Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 16th – July 21st

Outside of the usual events of the round up, there is only one major change this week.  By now most Horizon fans know that Crunchyroll has a delay of a few days after the original airing.  I have unfortunately lost my ability to get my hands on early subs of the show, so that means I have to wait just like everyone else.  This means Horizon will not be in this week’s round-up, as I will have to align the show with Crunchy’s schedule.  Boo, Crunchyroll, Boo.  There is also a possibility that a couple shows may be dropped due to time constraint and lack of personal enjoyment- I’m looking at you, Arcana Famiglia and Space Brothers.

Accel World:  Episode 15

Haru’s confrontation with his most dangerous enemy yet results in him losing his ability to fly.  Haru now finds himself broken in both the real world and accel world, and Chiyuri is now at risk of becoming a “pet” of their newfound enemy.  As Haru contemplates giving up on Brain Burst altogether, he challenges his first opponent in a fight of desperation, only to find a new comrade in the accelerated world…

AKB0048:  Episode 12

Just about everything that can possibly go wrong on Lancastar, goes wrong.  The DES isn’t playing games anymore, and their determination to destroy fun is more vicious than ever.  I don’t want to spoil anything for the fans that have made it this far into the show, so I’m not going to give a rundown of the events this week.  Check out this week’s episode… and prepare for a dose of despair.

Arcana Famiglia:  Episode 3

This week was yet another uneventful episode with the Famiglia.  The gang hangs around church telling ghost stores and goofing off, likely for the sake of character development and introduction.  Depending on how the next episode of this goes, this could wind up like Medaka Box from last season.  That’s right Arcana Famiglia, you are on notice.

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 3

Becky finally gets to show off her new powers after her over the top transformation from last week.  Once the war is over, celebrations begin in the nations of Galette and Biscotti to mark the arrival of heroes new and old.  The show returns to the usual pace of light-hearted fun and insane amounts of cuteness.  Also, Becky survives the entire episode without having to suffer another transformation sequence.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 3
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

Now that it’s been decided Yuuki will run for student council president, it’s time to come up with a strategy.  Fortunately for Yuuki, it seems they will easily get the support of clubs that are also threatened by the proposed budget cuts of the other candidate.  However, they soon discover they are going to have to work hard to get the rest of the votes they need.  An unlikely group has offered to help the food research club find those votes, but what ulterior motives could they be hiding?

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 3
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

When Konoe and Miyabi stumble upon Shougo having a close encounter with Mr. (Miss) X, they are quite concerned that Shougo could have a thing for men.  Since this would be a big problem for a couple of girls looking to get into the wealthy family, Konoe and Miyabi decide they will “cure” Shougo of his yaoi fetish.  Now poor Shougo has to compose himself from letting loose as the girls feed him aphrodisiacs and force themselves into bed with him.  Since Shougo still does not know which of these girls is his sister, he must resist at all costs…

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 3
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

Delayed until next week.  Blame Crunchyroll.

Oda Nabuna no Yabou:  Episode 2
(The Ambition of Oda Nabuna)

Yoshiharu makes the foolish mistake of striking Nabuna’s brother, causing a dispute within the Oda clan and getting himself put up for execution.  Nabuna gives him the chance of avoid execution by being promoted to a general, but only after coming up with 8,000 koku (Old Japanese unit of measurement, about 1 cubic meter) of rice.  Using a money making strategy from the Nobunaga’s Ambition game he used to play, he finds himself practically swimming in money.  Now to get the rice and quell a civil war…

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 3

With Japan now captured by the BETA, one of the survivors moves on to Yukon Base in Alaska, where a project to advance TSF technology is taking place.  Now a crew of top TSF pilots competes amongst each other for the purpose of testing TSF units for the UN’s project Prominence.  This episode is kind of like Top-Gun, but with mecha. The one American pilot is even given the nickname, Top Gun…

