This week has been a hectic one for me outside of my hobby as an anime enthusiast which is why this one’s a little later than usual, sorry about that. Fret not though, every episode of the shows you expect are here this week and there is a hell of a lot to say! This appears to be the week of change, some going as drastic as to removing entire members of their main cast and others taking on a different structure altogether. Although it really hasn’t been the strongest week this season, there has been an incredibly high number of notable sequences and a couple scenes I could script an entire Piece-by-Piece episode on. Drama has been the theme and it’s been an emotionally exhaustive week for anime. Combining that with my mentally taxing preparation for University (which is starting very soon by the way), the word length on this one is going to be one for the record books.
We are officially past the halfway mark and most of these shows are still going strong! As always, no edition of the Weekly Roundup shows an entirely perfect week but some of the episodes that aired definitely deserved a near flawless score. Although these little introductory paragraphs are proving more difficult to write with each edition, I’m excited to share what I thought of this week. With AHO-Girl focusing on side characters, Knights & Magic finally getting to the point we’ve been waiting for and Made in Abyss getting much darker than expected, it’s been an eventful week.
Believe it or not, the very first anime I had watched (excluding shows watched as a child like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh) was in fact the infamously cutesy show Lucky Star. Whether or not you see this as a positive way to venture into the medium, it’s needless to say that I was definitely thrown into the deep end. Being aged around 14 at the time, there was nothing I had seen before that was even remotely similar in any aspect. From the adorably ‘smushy’ character designs to the complete awareness at its own lack of substance, Lucky Star certainly was an interesting doorway into my anime journey.
With most of these shows consisting of a twelve episode run time, we’re already at the midpoint in this season! Probably down to this weekly roundup system, but it doesn’t even feel like we’re halfway through the season at all for me. Yet here we are, although not every series is paced very well for this milestone to feel meaningful, there was a slight shift in narrative progression this week. For the most part, the storyline within each respective show has been set up for a while now and it’s here that we finally get to see some true progression. Although at the cost of some episode’s pacing grinding to a halt, to call this a weak roundup wouldn’t be exactly fair. A couple shows in mind as I write this, Week Six definitely showcased what a series can do after the amount of character development accomplished in their first half.
So if you’re an avid follower of my Weekly Roundup series you’ll be very aware that even after three viewings, Episode Five of Welcome to the Ballroom seemed to be completely flawless. There is so much to this single episode that not dedicating an entire piece on it would be an insult. Not only did the visual direction floor me as a Film Studies student, but the amount of story telling this episode accomplished in twenty four minutes is astounding. Without further ado, here are my complete and unrestricted view on what I consider to be the strongest anime episode I’ve seen in a very long time.
Without a doubt, this has been my favourite week of the season so far (and it’s gonna be difficult to top). Although not every episode has been a 10/10, those that did succeed have made up for the slack a hundred times over. Not only did some of these episodes bring me to tears – even after a second viewing – but there was an incredible amount of humour brought to this week. As much as I wanted to load this post with animated GIFs and screenshot collections, I reigned myself in and did my best to keep a calm and collected head. Except for New Game!! where it basically became an “I adore Hifumi rant”, but I suppose you’re all used to it by now.
So this is the first episode of a new Video Series I’ve been wanting to make for a very, very long time. Piece by Piece is an anime analysis show where I delve into what I consider to be a well produced sequence and figure out how it’s as effective as it is. In this episode, we go deep into the cinematography and visual direction of New Game!! and how it visually presents Aoba’s struggle as a character designer amongst an experienced team. Although this took around a week to produce, this idea has been in the planning stage for months now so I hope you enjoy the video!