Week #1 – Summer Anime 2016

Week number one has arrived with this Summer anime season. What’s in store this week?!

As always I’m live reacting (though typing it out to be posted later) to each episode I watch and going over what happens in each episode with the occasional quip and joke here and there. So for those trying to avoid spoilers, this entire article is full of them!

And be warned, it’s Week 1, expect a number of shows to be dropped right off the bat. Also any 2-4 minute shorts will be dropped even if they’re 5 out of 5’s as they’re difficult to live react to. Not enough time to settle in, y’know?

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91 Days (Ep.1)

Last season, Joker Game tried to be the super serious anime like Erased, but I couldn’t do it. Can 91 Days be the next Erased to break me out of my “meh-ness” towards more serious thrillers? Let’s see.

After a bare introduction of the MC, we appear to see a flashback of him when he was younger and I fully expect to see people dying very soon and not enjoying the graphic violence at all. We see one child leave and a car go by…and then another car follows. Oh dear, dead parents coming up! Little brother runs out to protect Mom and that’s the end of it for all three. Somehow the MC isn’t found and of course he gets to see his entire family dead before running off. He seeks shelter with the friend who left beforehand. With the family home burned down, he has nowhere to go now. Back in the present day, we find our MC now seven years older. We see his friend as well, a bootlegger as this anime takes place during prohibition. The mafia comes in and breaks up the operation before Angelo (MC) arrives and takes a good whack at the guy with a pipe wrench. He goes by the name Avilio now obviously to cover up his lineage. He asks Colteo to sell his booze to the family that presumably are the ones responsible for his family’s deaths. He’s likely using this as a way to get himself in with the family. They go to a place to sell the booze and a member of the Orco family, the people the men beating up Colteo’s establishment belong to…and they’ve got business with a Nero Vanetti to deal with, the son of Don Vanetti. However Avilio deals with the problem and after a bit of a gunfight, they manage to all escape. Not knowing who Nero is, one of the men in the building with them during this problem reveals himself as Nero. The episode was okay, but a super serious show like this and one that will get as dark as it most likely will, that’s not in my wheelhouse. I strongly recommend it for drama and thriller anime lovers, this one looks like it’ll be damn good. But for me, it’s just not my thing.

Episode Score: 2/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (Ep.1)

Alderamin on the Sky (Ep.1)

Well the intro’s badass, sounds like the singer of the GATE themes…and it totally is! We start off with our lazy ass MC, Ikta, being woken up by some tiny fairy thing that looks like Cardcaptors’ Kero without the tail. Then we see potentially the hottest girl of the series, Yatori, pictured above. Holy shit! It appears this lazy ass is being forced to take a military exam by this girl, though there’s an easy job in it for him that she can get him, so long as he helps her get through it as well. He notes that this better be the last time in his life he’s ever involved in the army…which means that for this entire series he will be a major part of the army somehow. We’re introduced to another pretty girl in Haroma, who’s aiming to become a medic. Then some annoying looking fat fuck walks in, named Matthew. And then we see how much of a womanizer Ikta is, holy shit he’s a big much. Thankfully Yatori steps in. Another male shows up, Torway, probably the most normal of all the guys so far. Ikta doesn’t like him because he’s another hot guy that challenges him for the girls’ attention. While watching Matt and Torway play chess, we see that Ikta’s actually got a very keen eye and a tactical presence, figuring out the winner twenty-one moves before the game actually ended. And to even out the eventual party, there’s a (likely stowaway) blonde girl that appears at the door before running off. The sailing suddenly gets extremely rough and water starts flooding in. Yatori leads the group well and they get on lifeboats in the stormy weather. It’s the five of them and then the blonde girl falls off the boat, so Ikta goes and gets her using his spirit to help him survive and get to her faster. She awakens in a cave with the rest of the group trying to warm up by a fire. Ikta and Torway are currently out and Yatori identifies this girl as a Princess. She actually can recall meeting Yatori back when she was four and Yatori was ten, which shocks her that she’d remember someone as low as her. After scouting, the boys discover they’re in enemy territory on this land they drifted on. So now they have two choices, turn themselves in as prisoners of war or break through the border. The Princess makes that decision real quick, refusing to turn herself in. Ikta gets a little too direct with her and Yatori takes him down hard for it. He walks out for a moment and asks Ikta what’s wrong, never seeing him get so serious. Also, Princess’ name is Chamille. They start preparing for the likely decision of breaking through and during this time Camille and Ikta get some time alone to patch things out…literally with a hammock. But before they really have time to enjoy each other’s company, a blimp appears above them, so now it’s time to go back into hiding. While going to the bathroom outside, someone finds the Princess and Yatori and rushes to go check things out when the alarm gets tripped. When it looks like she’s about to get caught, Ikta suddenly appears to take the attention off her. The show ends with Camille narrating that this was the beginning of Ikta’s story where he would earn the nickname of the “Invincible Lazy General”. I love this show so far, great world, interesting characters and a dumb concept in Ikta’s laziness.

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Episode Score: 4.5/5

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +1.5

Amanchu! (Ep.1)

Amanchu! (Ep.1)

I fully expect to drop this one as in watching the previews, I was super put off by the art style and was a tad bit bored watching the preview. But who knows?

We meet Hikari, a very hyper-active girl who’s grandmother appears to own a small stand where people can rent scuba gear. While about to go on a dive, a random girl rides into the area on her scooter and just stares out into the ocean. The girl moved in recently and seems to be rather depressed about the move. By the time Hikari finishes her dive, the girl has left. First day of high school starts and WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF UNIFORMS ARE THE GIRLS WEARING?! It’s like if Disney had a Japanese high school, the fuck?! God damn it, Hikari’s growing on me and now I’ve noticed that the voice actress is the same one who did Chinatsu from Flying Witch. Crap. Her cartoony face is constantly eliciting a smile from me. First class starts, teacher’s super hot too. They do introductions and Futaba (new girl) fails miserably, while Hikari just starts blowing her whistle and gets a smack across the head for it, but still retains her hyper self, which amazes Futaba. Hikari now spends the majority of the day trying to think of a nickname for Futaba since she doesn’t have one. Eventually she comes up with Teko, after teasing the audience with a near kiss. And thus their new lives begin.

