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ep. review

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ SEASON FINALE

After writing itself into a thematic briar patch, Heroines Run the Show makes a dash towards a happy conclusion, but it can't help stumbling over the nettles.
ep. review

Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 21

I would even go so far as to say that this is probably my favorite episode of season two which is impressive because it's built on the foundation of two characters that we barely knew up until this point.
ep. review

The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 12

Well that was definitely a climax. It had characters, monologues, and a nice song play during the final battle. So how come I can't muster a single bit of emotion outside of relief and exasperation that the season is finally soon to be over?
ep. review

I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ SEASON FINALE

I'm Quitting Heroing didn't exactly wow me at any point in visuals or anything, but the incredibly solid emotional core of the show was a genuine surprise from start to finish. Well done.
ep. review

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ SEASON FINALE

We've known for a while that this whole game of who confesses first was really just a pretense that revealed a vulnerability that you could argue these two still haven't fully confronted yet.
ep. review

Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ SEASON FINALE

Here in the final episode of Skeleton Knight in Another World we get exactly what we've come to expect—i.e., Arc laughing with joy as he shows off just how overpowered he truly is.
ep. review

Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 12

This episode ends with Eve declaring her intent to kill someone. In golf. If that moment doesn't perfectly encapsulate the appeal of Birdie Wing, then I don't know what does.
ep. review

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ SEASON FINALE

If you were hoping for a solid conclusion to Deaimon, well, this isn't one. There are still a lot of threads dangling and questions left unanswered. But Itsuka, Nagomu, and Kanoko all seem to be in better places than they were.
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 1022

How you feel about episode 1022 will likely depend on how invested you are in Hyogoro's character.
ep. review

Healer Girl ‒ SEASON FINALE

While it stumbled more than a few times with heavier drama, at its core Healer Girl has mostly succeeded in being the bubbly, musical, unerringly sweet show it set out to be.
ep. review

Dance Dance Danseur ‒ SEASON FINALE

Luou's dramatic performance is the highlight of this conclusion, but overall the emotions here are messy and the results are not exactly satisfying.
ep. review

Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 9

With episode 9, it turns out that there is such a thing as a great Shikimori episode that doesn’t feature Izumi at all.
ep. review

A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ Episode 9

A bulk of the runtime was spent with Nagi and Hiro, and despite date scenes in anime usually being a way of getting further insight into characters' personalities and offering much-needed intimacy, there was very little of that here.
ep. review

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ SEASON FINALE

While there is clearly much more story to tell, this is a good stopping point for the anime.
ep. review

Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 15

Being friends doesn't mean living in each other's pockets, and as Kokone comes to really understand that, she gets stronger as Cure Spicy as well.
ep. review

Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 11

This has to be one of the weirdest episodes of Love After World Domination thus far, and the first one that I didn't absolutely one-hundred-percent love.
ep. review

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episodes 11-12

That anxiety about what's to come thoroughly colors these two episodes, though they go about it in very different ways that inadvertently showcase both Nijigasaki's biggest strengths and weaknesses.
ep. review

Spy×Family ‒ Episode 11

While the whole Stella thing is Loid thinking like Twilight, the rest of it is pure father-brain: he's thinking about how he can best raise his child to be a good person with valuable experiences.
ep. review

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 11

So here we are with the final bit of build-up before we reach the finale of the culture festival arc, and a good chunk of this episode can best be summed up as “Kaguya being messed with by the writer”.
ep. review

Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 20

I never thought that one of the most interesting and relatable characters in this episode would be a tour guide. But I guess that's just a testament to the uncanny ability of Komi-san to find enjoyment in the most mundane of things.
ep. review

The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 11

Most of this episode is spent on establishing Kazayama's resolve as she tries to remain optimistic in the face of everyone else's cynicism.
ep. review

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 12

Admittedly, a part of me was hoping the resolution to Schrodinger's Kiss would be either wackier or more dramatic, but thinking on it now, this is the resolution Aharen-san was always leading towards.
ep. review

The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

We have Shamiko desperately trying to think of a special move, which leads to the wonderful reveal that Ogura is almost certainly capable of making and distributing meth, should the needs arise
ep. review

