatant butt shots and the awkward boob shots. No one appears to wear underwear……… There is no bra to speak of anymore. Last episode, Ryoko’s bra goes flying when the sailor suit molests her, so I might be able to guess that was her only one.

When Ryoko turns the scissor blade into and tennis rack, it actually looks like a lacrosse stick.

Briar’s Total Score: 3.6/10

This did not piss me off as much as Meganebu! or inflict as much facepalming pain as Walkure Romanze.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 3/10
Week 2 Total Score: 3.3/10
Season Total Score for Kill la Kill: 3.4/10

Galilei Donna

Briar’s Review:

These are the adventures of the USS Precocious Goldfish…

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

The scene opens with the house nothing more than a crater. Just outside, the Precocious Goldfish has landed. Yep, Hozuki made the Precocious Goldfish in three years. Really. She wanted to go to Japan, so she built a goldfish shaped mecha airship in the basement. Starting when she was seven. Why is it armed to the teeth with machine guns and missiles? She was afraid of sky pirates.

The police finally show up while Hozuki goes looking for her goldfish. The goldfish bowl is broken and the fish still flopping. Anna Hendricks catches the fish before it falls and offers to save Hozuki. Meanwhile, the police rounds up the rest of the family at gunpoint. Who is Anna? She claims to be a friend of the oldest sister. She holds up a journal.

The family is in jail. Mom (Sylvia) is released. Someone came for her. A man tells the father that Sylvia is released, but the rest won’t ever leave.

Anna is a Galileo geek and she found some sort of code in Milton’s Paradise Lost. There are six sketches with clues and a seventh sketch rumored. Everyone harassing the family is trying to find the Galileo Tesoro without knowing what it is. We find out that Sylvia’s boss got her out. He also wants the inheritance.

Anna draws off the guards so Hozuki can get into the Precocious Goldfish. Hozuki takes Anna with her for the rescue. In the jail, a slick-haired man loads a gun and starts to walk to interrogate the girls. Suddenly, mecha goldfish armor suit attacks! Iron Goldfish! Why did Hozuki build this, too? Where did she get all of that ammo? The suit’s thermostat gets damaged and it starts to heat too much. And the Iron Goldfish has a plasma blade? Where did it come from? How did she get it? Doesn’t this cost money? She cuts open the cell and frees her sisters and father. Her father decoys the cops in the Iron Goldfish. Middle sister beats up the cops in the girls’ way to the roof. Surprise! Hazuki doesn’t know Anna after all!

Slick-haired boy calls Sylvia’s boss “Papa”. We get to see that Sylvia got her brains blown out.

Y’know, to build the Precocious Goldfish and Iron Goldfish, Hozuki needed Jarvis and Tony Stark’s backup auto-fab, plus access to the Stark bank account. Anyways, this episode sets up the treasure hunt and DaVinci Code style conspiracy theory.

Plot Score: 4/10

Hozuki Ferrari is a prodigy descendant of Galileo. It took her only three years to build a whole airship shaped like a goldfish from blueprints she found in the attic. She wanted to use it to go to Japan, and there were missiles because she was afraid of sky pirates. Still doesn’t explain HOW she got missiles. Seriously, that’s not just something that should be convenient. I suppose she could have built them, seeing how she was able to build an airship, but if so, it wouldn’t have taken extra time to explain where she got the blueprints for something like freaking missiles.

Hozuki then ran back into their destroyed house to get her goldfish. Its bowl was broken, so she scoops it up in her hands with a little water and ran off to save the fish. During this, the rest of her family was outside the house and was confronted by the evil feds who took them all into custody. Hozuki watched from inside what was left of the house. During this a mysterious woman that claims to be on her side and in a similar situation starts helping her. The fish in her hands was forgotten about. Save the freaking fish already! At some point she dropped the fish. I don’t know if she picked it up again or not. It appears she abandoned it and it’s dead.

There was a lot of jumping around between the mom, dad, and the sisters, as well as Hozuki. Just a lot of talking. It explained suspiring little. There’s some sort of government conspiracy. Show, don’t tell. As a result, this episode was pretty boring. Everyone keeps asking about Galileo’s inheritance. Is it the girl? Or is it something even more abstract?

Even though Hozuki’s ship was being guarded, she sneaks her way on with the help of the mysterious woman who provides as a distraction. Once she gets to where her family is being held, (where is that anyway?) she gets in a mecha suit that can withstand bullets and saves her family. To make sure the girls escape, her father gets in the mecha suit so distract the guards. It was a lot like Ironman, with less action. The guns must suck though.

Character Score: 4/10

So, when does Anna betray the whole lot? Yeah, I’m calling that one right now. Also, the rescue pep talk Anna gives to a teary-eyed Hozuki didn’t make much sense. Hozuki already saved her family once that day without hesitation. Doing it again wouldn’t be an issue with her. She has a giant goldfish mech airship! The encouragement scene turned out to be a waste of time. Past that, we haven’t learned much about the family. Yeah, I get that Hazuki is a law student. We don’t need a reminder every single time she’s on screen.

