Bit of a tricky week to write about, this one. With some shows reaching the end of their run (or the end of their first cour) and some still with one episode to go, I’m not going to run through everything I’ve watched this week. Instead, it’ll be a quick round-up of the stuff I’ve enjoyed most, and then a more in-depth season round-up later in the week.
‘One Punch Man’ finally gave us a really meaty look at our main antagonist, Garou. While I’ve never been fond of the ‘evil for evil’s sake’ approach to villainous characters, Garou has, by this week’s episode, become an interesting guy to watch. We’ve had those kind of shallow flashbacks of him sympathising with monsters in hero shows, which has kind of been the extent of his backstory, but now we’ve started to see that it’s not quite so straight-forward; for all that he wants to prove himself as a monster, he still made a point of protecting the kid who (unintentionally) helped him via the Hero profile book. So he’s not a complete monster like the show’s actual, um…monsters. You know, the ones who actually kidnapped an actual child and are still holding him actual hostage. But he has still taken out multiple heroes simply to prove (or perhaps even test out) his abilities.
He’s almost, but not quite, Saitama without the ethics. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to figure that out – I think it was the ‘discovering he’s bullet-proof’ moment that did it. He’s not just someone who’s trained to become immensely talented in a martial art; he’s on his way to becoming as over-powered as Saitama is. And while Saitama is always as strong as is required to make a scene comedic, Garou is proving as powerful as is required to make the scene scary.
The series has now caught up with the print manga, which means I genuinely have no idea what the final episode has in-store. But I am genuinely excited to find out.
‘Fruits Basket’ episode 13 was one I’ve been looking forward to for a while: specifically the introduction of Ayame. I haven’t touched the dub for a while, but I had to for this, simply for the return of Absolute Legend Chris Sabat. He’s refined his performance somewhat this time around, keeping Ayame’s flamboyance without having him be quite so stereotypically camp. Meanwhile, Sakurai Takahiro does a bang-up job, as expected, giving Ayame just the tiniest hint of Osomatsu-esque frivolity. Seeing the Mabudachi Trio together at last was fun, and I look forward to seeing more of them in future episodes.
‘Kimetsu No Yaiba’ thankfully gave us a brief respite from Zenitsu’s screaming – I hope that’s not going to be a constant thing, because man was that annoying. I still feel like Tanjiro has mastered his art a little too quickly, as the only thing hampering him during the fight with the drum-demon was his injuries from his previous fight. I’d have preferred to see him learning while facing demons rather than figuring everything out so quickly. But it doesn’t take too much away from my enjoyment of this show. I do still like that we get demon backstories, reminding us that every conflict has more than one perspective.
‘Carole and Tuesday’ had a fairly predictable end to the Mars Brightest arc, but I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. Of course they wouldn’t win – it’s too early for them to have something handed to them that easily. But I’m pleased that we got such a touching performance from them this episode, something that really shows off both their singing and their song-writing ability. Despite the revelation that Angela’s AI-composed material does in fact contain something of her own thoughts and feelings, the show hasn’t really delved too deep into the fact that Carole and Tuesday create every aspect of their performances themselves, compared to a lot of the other acts we’ve seen. Angela can sing well and can hold an audience, but Carole and Tuesday can do both of those and compose their own material and play instruments while singing. I want someone to at least give them recognition for that instead of just commenting that it’s unusual.
Finally, I don’t think I expected to enjoy ‘RobiHachi’ half as much as I did this season, but that final episode was, if possible, even more of a wild ride than the ‘Sarazanmai’ finale! Yang fighting the Lunar Fleet to save Robbie! A chase into a secret wormhole! A sudden alien invasion, saved by the duo and Hizakurige! And let’s face it, what was that ‘here, have my lucky crystal’ if not practically a proposal? Robbie and Hatchi are space-husbands now and you can’t convince me otherwise. I mean, Hatchi confessing that travelling with Robbie makes his heart pound, set to romantic music as they both blush? And rescuing Robbie from his inevitable return to poverty with the promise of more space adventures? And of course Yang gets a Robbie-look-alike on his team, so everyone’s happy.
It was silly and outrageous and dumb, but I’m so pleased I decided to watch this show.
I’ll be covering ‘Fairy Gone’ in my end-of-season round-up, along with ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’ although I don’t know for sure how many more episodes of that we have left, and my final thoughts (once I can get them at least vaguely organised) on ‘Sarazanmai’.