Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu – 02
To be honest I found the second episode of Katsugeki pretty boring on the whole. The best thing about the premiere was the gorgeous art and animation and this ep was fine in that department, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot else to carry this series. The characterizations are pretty superficial (these are archetypes in the literal sense of the word) and the time-travel plot fairly well-trodden.
The contrast between this series and the Hanmaru anime is quite interesting – clearly this one is going for something darker and more story-driven, and that one more of a cute swords doing cute things. My initial take is that gave an obvious advantage to Katsugeki in terms of staying power, but if the story isn’t compelling, maybe not – at least the first series didn’t have to offer compelling plots to be what it was setting out to be. I didn’t finish Hanmaru and I’ll be surprised if I finish this series, but I’ll give it one more episode and hope it can interest me at least as much as the first ep did.
Keppeki Danshi Aoyama-kun- 02
Fortunately, Keppeki Danshi Aoyama-kun held its appeal for me considerably better. This is an exceedingly silly show, but there was a surprisingly- what, serious? “normal”? – tone to this episode in some ways. It was pretty linear – it had a start, middle,and end, and an actual plot surrounding some of the non-Aoyama characters.
Most of the narrative impetus this week comes from Gotou Moka, who briefly appeared as Aoyama-kun’s stalker last week. Mind you, it seems as if Aoyama-kun (like Sakamoto-kun) is going to have a wealth of stalkers among both sexes, but Gotou is first among equals (at least chronologically). She even has a yandere side to her, potentially (or at least homicidal – which is ironic given her fear of blood). After initially being mistaken for a cleaning fairy for sneaking into the locker room during practice and laundering everyone’s clothes, she ends up being the club manager – which should be the setup for a good gaggle of gags.
One of those is the towel bit – which was so over the top that it sort of won me over by the end. Just what is it that makes Aoyama’s towels smell like that? Is it his choice of detergent, or is it Aoyama himself? The funniest twist on the towel bit definitely comes from Zaizen-kun – and that’s not surprising as he’s definitely the funniest character in the cast for me (Seki Tomokazu is a great fit). As often is the case with series like this I do worry that the humor is going to become repetitive, but I have the give Keppeki Danshi Aoyama-kun the benefit of the doubt here – innocent until proven guilty. And for now, so far so good.
Fate/Apocrypha – 02
I’m certainly not going to blog Fate/Apocrypha, even though the first couple of episodes have been pretty good. Partly it’s that even now my enthusiasm for the show is pretty shallow, but mostly it’s because “Fate” series inevitably start out stronger than they finish and lose me along the way. And I’m certainly not expecting this one to be any different.
The good thing is that these series come along so fast and furious now that I don’t have time to forget why I dropped the last one. Even here in the second episode, I see the germ of everything that irritates me about the franchise – that it’s basically a combination of dumb genre cliche and pretension. The names may have changed here, but the setup is basically just the same recycled pap – the same pieces on the same board. “Apocrypha” looks to be a very competent incarnation of it, but it’s not for me.