Wha-hey! Four Yozakura Quartet characters for episode four reviews! What a coinkydink.
Strike the Blood 4:
Well, this episode sure had a lot of hugging. Let me just start by saying that the first part of this episode was a total cop out to the previous episodes cliffhanger. Still, they got into the action almost right away and the fight between Koujo with Yukina and the big bad European guy was very satisfying. With every episode. I am really enjoying the partnership between Koujo and Yukina. It really feels like a partnership rather than the typical “Hero dude with waifu sidekick” type which most action anime pairings devolve to be. What I’m a bit concerned for is the possibility that Koujo’s vampiric boner powers is going to be a plot excuse to get himself a harem, which would totally suck. I always admired how he held back the dark side of his powers. If they could actually get this show done without Koujo leaving Yukina in the dumps to go find other ladies than just get back with her inthe last few episodes like most pseudo-harems do, then this show will find what would set it apart from other generic anime: A bond between a male and female protagonist that I might actually enjoy.
Well, this episode was sort of a let down. Sure, it was waaay different than the previous episodes in that it actually had enjoyable action and the music actually tried to add to the drama this time. The problem with this episode was despite the step up in action, the whole thing ended up looking silly. Aside from the usual melodrama that comes with dystopian fiction, there was the really out of place timer thing which was pretty useless since the scenes would be cut to only the important parts anyway. I always thought that the countdown timer becomes very effective at building tension when the events are shown at real time so you actually know how much time they have left and how much they still have to do. It was really hard to tell if the whole sequence was believable the way Coppelion did it. What makes things worse was how Ibara reloaded her gun with aether like she was in some sort of Matrix-ripoff action movie. Coppelion’s action for the most part was realistic and then this happens. What this episode has done right though, was show off the beauty of their world in the most natural ways. Sure, the characters talk about their beautiful city, but its how the hypothetical camera would go into wide angle shots during random times that shows off how effortlessly beautiful an abandoned city could be.
Nagi no Asukara 4:
Feels. Feels from every direction. Seriously, everyone here was involved in some sort of dilemma one way or another. We have the sea children dealing with getting along with others in school. There’s Akari and her relationship with her land dwelling lover who is actually a widower and father of Miuna, one of the little girls causing trouble for the sea kids. I really enjoyed this episode because it worked with already established conflicts, linked them together and pretty much concluded them all in one go with a satisfying ending. I especially loved the change in perspective halfway through. We were always made to think that their classmates held some prejudice against them, and as Tsugumu pointed out, it was all in Hikari’s head. The show continues to acknowledge that Hikari is a little piece of shit but he owns up to it like he did in this episode and hey, everything turned out for the better. I’d love it if the anime ended here because this was such a heart-warming conclusion but I know that won’t be the case. There’s gonna be a lot more feels headed this way. I just hope future story arcs will be just as good as this one.
Walkure Romanze 4:
A decent episode for the most part. It was mostly serious with just one notable sex joke this time around. Most of the episode was about Mio’s growing unhealthy addiction to jousting. Another big topic for this episode was the new girl who is apparently really good (and arrogant) and she typically wears black armor because all the edgy knights wear black, right? The ending was fine though I could have wished to see a proper outcome to the duel between Akane and Lisa. It would have been more interesting to see either the cocky freshmen be put in their place with a hard loss or Akane getting her pride and honor rattled by a loss to a couple of brats. Instead we get Takahiro interfering with some hot girl on girl (jousting) action. Actually, despite this looking like a harem, Takahiro has been out of the way for the most part and most of the development is with and between the girls. That’s not how most harem anime usually work but I’m liking this change of pace.
This whole episode was dedicated to the fight between Kirishima with Haruna and Iona. I don’t know, I didn’t like this episode as much as the 2nd, which was another episode dedicated to a long battle. It’s not the visuals because CG has been consistently good. I guess the problem lies with the directing. Too much talking heads in between explosions. Hell, Iona even had time for a little tea party with Kirishima and Haruna. Then there’s Kirishima, who’s mannerisms make her look like she’s permanently aroused. Who has time to pose like a belly dancer during naval combat? Apparently her. Finally, there’s Haruna ending up in her underwear somehow. Seeing a human shaped hole in the wall looks like something straight from a Looney Tunes gag, but Haruna getting stripped off her clothes except for her undies and coat? How did that happen? Unless she wasn’t wearing clothes under her coat in the first place then…Also, the scene with Iona showing a hint of sadness would have been more effective if the scene with her and Gunzou in the cemetery giving tribute to dead soldiers would have been more relevant.
Yozakura Quartet – Hana no Uta 4:
*yawn* This was another episode split into two but the only thing keeping the two parts together was a seemingly trivial detail about a 9-year-old running for district mayor. I’m not even going to waste my time talking about the first half. Just a swimming fanservice episode with barely any fanservice (and nothing for the ladies either). The show had 4 of its bustiest characters and not a single tit bounce between any of them. The second half did seem to be more serious with Hime beginning to question her own competence as mayor. Still, whatever good came out of the 2nd half is nulled by the boring-ass infodumping by Akina. Hell, even Hime hated the infodumping. I couldn’t really care for the drama that followed because I was almost half asleep thanks to Akina’s history lesson and the nice comfy sofa I was sitting on. Note to self: Watch boring anime episodes in the toilet or something.
Galilei Donna 4:
Huh, at least this time, the only things I’m nitpicking on are quite minor details. There’s the German hobo guy who happens to speak Japanese/Italian, skypirates casually shopping at a mall, then Hozuki selling a concussion injury like she was having a fever. The last one really ticked me off since a hard fall like that would have either left her dead or heavily bruised and bloody but just like Asuna from Sword Art Online looking pretty as a peach after a 2 year coma, A-1 Pictures won’t dare show their main character in an unattractive state. Dammit, A-1. Other than those things, the episode was fine. Kazuki got to play hero and looked pretty good, except for the part where she yelled out all her imperfections like that’s a normal thing to do when talking to a guy you just met. In a lot of ways, I’m kinda like Kazuki, so I guess that’s why I seem to sympathize with her. I’m a middle child with two siblings, I’m a cynical ol’ bastard who’d prefer to stay safe and sound than “Go on an ADVENCHER!” but hey, if my younger sibling got in trouble like that, I’d probably go out of my way to do what I can. I just seriously wish that Hozuki wasn’t such a super duper loli who can do nothing wrong and everyone else has to be incredibly stupid just to make her look good. Seriously, those sky pirates reminded me of the idiot grunts from Home Alone, and I hated that movie. How this show is treating Hozuki as being so intouchable reminds me a lot of how A-1 did Kirito from SAO, the infamous Gary Stu.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more episodic reviews of this season’s anime.