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Catching up on anime

The summer season of anime is in full swing and, for some shows, things are starting to get good, while others can't seem to maintain the promise of the early episodes. Here are the latest recaps of the anime currently being broadcast in the U.S.

91 Days Episode 4

The Fandom Post said, "Avilio and Nero begin their trip together, and it’s a fun ride to watch. Nero is an extremely likable character, while Avilio just has to do his best to not fall victim to his charm so he can execute his revenge plan eventually. The animation continues to have problems, but the writing is still strong." Read more.

Amanchu! Episode 5

The Fandom Post said, "Amanchu takes a step back to prepare its new recruits for the rigors of diving. The whole episode is pretty funny with the antics of the entire club, and the fact that the cast seems to change up their wardrobe is a nice detail the animators toss in there. The animation team manages to keep this low key show lively even when there’s no ocean in sight. Now that we’ve got a firmer grasp on Pikari and Teko, we’re introduced to our last two club members in more depth as well. I feel that it’s a bit rare for friend groups to be split between grades, so it’s interesting to see how the team dynamic takes shape going forward." Read more.

Battery The Animation Episode 4

Anime News Network said, "My biggest hope going forward is that they flesh out Go's character. So far, he's mostly Takumi's manic pixie dream (boy)friend, having formed an overpowering attachment to the kid at a glance. There are hints at some trouble in his home life and emotional instability that could justify him latching onto Takumi as a sort of coping mechanism. I'd like for those to amount to something. Otherwise, Go pays lip service to not letting Takumi take advantage of him, but they're quickly friends again without adequate explanation. Go remains the biggest opportunity for Battery to complicate its already mature and realistic adolescent drama. Judging by its quality so far, I have faith that they won't drop the ball." Read more.

Cheer Boys!! Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "This show isn't about trying too hard, as Sho's awful, ebullient drawings (and tangentially, the so-so show art) indicate. We don't worry about Haru because at this point, it's hard to tell what he's so worried about. Instead, this show offers space, time, and plenty of it. Sure, when Haru does a cheer in Chinese class, and when the Breakers do their routine entirely in broken English, it's second-hand embarrassment to the max. But these somewhat cringeworthy cheers capture the spirit of college as a time for experimentation and discovery in an environment of the students' own making, and the result is a show that's totally easy to watch." Read more.

Cross Game Episode 6

The Fandom Post said, "Now that the main trio is in high school and working their way up the ladder and Aoba is taking on a lead role as captain back in junior high, things are starting to fall into place more and more. I love that the show has jumped forward in time a bit. You could consider the first five episodes a lengthy flashback sequence, but it’s given the show a real grounding to move forward with. The somewhat laid-back nature of the characters is a little odd considering the competitive nature of the game they’re playing, but it fits in with the overall approach that they’re using under Akaishi’s guidance and his overall personality as well. Aoba is one that I want to watch more of, though, to see how they use her and her time in junior high to supplement the main storyline and her relationship with Ko." Read more.

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Days Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "Just like with Indou before, Tsukushi learns a second lesson from Kimishita's game-time idiosyncrasies about who he'll pass to. And yet both games are losses — so close and yet so far! Even when Tsukushi is right, he's not a success. I love this because it reminds me of a favorite sports anime of mine, Baby Steps, where (as the title implies) the protagonist improves little by little and sees some epic fails in the process! Tsukushi already has a golden personality to make him likable; he doesn't need to be an unrealistic do-no-wrong character on top of that. These small discoveries give his story movement and progress, and they make him worth following more than if I knew he'd succeed no matter what." Read more.

Food Wars! The Second Plate Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "While Mimasaka provokes the usual stripping reaction with a bonus boxing match, Soma's dish goes into totally weird territory by transporting his diners to “Yukihee Land,” a meat theme park where they all dress like high school girls for no good reason. I'm not sure why the mascot is a Soma clown and not some kind of cow (although maybe I just answered my own question), but it does fit with the bizarreness of the scenes, and I do tend to prefer the silly to the sexual in these reactions." Read more.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Episode 19

Anime News Network said, "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure continues to be the stylish monster-of-the-week show that we already know and love, but Diamond is Unbreakable specifically seems to have a mission statement when it comes to who these monsters actually are. Most of them are just jerks who need to be taken down a peg, and the fact that most of them stick around as background characters makes me feel like the show is building to something interesting." Read more.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 5

The Fandom Post said, "Yoshiko enters high school still suffering from the delusion that she is Yohane, a fallen angel. But Yoshiko wants to break out of her fantasy and asks Hanamaru, her old childhood friend, to help. Instead of doing so, however, Chika decides to take advantage of the Yohane persona to get quick recognition and interest in Aqours, which is suffering from being too “plain” in a world that is now deluged with school idols (in the original, µ’s had on to deal with perhaps a thousand rivals; now there appear to be over 5,000 school idol groups in the rankings). The stunt works…but only for a brief while, as Dia drives home to the group. But instead of growing up and putting aside her delusion, Yoshiko is encouraged by Chika to continue being a chuunibyou sufferer and making use of her persona as part of Aqours." Read more.

