Hello everybody, how are you all doing? Good I hope, as I welcome you back again to Anime Seasonals 2018 — Winter Games-hen! where we’ve now covered up to the tenth episode of each anime that we’ve chosen for our little competition.
As a reminder before I show everyone’s Week 10 standings, the blogger who gets the least amount of points (not the most) by the end of it all will be doing something special for us, so keep that in mind in the weeks to come.
Point Totals as of Week 10
AstralGemini — 44
Irina — 49
Leap — 41
TPAB — 39
AstralGemini nabbed a 3-pointer with his prediction that Toba-sensei of Yuru Camp would become the OutClub’s advisor (!!), and he’s now placed himself in prime position to contest what we all thought was Irina‘s sure path to first. place. TPAB is also hot on our tails as he’s within striking distance of knocking us down with one or two right predictions.
It has become a VERY tight race at this point, and with so few episodes left it’s going to be interesting to see who ends up on top (and more importantly at the bottom) by the end of it all.
tl;dr: “5-girl camp is a go. I repeat, 5-girl camp is a go.“
You see, I miscalculated last week’s events in that, I forgot that there were only two-three episodes left after this here tenth episode, so when I made the prediction that “Rin won’t be able to join the Christmas Camp” my thought process was — maybe they’ll do the thing where they’ll take Saitou out on a camp first, and then Rin would join them on a separate “final” camp for the season. But alas, it looks like our last camping excursion is closer than I thought it’d be.
I really didn’t think that this episode would directly continue from the events of last week, with Rin having overslept until nightfall en route to her camping grounds (which, if you’d remember, is still a ways up the mountain-side). As a result we get an interaction that, I didn’t think I’d like as much as I did, between Chiaki and Rin (as the former was still on navigation duty with Nadeshiko). They struck me as kinda like “camp rivals”, with the way Rin calls her by her last name (and Chiaki in turn calls her by her full name albeit endearingly), but their back and forth was fun to watch for the most part — until Chiaki drops the bomb and asks Rin out to their Christmas Camp, to which the latter refuses (I was actually fine with this because, as I said earlier, I threw that out as my prediction for this week).
However, with a surprising turn of events (and a little goading from best girl Saitou), Rin hollers back with an “I’ll think about it” which is kuudere-code for “sure!”. So yeah, that was a complete miss on my part (xD). It’s all good though because I really am glad that this 5-girl camp is finally happening. It’s still a ways though, as we’re still in the planning stages of it all, which constituted the entire second half of the episode. For the most part it was just them talking about where to go; what they were going to do; and who brings what — but Saitou brings up something interesting in the middle of it all that might come up in one of the remaining episodes, as she proposes the idea of a “exchanging gifts”.
Afterwards, as the show is now tying up loose ends, drunk Toba onee-san makes an appearance at their school! Not only that, she becomes their club advisor! (xD good on AstralGemini for seeing that one a mile away). Things are looking up for the OutClub, though I guess they’ve never really been down in the dumps despite barely being a “club” what with only three “official” members. Hmm.
~ Nadeshiko takes a group selfie with everyone (character)
~ Rin is troubled about what to give as some sort of Christmas hospitality (plot)
Record of Grancrest War
tl;dr: “I think I’ve figured out what Grancrest has been doing wrong..”
And it’s a sentiment that has already been echoed in the past both by myself and my fellow seasonalists (and maybe by your guys’ observations as well) in that, Grancrest DOES NOT KNOW when or even how to give proper focus to characters. It’s frustrating to invest any sort of formal analysis to this show’s plot progression when all it ever does to move the story forward is introduce a handful of characters to deal with situation at hand. At that point, why even bother with characterization right? Everyone’s just a piece on the game board with a bit of flavor text etched on their backsides and nothing more. Character interactions are nothing more than tabletop narratives. Just throw out a new name out there and the viewers will think things are moving along well /smh.
