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Spring 2024 What-I’m-Watching Summary – Week 6

Wind Breaker – 7 [Fight to Win]

It’s absolutely ridiculous how close Wind Breaker is to figuring itself out and being great. It already has the shounen stuff down, seriously, Wind Breaker’s fight choreography is fantastic, having some of what are easily the best fights in the season. The way Togame and Sakura’s bodies move, the different fighting styles like Togame’s grapples and stomps to Sakura’s pinwheel kicks and strikes, it’s impossible not to get pulled into the fight. The camera can be a bit ambitious at times, making some transitions look awkward, but Wind Breaker tries so hard to make sure we always see their full bodies as they fight that it generally comes together anyways. The only thing Wind Breaker really needs to work on is the narrative, the core themes of building and maintaining a community and what those communities mean to the individuals within it. Part of why this episode is good is because we get a lot of that with Togame. We see how he gets pulled into the Shishitoren before it got corrupted, how Choji made it feel like home and helped him feel comfortable interacting with others. We get to watch as Choji is consumed by his desire for strength, for freedom, resulting him in kicking out anyone who he doesn’t see as strong, creating this culture of fear. This forces Togame to take on this role of the “villain” within the Shishitoren, performing all of the “skinning” himself, becoming the man every other member fears because, even if they fear him, so long as they love Choji the Shishitoren, the community he came to love so much, will endure. It’s all right there, Wind Breaker has the pieces! Now just imagine if this was episode 10 instead of 7, if we knew more of about Bofurin was like to contrast it against, if we got more time with Togame as an antagonist to understand where this is coming from prior to the fight. It would have been utterly fantastic, a beautiful way to end a season and begin Sakura’s journey in earnest. Instead it’s just one good episode in an otherwise eh team-battle arc. A damn shame if you ask me, but I’ll take what I can get.

Jellyfish Can’t Swim at Night – 6 [31 (Thirty One)]

Jellyfish was caught me completely off guard this week, I was not prepared for this twist. Remember that bitchy idol from episode one who set up shop in front of Yoru’s mural? Well turns out she’s back. Not only that, she’s also a 31 year old single mother chasing her dream while simultaneously working multiple jobs and raising a child. And you know what? She’s a damn good mom!  She makes her kid clothes, always makes time for her, supports her in everything she does, and is willing to throw away an entire gig, her entire identity, for her. I… I cannot believe Jellyfish made me care about this bitch. Yet here we are, me tearing up at the thought of Ariel, the daughter, being her moms biggest fan, and of Miiko, the mother, working herself to the bone to support them while also pursuing her dream. Does this episode do a lot for our main cast? Not really. There’s some nice connections between Ariel/Miiko and Kano’s relationship with her own mother, but it’s really not explored much, left as more of a “I want what they have” sort of thing, but it’s still nice that it’s present. As for the rest of the cast, they don’t come up that much, this isn’t their episode. Overall I liked this quite a lot, Jellyfish continues to hit all the right places for me and I look forward to it every week. All it needs to do now is navigate itself to a satisfying ending in the next… 6 episodes, and it be a solid Anime of the Season contender.

Dungeon Meshi – 20 [Ice Golem/Barometz]

A fun, more traditional Dungeon Meshi episode this week. All about integrating Izutsumi into the group, hell Dungeon Meshi even updated the OP to include her in all of the scenes making it clear she isn’t a one-off addition like Namari and Shuro but rather a new permanent member. Getting back to it, we get a look into why she is the way she is and see her slowly warm up to the party, figuring out that they are nothing like the household she just abandoned. In this group, it isn’t every man for themselves. Rather everyone does what they are good at, helping out and picking things up when they can, to ensure everyone survives together. It’s pretty cute! She’s definitely still a brat, but she’s starting to become our brat instead of an uninvited guest who has zero intention of interacting or working with everyone else. The final bit of her trying Senshi’s food in earnest, enjoying this new thing she expected to hate but finally opening herself up to new experiences on the off chance it’s good, was nice. Add on a cool battle scene against an ice golem and some fun comedy of Laios being an absolute freak and you have a pretty well rounded episode of Dungeon Meshi.

Astro Note – 7

This episode of Astro Note was simultaneously really cute and horribly tragic. Everything with Miyasaka and Mira growing closer, from Teruko being a fantastic wingman at the pupae eating content to them both lamenting the belief that the other thought they were a cute couple with someone else, it felt like some real progress was made on their relationship. Yet this all came at a cost, specifically for Aoi. This poor girl is doing her best, giving everything she has to Miyasaka, trying to connect with him in his interests and remind him of a connection they used to share, all to no avail. She tried so hard this episode, only to realize that… she wasn’t the one. It was such a bittersweet moment, right as I cheer for Mira and Miyasaka I have to watch a young girls love get crushed. Great stuff from Astro Note on that. Aside from the tragedy of romance, most of this episode was just fluff. Lots of character interactions, a fun idol number, some physical comedy. The romance and tragedy was the real meat of the episode, for good reason.

My Hero Academia Season 7 – 2 [Spectre]

This week My Hero Academia follows up Star’s entry with her exit. That’s right, she’s only around for two whole episodes! A damn shame if you ask me. Again, as far as spectacle goes this was great. Punching Shigaraki with a fist full of cruise missiles? Letting Shigaraki touch her and steal her quirk only to turn it into a suicide bomb inside of him while you fall from the sky, decaying as you go? The visualization of New Order, Star’s quirk, ripping through Shigaraki/All for One’s stockpile like an absolute monster before being destroyed itself, ensuring he can’t have it and weakening him for the fight to come? Conceptually it’s all brilliant. There’s even number of fun easter eggs like Admiral Akbar as the United States general, or Order 66 with X-66, that sort of stuff is cute. It’s just… what holds this back for me is that we don’t know or care about Star and her crew, there’s no setup for this, it didn’t earn any emotional investment. It’s an awesome fight, enjoyed watching it, make no mistake about that! But that’s all it is. With nothing else to set it apart from any other fight we’re going to get this year, I imagine it will quickly be forgotten. Which sucks, cause I love Star, I love her design, I love the idea behind her character. Sadly an idea is all I really got. Still cool though, fun shounen.

Viral Hit – 6 [The Devil]

Viral Hit continues to be the thing that I have no idea why I’m still watching it but I don’t want to drop it. On the YouTube side of things, this episode sees Hobin and Snapper hire confront that fact that they are both terrible video editors. They have the on screen talent, they have the camera man, but they don’t have someone to edit their footage down into something easily watchable, something that can truly go viral and get new viewers. So it makes sense for them to want to hire one. Is it convenient that they have one in school, who also just so happens to be the girl who was stalking Hobin and gave advice in their channel? A little bit. But Viral Hit did enough to set this up previously with her constantly appearing in his chat so I’ll give it to them, plus she’s fun with her hot headedness and no-nonsense attitude, so I’m glad she’s part of the team. On the combat side of things, Viral Hit introduces its next major antagonist now that Pakgo is defeated, Taehun. I have to say… this feels like a bit of an escalation. Going from a highschool bully you barely defeated to a semi-professional MMA fighter who got kicked for being to violent outside of their matches? There’s no way in hell for Hobin to win this, their difference in skill is to great. Short of Taehun getting so arrogant he throws the fight in a completely unbelievable fashion, I don’t see how they actually win this. Maybe they can involve Munseong, either to help train them or to fight Taehun for them? I don’t know. Whatever Viral Hit’s plan here though it better be good, because this could be what finally drives me to cash out on the show.

The post Spring 2024 What-I’m-Watching Summary – Week 6 appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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