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Catching up on anime

Now that the preliminaries are over with in most of the summer anime, we finally get to the meat of the matter. Here are the latest recaps of the anime currently being broadcast in the U.S.

91 Days Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "More than a film, 91 Days currently reminds me more of prestige television dramas like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos. This episode comfortably inhabits its 20-minute runtime, providing an important emotional high point to what I'm sure is headed squarely into the realm of bloody tragedy. This relative levity will make the eventual conclusion hurt that much more. Poignant and entertaining, 91 Days continues to be a standout show for mature audiences." Read more.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "There's an implicit message to the way the blood was used in those final scenes: while the mock battle may be good training, actual battle is a far messier and more deeply impacting affair. The whole matter with General Rikan's followers seeking revenge, Ikta's strategies in this episode, and certain scenes from episode 2 combine to suggest that the series' underlying message is that real life-and-death battle isn't fun and games; it can have grim consequences. I suspect that we will see a lot more of that before the series is done." Read more.

Battery The Animation Episode 3

Anime News Network said, "Still, they come off as good kids, and I'm excited to watch them learn to enjoy their adolescence. However, this also has a downside. I haven't seen Battery the Animation talked up as much as this season's DAYS and Cheer Boys!!, and I think that's because it isn't courting a fujoshi audience as much. This is most evident in the different casts. Fujoshi sports shows tend to favor crews of immediately lovable rapscallions. (Think Haikyuu!! or Yowamushi Pedal.) DAYS and Cheer Boys!! are much closer to that appeal than Battery, whose lead often comes off as aggravating in his tween-dom. It makes for good low-key character drama, and it's probably a useful show for kids experiencing similar things at home and school, but there's not much in the way of fandom appeal. Still, I like diversity in my anime, and if you're looking for something in this vein, Battery remains a good time." Read more.

Berserk Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "In the quiet moments between fighting off the creatures of darkness, Guts returns to find Casca no longer where he left her two years ago. The introspective moment of recovery and regrouping is marred by the usual problems with the animation, or lack thereof, in this adaptation. When we catch up with Farnese and crew and meet with the new baddie of this arc we get a good introduction into how corrupt the Holy Knights might be. However, the attempts to tone down the vicious and over-the-top violence distract from the horror unfolding, rather than disguise it. Different week, same problems." Read more.

Cross Game Episode 5

The Fandom Post said, "There’s very little in terms of baseball going on here, though we get a few pitches here and there as Ko continues to train under Akaishi’s slightly intense regimen. Mostly what we get here is the continued strengthening of the family bonds that definitely have their hold on Ko since he’s been a part of that family for so long. The way we see both Ko and Aoba interact here is really very charming as it’s reminiscent of real childhoods and that age from my own memories and how things were with friends and those I was interested in but not really aware of. The relationship between Ko and Aoba is one that you want to see bloom, because Ko really is that great guy and you want to see Aoba relax on the problems she has with the loss of her sister and hope that Ko is the one that can help her with that pain. A very solid character episode so early in the series that works very well." Read more.

Days Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "DAYS has never shied away from showing us Tsukushi's flaws, but this episode takes the cake. 'You're too slow,' Chikako tells him. 'You're too gullible,' his teammates say. And Tsukushi's reaction faces in response to processing all this are fantastic. DAYS isn't exceptionally animated, but it makes sure you can always see Tsukushi's feelings written all over his face. Oddly enough, this episode's lack of chill toward criticizing Tsukushi just makes him look great. After 20 minutes of whaling on Tsukushi's dreams, his defeat of the judo team member in gym class is triumphant rather than predictable. This story does a better job than most of portraying a world where everyone actually is against the main character, at least at first. The simple story of him winning them over with his actions is feel-good and rewarding." Read more.

Dragon Crisis Episode 3

The Fandom Post said, "Dragon Crisis’ first three episodes are certainly unlike most of the shows of this nature in how it structures things, but that is owed more to its light novel origins more than anything else. It leaves you guessing more as to what will happen next, or more specifically, how quickly the next thing will come along when it would normally take a fair bit longer. The scenes involving Ryuji manning up are well done and he comes across very well here and the big battle at the end is properly epic itself, even if it feels like it comes far too early. If this was done as an hour long OVA back a decade or two ago, it’d garner a lot of attention and hopes for more. So I’m curious to see what’s next for the show while hoping that Rose doesn’t turn into a truly annoying character." Read more.

Handa-kun Episode 3

The Fandom Post said, "Handa-kun is still a solid comedy. Not every joke hits the mark but plenty of them do and when they do, it’s usually a home run. In any case, as in any series consisting of vignettes, you don´t have to worry too much if one of the storylines isn’t to your liking, just wait a little bit and another one will come along. I haven´t found any to be bad or even boring, though. Still, humor is largely personal, and I do understand what seems funny to some may not be for others, but as far as I’m concerned, Handa-kun hits all the right notes." Read more.

Hitori no Shita Episode 1

GameIndustry.com said, "Overall: I’m really hopeful for this series, if these Chinese adaptations keep doing well I may end up watching I Shall Seal the Heavens one day." Read more.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 17

The Fandom Post said, "Rohan Kishibe’s Adventure is the perfect episode to kick off the second half of Diamond is Unbreakable. When the fantastical powers known as Stands began to feel run-of-the-mill, throwing a wrench in the plot in the form of ghosts as well as a murder-mystery story feels like the perfect move for the series to take." Read more.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "Once again, Love Live! Sunshine!! can't help but namedrop _'s, which now sticks out like a sore thumb. It's ironic that in a show about 'being yourself,' the staff is afraid of letting Sunshine!! thrive as its own entity. Especially since the series has every building block it needs to be a successful standalone show. I can only hope that by the end of the series, it learns to cut its tether to the original Love Live! and shine on its own." Read more.

