It’s time to for cereal and series again.. that would have been such a good name for this section. Five Shows five reviews ONE post! Last week we had a bit of a dip in quality how will this week fair?! Like saturday morning cartoons no pausing is allowed.. I get a five minute break at the 11 minute mark of each anime.. playing some commercials to do everything else that needed to be done! Lets enjoy our saturday morning.
I have but one gripe with this episode but it is one with rather big implications. In this episode Michiru wants to play Basketball but since that is not being played there she is forced to turn to baseball instead. Something that has turned into a bit of a blood sport with killing being allowed for the sake of massive bets. Okay.. these people are animals.. a bit of a forced metaphor but sure.. then Shirou is tasked to investigate the sudden increase in baseball gambling by the major?! Seriously guys! Again! That is SUCH lazy writing to connect to stories YET AGAIN. Let Michiru do her own thing for once, heck let Shirou go see her matches and discover the gambling?! He cares for her so obviously he’d go see her matches at least once. This worries me for the quality for the show going on in the future. These analogies of people being animals is being taken a bit far as well. This society is just a bit TOO dystopian and stupid at times.
That said this episode was incredibly cute! So heartwarming to see Michiru play for a team called the bears. It sucks that one is called Winnie the Pooh , but at the same time it is amazing. Their catcher looks like something that can live in the world of Animal Crossing which is a great boon! He is adorable.. I have no idea on what he is called but I want to collect him. Honestly there isn’t anything all that special about episode if you ever saw a sports anime or a sports movie you have seen this episode.
Team sucks and is down on their luck , but a new ringer appears and suddenly luck turns around.. but due to some corruption in the sport their chances of victory seem to dwindle. When things are at their darkest the ringer unites the team through sheer passion and they lose the final match but can do so proudly! It’s nothing special.. yet it worked very well.. it made Michiru a stronger character, even though she should not use her powers she does because she cares about something. She has her passions and that makes her feel like real person. A tomboy sure.. but it all seemed right. Just a fun heartfelt episode with nice fun action and a bit of that same enigma I saw in other episodes.
It’s a really great episode to me but for the wrong reasons. I notice how much I like Michiru doing mundane things like going to a party and playing sports. I also noticed how I barely could care less about Shirou’s stuff. The way the show is building up to things means I will have a point where I will start to dislike it as all the elements being set up come into play.
I love this mundane beastman stuff with a bit of action to spruce it up. I like Michiru adapting to her new life and making new friends. I know her human friend who turned into a beastman will come into play.. well I assume so .. she is so heavily teased she can’t NOT be into this.. but at the pace Michiru is making friends I now think she will be granted an antagonistic role. Our tanuki is starting to have a life here.. friends here.. she isn’t dependent on her friend that much more..so by all rules of writing the only way her old friend will add is in a villainous role… I am not sure if I am ready for the show to turn into that. So all in all a weirdly got episode.. that makes me realise I will probably not like the entire series?!
Let’s judge it as a single episode though!
Another mixed bag episode for me! Yet kinda in the other way around. While I really did not particularly care for this episode I really like the style and grander choices they make here. Giving me faith that this series COULD go into more. We return to the story arc of Rush Duels disappearing from social media and even anime google. This means they have to find publicity through other ways. I do like the whole idea of rising to fame and promoting a ruleset as a storytelling crutch. It offers so much new scenarios we haven’t explored with Yu-gi-oh before themes that are relevant. Konami wants us to buy these new types of cards and by doing a story that is all about promoting the game.. it feels less jarring as a commercial because it’s actually part of the plot.
However the episode itself is quite bad. The school newspaper writes an article about them and it says that Rush Duels are simplistic and for kids.. which is an opinion.. so it’s fair game to write! They have misquoted people so I get why the group would want it redacted.. but that isn’t really the issue they object. It is that their game is getting a negative review. Everyone in the school papers reads it and beliefs it.. so Romin distances herself from the group.. but only for a scene. Of course the dispute over whether or not this article should get a redaction is settled with a duel. To my pleasant surprise they decided to let Rook fight this duel instead of Yuga, which was great. The duel itself however might be the worse one yet.