Naruto: Shippuden Episode 470

The Fandom Post said, "While I’m glad the show is back to adapting the material from the manga, the producers and their choices for the past couple of years have simply worn me down. I’m in it for the inertia at this point and just to see this brought to a conclusion, though I suspect that we’ll get anything but that in the long run as they’ll find ways to pad it out. The fight against Kaguya is simply a holding action here while Sasuke is out of the picture and that means some decent action sequences mixed with far more dialogue than is needed. Obito and Sakura’s mission is a subplot here so it gets far less time and is just moving along to get us to the interesting point in the next episode or two. We’ve got progress but I have no faith in this production to do anything right." Read more.

One Piece Episode 751

The Fandom Post said, "One Piece is largely recap here but it’s worthwhile recap that I can’t fault because of how necessary it is in a way. What we get for the island of Zou is certainly intriguing with what it actually is and what kind of mystery we might get from that being explored, so I’m definitely excited. I do hope we trim the cast a bit as some of the supporting players just aren’t all that interesting to me, though I’m fine with Law sticking around a bit and even Bartolomeo for a bit. Overall, it’s the kind of episode that serves as a tease for the manga readers, a recap you can mostly ignore for anime only viewers, and a great jumping on point for new viewers." Read more.

Orange Episode 6

The Fandom Post said, "Naho discovers that her task is not to save Kakeru’s life as it currently is. She needs to save his 'heart.' Otherwise, he is likely to die even if she can prevent the accident that claimed his life in the timeline already experienced by her Future Self. A couple of major revelations are made during this episode as we see Naho feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility placed on her shoulders by the future. She could really use some help. And maybe some will be coming." Read more.

Ozmafia Episode 5

The Fandom Post said, "Ozmafia expands things a bit while still keeping it to Scarlet as the primary character as we see the academy through his eyes. As with past episodes there isn’t a whole lot here when you get down to it but it’s well handled in what they’re doing since it’s not overly rushed or paced in a way to be frustrating. There’s a laid-back aspect to this that’s nice and I’m curious about this new girl and her potential to mess with the boys of the academy a bit more." Read more.

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Episode 18

Anime News Network said, "So the writing comes through, as do the artistic and musical efforts; this actually had a surprising amount of animation and expression given how little action was actually going on. All-in-all, the episode lives up to its hype and sets a strong path forward – even if we don't actually know at this point where the path is going." Read more.

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 5

The Fandom Post said, "Souma’s declaration has made major waves, and has warranted an entire episode preceding the match to see him prepare something to take down the seemingly unstoppable Subaru. It’s less exciting as a result, but does include fascinating introspection regarding his similarities to Subaru." Read more.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "While there is a fight scene this week, it isn't on the grand scale of previous battles. Despite that, even Sorey leaping around with a sword swatting at hyouma bats is fun to watch, and the horror of what lies beneath the city more than makes up for a lack of gorgeous fight choreography. It seems Alisha may be the sole good person in the ruling class, although a lot of that is doubtless due to her naivety. This dark underbelly does speak to the overall condition of the kingdom and sets Sorey's band up for what they're going to have to deal with in the future, so it does seem safe to assume that the worst is yet to come. How this will factor into Sorey's journey to discover how he can combat the source of all malevolence as the Shepherd will be interesting, particularly since he's so intertwined with his friends. His truth is going to rely on them, which I suspect will help to boost Alisha's plans for a peaceful kingdom." Read more.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "As usual with this show, the more interesting conflicts come from the series' interpersonal interactions. Dust Storm Dance is starting to show us more of who these characters are as people, or at least remind us of how they were established when we first met them. It doesn't completely make up for the series' earlier inconsistencies, but it does suggest that the show can do better in its remaining three episodes and future seasons." Read more.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "These past two episodes have lacked the emotional punch of the previous three, mostly taking a breather on that side to beef up worldbuilding instead. While they aren't as good as what came before, it's important for The Morose Mononokean to establish its world and yokai characters better, so it can ground the Earth-bound activities. That being said, I'm still wondering why Abeno thinks Ashiya is ""dangerous."" Will we need to wait until the finale to find out?" Read more.

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