This Week in Anime
Hugs for the Good Boys

by Nicholas Dupree & Michelle Liu,

Previous Weeks in Anime
Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5
Week 6 - Week 7 - Week 8 - Week 9

Nicholas Dupree got into anime in high school, and manga even earlier. From One Piece to The Promised Neverland, he's the man to talk to if it's Shonen and it Jumps. He counts Den-Noh Coil and Serial Experiments Lain as his all-time favorites.

Michelle Liu got into anime in middle school through Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan and somehow liked it enough to stick around. When she's not loudly proclaiming her love of Sayo Yamamoto, she talks about figure skating and strange children's shows.


Episode 37

Episode 25

Episode 11

Episode 11

BONUS DISCUSSION

The Royal Tutor - KABUKIBU! - Berserk - Love Rice - Frame Arms Girl

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.


Nick D
Micchy, how the hell are ya?

Micchy
Quite Well, thanks to the gay punching show you roped me into watching.

I only spread the gospel of Symphogear because I believe in justice and hold a determination to fist. I hope everyone's looking forward to that being the only show I talk about next season.

It almost made up for the lack of Heybot last week!

Speaking of, we've got a little housekeeping for the future of TWIA.

We're not going away anytime soon (my apologies) but the format's changing up a lil, ya?

Yep. The gist is that we'll be changing the schedule and format a bit going forward, similar to the current format of Answerman. To get to shows in a more timely manner, we're going to cover each anime series in their own separate chunks twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), rather than in one big ol' column once a week. Next Tuesday will just be about the end of SukaSuka, and the Thursday to follow will be a different topic. We'll also have new contributors that we can tag team as ringers to discuss shows we're not following and other niche topics. So look forward to that!

But anyway, back to our raison d'etre~

Discussing cartoons? Hell yea

I meant bad puns but that works too


So how bout we cover the big naked elephant in the room.

Nick

Blame Isayama

Well, Attack on Titan S2 sure concluded. Aren't you glad we got so many answers?

Let's just say that season 3 announcement is the only thing that kept me from flinging my laptop across the room.

It was a damn good episode though, let's be real.

It was! But if I'd spent 4 years avoiding even the whisper of spoilers for this show just to get 80 new questions and mysteries with no payoff in sight I'd be preeeeeeetty ticked.

At least this time we'll get more before one of us graduates college? :'D The next arc is easily Attack on Titan at its most tedious so uh, let's hope they don't drag that out too long.

But enough about the future, the present had a ton of turnabouts. Like Eren somehow not dying when his only plan was to PUNCH A TITAN.

Eren can't die; he's a shounen protagonist for chrissakes.

Yes but if anything should get you killed, it's trying to fisticuffs the 20 foot monster that ate your mom.

and your foster father figure

He's trying his best, Nick, even if he does fail at every critical moment.

That was honestly pretty heartbreaking. Eren's gone through so much shit and yet he still finds himself powerless in the face of the world's violence. He's survived and gotten stronger and yet there's still points where life comes to kick him in the teeth.

There've been brief victories, but the Titans are still too much. He's had to watch so many people rush to their deaths but right when it counts, all he can do is mutilate himself. It's a cruel reminder that sometimes even the bitterest of sacrifices don't pay off.

Of course then he activates a new protagonist superpower and it's the most triumphant goddamn thing.

Through the power of LOVE!

...and probably some more wild mysteries we'll only understand 30 episodes from now.

but mostly LOVE

It was really dang sweet to see Eren and Mikasa get a heart to heart among all the madness. Even if Eren totally misread her signals when she was going in for the kiss.

He's the heart of the Armin-Mikasa-Eren trio, not the brains :'D

That moment is fantastic; Mikasa's dependence on Eren often comes off unhealthy as hell but there's still some genuine love in there.

Between them and Historia/Ymir, it's kinda weird to think Titan's season finale is basically an extrapolation on the power of love.

Historia yelling at Ymir to stop being a self-sacrificial fool, Titan!Ymir patting Historia's head with a finger (gOmEn). It was the anime headpat I never knew I wanted.

