Anime Knockout! Fall 2013 Week 6

Welcome to the sixth 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:

Maybe something will finally happen?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 4/10

We go through the requisite motions of a transfer student’s arrival. The girls squeal over Satoru’s kendo skills and they squeal over Saeki and Satoru living in the same house. Of course, Saeki is embarrassed about it. Funabashi and Yumi take an interest in him. Yumi looks almost desperate. Boyfriend troubles, Yumi?

Then Saeki, Yumi, and Funabashi throw a welcome party for Satoru. He doesn’t like the idea. During the party, he’s reserved and looks like he’s not enjoying himself. After dinner, he retreats to his room. The girls go upstairs.

Haru gets annoyed at the noise the girls are making upstairs. Then the girls barge in. Yumi asks about Satoru’s birthday, but he couldn’t remember it at first. Yumi keeps going with the questions, annoying Satoru until snaps at them, tells them all to be quiet, and smacks them all over the head with his notebook. The girls all apologize, but Saeki starts to laugh and it spreads. Satoru decides to humor them. They stay up all night.

The next morning, they all wear shrine kimono. Satoru buys Yumi and Funabashi charms. The little girls and Granny arrive at the shrine and everyone takes a picture together.

Not much really happens in this episode. It’s mostly Satoru getting settled in at the school and shrine and Haru throwing a fit over the attention that he gets.

So far, this show looks like it’s just a slice of life, which is fine. However, it’s a glacially slow slice of life where I have no interest in the lead characters. We’re six episodes through and very little has happened. Saeki meets a couple of new friends (that could have been her friends from the start) and a boy from a friend of the family moves in. That’s really all that’s happened.

If you want to see a kitsune-feature slice of life, I’ll recommend Our Home’s Fox Diety. There’s more magic and action than in Gingitsune, but the characters are far more engaging. I even started to watch it again, just because I kept thinking that I enjoyed it more than Gingitsune. The kitsune is even treated like a kitsune, rather than a grumpy human.

Plot Score: 4/10

Satoru Kamio got popular for being really good at kendo and he has good grades. The other students already know that he lives with Makoto Saeki. He’s still cold and a loner both at school and at the shrine he’s living at. Gintaro kicked Satoru in the face when he tried to brush his tail after he was done with Haru. Makoto’s friends came over to see them. Gintaro told Haru that Sotoru needs to learn to lives with humans. The girls left to get stuff for a small party at the shrine. He was all silent but polite during dinner and then turns down the girls’ offer to party after. Haru complained about the noise, while Satoru didn’t care. Satoru even told Haru to go see what the noise was about himself, but Haru didn’t want to. The girls went into his room and bothered him. After he yelled at them, he agreed to humor them for a little while. Haru left him alone for the rest of the evening. The next day, everyone got to dress up in kimonos. Satoru feels better about living at the shrine now. As a nice gesture, he buys the girls charms since they are supposed to be given as gifts, not bought for yourself. Slowly, he’s getting visibly happier. They took a group picture at the end.

Overall, this was really boring. It’s not funny or entertaining, but at the same time it’s not offensive or stupid either. It just doesn’t really feel like a story. There is no goal set for the plot or even the characters really. I think Satoru Kamio is going to have to learn to make friends, but that isn’t directly stated yet, only he has to learn to live among humans. I feel like this show as no direction yet. This is fine as a filler episode, but looking at the content of each episode, this can’t be a filler. This is the plot. It’s not much.

Character Score: 4/10

Satoru is a bit of the typical sullen teenager. He goes straight to his room after coming home. I also wondered what it looked like to other people when he brushed Haru’s tail, since only those with the Sight can see the Heralds.

Haru is still rude and obnoxious and no one is really calling her out for insulting her hosts. She’s also obviously jealous of any girls that come close to Satoru. Gintaro tries to tell her that he belongs to the human world, but she has difficulty accepting that.

Gintaro… I’m really disappointed at how little he really does. When I first saw him lazing about, his posturing and voice reminded me of the nameless samurai portrayed by Toshiro Mifune. I was rather excited about this, because it was a change from the usual kitsune characters. Wily and gruff samurai fox? I’m game for that! However, his character seems to languish with just being annoyed at Saeki and dispensing wise advice. I keep expecting the next part of the story to start, where trouble overwhelms the scene and he helps the shrine figure out some scheme to defeat it. Maybe it is coming and I’m just impatient, but this show is only twelve episodes. We’re halfway through and it feels like we’re still in the the introduction stages.

Character Score: 4/10

Once again, both Makoto Saeki and Gintaro did very little.

Satoru Kamio didn’t remember his own birthday when asked because he can only remember the days his family members died. He doesn’t really know how to interact with other people, let alone teenaged girls. He’s kind of moody. His birthday is September 23, and his blood type is A.

Funabari has a small crush on Makoto Saeki’s dad.

Production Score: 5/10

The show still looks decent. Nothing detracted from it, but nothing really stood out either.

Production Score: 5/10

No change to this score. I didn’t noticed anything that stood out to lower it, like shortcuts and repeated shots.

Briar’s Total Score: 4.3/10

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to rewatch Our Home’s Fox Diety.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4.3/10
Week 6 Total Score: 4.3/10
Season Total Score for Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods: 5.0/10

Strike the Blood

Briar’s Review:

“…”

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 4/10

Kojou and Yukina face Dimitri Vatler on the ship. Sayaka, another observer, reunites with Yukina. Instead of a Sword Shaman, Sayaka is a War Dancer, specializing in hexes and assassinations. Vatler was in love with Avrora, the vampire Kojou inheirited his blood from. Vatler then advances on him. He also considers Yukina his rival in love. He then asks about Christoph Gardos, who is the new leader of the Black Death Emperor Faction in Europe. That group is going to make trouble for the First Progenitor. Vatler is going to take them out, but his Familars may sink the island. Yukina tells him that won’t be necessary. She and Kojou can deal with Gardos.

