Weekly Watch Round-Up 25th August

I’m back! After nearly a week without Internet access (and without anime!) I finally have my connection back. And since today was hot as balls outside, I spent a few hours hiding from the sun and catching up on some shows. I’m still not up to date with Vinland Saga yet (and I think I’ve given up on Dr Stone) but I’m caught up with my regular faves, so here are my thoughts on this week’s episodes.

Faves

It hit me this week that Cop Craft has echoes of ‘Due South’ to its set-up, with Tilarna as the new Benton Fraser, the fish-out-of-water character learning about the seedier side of the city she’s ended up in, and Matoba as Detective Vecchio, tasked with showing his polar-opposite partner the ropes. Realising this has given me a new appreciation for the show and for Tilarna as a central character.

This made it especially tough to watch this week’s episode and see her lose the first friend she’s made outside of work (I love that she’s bonding with Cecil, but she needs more connections with other people). Zoey could have been an interesting recurring character, but as is the tradition of cop dramas, prostitutes trying to work themselves into a more stable life usually end up killed off. It’s also a little sad watching Tilarna having to learn about the baser aspects of working in Vice, and given her relatively young age it was awkward seeing her introduction to porn – I guess it’s meant to tell us as much about Matoba’s character as it is to have a laugh at Tilarna’s expense, but it’s something I could have done without. I’m still trying to figure out what this show wants to tell us about cultural exchange, as so far we’ve mostly seen the negative aspects – humans taking Semanian magic in return for giving them access to porn and drug-dealing. I hope we get to see some more positive aspects of this meeting of two worlds.

I’m also hoping that Matoba’s car will become a running joke – how many different cars can he lose, and in how many different ways? All in all, I feel like this show is finally settling into its groove, giving us some typical buddy-cop adventures with just a hint of a bigger plot arc in the background.

Given was also a highlight this week, surprising us with Akihiko taking a moment to give Ritsuka a frank and uplifting pep talk about dealing with same-sex attraction. It’s great to see a BL story being so up-front about this stuff, instead of playing coy and having characters go the ‘it’s okay if it’s just you’ route. It’s also cool to see a young questioning character have a reliable mentor-figure to talk to, and helps justify the ‘everyone is gay’ trope in this instance. In some other BL stories, having every male character be gay or bi is usually to create potential love-rivals for the central relationship, so I’m pleased that’s not the case here.

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts finally did what I’ve been wanting it to do since episode three, which is to make me care about at least one of the Incarnates before they get killed off. Beatrice’s episode didn’t get any especially beautiful animation or direction, but she was at least given enough backstory to make her death appropriately tragic. Maybe that’s because we didn’t have Hank around for a final fight scene? I just feel like the same could have been done for at least a few of the others – imagine if Arthur the Behemoth had been given the same level of focus to establish his motivations for trying to reach the ocean before his death? Actually, no, because if I do that I’ll cry.

Still watching

After a couple of weeks away from the lead characters, it was refreshing to see the focus back on at least one half of Carole and Tuesday this week. I enjoyed last week’s side-story with Flora, and I think I’m a little bit in love with Gus now. This week, we got more of the connection between Tuesday and her politician mother, via “unshaven bad boy” reporter Kyle. Tuesday’s interest in him was rather understated (unless I’m especially dense and missed some obvious signals) so Tuesday being upset over seeing him kiss someone came a bit out of the blue for me, but it did make for a beautifully poignant ending with her and Carole.

I do want to see the music side of the story pushing forward though, as we haven’t see them do much beyond get frustrated over the recording of their album for a few weeks.

Angela’s stalker plot isn’t doing much for me, I have to say – I think there are better things that could have been written for her. I want to see more of her collaboration with Ertegun, as he’s turning out to be better comic relief than I’d initially thought. Especially after last week’s episode – I am fully willing to bet that Mamo-chan did all his own cup-noodle sound effects.

Low points

Fruits Basket had two scene-for-scene re-makes of my least favourite episodes from the original run. I’m not a fan of Hiro – I get that this is all typical sixth-grade boy acting up, supposedly made bittersweet by his affections for Kisa versus his fear of Akito, but I never feel comfortable watching kids be bullies, especially when no one else is properly calling him out for his nastiness apart from Kyo, whom no one listens to.

That was followed by an episode that’s largely filler, with the intent of establishing how important Tohru is to Hana (remember that – it’ll be important later!). Filler episodes, unless they’re genuinely funny, aren’t my jam, so this wasn’t a highlight for me. It did remind me, though, that Prince Yuki fanclub president Motoko is due a lovely episode of her own later on, which I hope gets the care and attention it deserves, because her story is as important as any member of the Sohma clan’s. Plus Ayame was on the end-card, so I’m hoping next week’s episode is the one that takes us to his shop.


That’s it for this week – as stated above, I still have to catch up with Vinland Saga, and I just can’t find it in me to keep up with Dr Stone anymore – for all the hype, it just didn’t cut it for me.

We are now just about a month away from the start of the Fall ’19 season, and I’m already looking forward to it. As well as the new season of ‘My Hero Academia’, there’s ‘No Guns Life’ to look forward to, some new sports anime, and whatever the heck ‘Beastars’ is. Do you have anything on your watch-list for October yet? Do let me know!

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