That scene was sweet but I couldn't help thinking of

I am a little sour about them not staying together though. Gimme the cute, unhealthy GFs Isayama.

Seconded, thirded, and thousandthed. Historia has to stay with the 104th for the plot to move forward. She's an important trump card. It's sad that she has to be used like this but ultimately it is safer for her.

I admit I'm still a little in the dark about all that. So Ymir realizes there's a chance Historia still has "a future" in the Walls rather than with Reiner's crew, so she lets her go. But chooses to stay with Reiner as...I guess a favor?

I'm kinda with Armin here

Partly as a favor, but mostly because she never felt right within the walls, I think. Between living a lie and being a prisoner she'd rather choose the latter. Prisoner in body rather than prisoner in mind and soul, y'know?

I guess. Ymir's a character I understand emotionally better than logically I suppose. I think that's a good summation of my feelings on AoT 2 right now: I get it on an emotional level, which is what's important to me, but so much of the plot is built around mysteries that'll be explained later that I can't fully get into it.

Yeah, that's fair. At this point in the story we're approaching the upswing - our heroes have lost a lot but they're getting somewhere, sort of, almost. It's a twisted sort of hope. First we're gonna have to tackle internal problems though. Hope yer ready for politics!

Boy if there's anything in the year of our lord 2017 I want more of, it's politics. But I am interested to see more of this story. My main draw is the characters rather than the action, so who knows, I may end up liking whatever the next arc has in store more than most.

If the next season's as smart in adaptation as this one was, hopefully it won't be TOO dry.

For now, we've just got to wait. But y'know what we don't have to wait for?

My sons??? HELL YEAH

Thank god too, because the sports festival arc kinda ends on a downer. Literally everybody's left angry by the results. Even Bakugo!

The angry child is angry: news at 11

Yeah but he's angry about WINNING this time.

Todoroki u lil shit

In all seriousness though, this was a good ass episode for Todoroki (my emo son!!)

It was so rough seeing him in this fight. He can't figure out how he feels about his own powers or his mom, and it ends up paralyzing him.

Trauma's a bitch, ain't it?

Meanwhile Bakugo probably doesn't even realize it, but he's trying to do what only Deku was capable of in pulling out Todoroki's full power. But he just doesn't have the spirit or empathy necessary, so he goes full brute force to get the fight he wants.

Yep, that's why it's only when Deku starts cheering that Todoroki brings on the heat. The boy needs support, y'all, Bakugo stop kicking.

FTR it should surprise nobody that moment has inspired a ton of Todo/Deku shipping.

Nice. Most importantly, All Might is the dad Endeavor never was.

All Might is such an amazing Dad.

You don't know how happy it made me when he basically congratulated Todoroki and offered to support him without demanding all the details. Good parents give their kids space when they need it, don't poke at fresh wounds.

HUGS ALL AROUND FOR THE GOOD BOYS

And it helps give him the courage to finally see his mom after all these years and we find out he'd been avoiding her because he was afraid he'd hurt her just by being there and gahhhhhhhhhhhh

Abuse and fucked-up family dynamics are tricky to navigate but he had to face it eventually, take the first step to rebuilding their relationship.

It's just such a great reiteration of the show's message about heroism inspiring others. Deku put Todoroki before himself when he saw him in trouble, and now Todoroki's doing the same for his mom and GOD I LOVE THIS SHOW OKAY ;_;

Nick I didn't ask to have my heart crushed this badly every week. It's such a tiny thing but Todoroki's walk to the hospital nearly destroyed me. All this normalcy, a happy mother/son duo, while he's dealing with very not normal and not healthy emotional problems. Speaking of moms though, Deku's mom is the BEST.

she's the fucking MVP

That line about fainting from dehydration just about killed me. I KNEW the waterworks were too strong.