Asagi is on the phone with Motoki, complaining about Kojou going out with Yukina. He thinks that Yukina has dirt on Kojou. He advises Asagi to try seducing Kojou. So, comes into Kojou’s room in the morning and straddles him on his bed. He tries to ignore her, then boot her, but he falls on top of her. Asagi asks him what Yukina is to him.

Kojou and Yukina visit Natsuki, the Loli-teacher, to ask about Gardos. They see that Astarte is now Natsuki’s maid as part of her three years probation. Natsuki tells them that they don’t need for them to do anything. The ancient weapon that Gardos is after, Nalakuvera, isn’t stable. The code to use the weapon is encrypted. She also warns that Vatler has already devoured two high-ranking 2nd generation vampire elders.

Kojou needs to control his Familars better. Then some really awkward conversation about taking her blood or doing sexual things to Yukina. Yukina is acting weird.

Later, Kojou asks Asagi to look into Nalakuvera. Mokito sees the two walk off, then puts on his headphones to track them? They go into the student council room to use the computers. An artificial bug is the weapon, Nalakuvera. Then a compromising position as they hide from teacher under a desk. So, they keep talking, because the teacher won’t hear them? Kojou notices her earrings. Then major double nosebleed. Yukina was watching from across the street. She’s upset?

Sayaka attacks after Asagi leaves Kojou on the rooftop. “Cute, beautiful neck”? So, what sort of relationship did she have with Yukina? Was she really only a friend? She slices Kojou and he goes red eyes and starts to lose control. Asagi sees this.

Again, we get some setup that could have been covered faster if they didn’t spend so much time perving around and indulging in a pointless love triangle. Also, while it was a welcome break from what was little more than glorified talking head spouting exposition, why did we need the fight scene at the end?

Plot Score: 4/10

This episode had a massive info dump that I’m just going to skip over. We started out the episode right where it left off last time. Kojou and Yukina were at a party on a boat where they met another vampire, Dimitrie Vatler, aka Lord Ardeal the first progenitor, who is actually looking for some other guy, Christoper Gardos. He is overly fond of Kojou just because Kojou’s vampire blood is from Avrora, who was the last forth progenitor.

Sayaka Kirasaka, Vatler’s observer, used to be Yukina’s roommate and is over protective of her so she immediately hated Kojou and wants to kill him. More so after spying on him and seeing that he associates with other girls. Bit of contradictory, but okay. Then Vatler told Kokou and Yukina of his mission to find Gardos, so Yukina steps in saying she’ll do it so Kojou doesn’t get involved. I spaced out during this info dump so I think that’s what she did.

Meanwhile Asagi Aiba worked on a puzzle code that had to do with the Nalakuvera, which we’ll learn more about later. Her friend on the phone also told her that Kojou and Yukina were hiding something, so to get Kojou to tell her what it is, the friend suggests that Asagi use a honey trap, which is to use her sexuality and seduce the info out of him. Therefore, Kojou woke up with Asagi on top of him in his bed. Eventually, he tried to get up and they fall. Naturally, he landed on top of her right when Yukina and his sister walked in, so Yukina got jealous or mad.

At school. Kojou and Yuki talk to the gothic Lolita teacher again, and there’s another info dump. They need to learn about Gardos and the Nalakuvera more. So Kojou asked Asagi for help on gathering more info. They use a computer in a room they weren’t supposed to be in. When a teacher was about to come in, she pulled him under the desk for another awkward moment. He even had a nose bleed. Then on the roof of the building, they talked a bit, she left, and then he was attacked by Sayaka Kirasaka for being a lecher since she’s been stalking him with a bird since they met. As soon as Kojou got cut, his powers activated and the red lighting stuff started flying everywhere. Asagi saw and called out to him.

This episode was boring and had too many info dumps. Things could have progressed a little faster.

Character Score: 3/10

Dimtri Vatler. This show would have a hard time making him more stereotypically gay. Right now, that’s all his character is and that’s disappointing. One trait does not make a good character. At first, I wondered if he was just messing with Kojou to throw him off balance, but Vatler was exactly what he looked like. There’s rumors of him being some sort of badass, but we haven’t really seen it yet.

Sayaka is creepily possessive of Yukina, to the point that she gets angry whenever Kojou calls Yukina by her given name. She even starts attacking Kojou, interfering in Yukina’s observer duties, because he was associating with Asagi and thereby cheating(?) on Yukina. If they’re going to take this sort of route, then there really should be some romance for other characters to get upset over. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of overreacting girls not allowing Kojou to have friends. Obsessive and controlling.

As for Asagi, at least she did directly ask Kojou what his deal with Yukina was, but he wasn’t completely honest with her. In a world that openly acknowledges magic and monsters to the point that they make an island reservation for them to live on, why is there this pretense of masquerade?

And Yukina getting jealous and upset over Kojou? Why is she engaging in the passive-aggressive bullshit? The LKO is grooming her to be Kojou’s plaything and she’s going along with it? And Sayaka putting her anger toward Kojou, instead of the LKO that assigned Yukina to be his observer and eventual bride?

Character Score: 4/10

I don’t like Sayaka Kirasaka and Dimitrie Vatler already. I don’t like the subplot they’re going with how Sayaka hates Kojou for being associated with Yukina, even though it’s Yukina’s JOB as an observer to hang around him, just like it’s her job to be Dimitrie Vatler’s observer. This trope of attacking anyone involved with the best friend character. It’s going to get annoying fast. It’s also like everyone either loves or hates Kojou and why?

