Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Anime-zing Race (Summer 2015 Edition): Week 3

I've been lapped...
Last time on The Anime-zing Race, the ten remaining shows displayed their musical prowess to try to get ahead. Charlotte used the strength of its opening to take first place for the second leg in a row, while both Rampo Kitan and GATE displayed some disturbing sides to them, dropping them to the back of the pack. In the end, though, it was Rampo Kitan that could not avoid elimination.

The standings are:

  1. Charlotte
  2. Actually, I Am...
  3. Rokka: Braves of Six Flowers
  4. Ushio & Tora
  5. Overlord
  6. Aoharu x Machinegun
  7. Classroom Crisis
  8. Gatchaman Crowds
  9. GATE

This week, with no Detour or Roadblock, and a place in my seasonal What I’m Watching posts at stake, the remaining shows race straight through the three-episode marker. What show will be eliminated… next?

Once again, Charlotte takes 1st place. While episode 3 was not as strong as the previous one, the combination of comedy, charm, and just a bit of emotion at the end helps it keep a place as one of the top contenders in the Race.

This week, Ushio & Tora takes 2nd place. This show has a good balance of story, comedy, and action, and is just overall fun.

Rokka: Braves of Six Flowers comes in 3rd place this week. The combination of an interesting world, good characters, and gentle pacing to allow the characters’ feelings come to light is working well, and Flamie Speeddraw is a perfect example of how this works.

Coming in 4th place is Overlord. While the story definitely took a darker turn here, the show still loves contrasting Lord Momonga’s outward persona with his actual, gentler personality. That his new skeletal body seems to be influencing his way of thinking is also interesting, as is how he has to think of how to interact with humans given his menacing appearance. It’s definitely shaping up to be a worthwhile MMO-inspired fantasy series.

While falling a bit behind its performance in previous legs, Actually, I Am… takes 5th place. The new girl introduced this episode, Mikan, was admittedly on the annoying side (generally, if you’re going to have a childhood friend character, you should make sure there’s reason to believe said character is actually, well, a friend). However, Youko and Nagisa are both still great, and Mikan is shown to be a bit more complex than just the intrusive tabloid reporter who likes harassing her friend (plus she has her own little “twist”), which definitely works in her—and the show’s—favor.

Aoharu x Machinegun takes 6th place this week. For some reason, the third episode completely jumps forward to after Hotaru clears her debt, skipping a lot of played survival games in the process, which makes it hard to get how she’s come to enjoy the game like she shows in this episode. However, with plenty of fun moments and the introduction of a major tournament and what looks to be the main rival team, this show still manages to put up a decent showing.

Classroom Crisis isn’t exactly in a crisis, but it is in a weird position. Business politics isn’t really my thing, and I still want to give the director a good smack, but at the very least, this show is more than just another school romcom (there isn’t even romance to speak of yet, unless you count the joke crush Angelina has). And there’s definitely stuff in this show to keep me interested in more. So this show comes in 7th place and is still in the race.

GATE had to struggle past some bad implications from its last episode, and while the third episode didn’t do much to relieve those implications, it did finally introduce some of the notable girls of the show (read: the ones that sing the ED). Elf-girl didn’t have a big role but looks promising enough (not in that way, perverts), cat-eared goth-loli girl was fun, but the real highlight is Lelei, the blue-haired sorceress girl who is quite sensible-minded and a bit of a snarker, and was just overall a lot of fun. At any rate, these girls’ presence helps the show out and allows it to stay alive in 8th place.

Which means that Gatchaman Crowds is the show to come in last this week. While it hasn’t really done anything wrong, the show just does not have enough to really interest me compared to other shows; adding on how it’s the one show that does not actually come from this season (though a sequel is currently airing) puts it automatically at a bit of a disadvantage. At any rate, it is the last show to arrive, and it has been eliminated from the race.

Next week, to continue the catch-up process, there will also be no Detour or Roadblock. See how the remaining eight shows fare in their fourth episode!

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