Character Score: 2/10

Why does their dad look like a hippy and their mom look like a serious anime business woman? It could be showing they’re very different, but they don’t need extreme designs differences. There was no development on the sisters. And did the goldfish die? It just disappeared suddenly when Hozuki had been carrying it.

Hozuki is not that special of an anime character. She’s a prodigy, sure, but other than liking goldfish there is really nothing to say about her. She innocent, too trusting of strangers, and reckless, just like a million other anime girls. It’s not that I don’t like her, she gets shit done, and that’s good, but she’s not relatable or likable yet.

Production Score: 7/10

There’s a bunch of little details in this show, like steaming breath, that I liked. The CG is obvious, but not so much to be detracting. It’s saved for the mecha airships.

Production Score: 4/10

I’m still not sure what exactly is going on. Every scene was very short and it jumped from character to character constantly. I am not a fan of this style. I’m not really into the goldfish theme either. There was a lot of talking or explaining, however, all the jumping around didn’t flow together seamlessly. This anime should show me what’s going on, not just tell.

There was a new character introduced, a woman that’s started helping Hozuki. She has really weird hair for this anime. Everyone else as really normal and realistic hair, and then there’s this.

A large portion of this episode felt like a video game. Specifically Jak II, when Jak and Daxter operate a mecha suit for a mission, or other similar games. Hozuki even has to rescue the hostages, in this case her family, on a time limit because of the rising heat in the mecha suit, and then make sure they are unharmed on the way out. Mission Complete. The music was poppy in this scene.

One thing I give points for is the icy breath effect. Where when someone talks out in the cold, they blow visible steam.

During the ending theme, Hozuki has no shirt on under her overalls and it was slipping off. She’s a little girl. That’s gross.

Briar’s Total Score: 5/10

We’re moving on with the adventures of the Precocious Goldfish, courtesy of Stark Industries.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 3.3/10
Week 2 Total Score: 4.1/10
Season Total Score for Galilei Donna: 4.7/10

Log Horizon

Briar’s Review:

Yay for competent characters!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score:7/10

A man died and revived at the cathedral, just as they were supposed to in the game. Shiroe’s team enters a dark forest. Akatsuki wants to practice her assassin and tracker tricks by reconnisance ahead. Shiroe casts his magic light, so he and Naogutsu can see. We learn that no player killing is allowed in the towns and that this is enforced. Outside of the towns, PKing is on the rise as weaker or solo players are mugged. Naogutsu tells Shiroe not to hold back in the forest.

Shiroe and Naogutsu are ambushed at Loka Hospital by a group of PKers consisting of a warrior, two thieves, and a healer. (Take out the healer first, guys!) As an enchanter, Shiroe is adept at support and control skills, but weak with direct attacks. Naogutsu is a guardian, aka tank. Naogutsu casts a taunt to draw attention. Shiroe binds and roots the enemy. We find out that Shiroe cast sleep on the healer at the start and Akatsuki took out the hidden ambushers. Then she sends the last one to the Cathedral. They theorize that PKers are killing because they’re bored.

Shiroe gets a call from the glomp guild. They ask the team to go to Susukino to rescue Serara. She was attacked and saved, but needs help to get back to the guild. The highest level players are going to get her and need someone to watch over the guild. Shiroe thinks such a task will fail. His team could make it, however. The other teammates prod him into accepting the rescue mission. They summon horses to ride. (Yeah, where do the horses come from?) Shiroe’s subclass is scribe, so he made a copy of the map to get there. Food is still tasteless. Then Shiroe and Naogutsu summon griffons to ride, because they beat some super elite raid back in the day. Oh, look! Griffons are friendly and trainable! Akatsuki is a little scared of riding on them with Shiroe, but then really likes it.

The quest is given!

Plot Score: 7/10

The characters are trapped in a MMORPG called Elder Tale. As they play, we learn more about the game how they battle others. Being a game, there’s naturally going to be missions and goals. The main party takes on a group of players that have been playing unethically by taking other human players, not just monsters and stuff. Since the main team are friends and have really good teamwork, they easily win with just a little strategy. They don’t even have to communicate to understand what they should do and they know they’re party’s game-characters well. This anime has been enjoyable to watch. The characters are likable and relatable. There hasn’t been any team drama yet, which I completely appreciate. It doesn’t mean there won’t be a little team drama later, but getting to know their world, personalities, and back stories first is way better to start. The viewers have to care about the goal and characters to care about any conflict.

The main team still hasn’t joined a guild, and I really don’t see why they would want to, let alone need to. They are a really good team on their own, and they are good terms with the Debauchery Tea Party guild, so if they ever need to, they can hit up that guild for help. The women that run the guild likes the main team a lot and would love to have them join their guild, but they aren’t as pushy as the other guilds appears to be. However, when they tell the team that there’s a problem and they have to save someone to the North, they ask the team to take over the guild while they’re gone for a month round trip. Our leader instantly realizes that the mission would be unsuccessful for them, and can only think of one other thing to do, which is take his own team to carry out the mission. While he’s still thinking about, his teammate give the okay, already coming to the same decision.

