91 Days – Episode 9: “Black and Deep Desires”

Clock’s ticking.

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For an episode that’s packed with big changes, this feels like the calm before the storm, giving our two main characters a chance to breathe, think, and chat in a way they haven’t in while. The moral ambiguity and tension are thick as ever (as 91 Days‘s beloved canted angles will attest), but there’s very much the sense that we’re moving into the final act of our bloody tale. Fitting, really, given that the Vanetti’s new playhouse is about to raise its curtains for the first time.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

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orange – Episode 9

Alas, poor production schedule…

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There’s a version of this episode, somewhere, that’s a perfectly fine bridge episode, unexceptional but competent, hinting at future conflicts, furthering a few character arcs, tossing in some adorable friendship shenanigans and cuteness, and setting us up for the big relay race (how have we still not gotten to that?!) next week. But we didn’t get that version. Instead, we got a distractingly low-quality nightmare of an episode, full of off-model shots, choppy animation, and some truly jarring scene transitions. Simply put, the second half of orange looked awful this week.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju – Episode 9

Showa Genroku is the Crocodile Dundee of winter anime. “You call that art? Now THIS is art!”

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I had a moment after this week’s episode where all I could do was stare at the end credits while making little half-articulated “wow” noises. That was a beautiful, haunting, painful, stunning 22 minutes, so riveting that I straight-up forgot to take notes my first time through. Regardless of how the next few weeks pan out, after an episode like that I feel confident in saying that SGRS has already established itself as something truly special, an achievement in character writing and visual direction, using its art and music and phenomenal vocal performances to create a whole even greater than the sum of its fantastic parts. Two days later and I’m still trying to lift my jaw up off the floor.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

Noragami Aragoto – Episode 9: “The Sound of a Thread Snapping”

BONES is punishing me for taking a week off from blogging, aren’t they?

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I was on break this week (although my Feels sure weren’t), but Setsuken was kind enough to cover the episode for me. Click here for his full post on Anime Evo!

I did provide some livetweet commentary for this one, so just for funsies, I thought I’d chuck that up here for your enjoyment. Hit the jump and grab some syrup to put on these hottakes.

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Snow White with the Red Hair – Episode 9: “Feelings That Connect”

These guys really put the “support” in “supporting cast.”

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We’re nine weeks into the season, and while pretty much everything else on my watch list has gone through rough waters at some point, Snow White with the Red Hair just keeps staying its graceful course. It continues to be a top-to-bottom beautiful production exhibiting tremendous tonal and narrative control, doing exactly what it wants with an ease that only adds to the show’s dreamlike, meditative, and oh-so-comforting atmosphere.

And yet it isn’t a puff piece, either. The series deals with some fairly somber and difficult issues of trust and trauma along the way, asks its characters to find balances between their professional and personal lives, and frequently depicts them struggling with self-doubt. That it does all this while still making me feel like I’m being wrapped up in a warm blanket is a testament to its ultimately hopeful message about the equal importance of agency and empathy, and how one can balance one’s own needs against those of others.

So, surprise! I liked this one a whole lot, too.

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GANGSTA. – Episode 9: “Siblings”

“Sibling rivalry” is about to take on a whole new meaning.

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The season’s building tensions and anti-Twilight violence come to a proper head, as leaders leave the shadows, lines are drawn in the sand, and our protagonists come face-to-face with their next big challenge. While last week’s battle was a covert one, taking place in the alleyways of Ergastulum and thus relegated to a few quick scenes within the show itself, this week brings everything out into the open, and front and center on our screens.

In other words, TWIFIIIIIGHT!

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My Love Story!! – Episode 9: “My Friend and I”

Caution, Web Surfers: Big Raves Ahead.

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We pick up right where we left off, as The Important Day arrives for all of our characters. The episode is neatly divided into two halves, as the mid-episode eyecatch tells us: The “life” half and the “death” half, with Yamato’s BirthDate dominating the first part and Suna’s father’s surgery taking center stage in the second. And, as wonderful and charming and hilarious as the first half is, it’s the second half where the episode makes good on all the connections its built between the characters (and the audience) over the past nine episodes and proves itself as skilled at emotionally affecting drama as it is at romantic comedy.

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