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Catching up with anime

It's the middle of the summer season, but as the Food Wars critic says, "The beginning of the end has arrived." Here are the latest recaps of the anime currently being broadcast in the U.S.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "As the characters go, I am beginning to wonder if at least some of Ikta's flirting isn't an act to lower people's expectations for him, as at least some of it is starting to sound forced. Still, the bigger issue is Haroma. Although she actually has a few lines this time, she never really does anything important, and we never get any deeper insight into her. She displays no internal conflict and little will or personality, which Matthew and Torway at least have to some degree. She seems to exist in the group only to be the requisite healer and provide a target for Ikta's flirting that isn't (inappropriately) Chamille or (bestie rather than lover) Yatori. The lack of any real development for the little companion spirits is the other gaping hole right now. Still, at least the technical merits are holding firm at a high level." Read more.

Amanchu! Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "Although fluidly animated diving sequences are notably absent for the second straight week, there's enough character growth, plot progression and comedy to keep viewers entertained. Plus, the hands-on instructional portion of the episode proves considerably more entertaining than Katori-sensei's usual long-winded lectures. Best of all, Futaba has finally come to realize that her needs matter, and minor setbacks aren't the end of the world." Read more.

Cross Game Episode 7

The Fandom Post said, "Ko’s secret talent of mimicking voices comes out to good effect as we see him push back gently against the varsity team manager, a snobbish girl who is all about looks and status. Cross Game does a really solid job of working Daimon into the show at this point and making it clear both why he’s a good coach and a bad coach. A good deal of information is brought through in exposition that’s nicely done and we also get to see that he has no problems in explaining to the players who is useful to him and who is not. Of course, we’ll see that he can misjudge as well, such as with Aoba, but that just helps to paint him as a little more human. There’s a lot to like here and I particularly enjoyed how Ko and his friends are making their own plans to take over the team in some for while also making sure that Aoba is as protected as can be, while still making sure she’s not treated daintily. It’s hard to believe we’ve gone through seven episodes already as it’s covered so much ground and has become so completely engaging from the start. I’m already dreading the end of this series." Read more.

D.Gray-man Hallow Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "But, just like the lotus, the Exorcists will always reach for the sky, a sky so provokingly blue and beautiful that it hurts. And even though this incarnation of Yu never saw the sky, he still remembers its beauty, however uncalled-for it might be. The question of whether that will be a gift or a curse remains yet to be answered." Read more.

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School: Future Arc Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "Next week, we'll get a proper autopsy for Great Gozu, which may give us a few more clues to the mystery. Still, so many questions remain! What's up with that secret entrance Izayoi found? What does Hiro have to do with all this mess, if anything? And if Monaca isn't the head honcho in this final gambit, who is? I'm eager to uncover the answers to these questions, but I'm still sad we'll have to do it without Kimura around. At least one of our players knows the killer's identity now, and he seems to think he'll need Kimura's superjuice to survive the fight (Gozu maybe?), so I'm sure Kodaka's whipped up some doozy reveals I haven't seen coming at all." Read more.

Days Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "I definitely noticed some imperfections in this episode's animation, like awkward athletic movement and some background faces that didn't quite come together. But the main characters' faces were always expressive and human, especially in the case of Tsukushi. The story is considerably more repetitive than I'd prefer, and the soccer a bit underwhelming, but characters like determined Tsukushi, laid-back Kazama, and serious-dorky Mizuki are instantly recognizable and wholly worth the watch. I just wish the success of this show wasn't dependent on just a few likable people. Let's get that plot going!" Read more.

Food Wars! The Second Plate Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "The theme for the final round in the Autumn Elections is Pacific saury, a type of fish whose evolution as cuisine seems to mimic lobster's: once a "junk" fish, now a classy item. While I fear that this next part will be either too rushed or far too drawn out for the remaining storyline of the arc, I also can't deny that it's exciting to see what each contestant will do with the fish. The beginning of the end has arrived – here's hoping they do it justice." Read more.