The editor of the newspaper has a deck that is completely centered about journalism, the card art looked incredibly tacky and if this is not made specifically for this duel I think this is a horrible set. Every single card he plays feels catered to him and feels like it has a narrative flow as well. First he plays a scoop.. than live from the scene of the accident and then he plays a printing press. It might seem clever but in duels .. it feels quite stale. Like if someone always goes 1–>2–>3–>4–>5 .. it is a logical chain of events that tells a tale.. but it takes away the tension of a duel.. this is always the order the cards are played in so their effect.. are just what the situation needs. That really was felt throughout the duel. If the game is not really being played there is no tension.
Comedy wise this episode was decent with Yuga’s promo bot becoming increasingly broken as he modifies it.. now chasing after girls constantly and some subtle shots of them disabling it now that Rook can’t use his Pauli Effect since he is dueling, yet that can not save this show. It feels like a very solidly constructed railroad with a bullet train that moves faster than ever before. The direction and the tech is solid.. but the stops this train makes are at Snooze-Town, Forced-Ville, Fillage and some random places that just hold nothing to do. Where BNA feels like a great show that will falter in pay off , this feels like it COULD get a nice pay off but with bad episodes. This week I seemingly caught up with the series. If it has been delayed by Corona and I need to replace the timeslot I will not be returning to it, if it goes on I shall give it next until next week’s episode to convince me.. after next week I will have to change my line up anyway.
Episode 9 and 10
With the end of Bofuri in sight we get two episodes I really enjoyed, from today on I will discuss double episodes in the same column to save us some time. Which easily works this these episodes because they handle the same event. The start of the guild competition, which I am pretty sure it will end on as well with maybe some minor epilogue. Both episodes did a great job in bringing this event to life in their own way. I was so invested that I nearly forgot to take my breaks. Yet I managed to sneak them in.. although a bit late.
The first episode mostly sets up preparations for the game, it will be a capture the flag game but with orbs. Obviously Maple is charged with defending Maple Tree’s Orb giving her May and Yui as back up in their defence. Our beloved Rubiks Cube boy stays behind as well. Or at least that is the plan. First they go prepare, which is mostly a montage. They also visit a beach with tubes that have their own paterns on.. which is super cute. When Yui and May splash water they create huge tidal waves which was funny and charming. It all has become part of Bofuri’s charm to me. But we quickly move to the highlight of that episode to me. Sally’s fight with Frederica. Scouting for their rival guild Frederica wishes to get information from Sally who then challenges her to a fight..seeming equally matched Frederica gives up after Sally reveals her best techniques.. or does she?! It turns out Sally faked skills to give out false information to hide her incredible gaming reflexes I love these kind of mind games.
Other than that the first episode is fairly uneventful with people just doing their jobs and mostly taking on some lower tier guilds. Iz finds a new robe that allows for on the go crafting somewhere but all in all it as all low key. There is some scouting here and there and some encounters but it is all set up for the much more exciting tenth episode! Still I really like the gamer feel this game really has to it.. much better done than Sword Art Online in my opinion, these characters have much more a gaming mindset. Which is amplified by Maple lacking this. The tenth episode is about big encounters with the two biggest guilds. We see Sally be overzealous and be cornered by Frederica.. about to die. She has claimed a lot of Orbs which her team will then lose so the chances of their tiny guild getting a top ranking seem to go out the window. Which leads to my favorite moment of the 10th episode. Maple coming in to save Sally. Risking it all saying she will never allow Sally to die in game was quite touching. In a game we all think very lightly of death.. but Maple will never abandon her friends if she can stop it.