Episode 10 is in the can and Grancrest, from what I thought to be really decent (even good) episode by anime standards, managed to regress to what was essentially “Grancrest Senki: The Game” on autoplay this week. Soooo many moving pieces introduced at breakneck speed: (1) we have things that had apparently developed on the side (Theo has a castle now whut?); (2) more named nobodies (they literally introduced a seemingly important guy just to kill him off); (3) characters returning out of nowhere (to be fair this was one was pretty alright, forgot that Margaret was from Dartania); and (4) I think the fastest one-day war I’ve seen in anime (xD I know fast fights are like, Grancrest’s bread-and-butter, but you have to admit that whole day-to-evening timeskip sequence thing was just funny).
I mean, I get it. Grancrest is this great expansive world that contains so much story (apparently 10 volumes worth), and two cours probably wouldn’t do it enough justice. I think they’re just cramming everything they can to make this a “full” adaptation honestly, and I don’t blame the people behind making that decision for doing so. It’s a bit sad because it did have some potential in the early goings (c’mon I even compared the thing to Arslan Senki), but when you think about how we’re ten episodes deep and all Grancrest has to show for it is this mangled story line of “this is my land, no this is mine get away”; it’s kinda disappointing, and granted I was someone who was looking at the “big picture” from the get-go.
This series is about to close its first half starting with (arguably) this shoddy start to a climax, BUT if the next episode’s title is anything to go by (which it usually is), then we’re still in for some huge developments, if not just a massive one — well, assuming of course that the next episode doesn’t botch what I think is about to go down. Regardless of what does happen though, I think it’s safe to say at this point that Grancrest Senki won’t be winning me over moving forward. I really did try (see my attempt at establishing an over-arching narrative for Grancrest last week), but this follow-up let me down hard.
~ Someone says someone’s full name (character)
~ Villar dies (plot)
tl;dr: “Sometimes I wish Sanrio Danshi was a regular SoL/Drama.”
This is a thought that I’ve shared with Astral for some time now in that, we believe that a lot of the things that happen in Sanrio Danshi’s narrative would work so well (if not just decently well) even without the Sanrio motif — and you can kinda see glimpses of that in what’s looking to be the final conflict of this series with Ryo’s whole subplot of moving back to London because of his dad and stuff which, like nearly all the other arc prior to this, doesn’t even directly involve Sanrio in the slightest. I mean, they’re barely even a MacGuffin at this point, and I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about that fact to be honest xD
Then again I doubt anyone really watches this for the Sanrio references (and, if by chance you are, I would like to offer my respects). Episode 10 is behind us and I can now see the light at the end of the this pastel-colored tunnel finally. All’s we just have to get through now is this whole Japan v London arc (which doesn’t even offer much in the way of further discussion, so forgive my incessant vamping) and their musical finale. It’s funny because we’re getting these short scenes of Seiichiro and Shunsuke showing a bit of character growth all of a sudden, so it’s not like the show is all that shy about making it seem like the end is oh so near.
There was one frame however that caught my interest (yes, a single frame /or maybe it was two), when the everyone else except for Kouta starts heading home after a hard day’s work of prep… and he goes all dead eyed. I don’t even… Yeah… (Irina’s 100% behind this) Suffice it to say it threw me for a loop for a good minute or two; enough time to make me forget, if only for a brief moment, that I was watching “Cute Guys Doing Cute Things”. I swear, that was like the perfect moment to pull a Gakkou Gurashi twist on us all with a reveal that Kouta was actually trapped in some post-apocalyptic delusion and he’s actually just talking to various Sanrio merchandise who he anthropomorphized as a bunch of bishounen this whole time.
Oh! I almost forgot. There was another foreboding in the post-credits, where after blowing off his friends for the fifth time (they seriously couldn’t go an episode without making this joke), Kouta accidentally breaks *gasp* the mirror-keychain-thing he got with the boys from their PuroLand trip. A broken mirror is a universal symbol of bad luck som maybe we’re not too far off from something actually bad happening soon
like an announcement for a second season or something
~ A character imitates a Sanrio mascot (character)
~ Someone gets mad at Kouta for taking on more than he can handle (plot)
As always thank you for dropping by. I hope you’re all as excited as we are with the developments of our collaboration thus far, and I doubly hope that you guys see it through to the end along with us!
Oh, and if you haven’t yet, drop by their posts and see what they thought of this week’s Winter Games episodes.
AstralGemini — Week 10
TPAB — Week 10