This is the second post of the 10th Week of this season. So, Masamune’s Revenge had a buildup episode for its final arc of its mediocre-ly executed story line. Scum’s Wish solved the Hanabi and Ecchan equation; Fuuka just started sprinting down the narrative and just destroyed the slim chances of it having a decent ending. Machi had her (almost) own episode this week and Rin finally unsheathed his sword after 4 episodes of major drag-out. Showa Genroku brought some sunshine and put out its warmest and happiest episode of the second season. March Comes in Like a Lion brought back the Kawamoto sisters on-screen and a human shogi competition in Shimada’s hometown in its second to last episode. I’ll miss this show.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 10)

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What happens in this episode: The new chub in town is apparently betrothed to Adagaki and Adagaki has a chub fetish (hey, Adagaki almost explicitly said so). So, things couldn’t be looking any better for  Masamune… wait, what? It seems that Gasou’s nickname is also Masamune. So, after 15 minutes of making the viewer feel bad for Masamune (the thin one), a competition involving a play is decided to determine the boy who gets Adagaki.

My thoughts: This episode seemed so dragged out that I couldn’t watch this in one sitting. This Gasou character is a really cheaply executed addition to the primary cast. Speaking of the primary cast, Neko is back (seemingly in full health) after spending a month in the hospital but she doesn’t have any ties to the love triangle anymore; and what’s with the Adagaki worshipers? Where did they come from? Ugh, I am glad only two more episodes are left.

Scum’s Wish (Episode 9)

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What happens in this episode: Hanabi just lost Mugi to Akane and she decides to lean on Ecchan for a while, and Ecchan (who previously decided to be Hanabu’s sex toy) happily agrees. They spend some days in a summer home with the unwanted presence of Ecchan’s cousin, but they still get to get some (awkward) action at night and in the park. Hanabi doesn’t know how to label her feelings for Ecchan but Ecchan executes her ‘letting go’ plan and it failed- in a good way. The episode ends with a erotic narration of Akane visiting Mugi’s home and making him call her ‘Sensei’.

My thoughts: I can’t apologize enough for almost always making the episodic synopses sound so literal and slightly cynical (which I don’t always intend it to be). It is just that it is a melodramatic show with egoistic and dark dialogue that sometimes make me go: ‘Yeah, I feel you dude.’ and sometimes it just comes off as cringey.

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This was a good and well-timed line, actually

Anyway, this episode (seemingly) wrapped up the Hanabi and Ecchan dilemma pretty solidly. Although this episode just consisted of the interactions between the two (and the cousin)- the pacing was well done. I liked the honesty of Ecchan in this episode (especially when she said, ‘Are you kidding? We can’t go back to being friends after what we’ve done!’ (I am paraphrasing). As always, I admire the rawness in this anime’s character moments and interactions and, this week, it was certainly playing to its strengths.

Fuuka (Episode  10)

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What happens in this episode: Fuuka is now completely submerged in love for Yuu but despite that she finishes writing the lyrics for the band’s first original song. Everyone prepares for their first gig and the Hedgehogs’ Nico and Tama pays them a visit surreptitiously. But the episode ends on Fuuka’s unexpected decision of leaving the band.

My thoughts: It is funny that once you lose perspective of Yuu, he seems like just another dumb harem protagonist (a bit). This episode was a mess in terms of pacing and narrative- one moment Fuuka was hyped up for their gig and the next moment she wants to leave the band. This would have been a good plot point if the last minutes of the episode happened the next episode- but I think the staff of Fuuka were like, ‘Oh no! We have just three more episodes to wrap this story up.’ and hence they tried to fit all of it in one episode (the song writing, Fuuka’s realization and the Nico and Tama showing up to their gig).

Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 10)

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What happens in this episode: It is Machi’s episode this week. She almost hits her head if Takahashi didn’t react quick enough. He scolds her and she cries- Machi, you were careless and you need a heads up (no joke). The second half of the episode follows her and Takahashi visiting a physics major where they have a discussion on the location of Machi’s neck.

My thoughts: The first half of the episode was okay but the second half had a pretty unique tone where Souma drops that normally human observation doesn’t influence phenomenon but there are exception where it is the reverse. The montage at the end depicting what it would be like if Machi had her head attached to her neck was an interesting addition.

Blue Exorcist- Kyoto Saga (Episode 10)

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What happens in this episode: Todo gets charred by his own phoenix thanks to Megane-kun’s smart plan- but he is still alive somehow. Shiemi just started planting flowers on the white sporangium with Nee… and that’s all for the ‘Shiemi trying to save Kamiki’ section for the week! In Rin and Suguro’s  world, Rin is still struggling to unsheathe the sword but thanks to a not-forceful-at-all light-hearted conversation- Rin finally wrenches it out.

My thoughts: This episode is so dragged out that it isn’t even funny anymore. I get it, Shiemi has her familiar back but get Kamiki out already, it has been two whole episodes! Suguro and Rin’s moment had some unwarranted dragging out (what doesn’t at this point) but at least the anime didn’t waste much time on people cutting through sporangia.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 10)

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What happens in this episode: It is spring and things are (almost) looking good for the Yakumo household this episode. Yotaro is going to have his first biological child and his reaction was undeniably smile-inducing. Yakumo and Konatsu had a heartwarming interaction where Konatsu warmed up to him and asked him for her apprenticeship.

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All’s well doesn’t end well in this episode because Sukeroku the Shinigami makes his appearance in the final seconds of this episode.

My thoughts: It is as if the heat of the fire from the last episode leaked into this one and produced the warmest and happiest episode from this season. I have never seen Yakumo and Konatsu so full of warmth before and I loved it. Konatsu was really charming and her change in attitude didn’t seem sudden, since the anime was really patient in her slight
change in attitude during her previous interactions with Yakumo. I have nothing to complain except that the last seconds kind of smeared the glow of this episode.

March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 21)

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What happens in this episode: In Shimada’s hometown, a shogi festival is going on and human shogi and the 100-move shogi are featured in the first half of the episode. Rei gets to see how much shogi means to Shimada emotionally. In the second half of the episode, the Kawamoto sisters and their grandfather explore potential and inventive fillings for their daifuku and Rei pays them a visit by the end of the episode.

My thoughts: The anime is cooling down in terms of its narrative and it is to be expected. I think the purpose of this season was to set up a comparison between Rei’s character before the Lion Cup and after it- and it did fulfill that purpose. So, after Shimada’s character run-down, this was a decent episode and I am glad the Kawamoto sisters were brought back before the last episode. Looking forward to how this season wraps up. I hope this anime gets a second run.

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That’s all for the 10th week of Winter 2017. As always, thanks for reading.