I am so upset that I loved this episode. I wanted another show to drop because it was boring and instead I was smiling the entire time. The show’s looking to be far goofier than I anticipated. God damn it, Hikari! It’s all your fault!

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Episode Score: 5/5

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +3

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Ange Vierge (Ep.1)

Debuts on July 10th.

Episode Score: /5

Cheer Danshi!! (Ep.1)

Cheer Danshi!! (Ep.1)

It’s clear that MC Haruki has a serious shoulder injury that’s keeping him out of judo where he originally started, his older sister becoming a big part in the sport. Now I have to address this from the top, uh…cheerleading’s not exactly a safe “sport” either, how is this acceptable for his shoulder injury? His friend Kazuma talks to him later in the night, seeing that Haruki’s clearly bothered by the injury. At school the next day he finds out Kazuma’s quit the Judo Club like he will be as well. Catching up with him, he demands to know why Kazuma quit as well. He claims it’s simply because the two of them always did everything together, so it made sense to quit with him as well. Then he propositions Haruki on their new goal, men’s cheerleading. Naturally, he’s not happy with the idea, thinking it’s all for girls. They’ve got one person interested, but he can’t seem to get to them to say something about it. He finally gets to them after school and just kind of…shows up. Kazuma shows the two of them an old photo album and stuff about his mother who was a cheerleader back in college. Also, both his parents are dead because y’know…anime loves dead parents. He takes the two of them to see a competition, noting though that they’d likely be the first all-male cheerleading squad. Naturally, some asshole from the clear rival team in the series tells them off for such a dumb idea. But Haruki’s in. But I’m out, this isn’t interesting to me at all. It looks like it’ll be fun for those into the concept, but after watching an episode, I’ve got zero interest in seeing where it goes. It wasn’t a bad episode, just the concept itself isn’t grabbing me.

Episode Score: 2.5/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -0.5

Handa-Kun (Ep.1)

Handa-Kun (Ep.1)

Little bit of fourth wall breaking right from the very start, I like it! The beginning is all about four guys calling themselves the Handa Force finding out that Handa-kun has an anime already and they’ve missed the first episode. So they intend to just make one themselves instead. It’s painfully terrible. Then they finally get shipped a copy of the actual anime and the opening to it is fucking fantastic! After all, it is Fo’xtails. Handa-kun’s first name is Sei, but I’m so tempted to ignore my usual rule of going by first names specifically for him. Fuck it! Handa-kun is essentially the most popular person in school because of his master calligraphy skills, except he treats everyone’s affection for him as bullying and just wants to be a loner. He gets a letter in his shoe locker and thinks it’s a written threat, but is actually a love letter from a classmate. He sees the girl who wrote it and tells her to say it to him in the open, thinking she’s just harassing him. But of course she’s asking to see him after school in private, but he thinks she’s challenging him to a fight. He devises a crazy plan for everything and every over-analyzed step he takes just makes things worse and in fact does nothing to change that he has to see this lovebird that he thinks will kick his ass. The episode ends there, going back to the Handa Force who can’t understand why the episode ended there, but with a little more fourth wall breaking, it’s because they wasted the first ten minutes of the anime. That was fantastic, it’s going to be very entertaining.

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Episode Score: 4.5/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +0.5

Hatsukoi Monster (Ep.1)

Hatsukoi Monster (Ep.1)

A hilarious start to a love story. She asks for a boy’s name and he refuses and she says her first love ended. Her name’s Kaho. She’s a daughter of a very wealthy family, treated like a princess, all that jazz. It’s even as far as her family essentially forced people into being friends with her. So she moves out to stay somewhere away from home so she can be treated differently and discovers that her landlord looks super young, except he’s just a student, so she way overreacted. While moving her things, she drops a kokeshi and nearly gets run over by a truck chasing after it, but is saved by the man who refused her love at the start of the show. She immediately thinks he saved her for her money, to which she’s shocked to find out the opposite and that shows the scene from the beginning now. He’s totally the landlord, has to be. Then an androgynous boy (I’m sure of it) shows up, though for once I’m not 100% certain I’m right on this, I can still believe it’s a girl. Another red-haired boy shows up as well and Kaho can’t take the embarrassment anymore and runs into the house and her new room. She’s being super-dramatic thinking that no one wants her now that she’s been rejected by this boy. Sure enough, he shows up at the house and finally gives her his name, Kanade. And then she randomly confesses to her right away and he says they can date if she wants, so long as she can in the end like the real him, whatever that may be. As she wonders what this “real him” is, she gets zero sleep because of it. Oh, the real him is in Grade 5. Dafuq?! Yet she still says yes. Uh…does she realize what’s happening? Oh, there it is. WAIT! ARE ALL THESE GUYS FIFTH GRADERS?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS GOING ON?!!! Um…I love this show now, this is ridiculous! The girl (maybe) and green-haired guy appear and remind her that she said yes now, she’d break his heart if she suddenly backed out now. Wow, they’re the only three boys in the entire school that size, this is insane. And then Kanade has to help the blue-haired boy with “wiener pain”, oh my fuck this is weird. Kaho tries to get the fuck out of there, but it’s too late now. While playing tag, she runs into one of the older boys again, starting another lovey-dovey moment and we’re back to tag! They mention another kid named Kaz who’s cooler than the rest of them. I’m betting he’s just a normal kid. OH, NOW THERE’S AN ANDROGYNOUS BOY!!! Kazuo is his(?) name. After a little more tag, they all have to go home and Kazuo tells Kanade he does not approve of her dating Kanade.

…Wow. Just wow. The fuck did I just watch?! And why did I enjoy that?!