However.. directly after May and Yui are left alone to defend the orb and they get killed after putting up a fair fight against Dread. Just before he can steal their orb though Maple returns and finishes off the already damaged Dread. It feels a bit conflicting with the message the show was telling earlier that Maple will never allow her friends to die.. but does highlight the reality of games. I kind of hoped Maple would save them all. By now we already established that this isn’t about fair fights. This show is about Maple being the most cute badass we have ever seen. Seeing how far she can push being so broken so I really wish she could have backed up those words she just uttered, or at least felt some consequence of not being able to do it. So the resolve with Dread was my least favorite moment. Sally is super tired and can not go out anymore so now it is time for Maple to go on the offence. The episode ends with her facing the Flame Emperors. So I am pretty sure next two episodes she will be tangling with the top 2 guilds.
Bofuri to me has become a show that I like for its simplicity and it’s lightheartedness. It’s a show that consistently makes me smile despite it clearly having it’s flaws. With these episodes I could really ignore those flaws, this is Bofuri.. I could wish for more but this is more than enough. I would not be able to remember these episodes if I would try to think back about it a few months from now but I do not need to.. it’s not that type of show. Bofuri exists for the casual smiles and giggles and with very few exceptions it has consistently done so for me.
Hikaru no Go
Each time I begin to doubt if this show is for me, it pulls me back in with a very strong episode. We see Hikaru lose TWICE in this episode which are bold choices and we see Tetsuo , the popular Shogi kid re-embrace the magic of Go. Hikaru loses the Tetsuo which means he would have to jump in an Ice-cold pool.. but given how close he got to winning still Tetsuo decides to force him into something else instead a Go Team Tournament. Because of how things are set up.. if Hikaru’s teammates win he now is able to lose..so he wants to play for himself, a nice set up for an episode about putting coloured stones on a wooden grid if I have ever seen one.
For the second time in this show we are introduced to a glimpse of brilliance Hikaru might have concerning Go as soon as he is able to step by step recreate a game.. after a guy fumbled some stones of the board. This pleases Sai , who for one of the first times I found a more welcome addition than an obnoxious mentor. The fact that Hikaru can render him obsolete one day is a nice promise. With Yugi the final duel against Atem felt somewhat unearned because we never saw tiny Yugi duel instead of the pharaoh except for some mystical reasons. Hikaru is a much more fully fledged character and this stroke of brilliance makes me belief Sai can at one point even be taken out of the equation in this show. Great long time set up and very solid character building.
Immediately after we see him proceed to play Go, trough visuals he imagines building entire galaxies and star systems.. is this another sign of how genius he can be as a go player? The way it is framed certainly builds up to Hikaru discovering some latent abilities deep within him, of him beginning to enjoy the game for himself… but he totally washes out and loses badly. Getting called out by Tetsuo for it. Speaking of the latter, he dominates his match even if now he gets being bullied for a Shogi player. What a weird world… I guess we do the same thing though… oooh you play PUBG instead of Fortnite.. poser! Well not me persé because I think Fortnite sucks but you know. Still I would think members of unpopular clubs would stick together a bit more. If you play Shogi you might enjoy a game of Go as well but well let’s be honest none of these people should ever get laid..at least in reality.. so perhaps there is a lot of build up tension. Just something I will keep finding weird.
Best episode of the line up. My favorite moment was the Galaxy building scene that ends in Hikaru’s defeat.. there was no derpy music playing at the end.. it was all just subtle. It was a perfect illustration of a boy trying to learn the game, having a fun time with it. .but with a realistic result. Very good. My least favorite moment happened when Akiri’s moment with Hikaru was totally skipped. She just kinda vanished. She deserves better.
Throughout the line up we had much better episodes than last week. Even Sevens improved though that only applied to the framework of the episode rather than the meat on the bones itself. Next week I might need to replace it from my programming anyway so please leave a suggestion for me to watch in its stead! Next week I will regretfully wrap up Bofuri as well which just might also get a series review from me but I am still undecided about that!
I had another great Saturday morning and I hope your weekends are all amazing next well!
Love you all!