To start out the mission, they all use whistles to summon horses to travel faster. This only lasts a while until they take a break. Before the end of the episode, the team, minus Akatsuki, summoned griffins, a special perk they received by completing a quest in the past.

Now I would like to point out that I did not feel that Log Horizon was at lot like Sword Art Online. The team leader in this case is super normal. He’s a good gamer as a strategist and he knows his avatar, simple as that. Sure he’s smart, but he knows as much about the game as everyone else does. Since he’s been playing Elder Tale for a long time, he has a lot of neat perks gained from previous missions.

Character Score: 7/10

Humor shows up again, the characters are competent at what they do, and act like they’re friends who have known each other a while. Akatsuki is a verified RPer. Ha! I was right! I’m still laughing at her kick first, ask for permission afterwards gag, so that says something. It’s awesome that the team is Tank/DPS/Control, instead of Tank/DPS/Heal. I love games that use that alternative trinity and don’t rely on healers. Oh, City of Heroes, how I miss thee.

Character Score: 8/10

This is probably the best team I’ve come across in a long time. All three in the main team are really into their characters of the game but all seem fairly laid back as well. They don’t argue, and even though they could be freaking out more about not being able to log out, they are all taking it in stride and going with the flow. They’re just here to play the game and see what’s going on.

I’m really liking Akatsuki so far as the female character. Too often, if there’s only one girl, she’s super squeaky, girly, dumb, and stands on the sidelines more than actually fights. This girl gets the job done, even if it‘s mostly in the shadows. I have a hunch that a character like what I just described will join the party later, but let’s hope it’s not as bad as it sounds. If it is, points will be removed from this score. Akatsuki did get a little emotional, in a sense, when she killed a player that pretended to surrender before attacking the team leader. I don’t think it was because she killed him, but actually because of the unethical playing and the fact he insulted her “lord” as she calls him.

Production Score: 6/10

Oh god, I hate this opening song with a fiery passion. I’m going to skip it. I can’t stand it. Everything afterwards was fine.

Production Score: 6/10

There isn’t a ton of talking, there’s a fair amount of actual gameplay, and the music is fitting. The animation is still average, if not a little higher than average. What really gets points from me id the fact there is not a female main character with a high-pitched squeaky voice who also needs to be save constantly. The guild leaders are the closest to that type so far, but they are acceptable.

Briar’s Total Score: 6.6/10

This was an enjoyable episode that sets up the quest.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 7/10
Week 2 Total Score: 6.8/10
Season Total Score for Log Horizon: 6.8/10

Golden Time

Briar’s Review:

So, what happened at the end of the last episode?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

Banri is walking in hospital clothes and a bandaged head in the woods at night. He takes a fall down a hill on to a concrete sidewalk. It’s a dream? Banri wakes up to his alarm clock.

It’s one week since Banri started class at the university. He meets Kaga and she shows him childhood photos of her and Yana on her phone. They did EVERYTHING together. She’s determined that they’ll stay together forever, but Yana always runs away when he sees her. He doesn’t avoid her detection and she chases after him, but he evades her. She calls Banri by the name Takada, which isn’t his name. Everyone passing by keeps remarking about how rich Kaga’s parents must be. Banri and Kaga have sports science together.

In an aparmentmet, Banri and Yana talk. Ramen, the primary food group of students! That’s a nice care package. Yana remarks that Kaga isn’t making any friends. Yana complains that everyone it’s easy for people to feel bad for Kaga. He invites Banri to go to the film clubs opening party at the Golden Time.

Pinkie Pie is there. Chininami, right. That’s her name. Pinkie asks Yana and Banri if they want to join the film club. Yana accepts invitation. Pinkie wonders if Kaga has already joined a club. Banri tells her that Yana is avoiding Kaga. There’s a racket in the room next door. The tea club is a room of demons? The tea party girls drag Banri away to their party. Oh no! DRAMAZ! BANRI YOU’RE DOOMED! The shirts are coming off. Perversion and debauchery. Those who don’t drink are forced to sumo wrestle. Like Banri. He’s confused. The glasses boy tells them that he hates 3D girls. They’re weird. He’s in hell.

Kaga is trying to call someone at the train station. Banri is wiped out the next day. He went to FIVE parties with the tea club. Yana spots Kaga and sneaks away. Kaga is waiting for Yana every day. Yana thinks it’s a ploy for sympathy.

The social dance club mobs Banri. Linda disperses the group by telling them that he’s joining the festival club. She offers to take him to nurses office if he’s not feeling well. Linda notices Kaga alone again. She asks if she’s his girlfriend and then walks off. The boys remark that Kaga is out of their league and would ignore them. Banri talks to her and asks if she’s waiting again.

The tea club girls find him again. They harangue him until they see Kaga and then leave him alone. Kaga asks how many clubs tried to recruit him. She hasn’t had any clubs ask her. She wonders why nobody is talking to her. She feels like she’s become invisible and that everyone is ignoring her. Banri wonders if this is an act or if she’s serious. He tells her to try talking to different people. He says that he’ll go to opening parties with her.

