Rule of Three Review, Digest Edition: Space Dandy 2, Akame ga Kill!, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun – Episodes 2-3

“Easy like Sunday morning,” my ass.

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In addition to our many new shows, I’ve also got my sports show carryovers to watch (Baby Steps and Haikyuu!!), plus Sundays are usually my translation days, to say nothing of the cleaning and grocery shopping and annoying Adult Stuff I should be doing, so… Yeah, there’s a lot happening. You’ll have to forgive me if I cluster these, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. And so…

Space Dandy 2

If you were worried, don’t be: Space Dandy is still 100% Space Dandy, which is to say it is 100% whatever the hell it wants to be.

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These past three weeks we’ve seen a hilarious Douglas Adams-style multiverse comedy, a Kafkaesque “weird fiction” horror story, and a trippy little SF “planet exploring” tale directed by Yuasa Masaaki (The Tatami Galaxy, Ping Pong), complete with all the flat figures and stretched angles you’ve come to expect from his series.

It seems like everyone who watches SD has a different favorite episode, but even if some of them don’t “work” for you, it’s hard to deny the creative juices getting pumped into this series each week. SD isn’t always fantastic but it’s always trying something new, and for this if nothing else it’s a worthy addition to any anime watchlist. I’m with it to the end.

Akame ga Kill!

Oh, well.

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This one surprised me with a fun and expectations-defying premiere, but the two episodes following have been considerably more orthodox. AkG has all the subtlety of a kick in the teeth – the bad guys are horrifically bad and the badass good guys are “quirky” but basically good. But this isn’t the central problem with AkG. No, the problem is how damn lazy the writing is.

We know the bad guys are bad because they’re constantly murdering, torturing, and threatening to rape every woman they come across. It’s possible to write a “pure evil” character and still make them interesting (see: Disney villains), but AkG just takes the shortest route to Bad Guy, and it’s boring. A few of our protagonists have the potential to be more than archetypes, but the series isn’t interested in developing its cast organically. Instead, it has a character say “I will tell you my tragic backstory now” and then does so in a way that makes them as stock and dull as the villains. By the midway point of episode 3, I’d ceased to care entirely.

I say again: Oh, well. I guess my Sundays just became 25 minutes less busy.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (“Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun”)

Mere words cannot express how happy I am to watch new episodes of this show each week.

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There are a lot of great things to say about MGN-kun, so many in fact that I’m working on a nice long article about it. For now, though, I think it’s enough to say that it’s my favorite show of the season and that I have been chucking it at everyone I know.

It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s silly and clever and even sneakily subversive. No show has made me this flat-out giddy since Ouran High School Host Club, and MGN-kun may even end up passing it in terms of quality when all is said and done. Definitely one of the gold nuggets of the season, and on track to be the best comedy of 2014.

Honestly, why are you even still reading this review? Go watch Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. Your world will be exponentially brighter because of it.

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