Catching up on anime
Here are the latest recaps of the anime currently being broadcast in the U.S. While there are some series just beginning, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure hits the finish line.
91 Days Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Taku Kishimoto’s first original is here! It feels like a more subtle take on Baccano!’s setting than the stylistic chaos that is Narita’s trademark, complete with the studio that formed from the people who brought Baccano! to the animated format in the first place. It’s an intriguing time and place to set a story, especially since it’s so rarely used for anime, and with the focus appearing to be on a more serious mood and eventually the inner workings of its characters, there’s hope for Kishimoto’s finest skills to be put to use to make it something truly worthwhile. Until then, it’s at least appreciated that it looks a bit better than the studio’s first attempts with Durarara!!’s sequels." Read more.
Ace Attorney Episode 14
Anime News Network said, "I'm hopeful too, because we're about to see a lot more of two of Ace Attorney's neatest characters. With Maya stuck in police custody, Nick needs a new assistant, and who better than her spiritually talented little cousin, Pearl? He'll need somebody in his corner, judging by the nail-biting lead-up to Franziska von Karma's introduction as Nick's latest opponent. Yes, there's a lot to look forward to next week, but this week was just average, setting up the barest minimum of pieces to help us process the fascinating trial still to come." Read more.
Bananya Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Let’s be honest, expectations are low for a show about a cat born in a banana that seems to stay in the banana all the time. Bananya doesn’t offer up anything revolutionary here nor does it look to be the next Chi or Poyopoyo, which is fine. What we get is something that’s light and a little silly that will be a very pleasant diversion from week to week, especially if it does expand things a bit and lets Bananya get into some really weird and comical situations. Right now, this is all about the basic introduction and little else." Read more.
Berserk Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "With last week’s premier condensing the past into one driving moment, Berserk gets on with it by introducing us to the holy knights and their inquisition. Lady Farnese has no problem torturing Guts until he’ll confess to whatever moral morass would deem him fit for execution. Cutting down a dozen men wasn’t enough to condemn him on principle? At least Serpico’s coolness can’t be dampened by poor direction and abysmal animation. Farnese has no idea what she’s getting herself into." Read more.
Cheer Boys Episodes 1-2
Anime News Network said, "This is a side of sports anime we so rarely see, one that comes with social drinking and the revealed vulnerabilities that go with it. Since everyone's a university student, there are no uniforms to speak of, and characters express their personalities clearly with their clothes (Ton only wears shirts with food on them). The setting is rendered in sunny, muted colors that give the campus a friendly vibe. The music is subtle and hopeful, like freshman year. But even with more mature collegiate characters, there's much ado about the cast being male cheerleaders, and I get it, that's the running joke. It's almost a metaphor for this show's relationship to the sports genre in its break with tradition. Still, I'm rooting for these hopeful, vulnerable characters at its heart." Read more.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School Future Arc Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Danganronpa’s original crew clashes with a variety of crazy new faces in a simple but effective introduction to another killing game story. More effective storytelling and a willingness to embrace the medium leaves the impression that this show is being handled with greater care than the rushed and poor adaptation of the original game, despite the continuing visual weakness of director Seiji Kishi. We still don’t know a whole lot about this large new cast, but with some effective lines and snappy pacing, Future Arc is promising to get to the meat of the Danganronpa experience soon – meanwhile, we still have the other half of the story coming in only a couple days with Despair Arc." Read more.
Handa-kun Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Handa-kun is a refreshing take on the gag genre. It is absolutely hilarious, perfect in it comedic timing. I would even go as far as saying it’s ridiculously funny. There was not one moment wasted in the entire episode, not even the last minutes. Just wait for the extra scene of Handa watching the anime his friends made of him. That face is priceless. As I said, familiarity with Barakamon is not required (although I do recommend it as it is a very good series). I knew I was going to like it but I ended up loving it so much, I wouldn´t be surprised if this ends up being one of the best of this season. I’d recommend it a million times over." Read more.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 15
The Fandom Post said, "The concluding episode to Rohan’s introduction is the perfect mix of horror, comedy, and heartstring-tugging—everything I’ve come to expect from the better Jojo episodes. Rohan using his Stand purely for self-centered non-world-dominating purposes falls in line perfectly with other Stand Users introduced in Morioh, and his final showdown with Josuke serves as the perfect means to finally get some well-needed backstory on Josuke himself, even sprinkling some mentionings of Part 3 continuity to better bring the episode home." Read more.
Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "Chika continues to work hard to put together her group, though it’s an uphill struggle. Her best prospect for a songwriter, Riko, continues to be resistant. Of course, she’ll eventually give in, but that leaves other problems. Writing an original song. Getting even more members. And most of all, overcoming the opposition of Dia, the student council president. Will she be able to overcome all the obstacles in her path? That’s a foregone conclusion. The problem is that that path seems to have been trod before and much more competently." Read more.
Mob Psycho 100 Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Mob Psycho 100 kicks off with a super-solid first episode as it quickly tries to sell both it’s visual style and humor. These elements are working pretty well for it so far, though the look of the latter might be enough to prevent it from enjoying the same level of mainstream success One-Punch Man did. Still this series seems to have a good grasp on what works for it, and if it can keep up the same level of energy as it’s premiere, then it shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it’s audience." Read more.
