Guess what came out this week?

Did you get a Switch? Are you getting one? I am, but I’m waiting until the summer; it’ll give me a great excuse to play the new Splatoon game. Aside from that, absolutely everyone is, and will continue to be, talking about it, from how it charges MacBooks (instead of the other way around), to how terrible the cartridges taste.

No Fuuka this week. Is that a blessing? What was last week’s episode again? Oh yeah…they all realised that they need to create their own songs instead of just playing the same one song all the time. Yuu and Koyuki are also, after 9 episodes, finally an item…

Gabriel Dropout, on the other hand, was actually quite funny. All 3 scenarios (physical check-up, mock job interview, Gabriel joining cookery club only to get free meals) all seemed to work effortlessly, unlike past scenarios in past episodes where jokes felt forced sometimes. Satania had her time to shine (finally), showing that not only is she very athletic, but plays a pretty damn funny Bond villain. This is a joke show, with short and sharp laughs; why I am thinking this as something out-standing, I don’t quite know. Have slice-of-life shows gotten the better of me, or are my expectations too much? Probably the latter. While the show has been quite funny in a lot of places, come next season, this will all be forgotten in the great wake of Attack on Titan, season 2 of My Hero Academia (neither of which I will be watching) and the obligatory ridiculously-stupid show.

For Sangatsu no Lion this week, we’re still in Kyoto, with Shimada on a losing streak; one more loss and the tournament is over for him. This episode was a strange one; it led us on a series of dream states and hallucinations for both Shimada and Rei. Neither Shimada or Souya seem to care anymore; it’s almost as if Shimada has already accepted his defeat, while Souya looks as if he is just tired of winning all the time.

Rei accompanied Shimada in place of Harunobu (he had matches to play), and while he has been in Kyoto, he has been enchanted with the life of big-league shogi. However his attitude and grand ideas were shot down straight away when he witnessed, as stand-in commentator, how brutal it can be. Then again, this can be said for nearly any professional sport; having losing streaks affects not only the player/athlete, but the audience/fans as well…they begin to lose faith and accept that the person they looked up to wasn’t really all that great after all. I think that, after seeing this first-hand, Rei will think twice about wanting to progress further in shogi; he’s a good player, but he doesn’t have the willpower to survive in the big leagues.

The thing is, even though I’ve found the show enthralling to watch, I just want it to end already. As Sangatsu no Lion is approaching its end, it feels like Little Witch Academia keeps on going without making that much progress. This week, the students get the rare chance to go outside the academy. Akko and Sucy accidentally resurrect a corpse who is seeking revenge on the man who double-crossed his daughter, only to remember that he was in fact that person, and that the daughter is now the headmistress…another mini-story episode. The first half of the show is ending soon, and so far what we have is:

  • Akko is pretty bad at magic as she’s not from a witch family.
  • Luna Nova Magical Academy faces potential closure since the landowners are getting annoyed with their ‘outdated’ way of life.
  • Professor Ursula is in fact Shiny Chariot, Akko’s idol.
  • Everyone thinks Sucy is best girl, but since I always go for the underdog, I have to say Lotte.

Sounds like a lot of things, but I’m still a little frustrated with the lack of progress, despite the show’s animation looking great, the character design spot-on and the soundtrack almost perfect.

Okay, so I’m moaning about a good show; Trigger have got a lot of things right here. One other thing…they are clearly seeing some magic/whimsical/muggle/Europe theme in the show; from the town buildings right down to the local police, who look distinctly British. Yes, our UK police make it a policy of wearing hi-vis jackets, carrying truncheons, and not carrying guns. This is why Little Witch Academia always make me think of Harry Potter, and I really hope that, when this show is more accessible to the West via Netflix, viewers won’t make the same comparison as me.

So two shows that I’ve enjoyed that I’m getting frustrated with. As for Chihayafuru? Well it’s crunch time for everyone in the karuta club, as they all choose to compete in individual tournaments to better themselves. Chihaya is still not learning from her mistakes, as she loses miserably in her match against a relative unknown player. Strategy and timing are two key things she lacks, and they are what are preventing her chances of ever becoming Queen. Tsutomu and Kana, on the other hand, have progressed very quickly, but Tsutomu is still lacking one thing: self-confidence. It’s this that makes him lose his match against Kana, but now that they are both Class C, that little boost should be able to help him. Meanwhile, Taichi and Nishida end up facing off to become Class A. Taichi is still, I think, a little too cocky; it’s this cockiness that cost him his match, and enable Nishida to progress to Class A. His unspoken rivalry with Arata (who comes back in episode 19) is the one thing that both keeps him going in karuta, and costs him matches when he gets too emotional/passionate.

I think it’s interesting how the others have been doing so well (and matured), while Chihaya is just stuck in a rut of her own. Is her loss against the Queen still affecting her? She’s clearly learning more from watching matches as opposed to realising mistakes mid-game. She still wants the club to play in team tournaments, but everyone is doing so much better as individuals.

By the way, I’m still recovering from the illness. At this rate, I’ll still be coughing when the Spring season starts.