Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Anime-zing Race: Spring 2015, Week 4

It's do or drop time.
All sorts of crazy things happened last week. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches invaded the race, forcing the leg to be a double-elimination and putting even more pressure on the competition. It was too much for Etotama, which tried too hard to become something more serious than it was, and it critically injured itself and had to be pulled from the race. Meanwhile, Plastic Memories suffered a huge slowdown and ended up at the back of the pack, but it was Ultimate Otaku Teacher who failed to gain tenure in my watchlist.

The current standings are:

  1. Sound! Euphonium
  2. My Love Story
  3. Hello! Kinmoza
  4. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO
  5. Baby Steps Season 2
  6. The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
  7. Re-kan
  8. Wish Upon the Pleiades
  9. Show by Rock
  10. Food Wars - Shokugeki no Souma
  11. Rin-ne
  12. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
  13. Mikagura School Suite
  14. Plastic Memories
This next leg of the race is a very important one, as it is the last leg when the eliminated show will be dropped; every show that makes it past this leg will officially appear on my seasonal "What I'm Watching" posts, and in future legs, shows can be eliminated without being dropped--they'll end up as low-priority viewing, so I might fall behind on them, but as long as they don't do anything particularly ragequit-worthy, I'll still plan to finish them. This leg will be judged primarily on every show's fourth episode, except for Yamada-kun, whose latest episode is its third. So let's see which shows can stay safe during this critical leg of the race...

It's become practically impossible to stop Sound! Euphonium. As it puts up its strongest episode yet, developing the band towards being more serious, it takes its third straight 1st place finish in a row. This time, taking 2nd place is My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO, which delivers its character-driven drama at its strongest. Hello! Kinmoza is still doing great, with the recent episode being one of the funniest, and it takes 3rd place. After an immensely strong third episode, My Love Story settles back into 4th place, albeit with another very strong episode all the same.

The distance between the top four and the rest of the pack is huge. The only show that is even remotely close to the top four is Baby Steps Season 2, coming in at 5th place again with another great episode that puts a nice conclusion to the US training camp arc. The remaining shows, though, are all very far behind these five shows, which have clearly established a top tier of shows for this season.

This show, and the four ahead of it, are making truly giant strides in this race.

Nevertheless, the remaining shows all have their own strengths. While the latest episode of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan did end with some annoying love triangle drama, the show overall is strong enough to maintain its 6th place ranking. Taking a surprise 7th place, though, is Show by Rock. While still reveling in its craziness, it's adding in just the right amount of depth to make the show more engaging without it collapsing on itself. Wish Upon the Pleiades takes 8th place with a Hikaru-centric episode that is very charming. Re-kan is still pretty fun and has its heartful moments, and it takes 9th place handily.

Taking 10th place is Rin-ne, which is developing both its storyline and its main couple. Food Wars - Shokugeki no Souma is still a lot of fun, and takes 11th place. The bottom three remain the same: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Mikagura School Suite, and Plastic Memories. One of these three will be the next (and possibly last) show to be dropped... which shows will make it safely to my final watchlist?

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches turns in a good third episode, and takes 12th place in this leg. And like Show by Rock, Mikagura School Suite is also balancing its crazy fun with a bit of extra depth, and as such, it takes the final, 13th spot in my watchlist.

Unfortunately, after a strong start, things haven't been so hot for Plastic Memories. After a 3rd episode that pushed the romcom hijinks a bit too much, the fourth episode tried to right the ship with a more sentimental episode, which was okay, but not quite as strong as I would have liked; that, plus the introduction of black market retrievers is only making me more worried about the direction the show wants to go in. As such, this show has been dropped.

This show left some good memories early on, but it's time to retrieve this show before those memories turn sour.

And with that, I have a final watchlist. Expect a What I'm Watching post with the surviving shows soon. However, these shows can't relax yet, as the next leg of the race awaits them, after which one more show will have to drop out of the race, even if it does not get dropped from my watchlist. Which show will that be, and which shows will continue on? You'll find out next time!