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Episode Score: 4/5

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +1

Hitori no Shita: The Outcast (Ep.1)

Hitori no Shita: The Outcast (Ep.1)

Well the intro music was awesome. We see a drunkard in a graveyard when he sees someone digging up a grave and all the gravestones fall over suddenly. Upon the police researching the incident, they find it related to the Zhang family, saying if it’s related to them, it’s something far bigger than just some idiot digging up graves. The inspector calls a young man related to the grave dug up, Chulan and tells him to get to the station when he gets into town. He’s the grandson of the person whose graves was dug up, but there also seems to be a granddaughter as well that no one knows about. Suspicious. Chulan knew nothing about having a sister either. That night he goes to the grave to fix the gravestone so he can return home. He finds the girl claiming to be the granddaughter digging up more graves and he runs off when she sees him. But she whacks him hard with a shovel. And then zombies. But she kills the one about to attack him. She throws him into a grave, saying he’s in the way. He realizes she’s the older sister but she refuses him and kicks him back in the grave, saying it was a fake and starts burying him. Before she can finish though, many more zombies appear. With everything going on, he’s positive he just passed out at home and this is all a dream. But it’s not and she leaves him alone to die. She meets another man who asks about things, noting she was late to get to the grave and that she left Chulan alone but insists he’ll be fine. When they investigate though, all the zombies have been burned after seeing lightning form. Then we see some kid and a sultry woman waiting for someone to bring Chulan’s grandfather’s corpse and the girl licks her lips saying he’ll be delicious. Uh…okay? So we see that Chulan indeed is alive and back in school. Also this girl, Baobao is in the class now. Oh dear. I’m not interested at all in this after watching the first episode, the zombies cliche has been done to death (pun intended) for me and the concept isn’t enough to get me past it.

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Episode Score: 2.5/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -0.5

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (Ep.1)

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (Ep.1)

I’m happy this one got put on Crunchyroll’s list, was worried I wasn’t going to have easy access to this one. Our MC, Mizuki is a second-year student and a member of the art club. We’re also introduced to her friend Subaru, who has a huge dream…that dream is to draw the perfect 2D waifu. It’s already implied that Mizuki likes Subaru so watching him draw all these 2D girls drives her mad. However she has an odd obsession herself with drawing apples. He suggests she try anthromorphing an apple and naturally it turns out awful. He also wants someone to model for him and notes he needs someone he can bear to stare at for a while, so Mizuki’s interested of course in helping him because of that statement, only to find out he “barely tolerates” her. She has to change into shorts as he can see her panties during the pose though, noting it’s nice he’s not into 3D girls, not that it helps Mizuki. During this exchange, we see that their friend they’ve been waiting on has been hiding in a locker the whole time, watching this. When finished, he claims he drew her like she is this time, which means nothing like her at all, except for her panties. However we do see him privately actually drawing her and giving it to her later on, perhaps as an apology. The next day he reveals to her that once he achieves his dream of getting the perfect waifu drawing, he’ll quit the club. Some flashbacks ensue and then we’re back with them walking home where he asks her if she’ll be lonely if he quits, but is kidding around. She starts crying uncontrollably. The next day she walks into the room and it’s of course just the two of them. He reveals he’s not quitting after all, saying she changed his mind however it’s more because he wants to draw a girl crying after seeing her cry. She accepts that as good enough for the time being. This was a cute first episode, nothing too special though. Hopefully it gets just a little more interesting next week.

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Episode Score: 3.5/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -0.5

Masou Gakuen HxH

Masou Gakuen HxH

All right, here goes the one I’m worried the most about. From the previews it sounded like this would be even too sexual for me, let’s see if it is and if so, just how bad. Well first shot was boobs, that’s a pretty good sign just how much. Oh dear she’s moaning loudly and…blast off! Wow, what a transition. I’m a minute and a half in and I want out, but I will power through just to see if there’s anything redeeming about it. We see the three main girls now and silver-blue hair wants a turn now on the sexy recharge train. We…I assume rewind to MC Kizuna on a train heading to a place called Ataraxia. Is it Hollow? Hahaha…bad Fate/Stay Night joke. Sister ordered him to show up at the place as well, makes you wonder if incest is a given in such a show like this. Along his walk he sees all three girls from earlier, spending the most time with Aine, silver-hair girl. And then the alarm goes off, so she starts undressing and thus begins sexy transformation sequence. Pretty sure she has an orgasm during it as well. Aine starts fighting a skull Gundam (best I can describe it as) and the other two join in eventually. Aine’s power drops and Kizuna’s forced to deploy his own form, Eros. Because of course the male MC’s form has to be named something in reference to erotic. He catches Aine but crashes to the ground with her. His sister contacts him and tells him to fondle his breasts. Okay! …WAIT WHAT?! And now the censorship is so bad it’s in the way. But they don’t censor when his face gets pulled in between her legs. Okay, anime. He gets a punch in the stomach for his troubles. We leave seeing the rest of the world in shambles.

…Uh…I know I defend and adore anime that gets a little sexual…but this was a bit much. Yeah…I’ll stick to just panty shots, thank ye kindly.

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Episode Score: 2/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

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Mob Psycho 100 (Ep.1)

Debuts on July 12th.

Episode Score: /5

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Momokuri (Ep.1 & 2)

Seems they group these episodes, likely two 10-minute shorts. Maybe it’s a first week thing, we won’t know till next week. We have Shinya our male MC talking about a letter he received at school one day, a love letter from a girl who then confesses to her not long after, the first time a girl confessed to him. He accepts and thus begins our story. Her name’s Yuki, she’s a year older than him. And then she delves into Umaru-like faces and thinks about him like that guy or girl you just wanna bang right then and there. She also knows WAY TOO MUCH about him. So clearly she’s been stalking him and he has no idea. She’s clearly a shameless stalker the longer this episode goes on. Except now that they’re together she doesn’t know what to ask him since she’s learned everything about him. It appears this relationship will be a stalker girl and a total oblivious guy. Even Yuki’s nosebleeds are over the top, I love it, it’s always great seeing this happening in reverse. Turns out she only confessed cause she promised to after she had 100 pictures of him in her phone.

