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"In the post-Yurikuma world, oppressive institutions still exist, but they're slowly being eroded away by the raging counterstorm of love."
"With the major drama of the tournament finals done and dusted, this final episode is packed with fanservice for loyal viewers and not much substance otherwise. "
"Everyone has been given a half-hearted end to their storyline, but as sophomore seasons go, this was a worthwhile continuation."
"Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road never loses sight of what it is, a sports anime with a lot of heart and an uplifting message of friendship and support."
"The series started incredibly strong, but lost momentum as it fell into more well-worn plots and ideas."
"In the end, Maria the Virgin Witch stands as a successful and even feminist work of humanism."
"This final episode plays to the show's strengths, avoids most of its weaknesses, and touches on the ideas that sit at the core of the premise."
"As graceless as it may have sometimes been in execution, it accomplishes a lot more, and more effectively, than the bulk of recent anime series have."
"Tokyo Ghoul was a deeply flawed, but wholly unique experience, and it went out as strong as it possibly could."
"There were so many matryoshka wheels spinning around in this season that the story ultimately seemed to be locked in place."
"This week on Kuroko's Basketball, get ready to have some feelings."
"There is a better series laying somewhere amongst this content than what we actually got."
"Rolling Girls wasn't great, but it deserved a better ending than this."
“Alignment” is actually a major theme this week as Cinderella Girls pairs off its last aspiring idols and the combination couldn't be more mismatched."
"The final episode of Aerial Girls was delivered, the wrap party is over, and Shirobako ends with them. Or so it seems."
"By introducing a character who can fight Koro Sensei on equal terms, the show forces itself to stop fooling around."
"Tenten's mini arc comes to a close this week, and although the episode adheres to many of the same conventions as the previous two arcs, it features its own distinctive twists."
"What these episodes don't do is give the series a sense of finality, either in a thematic or a storytelling sense."
"It's a bit of a stretch to call the ending of Kancolle a surprise, but it's certainly disappointing."
"A distinct effort is made to wrap things up while still leaving plenty of room for the sequel."
"All three main characters had powerful reasons to fight one-on-one with the Gunpla Academy members, making every stage of the battle interesting."
"There are endings that wrap everything up in a nice little bow and endings that just sort of stop. Then there are those like Yona of the Dawn's final episode."
"This finale is packed to the brim with fast-paced action and hard-hitting revelations, but it never feels rushed."
"Yurikuma criticizes how the idea of salvation can be used to justify a life of suffering."
"Most likely in the hopes of a third season, all chance of resolution to the Akura-oh storyline has been thrown out the window."
"The other characters' reactions to Onoda and Manami's actions keep the ongoing climb from getting tedious."
The true source of Maria's power problems is revealed in this penultimate episode, and Gabriella has a listen to Funimation's new broadcast dub!
"If there's a lesson to be taken out of this show, it's the perseverance of the human spirit in spite of all odds."
"Either one of these stories would have been a chore to watch at around twenty minutes, but cutting them down to half that length keeps either one from wearing out its welcome."
"I look forward to an episode where Kuroko does more than simply observe, and where the players are more than whatever the audience believes they are."
"While Rosalie and Hilda's effort to save and redeem Chris is far from the most important element of the story, it is the one thing that the episode does fully resolve."
"I don't know how you take material this apocalyptic and make it this drab, but DRRR x2 found a way, and it's a real bummer."
"I was already going to miss this show, but I won't complain about another episode or two demonstrating why."
"The penultimate (or is it really?) episode of Aldnoah.Zero had so much going on that it could not even be bothered to use its opener."
"This episode felt busy in a bad way, but hey, at least we got a bunch of great fights!"
"It's a return to the show's roots as an animated heavy metal album cover, and anyone who's into this show for its artistry will be satisfied."
"This episode combined everything that makes Shirobako great, tying it up into the perfect package."
"Hold on to your hats, everyone – this week on Sailor Moon Crystal the pretty guardians start to get it right."
Cinderella Girls turns in an inconsistent episode featuring three of the girls spinning off into their own group.
"This was one of the tensest episodes of Stardust Crusaders yet, but it never loses its healthy sense of humor."
"Kaneki is the bridge that burned, and now everyone else is going to burn along with him as the snow falls silently around them."
"An acceptable placeholder, burning up some excess airtime in a reasonably pleasant manner."
The mysterious woman's backstory is fully revealed while Ginti makes an interesting final judgment on his two loiterers in the penultimate installment.
"This is a story about teenagers wearing their big, messy hearts on their sleeves, and the show does that too. If that's what you want from an anime, it should leave you fully satisfied."
The last girl in Saekano's harem arrives in an episode that attempts to turn the genre's fanservice on its head.
"Provides us with a compelling look into the mind of a secondary character who often gets the shaft in the main storyline, without skimping on the action."
"After an excellent first couple arcs and questionable middle stretch, Parasyte is pulling itself together (no pun intended) for the ending."