Dimitrie Vatler has devoured two other vampires, which makes him more powerful. Even though he wants to screw Kojou, they’re setting him up to be a possible enemy because he’s more powerful and has better control of his familiars.

Those earrings that Asagi Aiba wear and are focused on in the opening were a gift from Kojou. Don’t know why yet.

Production Score: 6/10

It’s still decent on animation, but that’s not enough to distract me from the cheap plot and characterizations.

Production Score: 6/10

No change. Still looked fine.

Briar’s Total Score: 4.3/10

Sayaka, don’t you have a job to do?

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4.6/10
Week 6 Total Score: 4.4/10
Season Total Score for Strike the Blood: 5.3/10

Nagi no Asukara

Briar’s Review:

“…”

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 4/10

The class gets a day in the pool at school. The boys start changing into their swimsuits in the classrooms, but the girls all go the changing room. At the pool, boys notice Chisaki’s bust size. And the girls start groping her breasts? Is this really a thing? I don’t think this is really a thing in Japan.

The students all do warm up exercises, except for Hikari. He doesn’t think he needs to, because he is from underwater. Tsumugu, Hikari, and Kaname all race at the crawl. Hikari is slower than everyone expects and Manaka makes excuses for him. At the end of the pool, Hikari slams against the wall and breaks his toenail off. Chisaki refuses to join Manaka and Hikari to the nurse’s office.

Manaka keeps apologizing through her treatment of Hikari and she offers excuses to why he wasn’t faster than Tsumugu. Hikari becomes irritated when she brings up Chsaki, and then tells her to go back. He’ll treat himself. Chisaki ignores Manaka when she returns to class and the land boys tease her about why she took so long in the nurse’s office.

Kaname gets the two little girls and the classmate girl to help out with the doll repairs. In fact, Kaname pulled in a whole crew to help with the repairs on broken Ojoshi-sama. Hikari walks in and announces that they are all his minions. With Manaka and Hikari in the room, Chisaki excuses herself saying that she needs to go to the post office. Manaka runs after her to apologize, because that’s all she really does in this show. Chisaki is irritated by Manaka’s passive patronizing.

Manaka is alone on the street, where Tsumugu finds her while cycling his grandfather somewhere. The grandfather gets off and tells him to take her to the wharf. He remarks that the weather is good for Tomoebi, which is when the weather is really nice and the saltflake snow falls, creating a three-sun illusion underwater.

Manaka talks to Tsumugu. He tells her to stop being ambiguous. He thinks that her true self was the one that didn’t hesitate to help Hikari. Hikari and Kaname see Tsumugu drop her off at the wharf.

The three-sun effect of the Tomoebi occurs and Manaka finds Chisaki to see it. And she apologizes for missing it the last time. Chisaki doesn’t want her world to change and she doesn’t want to change.

So, Hikari is hoisted by his own petard, Manaka and Chisaki are both passive-aggressives, and Kaname bypasses the drama to get things done.

Plot Score: 4/10

There’s a swimming class. The girls in the class had robe-towels to wear and change under. Chisaki in swimwear caught the attention of not only the boys, but the other girls as well for being more developed than the other girls. One girl groped Chisaki without waiting for permission, which shocked Hikari (and the rest of the boys), Tsumugu wondered if that’s how girls makes friends, and Kaname commented that girls are amazing… not sure what that says about these guys.

This episode reminded me of Free! when Hikari, Kaname, and Tsumugu were going to swim the free crawl together. Then Hikari got distracted by the Manaka and didn’t make the turn properly so he broke off his toenail, so it hurt. He and Manaka went inside to take care of it. This scene showed that the sea people aren’t necessarily the best swimmers, since they usually only swim under water, not specific strokes at the surface.

Kaname is making friends and everyone is helping remake the Ojoshi-sama thing that was destroy before. Manaka tried to talk up Chisaki, but this insulted Chisaki instead because Manaka promised to forget about the whole liking Hikari thing. Chisaki was also upset because once again, Manaka didn’t hesitate to jump in to Hikari’s aid.

Manaka cried to Tsumugu about her problems. He took her home. She told him about a time when they were little and there was an event in the water that made it look like there was three suns, and that Chisaki had got really upset and made Manaka cry because Manaka didn’t understand and missed it when Chisaki was set on everyone seeing together. When Manaka got home, the three suns event happened again and this time, Manaka made a point of seeing it Chisaki. Chisaki didn’t seem to remember what had happened last time, or she was being polite.

Character Score: 5/10

I should make a drinking game where you take a drink every time Manaka apologizes for something.

Kaname seems to be the only stable one in sea-kids group. He reaches out, makes friends, get people to join in or talk. Yet, he gets almost no focus.

I’ve seen all of these characters in real people before, which is why I’m waiting for this story to take a very dark turn. Hikari is possessive and tempermental, which may lead to controlling abusiveness. Manaka is passive and aways apologizing, making her perpetual victim material. Chisaki suffers very low self esteem and harbors a great deal of jealousy towards Manaka, because of the attention that Manka receives. Eventually, this should boil over into some sort of “revenge” against Manaka, destroying the friendship between both. Tsumugu and Kaname seem rather well adjusted and I’m surprised that they continue to put up with this crap. Although, this episode did have Tsumugu tell Manaka to stop being ambiguous. He’s not fond of the passiveness, either.

However, because of the nature of this show, I doubt that it will visit those dark corners that these personalities often fall into.

Character Score: 5/10

Hikari is getting a little better. He’s still short-tempered. I don’t know why the girls like Hikari.

Manaka is trying to give Chisaki a chance with Hikari, by trying to get Hikari to notice her a little more. But it is actually being a little insensitive to Chisaki’s wishes since Manaka was supposed to go on as if she never learned about Chisaki’s feelings. I think it’s because Chisaki doesn’t want to like Hikari, so she’s struggling with her feelings. She doesn’t want Manaka sympathy or help since Manaka is the source of much of Chisaki’s doubts about her feelings.

