Akame ga Kill 2 is a traditional one where the hero joins another group of heroes and learns the ropes of heroing, only these are assassins and it’s killing they’re talking about. The big question is whether Tatsumi is capable of killing, apart from anger, and I frankly wasn’t convinced by his positive answer considering he’d been mulling over the same question himself just before. After that scene he’s taken into training (cooking, fishing) and when another job for Night Raid comes in he too eagerly jumps into it and I had the same doubts I had before, unless he was just tired of all the cooking and fishing. I guess that’s what bugs me about this show right now: I just can’t take Tatsui’s seriousness, er, seriously. He’s too keen too soon. But at least they didn’t pull a “rookie screws up on his first try” here. He does his job pretty well.
(This paragraph was written after watching episode 2) I like how Barakamon jumps from one bit to another, almost randomly, so that you don’t know where scenes are going. And the side characters are given moments to display their personal oddities, like the wife who gets her own big speech reflecting on her duties and frustrations, spoken while her husband and son sit and watch, aghast. I like Naru’s obliviousness and her tendency to say whatever’s what on her mind. What I don’t like, so far, is how, in spite of all these nice little tricks, you know pretty much where the show is going. Little moments aside, we got another episode where locals come by and drive Handa crazy, and when he winds up in the hospital, they go and drive him crazy there too. And again the show has a late moment where some random character says something wise that makes Handa think a little, never mind that the character was a ghost this time. Too much more of this and I’ll drop it.
(This paragraph was written after episode 3) Much better. They still have the annoying wise lecture near the end, but it was satisfying to see Handa taking the mochi-catching advice and still fail miserably. But mostly it was better because the show has started to feature other characters. This week it was Tama, one of the middle-school girls, and while I thought her own, highly dramatized story went on a bit long (same technique as last week for the elder’s wife, give her a pedestal and let her declaim), it was fun to watch anyway. What adds to the already solid portrayal of a fujoshi that Tama gives us is her denial that she actually is one. And I’m delighted that the show isn’t entirely about Handa’s woes anymore.
With the rate I’m keeping up with shows I’m a little relieved that Sailor Moon Crystal is biweekly. Again, I’ll leave it to the real fans to compare Ami’s entrance story to the original, because apart from the art and animation changes I don’t notice much of a difference. I don’t remember the pens coming out of a video game, was that there before? One thing I AM reminded of is how competent the Sailor Scouts (or whatever they call them now) are right off the bat, while our heroine turns into a screaming mess at the first sign of threat. What else? Mercury’s transformation sequence has some of the same CG problems as SM’s does, but it’s quicker, and the riplling water effects looked very nice. So, is it Mars next time, or do they wait an episode or two?