Episode 2 presumably starts now, the two meeting up along the walk to school. Yuki being the creep she is, has his used straw from a juice box and her friend immediately smacks it away telling her that she’s dating Shinya now, she doesn’t need to be this creepy anymore. His friends joke with him about her and it’s then we realize that of course Yuki stalked out his route for 40 minutes before he showed up. He starts to get suspicious already with how she knows certain things about him, runs into him often and how she actually freaks the fuck out when he initiates anything with her. It’s now summer season as well so she gets to see Shinya show even more skin…like his forearms. Being dumb and intentionally forgetting her umbrella, she gets stuck walking alone in the pouring rain until Shinya gets to her. This is a very cute show so far, can’t wait to see how much weirder it gets.

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Episode Score: 4/5

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +1

Fukigen na Mononokean (Ep.1)

The Morose Mononokean (Ep.1)

Some poor soul has a yokai (spirit) weighing him down, literally, to the point he can’t even make it to school. Our MC Hanae, originally was just going out shopping when he stumbled upon this yokai, thinking it’s some weird pet or stuffed animal. Then it jumps onto his back and refuses to get off, no matter how hard he tries to pull it off. He’s also the only one who can see it. The first day of school he passes out and the nurse ends up having to get involved. Day two, he makes it past the gate and passes out right after crossing it. Day three, the doors. Day four, the lockers. Day five is where we see him not even make it to the gate, but he manages to get up and this time makes it to the classroom door, but not quite there. The yokai’s also getting larger, so he deduces it’s sucking something from him. After that day, he finds a poster of someone claiming to be able to perform exorcists and he really has no other options. However, upon calling this person, by opening the nurse’s office door, he’s suddenly in this man’s house and not the school hallway. The yokai immediately shrinks after a single step inside. However through a misunderstanding, the man thought Hanae was entering for a job and not an exorcism, so he’d have to wait ten days before it’s his turn. But hearing Hanae’s last name, the man’s slightly curious all of a sudden and offers to suddenly exorcise it now. He has to leave the room first and then end up on the roof. The yokai grows bigger than him now. The man starts his ritual…or just starts blowing up a beach ball. He reveals the possibility that this yokai was from an animal that passed away, as it’s interested in playing with the ball and likely clung to him despite the fighting because at least someone was paying attention to it. After five hours of playtime, the yokai has shrunk enough to be exorcised. Hanae suddenly has a change of heart, knowing he’ll miss it and the yokai even speaks into his mind, thanking him. It’s a little sad seeing the little thing go. Hanae also apologies to Haruitsuki (the exorcist) for not believing him and sees the good in him he missed their first meeting. However, the payment is a million yen, guess Hanae’s working that job now. Finally able to attend school now, he disappoints everyone already by being male and not female apparently. Oh, Haruitsuki is in his class. This first episode was cute, but I want to see a lot more next week, this wasn’t remotely wacky enough for what it should be.

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Episode Score: 3.5/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -0.5

New Game! (Ep.1)

New Game! (Ep.1)

And we have our lead heroine Aoba, a young girl who gets a job working at a game studio. She’s certainly got a case for first day jitters. She gets called a kid by one of the employees right off the bat, the Assistant Director, Rin. Or at least that’s what you’d think, but she’s actually the Art Director, both Aoba and myself made that mistake. And then the OP starts and I now have an idea of what I’m walking into. Super cute, cheesy, there’s a girl sleeping with no pants on, y’know, standard comedy anime. Aoba’s at her desk for five seconds before freaking out cause no-pants girl is sleeping and moaning while she does so. And then she starts getting all lovey-dovey with the girl after she wakes up. Naturally, everyone thinks Aoba’s a middle schooler cause she’s a tiny anime girl, but she’s actually a high school graduate. Y’know, a tiny anime girl. Her name’s Kou, Aoba’s manager and also her idol designer when she was little. The lack of professionalism in the studio is driving her crazy, expecting a far more serious environment than what she’s in. Also there’s a fat cat, because anime is amazing. The owner of the cat approaches Aoba, the director of the game the studio’s currently making, Shizuki and the cat is Mozuku. Oh hello there pretty tanned girl! She pulls out a BB gun on the director and shoots her feet after a joke about her wrinkles. I like her. Finally starting work, she’s ordered to start learning 3D design and tries to ask Hifumi directly but she’s very shy and requires instant messaging to talk to her. Oh my god this show is so yuri it hurts. We’re officially introduced to Yun and Hajime as the four girls in the same office space (Aoba and Hifumi as well) go to lunch together. There’s a little mishap with Aoba’s ID card, aka everyone got lazy and didn’t get her one. The four girls again have a little break together and talk about how busy it’s going to get soon and they may be staying overnight some days. Aoba’s just happy to have an ID card now, even though she still forgets to bring it with her when she leaves the office. The first day done, she asks what the name of the game they’re working on currently is. It’s the third installment of the game she loved as a kid, Fairies Story. What a cute show this is going to be, some might think it’s a bit much, but I’m always game for these shows.

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Episode Score: 4/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

Orange (Ep.1)

Orange (Ep.1)

The first two minutes aren’t being promising so far, it’s making me wonder if this might be a little too calm, deep and for me, boring. But we shall see. We have Naho, our female MC and somehow she’s written a letter to herself from 10 years in the future and warns her about the transfer student that’s about to walk in the door, Kakeru. The letter will also direct her to make certain changes so that her future changes. I will note right now that this is a tough one to watch, simply because I’m not liking the art style in this one. It appears that so far, she’s failing miserably at what the letter asks her to do, it makes me wonder if the end of this show, whether I watch this further or not is if she just never changes the history, not caring about whatever her future is. The next letter then comes, requiring her to pinch hit in softball and once again she ignores it, or is about to but finally snaps and does for it, hitting a grand slam. She has a hurt foot through all this, but Kakeru helps her out. It appears that because of whatever events that transpired, Kakeru passed away, so the letters are in hopes of changing that.

