Anime Spring 2016, Week 5

With one exception, everything’s been looking WAY up this week.  It’s honestly surprising how strong this season is so far.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity

Action Mercury is on the case!

Action Mercury is on the case!

You know, I was ready and willing to give the top spot to Ushio to Tora, but Sailor Moon Crystal blew it out of the water this week.

First: We get a new version of the OP.  It’s the same footage and same song, but sung by Mitsuko Horie (Sailor Galaxia).  Gotta say, not as good as I hoped it would be, but it works and brings energy to the song.  We also get a new Chibi-Usa ED.  It’s cute and 90’s as fuck.  Nowhere near as good as Eternal Eternity though.

It was expected that Mercury would get the focus and promptly get owned by Viluy, but she still had a significant amount of time to be badass.  It’s honestly rather shocking some of her feats in this episode.  And it’s awesome.

"I miss when all you did was make it marginally difficult to see."

“I miss when all you did was make it marginally difficult to see.”

We finally get to see Uranus and Neptune henshins, and surprise surprise, they’re just flashier versions of their 90’s henshins.  Not bad, but not particularly inspired.

Yep, that's a man.

Yep, that’s a man.

Not only was the action on point, but so was the character development.  We got to flesh out Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship, further spitting in the face of the travesty that was the 90’s version.  Not just that, but Chibi-Usa showed us she can be cute and supportive – dare I say, likeable?

The only real problem I had with the episode was actually a scene I was looking forward to: Neptune’s violin attack.  Somehow, her violin also produces electric guitar and drum sounds, and it’s weird as fuck.

Ushio to Tora

Well, damn.

Well, damn.

Ushio to Tora comes out of nowhere and delivers probably the best fight in its entire run, and it is glorious.  Not only that, but we also get the long-awaited double confession between an amnesiac Asako and Ushio.

Ever 17, eat your heart out.

Ever 17, eat your heart out.

The highlight of the episode was easily the Tora vs. Nagare fight, which was surprisingly intense.  My favorite part was how halfway through, Tora basically trolls the fuck out of Nagare and shows that he’s on a completely different level.

Winners don't use drugs.

Winners don’t use drugs.

Nagare is the reigning champion of the face game, BTW.  It’s amazing just how many ways he can look fucking insane.

Boku no Hero Academia

Kakashi, what are YOU doing here?

Kakashi, what are YOU doing here?

Another formulaic entry, but this time we have supporting characters to make up for it.  And really, it’s the characters that make Boku no Hero Academia enjoyable more than the action.  Not that the action is bad, but it’s really the characters that shine most, so the more characters we encounter, the better.

Especially Tsuyu.

Especially Tsuyu.

Speaking of characters, Aizawa was amazing at every level of execution.  Voice, design, animation, being the unholy fusion of Kakashi and Zangetsu… the works.

Approval never felt so good.

Approval never felt so good.

And as always, it’s great seeing the character development in Midoriya.  Gotta savor it while it hasn’t plateaued yet.

Midoriya gives Aizawa the finger.

Midoriya gives Aizawa the finger.

Kuma Miko

I need to inject more Hibiki into my veins.

I need to inject more Hibiki into my veins.

This was a VERY Hibiki-heavy episode, and that was for the best.  But first, we take a look at one of the ways the village abuses the fact that it has a speech-capable bear at its employ: locking up bad children with the bear.

Come with me if you want to live. Just kidding. You're gonna die.

Come with me if you want to live. Just kidding. You’re gonna die.

I like how this is something that’s approved by the women’s association and Natsu has no choice but to do his best to intimidate them.

Anyway, this episode is basically 15 minutes of “Hibiki is a tsundere.”  But it’s Hibiki, so it’s okay.

Ohhh baby.

Ohhh baby.

Basically, we learn Hibiki likes Machi’s cousin Yoshio, but Machi is completely incapable of reading between the lines and ends up making the situation between them worse.  Again, boring premise, but it’s Hibiki, so it’s okay.

Ace Attorney

[Shipping Intensifies]

[Shipping Intensifies]

Ace Attorney actually had better animation across the board, so the only thing I had to complain about was the pacing.  We once again blew through the investigation phase, completely skipping my favorite character from this case, Penny.

That she didn't utter a single line while Oldbag took up half the episode is the greatest sin of all.

That she didn’t utter a single line while Oldbag took up half the episode is the greatest sin of all.

Ace Attorney may be getting better, but in the end it’s still a rather pointless adaptation that was doomed from the start.  They really should’ve just done original stories in the same vein as the manga.  Or, hell, just adapted the manga.

At least it was entertaining this week, which is surprising considering the severe lack of Redd White engrish.

Sousei no Onmyouji

That's so pathetic I can't even laugh.

That’s so pathetic I can’t even laugh.

The animation really took a hit this week.  Well, not THAT bad ALL the time, but still… for a series that relies on flash as a crutch, it really can’t afford to cut corners there.

On the upside, we got another kegare investigation, which is so far the best part about this series outside of what its premise COULD be.  We see that Rokuro is terrible at writing talismans, but he DOES have experience using talismans other than his black talisman fire fist thingy.  One would think that as a former badass, he would have a greater breadth of experience though.

Anyway, outside of the stuff we’ve seen over and over again in different flavors, we get introduced to Ikaruga, one of the Twelve Guardians and owner of the title of Suzaku.

Winner of the "Most Punchable Face of the Week" award goes to...

Winner of the “Most Punchable Face of the Week” award goes to…

One would think that his introduction would signal a shift in the status quo, but outside of briefly antagonizing Rokuro… he does practically nothing.  Yeah, he shows off by killing a bunch of kegare, and he notices a suspicious presence, but his role seems entirely too independent to care about.  He’s just a random badass that we suddenly have to pay attention to.  And the most frustrating thing about this?  Nothing else in the episode really matters – everything else is retreads: Rokuro is hesitant to do exorcism work but he helps out kids, Rokuro and Benio argue with each other while being teased about their relationship, Rokuro unleashes his fire fist talisman and oneshots a giant kegare to show that he’s powerful, Benio’s mascot is an annoying piece of shit… same old same old.  And the only new thing brought into the mix is “Here’s a badass kid.  He exists.  Be excited about it.”

Fuck that.

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