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Catching up on anime

Here are the latest recaps of the anime currently being broadcast in the U.S. Some more series have been wrapping up this week while six series are just beginning.

And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online? Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "So in the end, the series doesn't at all accomplish what it set out to do, but that might not matter. Everyone is a bit more comfortable with themselves and gets to have some fun, and that (along with innocuous fan service, of course) is enough to make the show a mild success overall." Read more.

Berserk Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "Berserk is a story about suffering. Being a Berserk fan is suffering. This anime is going to make you feel that, viscerally, just probably not in the way we all wanted. If you are prone to motion sickness you may want to keep some medication handy if you want to dive into this. The variable frame rates and some questionable direction are going to make your head and stomach spin. The rest of the animation is serviceable at best, dark and confusing at worst. I seriously hope the animation staff can somehow make this better going forward, but I fail to see how to escape the wooden performances of their CG models unless they drop it. It’s a shame the animation is dragging down what was otherwise a smart compression of the story to get to the arc they want to animate. (Although, the skipping of story elements between what is happening now and what came before isn’t going to do anyone new to the property any favors.) If you’re not an invested and masochistic Berserk fan then there’s very little here to compel a new viewer into watching the show." Read more.

Bungo Stray Dogs Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "Things are heating up as we head into the new story arc. There was no preview this week, so we're definitely going to be left hanging until the second cour premiers in October. The professor in me can't help but mention that this is a great excuse to read some of these authors before the show starts up again, but mostly because this is one hell of a place to leave us, so that may ease the angst." Read more.

Crane Game Girls Episode 13

The Fandom Post said, "With a tease that basically leaves the door open for a second season, which i hope isn’t made, Crane Game Girls comes to a close exactly as you’d expect based on the first episode. The show worked a familiar formula to be sure and largely executed it well. I’ll admit it’s the kind of show that most people simply won’t get into and I stuck with it because it was simple and light, which is a nice change of pace amid my day. The animation doesn’t help it either, though there’s something to be said for not being like everything else. The series is utterly predictable but had some brief flashes of amusement along the way while hitting that quirky side as well. It’s not a show i’d recommend in the slightest, but if it fits your groove you’ll likely enjoy it." Read more.

Cross Game Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "Cross Game has a whole lot of potential based off of this first episode, and a slight skimming ahead has me even more intrigued to see how well it can carry it off. What we get in this opening episode is something not often seen and a sort of motivation to the characters that speaks volumes. It’s not the usual cocky characters, the types that are instantly awesome or natural born geniuses. They’re not shy, awkward types thrust into a situation they don’t want to be in. They’re just young kids who are living their lives and find their situations irrevocably changed and they have to cope and deal with it in the only way that they can at that age. With great looking designs and solid animation combined with a perfect setup, Cross Game has all the potential in the world right now and it’s backed by the Mitsuru Adachi name. I’m simply excited." Read more.

Flying Witch Episodes 11-12

The Fandom Post said, "It turns out Kenny is an expert on the movements of flying whales and the civilizations that used to live on them. A cat anthropologist has ramifications that seem as enormous as a flying whale, and the irony is not lost on a few present. Anzu’s familiar arrives during breakfast, and Harry Potter fans will be delighted to see her familiar is an owl. The dignified looking bird lands with a message for Akane, and what a message it is." Read more.

Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "All in all, Sakamoto's departure to parts unknown is a fitting farewell. After having a significant impact on those lucky enough to encounter him during his time at Gakubun, he makes his exit under suitably mysterious circumstances. Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto may be saddled with a limited concept, but if pure comedy is what you're after, you won't regret spending some time with this consistently hilarious series." Read more.

High School Fleet Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "High School Fleet has been a little too inconsistent to work for a broad audience, and its attempt to tell a serious story within the “girls with big guns” niche has sometimes been at odds with its need to be cute and entertaining. As a genre series, however, I think it's been pretty successful. It has a nerdy charm along the same lines as its landlubber cousin Girls und Panzer, and its eye for detail has produced some very enjoyable action scenes. Ending on a strong note always helps, and the show's world is big enough to make room for some kind of sequel down the road." Read more.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 14

The Fandom Post said, "Even with some lacking animation during key scenes, Let’s Go To The Manga Artist’s House, Part 1 was still a worthy introductory episode to fan-favorite Rohan. He emits a sense of creepy, impending doom different from other villains thus far and closes out the episode in a purposefully jarring manner that leaves viewers wondering just how our heroes will get out of this latest fix." Read more.

Joker Game Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "When this show first started, the assertion that Japanese nationalism was rooted in bullheaded emotional desperation, the idea that it was bad not only because it was immoral but just because it was unintelligent, seemed biting and powerful to me. Now that it's over, I sadly find myself believing that Joker Game's author took his cynical ethos too far in the other direction. If he could stand to embrace more of that emotional human spirit behind his too-perfect superspies, maybe his work would feel even more honest and powerful." Read more.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "So was Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress a trainwreck after all? No, I'd say it was more like a train-flip, not just because Ikoma literally flips a train in the most stupidly amazing part of the finale, (and then it EXPLODES! Hooray!) but also because Kabaneri's greatest weaknesses came not from derailing completely, but changing junctions too fast and too often for the limited length of track it had ahead. Araki and Okouchi just wanted to tell a much bigger story than they ever had time for, and Biba's half-formed saga would have been better saved for a second season all its own. Reckless ambition is an admirable flaw even when it's a crippling one, and I really enjoyed my time with Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress even in its worst moments. It's still the kind of anime you can show just about anyone with no caveats (except an aversion to gore) and have a good time, even if it's too flawed to really be anyone's favorite. Here's to season two of Attack on Ti—I mean Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress! I'd be pretty happy with either one, but I can't imagine Wit having the resources for both." Read more.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "A new town, a new cast, a new determined young girl who wants to be a school idol star. But, the same old initial resistance from the school’s student council president and a complete lack of anything that really sets this new Love Live! story apart means that the biggest uphill climb the show faces is whether it can get my attention for the entire season. Throwing some weirdoes who are meant to be endearing, but end up being more off-putting, as new cast members isn’t going to cut it." Read more.

