Weekly Round-Up: March 23rd- Happy Easter edition

Actually, this post has nothing to do with Easter- I was just too lazy to get it finished on Friday.

Reviewed this week: Aria the Origination 11, Clannad 20, Kaiji 23, Spice and Wolf 11-12, Tsubasa OVA 3, Zoku SZS 5

…and in manga: Hunter X Hunter 273, Minami-ke 22, Shion no Ou 13-16, Tsubasa 185

ANIME

CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS

  1. Aria the Origination (1) – never give up
  2. Spice and Wolf (2) – wolves
  3. Kaiji (3) – ざわ, ざわ
  4. Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (5) – I’m out of despair!
  5. Shigofumi (6) – Fumi+Mika=Fumika
  6. Persona Trinity Soul (7)- Mushi-Uta’s successor
  7. Shion no Ou (8) – Hani Meijin’s secret videos
  8. Minami-ke Okawari (9)- not quite the same
  9. Clannad (10) – drop kick
  10. Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (11)- Marco
  11. Mokke (12)- rainy season

Aria the Origination 11: Dear Aria, let me worship you and bask in your excellence forevermore, for once again but a single twenty-five minute episode has captured my heart. This week’s episode covers two themes- looking at the one who was promoted ahead (Alice) and her friend who was left behind (Aika). Akira knows that Aika is nearly ready to become a Prima, but at the same time she can’t help worrying that her protégée will have become demoralised by Alice’s promotion- although in fact, Aika feels inspired and energised by the progress of the “genius girl” Alice. Meanwhile, Alice’s new busy schedule has taken her away from her friends, but she feels she can’t just call them up for no reason- will Athena notice her growing loneliness? There are so many emotions and undertones in this episode, reminding me not only why I love this series so much, but developing Akira’s character in a way it never has been before. I want to see the triumphant conclusion and bask in its inevitable excellence, but at the same time I wish it would never end.

Clannad 20: I know I’m getting behind on Clannad, but bear with me- it’ll all be over soon enough anyway. Anyway, this episode sees Tomoya and Nagisa try to identify the story that Nagisa wants to turn into a play, but when it comes uncomfortably close to uncovering a skeleton in the Furukawa family closet, Akio decides to let Tomoya in on a secret. There’s a reasonable mix of drama and humour in this episode, but as always, the highlights for me are Sanae and Akio- I just love their character dynamic.

Kaiji 23: It’s a rather slow week for Kaiji, for whilst the tissue box raffle has at least made it into this season, it isn’t going anywhere fast. This instalment is basically all about Kaiji demonstrating to his generic allies how he plans to cheat at the tissue box raffle, whilst they help him refine his plan by pointing out the flaws in it. There’s something anticlimactic about the whole plan depending on cheating from the start- I suppose there’s some interest in the strategy of cheating, but it’s more enjoyable when a character is pushed to cheat after the game has begun, if they must do so at all.


“That would be nice- is it like those scuba diving holidays?”

Spice and Wolf 11-12: According to Duncan Bannatyne, an entrepreneur in debt is also one that’s in business, but obviously no one wants to remain in debt forever, and so it is that Lawrence decides to go for the riskiest venture ever- smuggling gold in the stomachs of Nora’s sheep. Unfortunately, when you choose to embark on such an endeavour, problems are bound to follow, with everything from treachery to wolves threatening to derail the entire plan. Will Lawrence and Horo emerge victorious by the end of the series? Can we viewers possibly continue in a world where no new Spice and Wolf is airing? The answers will be revealed soon enough.


*COMPLETE* Tsubasa Chronicle Tokyo Revelations 3: The Tsubasa OVA is now complete, and whilst it wasn’t anything special, it was at least leagues better than the TV series that preceded it (and only really hampered in content by the original manga). This episode sees Fai become a vampire and Sakura go off for her FFX-2 adventure, the latter of which seems to have been spiced up from the basic “Antlion battle” of the manga. There are some oddities, such as the random appearance of Card Captor Sakura towards the end, but overall this has been a solid adaptation- even though the manga becomes near-nonsensical from this point onwards, I wouldn’t mind more OVAs to continue the story in animated form.


No, you don’t have to- honestly, why do criminals always make these excuses?

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 5: The lack of new episodes has left me in despair, but no longer, for episode five has appeared at long last. In this episode, the randomness seems back down to season one levels as our despairing sensei and his pupils plan how to divide everything into science, liberal arts and athletics, before discussing leftovers and how people only do favours in order to look good. It’s a solid episode overall, and another chance to despair and laugh at human nature.


MANGA

Hunter X Hunter 273: What can I say this week that I haven’t said before? As always, the battles between minor characters creep ahead slowly, although at the end of this chapter Gon and Killua finally show up again. At this rate, Togashi may well pass on before this arc even finishes.

Minami-ke 22: Another short chapter, unsurprisingly, this time focusing on Kana trying to be nice to Chiaki in order to curb her violent responses. After the disappointment of Okawari, it’s nice to get back to the original source and experience the humour that made season one enjoyable.

Shion no Ou 13-16: Another four chapters of Shion no Ou bring us up to the start of the open tournament, and as before, it’s very much like the anime. If you’ve already watched these events, you probably won’t want to bother rereading them, unless of course you’re like me.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 185: Lest anyone take action too quickly, the team decides to experience another couple of cycles of their Groundhog Day-esque situation, complete with apples. It seems this isn’t even Groundhog Day but actually Groundhog Two Hours, with everyone falling asleep before the reset, and Kurogane complaining of pain in his artificial arm. Hopefully this is leading up to something.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Round-Up: March 23rd- Happy Easter edition

  1. I thought it was interesting that Kaiji’s minions had moral scruples about cheating, and we’ll have to see how the tissue-box raffle works out. I’m wondering if Kaiji’s cheating will be in some way his undoing.

  2. Ohh, don’t remind me about having to live in a world minus Spice and Wolf, I didn’t think I’d be so sad to see it come close to its end.

    As for Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 5, I thought it was the best episode in quite a while to be honest, good stuff.

  3. I´ve taken some time of from Spice & Wolf, so that I can watch more than one ep in a row again, that way I get a much bigger grin on my face somehow 🙂

    Horo has made the show instant win from the very first ep. And from what I can see she continues to rule over everything.

    For Clannad, well I watched the “last ep” yesterday night and I think you can guess what going to happen. I won´t say much more about that.

    Now all that is left is the movie. I hope you´ll watch that as well?

  4. IKnight: I can’t help feeling that trying to cheat pros is asking for trouble- Akagi had the balls to get away with it, but as you said in one of your posts, Kaiji is a different personality.

    Hanners: It’s not really going to end, we mustn’t believe it! The kanji for gall bladder will help me read the novels!
    I think maybe our need for new Zoku SZS made us appreciate this episode all the more.

    manga: Horo is pure w1n and one of my favourite characters to come along in a while. As for Clannad, I will be watching the movie, would have fit it in last week but I was either busy or not feeling in the mood to watch anime all week.

Comments are closed.