Shirobako 17, Koufuku 3-4, Kancolle 5, Saekano 4

Shirobako 17 is another good episode, well, they haven’t done an episode below “good,” so that’s a given, but I’m trying to figure out what the point of it is.

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The main story arc gives way to a smaller crisis this week, as Musani is ordered by that asshole agent to make a PV to show at a convention in about a week, and they decide to do it right rather than just cobbling together images. This means animating scenes and creating art that they normally wouldn’t do for months. But everyone pitches in and they get it done to everyone’s satisfaction. The biggest crisis is that the newbie girls Andou and Satou get lost or delayed while delivering key frames, but it doesn’t feel like a big issue. So what was the episode there for? We do get to see the new girls nervously attempt to manage the creative staff and watch Aoi grow under the responsibility of managing the whole thing. I’m trying to figure out if Kunogi (another newbie) amuses me or annoys me. There’s another girls night together, and again it’s the weakest scene in the episode. I don’t mind, really. I enjoyed the episode immensely, like I always do, but why is it here?

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Koufuku Graffiti is the happiest show of the season, so I feel obliged to write something about it, even if the episodes are all pretty much the same (I think that’s standard in happy shows, a routine to work with). Episode four comes closest to breaking the routine by having Ryou eat and enjoy convenience store food. I thought she wouldn’t touch it, but the fact that she does demonstrates that the episode doesn’t veer much from the norm after all. The series’ main thrust is the pleasure of sharing a meal with others. The convenience store food reminded her of trips to the library with her grandmother, and that’s all she needed to treat the meal as sensually as any other meal in this series. For all the talk of cooking, and the revelations in episode 4 about thinking about the person you’re cooking for, there are few cooking scenes, they spend a lot more time eating.

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Has she really not been to a convenience store for so long?

 

That’s my only real beef with this series. I’d love to have them go into more detail about how to prepare the dishes. But they ARE very simple, basic dishes that are eaten in millions of Japanese households every day, so maybe they decided there was no point. Never mind, the scenes of the girls eating are enough, so much so that sometimes I wonder why they even bother setting up the inconsequential little plots they use to set up the eating every week, like the “cheer up Ryou because she botched a test” bit. One more thing: since I’m watching both my weight and my cholesterol, there’s no way I can eat something like omelet rice, much as episode 3 made me want to. I would appreciate it if the show displayed the sensual eating of foods I can actually eat, thank you.

The fighting Mobile Unit 3.
The fighting Mobile Unit 3.

Just when I was finally getting used to the character lineup in Kantai Collection, they have to change it. So instead of Mutsugi and the “poi” girl, Fubuki is stuck with a new batch of girls whose names I’ll now have to remember, apart from Kongou, whom we met last week. To liven up the episode, none of the girls are very happy to be in this new Mobile Unit 3 squad, and two of them have personal animosities. So there’s a lot of arguing scenes and Fubuki looking unhappy. They can’t even decide who’s the flagship. Of course, when they suddenly have to scramble to intercept an attack the stuff gets sorted out quickly, though I can’t figure out why everyone starts listening to Fubuki all of a sudden. Well, not a bad episode, and the new squad is certainly more eccentric than the old one.

Meanwhile, Megumi sits in the back, unnoticed.
Meanwhile, Megumi sits in the back, unnoticed.

Saekano 4, mildly amusing. Probably my favorite bit, apart from Megumi being at the production meeting with no one noticing, was Tomoya’s interview with Utaha, where we not only learn a lot about Utaha’s professional stance on the publishing industry, but a peek on the dynamic between her and Tomoya. She is aloof, cold, falls asleep, but Tomoya keeps pressing on in his goal to get good interview copy. In the end, she can’t help but smile at his tenacity. The production meeting scene was all right too, since it once again showed Utaha and Eriri as actual working artists, knowledgeable about deadlines and money, vs Tomoya’s more fancy-filled view. It also pointed out that, apart from the scenario, he’s not doing anything, and would you please get them their coffee, Tomoya? Also, Megumi had better lines this week.

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