Kaname is getting a little more popular. I think at least one girl likes him. He’s just being really nice to everyone and is gaining points that way.

Tsumugu was forced to play counselor again. I’m starting to feel bad for this guy. He doesn’t say or do anything and Hikari hates him and the girls are trying to talk to him about their problems. Does even care? When is this guy going to suddenly tell them to get over it?

Production Score: 5/10

There were a couple pretty moments and the show keeps holding to its standards.

Production Score: 6/10

Still looks good. There was more floating stuff underwater this time which gave more depth and texture. The pool scenes weren’t half bad either. If the cut corners on that, there would have been some serious points deducted from this score since half the show takes place underwater.

Briar’s Total Score: 4.6/10

Dramaz!

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5/10
Week 6 Total Score: 4.8/10
Season Total Score for Nagi no Asukara: 5.2/10

Log Horizon

Briar’s Review:

Our next quest is…

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score:6/10

Team Shiroe return to the Crescent Moon Alliance guild hall. In preparation for the welcoming party for Serara, Nyanta teaches other how to cook food with flavor. This is supposed to be a Crescent Moon secret.

After the party, Mirielle and Shiroe talk over tea about the state of affairs in Akihabara. Things are getting better in that there is less player killing, but everyone seems to have fallen into ranks. The larger and stronger guilds are determining the markets and control the hunting areas. The smaller guilds are trying to find a way to work together in a join councile to compete with the larger guilds. Also, the player level cap has been raised from 90 to 100. No new players have entered the world since the Apocalypse, either. One guild isn’t letting anyone under level 85 in, trying to fight quantity with quality. Another guild, called Hamelin, is selling EXP pots to help players cheat their way up the levels. It double EXP earned and is only given to players under level 30.

Shiroe does not like this environment at all. He believes that everyone is at fault, including him. He tries to think of what he can do. He doesn’t even have a guild. All of the old guilds that invited him just wanted to take advantage of his veteran status and he resented that. Nyanta joins him on the walk and chats. Tea Party was the way it was because everyone worked for it to be that way. He tells Shiroe to stop holding back. Both he and Naotsugu were waiting for him.

During the night, Shiroe contacts Minori and instructs her to reply with coughs. He knows what’s going on with Hamelin. He tells her that he will come rescue her.

He goes to Mirielle for help. He tells her that the twins are being held captive by a nasty guild and he wants to rescue them. In fact, he wants to drive Hamelin out of Akihabara. He doesn’t like how Akihabara feels. It’s petty, pathetic, and cheap. He wants to clean it up. To do that, he needs money in the amount of 5 million gold. Crescent Moon Alliance only has 60,000. He also needs everyone’s hope and goodwill. He also tells Mirielle that he now has a guild: Log Horizon.

This episode lays out the plan for the next arc of the series. Shiroe is taking matters into his own hands.

Plot Score: 5/10

Nyanta taught the other cooks how to make food with their skills so there is actually flavor. Akatsuki was forced to play dress up at the welcome back party. After that there was a long info dump about what’s happening in the towns and between guilds. Now that the level cap has been raised from 90 to 100, there are players playing dirty to get higher before anyone else.

Shiroe finally contacted one of the twins he’s been worried about. He knows what’s happening to them after putting together the clues from the info dump. He asked if she was okay, and I could tell she really wanted to say no she’s not okay, but she said yes anyway. Nevertheless, I think Shiroe knew this, and told her to hang tight, because he’s going to rescue her and her brother soon.

After a long talk with the guild that he’s been helping out, Shiroe revealed that instead of joining a guild, he has now made his own, the Log Horizon. He also has revealed part of a plan to save the kids from the other guild and step one is to borrow 5 million in gold.

Are we ever going to get back to the fact that the players can’t log out?

Character Score: 7/10

I like how Shiroe is thinking his way through things. He knows what he needs to do and he does it. No one is giving him a quest and telling him where to go. His friends aren’t telling him how wonderful he is and how much they need him. No one is begging him to start a guild or save the twins. They’ve given him space and let him come to his own conclusions on his own.

The rest of Team Shiroe, now Log Horizon, are supportive without being clingy or pushy. No one is a passive puddle. No one is obnoxious. I find this refreshing.

Character Score: 5/10

I’m surprised Shiroe and Akatsuki aren’t worried about their real lives. They’re both in grad school and they’re trapped in the game.

Production Score: 6/10

The animation is still good and the backgrounds are still detailed. What’s with the portrait of the German Shepherd in the Crescent Moon Alliance?

Production Score: 6/10

No change.

Briar’s Total Score: 6.3/10

Now, we’re moving. Shiroe has his direction and takes the first steps to changing his world.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.3/10
Week 6 Total Score: 6.3/10
Season Total Score for Log Horizon: 6.5/10

Golden Time

Briar’s Review:

“Just a ghost of me…”

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 7/10

We open with a flashback to Banri in high school. Graduation shirts are being handed out. Banri finds that his name is missing from the list. Lisa notices him crying over his missing name. He thought the class hated him. The class will get them replaced. Later that night, he and Lisa are walking home from karaoke grad party. He confesses his love for her. He asks if she feels the same way. She wants to think about it overnight. He’ll be on the bridge the next night.

In the present time, Banri is trying on a pair of shoes. They’re new, but didn’t fit anyone in the club. The other members of the club make Cinderella and glass sneakers jokes. Linda will sell them to whoever fits them for 5000 yen, but she will give them to Banri for free. Some fourth year former club leaders stop by for a visit. They bring yes/no fans for them to use in the Awa dance.