However, I will not be seeing if that change comes to be, I was bored through the entire episode, didn’t even bother taking any screencaps. Maybe it’ll be good down the line, but after this episode, I see nothing to keep my interest going.

Episode Score: 1.5/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -0.5

Planetarian

Planetarian (Ep.1)

This must’ve been added randomly, because I had no idea this was even a show this season. I’m already intrigued, it appears this is about an android of sorts and a sad intro at that. It appears everyone is having to leave and is saying goodbye without having her know they aren’t coming back. She awakens and we hear from another character that the world is in shambles after a major war. The city is desolate, protected by robots. A man is being chased by a few of them, losing his gun and pack during the chase. He calls himself a Junker, a man scavenging for anything useful, food, medical supplies, weapons and ammo, all that jazz. It’s during his search of an abandoned building that he comes across the lab where this android, Yumemi was kept and just woke up from. She congratulates him when finding him, calling him their 2,500,000th customer, though she lied for some reason. He is the first customer however in over 29 years. He notes that she seems a bit broken and she proceeds to spout a bunch of nonsense. She also talks him into watching a projection, except she forgot the whole thing about there being no one around to actually work the machines and in fact the machine is seriously broken. He finally tries to leave but something seems to keep his attention and the episode ends with him about to turn around. I’m not sure what to think of this yet, it seems very interesting, but the show hasn’t showed its hand at all yet. We’ll see next week what’s up.

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Episode Score: 3/5

Qualidea Code (Ep.1)

Qualidea Code (Ep.1)

Debuts on July 10th.

Episode Score: /5

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars (Ep.1)

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars (Ep.1)

Twelve years ago…EXPLOSIONS!!! And some cute silver-haired girl in a lab. But also giant mechs with little girls inside them. More explosions follow and cute girl presumably dies, people have disappeared and bad girl is still very alive. Assuming we’re back in the present, we’re with two girls living together, Yui and Rena. Of course the tiny girl is the big sister between the two. Later in the day, the two sisters are to meet at a cafe, but before that, a strange silver-haired girl appears and looks to be watching Rena. Instead of being a good girl and staying pat, Rena chasing after her, calling her Kei. She’s gotta be the tiny girl from the lab. Kei talks about something happening twelve years ago and Rena’s put off by this for some reason. Yui gets to the cafe and gets a call back from Rena saying she’s leaving for some reason and leaves a gift with the cafe for her, promising to return. Rena goes to some shipping dock and a big guy’s waiting for her to bring her in. He suddenly reaches for a glowing orb and turns into a spiked shape and transfers into a giant mech. He demands she bring her own out, calling her not human. She pleads to take it somewhere without innocent lives in danger, but he refuses. So now she’s pissed and summons her own. During all this, Yui and Kei are watching from different places. Finding Rena lying unconscious after a swift defeat, Yui’s now in danger but isn’t standing down. Both of them are about to be killed when they have that personal moment in their minds away from everything somehow. Rena reveals she’s known as Magna Alecto, a non-human designed to be the core of the mech she wields. Unsurprisingly to me, we also now know that Rena and Yui are not actually sisters by blood. Now with the mech back in play, Yui is the pilot, Rena the core. After taking a hit, we see the man isn’t human either, looking very cyborg-ish. He tries to keep the fight going, but she finishes it real quick, absolutely decimating the mech. We see afterwards the news of the battles and we see several different women looking on, including one of the sisters’ friends and the older women with Kei earlier. To end things off, with things calmed down, Yui finally opens her present, a ring turned into a necklace that apparently has some meaning between the two of them, Yui not being able to wear it normally anymore, so now as a necklace, she can once again.

Unfortunately, I’m dropping this show but not because it’s bad. I’m just not into this concept at all, it’s really hard to get me into mech-related anime and after the first episode, I don’t see anything to keep me interested. It’s not a harem, like Infinite Stratos, it’s not a well-told war story like Schwarzesmarken and there’s just no comedy going on either, so there’s nothing to grab me. I enjoyed the episode, but I wasn’t leaving it feeling like I wanted to see more. If you’re into mech anime, I can see this being decent, but for my tastes it just doesn’t fit in.

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Episode Score: 3/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +1

ReLIFE (Ep.1)

ReLIFE (Ep.1)

I’m aware the whole series is already out, but in spirit of this weekly article, I will just do one episode per week.

We have our MC, Arata, clearly a young man down on his luck, having trouble getting a job and now about to be completely broke. A young man then approaches him who seems to know everything about him. The man’s name is Ryo and tells him he’s been selected for the ReLIFE project, a year-long experiment. It’s a single pill. The following morning, Arata goes through his usual daily routine, but notices he’s much younger. The experiment is simple, the pill makes him look like a high schooler again so he has one year to finish there again and change his entire life. Oh and Ryo’s in his class. Arata also embarrasses himself into who will likely be his love interest. Her name’s Chizuru, the top student in the class. Though I’m liking Rena, the red-haired girl that sits next to him. Ann (It’s spelt An, but because it’ll constantly look weird, I’m just going to add the extra N) also looks adorable. Chizuru is at the bottom by being a tad bit boring. It’s then that he realizes that at this moment it’s perfectly legal for him to get with a high school girl. Then he really fucks up by the teacher finding his cigarettes in his bag. After a test to start off the year, he thanks Rena for giving him a pencil and eraser when he was in dire need. He finds a soft spot for the teacher Kokoro, as she’s only twenty-five. He confronts Ryo after, wondering if he’s a high schooler or not and it turns out Ryo’s also grown up, but took the pill as well to be his observer. Ryo also tells him not to just use him as a friend as he should be using this opportunity to grow with actual high schoolers. This show will be interesting, but as a first episode it hasn’t done much yet. Hopefully next week it starts to show some promise.

