The wave of filler episodes begins.

So…not all of us got the result we wanted in terms of who will be living in The White House next year. Here’s some anime cake to lighten the mood.

A filler for Hibike! Euphonium 2 this week; the show needed time to fill in the gaps between arcs. I’ve never ever found school festivals very interesting. For the sole one I had in high school, my class did a very stripped-down version of Romeo & Juliet (doing Shakespeare is a requirement in high school in the UK). I played one of Romeo’s cousins, I hate acting, but it had to be done. I think school festival episodes have just become too staple and nonchalant now; sure it’s something that pretty much every Japanese school does, but essentially, they are all fillers.

However this week provides an insight into what we’ll have in the future; Kumiko’s sister, Mamiko, suddenly quitting college for no apparent reason, and someone who appears to be related to Asuka paying her a visit at school (I know vaguely what this will be about so I’m eager to see how KyoAni will approach this).

Still on the subject of fillers, I was right for Brave Witches. While last week saw instructor Edytha work Hikari hard on a monument, this week introduces moe twin-tail girl Georgette and the very dull Sadako. I figure that the only reason these two were introduced together is that these two are a couple (of sorts). I also like how the pairing of Edytha and Waltrud is implied. I thought it was rather odd how Hikari, Georgette and Sadako weren’t really praised for what they did this week: flying out in a blizzard, crashing when their units and guns freeze up, and using their survival skills and initiative to take down a Neuroi unit with wood and fuel. In fact, leader Gundula has done next to nothing in the show; she lacks emotion, has little screen time, and all she seems to do is pout. Next week we get to see second-in-command Aleksandra in action, but what will Gundula’s filler episode be like? Will she even have one? Or is she that boring that she doesn’t deserve one?

It’s very interesting how Sangatsu no Lion is choosing to rely more on metaphors to portray Rei’s situation and his place in life. He’s currently in a rut after losing a series of games at an important time in the year’s Shogi season, and while he feels nothing over winning matches anymore, he is suddenly conflicted when he begins to lose, and this is something he cannot comprehend. Shogi has become his life, his comfort zone and his prison, and so very basic things such as socialising, making small conversation and even happiness have become something that he is unable to understand, despite the Kawamoto sisters doing their best for him. This week, Hina begins to see Rei’s loneliness, confusion and sadness after his losses, and even though she knows she is too young for him (and already has her eye on a baseball player at school), ideas begin to swirl around in her head in becoming a very close friend to him…someone who can help him up when he falls down. Noticing this, Rei sees how pathetic and unremarkable he really is; so many people around him live happy lives, and all he can think about are his own problems (his horrible life in a foster home, being trapped by shogi, losing matches). He is unable to move forward, no matter how hard he tries; something, or someone, will always creep back and haunt him, and he only has himself to blame.

I’m beginning to see echoes of past SHAFT shows here too; the wholesome family life in the Kawamoto household, along with the humor scattered here and there, echoes many scenes from the hugely underrated Hidamari Sketch shows, along with Nisekoi, while the journey through Rei’s head echoes metaphorical scenes from the Monogatari series. All of this has been blended effortlessly to make something that has become, so far, very remarkable and unique.

Unique is something I will most certainly describe Occultic;Nine. I thought that it is about time to stop whining, and try to make some kind of sense of it; even if I decide to label the show a pile of crap when it ends, at least I’d feel some comfort in knowing what the story was actually about. Well, try my best at least, as this week had possibly the weirdest episode yet. This week introduces the story of a mysterious and cursed box, an unsettling interview with Aria by the police detective (which reveals that he can see her demon!), and a shocking revelation at the end that I don’t want to spoil…something that you won’t see coming at all. Let’s just say it involves a key scene that mirrors The Sixth SenseOccultic;Nine definitely warrants a second watch now, after the fall season is over and when I’m about to begin the winter season (for which, by the way, I already have my 5 shows planned!).

Things are finally starting to pick up now that new mysteries and revelations have come to light, and perhaps I can put my past whining aside when it came to the animation and the voice acting. I still think that this didn’t need to be adapted, and that Occultic;Nine would have been much better with just its light novels and the game, but we have this adaptation now, and so all we can do is just find some good in it.

No Long Riders! this week yet again. I suggested last week that animation studios would use the elections as an excuse to delay episodes, and I never imagined that they’d actually do it (I don’t know if they did, of course). I still want mystery girl to return and give Ami more inspiration to use that new road bike of hers, and we’ve still not seen any signs of this cycling team that they are due to form in the future.

So the anime Trump memes have more of a meaning now, but they’ll still carry on, of course. Anime will not stop for him though…or will it?