Space Brothers:  Episode 16

If you guessed this week’s episode of Space Brothers is about being in isolation again, you are right.  I’m not going to lie, this shit is getting old.  The isolation chamber arc of this show also isolates the viewers from anything interesting that has been happening with other characters, which is one of the best parts of this show.  This is starting to remind me of the Endless Eight episodes of Haruhi- everyone wanted them to be over and yet they just kept coming.  Please get these people the fuck out of this thing.  Oh yeah, they are now running out of food.  Yay.  I really want to keep watching this, especially since I am so far into the series, but I may drop this show if this story arc lasts much longer.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 3

Kirito finally decides to join a guild, but he decides to keep his true level a secret from everyone.  This proves to have dire consequences later on, leaving Kirito to become a solo wanderer yet again.  When a new event tied to Christmas Eve promises the arrival of a boss that brings a rare drop, Kirito sets out to fight the new enemy by himself in hopes of finding redemption for his terrible mistake.

Yuru Yuri Season 2:  Episode 3

This week put’s the spotlight on Himawari and Sakurako, and their Tsundere-style relationship.  (If you don’t know what tsundere means and you are watching currently-airing anime, then google it.)  While the main group of girls does not get as much screen time this week, the typical humor of the show is still intact.  Say what you will about Yuru Yuri, but anyone that can get through an episode of this without a few laughs or a smile on their face is probably dead inside.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 8th – July 15th

This week there is yet another show added to the weekly round-up, and so far most of the shows are living up to their expectations, or even surpassing them.  So far this has been yet another great season, and this time around there is something for everyone, ranging from slice of life and ecchi shows to the gritty and violent stuff more casual anime fans tend to go after.  There was a lot going on this week, so let’s get this thing started.

Accel World:  Episode 14

Haru’s suspicions of the new student around school being a Burst Linker turn out to be correct, but this student has somehow found a way to conceal his Brain Burst avatar to avoid duels.  As Haru continues to investigate the situation he soon finds out that he is up against a sophisticated enemy.  And now poor Chiyuri is going to learn a very hard lesson about the true nature of Brain Burst and those who play it.  On a side note, there is a new opening sequence for the rest of the season, and it shows off a taste of things to come for this half of the series.

AKB0048:  Episode 11

The understudies have finally been given a chance to make their debut, and they even get to show off back on their homeworld, Lancastar.  This home reunion is far from happy, however, as Lancastar has become even more dreary than ever thanks to the DES and the military-industrial complex that dominates this world.  Things get worse when the girls find out exactly what their friends back home have been working so hard to make at the factories of Lancastar.

Arcana Famiglia:  Episode 2

As Felicitia becomes more concerned about losing her freedom to the victor of Papa’s recently announced Arcana Duello, she decides to show her independence by taking over part of the Famiglia’s operations.  Most of this episode is devoted to more world building and character development, and the highlight of this episode is solving the mystery of a stray cat.  Nothing too spectacular happened this week, but it seems this show has a lot of potential for things to come.

 Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 2

As the “war” between Biscotti and Galette continues, Princess Couver (an adorable squirrel-girl) decides she wants to join in on the fun, and takes on Becky as the hero of her land.  While this show still maintains the same light-hearted mix of fighting and humor, the ecchi factor has been turned up a notch.  Becky’s transformation scene was so depraved I almost felt sorry for her after it was over… almost.  While I don’t mind this show having a heavier dose of fan service than the last season, some fans are already complaining about it.  (C’mon internet, get over yourselves.)

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 2
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

This week Yuuki decides he is fed up with the food research club forcing him to run for student council president, and is willing to quit the club to avoid it.  As he contemplates his decision, he bumps into the current president, who seems to have some rather heavy security for simply being part of student government.  Also, prepare for yet another overzealous panty-shot censoring.  You will know when it happens because HALF THE FUCKING SCREEN TURNS WHITE.  Seriously TBS, one little beam of light will do the job, and even that is kind of silly.

 Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 2
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

As Shougo gets invited to a dance by his new “cream puff friend”, he continues to investigate the true identity of his sister.  Eventually he runs into an informant that mentions the girl claiming to be his sister is probably keeping her identity secret so she can marry Shougo and tarnish the reputation of his company, causing the conglomerate to fall apart.  Oh, and for those that are here for the ecchi, don’t worry, there is yet another awesome bath scene with another one of the girls.  Enjoy!

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 2
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

This week the crew continues their battle to reach the island nation of Britain, and they are pitted against the wacky interpretations of British historical figures.  Keep in mind; this is a show where writers and merchants are deadly warriors, so anything goes.  The insanity continues in yet another awesome episode of Horizon!

Oda Nabuna no Yabou:  Episode 1
(The Ambition of Oda Nabuna)

The anime industry has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to turn anything into a story about cute girls.  Last season taught us that Lovecraftian abominations and assault rifles can be moe, and this season is going to bring us the story of Nobunaga’s Ambition, with everyone swapped out for cute girls.  This show is about a young man named Sagara that somehow gets trapped in the Sengoku era.  He quickly becomes mixed up with a woman named Oda Nabuna, a female version of Nobunaga.  Fortunately Sagara happens to be a huge fan of a video game based on the story of Nobunaga’s Ambition, but is it enough to help him survive?

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 2

While this may not be a high-budget, visual extravaganza, Muv Luv has certainly delivered some of the most brutal action I have seen in anime in a long time.  This episode makes it very clear how brutal and devastating the war with the BETA really is.  Characters die as quickly as they are introduced, and every small victory is met with a demoralizing blow.  The action ranges from mecha combat to gory horror in the fight to save Japan.  While this was a very violent episode, it turns out there are “uncut” versions of the show that have popped up for those willing to wait a few more days after the simulcasts.

Space Brothers:  Episode 15

Testing adventure time continues, and the effects of isolation have begun to take their toll on the weaker minded team members.  Tensions flare up more than ever before when a random alarm begins to go off at night, and people begin to point fingers at one another because of it.  It also seems the JAXA instructors have begun to suspect the truth behind Mutta’s ability to solve the task of figuring out the time when the testing began.  Things get even more intense when someone breaks the clock in team A’s chamber, and only Mutta knows who the real culprit is.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 2

Over 2000 players have died so far, and no one has been able to complete the first floor.  Players have become divided, as the newer players have begun to blame their troubles on the beta testers of the game for not sharing their knowledge and taking the good quests and items.  When one of the players arranges for a raid to fight the boss of the first floor, Kirito forms a party with a mysterious girl that is a solo player like himself.  The battle with the 1st floor boss was awesome, and there was some really nice animation here and there.  This show has become one of my favorites from this season already.

Yuru Yuri Season 2:  Episode 2

This week the girls have a series of misadventures, including ridiculous nicknames, invasions of snakes and censored cockroaches, and suggestions for preventing the common cold.  This season is keeping the tradition of delivering light-hearted humor just as well as the first season did.  Don’t forget:  Prepare for cold season with Imaginary hula-hooping!

Weekly Anime Round-Up: July 1st – July 7th

The summer season has finally started, and with the new season come some changes to the weekly round-up.  First and foremost, there will be more shows in the round up than ever before.  This season tends had lots of stuff that I was interested in watching, as well as new seasons of old personal favorites, along with some shows from the spring season that are still coming along.  I have never before found myself watching so many shows that were currently airing, and it is possible there may be even more coming to the round up.  On another side note, I am now starting the week on Sundays and ending it on Saturdays, in order to adjust for the massive amount of Sunday releases this season, and juggling the time to watch them all.

Accel World:  Episode 13

This week Chiyuri finally puts her foot down and decides it is time to join Taku and Haru in this so-called “Brain Burst” thing she has heard so much about.  The crew is shocked to discover that Chiyuri’s Brain Burst avatar is a rare find, a healer class, the third one to appear in the entire history of the game.  It also seems that healer class characters are so rare factions have gone to war in order to recruit them.  Not only do Haru and Taku have to deal with keeping Chiyuri safe, but they also wind up being charged with protecting their territory as Black Lotus will have to leave for an upcoming trip.  Oh, and a mysterious new student appears at school.