Kaga notices something weird between Banri and Linda. Banri dismisses it. Oka drops by their table. There’s going to a party at the Golden Time. Kaga stomps off in a huff.

Banri manages to drag Kaga to the party full of Oka’s friends. Behind his table is the door to the tea party club. Yana tells Kaga to change seats and talk to other people. They start arguing. Kaga tells Yana to confess his feelings to Oka. He takes up the challenge, but Oka declines his confession. Both Yana and Kaga go into fits. Banri offers both of them as tributes to the Tea Party club. Oka shows Banri and 2D her camera. She’s filming all of her friends.

Kaga got really drunk and Banri walks her home. Banri says that he doesn’t want to be friends with her anymore, because all she thinks about is Yana. She still wants to be friends with him. He won’t wait for anyone anymore. He flags a taxi for her.

At the club, Linda asks Banri what’s wrong. She guesses that it’s a fight with Kaga, because she thought they were dating. He asks her if she’s dating anyone. He goes into a fit over Linda erasing the old Tada Banri. He runs off and she chases after him. He locks himself in a bathroom. Linda tells him that she didn’t want to screw up and lose him again. She doesn’t know if his amnesia is her fault because she didn’t get to him on the bridge in time.

Kaga waited for Banri outside, but he runs from her. She steals a bike to chase after him. She hits him with it on a bridge. There, she confesses her love for him. Is she serious about this?

Plot Score: 6/10

Some heavy stuff going on in this episode. It started out with a flashback of Banri in high school, a time he doesn’t remember because of the amnesia. His class received their graduation shirts, but his name was the only name missing on the back. He cried and thought it was intentional until he points it out to Linda, who points it out to everyone else and the class said they should get it fixed without extra charge. Later, he confessed to Linda, asked if she felt the same way. She asked him to wait overnight so she could think about it and they’d wait for each other at the usual bridge. Ghost Banri said everyone thought of them as friends, but he was more serious, much like with Kaga Koko now.

At club, Banri got new sneakers from Linda, who claimed they were an impulse buy even though they didn’t fit. I think she had bought them for him before the incident and she’s been holding onto them ever since. After club, he went to Totally Not Starbucks with Kaga, but Chinami showed up and Kaga hates her now, so she had a bad attitude. Chinami invited them both to a party and when Kaga left, she told Banri that she really admires Kaga so Banri promised to get Kaga to go to the party.

At the party, Kaga and Mitsou fight so he called over Chinami to confess to her. To which Chinami told him don’t be stupid. So Banri threw both the dying Mitsou and Kaga into the crazy girl’s clubroom party next door as a “tribute”. Chinami pullsed out her camera since she’s been filming people to make it into a full video one day. 2D-kun and Banri can’t think of anything funny to say for the camera. After, Kaga was so drunk she could barely walk home. Suddenly, Banri was very fed up. He returned her pocket mirror and told her that they can’t be friends anymore, since she’s rejected him.

The next day at club was very tense, so Linda asked Banri about it, saying he shouldn’t make his girlfriend sad. This hit the wrong nerve and Banri revealed that he knows Linda knew the old him. He locked himself in the bathroom and Linda yelled through the door that she was afraid something would happen to him and she didn’t know what to do. When she went to give him her answer to his confess right after high school, she was too late. She thinks it was her fault that he lost his memories. Maybe he tried to commit suicide.

After Linda finally left, Banri ran off and Kaga stole a bike to catch up with him. He had no idea where he was going. Then he found a bridge and contemplates falling again, and having another do-over. Kaga crashed the bike into him and grabbed him, pleading for him to stay with her and then returns his feelings with her own confession.

I’m unsure if it was a genuine confession or if she was trying to make sure he didn’t do something stupid. I was kind of hoping things would be so sudden between them. Like she should’ve asked him on a date since he’s such a good guy and she wants to like him back. Something like that. We’ll see how he responds in the next episode.

Character Score: 7/10

This was a heavy episode for Banri. All of his pent up emotions just exploded. He doesn’t want to mess around. He doesn’t want to wait. He wants answers.

Kaga is going back and forth with Banri. She doesn’t want to lose him, but I don’t know if that’s because she’s otherwise alone or because she really does have feelings for him.

As for Linda, Banri raised a good question. Why didn’t she say anything to him if she knew who he was that entire time?

Character Score: 7/10

Banri has gone from calm and collected to quite emotional in this episode. However, it was kind of a relief to finally see this guy snap. There’s been some heavy stuff going on in his life, and he’s just been rolling with it as if it’s not a big deal. Seeing him finally say it’s too much and he’s done with people’s crap is actually still a very real take on this kind of character, this kind of person.

Kaga Koko and Linda are both a little hard to read. Which is actually a good thing because they really are somewhat complicated characters with complicated feelings and we know that they’re working through those feelings.

Production Score: 7/10

There was a lot of detail put into Banri’s hair during the peaks of his drama.

Also, this reminded me that English Yes and No don’t mess around. They sound a lot more forceful when surrounded by the Japanese dialogue, which might be why they were used in this episode. There’s no dancing around issues here. Banri doesn’t want to play games and coax out answers.

Production Score: 5/10

No change. Still not a lot of background people when outdoors. I would think around campus in Tokyo would be fairly busy most of the time.

Briar’s Total Score: 7/10

Well, that escalated quickly.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.0/10
Week 6 Total Score: 6.5/10
Season Total Score for Golden Time: 6.2/10

Beyond the Boundary

Briar’s Review:

Aww, Kuriyama and Mitsuko are becoming friends!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 7/10

Mitsuki, Kuriyama, and Aya are in the showers at school. Mitsuki is taking her frustrations out on the empty soap bottle. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a shower scene with girls that didn’t go into ecchi mode! There’s even actual shower stalls!

