Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
It is time once again for our weekly seasonal highlights, talking about the good, the bad, and the mid. The season is about halfway over now, and I would be lying if I said my feelings were not mixed. All of the shows I am still covering have had their share of fantastic moments, but not without some strange ones as well.
Call of the Night Ep. 6
This show gets weirder and weirder every episode. But, like, weird in a good way…mostly. The majority of the episode involves Kou giving a massage to/interacting with one of Nazuna’s clients, a young woman whose unhealthy connection to her work is causing her severe stress. Later on, the two go late night swimming, only for Kou to get jealous when Nazuna gets approached by other guys.
This was not an episode I expected to be as powerful as it was. I’m not gonna say it is the most amazing thing ever or anything like that. However, the way it conflates the absurdity of working a job she clearly hates with the absurdity of Kou wanting to become a vampire, along with fully committing to the “flawed” logic of it all is genuinely a heartwarming moment.
Meanwhile, Kou’s jealousy later on in the episode seems to imply that his feelings for Nazuna are developing in a genuine manner. It is one thing to watch a traditional romance show, it is another entirely to watch someone develop those feelings for the first time, all while barely understanding himself, to begin with. The series really excels at these little moments of intimacy, and hope it will continue with them going forward.
Made in Abyss S2 Ep. 6
Made in Abyss also excels in its character moments, but also has the benefit of building an incredibly diverse and unique fantasy world that most writers only dream of being able to create. We get a bit more action in this episode, as well, as Riko’s rescue of Nanachi gets interrupted by a stranger creature who attacks the village. As such, Riko and Company are forced to devise a plan in seeming record time in order to save everyone.
This was another banger of an episode, which really should not be a surprise given the quality of the season thus far. We get to see yet another aspect of the hollow village, one that I honestly was not thinking about when it was being introduced. The monster, much like many of the other creatures in the series, has a unique design and explanation for its existence.
It is also interesting that, for an arc about a city in the abyss whose main draw is its enate beauty, it has largely been contained within a small, kind of depressing village. This is not a complaint, mind you, only an observation about where the series might be going from here.
RWBY: Ice Queendom Ep. 6
I know some of my fellow bloggers have started doing charts for their seasonal coverage as a way of tracking their feelings week to week. While I have not done that for this season, If I were to do it, Ice Queendom would probably be in the bottom half more often than not. It is enjoyable, do not get me wrong, but it only feels consistently ok as opposed to being amazing, and this episode is a good example of that.
The main appeal of this show, at least for me, has always been its great fight scenes. Despite that, the show has resorted to using some less than stellar 3D animation, even during scenes with minimal movement. On top of that, it does little to blend into the scenes even when the characters are not moving, and as a result, looks incredibly awkward.
The story of the episode, at least, is sufficiently interesting. The group executes their plan to save Weiss, only to barely make it out alive when negative Weiss comes and beats them. The frustration with Weiss’s inner thoughts clearly affects them all emotionally, long enough at least that they need a break in order to clear their heads and regroup.
Lycoris Recoil Ep. 7
Speaking of shows toward the bottom of my theoretical list…
I wish I did not have to say that, and there was a point a few weeks ago where I might have even put this above Call of the Night for potential alone. However, Lycoris Recoil has done little outside of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. In this episode, though, the focus does narrow a bit. Chisato and the gang find out that their teacher is going on a date, and naturally, they stock him out of curiosity, only to find out something major: that her donor is also her shop regular.
Despite this reveal, though, Yoshimatsu’s role in the story still feels ambiguous, which is both interesting but also concerning, as the series already has a major villain in the form of Majima. This means that his character could be significantly more complicated, or they would write him out of the story as unimportant. I did think his relationship with Chisato’s teacher was a bit weird, but it makes a lot more sense now, at least.
The Devil is a Part-Timer S2 Ep. 5
The best way I could describe this season of The Devil is a Part-Timer is unexpected, not just in terms of its plot structure, but in terms of which elements of the series I actually have enjoyed thus far. While the comedy has been mostly on point, as discussed in previous posts, the comedy seems to be taking a back seat. That is also the case in this episode, as repairs to the now destroyed apartment and renovations at work force Maou, Ashia, and Ureshihara into temporary jobs.
The more serious tone of this season, while definitely part of the unexpected, is certainly not unwelcome. If something like this had happened in season one it might be different, but because these characters are already well established, seeing them deal with the serious problem that is the battle between heaven and hell is fairly interesting. I am not saying it is the best the series has ever been, but it is refreshing if nothing else.
How are you feeling about this week’s episodes? Let me know down in the comments.
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