I really do love how much family, and specifically parents play a part in MHA's characters. So many Shounen series just sidestep adults and parents to keep the action focused on Teen Protagonist Power Fantasies, but there's a lot of interesting dynamics to be explored with them in MHA's setting. Deku's mom worries about him getting injured following his dream. Todoroki was BORN because of the society of heroes. and Iida has to confront head-on the dangers of professional heroism with his brother.

For me that's a large part of why MHA works so well. Emotionally this show is really powerful for a shounen jump thing.

And it's only going to get more intense from here. Hero Killer Stain's still out there after all. And next week it looks like the kids are getting signed up for sidekick internships, so uh

Oh no my poor heart. I'm not going to survive this, am I?

I say it like every week but MHA just keeps getting better from here. So look forward but also be prepared for things to get a bit...bloody.

Gee, not like we have any experience with that.

Come to think of it, this was a hospital-heavy week of anime.

I'm surprised I didn't see any loss.jpg memes for Re:Creators like I did for MHA.


Well, nobody ran through a door in the whole episode.

Of COURSE you'd know.

Real talk though, I really liked that scene between Selesia and Matsubara. The show's been playing up the petty father/daughter ribbing aspect of their relationship but here we really get to see Matsubara being a dad. Like how he agrees to write some stories into the next volume of Vogelchevalier so Selesia can enjoy them ;_;

The relationship between Creations and Creators remains Re:C's most interesting element. They're kind of parental, but they also have a totally uneven relation to the new reality. It's gotta be surreal being told what's going to happen in the future of your own universe.

That's assuming they even return to their own worlds with memories of what happened irl

True. But in the moment at least it's gotta be weird.

...I try not to think too hard about the exact mechanics.

Rui even finds solace in the idea that having a finite existence means he's got a role he's guaranteed to fill.

Y'know, I find it amusing how much of this show has been Sota Receives Therapy From Fictional Heroes, but that conversation was neat so I don't mind.

TBF Sota needs a lot of therapy

So Rui has the comfort of knowing nothing that happens to him is meaningless, but Sota's got agency, choice, free will.

and a whole lot of hangups with toxic masculinity~

Ohhhh boy yeah

It's a pretty novel thing to see a show taking apart the way online harassment brings out the worst in people. Sota's happy to be close with Setsuna so long as she's the geeky girl who's into anime and fanart like him, but when her success starts bruising his ego, some real nasty shit comes out.

Between the online harassment and the salvation by twitter, Re:Creators is a really 2017-ass show, isn't it?

Damn right. Though I am a little wary going forward with this.

How so?

Just that I've seen plenty of shows make it to the point of acknowledging that their leads have done something awful, but rarely do I see them take the next step and contextualize that within the experience of the people they've hurt. My worry is Re:C will center the emotions on the guy's pain at realizing what he's done, while paying lip service to everyone else. See: Macross Plus.

Hm yeah, I see where you're coming from [shakes fist] Macross Plussss

The show's handled giving all its characters their own perspectives pretty well without it being to the detriment of others, but I'm still left worried. I'd like to see Setsuna's perspective on all this, I guess.

So you're saying the show better pay off on its promise that Setsuna was the main character of the story all along? I'm with ya there. Re:Creators has handled heavy emotional subjects pretty deftly up till now, so I can't imagine it wouldn't go into that at least a little.

This is more me being gun shy than anything. Show hasn't done much to make me lose faith in it, but once you've been burned and all.

That's totally fair. [eyes that other Re:show]

Hey, Re:␣Hamatora wasn't that bad!

So I guess that leaves us with Suka Suka to finish things out huh?

That continues to be a show!

Yeah, I'm a little at a loss on what to say on this one XD It's a perfectly serviceable episode for setting up the finale, but it's a lot of moving parts into place more than anything.

There were plenty of nice character moments at least. And a bit more clarification on Elq's relevance to the whole shebang. Look, I'm not saying Willem and Chtholly are cute together when they're both embarrassed as heck, but if I were...