The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ SEASON FINALE

This finale does a great job of wrapping up the current storyline while still leaving room for lots more intrigue and tragedy down the road, which is basically everything you could ask for a season that may or may not ever get a follow up.
ep. review

I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 11

This was a heavy one folks. I honestly wish this flashback had happened before the ascent to the mountaintop because this completely recontextualizes Leo's desire for self-destruction.
ep. review

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 11

If you had told me ten weeks ago that the penultimate episode of Heroines Run the Show would end in a bloody punchout, I'd have been mighty incredulous.
ep. review

Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 11

When it comes down to it, this episode is built around a single cliché that we've all seen a thousand times before: one of our heroes is mind controlled and is forced to fight the other.
ep. review

Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ SEASON FINALE

Harmony is a key part of any good musical performance, after all. And Ya Boy Kongming has always been about the music.
ep. review

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episode 11

If Nagomu can help Itsuka keep moving forward and learn that she doesn't have to own the bad things in order to exert some control over her own life, that would be one of the best possible endings to their story.
ep. review

Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 11

Jinguuji may as well be a tabby cat in the presence of lions. She's a passionate and hard worker, but she just can't measure up to the raw abilities and/or privilege that players like Eve and Aoi possess.
ep. review

Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 8

Go back and watch Kamiya's reaction to Shikimori tearing up the paper. It's stunning! And it all works to make for one of Shikimori's most emotionally gripping moments thus far.
ep. review

Healer Girl ‒ Episode 11

What starts out as a typically lackadaisical field trip slowly grows into a more contemplative and confrontational episode than Healer Girl has ever had before.
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 1021

This episode in particular continues the setup of Robin's battle with Black Maria, and while we only really get to see one major blow being traded hot dang is it a good one.
ep. review

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ SEASON FINALE

I appreciate Main's long, drawn-out "What?!" early on in this season finale for Bookworm, since that was pretty much my exact reaction to the central revelation of this episode.
ep. review

A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ Episode 7‒8

Fate is a major theme that runs across these two episodes, which are best taken together as a miniature arc of sorts.
ep. review

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 11

Livia's newfound confidence allows her to be far more emotionally vulnerable than Leon's allowed himself to be. She has truly grown beyond the character created for a C-tier game into an individual in her own right.
ep. review

Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 10

This week's episode is a great showcase of Desumi and Fudo's very relatable, youthful understanding of love.
ep. review

Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 14

Meanwhile poor Takumi (which almost feels like his name at this point: Poor Takumi) is still struggling with his overwhelming embarrassment. You can just feel him cringe when he tells the Cures that his magical boy name is Black Pepper.
ep. review

The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 11

"Pandæmonium” has a couple of rough spots, but that doesn't prevent it from holding up as an excellent example of how to do this kind of wackadoo anime escalation right.
ep. review

Spy×Family ‒ Episode 10

Damian may have friends and servants (or at least toadies and servants), but he's basically still stuck in the sort of life Anya had before Loid walked into that orphanage.
ep. review

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 11

This is no longer anime. It's animated cruelty.
ep. review

Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 19

Komi's default was to assume that people hated her even if that might not have been the case, and I really like how the show refrained from clarifying how her classmates actually saw her just to really get us wrapped up in her mind.
ep. review

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 10

Props to Kaguya-sama for actually progressing the relationship between Ishigami and his senpai; other shows would have used the misunderstanding with the heart-shaped gift to stretch out the romantic tension.
ep. review

The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

Raphtalia has always come across as more of a companion/moral compass to Naofumi than a realized character on her own, so I'm glad to see this episode making significant strides towards fixing that.
ep. review

The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 9

The first half of "Pitch-Black Feelings!! Darkness Peach Returns!!" is “high stakes” insofar as a DGND story goes, but don't go thinking that the order of the day still isn't for supremely ridiculous shenanigans.
ep. review

Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 10

In this episode, Ariane's forced to acknowledge the simple fact that most humans never really think about elves at all—be that positively or negatively.
ep. review

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 10

Heroines has always been down-to-earth, so it makes sense for it to address these unsavory sides of the entertainment industry in a matter-of-fact, if uncontroversial way. I just wanted a bit more from it.
ep. review

