HaruChika – 05
You’d think after five episodes of Haruchika I’d be sure, but I’m honest in saying I don’t quite know whether I want to stick with this series or not. It’s a harsh way to approach it, but the truth is this season is already pretty crowded – if it were a typical winter with five or six bloggable series, keeping this one in the rotation would probably be a slam-dunk.
This was another pretty solid episode, but there were a couple of things that kept it from really clicking with me. Gotou Akari (Yamada Yuki) is not an especially welcome addition, truth be told. She’s a dime-a-dozen, one of those generic cute girl characters whose natural habitat is that foreboding region where P.A. Works and KyoAni’s sensibilities overlap. When characters like that are involved every baser instinct in a show just naturally floats to the surface and taints everything else that’s going on. And also, I have to ask – do people really think it’s OK to hit a dying senior citizen over and over with a pillow? Worse yet – do they think it’s cute?
The mystery involving Akari’s grandfather and “elephant’s breath” is a good one, but she just comes off as petulant and mean – it’s obvious the old man is in a lot of spiritual pain and she just won’t leave him alone. Just as obviously, the grandmother – the woman he left behind with child to go to America – has clearly forgiven the old man for whatever has happened. Shouldn’t that be good enough? Apparently not when you’re as entitled as Akari seems to be.
I liked the story as Haruta and Maren teased it out – though given that I’ve lived longer in Chicago and San Francisco than anywhere else I may be biased in favor. There was a sense of consequence and gravity in the grandfather’s situation that I haven’t felt in earlier mysteries, and I was glad the resolution respected that. There remain signs of hope here, good things happening – but Haruchika has its problems, too. The best I can say is that I’ll play it by ear and if I feel compelled to in any given week, I’ll blog it.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! – 04
Likewise with KonoSuba, I’m probably going to be taking this on a case-by-case basis. It’s a funny show, but I’m starting to get the sense things are becoming a bit repetitive. We’ll see if Yasumoto Hiroki can spice things up a little in his role as the demon general Dullahan – I liked his facedown with Megumin at the end of the episode.
Thing is, the various gags here – Aqua’s incompetence and greed, Darkness’ rampant M tendencies, Megumin’s oddly counter-productive ability – are funny. I’m not sure KonoSuba has any imperative for why it has to exist, anything in particular it’s trying to say – but being funny is reason enough to be sure. I’m just not sure it’s reason enough to write about it. If future episodes demand it, I will.