Well enjoy it while you can because with lines like this

you know damn well one of them is gonna die

That's basically a given at this point :'D

Ctholly is 3 days away from Retirement and she's on One Last Job before she settles down becomes a Star Fleet Ensign. Willem's in trouble too since he's technically a Mentor Character but I put 3:1 odds on us getting a Tragic Dead Girl before credits roll next week.

If not Chtholly, then at least one of the other fairy girls. No way they're all gonna make it back alive. I felt pretty bad for Nopht; her regret at wasting her second chance to be Chtholly's friend hit pretty hard.

That was a pretty sweet moment. These kids all only have so long to know each other, and I'm sure they all have to deal with a lot of regrets and unspoken words.

It also leaves them with some uh, interesting ideas on relationships

Practically a couple my hat, that's literally the definition of a

You know what, I'm not gonna argue with Chtholly's weird
notions of romance.

she learned the Kissing in a Tree rhyme backwards okay

First comes baby (that's Elq), then comes marriage, then maybe idk the power of love will save them or something.

I'd take that honestly. Anything other than Sad Dead Girl would be a welcome surprise. Go full-on Macross Delta and have the world be saved by the power of Love I say.

I was going to say Aquarion EVOL but Triangle Maxoss is also good.

Heck this is a Satelight series anyway. Let Shoji Kawamori write a crazy-ass finale.

Get a few Symphogear folks on board while you're at it.

The monsters are giant plants trying to reclaim the earth, so he could even pull an environmentalist message out of it.

BURGERS

Okay back on track: I've accepted that me and this show ain't on the same wavelength, so mostly what I'd like from the finale is some neat action scenes and maybe a return of Scarborough Fair.

It'll be interesting to see how much they can wrap up with just one episode left. I kinda wish we'd gotten more of Lilya, for instance. She seems cool! It's a shame she shows up just to die for Willem.

Maybe the twist ending will be that she gets resurrected through Ctholly's sword or something. She's in the OP for a reason, right?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ who knows?

Bonus Discussion

But hey, we've got enough shows that actually ended to talk about instead of waiting for this one to end.

I can't believe we got the last of the trashy good prince boys this week!

And they weren't even that trashy! In fact most of the finale was them studying and/or crying.

Mostly crying. Almost all crying, I'd say. In all seriousness, so much of this episode felt like the show was recapping their growth over the past 10-11 episodes, but with more boys sobbing.

Yeah, that's how I walked away from it too. It's not a bad ending, but it lacks a lot of the considered subversions that earlier episodes had.

Like I'm not sure we needed a scene of Heine going over each of the boys' strengths and flaws. That said, it was sweet anyway. Kind of like a big ol' layer of frosting. The cheap kind you get on cakes at Costco, the stuff that tastes okay at first but kinda nasty once you stuff a whole frosting balloon in your face.

I do wish we'd had time for some more humor. This show was consistently able to put a smile on my face even while it was digging into the princes' issues, so to spend the last two episodes mostly being serious and dramatic was a little deflating.

Yyyyeah. And of all things to slack on for the anime-original stuff, the character writing was not the right choice. It was a little hard to muster up sympathy when all four princes were crying all the damn time.

Though I did appreciate seeing Kai of all people standing confidently in front of a crowd, bearing his feelings. You did good boy.

It all ends happily ever after anyway, so the good boys can continue becoming better boys. Now that the show's over, I think it's time to ask the big question at hand: who is best boy?

My brain says Kai

My heart says Licht

Of COURSE you would like Licht most of all. I'm with ya on Kai though; Kai's a fluffy good doggo boy.

Issues with the finale aside, I'm glad I gave Royal Tutor a shot. It was consistently charming and smart in surprising ways!

and it gave me tons of fodder for short jokes :p

Yes thank you for those, Nick

Anyway, Royal Tutor wasn't the only show about good boys that ended this week. Kabukibu also wrapped up the exact way you'd expect it to.

Did they save the community center or whatever

No, that was the conflict in Love Rice. In Kabukibu they finally got the dude with daddy issues and a stick up his ass to let loose and join the club. Everyone else in the cast more or less had their arcs wrapped up already, so this was just finishing it off.