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Episode Score: 3/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -1

Rewrite (Ep.1)

Rewrite (Ep.1)

The start of this is a bunch of rocky bullshit storytelling from the MC with some awesome Dark Cloud sounding music, so it’s a tough call whether I’m curious or annoyed right now. He’s walking through an abandoned city, smug as fuck as he’s very much superhuman. He ends up in a flower field with a single tree, an ever classic place for him to find a pretty girl. By speaking to him, she sends shockwaves through his system and then she stabs him with a ribbon. And then he wakes up from his dream. This show is giving me Divine Gate-level douche chills right now and it gets worse. Out of nowhere, his doorbell goes off and an unknown woman asks him to find her missing daughter, Kotori. It’s also at this time at five minutes in that I notice that this episode is 48 minutes long. I may not make it through this. Walking through the forest he sees…some sort of cute mascot animal, he calls it an ordinary mammoth. He finally finds Kotori sleeping there. Apparently jangling her coins wakes her up. This is getting dumber and dumber. 40 minutes still left. During this time, ribbon girl seems to be watching him. Did ribbon girl just get into his bed–yup, she did! And then she bit him, but he can’t see her. I’m assuming this will end up making him superhuman somehow. At school the next day he for some reason is getting into a fight with some other guy and…holy fuck this plot is all over the place. Then the pretty class rep gets fired up about their fight and the teacher literally blows the fire out around her. Okay, I like Lucia, the rep at the very least. Still 35 minutes left. Kotarou (MC) notes that he, Kotori and Haruhiko are all outcasts and would actually like to be friends together. Oh and then we’re back to his bed where ribbon girl bites him again. What drugs is this anime on?! Now there’s a girl stuck in a tree he has to help down. This anime is all over the place, but not the funny kind. Though how this girl got into that tree was pretty funny. 30 minutes left. See this show is annoying me because of the MC and the anime’s pure jumping from spot to spot. But man, I love the girls in this show, they’re all super quirky and fun to watch. He also calls this girl Cherry, because that was her panties he saw while getting her out of the tree. She raises a desk, superhuman in strength and no one pays attention to it. Fuck, I forgot they have a blonde Rikka Takanashi in this show, now I have to pay attention. She tries to blow a whistle at Kotarou for some reason and fails. She’s Shizuru, a member of the Disciplinary Committee, possibly the least threatening member of such a group we’ll ever see in anime. His punishment for running in the hall, eating lunch with her, but another time. Then we get Inoue, a member of the Newspaper Club reporting their future escapade. She leaves and drops a piece of paper on the floor and it’s her “scoop notes” on people, including him. At the end of class that day, he and Chihaya (Cherry) make up, slightly, but she’s still mad at him. Fucking christ, 23 minutes left.

Chihaya meets with someone who tells her essentially to stay low-profile, as if her super strength is so ordinary to display in public. Kotori talks to him about Akane, rumoured as a witch at school. So they decide to try and find this third-year girl. Through an “information broker”, they find out where her occult club is and it’s almost like she lives there, even a walk-in shower in the room. It’s night again so you know what that means…RIBBON GIRL BITE! CHOMP CHOMP! He tries to fight it this time, but something clearly supernatural is going on here. Actually calling out Kotori’s name stops the nightmare though. 17 minutes left. He returns to the witch room the next morning and finds a note saying “You will die in two days” and a questionnaire on the desk. There’s a question asking if he’d change the world or himself and he actually answers it, though we don’t know what. Akane later on approaches him and he ends up showing her around the city. I love how Kotori is clearly the one who has the dirtiest mind of the entire cast as well. They were at each other’s throats the day before, now Kotarou and Akane are like besties. Then he suddenly gets a text from the witch to meet him at night. Wait…has he always had this high agility? I thought that was a dream. He’s led all over the school, like the witch is playing with him. During this time, he senses Ribbon Girl again and sure enough she appears again. He has vivid nightmares again and runs off, though she gives chase. He also realizes this nightmare is still going, the halls becoming endless. Now the show’s getting interesting! WHY’D IT TAKE 35 MINUTES?!!! Huh?! Now there’s a ton of…tree golems chasing him? Dafuq is going on?! He notes then that if superpowers exists, ghosts and other such things make sense. Ribbon Girl finds him again and he flees, tossing his drink in the air and she catches it and enjoys it. While fleeing, he runs into a strange set of doors and after entering this room, it closes behind him. Then he says to himself to activate his accelerator and punches a fairy in the face. This show really is getting awesome. Then another fairy punches that fairy. The girl fairy who punched the boy fairy is Pani, Gil’s the boy. Kotarou offers some blood to Gil to shut him up and he turns super adorable. And as if not enough crazy shit happened, the three of them wandered into the nest of a giant…something. It’s like a spider…crab…scorpion…thing. And of course Ribbon Girl arrives as well. She loses her drink because of the monster. Oh she’s pissed. And now the crazy magic battle begins. He seemingly falls out of the dimension as the fairies refer to it as and is back in the school. There’s another note for him from the witch and he returns to the occult room, where a crystal ball lies on the desk, glowing. And in the chair, is the witch herself. And that’s episode.

Okay, this show would be rated a lot higher, but the first half took way too long to get the ball rolling. I seriously hope this week is the only 45-minute episode, otherwise this will be a hard sell for me. Only having 5 screencaps per episode will be hard as well for 45 minutes.