One week prior, there was a meeting in the Literary Club room. Mitsuki is going to help Kuriyama with her high school debut. When she takes off Kuriyama’s glasses, Akihito flips out. We discover that Kuriyama has spent all of her money on caring for her bonsai.

Because she’s broke, Kuriyama poses for photos for Akihito again. She tells Aya that she wants to find a youmu that’s worth a lot. Aya points her to a fruit-type youmu on the roof of the school, but it has a nasty problem.

Akihito catches up to Kuriyama just before she can land a strike and they’re both hit with a rancid juice tidal wave. They go into the showers to wash off the noxious smelling liquid. Kuriyama tries again, this time with an attack from above, but it fails and they both get hit with stink again. As they walk away in defeat, a pair of ladies ahead of them remark about odor. Kuriyama makes a fart noise and blames it on Akihito.

The youmu needs to be distracted. Catch is that it’s a pervert for human girls. They turn to Mitsuki, who doesn’t want to help. Ai-chan is a youmu, so she can’t distract it. Kuriyama dresses up in a pink frilly outfit to distract it, while Mitsuki goes around behind it. Go pokemon! But the odor is too much for it. Juice explosion. Mitsuki got hit with pink fluid that put a stink on her that won’t come off until the youmu is defeated.

The team thinks about backing out. Pervy brother comes in to be hero then runs off to puke. Pervy brother puts Mitsuki in a ball meant for rolling on water.
They pick on her for a while, until she comes out the ball and hits them with stink. Pervy brother has a perv moment on Ai-chan. Mitsuki surrounds herself with a magic cage to contain the stink. They have to sing and dance to a song to distract it. Kuriyama is a horrible singer. They get hit with stench juice.

Kuriyama doesn’t want to fight it anymore. She’s tired of the stink. The others vow to defeat the youmu and Kuriyama rejoins the team. One week later, they try again, this time with costumes and sound system. They do whole idol spoof for the youmu. They worked the whole week on the routine. Training montage! Ai-chan is part of the routine as their secret weapon. Problem is that they forgot to figure out who will defeat it. Stench explosion. That’s why there’s no soap in the shower.

If you wanted to show someone only one episode of the series, this would be it. It would introduce the main character and the world setting with plenty of humor in a self-contained story.

Plot Score: 5/10

This was the episode of shower scenes. Seriously, there was like five or more. At least it wasn’t ecchi, but it was still taking over the episode.

The episode started out with the girls in the showers, so that’s shower number one. Since Mirai’s been spending her money on little bonsai trees, she needs more money to pay her rent. Now that she has her monster killing license back, she gets a job for a high stake monster. It was on the roof of their school, but as soon as it senses danger, it douses everything in yellow stink fluid. Hence the need for shower number two, this time Akihito got hit too, so he was in the boy‘s side of the showers. Then the two tried again, and failed, so there’s shower number three to clean up the stink again. They had to give up for the day since they ran out of clean clothes and she refused to go without underwear on the walk home so she still stank a little.

The next day, they got more help from Mitsuki Nase and her pokemon. They put Mirai in a lilicon outfit to distract the monster. It worked for a bit, but then they all got doused. Shower number four. Mitsuki got hit especially by a special pink fluid, so they put her in a bubble until they can defeat the monster which will make the stench disappear. She quickly got rid of the bubble and used a magic force field instead.
They find out from Hiroomi Nase that the monster likes music and gets the girls to listen to a specific song that type of monster likes and they prepare to sing it. However, Marai is such a bad singer that it douses all of them again. Shower time number five. They get a bit dramatic in the showers about the stink and vow to defeat it.

After a one week jump, all of them plus the yomou girl from the shop, have put together a music and dance number as a mock idol group. It was super effective in getting the monster’s undivided attention. Apparently, they forgot to assign someone to defeat it once the dance was over and they all got doused again. The episode ended with one last shower shot. Yep.

I thought Mitsuki’s pokemon was going to kill the monster during the end of the song. But it didn’t. I’m also not sure why they couldn’t just roll in a screen and a projector for the monster to watch.

Character Score: 6/10

Poor Kuriyama, she just can’t catch a break. Mitsuki’s frustration over the stink is understandable and funny and the antics of the boys brought a few chuckles. Even Pervy Brother isn’t off-putting in his perviness this time around.

There are so many jokes and gags in this episode. The idol performance complete with training montage was hilarious. However, this should also set this group up as a functioning team. They just spent a week working closely together on an embarrassing mess of a hunt.

Character Score: 5/10

I’m starting to think that the characters should have been adult or college aged. We don’t see any parents and we’ve got a character worrying about rent all of the time. It would just make more sense that way. They could even take out of the school aspect since we never see them in class or studying anyway.

Akihito has a glasses fetish and keeps going on about it and how cute and stuff Mirai is because of them. Hiroomi Nase thinks she’s better as the little-sister types because he has a little sister complex that’s getting weirder by the episode.

Production Score: 7/10

There was a bit of detail put into those shower scenes, especially when Pervy Brother was trying to sound heroic or stoic to his sister. The way that scene was done blunted the edge of “ew” off of it.

The choreography for the idol scene was good and made for both an enjoyable and comical watch. That the entire team was involved, not just the girls, made it even funnier.

Production Score: 7/10

Once of the shower scenes was definitely by the same animators as Free! Iwtaobi Swim Club, they have the same studio by the way. It can also be said that the color of Mirai’s classes are the same as Rei’s from Free! so it could be another studio touch.

The animation of the dance number was quite good. Though they did cut out parts to montage the week they spent practicing for it.

Briar’s Total Score: 7/10

So, did they eventually figure out how to defeat the stink monster?

