And now we have Week 9 of seasonal anime! Missing from the list is ‘Isekai Cheat Magician’ which I’ve put on indefinite hold–maybe I’ll get back to it, maybe I won’t–either way I won’t be watching it weekly anymore. Anyway, let’s get on with the anime, as always ranked from least favourite to most favourite.
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? – Episode 9
76/100 (DOWN 8 points from previous episode)
“Pointless”, is how I’d describe this episode as almost our entire cast is sidelined in favour of their trainer Machio having a body-building competition sponsored by his old mentor famous movie-star ‘Barnold Shortsinator’ (I’m sure you can guess the parody here). While not un-funny, it does feel like a lot of the same jokes repeated over and over and likewise the whole body-building scene is absurd in real life and yet is played completely straight here which only leads to a feeling of awkwardness around the whole episode. It’s a shame to see a show drop this far from its highest point (it had scored a 97 for Episode 6) but such is the nature of comedy sometimes. Thankfully this seems like less of an ‘arc’ then it does a diversion so hopefully things will be better next week!
given – Episode 8
79/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
This show is sure taking its sweet time getting to its centrepiece scene (which is presumably the live show and Mafuyu’s song), while there’s a lot of really good moments here such as the subtle and respectfully handled flashbacks and the cute scenes between Akihiko and Ugetsu it feels like a lot of this episode was treading water to drag out the aforementioned centrepiece to even later in the series. Still, it’s a good looking and entertaining show even if it suffers from pacing problems.
If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat The Demon Lord – Episode 9
80/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)
Not much of consequence happened in this episode, at least as far as anything pertaining to a narrative, however there was a lot of world-building and character development which certainly helped to keep things interesting. Plus Latina playing with a bunch of dogs (and then later some magical talking fox creatures) was pretty darn cute too!
Magical Sempai – Episode 9
82/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)
Did someone say swimsuit episode?! Yes, in the grand tradition of slice of life comedies there’s often the pre-beach episode episode dealing with the trying-on of swimsuits and from both a comedic and fan service standpoint this episode did not disappoint!
Demon Lord, Retry! – Episode 9
82/100 (EVEN with previous episode)
As crazy as this show was (and still kinda is) it does seem like its settling into a point with all its seemingly unfocused energy and of course we’re ~still~ introducing new characters as well as revisiting some old ones both minor and important. At the end of the day though the show is just a lot of fun and that’s something I can’t ever fault.
Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Episode 8
83/100 (EVEN with previous episode)
Finally we have the conclusion to the Medhi/Medhimama arc, a four episode arc that could have (and should have) easily been two episodes. The action isn’t nearly as dynamic or interesting as the battle with Wise’s mother though the emotional beats and acting are still high quality. And, almost immediately after Medhimama leaves towards the end of the episode the show improves to the higher standards of its earlier days with Shirase stealing the show with a hilarious gatcha sequence. Hopefully the show will retain this level of entertainment in its final third.
Are You Lost? – Episode 9
84/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
You’d think an episode made up of nearly 25% flashbacks to Homare’s childhood would have trouble keeping the audience’s attention or be unfocused or poorly paced, but this episode is yet another great and entertaining experience that balances the humour, the survival aspects and most importantly the fan-service perfectly!
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 21
85/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
There’s a lot of necessary but kind of dry set-up in this episode that’s busy putting all the pieces in place for the inevitable finale. There’s some questionable sexual violence played for laughs (though it’s against Takuya so I guess that’s okay?) but there’s some fun character moments interspersed with some dramatic (although not unexpected) reveals and the introduction of Amanda and her hidden resistance force is kind of an awesome conclusion to the episode and promises big things for future episodes!
Cop Craft – Episode 8
85/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)
While I imagine people expecting more serious cop-drama/action from this episode might be disappointed by the sitcom antics of this episode; Tilarna encounters a magical item that mind swaps her with Kei’s cat Chloe, shenanigans ensue. I thought it was hilarious, charming and even a little bit sexy (okay maybe that last one is a stretch, honestly I just appreciated seeing Tilarna’s butt) and what’s more a bit of light-hearted levity in a series that can be quite dark is a nice way of breaking things up.
Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie? – Episode 8
86/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)
That sort of mystery almost detective quality that the early episodes benefited so wholly on returns in this eighth episode with the ‘Cinderella panties’ that launched this whole series of perverted events taking something of a centre-stage. Not only that Keiki’s little sister Mizuha finally gets a chance to shine and cements herself as a solid contender for a potential love interest, even if brother dearest doesn’t want to admit as such. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s sweetly perverted, it’s everything this show does well!