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Episode Score: 3/5

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

Scared Rider Xechs (Ep.1)

Scared Rider Xechs (Ep.1)

Ugh this first-person shot is making my eyes hurt. He breaks out an electric guitar though, so I’m okay now. Then he fucks up a chord and throws his pick off the roof. The hell? Then we’re in an underground lab with a pod of sorts and a guy gets killed for some reason. We’re now jumping to a girl who misses her bus and is now walking to wherever she’s going. Then she sees a monster, runs away, falls in mud and gets the guitarist guy’s case dirty. However the monster is the guy’s familiar it would seem. She forces him to take her to some building and then we jump to four guys talking about how their professor is a seventeen year-old girl, likely blondie. All these jumps are hurting my brain. We’ve gotta get serious though as something is about to attack the world and then they celebrate? I start to get the idea perhaps they literally fight with rock music, but right now even that potential isn’t keeping me all that interested in this one. The plane carrying that pod is approaching the area, the boys are talking about nonsense and guitar guy’s still playing alone. Then the monsters show up, looking like Zubats and Grimers. Man, the music in this show is so good, I wish the rest of the anime was just as good. So the boys all look like Power Rangers when fighting. The big boss however shows up and starts wrecking house. Guitar guy shows up on a motorcycle of sorts, trying to at least help survivors. He finds that pod with a person inside of it and the boss goes after the pod as well, setting up a barrier and will kill guitarist if he doesn’t figure out how to transform. So of course he does and saves the girl in the pod. But the episode suddenly ends there. Uh…nope! I’m not interested. As much as I loved Power Rangers and as good as the music is, this show is super dumb with it’s overuse of jump cuts and not revealing its hand at all, just expecting us to watch blindly and follow along. Not interested.

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Episode Score: 2/5 ***DROPPED***

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

Servamp (Ep.1)

Servamp (Ep.1)

Well, someone’s parents are already dead. Well done, anime. Mahiru, a young boy is taken in by his uncle. AND THE HOLY SHIT THE OP IS SCREAM METAL!!! 10/5 already! Fast forward to him at 15 and he comes across a stray cat (that looks way too human) and takes it in, calling him Kuro, noting that he had no idea at time how his life would be constantly in danger because of this decision. At school, we see Mahiru is the kind of guy to do as much as he possibly can to help anyone and everyone, hence his immediate decision to take in a cat. His friends after school warn him though as he leaves to go shopping that there’s rumours of vampires lurking around, not that they’re real or anything. Returning home, he finds the TV is on for some reason and discovers a young male there eating his food. Upon trying to defend his house, Mahiru inadvertently opens a blind and the sunlight turns the boy back into Kuro. Closing the blinds again, sure enough Kuro is this boy, calling himself a kind-hearted vampire shut-in. He tells him that he’ll leave when it gets dark and also not to call him by his name while human. Mahiru’s confused cause he just called him Kuro because he thought it was a good name for a cat and upon saying that name, some crazy magic shit happens, likely pairing them together in a contract. Kuro says it’s temporary so long as he doesn’t drink his blood for 24 hours. He tries to kick Kuro out, but they have to be close together for these 24 hours as well. Leaving to go see friends, he hears glass break and for some reason doesn’t go back inside to see what happened in his home?! He tries to convince people Kuro’s a vampire, but of course they won’t believe shit and Kuro won’t do anything either. Then a street performer shows up…and suddenly bites one of Mahiru’s friends?! Dafuq?! He notes as well that he knows Mahiru picked up Kuro and hates him. This guy is off the wall crazy, like an anime-version of Joker. And then Kuro goes human and kicks his face off (not literally, but damn near close) and then tries to run, but Mahiru’s not letting him leave, knowing many will be attacked and killed if the crazy magician vampire isn’t stopped. Also…why isn’t the whole distance thing not working now as Mahiru runs away to stop the man himself? Kuro leaps back in to keep Mahiru from being stabbed to death, annoyed as fuck as he hasn’t drank blood in centuries, so his power likely isn’t very high. So out of nowhere he forces Kuro to drink his blood and now the contract is complete, Kuro calling Mahiru his Eve and the magician calls Kuro a Servamp now, a servant vampire. Kuro tells Mahiru that he does what he’s told by his master and is no longer responsible for his actions. He forces Kuro to spare the magician and the magician turns into a stuffed animal version of himself now as the sunlight comes out. He tells the two his master told him to go after Kuro, but Kuro’s never heard of Tsubaki, the magician’s master. Apparently no one knows the man and that’s why he wants to kill everyone, so he’s a madman villain. All three suddenly fall and pass out. Also this Tsubaki guy has a Joker laugh too. Well that was an interesting debut episode, colour me interested.

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Episode Score: 4/5

Preview Score: 4/5

Above/Below Expectations?: 0

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara (Ep.1)

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara (Ep.1)

Y’know…I’m not looking forward to trying to remember everyone’s names again. Holy shit there’s so many. But either way…FOOD WARS IS BACK, BAYBAY!!!

The Autumn Elections tournament is now truly underway. Soma finds out from Satoshi that he’ll be in the first round, the theme of that round being bento. His opponent…I’m going to bet Alice on this one. And yes, that’s because the commercial image was of her. Sure enough, she is his opponent. Everyone wonders how much pressure Soma must be under, but you know he’s just enjoying himself. And the match is on, we’re certainly not wasting any time. Alice finishes first with a temari sushi bento and as to be expected has some crazy ideas to add into her dish and blows them away. But they also don’t overreact remotely as much as we’re used to seeing, so I’m unsure whether her dish was that strong or if the show just pulled its punches back here. The chairman who’s one of the judges notes he’s completely unphased by their reactions to Alice’s dish, sensing his confidence. Then he reveals he made nori bento, something apparently super under Alice’s level of bento. I’m not an expert. His dish is making the judges dance and prance like they’re in a boy love anime. Chairman steps up and tells Alice her dish was not capturing the spirit of bento, rather she just made something to her own tastes and assumptions. She also tries his final dish and of course, clothes come off and Soma is declared the winner! A fun episode, but to just jump right into things like the show never went away is a little odd. Needed more time to settle in.