The drinking club rep finds him and buys cafe au lait in a bowl for them. Then talks their ears off. Until sunset. That’s why it’s in a bowl. Wasn’t this the Laid-Back club? It’s evening. Damn, lady, work those hard sell skills. They didn’t find an excuse to leave? Banri reminds Kaga that they can decide who to join later. They split ways for the night.

This episode was mostly just Banri, Yana, and Kaga dealing with the recruiters.

Plot Score: 6/10

This episode was mostly about the beginnings of college life. Which means getting their first classes together, parties, meeting new people, and having every other person invite them to clubs.

Banri has noticed that while Koko is waiting around and searching for Mitsuo, the guy she followed to college despite his obvious attempts to escape her, has been alone at every encounter. She never remembers his name despite being the only person that actually talks to her, but I wonder if she is actually teasing him. She asks Banri to get Mitsuo’s class schedule for her and to find out what club he’s in and report it to her, but he’s not going to do that and she knows it. Worth a shot to ask though, right?

That night he ends up going to the Film Club’s entrance party with Mitsuo to just check it out. He was having an alright time until the Tea Club bursts in and while everyone shrinks away from them in fear. It is too late for Banri to get away from the door and he is literally dragged into their crazy-weird party where they have several other guys hostage as they get drunk and act stupid.

Later the next day, he talks with Koko a little more causally, but together they are pulled into a coffee shop to get their ears talked off about some club and they are invited to a three-day party for it. Koko had revealed that while all other first-years have been recruited countless times already, no one had asked her to join their club yet. Some boys commented that they think she’s hot, but way out of their league.

Character Score: 8/10

Here is where the episode shines. We see Banri treating Kaga like a person and we see how alone Kaga is. Yana is a chickenshit. Kaga is clinging to Yana because she has no one else. It would be so easy to have Kaga as a teary eyed doormat throwing herself at Banri, but they don’t do that. She’s hurting, but there’s no waterworks, and she has trouble remembering Banri’s name. Despite being lost and overwhelmed himself, Banri is observant and takes action. He’s not typical oblivious male protagonist. He tells Yana what he sees and he tells Kaga to go talk to other people. Also, the Golden Time version of the Debauchery Tea Party is hilarious. Kudos for showing a party where ladies are taking off their shirts without going into full-tilt ecchi mode. I did not feel dirty watching that scene.

Character Score: 6/10

Banri is still a bit of a mystery. Just not much about him yet. He had a dream at the beginning of the episode about escaping from a hospital, so that might be important to his backstory. He didn’t appreciate getting dragged into the crazy girls’ party, but based on the other characters’ reactions, that was normal and justified.

Mitsuo, the ex-boyfriend? of Koko, is still running around and going out his way to avoid Koko. He hasn’t said much about why he’s done with her or wants a break. We can assume it’s because she’s smothering to him.

Kaga Koko, the girl that followed Mitsuo to college, had gained a bit more development in this episode. As the episode is titled, she is a lonely girl, and it’s because everyone is intimidated by her because she so obviously upper-class. Her hair reminds me of Taiga from Toradora. However, she’s not a tsundere, which is a nice change of pace from this kind of thing.

Cinami aka Oka-chan, the pink-haired squeaky near-loli girl, is a part of the Film Club. She seems to be a bit more understanding and while a little enthusiastic, she’s not pushy.

Linda, the girl from the Festival Club that saved Banri during the first club rush, seems to be the most normal and laidback character of the bunch. We don’t know much about her, but I like her so far. She has proven to be the most useful.

Overall, these characters are a little more on the realistic side. There are some extremes to certain traits, but I could believe that they were all based on real people.

Production Score: 6/10

I kinda like the lacework in the background in the opening and the bouncy little song. The animation and lighting in the episode is good and background music is forgettable.

Production Score: 6/10

Not any obvious short-cuts in the animation is always nice. The care package of instant foods in Banri’s apartment looked really good and I was actually a little jealous of the selection. They got one thing right about college life, various instant foods is a must-have, and I hope to see a lot of it.

I haven’t seen any studying yet, but it’s only the first week of college, so yeah, I believe there’s a lot of parties and get-togethers.

Briar’s Total Score: 6.6/10

So, was the beginning of the episode really a peek at the future?

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6/10
Week 2 Total Score: 6.3/10
Season Total Score for Golden Time: 5.9/10

Beyond the Boundary

Briar’s Review:

Monster hunters!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

The episode opens with trippy waves of grass and blood on the blond boy’s hands. Back at her apartment, Kuriyama slices the mummy and chases it outside. She fights it with her blood sword, but it vanishes. Akihito gives coaching. Kuriyama’s sword can change phase, liquid to solid and back. The mummy gets away. Blondie reminds her that if it does get away, she’ll get no money for groceries or rent. She chases after it, then takes off her ring and blasts it full of holes. As she’s about to stiab it, she flashbacks and hesitates. Blondie snaps her out of it and she makes the killing blow. The mummy leaves behind a gem studded rock. The ring keeps her powers repressed? Blondie shows his gratitude by bandaging her hand and inviting her to the Literary Club. Kuriyama declines, then passes out.

