91 Days – Episode 6: “To Slaughter a Pig”

A bitter pill lasagna to swallow.

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We can talk all day about craft–character development, narrative tension, dramatic irony, visual motifs, conflicts both intimate and social–and don’t worry, I’ll touch on pretty much all of that during this post, both positive and negative. First, though, because I tend to get excited about all the analytical stuff and forget to mention the personal stuff, can I just take a moment to say how incredibly start-to-finish entertaining I find this show every week?

It’s a totally personal thing, I know, which makes it hard to write about and not all that valuable to others when it comes to recommendations. But as I went through my episode notes and found comments like “Nero is so chill ❤ I LOVE HIM” and “WHOA ANGELO WHAAAT” snuggled up next to “old guard vs new guard” and “this ep is all about food (decadence/gluttony?),” I realized that I am 100% fully invested in this story, not just as a blogger but as a fan, too. And, a few pulpy over-indulgences and weak characters aside, that’s a seriously great place to be halfway through a series.

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orange – Episode 6

Getting by with a little help from your friends.

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When you say “shojo,” a lot of people’s first thought is probably “romance,” but what drew me to the genre as a kid and what continues to bring me back to it is that it’s as much about the many kinds of relationships that can develop between people as it is about falling in love. orange carries on this tradition, showcasing Naho and Kakeru’s growing love story side-by-side with the positive, easygoing friendships that tie The BFF Sextet together.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju – Episode 6

They say you should spend this day with a loved one, so…

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Seeing as how it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d begin this post by saying something I’ve neglected to mention throughout these many words of character analysis and directorial discussion: I am completely, utterly, over-the-moon in love with Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. I give myself a couple of days to write these commentaries because my hot takes would just be several paragraphs of caps-lock gushing and a bunch of sparkly-eyed, flailing reaction gifs. Every week I think I’ll get used to how good this show is, and every week I am once again floored by the sheer amount of thought and artistry that goes into this production.

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Noragami Aragoto – Episode 6: “What Must Be Done”

May the gods be ever in your favor.

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It was pretty clear this was going to be the big finale for our half-season-long Bishamon story, and Noragami capped it off in fine fashion. This season really is everything you could want from a sequel, as it brings back all the things that made the first season good (stylish action and music, a great sense of humor, characters you wanted to hang out with, a complex but coherent world with a lot of room for growth, bursts of philosophical or emotional depth) and grows them in unexpected and exciting ways, introducing new characters while also revealing new facets about old ones, and developing them all through conversations and conflicts alike.

The wider and deeper cast has raised the stakes both globally and emotionally, and this finale didn’t disappoint in terms of big, gorgeous fight sequences as well as small, touching character beats. Simply put, Noragami has catapulted from “good” to “great,” and if it can keep this up it’s not only all but locked in as one of my top anime picks two years running, but could very well become one of my favorite shounen adaptations of all time.

So. You know. No pressure, Part 2.

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Snow White with the Red Hair – Episode 6: “The Back Full of Meaning”

And you thought your older siblings were bossy.

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The crown prince is back in town, and he’s not at all happy with the state of the Shirayunion. His concern over his brother’s recent perceived dalliances leads to a series of confrontations and surprise meetings which shake Shirayuki’s confidence, leave the usually self-assured Zen off-balance and defensive, and provide our young couple with the first real challenge to their relationship.

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GANGSTA. – Episode 6: “Thorn”

This week’s forecast: Cloudy with a chance of bigotry.

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Maaaan, but GANGSTA can be mighty bleak sometimes. I’m not complaining, mind you, as it does “pensive and faintly tragic” exceptionally well, but there were moments that were so quietly, matter-of-factly sad that the sky wasn’t the only thing that felt like crying. This really isn’t a show interested in making you want to go out and raise some hell in Ergastulum in the way that, say, Black Lagoon or Baccano did; it knows its world is deeply broken, and it makes that emphatically clear to its audience.

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My Love Story!! – Episode 6: “My Wish”

Warning: Consuming My Love Story may increase your risk of diabetes.

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Have I mentioned that OreMono is really cute? Really funny? Really dorky and sweet and featuring one of the nicest central casts and one of the healthiest high school relationships I’ve seen in any media in a real long time? I have? Okay. Excellent.

Then instead of starting this post with all that, we’ll start it with this:

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Although that has more to do with Takeo rescuing a kitty-cat (I died, died, I tell you) than it does with Yamato’s secret. But, I mean, I totally called that one last week, too.

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