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Episode Score: 3.5/5

Preview Score: 5/5

Above/Below Expectations?: -1.5

Amaama to Inazuma (Ep.1)

Sweetness & Lightning (Ep.1)

A minute in and I already love the daughter. The start is very cheerful, considering the sad backstory this anime has with Mom passing away and it just being Dad and daughter. Tsumugi is freaking cute though, that’s all that matters! Kouhei is a teacher now six months removed from his wife’s passing. He can’t cook for shit so they pretty much live off microwave dinners and other easy meals. This is very slice of life, we just watch the cuteness unfold as the two of them do chores, take walks in the park together, all that jazz. Along one of their walks, they find a girl crying alone and Tsumugi sees what’s up. Except this girl is only crying because the food’s so good and the person she was supposed to eat it with didn’t show. She gives them a card to the family’s restaurant and they leave. Later on while watching a cooking show, she asks Kouhei to send Mommy a letter to make them some meat, which tells us that she’s not aware what’s really happened to Mom. It drives him off the deep end and they run all the way to that restaurant, which is actually closed as the owner’s out, but the girl from earlier is there and she offers to cook. He tries to find the bathroom and discovers she’s actually still very green as a cook, calling her mother for help. It’s long after seeing her that he finally realizes she’s from his school, Kotori is her name. While waiting, he has a flashback of his wife, seems she was a very good cook, putting everything she had into it. When the rice is finally done, both girls enjoy it and seeing them happy eating together really sends a shock through his system, recalling more memories of his wife. He then promises Tsumugi as well that from now on, he’ll try to make her good food just like this. Kotori also asks if together with Kouhei, they eat and cook together. That was a beautiful first episode, wow. I nearly happy cried there.

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Episode Score: 5/5 ***SHOW OF THE WEEK***

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +2

Taboo-Tattoo (Ep.1)

Taboo-Tattoo (Ep.1)

So as the preview told us, a young man helps out an older, homeless looking guy, who rewards him with a stone that puts a tattoo into his hand. After the OP, we see him running as he’s later for school before being randomly punched by a girl. She claims she just reacted in self-defense and then touches his hand and they’re both shocked by it. Clearly this has to do with the tattoos. At school, a friend talks about a rumour about a secret American weapon that was stolen and brought to Japan and they resembled tattoos. He’s called Seigi, his friend Touko a girl in his class approaches him during the conversation and reminds him that they’re going shopping together afterwards, upholding her promise to his mother to take care of him. After that, the girl from earlier approaches and suddenly steals his phone, likely leading him away somewhere. Sure enough, they end up in an abandoned building. She calls him “Justice”, his actual name and asks about the tattoo, suddenly attacking him. But with his martial arts training, he’s a formidable opponent, but she still whips his ass eventually and pretty bad. She looks about read to stab him, but finally stops, admitting she may have gone a tad bit too far. She also notes he held out with her even without using the tattoo’s power. She also reveals she’s far older than she looks and shows her own tattoo. The tattoos are basically like limit breakers, allowing beyond the user’s full potential to come out and even possessing supernatural abilities. We jump to him with his grandfather, the person who trained him and notes that Justice’s father died because he wasn’t strong, clearly trying to help people in life and getting too far in, perhaps. Back at school, we see the girl with an older male, not happy she revealed too much to Justice the previous night. She tells him to leave the matter alone and just leave Justice to him. She also drinks hot drinks like a cat? Where the hell did this anime go? Days go by, clearly she’s following him everywhere he goes. Though she doesn’t do a great job of hiding, Touko finally going crazy and wanting to scratch her face off. He talks to the girl though and notes how pissed off he was that he lost to her. He also can’t figure out how to activate his tattoo. Then a man run at them, fleeing from an assault, but Justice kicks his ass easily. Turns out the man he assaulted was the girl’s friend from earlier. Oh and that man clearly has a tattoo as well so he starts getting serious. But Justice is still happy to take him on, even without his abilities yet. Asking Tom (her friend) about the man, she discovers he’s an American mafia member. He’s about to kill Justice when his tattoo suddenly activates and he decimates the man. She refers to his tattoo as the Void Maker, a tattoo that doesn’t need a trigger to activate. Wow, I thought I would hate this anime, but this is actually pretty good and it’s a little cheesy at times too. Perfect!

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Episode Score: 4.5/5

Preview Score: 2/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +2.5

Tales of Zestiria the X (Ep.1)

Tales of Zestiria the X (Ep.1)

I’m unfamiliar with the actual game, so I’m going into this show blind, let’s see how it goes! Already off the bat, you cannot deny how beautiful this anime is drawn, the backgrounds alone are breathtaking. Wow…the animation from the overlooking of the city are quite possibly the prettiest backgrounds I’ve ever seen in an anime. We start off with a blonde princess so far, talking about a man who sees these odd, ominous looking clouds in the distance, something unlike normal weather. She’s then dealing with other political and military advisors trying to use a festival as a way to get more people to join the army, which she’s not a fan of whatsoever. Later on, while travelling, she and her guards are attacked by assassins, however we can see that the princess can more than hold her own. And then the assassin she beats suddenly transforms into something more sinister looking and disappears, while another woman talks to her from the shadows, wondering why she didn’t finish him off when she had the chance. Those black clouds look like they’re starting to descend, so they go to investigate. It’s clear that people are starting to get sick, very suspicious. The town itself is almost emotionless. The professor meanwhile is diving into a crevasse seeing some mystical stuff going on, while the mist is beginning to move, turning into what looks like a massive tornado, capable of breaking apart mountains. One girl mentions how the professor spoke that the balance of the world was kept through ley lines, but something has caused the balance to sway and thus the world is becoming what it is. Two of her guards are sucked into the tornado. Suddenly a small girl appears, though it seems they don’t see her, going right through her. She starts attacking the princess with fire spells, though she still cannot see the caster. Now she sees her, along with the transformed assassin from earlier. Except…those two start fighting each other and not the princess. Her friend however disappears, presumably falling down a crevasse. The mage disappears and now the princess is left to walk alone. She returns to the town, discovering it completely non-existent now. She finds that the young child from earlier has survived, only to watch the tornado just re-form and take her too, a fire dragon emerging from it. What a terrifying episode!

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Episode Score: 4.5/5

Preview Score: 3/5

Above/Below Expectations?: +1.5

One comment

  1. Great overview of the season. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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