Undead Unluck – 10 [Result]
Starting off, I really enjoyed this weeks Undead Unluck. It wasn’t a big action setpiece, though there was some, nor was it a huge character defining moment. Really all it does is show us exactly what is at stake in this story, what precisely the Union has been working to prevent that has forced them to operate the way they do. It’s just the way that Undead Unluck does it is so god damn good. Sure going through each quest, flying around the round table to focus in on who participated in each, that might have been a bit much and killed the pacing for the first half of the episode. I won’t dispute that, it definitely felt slow. But it was establishing something very important for the episodes climax: Just how important, and world affecting, these quests are, including both their rewards and their penalties. The elimination of all languages on Earth, excluding Negators? The addition of Galaxies to the universe, and all that comes along with that from myths too days of the week and aliens? Not to mention Ragnarok should they fail 2 more times. I don’t know about you, but for me this was where Undead Unluck really hooked me. Where the scope of the series got absolutely ridiculous, beyond just super powered people fighting for no reason. It also helps that David Productions are knocking it out of the park presentation wise. Seriously, I don’t know what Undead Unluck did to earn this kind of adaptation, but I’m glad it did.
SpyXFamily S2 – 9 [The Hand That Connects to the Future]
This was a solid climax to what has quickly become my favorite SpyXFamily arc. I don’t love it as much as the previous few episodes, mostly because the focus is a tad more spread out among the characters, but it was still a good way to wrap everything up and did a good job of involving all of our main characters. Yor got to finish off the assassins, taking them out with Anya’s help, before saying goodbye to Olka and going full mom-mode with the kid. Meanwhile Loid got to put his spy training to the test, impersonating a member of the crew and systematically removing all of the bombs while also accidentally taking out the escaping assassins, all without giving himself away. And Anya? Anya got to save both of them, Yor by tossing her the weapon and accidentally taking out some ambushers, and Loid by finding the last bomb on the ship. It was all around a good conclusion, letting Yor get some closure and commit to the family while Loid thinks back on how neglectful he has been of them and resolving to do better. While I don’t expect next week to be all that action packed, it’s going to be an epilogue to the arc, I’m hoping for a lot of wholesome family moments of all 3 of them together again. I think SpyXFamily, just as a show, has finally earned that level of emotional intimacy between the characters. It feels… deserved. And that’s pretty nice. Also Loid catching Anya rolling out of bed was cute.
The Apothecary Diaries – 9 [Suicide or Murder?]
Pretty solid murder mystery episode. We got to watch Mao Mao figure some things out, talk about how to much of something can be poisonous, the inability to taste certain things, how a prank can get out of hand and in turn lead to accidental deaths. That was all nice window dressing. I will say though, the actual mystery didn’t feel very important, I wasn’t particularly interested in Sir Kounen nor the serving girl who died this week. Instead what caught my attention was Mao Mao and Jinshi’s reactions to said deaths. Mao Mao remembering the words of her father, not trusting herself to be able to respect the sanctity of death if she starts using bodies for ingredients. This then turning into her own views on death, recognizing how little value her life has to those in charge, how she can die any day and, if she were to have the choice, how she would like to die. Combine that with Jinshi opening up a bit, grieving for Sir Kounen, becoming angry at Mao Mao’s request despite the earnestness of it. Because she’s right, if she is ever to be executed he would probably be the person in charge of carrying it out, so he is the one to go to with this. But he doesn’t want to think about it, because he cares for her. For me, all of that was the meat of the episode, where I got sucked in and engaged. Not the murder/suicide. Oh and Mao Mao being a lightweight, that was cute, almost forgot.
Frieren – 14 [Privilege of the Young]
This was a rather slow episode of Frieren, and not the usual good kind of slow I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s more that very little happened that we weren’t already aware of. Yes, Fern and Stark are getting on better, you could have seen that relationship coming from a mile away when they are the only 2 youths traveling in the party. Yes, Sein reminds Frieren of Heiter, I said last week that he was too much like Heiter because it feels like a retread of what we’ve already done. About the only thing that stood out to me, that I really enjoyed and got something out of, were the flashbacks about Himmel. I really liked how Frieren left it up to interpretation whether or not Himmel knew what the ring meant, or the meaning behind his actions. Personally I think it’s pretty obvious he knew, and him getting down on one knee was a purposeful statement on his part, as close to a confession as he’s liable to make. But it’s not integral to the story, it’s not going to hurt anything if you don’t pick up on that, so having the restraint to not outright tell us was nice. It made the scene work a lot better for me than had he done some kind of dramatic speech and confession. So yeah, that was nice. Aside from thread though? I can’t say I was all that invested in the episode.
P.S. I can’t forget the head pats. Was going through getting pictures and realized I hadn’t written about those. The head pats were sweet.
Shangri-La Frontier – 10 [Let’s Go Tomb Raiding!]
Alright, seems like things are starting to pick up. This episode can be split into 2 parts, the spider boss fight and the introduction to our next arc. The boss fight was pretty straightforward, almost disappointingly so. I’m down to show how strong Sunraku is, he needs to be for what’s coming. And he was pretty clever with the fight, using real science to figure out which webs are sticky or using the environment to his advantage. But watching him absolutely destroy bosses capable of defeating entire parties, on his first try, is a bit much. I’d have liked to see him run into some difficulties from doing it solo, mechanics that necessitate parties and make solo play a tad more challenging. Sure it’s artificial difficulty specifically for our hero, but considering he’s the MC I think it’s warranted. Plus it would only make him seem even stronger to overcome those challenges. As is though he’s sort of just tearing through the game without much trouble. Luckily the second half of the episode seems to address this, setting up our next arc where we finally get to challenge one of the Colossi: Wethermon the Tombsguard. We don’t know too much about him yet, apparently bringing to many people only makes it harder and Pencil is looking for pure skill so she’s calling up the 2 best players she knows. Makes sense, especially if she’s the only one that really needs to deal a lot of damage and if most of his mechanics are instant kill regardless of level. I’m looking forward to Shangri-la throwing some real challenges Sunraku’s way again, because he’s had it too easy for too long. Oh, and we also learn NPCs have 1 life, so that’s some nice stakes for what is otherwise a rather low-stakes MMO conflict.
Goblin Slayer S2 – 10 [City Adventure]
Another slow week from Goblin Slayer where not all that much happens. For the most part our heroes experience the city, have some guy/girl only time, and chat a bit before the next quest gets dropped at their feet. Some of it was nice, Priestess visiting the graves of the adventurers from episode 1 season 1 was cool, and Dwarf Shaman talking about the importance of taking breaks, of doing other things to keep yourself sharp and hone your skills was nice. I appreciate these moments of quiet where our heroes are allowed to actually talk to each other and be characters, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like. Aside from that though it’s mostly setting up what is to come. Princess steals some clothes, sneaks out of the palace to try and be a hero, gets captured by some goblins. Bing bang boom, Goblin Slayer and co are tasked with saving her. Odds are she’s going to be fucked up, goblins in Goblin Slayer tend to be pretty brutal and not the types to wait, but maybe she will get some lucky plot armor and get through this without being tortured and raped. One can hope Goblin Slayer has learned some restraint after all this time, you know?