Naruto: Shippuden Episode 469

The Fandom Post said, "This series really needs to finish out the current storyline from the manga that ended some time ago and decide what it wants to do. I can imagine them carrying on with a whole lot of potentially interesting stories to fill the gap between it and the Boruto work with ease. But right now the show is just spinning its wheels and that’s only hurting it over and over." Read more.

Orange Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "Naho tries to distance herself from Kakeru now that he has a girlfriend. While this follows events as Future Naho recalls them, she was dissatisfied at how things turned out, so she advises her Past Self to talk to Kakeru. Naho, however, follows her previous pattern of behavior and lacks the courage to carry out her Future Self’s directives until someone else intervenes. It appears that Kakeru was troubled about something and when the two finally talk, he feels relieved." Read more.

Ozmafia Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "Ozmafia gives us a little more strangeness to work with here and it does what it needs to pretty well. These are all small and basic setup pieces that you’d get over the course of a single episode of a full-length show done up in bite-sized pieces here. It’s cute but empty because of that, though I’m still enjoying the show just for what it does accomplish and the actual animation quality that I simply find appealing. It’s a very, very light show when it comes to character and story though." Read more.

Saki Episode 16

The Fandom Post said, "Koromo Amae lives up to her reputation as a demon, as she seems to have complete control over the tiles on the board. Twice in a row, she ordains that she win on the last normal draw of the hand, a bonus win called the 'Bottom of the Sea.' Her third attempt to do so is only stopped by Yumi Kajiki’s superior tactical abilities, making a quick read of the discards to correctly guess what tile Saki would need to call a minor, low points win off of her, putting a stop to Koromo’s high scoring victory. This, however, only enrages Koromo, who steps up her control of the board two hands later, as she wins the final two hands of the first half of the match, driving Kana Ikeda to near desperation levels. Koromo’s power over the tiles is freakishly unsettling to everyone, especially Saki, who seems to be paralyzed. Who shall save these three from the seemingly innocent looking demon they are playing with?" Read more.

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "With the rushed pacing and some less complex characters at the forefront, this season is admittedly falling a bit below its predecessor, but that’s really like comparing any two dishes in the Autumn Elections. All are of an extremely high quality, but one must always win. The result this time isn’t one that anyone is going to like, but it sets up a battle that will be supremely cathartic." Read more.

Show by Rock!! Short!! Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "The Short!! series continues right along here and this one goes for something moody as opposed to silly and comical, though it has its cute moments. A and Un come across well here for what we get, though it’s not exactly easy for new viewers as the characters aren’t even named within the episode. But I like the visual design of it all and it leaves me curious as to how they play within the bigger structure of the main series with the music and their approach so the show is certainly managing to hit all the right notes for enticing me into it some day." Read more.

Sweetness And Lightning Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "Not surprisingly, this week's Sweetness & Lightning is sure to leave you hungry—and possibly even make you more adventurous in the kitchen. Unlike fantastical cooking-themed anime like Foods Wars! Shokugeki no S_ma, Yakitate!! Japan, or Toriko, this show focuses on realistic dishes that most people should be able to prepare. The fact that episode 4 expertly ties the main story into its extended food prep segment wins it a few extra points. Even with a slight downgrade in the artwork and animation, Sweetness & Lightning remains as endearingly entertaining as ever." Read more.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "From maybe-you’re-the-chosen-one to congrats!-you’re-the-chosen-one in record time! Sorey arrives in Ladylake and makes with the hero business pretty quickly. Little does he know the political mess he’s just thrown himself into. Alisha’s reworking for the anime and the tightening of the plot are perfect examples of how to do a game to anime conversion the right way. All of the important stuff is intact, including the characters personalities. The relatively generic plot is the only reason I could see for viewers to grow bored of this visual splendor." Read more.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "Arslan and crew are back together without a massive army, instead tasked to assemble a much more massive one. How long their earnest attempt to do so will last is uncertain, but the first steps in that process introduce a number of interesting characters of some moral ambiguity." Read more.

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "The series continues to be cute and fun while also working a more relaxed pacing overall so that it doesn’t feel like we’re rushing through each episode. It accomplishes a fair bit and really leaves me wishing that it was twice as long so it could linger a bit more on certain ideas or interactions. The addition of Rumi every now and then will definitely help the show as watching the two of them go at it as fans is definitely fun to watch. The show has a lot of potential but is being hamstrung a bit by it being a short-form series." Read more.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "Still, it's good to see The Morose Mononokean proving it's more than a one-trick pony. The pattern for the first three episodes was successful, but it would be disappointing if the show just did that and never delivered on the worldbuilding it promised about yokai and the underworld. Episode 4 at least starts to deliver there, even if it leaves us with more questions and answers. There's a lot to come from The Morose Mononokean that's worth sticking around for, even when it's not tugging at your heartstrings." Read more.

Twin Star Exorcists Episode 16

Anime News Network said, "And with the post-credits scene, we finally get the reappearance of Yuto. One of my big complaints up until the end of the episode was how random and out of nowhere Mayura's transformation felt. While not definitively stated, I feel like at this point I can assume that Yuto was behind it, which makes the event feel a lot less random. Either way, Yuto showing up probably means another escalation of the conflict, which the show is due for after the turmoil our Twin Stars went through this week. If nothing else, the series has become much more consistent in its quality and pacing overall. I'm looking forward to seeing where next week takes us." Read more.

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