Hello, again dear readers. Today begins the eighth week of the 2017 Summer Season of anime. So far, most of the season has been relatively entertaining, with only minor slip-ups here and there. Some anime have managed to stand out more than others, but at this point in the season things have a tendency to drag, so there is definitely the opportunity for disappointment as well as surprise in the way of a show out-shining another that had previously been considered to be better. One hopes that the show manages to maintain at least a degree of entertainment, but that is not always the case. So far, the series that has managed to do the most to remain entertaining is Classroom of the Elite. While the story itself is a little lacking in depth at the moment the characters do seem to be progressing in a way that is very interesting. Gamers! has managed to keep a strong level of comedy throughout, though there have definitely been more cliches popping up as the season progresses, which is a little disappointing for a show that started out so unique in several ways. Saiyuki Reload Blast is exactly what would be expected from a shonen series, especially one that has been around for so long. That is not to say that the show is bad, in fact, this anime is nearly on par with Classroom of the Elite in character growth, and surpasses it in other areas. Finally, Knight’s & Magic has found their groove and is sticking to it hard. Every episode is either full of mecha action or full of mecha creation, which will definitely have people that it will appeal to. Will this week’s episodes change the status quo in any way, or will there be more of the same from these series? There is of course only one way to find out: diving headfirst into the week.
Gamers! Episode 6
In the series so far, the biggest problem has come from massive misunderstandings by every single main character in the show. There has been a secondary focus on things like Karen’s life falling apart, or on Keita attempting to make new friends who relate to his love of gaming, but the primary focus in the most recent episodes has been one big misunderstanding after another. This did start early, with Karen overhearing that Keita was looking to speak with another nerdy girl in his class instead of with her, as well as all of the class, assuming that Keita had initially turned down a request to date from Karen. This does not change in episode 6. In fact, one might say the misunderstandings get pushed to a ridiculous level, as each character begins to develop a plot of their own to try and prove each other’s infidelity or two-timing nature. Aguri and Tasuku, in separate meetings, both push Keita to once and for all make his first move on Karen. They are not pushing for him to ask her to date, but to ask her to be his friend. Each has ulterior motives of course, as Tasuku believes that Keita has stolen his girlfriend and is hoping to see her look shocked when he approaches Karen. Meanwhile, Aguri is convinced that Tasuku not only has feelings for Chiaki, but also for Karen, and hopes to see the same shocked reaction from him. Karen has searched through her feelings and has decided to be more open with people and not be so negative, as she is constantly saying no to things in her own mind. Everything comes to a head as Tasuku plans the meeting for an empty classroom where several students all gather at the talk of the meeting, curious what will happen between Karen and Keita. The episode itself was a little ridiculous, with a bit too much of each character scheming and freaking out inside their own heads. The ending, however, makes every single moment of this worth it. This is definitely a show worth sticking with despite the occasional cliche. Each character is likable in their own way, even if they are easily confused. It will be exciting to see how the next episode plays out after the huge ending of this week.
Knight’s & Magic Episode 8
When a series skips the introduction sequence, it is usually due to the fact that a story arc has reached its conclusion, or the season itself is about to end. This week’s episode skips the introduction sequence, but the episode itself does not really feel deserving of such a grand gesture. That being said, the first scenes in the episode are quite epic, as the secret city that has never been mentioned to this point that houses the development of the Ether Reactors that power the Silhouette knights has come under attack from a massive swarm of bugs known as Hard Shells. The battle scene itself is quite fun, with lots of exploding bugs and a chance to show the extent of the power that the king and prince now possess in their new suits. One of the problems that this show presents is the constant time jumps that are not defined. While most of them are clearly defined, every once in a while something happens that reminds the viewer that a lot of time has passed between episodes, but that amount of time is not really defined. It is not wholly necessary to do so, but when Ernie rolls in with so many new suits when it took so long for them to design the base designs of them, it gets a little confusing. The battle is ended quickly when Ernie takes on the queen that is commanding the smaller hard shells, defeating it in a way very similar to when he took down the behemoth, using tools that were designed specifically to imitate that killing blow. AFter making quick work of this battle, the show settles back into what it does best beyond fighting, and that is researching and developing. Ernie is granted permission to learn how to design Ether Reactors but is told that he has no hope of learning how to do it himself. Here it is shown that the creators of the engines are not actually human, but some weird type of elf with a bizarre spelling. They say that no human has ever mastered the ability to work the Mythril needed for the engine while also writing out several incantations. Naturally, Ernie proves them all wrong and with a time jump of three months has learned every single thing these masters can teach, which is another flaw of the show. Ernie seems to be capable of learning in ways that should not be possible, for the simple reason of plot convenience. This does not really detract from the show as a whole either, but it would be easy to see people taking issue with this. The episode ends with the reveal of Ernie’s dream suit, the Ikaruga. This moment is a little underwhelming. Typically a mecha show will do its best to build up a tense moment before revealing a new suit, but this time around it just comes after the narrator talks about how much time has passed. All in all, the episode itself was decent, but there were definite flaws to the formula here.
Saiyuki Reload Blast
At the end of the previous episode, one of the bells that maintained the barrier around the areas that Sharak projects have been destroyed. It is revealed that the man who did so was (obviously) being blackmailed by the youkai to do so, assuredly dooming the man to death whether or not this plan of the youkai actually plays out the way they hope it will. With the barrier down, Sharak must recast the spell that initially put it in place. She says this will take a full hour without the assistance of another bell, and with all of the areas falling under attack by demons, this means that the party must split up to protect the surrounding villages, leaving Genjyo to protect Sharak while she works on the barrier. This leads to a series of battle sequences, all of which are pretty entertaining to watch. Two major things happen this episode. First, there is a moment with one of the head youkai that planned this attack, Dokugakuji. He reveals himself to be the older brother of Gojyo, our red haired water sprite youkai friend. Diving into the past of these two characters reveals a lot about both of their motivations, which is nice. The other major thing that happens is a fight between Genjyo and the other head youkai leading the attack, Kougaiji. He is someone that the group has encountered before in their journeys, but the show wastes no time telling their past history as the fight starts rather quickly. The fight itself is rather intense, as Genjyo is prevented from using his incantations for fear of them wrecking all of the work that Sharak is doing to create the barrier. The episode itself ends while this fight is still going on, on something of a cliffhanger. The action in Saiyuki remains strong, and the characters continue to gain more depth in each episode. While having so many two or three part bits of the story can be a drag, it is handled well here. Overall the episode was good and it will be nice to see where the show goes next week.
Classroom of the Elite
A stupid fan service episode. Nothing good can be said about this. Very disappointing from this show, as it has remained an entertaining watch in previous weeks despite the fanservice thrown in. A day at the pool with the boys trying to peek into the girl’s locker room? This is what the show has decided to go with? Do not bother watching this week, as the episode itself feels like filler even without the fanservice. This, of course, brings us to a rather abrupt end to the week in review. For the most part, episodes managed to stay interesting other than one very glaring slap in the faces to viewers. Hopefully, this show manages to recover in the weeks to come. If not, at least the other three this season seem to have plans to remain interesting and develop their characters in ways other than just throwing them into skimpy swimsuits and stupid attempts at a silly plot. We will see where the next week takes us, dear readers. For now, Thank you again for reading and continue to keep on watching.