AKB0048:  Episode 10

This week the girls learn about another aspect of idol life: gravure photography/obligatory swimsuit episodes.  Amidst the swimsuits, fanservice, and some very interesting side effects from jellyfish stings, Yuko continues to investigate some of the darker secrets involving the group.  It would seem there is a reason no one has been a “center nova” of the group for a few generations…

Arcana Famiglia:  Episode 1

Here is one of the first new shows that popped up for the summer season.  Arcana Famiglia is about an organization called the Famiglia that protects an island nation from crime and other threats.  The Famiglia is kind of like an anime version of the mafia, but they are good guys that fight with guns, swords, and magic.  Each member of the Famiglia has made a contract with a special card that grants them a unique ability.  This episode started off with a nice dose of action along with some world-building, and it looks like this could shape up to be a very entertaining show.

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 1

For those new to Dog Days, this show about an athletic boy that is summoned to the magical land of the Flonyard, a place where kingdoms wage competitive “wars” where citizens fight rival kingdoms with weapons and sorcery for money and glory.  Don’t go thinking this is some kind of blood-and-guts medieval gore-fest like Berserk, the battles fought are more of a wargame where no one is really hurt, the worst that can happen is a temporary transformation into a “beast-ball.”  Think of this as a super cute version of the TV show “Ninja Warrior”, but with large scale battles and magic.  Things do get serious from time to time however as there are demons that roam the land that certainly mean business.  The premise of this show may seem silly, but there is tons of fun to be had here- this show has everything from awesome fights to the typical anime fare of moe girls delivering heart-attack inducing levels of cuteness.

This episode kicks off with Cinque being summoned back to the Flonyard as he promised at the end of the first season, this time with his childhood friend Becky at his side.  This time around the Galette Lion Army has decided to summon a hero of their own- Cinque’s rival Nanami, the girl that defeated him in the Iron Athletics (Think Ninja Warrior) game show back home.  It also seems another faction is seeking a hero to join the war as well…

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 1
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

This show is based on a 2010 adult visual novel game for the PC.  This story takes place in a somewhat futuristic setting at a large school with thousands of students.  The school has a wide variety of clubs, but the new person running for student council president has plans to eliminate clubs deemed to be “useless.”  A plucky group of students from the “food research club” have decided to fight for their right to exist by sending one of their own to campaign for student council president.  Early in this episode, however, it is shown that the politics of this school are much more cutthroat and dangerous than anyone could imagine!  This show looks like it is going to bring slice of life antics with political intrigue and a dash of dark conspiracy on the side.

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 1
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

Shougo is about to inherit his father’s corporation, but as a condition of the inheritance he must find a bride before he graduates high school, and he is placed in an academy full of girls to find one.  Now the girls are flocking right to him, but there is one problem- a girl claiming to be his sister, separated at birth, is also attending this academy, and she is keeping her identity hidden.  Now Shougo not only has to figure out what girl is right for him, but he also has to make sure she isn’t his sister.  This is a typical harem/ecchi/comedy with the imouto (sister) thing tossed in for a twist.  Is this nothing but another shameless, perverse comedy?  Yup.  Am I going to watch this show and add it to the weekly round-up?  You damn right I am.  Now if only I could figure out why I have that craving for cream puffs lately…

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 1
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

This is the second season of last year’s surprise hit, Horizon.  If you are not familiar with Horizon, it is a crazy mix of sci-fi, comedy, action, politics, and tons of fanservice.  This is a show that many will either love or hate, but if you can dig it, it’s one hell of a ride.  This season picks up right where things left off the first time, with Tori leading everyone on their quest to gather the Divine Armaments from around the world.  This show opens up at the usual frantic pace of action and storytelling, with plenty of laughs on the side.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 1

This show is a spinoff from a hugely popular sci-fi visual novel game, Muv-Luv Alternative.  This story takes place on a version of Earth that has been at war with an alien race known as BETA since the 1950’s.  The BETA serves no other purpose other than the annihilation of mankind, and the war has become so brutal that even students are asked to fight in the war.  This show has generated a lot of hype and has a lot to offer, since it comes from a beloved franchise, and promises lots of mecha combat and girls in sexy pilot suits.  Unfortunately this show seems to suffer from a very low budget, which can be seen by the poor coloring and shadowing throughout the episode.  Despite these flaws, I’m going to give this show a chance, since I’m a sucker for sci-fi and mecha, not to mention the fact that it is based off of legendary source material.