They take the rock to a shop the next day. Kuriyama freaks out that the girl at the shop is a youmu. Her name is Ai Shindou. She explains that there’s a wide range of youmu. She compares it to the range of mammals. Humans appraise cows and pigs. Mitsuki arrives and embarrasses Akihito. Akihito asks Ai if she’s noticed anything odd with the youmu lately.

At school, Kuriyama has basic udon noodles for lunch. Akihito gives her an onigiri. He keeps trying to get her to join the club. Hiromi, a dark haired guy with a scarf, is sleeping on the roof. He annoys Akihito by calling him Akkey. Akihito asks about unusually aggressive youmu. Hiromi puts his hands on Akihito’s waist and freaks him out. When Hiromi learns that Mitsuki did not send Akihito to talk, he leaves.

Akihito returns to the shop and meets the other warrior again. Kuriyama hasn’t shown up yet. A new barrier was put up to ward off normal people. It might be working against Kuriyama off. It is. Mitsuki finds Kuriyama and leads her to the shop. Kuriyama asks why she’s friends with Akihito. Mitsuki is watching him.

A postcard came from Akihito’s mother. Her thoughts are on it. His mother is a catgirl? Nope, she’s a warrior. His father is a youmu. Cat mama warns about a powerful youmu heading his way and that he needs to avoid it. It’s called Hollow Shadow. It might be why the low level youmu were getting aggressive. The lady takes a look at the rock. It was worth 1000 yen. Kuriyama and Akihito get beef bowls for cheap. Kuriyama tells Akihito that she doesn’t want him to meddle in her affairs. She says that she killed someone.

We learn more about the world and that there are many kinds of youmu. The characters get their warning about the Hollow Shadow. We learn a little more about the characters

Plot Score: 5/10

Starting from the cliff hanger in the first episode, Kuriyama, the new fighter that can manipulate her own blood into the form of a sword, is fighting a small gray mummy-like spirit that is called a youmu. Even though this is a low-level youmu, she has a difficult time fighting it due to her inexperience and self-doubt. She simply doesn’t want to fight it and let it run away, but she continues to chase it out of her apartment. Akkun, the half-youmu high-school boy, shouts advise to her, but she didn’t really respond to it. Eventually, she removes her ring, to make acid-like blood shoot like bullets to harm the youmu. She has a short trauma flashback and hesitates before killing it. After a youmu is defeated they turn into a stone, not unlike a kishin soul from Soul Eater.

Akkun wraps up her hand offers to take her to someone he knows so she can sell the stone. It appears that the stronger the youmu, the more money they’re worth, so she got very little after working so hard. Akkun spends a lot of the episode trying to get on Kuriyama’s good side and keeps telling her to join his Literature club. He also tried to be nice by giving her food again, something he did in the last episode because she couldn’t go home to eat since there was a youmu there. This time she denied him. Not sure why other than the drama about how it better to stay alone.

For a little bit of comedy, there’s a misunderstanding when Akkun is around so many girls, and the girls thinks he’s dating the others. It was more of an awkward moment, not really needed, but the should is pretty dour so it needed something to lighten the mood.

For some reason Kuriyama couldn’t see the barrier to the youmu shop to trade in her youmu-stone. She was supposed to be able to, but nearly broke down because she almost got lost. It seems that while she can use to blood with some skill, she’s knows very little about everything youmu and magic related. The other girl from the Literature Club ends up helping her get to the shop. At the shop, Akkun gets a message from his mother that a Hollow Shadow is coming his way. I can assume this is a high-level youmu that will cause problems. After they’re all done in the shop and are getting dinner, Kuriyama reveals she’s killed someone and she has traumas about it.

Character Score: 6/10

Akihito gets flustered and embarrassed about his mother, who is hilarious. I though she was the youmu parent at first. Kuriyama is kinda lost and in over her head. She’s cute in a bumbling, earnest way without being annoying. Then there’s the hint that she might be an atoner.

Character Score: 5/10

It is revealed that Akkun’s mom was a spirit world warrior and is very eccentric. She was dressed as in cat-girl costume for some reason. In her magical hologram message, she warns him that a Hallow Shadow is coming is way. His father was the youmu, but hasn’t been revealed.

Kuriyama is a very timid girl that demands that she be alone and she rejects Akkun’s kindness. Considering the series started out with her standing on the edge of the school’s roof as if she’s about to commit suicide, it’s no surprise that she is the character with the most angst. Her glasses are too big for her face, I can tell because they slip around constantly. I am about ready to yell at her to go get her glasses tightened. Maybe she’ll just get goggles for fighting.

