It’s the end of fall and the end of the anime season! Two big finales covered this week in
Hibike! Euphonium S2 (one more!) and Occultic;Nine. As for non-anime news, have you seen Rogue One yet? (Update Dec 26: Occultic;Nine 12!)
Tis the season, but there’s not much Christmas anime to be had this year. What’s your favorite episode or series that takes place around the holidays? Mine is definitely Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz. Totally a Christmas movie, right? Anyway, merry holidays and happy anime to all of you out there.
As per usual, see the full reviews for more thoughts and plenty of screenshots.
Dragon Ball Super
This Week’s Episode: 71
“The Death of Goku! The Guaranteed Assassination Mission!!”
Summary: Goku is dead. How did this come to be, and what kind of circumstance would lead to a hit called in against him? Prepare for a tense episode.
This was quite a change of direction for the series. Everything from the directing to the pacing were completely different from what we’re used to, and it was great. The tension was palpable, and the development of Hit as an interesting character was very welcome. Now we just need to know what led to this series of events, now that we’ve seen it unfold.
9.2/10 (Serious Super)
Hibike! Euphonium S2
This Week’s Episode: 12
“The Last Competition”
Summary: Hibike! Euphonium plays it safe with unanswered confessions and emotional pay-offs not quite resolved or unresolved. It’s the most realistic depiction of band culture ever put to anime.
I can’t help but be a little underwhelmed at the fact that they lost and nobody really progressed much in their aspirations or life situations. Kumiko and her sister are good, but they were already pretty standard siblings anyway. It all feels like a lead-up to the next year being the real payoff – which is probably fair, considering it always comes down to the wire when you’re about to graduate.
8.9/10 (Fantastically Safe)
This Week’s Episode: 12 – Final Impressions
“We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together”
Summary: Everything in this series happens because it is going to happen. No other explanation is needed, but there are a lot of words none the less.
Well this has been an interesting experience. This series definitely didn’t make the turnaround I had been hoping for, and although it did conclude at least one plot point, it was mostly disappointing. There were several moments throughout the journey that felt interesting and inspiring, and then there were a million words to explain why I should feel that way. Check out the full review for final thoughts on the series as a whole.
Episode Score: 5.1/10 (Poor)
Series Score: 5.7/10 (Barely Alright)
Rogue One – A Star Wars Story
[No Spoiler Review] Despite the new generation of Star Wars premiering only a year ago this week, the world can’t got that long without more. Disney also knows that they’re guaranteed a billion dollars every December now that they own this franchise, and rightfully so. Returning to a galaxy far, far away is delightful, fun, adventurous, and holds a special place in a lot of hearts – mine included. Therefore, this return to the original trilogy era of stormtroopers, Darth Vader, and the Death Star is extremely welcome – and it really couldn’t have been done better. The characters are interesting and well played, and above all extremely believable. The settings and all that inhabit them are visually stunning, as expected of a Star Wars entry at this point. All the detail that went in to making Force Awakens such a nostalgia trip is here dialed to the max. Numerous references to A New Hope and the prequels are great for long-time fans and don’t really pull us out of the experience at all. Even if you have never seen a Star Wars movie in your life (what’s wrong with you) this is a fun and exciting adventure to kick off your trip through the galaxy. The Force is with you, and you are one with The Force.