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.6/10
Week 6 Total Score: 6.3/10
Season Total Score for Beyond the Boundary: 5.9/10

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Briar’s Review:

Can we keep this Haruna-Kirishima-Makie show?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

Haruna watches over Makie as she sleeps and realizes that Special Forces troops are surrounding the house. All power to the building is cut off. The military doesn’t want the Fog to get the intel on the vibration warhead. Haruna leaves Makie in Kirishima’s care and walks out of the room to be surrounded by armed soldiers. She uses her field to knock them away and block the bullets. She’s about to turn a bullet on them, when Makie stops her. Makie realizes that Haruna is of the Fog, then runs away. Haruna asks Kirishima to protect Makie and escape with her. Haruna makes a decoy Makie and carries it away as a distraction. She discovers that she can’t kill the human soldiers. She keeps hearing Makie beg her to stop.

As she hides, Makie is worried about Haruna. She’s staying away from Haruna to protect her. Haruna faces a couple of mechs and she can’t maintain the decoy. The soldiers find Makie and Teddybear Kirishima kicks their asses. Makie wants to help Haruna.

Haruna is upset over her inability to kill the humans. Makie runs towards her,into the line of fire. Haruna protects her with the field and coat. Makie thinks that Haruna won’t forgive her for making the warhead. They’re running out of time. Haruna begs for help. From anyone. Iona shows up. Gunzou tells her to attack the mechs. Iona asks what Haruna is doing there. Protecting a friend, Haruna replies. So Iona will help. Gunzou gets a call from the military. He will do as he pleases. He fires on the mechs and the battle is over.

Haruna asks Makie if she will be their friend. Of course she will. Iona sets to sea with Haruna, Kirishima, and Makie. Iona heard her plea for help. They are going to Iwoto, their stronghold.

Now back to pretentious bullshit/ship harem. If these past three episodes were the first three episodes, this show would have a much stronger start. Then again, the past couple of episodes belonged to a different show.

Plot Score: 5/10

Makie’s father thinks that the bond she’s making with the mental models will change the world more than weapons. It’s the power of friendship!

Some human organization is targeting Makie to eliminate her. They have the mansion and the bedroom surrounded so Harnua fights them. Makie stops her from killing them, but runs off when she finds out Haruna is a mental model. Makie still has the one that is in a bear’s body, so she is going to protect Makie and help her escape while Haruna creates a fake Makie and distracts their enemy. Makie was upset because she’s the one that made the bomb that is meant to destroy the Fog and she doesn’t want Haruna hurt. Meanwhile, Haruna is fighting without killing because Makie didn’t want it. When Makie is found again, she ran to Haruna with a dozen lasers pointed at her. Haruna saved her and since she’s running out of energy, she can’t fight back as much anymore. Suddenly, Iona comes to save them and help because she heard Haruna‘s mental plea.

It appears the vibration canon that they’re so worked up about is being delivered by Iona’s crew. I’m still trying to figure out why Iona is working with a crew of humans and why just this crew is working with her. Also, where is Haruna and Makie going to go now?

Shockingly, this episode wasn’t that bad. There was actually a sense of urgency and desperation instead of the paper cutouts I’ve been watching until now. Still not a great plot with many questions that shouldn’t be ambiguous, but looks like this anime finally hit the average mark. Probably too little too late, as we are about to go back to Iona and her paper cutout crew. So am I interested now in watching more? No, not really.

Character Score: 5/10

I’m going to miss this trio as the focus characters. They’re more interesting than the main cast. They have drama, comedy, and touching moments all within a couple of episodes.

Kirishima squeaks when dropped! It’s funny that more bloodthirsty of the pair is the one stuck in the body of a pink teddybear. Even so, she hits like a tank. I can imagine the embarrassment of the soldiers having to explain what knocked them out.

It would be a different show, but a more engaging one, if the story focused on Haruna, Kirishima, and Makie. Iona and her crew are far less dry and annoying as supporting cast. That Iona and her crew are a wild card makes it even better. There would be the question of whether or not they meant harm to the trio.

But that’s not the show we have.

Character Score: 4/10

Haruna and Makie would have made a better anime than Iona and her captain. For once, we are seeing some character development and emotion with drive and goals. It is also cool to see a mental model’s person powers without a ship (Haruna).

Production Score: 5/10

The animation seemed much more improved this time around. Like they shorted the previous episodes, so that they could focus on this episode.

Production Score: 4/10

Not as bad as I’ve been seeing from this one. Still could be a lot better without as many shortcuts.

Briar’s Total Score: 5/10

Please? Can we keep the Haruna-Kirishima-Makie show?

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4.3/10
Week 6 Total Score: 4.6/10
Season Total Score for Arpeggio of Blue Steel: 4.2/10

Samurai Flamenco

Briar’s Review:

They’re multiplying!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 7/10

Samurai Flamenco’s training has paid off and he stops a drunk’s attack, even when the drunk pulls a knife on him. An older man tells Samurai Flamenco that he will die soon. This is Harazuka from some large R&D company. He thinks that it’s only a matter of time before Samurai Flamenco is hit with a lethal blow, because he is limited to a defensive position. He hands Samurai Flamenco a case.

The MMM idol girls come up with new opening lines for their characters. Mari thought it would be more fun than fighting evil alone. Moe thinks she’s just using them.

Mari dresses up for a meeting with Goto, because she needs help composing lyrics about a song about a cop. So, he dresses up in a uniform provided by Mari. Ummm…. She’s been a naughty girl and needs to be investigated? Goto isn’t falling for it. Plus, he’s already has a girlfriend. The best woman he could wish for.

