2-3s: Kancolle, Saekano, Assassination Classroom

Fukuba before the hard training.
Fubuki before the hard training.

Kantai Collection 2 has no battles, only Fubuki training. So it’s completely predictable, apart from the three light cruiser girls taking pity on her and giving her individual training, not knowing that the other two are doing the same, so Fubuki is getting no sleep at all. Also unexpected is Naka trying teach Fubuki how to be an idol. I didn’t know warships aspired to such things. Otherwise, it’s lots of deep knee bends and falling into the water a lot, but she gets better, meaning it’s time for a real battle! Next time.

After hard training.
After hard training.

And we not only get a battle, we get a death, or a sinking. They apparently don’t use the D-word in this world. I guess I should have seen it coming, with Musugi going on and on about talking to Kisaragi after the battle, but there was so much thanking of superiors and advice giving going on that I lost it until the moment before it happened. Besides, I wasn’t sure anyone actually died in this series. Well, now we know, and while I’m not expecting the series to turn into Akame go Kill, it does demonstrate that the show will not hesitate to kill off major characters. But if Akagi said to tell people what you think about them when you have the chance, why did Mutsuki decide to wait? With hindsight, this should have been the major tip-off for me. As for the other things, too much of that thanking going on, though the battle looked pretty good. Fubuki does especially well, as expected.

saekano1-1

Saekano 1 (The first episode was 0) drops much of what made episode one enjoyable, but they have to start introducing the characters now, and I suppose that requires resetting a few things. First we get otaku-hero Tomoya meeting a girl by fetching her hat, and getting all inspired by the encounter that he decides to make a dating sim out of it. The next two scenes reintroduce us to Eriri, the artist who hates his scenario, and Utaha, the novelist who thinks the same, and it’s basically the same scene with variants. Not that the show is lazy, we are supposed to make connections to the other scene, but since neither scene is very interesting or short enough, things begin to drag. But things improve after that, when Tomoya meets the dream girl again. Megumi, his pretty but near-invisible classmate for over a year. A fine way to dump cold water on his dreamy gaming passions.

saekano2-1

And episode 2 keeps the momentum going. This is in spite of what we’ve learned about Tomoya–we see he’s an irritating and pushy otaku type who overcompares 2D and 3D girl traits like too many otaku characters we’ve seen through the years. Happily, he’s easily swatted down by Utaha and Emiri when they’re pissed at him. And Megumi, who doesn’t have a sharp tongue but in fact comes off as rather bland, is a revelation. She doesn’t need one-liners to stab Tomoya. She simply responds logically in her soft, high-pitched monotone and lets the listener get the joke for themselves, though Tomoya often doesn’t. It’s as formidable weapon as anything the other two girls have, and her scenes with Tomoya are the funniest so far. Good thing, too, because there’s a lot of them. What’s more, the self-referential jokes that often helped episode 0 come back this episode, and the two conversations going on at once scenes, though those can be difficult to follow.

Nearly got him!
Nearly got him!

Assassination Classroom 2 and 3 do little to expand the story surrounding Koro-sensei. It’s like the show tries to, but quickly enough abandons the effort as too much. In episode 2 they bring Karasuma in as the new PE teacher. He starts training the kids in knife work and the like, while Koro is right there watching. The whole point of the thing seems to be Karasuma’s observation that these are maybe the happiest kids in the entire school, and the story ends there. In episode 3 they bring in Karma, a highly dangerous student who’s excellent at button-pushing, and manages to infuriate Koro, but then he starts using the same lame methods the others have tried. And his suicide or murder plan was, we could tell, doomed from the start. All I took out of the episode was that Karma was a jerk and I was actually rooting for the guy who plans to destroy the world.

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