New characters was introduced. Ai is a youmu girl and she works in a youmu shop and goes to school. Hiromi is a scarf-wearing boy who puts his hands in Akkun’s armpits awkwardly. He is not helpful to answering questions, but he did call the Cleaners the night before. Another new character, a youmu woman that owns the shop and trades the youmu stones. She’s very knowledgeable and is a lot like a miko.

Production Score: 7/10

Nice movement cycles when they don’t cut through them for effect. Kuriyama uses smooth circular motions in some of the fight scenes, differentiating her from simple brute force fighters. Good backgrounds and nice forgettable music.

Production Score: 7/10

No obvious short-cuts in the animation is always a good thing. There was some action at the beginning of the episode that was cool. Lots of motion and the hair and clothes move around a lot. There’s very little music.

Briar’s Total Score: 6.3/10

The story is starting to pick up steam now and I’m starting to get interested in the characters.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.6/10
Week 2 Total Score: 6.3/10
Season Total Score for Beyond the Boundary: 6.1/10

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Briar’s Review:

All aboard the USS Teenybopper!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

We start with rain over the ocean inside a typhoon storm zone. Missiles dive down from Takao the Red Tribal Tron ship and sink a sub. She tells 401 (Iona) to come quick, she wants to sink her. Iona has sent out decoys, four are destroyed, three remain. They know Takao is out there. Purple Uhura makes a suggestion and the Captain tells tells Iona to set course for Yokosuka. I still don’t know why these ships exist. They talk about how land targets are forbidden by the Fog, but that the Port of Yokosuka is at risk of being attacked if Iona enters. Plan C, defeat Takao before going to port. Iori is the red head in engineering. Iona will surface with the storm covering them. Battle stations! All the decoys are moving with them.
There some remark about the Concept Comm System being unaffected by distance or interference. This means that Takao knows which one is the real Iona. Takao goes all red lightning. Uhura is picking up a strange noise. Iona goes hard to port, gets glanced. Iona bounces around in her little playpen as the sub shakes. Iona fires missles and hits Takao, who returns fire with missles of her own. Shizuka is the name of the Uhura. Iona goes silent running and Takao loses contact with her.

They can’t stay silent forever. The Klien Field will reach saturation. When they drop it, it will announce their position. They figure out that there’s another ship out there telling Takao where to look, but they don’t know where it’s at. We get treated to even more tech and plan talk. Tech the tech! We find out that 501 is the hidden sub. Where do they get all of their missiles and torpedos? Takao counters Iona’s corrosive torpedos with missiles, then she launches a bunch of corrosive warheads right back at them. Iona has a supergravity cannon?! How? Where? They spot the hidden sub 501. Iona fires the cannon and destroys the sub, but misses Takao.

Tea time! Takao meets with an Albino in purple. We find out that Iona’s cannon was salvaged off of Hyuuga. Takao wonders why they didn’t sink her. She wonders if she would be capable of such tactics with a human unit. Takao wants Iona’s captain aboard her.

There was lot of “tech the tech” talk for a rather short engagement. Not much learned otherwise. It was disappointing to see decoys and silent running used, setting up for some clever fighting, but it was won with the “bigger gun” solution.

Plot Score: 4/10

So the main crew was talking a lot on their submarine. It was very emotionless. I admit, I spaced out more than once. There was another ship that was after them with its own teen-girl mecha controller. She had no crew. So our crew, led by Gunzou, was trying to use a decoy to get her off their trail. However, she finds them and fires a supergravity cannon, which they barely dodge before retaliating a firing missiles back, and then they activate their shields. I’m not sure why they were activated already or by default when they were knowingly being aggressively perused. While pursuing the crew, the girl kept talking about 401, as if Iona is 401, but I just kept thinking of the error message.

Then it’s time for Iona to really fight back using her captain’s orders. Something flashy happens, but it carves a tunnel through the water, the submarine attaches to the bottom of the ship, and then it fires its own super-beam which instantly breaks through the ship’s shields and they win.

In her defeat, the controller of the ship, as a weird unexplained glowy tea party with someone I don’t know about being defeated. What? She’s fine though, just washed up on a beach. She thinks about getting a human so she can have cool tactics too. I think she like Gunzou now.

This anime is surprising boring. Not sure what the point was.

Character Score: 4/10

With all of the “tech the tech” babble, we didn’t get to learn much about the characters, except for a couple of names. Another thing, why do the Tribal Tron Ships have female human forms and drink tea in their mental Matrix space? They’re ships! They don’t drink tea! Also, where do they get all of their toys? Who’s supplying them?

Character Score: 3/10

Gunzou just sat there most of the episode. So did most of the others. The characters could have had more development before now, at least in their relationships with each other. Why did the crew choose to join when they are all now on the run? It’s like something important is missing.

The other mecha controller has a change of heart after she is defeated since now she‘s thinking about getting her own human captain so she can compete with Iona. Based on the opening and closing sequences, there Is obviously going to be several of these girls, each with a different color theme. So I guess this girl is blue and white. She’s probably going to come back since she’s still alive and had a weird tea-meeting with another girl.

Production Score: 5/10

Decent CG work with the ship; Kinda bad models popping up on some of the characters, especially Iori. The music was bigger than the show.

