91 Days – Episode 5: “Blood Will Have Blood”

The best-laid plans of mobs and men…

91 Days 5 (38)

Happy to prove that it can keep balancing tangled gangster intrigue with character-focused drama, 91 Days returns us to Lawless and pours a potful of plot (a plotful?) all over us. Statuses shift, allegiances realign, and just about everyone tries to put one over on somebody else. And you thought your family was complicated.

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orange – Episode 5

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.

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After watching Naho and Kakeru’s relationship almost fall apart last week, this week we slide back into the comfortable, content group dynamic and steady progress from before. That doesn’t mean it was a completely uneventful episode, though: Mixed into the relaxed slice-of-life festival story are small changes for Naho, a renewed focus on the supporting cast, and a science lesson that adds an important layer to orange‘s premise.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju – Episode 5

Shakespeare may be nations and centuries away, but “all the world’s a stage” has never been a more apt sentiment.


Has there ever been a series with as much unabashed love for performers and performance as this one? From the many rakugo stories to the bursts of shamisen music to this week’s low-budget kabuki play, Showa Genroku depicts Japan’s classic performance arts with a careful attention to detail and a fierce respect for the mediums.

Yet the series never lets itself slip into rose-colored nostalgia; rather, like the rakugo-ka who preserve the tales of Edo (and therefore its lost world and the flawed people who lived in it), Showa Genroku seeks to capture with the same blend of affection and honesty a time, place, and people who no longer exist. And it accomplishes this the same way humanity so often has: Through the telling of stories.

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Noragami Aragoto – Episode 5: “Divine Acclamation, Imprecation”

So I have good news and terrible news.


Another action-heavy episode of Noragami this week, not that I’m complaining: Slick-looking supernatural fight scenes are one of the elements that give this series its appeal, and as usual, they don’t disappoint. Yato and Bishamon continue to duke it out with well-directed choreography under gorgeous skies and along to great background music, the kind of tracks that enhance the scene—adding both tension and a whiff of tragedy—without distracting from it. (I’m looking forward to snagging the soundtrack when it comes out, that’s for sure.)

And lest you think I’ll have nothing to talk about this week, rest assured that “action-heavy” does not mean “plot light.” A whole mess of events went down this week, which brings us back to that good news and terrible news I mentioned before.

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Snow White with the Red Hair: Episode 5 – “This Path”

All work and no play makes Snow White a sleepy girl.


This seems to be the week where I start my posts by praising the production, so let’s go ahead and do that, because Snow White deserves plenty of accolades for what it’s managed to accomplish over five weeks. Successfully adapting a work is no easy task (although studio BONES has one of the better track records in that respect, despite some hit-and-miss anime-original endings), but having read this far into the manga, I can say with zero reservations that Director Ando and his creative team have not only produced an anime that surpasses the source material, but have done it in a way that makes it look darn near effortless.

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GANGSTA. – Episode 5: “Sanctions”

Consider my production complaints temporarily revoked.


Hot damn, did this episode look good. Thanks to some fluid fight sequences, gorgeous shot selection, and snappy camera movement, “Sanctions” maintained tension and excitement without sacrificing coherency or thematic unity to do it. The scenes flowed from action to exposition more-or-less seamlessly, mixing the clash of swords into the background to remind us what was happening just off-screen, and even the music caught my ear in a good way thanks to a slow, jazzy piano number that merged the violence on-screen with the undercurrent of tragedy that’s present even during the show’s most high-octane moments.

So, yeah. I liked the look of this one a whole helluva lot.

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My Love Story!! – Episode 5: “I’m Dense”

What’s eating Yamato Rinko?

I’m not sure if they added the little Yamato figure to the opening theme’s cake this week or last and I just didn’t notice, but it left me in Cute Overload Mode before the episode even began, which is always a good thing. It also helps highlight the amount of attention that’s gone into this adaptation. Regardless of what you think of the content, this is a director and animation staff who puts a lot of thought and affection into the production, and it shows from the myriad ways they convey our couple’s uncontainable love-love (sparkles! bubbles! stars! doilies!) to the endless array of expressions. Takeo Faces alone could have their own Tumblr.

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