Naruto: Shippuden Episode 467
The Fandom Post said, "It’s not hard to not care at this point about this series, which is unfortunate, but I’m like a zombie watcher after all this time. I want to get back to the core characters and events. While backstory is important for context and raising the bar of what can be done, the overly drawn out material here is doing the opposite for me. I know there are plenty of fans that are enjoying this as you can see it in the comments where it’s streamed, but for me it’s like a whole other series that I have zero interest in that’s made worse by such plodding pacing." Read more.
New Game Episodes 1-2
Anime News Network said, "New Game! seems content to be an amusing workplace comedy in the style of Wagnaria!! or Servant X Service, and it's doing a pretty good job by the standards of the genre. These episodes offer an entertaining escape into a world where developing a video game isn't all that stressful, and it's possible for every single person in an office to be a friendly and attractive anime girl. As long as you don't go into it expecting something deeper or more ambitious, you'll find that it delivers what it promises." Read more.
One Piece Episode 749
The Fandom Post said, "The mini-arc rolls on and continues to do what it does. It’s not great, it’s not bad, the characters aren’t terribly engaging that are new, and it’s fun to see the Straw Hats involved in things that aren’t majorly critical. It’s a lead-in arc to a film in every sense of the word and it handles itself well. I’m certainly enjoying it but it will be forgettable." Read more.
Orange Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "The important mysteries of why Naho did not want Kakeru to tag along with the crowd after the Opening Ceremony and what happened to Kakeru so that “he has left us” in the Present (Future) are solved for us. It’s clear that orange is not going to be a mystery show. We see Naho getting closer to Kakeru, even if the vision of the Present/Future shows us such action could drastically change things. Where is this heading? That’s not entirely clear, but then that’s a good thing in this case. For it makes one wonder and wondering is what makes us come back for more." Read more.
Re:Zero Episode 15
The Fandom Post said, "“The Outside of Madness” is Re:Zero’s most dramatic and impactful episode yet. The world of Re:Zero is bigger and much scarier than we could have ever thought. However, all the suffering Subaru had to go through was worth it if only to see that after-credits scene that revealed a new Subaru, one that is full of rage and determination to kill Betelgeuse." Read more.
Rewrite Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "Rewrite tones it down a notch and throws in some more lighthearted comedy and exposition as a set-up for the next several episodes. After uniting all of the heroines, our protagonist is ready to move on and advance toward his final goal of touching Akane’s boobs. In all seriousness, though, even if nothing really happened in this episode, it still felt refreshing being exposed to some good old KEY character and plot building. This expository episode provides a nice break in terms of pacing in comparison to last week’s 48-minute pilot and does an excellent job at propelling us toward episode three." Read more.
Saki Episode 14
The Fandom Post said, "Most of this episode is devoted to the strange Momoko Touyoko of Tsuruga Academy, who upstages Touka Ryuumonbuchi’s short-lived victory over Nodoka at the end of the first half of their round of play. It appears that Momoko is a stealth master, operating below everyone’s radar screens before slowly, efficiently undermining the other players and stealing their points. I did not expect Nodoka’s round to be drawn out this long, but it looks like there will be a strange turn of events before Saki takes the main stage, facing off against the cute and demented Koromo." Read more.
Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "Megumi gets her time to shine against someone who couldn’t be further from her personality, Ryo. As we learn more about him, though, they end up having some similarities that make the match a bit more engaging, continuing the trend of using every cook-off to further develop each character in question. On that note, Erina’s few seconds of screen time build immense intrigue." Read more.
Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 2
The Fandom Post said, "After the breakneck pace of the first episode the plot slows down… way down. The worst day of Alisha’s life continues as she flees straight into ancient and potentially sacred ruins. We’re introduced to the hero of the story and his best friend, but I fear that those that never played the game might still be a bit lost. Then again, I don’t remember the game really going to great lengths to explain all of the sociopolitical and mythology stuff this early either. The animation alone makes this worth watching. I’m just worried about how they’ll fit the entire plot from the game into 13 episodes." Read more.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K Episode 1
The Fandom Post said, "Serving as a solid introduction to Saiki and how his life works, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K has a solid enough opening episode as it works with some of the weird elements of anime that we don’t see too often these days. Weird for the sake of weird has its place and this show looks like it’ll be ideal for the short-form format, especially with a deadpan lead that can do some pretty amazing things but just really wants a normal life. This looks like it’ll be a pretty fun little bit of weirdness every week, even if the episode does end hella abruptly." Read more.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance Episode 1-2
The Fandom Post said, "Arslan returns alongside his eponymous series, but both may see roadblocks in their path in the form of the former king and a short running time (possibly followed by catching up with source material) respectively. In some ways the unique aspects of the production are more interesting than the plot itself, but these first two episodes do display a strong return to form, making the most of the limited time available to bring forth captivating plot elements basically right off the bat." Read more.
Twin Star Exorcists Episode 14
Anime News Network said, "Most Twin Star Exorcists episodes can be neatly divided into two categories, choosing to focus primarily on either action and drama or romance and comedy. This episode of TSE might is among the best of the romance/comedy entries the show has put out. It might even be the best in terms of entertainment value. Leave it to Twin Star Exorcists to save some of its best material for the episode that should have been its most disposable. It's actually a pretty good representation of the series at large: definitely not perfect, and occasionally kind of sloppy, but I'm always pleasantly surprised by how much it can win me over." Read more.