"Here was an episode that told us how great Gundam is, when it is much, much better at showing us."
"KanColle is trying to juggle an awful lot of ideas here, and it'll take a deft hand to wrap everything up cleanly."
"Don't you just hate it when you suddenly realize that the room you're standing in is actually part of the digestive system of a hellbeast?"
"After hinting at a deeper connection between Atsushi and Kinshiro all season, their checkered past is finally revealed."
After last episode's emphasis on Ginko and Yuriika, it's time to catch up with the rest of the cast. PLUS: Impressions of Funimation's new broadcast dub!
"The battle against Yan Kumji has ended, Yona and the pirates have saved the day, and now, plot-wise, it is time to move on and find that last pesky dragon."
"Now this is the episode of Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road that we've been waiting for!"
"Maria's greatest strength isn't her magic, but her ability to encourage people to be their best possible selves."
"This episode of Yatterman Night is definitely one of the most engrossing the series produced in a while."
"The execution may leave a lot to be desired, but this is one of the better story ideas that Gourmet Girl Graffiti has put forward."
"This episode of Kuroko's Basketball gave us one of the closest, most fast-paced games yet."
"Ange has always been the star and central character of the show, but for the first time in the series an episode is completely dominated by her will. And boy, is it fun to watch."
"This episode had around four simultaneous stories going, and though none of them have quite combined yet, they're all moving forward in their own entertaining ways."
"Unfortunately, this episode's a bit of a sleeper, with progressively slipping direction. At least there's a new simuldub to talk about!"
"D'Arby has the wit, verve, and individuality to hang tough alongside our heroes, making him a formidable and entertaining foe."
Whatever else you can say about Aldnoah.Zero, it certainly is not dull. Last episode there were indications that the Earth forces were plotting a big attack. This episode it actually happens: a two-pronged attack on the Moon base and landing castle where Princess Asseylum was believed to be. It would seem, though, that games are being played within the Earth forces as well, with a covert team secr...
"Log Horizon continued to ignore the fact that it's ending in only a few episodes this week."
"The plotting is still spotty, and there are fewer character revelations to disguise that this week."
"Assassination Classroom has its episodic storytelling down to a science, which makes me wonder how well it will handle the challenge of bringing the season to a close."
"The show's in top form this week, with the hazy whites, greys, and blues illustrating not just the wintry weather, but Kaori and Kosei's mental states."
"Hiraoka starts telling Tarou his story, and we get to humanize two jerks with one stone."
"This week, Anzu does something besides complain and sleep! Yes, it is time for the diminutive slacker to prove her mettle."
Death Parade gently heads into the finale with another episode that has far more runtime than it does story development. Upside: we finally learn Onna's name.
To date Saekano has not been big on dramatic tonal shifts within an episode, though one definitely hit at the end of episode 8. We see more of that in episode 9 as the fall-out from Eriri blowing her top last episode continues. Just when you think it is going down a predictable path, though, it takes a surprising turn. Eriri is not pulling any punches as she lays her grievances (fairly or not) on ...
"Most of this episode is action-packed, but it's a specific kind of character-driven action I'm not sure I've ever seen in an anime before."
"Falls victim to a number of issues that have plagued recent installments in this lengthy filler arc."
I have a difficult time with the character of Yuki. On the one hand, her determination is admirable, and the way she is able to see that Mio is far more than the villainous spawn of darkness that the heroes have painted her as, thus allowing her to switch sides and protect the demon princess, shows that she's more than just a mindless hero drone. On the other hand, she appears to have little-to-n...
"Parasyte has had some problems with its fundamental variables for quite a while now, and it turns out the solution to that was staring the show in the face - just be a different show for a little while."
"From the epic battle music to the final strike at sunset, this battle had great choreography and a compelling atmosphere."
"The dawn is truly breaking, and it looks like the sunrise is going to be glorious."
"With only a couple of episodes left, the show features a few revelations that are sure to play an integral role in the finale."
"Ikuhara is well on his way toward his third masterpiece, and it'd take a serious upset to make the show falter now."
"Over the last few weeks, the show has relied heavily on flashbacks and reiteration to build tension, but now it's just getting ridiculous."
"Foreshadowing aplenty, but also direct plot movement toward a climactic last stand."
"In all of my years of watching anime, I've rarely seen a show handle this issue as tastefully as Maria the Virgin Witch does."
"Unlike past episodes, at least we finally know where everyone stands and why, which makes the confusion of other characters much more fun."
"If it hadn't been for the preview after the end credits, I would've come away thinking Gourmet Girl Graffiti had wrapped up early."
Another week, another kidnapping. No, that's not a news headline, but rather what we've come to expect of the Black Moon arc of Sailor Moon Crystal.
The dramatic events of last episode required a cool-down period to fully process. Episode 22 does an excellent job of that – right up to the point where it pulls a WTF moment.
"Fear not, fans of girls who haven't gotten a spotlight yet – it looks like The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls is going to give everyone their chance in the sun. "
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