Handa-kun Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "The problem with this episode is that it rushes to introduce three new characters when there's still plenty of room to work with the cast it already has. Each time someone new shows up, the series has to rely on Handa to keep the humor flowing while it establishes the newcomer's personality and comedic role. Instead of providing variety, each addition to the cast forces the show to go through the same set of motions all over again. As funny as those motions are, they're going to start feeling stale if the series repeats them too often. Handa's entourage of admirers and enemies is already big enough; it's time for the series to start making better use of what it's got." Read more.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Episode 20

Anime News Network said, "I'm curious as to where the relationship between Yukako and Koichi will go. Koichi did fall in love because of the cosmetics, but now that it's happened he doesn't seem to be as anxious about her original form. Yukako probably won't be returning to Dr. Tsuji, but the experience seems to have worked out in her favor regardless. A story like this is ripe for authorial opinions on the nature of inner and outer beauty, but very little of that shows through in this episode, in favor of being kind to its characters. I guess we can wait and see if 'happily ever after' happens or not." Read more.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "This scene also helps introduce a new school idol group, with the very cool name Saint Snow. Already, they're poised to be Aqours' rivals, with the big city elegance and polish that Aqours has yet to attain. I suspect that Aqours will not do well in the event, but it will probably be the best thing that's ever happened to the girls. Up until now, the group has scooted along without too many real challenges. Filling an auditorium is one thing, but bouncing back from failure is another. It could do wonders not only for Aqours, but for Love Live! Sunshine!! as a show. To quote Mari, 'They can't just avoid [failure], not if they're serious about being school idols, and about saving the school.' Saving the school isn't a trivial task like Chika has fantasized about, and neither is achieving success. It's a monumental task that will take everything the girls have, and maybe now with the burden of expectations on their shoulders, they'll finally have what it takes to rise." Read more.

Mob Psycho 100 Episode 5

Anime News Network said, "This episode of Mob Psycho 100 was less visually inventive than most of the previous ones, in terms of both design and animation highlights. It was also the most thematically rich and emotionally charged episode of anything I'm watching this season. Mob Psycho has topped itself yet again." Read more.

Naruto Shippuden Episode 471

Anime News Network said, "It's hard to deny that Naruto Shipp_den has become a case study in how not to adapt a battle manga. Even when sticking to the source material, the show is laden with frequent and obvious grabs for time that detract from the main narrative. In fact, many of the dreaded filler excursions offer more substance than these piecemeal battle/flashback installments. I'm glad that the latest Obito love fest was limited to half the episode—but it shouldn't have even eaten up that much time." Read more.

New Game! Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "Despite some underwhelming scenes, this is a serviceable episode. What continues to frustrate me about New Game! is that it feels like it could easily be better than it is. The creative insights and sympathetic characters are all there; the series just has to be more proactive about using them. Let the audience into the meeting room with Yagami and Toyama for more than just a quick reaction shot, or have the girls' tempers run short as they start working overtime. Finding that ideal slice of life comfort zone is all well and good, but it wouldn't take much to elevate New Game! from a good entry in its genre to a great anime series period." Read more.

One Piece Episode 752

The Fandom Post said, "With the storyline supposedly giving Bartolomeo a good sendoff, as I won’t miss his character all too much, the bulk of this episode is connecting us with new characters such as Whitebeard Jr. and his mother while reconnecting us with other characters, including my favorite Captain Buggy. There isn’t much in the way of actual story yet, though there are a few tendrils that may grow into something interesting here as time goes on. With that in mind it’s hard to say anything about the Zou arc at the moment but I’m once again enjoying, cautiously, the easing into a new storyline. We’re not being thrown in hard and we’re at the cusp of the potential sense of wonder that these arcs provide through Luffy’s eyes, so I’m optimistic after really enjoying the Dressrosa arc, albeit hoping for something a bit shorter." Read more.

Orange Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "Overall, this episode was still full of the grounded conversations and small emotional peaks that make Orange a generally satisfying experience. I hope these sad kids turn out okay." Read more.