Space Brothers:  Episode 14

And so it’s another week of test chamber adventures.  This episode puts the spotlight on the oldest of the astronaut candidates, a former rocket designer in his 50’s.  As he deals with memories of his family falling apart as he chased his dreams, more bad fortune comes his way as another of the candidates steps on his glasses.  This simple event has caused the tension to rise for all of the candidates, with guilt and contempt simmering amongst the group.  Things are certainly getting interesting, and the JAXA staff in charge of the test almost seems to be enjoying this turn of events.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 1

SAO is one of the most highly anticipated shows of this season, and for good reason.  SAO is based on a light novel series that has been running for over 10 years.  In the year 2022, a VR gaming system called “Nervegear” has yet to have a big hit game, until an MMO called Sword Art Online released the first 10,000 copies.  Things seem to be going well for everyone until the creator of the game shows up with some bad news.  Without getting into great detail, it seems there are only two ways to end the game- complete all 100 levels and escape, or die.  It seems the creator tweaked the software to turn the Nervegear console into a deathtrap that will fry the brain of any player that dies in the game, or if someone from the outside tries to remove the console.  So far this show looks like it will be a better version of the popular .Hack franchise from years ago.  (It should be noted that the SAO light novels have been around before .Hack was a thing, just in case anyone thinks this show was stealing some ideas…)

Yuru Yuri Season 2:  Episode 1

This is yet another fan-anticipated sequel that popped up this season.  Yuru Yuri is a slice of life/comedy show featuring a group of girls that have formed the amusement club, a school club about, well, amusement.  With the phrase “yuri” in the title, it should be noted that most of the girls in this show have crushes on each other, but that is not necessarily the focus of this show, as it tends to be part of the comedy.  This show is all about being a goofy, light-hearted comedy, and it does so exceedingly well.  Like any of the sequel series from this season, you will be lost if you did not watch the first season, so if you are interested you should check it out.  In this episode Akari finally gets the recognition she deserves… or does she?

Weekly Anime Round-Up: June 25th – July 1st

The spring season is finally wrapping up, and some shows from the summer season should be starting next week.  Whatever shows I decide to pick up for the summer season will be added here as they pop up, and Accel World, AKB0048, and Space Brothers will continue to air into the next season.  Three shows have come to an end this week, so let’s see how things have wrapped up…

Accel World:  Episode 12

This week was yet another excellent episode.  The big showdown with the Chrome Disaster is finally here, and this fight won’t disappoint.  Haru finally gets serious and proves his worth, amidst his own issues of self-esteem and even a bit of betrayal.  Unfortunately for Haru, it would seem he may have some new problems coming his way, but at least he got some cookies out of the deal…

AKB0048:  Episode 9

After fighting off the DES in space, everyone has finally made it to a planet in dire need of some, dare I say it, fun.  This sad, snowy world is like some sort of Soviet dystopia, full of misery and poverty.  The girls devise a new tactic to deal with the increased DES presence, involving “mini concerts” around the town to distract the police and entertain the townspeople until the real concert begins.  This show has stayed true to the formula of being both ridiculous and entertaining.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-San:  Episode 12 END

As Mahiro discovers how bland his life is without his fan club of adorable abominations, he soon finds out he has fallen into an enemy trap.  A terrible group of monsters wants Mahiro dead so they can indulge in erotic video games, because world domination is so cliché these days.  This show was a blast to watch from beginning to end, and was one of the best shows of the season.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that they will do another season of this show.