My Hero Academia Episode 13

The Fandom Post said, "My Hero Academia’s first season draws to a close as All-Might tries his best to bluff his way out of the situation. It doesn’t stick, but between Deku’s bravery, and a timely entrance by the other heroes, the League of Villains is finally sent packing. It’s a close call this time, but things are still only just beginning and the villains are already planning their next move. The same thing can be said for the show itself, as a second season’s now officially on the horizon, and I’m looking certainly looking forward to more." Read more.

Naruto: Shippuden Episode 466

The Fandom Post said, "The creative team is really running with the five pages from the manga to produce what will feel like half a year’s worth of material. I’m really starting to believe they’re just sadistic bastards at this point. So, another week, another…" Read more.

One Piece Episode 748

The Fandom Post said, "A One Piece arc like this isn’t something that lights a fire of interest under me. It’s light and meaningless, particularly since it’ll be an age before I get to see the movie, and I just can’t connect with it since I know what it’s intent is. That said, I enjoy it for what it does do and just giving Luffy a chance to go silly and fun and to give us a little more time with Bartolomeo. It’s fluff but cute and fun fluff." Read more.

Orange Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "Naho Takamiya in young adulthood has a series of regrets, mostly tied to her former high school friend Kakeru Naruse. But she might be able to change all that when she sends a letter to her past self in high school. Will the Naho of the past heed to requests of her future self to change that past? What will those changes accomplish? We have the beginning of what feels to be a tragic romance in the making, with the added touch that the tragedy might be able to be averted. But will it? I’m interested enough to find out." Read more.

Rainbow Days Episode 24

The Fandom Post said, "Rainbow Days as a whole is a series that delighted me as it used the cast of characters at hand in a good way with some fun configurations along the way, some neat changes to the dynamic, and just engaging characters that were portrayed in a mostly realistic way. Each of the couples could headline a series on their own and I think it could go for quite a bit longer – there is more manga after all – as it leaves you wanting to see more of how these relationships work out and the challenges and joys that they face. It may not be a conclusive ending but it’s one that fits the show well and leaves you feeling very warmly toward it as a whole. Definitely one of the better series of this nature that was aided heavily by the running time that helped it avoid some of the usual padding out problems and cliches." Read more.

Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World Episode 13

Anime News Network said, "Despite the early flaws and some occasionally shaky quality control in the artistry, the series is back on a strong path by the end of this episode. Subaru has dug himself a hole, and watching him struggle to get out of it should be fun." Read more.

Rewrite Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "Rewrite comes across as equal parts mysterious and stunningly beautiful in just the first episode alone. With a likable protagonist and a roster of heroines that are already endearing and intimate, it’s safe to say that many viewers will become attached to some of the characters before even learning everything about them. KEY once again exemplifies next-level storytelling and world-building techniques in a faithful adaptation of one of their most popular games to-date. I’ve waited years for this anime and I’m not even close to being let down. This is going to be powerful; I can feel it." Read more.

Saki Episode 11

The Fandom Post said, "We are in the very heart of the battle now. For those who are familiar with sports entertainment, animated or live action, you will all be familiar with the usual ebb and flow of play, which we have seen for the past few episodes. A decent job is done to interrupt the intensity of the mahjong with some action behind the scenes. For those who enjoy sports dramas, these past few installments, and the next few to come, should prove to be entertaining. Of course, if you’re just watching for the girls, then none of this matters." Read more.

Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan Episode 10

The Fandom Post said, "Shonen Ashibe has a pretty solid episode all around but it felt like it missed a few things it could have done with Sugao in regards to the letter and sending something back. Of course, you have to dash his hopes a bit but I just wanted a bit more. I liked what we got with Ashibe and his family since it was kept smaller but the yeti side with Sugao just isn’t clicking for me like the rest of his episodes have, resulting in it just not being quite as good overall. It’s still silly and fun, which is what I want out of it, and more time with precious Sugao is always good." Read more.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 1

The Fandom Post said, "Confusion about licensing, intent, and ulterior motives aside, Tales of Zestiria the X is lovely to watch but confusing for the uninitiated. This first episode doesn’t aim to simply retell the game beat for beat but sets up its plot in a more dramatic fashion. The animation is stunning and the music excellent, but the fast past of this episode might leave some scratching their heads. Some of the confusion is intentional because the characters aren’t even sure what is happening, but the rest is mostly caused by the swift pacing. It’s hard to get an idea of how well the rest of the series will be paced from here on out and how well the overall story will be told. Even more confusing is it’s relationship to Tales of Berseria. It’s too early to tell, but the first episode shows promise." Read more.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "I'm sorry to see this show come to an end. It may not always have worked for my attention span, but it has been consistently entertaining, a combination of funny and kind of soothing to watch. Apart from convincing me that everybody ought to have an Ohta, this has been a fun spin on the usual school comedy, lacking the frantic action even as it hits on all of the standard moments, from the school festival to the lunch line. Hopefully someone will license the source manga so that we can keep hanging out with Tanaka and the others, but for now we have to wave goodbye as Ohta carries Tanaka's limp body off into the sunset." Read more.

Twin Star Exorcists Episode 12

Anime News Network said, "It might not be ideal for a show to have such predictable lows following its high points, but that consistency means you can usually predict when an episode is going to be a winner. We'll just have to see how my powers of prediction hold up next week!" Read more.

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Born at a very young age with no foreknowledge of the event.