Production Score: 5/10

The ship’s controller just stands there with the wind blowing through her blue hair and fashionable white dress. She hasn’t walked or anything. There might be a lot of details and shine, but there isn’t a lot of actual animating in the characters. She just stands on top of her ship wit the glowing circles around her.

The video chat with mechanic girl is cheaply done. There wasn’t much character movement or action at all. She was just a still face in a box on the screen most of the episode.

I like that each of the workstations on the bridge was unique. I’ve been able to gather more about the character from their desks then I have from observing them. The male as pictures of girls in bikinis and the girl’s desk is girly. These are good details, but need to be backed by showing the characters’ personality in their speech and actions more.

The music is trying to make the ocean battle epic, but I’m just not in sync with what’s going on other than they are protecting Iona.

The opening is kind of suggestive. The closing is boring.

Briar’s Total Score: 4.6/10

It was alright, but not engaging.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4/10
Week 2 Total Score: 4.3/10
Season Total Score for Arpeggio of Blue Steel: 4.8/10

Samurai Flamenco

Briar’s Review:

What hijinks will ensue this time?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 8/10

Samurai Flamenco catches another litterer. He’s not impressing anyone. Also, Recycling – He’s picky about it. It needs to be put out at a certain time, not earlier. The old lady tells him to take care of it. The next day, she complains about him to the police. Oh god, Goto’s face! They inform her that Samurai Flamenco hasn’t broken any laws.

Hazama finds Goto and invites him to dinner. Curry, of course. Goto is using his girlfriend’s umbrella. They talk about setting garbage out early and the complaints received by the police about Hazama’s antics. We find out that Goto is Hazama’s only friend. Yeah, Goto, that is creepy. Ishihara is Hazama’s manager, pays a visit. Hazama cleans up his stuff. She doesn’t like hobbies. Ishihara see the girly umbrella and isn’t happy about the implied visitor. Then she meets Goto. Awkward. “I should get going.” Ishihara goes over the variety show script. She tells him that he’s just another pretty face and if he doesn’t work, he’ll be washed up. She’s rather aggressive.

Hazama goes to the variety show set. It’s different from a magazine photo shoot and he’s nervous. Wow, that host is loud. Everyone is telling Hazama to relax. He’s too loud and tense. A creep keeps hitting on Ishihara. The rehearsal starts and Hazama mentally sings a hero theme song. Mari hears him sing under his breath and grabs his arm.

Hazama is in the alley again in his costume. He falls down in front of a woman. A report about Samurai Flamenco being a pervert comes in. Goto invites Hazama to dinner at a restaurant. Hazama is only 19. No alcohol. Goto tells him about the complaints regarding Samurai Flamenco. He needs to give the act a rest or he’ll have to chase him down. Hazama reveals that the mask is planning ahead to him.

Then we see why Hazama doesn’t use umbrellas. Flashback to the first grade, when he used another kid’s umbrella. That kid got sick. Hazama goes on about a vicious cycle. Yeah, that is excessive. Very comic book. Goto drank too much. When they get up to leave, they find out that Goto’s umbrella is gone. They chase after it, but Hazama wouldn’t let Goto cross the street on a red.

This is a job for Samurai Flamenco! Love the music. He obeys every light along the chase. EVERY LIGHT. He’s making the hero business pretty hard on himself. Goto takes a cab. Samurai Flamenco gets the umbrella. “Now let’s go find the one who stole yours.” The video gets a ton of views. Hazama is responsible for 206 of 900,000 views.

This was a small scale plot, but it filled out well. It takes some chops to write an episode that can make an audience care about something as insigificant as an umbrella. Everything was set up well and entertaining.

Plot Score: 8/10
This show is freaking great after everything else this season. It actually manages to make me smile. I forgot to note in my episode 1 review that the opening totally trolls us by looking like this epic mecha superhero show. Even though it’s not. It’s better. It’s a normal guy with high ideals and the drive to act them out. He wants to be a superhero. Without powers to master or monsters to battle, he says he’s going to start small by simply enforcing the rules and laws in the community. Of course, he has a disguise of a superhero to cover his identity.This episode, we learn that Hazama doesn’t use umbrellas because when he was a kid, someone took his after school, so he took someone else’s who ended up getting sick a result of not having an umbrella. Goto thinks this is silly. Umbrella are cheap so whatever, right? Well Hazama doesn’t think so. Stealing is stealing in his book and he learned first hand that even though it’s a small offense, it can still hurt someone.Hazama and Goto were hanging out at Hazama’s place again to eat curry (again) and watch his favorite show (again). Hazama’s toys are all over the table and everything. This is awesome. Seriously. It’s like that saying, what you loved in grade school, you hate in high school, and then love again in college. Hazama isn’t in college, he’s a model, but he is 19, so it still applies. During this scene, we learn that the modeling agency pays his rent. Nice deal. Though he plans to pay it all back someday. Then when his manager showed up unannounced, Hazama had to pick up all his toys and hide them before answering the door. He managed to get Goto to help. Major plot point: a mini-ax fell from one the figurines. Little details worth actually paying attention to! Yay! Why is the mini-ax important? Well, when the manager was leaving, she swiped everything from the table and into her bag because there was a bunch of papers laid out. No one even noticed the ax, not until the end of the episode…

Since Hazama’s superhero stuff is a secret with Goto being the only one that knows about it, they are unable to answer the question about how they met when Hazama’s manage asks. Their glances at each other and then their nonsense utterances make it seem like they met at a strip club or something that they don’t want to tell Hazama’s boss, or a woman. Man, this show is funny with the simplest awkward things.

