Well… this weeks’ rankings are unexpected.
…the fuck is going on?
1. Ushio to Tora
Essentially just one long flashback, this episode delves into the secret past of Tora from when he was the human warrior, Shagakusha. Known as a “cursed child” for surviving the meteor that killed his family, Shagakusha grew up with an overbearing hatred for humanity, even after he gained the respect of those around him as a soldier. Eventually, he befriended a boy named Raama and his older sister and tries to spare them from the attack of an invading army, but instead leads them to their deaths. Shagakusha goes on a rampage and slaughters dozens of soldiers in revenge. This gives the being that’s been living in his shoulder since he was a child what it needs to finally take physical form.
Turns out that meteor was the Hakumen no Mono, and he fed on Shagakusha’s hatred all this time. And it immediately lays waste to Shagakusha’s country.
Since he was Hakumen’s host, Shagakusha is now immortal. Yeah, dunno how that works. But he lives for hundreds of years and chases after Hakumen, continuously feeding it his hatred. Then he comes across the Beast Spear and takes it, becoming Tora in the process.
This was one of the stories I looked forward to the most, and while I wasn’t a fan of the limited animation and filters, it worked for the most part. The adaptation certainly didn’t disappoint either, and while I worried that the voice acting would give away early that Shagakusha was Tora (and, well… it and a whole bunch of other factors certainly did), the episode still ended up being so immersive that you just don’t care.
2. Sousei no Onmyouji
Surprisingly, this very nearly took the top spot, but that Tora episode was just too good. This episode is called “Shocking Confession,” and at first, one would think some kind of love confession is in order. That title turns out to be a rather brilliant subversion.
First, let’s establish that there are two main plots in this episode: the introduction of Mayura’s father, a powerful exorcist named Amawaka Seigen, and Mayura getting attacked by Kegare. Naturally, the two plots collide, but only after Rokuro rescues Mayura in the most badass way one could hope for in this series. He shows up with his enchanted fist already active, and he declares he’ll always protect Mayura. So, one would think this is the confession, right? Nope. Turns out, Mayura’s father shows up, and he’s the man who trained Rokuro.
He doesn’t exactly help. He seems to be obsessed with guilting Rokuro as much as possible… because he’s a prick. And he reveals to Benio in front of Rokuro that the tragedy that traumatized Rokuro into quitting being an Onmyouji was also the same event that killed Benio’s twin brother. And it turns out it wasn’t a Kegare attack at all: Rokuro slaughtered everyone: all of his friends, including Benio’s brother.
Naturally, Benio is fucking pissed, but the viewers are also left with Rokuro’s trauma being magnitudes harsher in hindsight.
Honestly, 8 episodes in and I think I can safely say this is the first legitimately good episode of the series. And I’m actually looking forward to the next one. Imagine that. Talk about a slow burn. I hear this is going to be a relatively long run too, so who knows… maybe when all is said and done this series might actually be really good and this is the start line of its greatness.
3. Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity
Sailor Saturn hype commences.
So we start right from where we left off – with the Super Sailor Moon transformation. Surprisingly, Usagi gets a full one-minute henshin, and it is amazing. Seriously, if someone tells you the 90’s version was better, they’re in deep, deep denial.
Naturally it’s time to say bye-bye to the max level Cyprine & Ptilol. At least they didn’t do something stupid like kill each other with their own attack. Seriously though, the fact that the 90’s anime had the Super Sailor Moon upgrade against the FIRST of the Witches 5 ended up nerfing both the final Witches AND the Super form. In Crystal and the manga, the twins were so powerful that Sailor Moon needed the Super form to beat them, and once she had it, she EASILY defeated them. That’s how fucking powerful Super Sailor Moon is. And the twins were just toying with ALL of the senshi, but in the 90’s anime they lost to fucking Shabon Spray and DODGING.
Well, enough bitching. On to… bitches.
Hotaru finally starts to awaken, maybe. Chibi-Usa does some grade-A denial and tries to save Hotaru from being killed by the Outers, but instead, Hotaru transforms and takes Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal, forcing her to de-transform and kinda sorta die. The last moment of the episode is her with lifeless eyes, not breathing.
And then we get the cute Chibi-Usa ending credits. Fucking hell, what were they thinking?
In other news, I finally got my Crystal Mercury figure!
4. Boku no Hero Academia
We get a decent showcase of the rest of the class (y’know, those OTHER characters that exist outside of Deku and Bakugou?) and… it’s kind of like appetizers. It’s great, but ultimately not very filling.
Don’t really have much else to say. A third of this episode is a montage, and the climax at the end is Bakugou swallowing some of his pride. Well, hopefully the whole Deku/Bakugou rivalry thing gets minimized moving forward, because we’ve had just about enough of it.
5. Ace Attorney
Honestly, not much to say. This is a pretty respectable adaptation of the introduction to Case 1-4. We explored the past of Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Larry and connected it to Maya’s.
For me, the highlight of the episode was near the very end, when Edgeworth saw how good a lawyer Phoenix truly was when he uncovered the connection to the DL-6 case in a matter of hours.
The investigation flowed pretty well and didn’t feel rushed for once, and we got a decent amount of anime-exclusive scenes to keep things fresh. It’s as if they learned the right lessons from whatever they did with the Steel Samurai case.
And I have to say, I’m digging Von Karma’s look in the anime. He doesn’t remind me of William Hartnell so much.
6. Kuma Miko
We get an agonizing 20 minutes of feeling sorry for Machi. I am NOT joking.
It’s sad when even Hibiki can’t stop the cringe.