Nisekoi continues to be an ordinary high school romance series, given the Shaft treatment.
Okay, it does help that the series on its own is more appealing than some. Our anti-lovebirds are already weary with their backgrounds, this facade of romance with someone you dislike makes it even worse. All they want is a normal high school life. And both Raku and Kirisaki are funny when they fight, and when they occasionally find themselves on the same page, you feel satisfied. With that going on, and with BOTH the characters sympathetic, it helps mitigate the completely predictable difficulties they encounter, and this is a very very predictable show. Raku is dense at all the most inappropriate moments, people overhear conversations, Kirisaki is tsundere, etc. I figure the mystery of how they’re going to work out the love triangle (I’m rooting for Onodera) will be resolved predictably, too.
That is to say, I would probably watch this show even if Shaft wasn’t doing it. Since they are, the show becomes slightly less than amazing. Those quick cuts and wide angles at the right time increase the tension, and gets undercut by the flabbergasted faces the kids put on. I loved the stars that trail behind Claude in episode 2, and the flowers that surround Onodera later on. It’s like Shaft has more weapons at its disposal to draw out the comedy, not to mention the dreamlike, memory bits, than the average studio does (though what was that balloon in a drawer bit all about?). It’s not a masterpiece–the predictable source material pulls it down, but three episodes in it’s the show this season I look forward to the most.
Space Dandy 4, the show that will save anime, puts that promise on hold for still another week as it decides to do a zombie episode. In the first half it gives Nisekoi a run for its money in the predictability stakes by being a thoroughly routine run-from-zombies story. It gets better in the second half, for a while, as we watch our heroes live zombie lives and switch to yogurt. But the living as a zombie jokes get dull after awhile, and the episode ends with a thud.
Nobunagun 4 shows us the positive and negative side of Sio, and it occurs to me that when she’s not confident that the show lags the most. The first third of the episode is like that. They go off on a mission to kill an alien that’s flying a hurricane in. She’ll get one shot, and it has to be perfect or the thing will drop its eggs and the good guys will really be up a creek. Sio doesn’t think she can do it, neither do anyone else on their helicoptor, or watching from headquarters. Since there’s plenty of time left in the episode, I’m assuming she’ll miss. But instead, the show gets instantly more entertaining when good old Oda steps in and orders his army to go on the offensive. So Sio does a dance, gets her grin back … and jumps out of the helicopter. Now, with Sio free-falling in a hurricane, I am 100% certain she’ll make the shot. The only question is what will happen next. So to make an episode of this series exciting you have to get Sio grinning, which means bringing in Oda. I’m fine with that.
In Seitokai Yakuindomo * 4, Uomi gets splashed by a car and observes the student council at work while they dry. They’re interviewed by Hata–again. Kaede has corner. Part 3 of the mini-drama involving a fake butt and mayo. Nene has a corner. They study at the library, take mid-terms. Tsuda and Kotori have to take make-ups, so we have another study session. Aria has a corner. Then it’s Golden Week and they test rides at the amusement park. Oh, and Suzu is short. You can see the potential for dirty jokes in all of these situations, can’t you? I thought so.