The next day, Hazama makes an appearance in the MMM’s music video. They’re an idol group or something similar. The group is also featured in both the beginning and ending themes of the show. During the rehearsal, another manager awkwardly tries to flirt with Hazama’s manager. Doesn’t seem important now, but it might be later as far was work relations and possible jobs go. During the rehearsal, Hazama is actually fairly nervous. To make sure he keeps his cool and looks good, he mentally sings his own song, but as he’s leaving the stage, a little slips out verbally. The lead singer of the group heard and it grabs him. Is she also a fan of the same superhero shows? I think that’s where the song he sang was from.

There has been a lot of complaints about Hero!Hazama around town, but the cops them the people that since he isn’t breaking the law, they can’t really do anything about him. After a misunderstanding that Hero!Hazama tried to look up a girl’s skirt, Goto invites him to dinner to talk about it. They chat. Since Hazama is only 19, he can’t drink yet, but Goto gets so drunk he can barely leave the booth. When they went to leave, they find Goto’s umbrella was taken, the one that his girlfriend left at his place. Hazama strips down to his supersuit and takes his bike to chase down the guy that took the umbrella. He actually kept up with a freaking train AND stopped at all the red lights! When he confronts the man that took the umbrella, the man said that some took his, to which Hazama responded with how a small speech about how it still isn’t right and that he would help find his own umbrella. During this, people have out their camera phones to record it. His manager sees the video and then she finds the mini ax in her papers.

Character Score: 8/10

Hazama and Goto are hilarious. Hazama is so genuine about his superheroing convictions. Goto is playing an excellent straight man to Hazama’s bucket of crazy.

Character Score: 8/10

The characters are so relatable, realistic, believable, and enjoyable. Hazama is an interesting mix of innocent and aware. He really wants to make things better the only way he knows how and constantly brings up valid points in his justification for his actions. Goto is so laidback, it’s great. He’s that guy that everyone knows. He doesn’t want to get Hazama in trouble, but is still giving warnings. After the umbrella incident where he almost lost his girlfriend’s umbrella, I won’t be surprised if he never uses it again so it won’t happen again. He and Hazama are probably even now too. So Hazama probably has some buffer to go around and play hero before Goto can’t ignore it anymore and has to report him. Their friendship is simple and understandable. I think Hazama is just happy to have a friend, he doesn’t seem to have any other friends at the moment.

The main boys, Hazama and Goto are attractive enough for the lady-viewers out there to fan over, but also normal enough for the male-viewers to not feel overwhelmed by excessively pretty boy-men. It’s a good balance. The new female characters are very colorful and fashionable, which makes since for an idol group.

Production Score: 8/10

Still great details, animation, and good music.

Production Score: 8/10

This show is animated very well so far. There is a very good balance of neutral and vibrant colors where needed. The shadowing and lighting are well balanced and clear. I’m never questioning what I’m looking at with this show, not with the clothes, food, photos, signs, or tech. With no obvious short-cuts used and every background so detailed awards some points here.

There was a little new music this episode with the introduction of the music group. The ambiance in the restaurant was appropriate as well was the ambiance in Hazama’s living room when they’re watching the big screen, as in we can still hear the movie while the characters are talking, instead of the media just going silent.

This episode was written with a solid three-arc system, which for the beginning of a series, is the way to go. There an intro, problem/conflict, and then resolution. There is even more revealed about each of the characters and they are wasting no time in dropping hints on the new characters that will be important later.

Briar’s Total Score: 8/10

I laughed during this episode. I need more of that.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 8/10
Week 2 Total Score: 8/10
Season Total Score for Samurai Flamenco: 7.7/10

Ratings (Points out of 10)

Series Name Week 2 Score Running Season Score
Arpeggio of Blue Steel 4.3 4.8
Beyond the Boundary 5.9 6.1
Galilei Donna 4.1 4.7
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods 5.8 5.8
Golden Time 6.3 5.9
Kill la Kill 3.3 3.4
Log Horizon 6.8 6.8
MEGANEBU! 2.4 2.7
Nagi no Asukara 5.6 5.5
Samurai Flamenco 8 7.7
Strike the Blood 6.1 5.9
Walkure Romanze 3.3 3.9

MEGANEBU! has the lowest score this week and it is with GREAT pleasure that we kick it out of the ring! It will not return for Week 3 and we won’t have to watch another eye-assaulting episode of it!

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