Hazama reads through his grandfather’s SM notes. Later, he breaks up a fight between buskers and they attack him. Right, there’s a bounty on his identity. He runs from the crowd. Even the restaurant workers are trying to catch him. Goto calls him while he’s running. The bounty is now 10 million yen. Joji calls him to give him some words and that’s it. He’s in Africa. A fallen guy fools him and catches him. Samurai Flamenco will always help if there’s a chance. Samurai Flamenco breaks free and keeps running. A gang finds him and he breaks out the ink eraser and retractable pen. He shoots it at a guy, then breaks out the stapler chucks. He staples the guys down and together. That was the stuff in the case. Stationery devices. Infrared magnifying glass. Free of charge with special pouches. Samurai Flamenco replies that nothing’s free. Harazuka wants usage data. A whole group corners Samurai Flamenco on a roof, but he uses grappling tape measure to swing away.

The drug gang calls in Gouriki-san, but he was taken out by the Flamenco Girls. They stomp on him. A lot. The Flamenco Girls are off to save the day!

Samurai Flamenco is cornered by the glasses guy in an alley, but he uses glue gloves to climb the wall. The glasses guy tries to climb a pipe to follow, but falls. Samurai Flamenco catches him and breaks his fall. However, he’s beat up even with his armor and can’t run away. Glasses guy misdirects the mob.

Another couple guys attack Samurai Flamenco, but Goto tosses them. He used GPS to track him down. He notices the new gear. Then the Flamenco Girls arrive. Mari thinks Goto is in love with Samurai Flamenco. “I have a girlfriend!”

Plot Score: 7/10

After fighting off a drunk, some scientist guy, by the name of Harazuka, told Samurai Flamenco that he was going to die because he can only fight defensively. I think this means Samurai Flamenco should get a bulletproof vest if he doesn’t already have one. Harazuka offered him something.

Then the girls of the MMM idol group were practicing their performances as the Flamenco Girls. Soon after, Mari invited Goto over so he could put on a cop uniform to “inspire her lyrics”. She was coming onto him, but her advances were ineffective and he has a girlfriend and proved it by showing her his cell phone and then he left. She couldn’t believe she was shot down.

Then everyone Samurai Flamenco went, people were trying to capture him. It wasn’t until he got Goto on the phone while running that he learned there was a 10 million yen prize for capturing him that night and people everywhere were using social networking to pinpoint his location and gang up on him. When something like this happens, it’s probably time for Samurai Flamenco to take a break from the hero business and let the heat die down. He finally escape a mob, but found a man lying down in pain in the park. Of course the guy was faking, but Samurai Flamenco checked anyway because it could have been serious. After getting away from that guy, he ran into some more guys and revealed his new weapons, which are everyday items rigged for non-lethal fighting. They are from the scientist guy at the beginning, who put the Samurai Flamenco logo on them and designed all of them. They are all lawful weapons. Samurai Flamenco SF knew the weapons wouldn’t be free and wanted to know the catch, but man said it was for research. Hope that’s it and that there isn’t a web cam hidden one of them or something.

Meanwhile the Flamenco Girls took out some boss guy and Mari taught the other two how to best stomp on his nuts.

Then Samurai Flamenco ended up in an ally with the same faker-guy from before. Cornered, Samurai Flamenco used sticky gloves to climb a wall. The guy tried to climb a pipe to chase him, but when the pipe breaks and he falls, Samurai Flamenco saved him and took the brunt of the fall because he has rubber armor. He still hurt his shoulder though. The guy let Samurai Flamenco go and sent out a fake message to the other chasers in exchange for saving him and now believes that Samurai Flamenco is not just an actor. When leaving the scene, a couple more guys attacked, but this time Goto came to the rescue. He has to use GPS to find him. The Flamenco Girls showed up too, but the fight was already over.

The science guy was watching the reports on his laptop and was super happy his inventions were being used to fight evil. I really hope this guy doesn’t have a bad intention. Even though no one caught Samurai Flamenco, the company hosting the hunt and social networking site still got a lot of publicity and a ton of money.

Character Score: 8/10

Hazama has definitely leveled up over the past few episodes. He’s not getting curbstomped by everyone he meets. Also, that’s some serious endurance to run like that for that long and still put up fights. His creative use of weaponized stationery was hilarious. Stapler-chucks?

Mari tried her best to seduce Goto and that was funny to watch. That he saw right through it was awesome. I’m wondering how far she will go with the Flamenco Girls act and if she’ll attempt retribution on Goto for spurning her.

So, what’s the deal with Harazuka? He was deliriously happy that his weapons are being used to fight evil.

Character Score: 8/10

Since Mari was shot down, she now thinks Goko is in love with Samurai Flamenco, even though Goto shouted that he has a girlfriend. It’s probably one of those times where if she can’t have him, no other woman can, he MUST be gay if he’s doesn’t want her, or some bullshit like that.

Goto speaks highly of his girlfriend, and said she’s the best girlfriend he could ask for. When are we going to get to meet this person?

Production Score: 8/10

A lot of throw animations and crazy office product use make for some interesting fight scenes. It’s still good with backgrounds and music. I’ve had the opening theme stuck in my head for a few days now.

Production Score: 7/10

No change to the score even though I was impressed that the tape measure run actually had the lines on it. It’s a small detail that often gets left out.

Briar’s Total Score: 7.6/10

Bat-stationery.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 7.3/10
Week 6 Total Score: 7.4/10
Season Total Score for Samurai Flamenco: 7.6/10

Ratings (Points out of 10)

Series Name Week 6 Score Running Season Score
Arpeggio of Blue Steel 4.6 4.2
Beyond the Boundary 6.3 5.9
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods 4.3 5.0
Golden Time 6.5 6.2
Log Horizon 6.3 6.5
Nagi no Asukara 4.8 5.2
Samurai Flamenco 7.4 7.6
Strike the Blood 4.4 5.3

This week, Arpeggio of Blue Steel did not avoid getting the lowest score. It will not return for Week 7 and we won’t have to watch another episode of it!

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