Crunchyroll are thinking big...again.

They have recently celebrated their 1,000,000th subscriber, so they’ll be hosting a new con in Santa Clara in the last weekend of August. I can’t go because it’ll clash with my Dragoncon trip (not quite, but it would only mean I’d be spending twice as much money).

We’ve effectively reached the halfway stage now, although that doesn’t really apply for all the shows I’m reviewing here. While three shows are halfway through, one 2-cour show is ending, one 2-cour show has only just begun…and one I followed last season has finally ended. The last two episodes of Long Riders! emerged at last, and I was certainly glad to see the back of a show I didn’t really like for a lot of reasons.

Watching the two episodes made me remember two things in particular: one is that I had forgotten how dull all of the girls really were, and the other is that I had forgotten how appalling the animation was. Episode 11 alone shows us wonky eye movements, scenes with poor perspective and 3D animation that looks like it was done with 3D Custom Girl cheaply. Was the studio really in that much of a rush to get the episodes done? It seemed like they had had the story all ready, and perhaps it was just a matter of actually bothering to draw and animate them. The sad thing is that the ending almost implies that there could be a second season of this. If the studio can get themselves into gear and make it better, then good for them, but I won’t be watching it. I’ve had enough of moe girls cycling…and there’s already another moe girls cycling show out this season.

Sangatsu no Lion was its usual unpredictable self. The first stage of the Lion King Tournament has begun, and Shimada meets his opponent, Souya, who is just as withdrawn as Rei is. I think his fascination with Souya stems from the fact that they seem to mirror each other; while Souya is much older, they were both prodigies at a young age, and dominate their respective classes, and act withdrawn from the rest of the world. It kind of reminds me a little of Shiina from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, who is a genius artist in every right, but lacks both the knowledge and the motivation to interact with the rest of the world. It’s also interesting see how Harunobu has a great goal in his shogi career (to be Lion King himself), and that something like that is beyond Rei’s thinking. Almost as if Rei has never had a great goal in playing shogi in the first place; for him it was just a matter of playing matches, winning them, and just living comfortably from the winnings.

This week has, once again, shown us Kyouko’s other side: a self-loathing and vulnerable young woman. It also showed Kyouko and the Kawamoto sisters meeting for the first time; Akari didn’t kick her backside to the kerb, though, but Hina’s pouting and Momo’s cursing certainly stung. Kyouko doesn’t want to appear like the witch Momo had called her, but she’s still at a crossroads. She’s chasing after a married man, and constantly runs away from home without calling anyone; she’s even forgotten why she’s rebelling against her father now. With Gotou constantly complaining that she is stalking him, and her father ‘punishing’ her by cancelling her credit cards, the only person she can turn to now is the one person she hated when growing up: the boy who invaded her home and influenced her father. But she’s the type who would never admit it, as I believe she is just as immature as Rei is.

Oh Little Witch Academia, I love you, but you worry me sometimes…you really do. Since this week, I’ve been having this worry that no major antagonist will show up, well I think we have one, of a sort. The landowners of the school are now in two minds whether the academy should still run, now that magic has become antiquated and old-fashioned, and their visit to the school shows how desperate all of the teachers are to keep them happy and pleased. Obviously I wasn’t expecting some kind of outlandish bad guy like Ragyo from Kill La Kill, but I guess my expectations were a little off…unless another antagonist (or the real antagonist) comes in due course. Then again, in Kill La Kill, Ragyo’s true intentions didn’t emerge until halfway through, so I suppose I ought to be more patient and simply enjoy these mini-stories.

Diana is still being a stuck-up so-and-so, and Sucy is still being Sucy, but I liked how we got our chance to see Shiny Chariot as a student. She was just as daring and headstrong as Akko is now, and sometimes acted before thinking. Thing is though…she’s an actual witch with actual talents, and Akko is not. Which leads me to think what can Chariot/Professor Ursula do for her in this dire stage, now that she is ridiculed on a daily basis for not coming from a witch family and still not being able to fly.

I think my wish came true: Trigger are doing collectable cards after all, to be released with special editions of the home video releases!

Fuuka was quite something to watch this week though. Rumors go around that Yuu and Koyuki are dating, only for Koyuki to make things ten times worse and say on live TV that Yuu is her unrequited love. Social media has been made a central part of this show, and while I make no complaints about it ever appearing in a show, the fact that it has become so integral to a music show is…annoying. The music should come first, and social media should come second, and instead it’s the other way around. I don’t even care about the music, and sadly, I’m hoping the band won’t get glassed (of course that won’t happen because anime is anime). Social media can be truly brutal and unforgiving, as people can simply revel in anonymity and stay there to taunt and whine.

To be honest, it would have been so much better if Yuu would have just publicly said that they are dating; it would be win-win, but no……the two of them (Yuu and Koyuki both) are as dumb as is the other.

As predicted, our team in Chihayafuru won the regionals and are off to Omi Jingu for the nationals, now that Chihaya is finally getting some kind of recognition by her parents (instead of her incredibly vain older sister). With their win in the bag, their advisor is finally taking their activities seriously. I think at this point, both Kanade and Tsutomu need to reach Class C, Taichi and Nishida need to reach Class A, leaving Chihaya’s goal to become Queen. But emotions are still getting the better of her, and this is evident in both episodes 11 and 12. Firstly, when she faces a strong (and very arrogant) third-year in the regionals, and then when it suddenly hits her that she’ll be facing some seriously good teams in the nationals. Plus this great goal to see Arata again should be something that she should put aside whilst in this tournament; she is not competing for him…she is competing for both herself and the team.

The Chihayafuru manga is finally getting an English translation by Kodansha Comics too. Check out our analysis and our interview with them here and here.