Dance Dance Danseur ‒ Episode 10

This episode focuses mostly on flashback while the emotional developments for the main trio are incredibly frustrating.
ep. review

Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 11

Both Eiko and Nanami awake on the verge of the 'Climactic Final Battle' in this episode of Ya Boy Kongming!
ep. review

I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 10

It it is hard to mesh my understanding of Leo in this heel turn with the Leo of prior episodes.
ep. review

Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 10

Birdie Wing blazes new frontiers as Eve braves her most daunting challenge yet: minigolf.
ep. review

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episodes 9-10

While it doesn't veer too far out of the schmaltzy feel-good norm for Christmas-themed stories, it still plays with that enough to make it Deaimon's own take on the staple, and that absolutely works in its favor.
ep. review

Dance Dance Danseur ‒ Episodes 8-9

Jumpei is going to have to make a choice about which ballet school to pursue, but matters of the heart won't make it easy.
ep. review

Healer Girl ‒ Episode 10

It's fair to say that, among our main girls, Hibiki's kind of been the weak link. While episode 10 here doesn't entirely fix that problem, it does make some solid strides in giving her more texture.
ep. review

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ Episode 35

This entry of Bookworm isn't 'bad' per se, just that its storytelling doesn't feel as methodical as all the setup that went into it, resulting in a comparative sloppiness.
ep. review

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 10

The war that serves as the game's climax has begun. There's just one problem: it's two years too early.
ep. review

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 9

It's interesting because Shirogane isn't just admitting defeat here; he's admitting that he lost the game before it even started by virtue of being the president of the student council, which is a sign of his love for Kaguya.
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 1020

Sanji crying out to Robin for help represents both a major moment of character growth for him and a full-circle moment for Robin
ep. review

Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 13

Food and memory – that's a very smart connection for the show to use, because most of us can relate to the idea of a taste-memory link, making Narcistoru a more dangerous threat on a personal level.
ep. review

Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 9

This week we get a Desumi-focused episode but not quite in the way we have previously, with the focus being more on her family – particularly her father and her sister – and how they react to the changes in her life.
ep. review

The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 10

Once things have gone well and truly cuckoo-bananas in “Pandæmonium", the titular villainess announces, “What you are about to witness is a B-movie screening!", and you know what? She is absolutely right.
ep. review

Spy×Family ‒ Episode 9

Yor's fear that she's not living up to Loid's expectations of what a good mid-twentieth century wife should be is a vestige of her fears that she wouldn't be enough for Yuri.
ep. review

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

Since the natural mating ritual of School Idols is wacky comedy bits, it's only natural that the club welcome Lanzhu, Shioriko, and Mia into the fold with a weekend of goofing off.
ep. review

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 10

Do any of you remember the devious cruelty of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun's closing episode? I bring that up because what Aharen-san pulls this episode might actually be crueler than even that.
ep. review

Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 18

If season one was all about Komi working up the courage to actually speak with people and form connections with them, then this season seems to be about her learning to be open and honest with herself.
ep. review

The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 9

There are a lot of interesting nuggets being dropped in this episode, which really does make me wish that season two started with this arc instead of the one with the turtle.
ep. review

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 36

The dang narrator of this show is far too enthusiastic at this stage, talking over several pivotal situational scenes that wind up as effective History Channel montages as opposed to actual dramatizations of these plans.
ep. review

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 9

While this episode may be lacking compared the cosmic family drama of a Titan chowing down on one of his offspring, “Scandal” follows through on its title and delivers an intense set of developments for Hiyori and her two idol wards.
ep. review

I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 9

There was nothing particularly wrong with this episode, but it certainly was a bit dull for the most part.
ep. review

Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 9

All in all, it's some solid political drama. But what's really great about it is how Arc and Ariana have absolutely no idea about what's actually going on—or how their actions have shaped the current crisis.
ep. review

The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 8

Now that Shamiko and Momo have conquered the perils of summer homework, our heroine must face the even greater peril of making the perfect bento lunch for her upcoming zoo date—er, I mean, “group outing.”
ep. review

Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 10

It's been kind of a long road so far following ya boys and girls of Kongming, and with this episode it's finally time to taste that sweet musical fruit borne of all their efforts.
ep. review

Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 9

This episode is, by necessity, a recalibration of the series' golf antics, because we now have to transition into a completely different setting with new characters and new ambitions.
ep. review

Healer Girl ‒ Episode 9

You'd never think gastrointestinal surgery could be as cinematic as The Sound of Music, but that's the bizarre little niche this series exists to fill, and here it does a damn good job of it.
ep. review

Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 7

Despite the title, however, the festival really isn't the highlight of this episode, but the fact that we got to know how these two got together in the first place.
ep. review

A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ Episode 5‒6

With these two episodes, A Couple of Cuckoos is starting to find this really nice balance between humor and tension that makes for a really delightful romcom romp.
ep. review

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ Episode 34

It's impressive how these lighter, simpler elements keep us on our toes before the episode's shocking ending, and makes for an impressive demonstration of how a show as low-key as Bookworm can still regularly end on agonizing cliffhangers.
ep. review

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 9

In this episode, Leon does what many have done when they realize they have majorly messed up: overcorrect.
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 1019

As much as I love its thematic importance and grandiosity, the sheer enormity of Wano does begin to wear on me as time goes on.
ep. review

The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 9

It is interesting to learn that the vast majority of what has gone down in Libelle has never occurred in Akari's previous jaunts through time, which makes her a lot more vulnerable now, even at full strength.
ep. review

Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 8

Anna presents an interesting foil to their relationship. She has an unusual aggressiveness when compared with other characters in the show, and at various times Fudo and Desumi are both threatened by her.
ep. review

Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 12

The Cures' belief in Amane's good side snaps the control the Bundoru Gang has over her, but it's Amane's own understanding that she's doing the wrong thing and asking for help to stop it that really shows her own inner power.
ep. review

Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 9

At its heart, Mia's struggle is the same as any artist, and trying to find the right place between making something that has meaning to you and something that matters to other people can be truly paralyzing.
ep. review

Spy×Family ‒ Episode 8

The “jealous sibling meets sibling's purported lover” storyline is a bit tired, but between Yor somehow cramming three dozen roses into a tiny vase and Anya learning fractions by applying theory to her spy cartoon, it's still pretty great
ep. review

I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 8

I'm Quitting Heroing manages to surprise me again, this time with a more poignant episode reflecting on the nature of purpose.
ep. review

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 9

With this episode, we finally start to sink into some honest-to-goodness ship-teasing with our central duo, and it's not even spurred on by the unexpected return of Sexy Raido.
ep. review

Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 17

Even at its most simple and mundane, Komi Can't Communicate still manages to have just enough depth to keep you emotionally invested.
ep. review

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 8

I'm just gonna say this now: if this season cops out of a big emotional confession from both of these stubborn teenagers I'm gonna be very, VERY mad.
ep. review

The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 8

Kyo had always been a petty bastard, but I like the narrative direction of Naofumi having all of his emotional support pillars stripped away from him in unknown territory.
ep. review

The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 7

The first half of "A Short Break!! The Demonic Summer Festival" is one of the most, er, “experimental” bits that the show has indulged in yet.
ep. review

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 8

This is the first week when Heroines felt less like its own show and more like a part of the HoneyWorks extended cinematic universe.
ep. review

Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 8

What's truly interesting about Chiyome is what she teaches us about this fantasy world: Arc is not the first person from our world to have crossed over.
ep. review

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 35

The Rosen Ritter come in swinging this week as they set their sights (and axes) on Imperial forces.
ep. review

Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 9

This is where Ya Boy Kongming! proves it has firmly cashed the check that its first episode wrote, and become a genuinely remarkable music anime entirely on its own terms.
ep. review

Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 8

Birdie Wing just delivered all of the dramatic sea changes of a nail-biting season finale, yet it still has at least a month's worth of golf hijinks left for us. Have we only finished the prologue?
ep. review

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episode 8

Maybe I'm missing something or just being an unreasonable pain-in-the-ass about this, but I'm having trouble seeing how Nagomu and Kanoko broke up over a “misunderstanding.”

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