Wasteful Days of High School Girl – Episode 9
87/100 (UP 6 points from previous episode)
Lily takes centre-stage in this episode (more-or-less) and her fashion-centric make-over shenanigans with Loli and Majime are sources of near constant laughs throughout. Having our main three girls take a backseat does leave the episode feeling a bit lacking of the quintessential quality that made it a winner in the early episodes but their brief appearances are just enough to stop things from getting ~too~ repetitive.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – Episode 8
87/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
What’s wonderful about this episode is just how hard Takagi plays at tempting Nishikata and how well the show does at creating an intimate and dare I say enticing atmosphere that shows the full strength of Takagi’s allure not just as a character but as a woman wholly in command of her surrounds. Sure, from the outside it may look like this episode is more of the same but truly there is a sense that things are reaching a critical stage in their relationship–even if Nishikita isn’t even fully aware of it himself.
Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ – Episode 8
88/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
Another instalment of what might be this seasons’ most consistently great series (or just an anime that knows exactly what it is and how to execute it well). I was especially glad that we got to see full performances from some of the other idol groups and while the ~drama~ of this episode was kind of over-the-top and catty, you have to remember we’re dealing with middle school girls here. Plus we got a look at two more idol groups that look even more interesting than the one’s we’ve already become acquainted with which just makes the thought of what’s to come all the more alluring!
The Demon Girl Next Door – Episode 8
89/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)
So there’s a new magical girl on the block and contrary to first impressions (or rather Yuuko’s fevered over-reactions) she’s not the super killer bent on ridding the world of demons but is but another part of Yuuko’s growing support network. Also it helps that she’s a klutzy, cursed magical girl with a bunch of hang-ups of her own that rather than detract from the comedy ‘odd-couple’ that’s by now well-established only helps to freshen things up all things considered.
Fire Force – Episode 8
93/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)
Jumping straight to the second-half of this episode as that’s where the bulk of discussion is deservedly committed to and while I appreciate just how dark this episode was at it suitably upped the ante for all involved–especially best girl Tamaki who was subject to nothing less than a complete verbal, emotional and physical beating. I was disappointed at both how quickly this plot point arose, grew to be a mystery and then was ultimately resolved in the space of a single episode (more or less). Also, I’m hoping this isn’t the start of some ‘My Hero Academia’-esque Midoriya x Ochako romance ~thing~ between Shinra and Tamaki because the last thing this series needs is for a character as assumedly strong as Tamaki to become a helpless damsel. I’ll give the character and show the benefit of the doubt for this episode as the sheer shock of having someone you admire like she did with Lieutenant Rekka turn out to be a literal child killer would have on a person and render them said ‘damsel’ but let’s not make a habit out of this, okay Fire Force?
O Maidens In Your Savage Season – Episode 9
94/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)
It seems like with each passing week this show gets harder and harder to talk about because it does everything with such effortless perfection that heaping more praise upon it feels lazy and likewise attempting meaningful discussion fails in comparison to the material itself. Love is complicated and messy and wonderful and sweet and drives even the most sane to the brink of madness, likewise this show seems to capture so many alternating and seemingly contradictory facets of relationships that makes it an intoxicating clusterfu…
Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II – Episode 8
94/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)
Aside from being dramatic, tense and almost entirely excellent as is pretty much true to most of the best this show has offered this season this episode provided a rare piece of content that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in an anime before. That being a male rape victim at the hands of a female perpretrator and it being presented as a horrible, dehumanising and especially non-sexy thing (which is pretty much unheard of for an anime with a male target audience). Indeed there’s something unexpectedly mature about this entire arc with regard to its whole approach to sexuality both male and female, the idea of personal worth and prostitution and indeed the value of the human body itself as a concept. The more I think about this arc and this episode in particular, the more impressed I am with its mere existence and makes me kind of wish I was reviewing episodic anime in full because there’s just so much to talk about in regards to it.
Fruits Basket – Episode 22
95/100 (UP 7 points from previous episode)
This episode is exactly why I think this show is far more interesting when its focusing on its female characters. If Saki wasn’t already one of my favourites before this episode cemented her as one of anime’s truly great creations and likewise her struggle, her journey and her friendship with Tohru and Arisa is all kinds of emotional and powerful to behold. Honestly when I started ‘Fruits Basket’ all these months ago I never thought an episode of it could bring me to tears as resolutely as this one did and yet here we are. This show at its best is something truly special.
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 7
98/100 (UP 12 points from previous episode)
Well, ‘Arifureta’ continues to leave me utterly speechless in all the best ways. Last week I was concerned at the thought of our new party member Shea the rabbit-girl upsetting the perfect balance that Hajime and Yue had forged in their relationship and yet this week not only showed her worth both as a party member and a comic foil but completely won me over with her voice acting and antics. But even excluding how well Shea integrated into the team and the narrative, this episode had our gang face another labyrinth and it visually compelling, wonderfully weird, action-packed and richly entertaining. Unless it’s not blatantly obvious by now I love this damn show!
And that’s all the anime I watched in Week 9! Let me know what your best and worst of the week were and thanks for reading!
Previous Summer 2019 Weekly Anime Review Posts:
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