Natsuiro Kiseki:  Episode 12 END
(A Summer-Colored Miracle)

This time the rock traps the girls into a time loop of an endless summer vacation.  Don’t worry; this isn’t as torturous as the infamous Endless Eight.  The girls make a few more attempts at the idol audition, and even squeeze in some extra fun until they decide to find a way to escape the endless summer.  This show didn’t end the way I wanted it to, it did wrap up everything as best as it could.  While I did enjoy this show, it should be noted that this was a very average slice of life show that had a lot of ups and downs throughout the series.

Sankarea:  Episode 12 END

Now that things are settled with Rea’s crazy father, Chihiro is back to dealing with the issue of finding out how to preserve Rea’s body.  I’m not going to lie; the ending to this show was pretty awful.  Nothing is concluded.  You won’t find out if Chihiro can extend Rea’s life, and you won’t find out if Rea or Wanko ever win over Chihiro.  Something really strange happens at the end and the show suddenly stops, with no explanation at all.  This show managed to keep me watching each week, but between the lousy ending and some pacing issues, this turned out to be one of the bigger disappointments of the season.

Space Brothers:  Episode 13

This week the testing continues within the isolation chambers.  As the candidates are given a series of unusual tasks, rivalries have begun to form and some of the candidates are growing judgmental of their teammates.  This story arc is a bit of a low point for this show, as it seems that “slice of isolated life” just isn’t very interesting.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: June 18th- June 24th

This week things are finally back in full swing now that all of the shows have returned from break. This also draws this season closer to the end, as two shows will air their final episodes next week. Their weekly round-up will be short over the next few weeks as the transition to the next season begins, but Accel World and Space Brothers will still be airing. Speaking of Accel World…

Accel World:  Episode 11

Fans of Accel World are in for a huge treat this week, as this has been the best episode of the show so far. Yellow Radio may have trapped Haru and company, but he will soon find out that a group with two other Legion masters is not such an easy catch. Brain Burst combat turns into all-out warfare in the most exciting and action packed episode of the season.

AKB0048:  Episode 8

The time has finally come for the girls to travel to the planet where their first big concert is being held, on a world where combat with the DES is certain. This time the DES is pretty serious about stomping out the fun before it even begins, and they attack the Idol’s starship as they are traveling to the planet where the concert will take place. Get ready to see a mecha battle that some fans claim was better than the fights in Macross Frontier. If you’re having fun watching this show, don’t worry – I won’t turn you in.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-San:  Episode 11

This week Mahiro finds a lost little girl on his doorstep, which happens to be yet another abomination taking the form of a cute girl. Nyaruko’s motherly instinct kicks in as she makes sure to provide what every growing girl needs – a hentai video game. As usual, there are plenty of laughs to be had in this week’s episode, and I’m already feeling sad that next week will be the final episode.

Natsuiro Kiseki:  Episode 11
(A Summer-Colored Miracle)

With the end of summer vacation drawing near (as well as Saki’s big move), the girls head back to Tokyo for an idol audition. Unfortunately, Yuka begins to cave into the pressure of the situation just as the girls find out that passing this audition may be the only way for Saki to stay with her friends. Check out this week’s episode to find out if the girls make the grade…

Sankarea:  Episode 11

The time of the big showdown has finally arrived. As Chihiro is forced to face off with Dan’ichiro, Rea barges into the mansion to save him.  This week features yet another disturbing room within the Sanka manor – the cosplay dungeon…

Space Brothers:  Episode 12

All three teams are sealed away in the isolation chambers and are given the task of trying to figure out what time it is after travelling on a bus with no windows and walking around a dark, top secret training facility. Mutta puts his “luck” to use yet again to ace the test, making up an elaborate story about seeing the bus odometer, when in reality he saw a clock on the bus dashboard on his way out. Since each of the three groups are charged with the task of selecting two people from their group to become astronauts at the end of testing, they each begin to discuss how they are going to go about making the choice…