Yuri x Victor isn't that holy. And neither is Papika x Cocona.

If last season taught me one thing, it’s populism will always triumph, regardless of quality. It’s the same reason why Your Name didn’t get the Oscar nomination and thus the Best Animated Feature is dominated by US movies. As Crunchyroll obsess even more about Yuri!!! On Ice and Flip Flappers at their Anime Awards, nominations are already being drawn for 2017. Maybe this time, they’ll introduce the Worst Anime category. Fuuka would be a good nomination.

It’s not getting any better, and I notice on Anitwitter that less and less people care about it; even the trash-talkers have had enough. It seems that its studio, diomedéa, has developed a bit of a trend not unlike P.A. Works have. While it has given us Squid Girl, Kancolle and last season’s Girlish Number, it has also given us Mayoiga, Noucome, and now Fuuka.

Girl number 3, Sara, is introduced this week, and now has beaten Koyuki in being the most substantial character. She gives off the impression that she doesn’t like communicating, however when she finally submits in joining the band and when she learns that her Twitter BFF is actually Yuu, she still sticks out like a sore thumb. She’s the kind of character who would work better operating solo than in a band. In any other instance, most introverted guitarists would immediately get frustrated by these 4 losers.

This episode also reminds me of those poseurs at my local community college, who are all obsessed with being in bands. People should learn that having a guitar and walking down the street with it around your shoulders does not automatically make you look cool. This could just be me talking, what with me seeing this all the time when I’m in town, but if anything, it makes you look more desperate to look cool.

At least I have a character that I genuinely like in this show now. If I were Sara then I’d run for the hills, take Yuu with me and try to make him a better person. Good luck to these losers though, since they will need it. Wonder if they’ll still soldier on when they get rejected by the public, dropped by record labels, have numerous failed comebacks, and members end up leaving for “creative reasons”…

I’m glad that Gabriel Dropout is getting a little better though, and is choosing to harmlessly poke fun more at the world than to be enveloped in its own one. While Gabriel finds herself a job at a coffee house with a moe coffee guy, Vignette and Raphiel have begun to bond more, with both realising that they have a lot in common than they realise.

There’s still something off about this show that I can’t put my finger on, and it’s bugging me a little. I want to like this show more, but there is just something that’s missing, like some lack of empathy towards the four girls. As all four of them have equal screen time now (pretty much), it makes it more difficult for us to choose one we genuinely like. Then again, with short-sketch comedy shows like this, it’s pretty easy to just dismiss the idea of finding one favourite and instead liking them all.

The good people at Trigger have decided to poke fun too, but unlike Space Patrol Luluco, where every one of their shows was parodied, Little Witch Academia have chosen to go with something much more conventional, and this week the Twilight series is the victim. This week also belongs to my new bae, Lotte. I mean look at her: how can you not like that adorable little face?!

It takes on the book series and its fan-base mercilessly (yet without malice), renaming it as nightfall, a series that never seems to end, and treating the writer, Annabel Creme (taking the place of Stephenie Meyer), as a poor girl who doesn’t like to speak in public and is currently paranoid that the fans are flaming her recent work. Now I have no idea how the Twilight series was received in Japan, but I can imagine that adolescent girls still flocked to it in the same manner that their American and European counterparts did.

Little Witch Academia has done something that very few anime shows have successfully managed to do, and that’s to hook the viewer from the first few minutes, and not just one clique of viewer either…the show has the capability to attract all sorts, from the younger viewers right up to the cynical trash-talkers. Past episodes have brought us family-friendly adventures into forests and harmless school races, while this week has veered off that course and brought the isolated magic world closer to the loud and brash muggle world.

Netflix will put this on their Western sites as soon as the show is complete, which won’t be until late June. Hopefully, they’ll market it as much as they have marketed their other ‘original shows’, as a show like Little Witch Academia has the capacity of bringing anime closer to the mainstream (but not going as commercial and generic as, say, Naruto or Bleach or Attack on Titan even).

Meanwhile, Sangatsu no Lion has chosen to focus less on Rei this week, and more on the people around him right now. The first half goes back to Kyouko, and shows us that she is not the poisonous character we all thought she was. She only wants love and attention, and not to feel pathetic. After being rejected by her shogi-obsessed father, she falls blindly in love with the married Gotou (as a means to spite her dad), only for Rei to choose to leave home instead. This goes back to when Rei referred to his behaviour in the Kouda household as “brood parasitism”. For Rei, leaving home is a win-win; he can leave so the family can heal itself, and he can try to ‘save’ Kyouko. This doesn’t work, as she still stalks Gotou, much to his discontent. Even though she has shown anger at Rei’s sudden success when they were both children, Kyouko still cares for Rei as a foster brother. This has been relevant not only this week, but also in past episodes where she is relieved that Gotou didn’t scar him.

The second half delivers the match between Shimada and Gotou. Rei is slowly moving on from his defeat still, by concentrating on the schoolwork he has neglected, but he can’t help but be curious on who will win. As the match is a best of 3, the winner will be determined next week. The Kawamoto sisters will also make a return next week; I’m not sure exactly what this Girls’ Festival episode will be about though.

On to Chihayafuru!

The karuta club needed two more, and they both came in episodes 7 and 8. Here was me thinking the club would be dominated by cute moe girls. However it shows that the new characters all have something in common, in that regular schoolmates have effectively discarded them to do their own popular clique thing. Kanade’s passion for traditional Japan left her alienated in the archery club, Tsutomu’s obsession with studying meant the only reason his class went to him was to copy his notes, and Nishida felt pushed out by his healthier and more focused companions in the tennis club.

Chihaya’s drive to get 2 more members came ahead, hence her pestering of both Tsutomu and Nishida to join the karuta club. Initially Tsutomu doesn’t care for the game, but when he discovers that memorisation, concentration and strategy are key to playing, he reluctantly joins, knowing that there will be people who will actually appreciate his company. Nishida, meanwhile, played competitive karuta in grade school, and was ranked second in the country. He lost his drive to play after a humiliating defeat by Arata and chose to run away. After being challenged by Taichi to beat Chihaya in order for them to leave him alone, he discovers that he hasn’t lost his touch, and that karuta is something that tennis cannot replace, and thus becomes the fifth member. I like this mix of players now; while Kanade and Tsutomu can learn the game as beginners, Chihaya, Taichi and Nishida can practice at competitive level. I think this will be something that will carry on in episodes to come.

I’ve reached the stage where I don’t even care anymore about Fuuka. Once Little Witch Academia slows down with the short episodes and develops an on-going story, it should become even more fun to watch than it already is, and I hope that Chihayafuru will be as excellent as people around me say it is. Oh, and I’ve jumped the gun already and have chosen my Spring shows already, save the classic/out-of-season show (that you guys get to choose)!