Another day, another set of three finished shows! This time, we have three winners, one of which is easily my favorite show of the season.
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.
I loved almost every second of Juuni Taisen, predictable deaths and all. Based on Twitter and the lack of response to my blog post on the show, Juuni Taisen did not appeal to a lot of people. Complaints ranged anywhere from its gratuitous violence and death, to its predictable path, and on to the individual stories.
I, for one, loved getting to know each one of the contestants even if I knew it meant they were about to die. The deaths and their order weren’t the point of the story. It was the history of the players, how they got there and why. For some viewers, those stories were shallow and uninteresting. I, however, was able to care for most of the members, particularly Tiger, Monkey, and even the lesser shown Dog. Others like Ox, Rabbit, and Rat didn’t get much of an introduction. They were treated more like forces of nature that everyone else had to work around, knowingly or not. And the ending? As odd as the wish seemed to be to some of us, I thought it fitting given the characters of this Zodiac War.
Rating: 1 dango
Houseki no Kuni
I hate that I’m writing the review for this series since it means that we’ve ended at twelve episodes despite there being so much more to tell. I haven’t read the source material, but the anime itself leaves viewers in a spot that demands answers. How is it that a show so meticulously crafted from start to finish can leave me in such despair?
Thanks to the depth of the series and the recent 12 Days of Anime project, there are tons of articles out there to read, and I encourage you to do so. I suggest you start out with ZeroReq011’s post on Buddhist iconography and move on to Blue Variance’s discussion of yellow butterflies. I, too, wrote about the Land of the Lustrous and its use of wide open spaces. I watched the series with my husband, and after almost every episode we would sit and talk about everything we had seen and where we expected to go next. Not many shows warrant this from week to week, but Land of the Lustrous did so effortlessly.
Story and writing aside, I also want to commend the anime on its use of CG, which fit in perfectly with the characters. While I can certainly imagine Land of the Lustrous with a different design, I don’t think the effects of their hair and body movements would have been as stunning. There was never a moment watching this show where I felt that I would have preferred a different take on the art. There were plenty of times where I wanted to freeze the frame and take my time appreciating the composition. Do yourself a favor and try this anime if you haven’t already.
Rating: 3 dango
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
Food Wars! is one of the few manga for ongoing anime that I’ve been reading and up to date on. Despite knowing the results of the Moon Festival and the fight to protect Polar Star Dormitory, it was still fun as hell to watch them go at it. The build up for the different arcs were slower than in previous seasons, but I don’t mind in this case since it provides us necessary backstory for Erina’s character. From the beginning, I’ve thought her out of place, a symbol of culinary elitism for Souma to confront and likely convert. She made it hard to like her, , and would make blanket statements about food that made me seriously doubt her goodness as a person. Now we know why she is the way she is, and see more regularly her kindness for others.
The revelation at the end of the series creates a new direction for Souma to take. Instead of winning his way to the First Seat of the Elite Ten, he now has to figure out the meaning behind Azami’s goal and what it has to do with his father. With Erina also in the know about Souma’s father, perhaps we’ll see the two of them team up against Azami and the rest of the Elite Ten.
Rating: 1 dango