Mr. Joyless decides to perform as a regular high school kid instead of professional actor so-and-so, heir to a top actor at least. That's what he's been missing all along: he's been so tied to the legacy that he forgot to have fun. The finale was all about the kiddos embracing that part of themselves in one huge performance. It ended very nicely. Kabukibu's never been about making big waves; it's understated (boring for some?) but it never makes real missteps, all while being really positive along the way. I liked it plenty! It's not the kind of show that'll be remembered in anything but listicles of anime about obscure art forms but god damn if I didn't enjoy every episode.

Well, I've got it put on my eventual to-watch list thanks to what you've said about it here, so I'll be sure to try it at some point. I'm always drawn to stories about performance as self-expression and actualization, and that sounds right up my alley.

As far as those types of stories go you could probably do worse, so yeah, maybe give it a shot someday.

The only other show I was following this season that's wrapped up is Berserk, but it ended on a pretty interesting note all things considered.

Enough to make jittery Guts worth it, would you say?

Kiiiiiiiiiiinda? Like yeah the show never looked good and somehow only deteriorated as it went along

But the material it covered was surprisingly affecting.

Oh my god what even happens in that shot

So the latter half of the season is all about Guts & Co meeting with Schierke, a witch in training, who eventually joins their party when her guardian sacrifices herself protecting them from monsters. And in between gory monster fights, we see a burgeoning parental bond forming between Guts and her, and it's really touching to see this giant gristle steak of a guy clad in cursed armor and branded for death comforting this little kid who's lost everything she's ever known, just like he did.

comforting a kid? my dad senses are tingling

Guts is building a whole dang family at this point. In fact, the entire finale is all about Schierke having to come to terms with her loss, learning the messy realities of living outside a hermetically sealed witch's cabin, and finding her place with the others. So a show that's known primarily for dark fantasy and gory battles and Serious Mature Anime For Adults stuff like that ends with a story about rebuilding life and moving forward with the people who love you.

Damn, that sounds pretty neat. I'm always a sucker for found family narratives so that might be something I'll check out eventually.

Granted the show still looks like a waking nightmare so it's hard to recommend.

But overall I'm glad this show exists, if only to remind me of why I like Berserk so much even when it can get monstrously uncomfortable.

as long as it's more watchable than Bloodivores

an endoscopy is more watchable than Bloodivores

You're not wrong!

So you have anything else finish this week?

Love Rice ended in the most goddamn Love Rice fashion possible.

so it made no sense?

Well, the rice idol boys and the bread idol boys decide to set aside their differences to bring the joy of grains to the world, so yes, it made no sense whatsoever.

As it should be.

And it was GLORIOUS. I've been waiting for a show to replicate the pure joy I felt at the UtaPri 2000% finale, where the evil idol boys are won over with the power of sparkly pink naked space magic. This came really damn close!

And I'm not just saying that because everyone was naked

smh none of them have rice-shaped nipples 0/10

No, but one of the bread boy idols has a car in the shape of his own head.

...okay

At least it's not the worst show you watched this season.

Look, Frame Arms Girl is no trashier than Symphogear. It's basically the same thing in miniature!

in Symphogear at least everyone is a full sized person, and despite what the liars making my amazon recommendations will tell you


I ain't interested in plamo tiddy

Someday you'll see the light

Anyway FA Girl ends with a Christmas episode (in June??) and a VR idol show where the girls all dance in full armor and it's amazing.


.........................................


ALSO the plastic girl becomes a real (read: 2D rather than 3DCG) girl, and then they get married or something

Real talk though, FA Girl was probably the purest fun I had this season. I maintain it's just like Symphogear in the shameless butt shots and absurd humor. Just, y'know, smaller.

Call me when they punch through a mountain

You just don't appreciate the plastic tiddy, smh

Well thankfully we got to cover such a uh

unique show

before we move to the new format

We'll be back next week, just shorter and sweeter!

but one more Heybot! for the road~


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