Shin Weekly Round Up: February 26th

I don’t want anyone here to think I’m not writing about Poyopoyo because I don’t love it. I’m not writing about it because if I did, every week would contain a chapter of fangirlish drooling over how much I love it. Seriously, this show really cheers me up.

Reviewed this week: Ano Natsu de Matteru 7, Another 7, Aquarion EVOL 8, Black Rock Shooter 3, Hunter X Hunter 20, Last Exile, Mouretsu Pirates 6-7, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi 8, Nisemonogatari 7

Ano Natsu de Matteru 7

The dichotomy that is Ano Natsu continues; at times, it is surprisingly insightful, adult and gripping in its portrayal of romance, but unfortunately, in between these moments we have to put up with the usual shenanigans. This week, Mikoto Arisawa’s pursuit of Tetsuro forces Mio to take a stand and reveal, well let’s just say it’s more than just her feelings, and it’s a teensy bit over the top. Meanwhile, Ichika confronts Kinoshita in a blessedly swift conclusion to the Childhood Friend and Rival storyline.

Why wait until summer to come out?

Another 7

Oh Another, you make me laugh for all the wrong reasons. Much as I would have loved this week to begin with a bloodbath in which all the students were butchered, the teacher turns the knife on himself – and our hero barely bats an eyelid! Anyway, having decided that ignoring two students isn’t cutting it, the class decides to start acknowledging them again, with a ‘no hard feelings, eh?’ shrug of the shoulders. Oh, and some other stuff happened, but I was getting hysterical for no reason by then so I didn’t really care.

Yes, feel the ‘jealousy’.

Aquarion EVOL 8

I was expecting this to be Mix’s episode, but it seems that might be coming next week; instead, this time around the story meanders for a bit before our heroes head into a battle cheesier than ever before. The moral of the story seems to be that if you want to do your best, you have to get naked. Unfortunately, when I tried this out at work the next day, it didn’t seem to have quite the intended effect*. The use of last season’s second OP, Go Tight, is surely worth of mention for the ultimate in cheesiness.

*May not have actually happened.

Black Rock Shooter 3

This week, stuff happened, and I didn’t really care. I’d like to leave it at that, but I feel that you, as a reader, might be expecting something more, so here goes. While most of the episode revolves around a sports senpai who has her love letter pinned to a public noticeboard, there’s yet more emotional instability elsewhere, what with Kotori getting jealous that she can’t monopolise Kuroi’s time (there’s no pleasing this girl), and the school counsellor basically freaking everyone out. This is of course paralleled by stuff happening in the dream world, but none of it’s that interesting. I should have stuck with just buying the figures when it came to this franchise.

Hunter X Hunter 20

After his beating at the hands of Hanzo, Gon awakes to find that the Hunter Exam is over and one person has failed – but who is it? As Satotz begins to explain, newcomers to the franchise may be in for some surprises, but of course I’ve experienced all this before. Nonetheless, the series remains as good as ever, delivering solid entertainment week in, week out.

Last Exile 16

I’m not sure how I can even pretend to write about this; I know things happened while the episode was playing, but I couldn’t seem to make myself concentrate on the dialogue. There were vanships and stuff.

That’s not disturbing at all.

Mirai Nikki 19

Yukiteru seems to have aged several years since his decision to become god – or maybe it’s just the effect of ditching the cap and orange jacket. Anyway, first off, it’s time for him and Yuno to ally with ‘big head’ Eighth and take down Eleventh, or maybe just double cross everyone. But there are more revelations regarding Yuno, which raise even more questions than they answer. I’ve felt all along that the mystery surrounding Yuno is in many ways more interesting than the whole over-the-top battle royale, so I’m happy to focus on it at this stage.

Mouretsu Pirates 6-7

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the season, I thought Mouretsu was going to be swashbuckling fun in the style of Outlaw Star, because instead, it’s become quite dull. Episode six sees Marika taking a crash course in all the things a pirate captain should know, before heading out on her first mission – a very simple raid on a luxury cruise liner that is regarded more as an amusing spectacle than anything serious. Episode seven’s raid is similarly unengaging, leaving me more concerned about the fact that Marika’s grades are slipping because of her extra commitments than anything else. Seriously, where are the epic space battles? Is it all going to be smoke and mirrors and no one taking anything particularly seriously? Will there be any characters who aren’t so paper thin that it’s an effort to even remember their names?

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi 8

No matter what else is happening, watching Natsume is a surefire way to feel a whole lot better – I wish I could bottle up the good feeling it generates to use whenever I need. This time around, Natsume heads off to help yet another youkai, but Nyanko-sensei manages to get dropped along the way. He finds himself stuck down a well with Nanase of the Matoba clan, which is of course a prime opportunity for a Flashback Mode. It’s a prime example of how the series has remained true to its original episodic briefly whilst slowly also unfolding a greater arc of character development. I truly feel like it could go on forever.

Nisemonogatari 7

It’s time for the final confrontation with Kaiki, which, this being Nisemonogatari, consists of an awful lot of dialogue and not much else. While I’m glad that this storyline seems to have finally ground to a halt, I can’t say this was the most fascinating episode ever. Hopefully things will pick up again in the next instalment.