It’s commonplace to see anime shifting in popularity as the weeks go by. Some episodes are just better than others and some anime offer a spectacular episode that dethrones the number one anime for the week. Popularity is a fickle thing but there is always a strong reason as to why these shifts occur and what audiences are expecting out of each respective show.
Without further ado, I’d like to take a look at what each show offered this previous week in terms of plot, character development and animation and see how meaningful each episode was. Full disclosure, I will only be going over the anime I have been keeping up with so this article is not going to include every anime of this season.
Oresuki: Are you the only one who loves me? Episode 8
Oresuki episode 8: Before I Knew it; My Tragedy Had Already Begun, was the second episode in the ongoing arc dealing with Kisaragi meeting the “perfect” girl of his dreams; Chiharu Youki. The catch is that there does seem to be one…yet. She seems like a perfect, ideal girl that he has a history with. No, not like the best friend kind of history, he ended up helping her out when she was running her family’s food stall by buying out her entire stock of skewers for Sun. It should be no surprise in this series that this history stems from the same baseball game as everything else has. The series gets quite meta about this and points it out for comedic purposes.
In this episode we see the story develop surrounding our naive protagonist as he comes to terms with a typical harem plot, Cosmos is head over heels for him but he has more of an attraction towards Chiharu. What is interesting to note is that while the anime is delving into harem territory it also stays away from it by making Kisaragi the type of character that only wants a monogamist relationship. The anime bounces between who he actually is and his lustful tendencies that he has with wanting all the girls to swarm him. The moment that happens he is overwhelmed with the affection, he doesn’t want to have to choose to make the others sad. Aside from the comedy, this episode touches on a more real subject; being all talk to boost your own ego but your true self being quite the opposite.
While the episode offers a lot of great character interactions it doesn’t quite offer much in terms of character development for anyone besides Kisaragi and Chiharu. Pansy offers Kisaragi her favorite book so that he can read it since she wants him to develop a similar interest that they can talk about. While he has this book, he then goes to buy a present for own of his friends, during this time he ends up losing the book and immediately goes back to look for it. We meet two new characters here that may have a stronger role to play later in the series. These two new girls help him find the book that was somewhere else aside from where he dropped it and it was hinted that it was maliciously damaged. The girls then tell Kisaragi how much the book costs and he takes it on himself to get a job to buy a new one for Pansy.
Granblue Fantasy season 2
Episode 7; The Immortal Primal Beast aired this past Friday and with it we see the continuation of the second arc in the season. With Lyria, Io and Orchis swallowed by the Primal Beast they must fight to survive while Gran and the rest of the crew track down to Primal Beast to save them.
While the stakes seem high the episode doesn’t really play out that way. The pacing comes across really slow and when the story switches to Gran’s perspective it feels like everyone is taking their time to figure out where the Primal Beast has gone. They need to sort through Ferry’s library to find a book to be able to summon the beast to them but it doesn’t feel like time is of the essence.
When the story switches ti the three swallowed by the beast they are constantly opening doors to look for a way out. It is of significant importance that Io is the one always opening the doors and as such, she starts to have her memories eaten away by the beast the more doors she opens. When they arrive at the center the three are thrown into a perilous situation and the episode decides to throw the cliffhanger there. It is really jarring to have the episode end right there without offering much more than plot advancement. For an arc that focuses on mystery and intrigue there is very little advancement to solve the mystery around Ferry’s existence. All we still know that is over the last 100 years she has gone without being noticed by anyone and now she is finally seen by others. But why is this? Why did she have this issue? Is it a curse? The only thing we have to go off of is that it is linked to the Primal Beast. Episode 7 greatly lacks in providing much content or character development outside of plot progression.
No Guns Life: Overheat
No Guns Life continued their ongoing arc with Episode 7: Overheat by introducing a new character, Mega Armed, into the show that could be scene in the opening cinematic. The series continues to flesh out its characters while advancing the overall plot in perfect balance. The 7th episode sees to the capture of the renegade extended, Hayden as well as expanding on the EMS Captain, Olivier’s ties to the fugitive. It becomes apparent that due to her ties that she will have a personal conflict with her orders to capture him alive. She was also ordered by her superiors, the sinister Berühren Corporation to keep his escape secret, both of which she has failed and has been suspended from her position.
The episode has perfect transitions between points of view from Juuzo fighting Hayden to Olivier’s past providing more depth to the overall arc and her character. By fleshing out her character we can understand her reasoning and orders. The story focuses on a character driven narrative that the plot advances while the characters develops. This has remained constant with no points in the episode of plot advancement for the sake of story progression.
The episode does a great job of resolving the current conflict in the arc while building up to something greater, developing the overall conflict. Olivier’s removal wasn’t enough for Berühren and we see an attempted assassination from them. When Juuzo apprehends Hayden, it is revealed that there was more at play that originally thought. When Juuzo and EMS Officer, Kronen reveal to Mega Armed that Hayden will provide them information on a tragedy that occurred years prior, we see an ally become foe. This transition feels perfectly paced and organic with Mega Armed having his own ideals that would be hindered by the truth getting out.
Unlike Granblue Fantasy, the cliffhanger for No Guns Life does not feel rushed or undeserved. While part of the ongoing arc, Episode 7 is strong enough to stand on its own without being restrained to the build up in prior episodes.
My Hero Academia episode 69
It has been long overdue with My Hero finally stepping up the quality of its episodes for this season. Since the first actual episode of this season My Hero has been restrained with poor pacing, development and episode structures but with the latest episodes it looks like things may finally be taking a step in the right direction.
The latest episode keeps the events on a small scale by only focusing on a meeting between a group of Hero Agencies, local heroes and our UA students that are on their work studies with each agency. The narrow focus allows the episode to ramp up tension and built up the anticipation for the events that come next. Because of the previous episode’s lack of building tension, the development of the arc was shaky at best. The stakes are going to be higher than ever in this arc but the structure of the previous episodes made this serious arc feel more like a training arc with its lack drama.
The transitions, imagery and pacing of the episode hit home on delivery by showcasing how our characters, Midoriya and Mirio felt about being unable to save Eri from dire situation. Overhaul is an extremely dangerous villain but until this episode there wasn’t much reason given as to why. His quirk is deadly but more than that he runs a massive shadow organization with wide reaching influence. Episode 69 finally brought home what fans have been wanting since the season first starter, character development and internal conflicts. Both Midoriya and Mirio are taking the situation personally and this is why many fell in love with the series to begin with. To see our protagonists struggle but overcome adversity to develop.
Fate Grand Order: Babylonia
Despite being a few days since airing, fans are still raving about the latest episode. Due to its quality this is easily an episode to talk about for time in memorial, it is easily film studies material with its amazing display of special effects and blend with CG. It has also been several episodes of build up to the first climatic event of the season where we see Leonidas and Ushiwakamaru face off against Gorgon.
Episode 8; Mother of the Demonic Beasts, features amazing battle cinematics combined with an incredible pacing that makes the pay off well worth it. We have come to really like these characters in the last eight episodes that their last stand has a massive impact on the overall quality of the show. The battle is vividly brought to life with Leonidas and Ushiwakamaru’s noble phantasms receiving the spotlight. While Gorgon’s CG model still has a few iffy frames, the overall quality is a marvel in comparison to the previous episode’s model.
Hopefully this episode can offer great foresight into what we can expect in the next big battles to come.