Panning the Stream: Winter 2017 Midseason Review

It’s Valentine’s season, but this post is more of a Like Letter than a Love Letter.

A teen girl with chin-length hair wearing a boy looks at another girl facing away from the camera. The girl with the hairbow is wearing an expression of exaggerated disgust.

My watch list has slipped a few shows shorter than it was at the Rule of ThreeInterviews with Monster Girls is out mostly for the reasons I mentioned in that post, and Yowamushi Pedal has fallen by the wayside as well. Which suits me fine; I have other projects and hobbies on my plate at the moment and not feeling like I’m constantly playing catch-up on 10-plus series has been kind of a relief, to tell the truth. Maybe I should be pickier in future seasons, too.

Barring a few major exceptions, it isn’t what I’d call a memorable season thus far, but there’s a fair bit of “good” to make up for the lack of “great.” As is often the case when life gets hectic, I’ve found myself gravitating toward comedies, and thankfully winter has some solid ones in its catalog (although they’re not without their issues, I admit). It also has underrated gem ClassicaLoid, and of course Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, which. I mean. Just. All of the chef’s kiss gifs and emojis. Every last one ’em. So not too shabby, all things considered.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 6

Past, present, and future all under one rickety roof.

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There’s a kind of magic to an old building, an imprint left by those who lived and worked and played there. The more people, the stronger the feelings, the older the tradition, the deeper the imprint. They infuse a place, sink into its walls and floorboards, fill it humming with fragments of lives and memories. I’ve felt it on the stage of a theatre, in the spire of a church, down the hallways of a prison, and from the rafters of a fieldhouse. Places that aren’t just historical, but seem to be composed of History itself.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 5

Just, uh, gimme a minute to pick my jaw and heart up off the floor.

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Things had been looking up for our rakugo family as of late, but that may have just been the long slope to the top of a very steep drop. The final performance this week was so magnificently staged and such a major turn in the narrative that it’s tempting to ignore everything else and just focus on that, but there are a lot of tiny (and more optimistic) milestones that happen prior to it, and I’d be doing Rakugo Shinju a major disservice if I didn’t touch on them. Yakumo may be in a desolate place right now, but that doesn’t mean everything is.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 4

The One That Killed Me (But, Like, in a Really Good Way).

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Usually by the time I get to writing these commentaries I’ve poured all my flailing fangirl energy into tweets and can focus on that High Quality Analysis you crave, but this week…yeah, this week requires some in-post flailing, too, because Rakugo Shinju melted me into a puddle of feels repeatedly, and two days later I’m still in the process of reforming into a solid human-shaped blogger again.

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Rule of Three Review: Winter 2017 Anime Digest

Easing on down the road, speed bumps and all.

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I keep thinking of this as a light season, but I’m still keeping up with nine series so clearly I have no concept of what “light” means anymore. Maybe by “light” I just mean there isn’t a lot of meat here: I’m enjoying what I’m watching, but with the exception of a couple of series there’s not a ton of in-depth discussion to be had. …Or maybe burying myself in Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju each week has just fried the part of my brain that analyzes things.

Probably the biggest bummer about this season is that the list of titles I would happily recommend to everyone is, er…not long. Lotta caveats this season, which means a lot of shows that could easily lose you and perpetually run the risk of losing me. As with everything in life right now, reckon we’ll just have to take it one day at a time.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 3

Definitely gonna wanna memorize that rakugo rant for future reference…

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I’ve been unofficially calling this episode “The Declaration of Independence,” as it’s very much about the present looking the past in the eye and insisting it won’t be chained to it. Yotaro takes Yakumo’s advice to a literal extreme, facing his old life head-on. Konatsu slowly starts to loosen her hold on her parents and bond with her new family. And Yakumo allows himself to revive his adoptive brother for the sake of his adopted son. Real change, it turns out, can’t happen until you’ve acknowledged the past and connected yourself to the future, whether that’s via personal relationships or professional goals.

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Panning the Stream: Winter 2017 Premieres Belated Mega-Digest

Premieres, second episodes…let’s not quibble on the details, shall we?

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Sorry this didn’t go up sooner. It should have. I had it in my head that I could work my 9-to-5, travel to a different city, help my best friend plan for her wedding, be IN that wedding, and still have time to watch all the anime premieres and write about them WHILE ALSO posting detailed episode analysis on the second season of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju.

I, uh… guess it’s important that we all discover our limits so that we remember we are fallible and squishy and capable of mass exhaustion, eh?

It me

Hidden camera footage of me from last week

Most of these shows are already on their second episodes or heading into their third. Still, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to write a premiere post, so I felt like I had to get something out there. Here’s a very quick rundown of what’s earned three episodes, what’s on the fence, and everything else. On the plus(?) side, the potential watchlist is already shorter than usual, which is the only reason I had time to slap this together at all. As you’ve likely heard by now, it’s, uh, not the most abundant of seasons.

I’ll have a proper Rule of Three out next week, with proper write-ups for everything I’m still watching. If you’re looking for lengthier premiere posts, Amelia covered everything in-depth at Anime Feminist, and of course ANN had their crack team of reviewers preview all the things, too. Thanks in advance for your understanding! And now, at last, the winter premiere post~

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