Anime roundup 6/18/2020: On Reflection

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Listeners #11 – Listeners, the Queen of the Earless, takes everything the forces of good can throw at her and punches right back even harder. Can Echo, all by himself, find some way to stop her and restore Mu? Come on, is this the kind of show that’s going to give us a downer ending?

I’m sure whatever Echo does will be appropriately spectacular, but still, I’m a bit sorry to see Denka’s attack fail. “The one where Prince cruises up in his fabulous mobile fortress and rallies all the powers of good to save the day, all while wearing just a bathrobe” would be a heck of a way to recommend an anime. Oh well.

At this point all the metaphors are crystal clear. The Players are the artists, the Earless the audience that is always demanding more. Though they seem to be at odds, they have to find a way to coexist. We can only wait to see the creators’ thoughts on what that partnership should look like.

(FunimationAnimeLabHuluWakanimbilibili)

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! #11 – While Catarina lies trapped in a dream of her former life, every one of her friends gets to emote about it, in almost exactly the same number of sentences, in the order each friend was originally introduced. And then, once enough padding has been put in place, the plot restarts and everyone goes off to confront the villain.

The look back at Catarina’s former incarnation was useful in that it let her show how she’s accepted her new life, and figure out the clue she needed to rescue Maria. But boy, the middle of this episode sure was padding right by the numbers. This show could easily have stood to be a couple episodes shorter.

Anyway, things are moving again, and the villain will no doubt be won over by Catarina earnestness soon, leaving just enough time for the truly important question: who does Catarina fall for? Is the scene of her and Maria holding hands on the beach in the opener real foreshadowing, or are we just going to get a “oh, I like all my friends equally” kind of cop-out?

(CrunchyrollADNAnimax Asiabilibili)

Tower of God #11 – Bam swings into action to do his best to save Rachel, and the actions he takes are asking the floor admin politely for another test, and then spending the test standing around in a literal bubble while everyone else gets to do all the work yet again.

In fact, we learn late in the game that this test isn’t even about him. Bam and Rachel are just pawns in a plot to remove Anaak and Endorsi from the ranks of princesses. Why couldn’t this have been a buddy show about the two of them, learning to respect each other and work together while still getting on each others’ nerves for comedic effect?

The whole test is another fabulously realized shonen trope, the challenge with all sorts of ridiculous yet well-harmonized complicating factors that will serve to test everyone’s abilities and force them to work together in new ways. The underwater scenes are beautiful, and the Bull and its handler are both wonderfully creepy creature designs. But all this creativity feels wasted when the alleged hero is so useless.

(CrunchyrollAniplus Asiabilibili)

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