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Episode 20

Anime News Network said, "There was one brief but possibly important scene that might be easy to lose track of amidst the action and flashbacks. When Subaru deliberately triggers the Return by Death feedback this time, we don't get spectral claws grasping at him; we instead get the lower half of the face of a woman with blue lips whispering to him. I think that should kill any speculation that a force other than the Jealous Witch is behind the time loops, but why did this different effect occur now? It's as big a mystery takeaway from this episode as the extra flying whales." Read more.

Rewrite Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "Regardless, the action component here is more prominent than in any previous episode, which only confirms what the first episode seemed to suggest: action is never going to be a strength of the series. As with the crab monster in the first episode, the dinosaur-like critters and the flying half-plant, half-dragon are both CG creations, and while they are pretty good-looking, they're also still too clearly distinct from the 2D art to integrate flawlessly. Yes, Lucia and Shizuru reveal some nifty moves, but the animation on both them and Kotarou's side of the fights is not all that impressive. Since action is not a focal point of the series, it gets a 'passable' rating here, but only just." Read more.

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 6

The Fandom Post said, "For a match so frequently spent on each candidate pulling out unexpected ideas, there are basically no surprises to be found here. While it’s not the most captivating, it still delivers on the promised catharsis strongly and with the inevitable message of what it means to be a real chef." Read more.

Sweetness & Lightning Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "This week's episode marks another home run for Sweetness & Lightning. Including new characters in the food prep portion of the show helps liven things up, but I can see this wearing thin if attempted too often. Although Shinobu puts the kibosh on regular drop-ins, the show leaves the door open for occasional team-ups. I'm not sure if next week will be a return to form or another attempt to expand the show's world, but either way, I'm hungrily anticipating the next episode." Read more.

Taboo Tattoo Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "Overall, I'm very worried about the direction the show is headed. The series keeps adding new characters without bothering to flesh out the old ones, and the general conflict is getting murkier and less interesting every week. The season isn't over yet, but after this episode, I'm not going to get my hopes up." Read more.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 7

Anime News Network said, "This episode does have me feeling wary, however. What was the purpose of seeing Velvet's long-ago escape? How will it relate to the Shepherds and Alisha's fears for her kingdom? Why were there so many weird angles whenever Velvet was on camera? (So many up-the-body shots...) Why was that damn witch girl so annoying? If any of these questions are answered by the final episode of this cour, this will have been worth it, and I'm hoping that we'll see some of it next week when the point of view shifts again. Even if there are no answers forthcoming though, at least we had those beautiful dragon scenes. I suppose that could make this week worth it all on its own." Read more.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance Episode 6

The Fandom Post said, "Arslan and crew take a short break from their series to let us see what’s going on in Ecbatana. Etoile is the character we identity with most here, but it’s more about how villainous Guiscard can become with everyone else as his pawns. The biggest takeaway, aside from the characters that will be joining Arslan soon, is the role of Hilmes as an increasingly likable and sympathetic figure." Read more.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "So 'The Ring' begins and ends strong but loses its way somewhere in the middle. It just doesn't have a strong enough story to fill its full runtime, and it shows. The conclusion isn't as emotionally satisfying, involving a character (the old woman) who we haven't spent the whole episode getting to know, which reduces its ability to grab at the heartstrings the way the first three episodes did. The Morose Mononokean feels like it's fallen into a slump, unsure how to pull itself out after the narrative shake-up of episodes 4 and 5. Still, there's a lot of potential to suggest it can recover." Read more.

This Art Club Has a Problem! Episode 6

Anime News Network said, "So despite Maria's entrance, it could be said that the real stars of This Art Club Has a Problem! this week are the ill-fated pillow and the nameless clerk. Since it looks like things will be contentious among the art club members next week, I hope the club president has the good sense to hide his new (French) pillow. I'd hate for him to lose another fluffy wonder." Read more.

Twin Star Exorcists Episode 18

Anime News Network said, "Overall, this was a great episode. It set the stage in a much more natural way than last week's did, and it featured some of the best character writing we've seen from the show in weeks. Last week, I was looking forward to the fight because I was tired of the show dragging out its conflict. This week, I'm pumped because I can't wait to see the Twin Star Exorcists kick Yuto's ass. That's a much better place to be." Read more.

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