Unlike last week, this one had multiple episodes with a more directional/writing focus. He had some interesting plot and character progressions with love, rage, sadness, and fun into the mix. So, let’s get to it!
Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.
Episode #02 Staff:
Storyboards: Masahiro Ando
Episode Director: Toru Yoshida
Animation Director: Tomoki Nakano
The veterans Masahiro Ando (director of the show) and the animator Toru Yoshida were in charge of this second episode, a “key” episode being that’s where the girls first start to discover their true feelings and desires. Even Rika starts slowly to scramble to the charm of her classmate.
Kazusa doesn’t know what she’s feeling, after the awkward meeting with her childhood friend, she was in a state of such embarrassment that even looking to her own body would look erotic. She was slowly get owned by her own feelings and make it obvious, after “dickblock” her childhood friend that she kept such huge care, that she thought it was only a kind of maternal love.
As the things were looking more and more obvious, it only took a simple “you love him”, to bring all the puzzle together in her mind, in a beautiful sunset scene, her emotions overflooded like she finally found something precious that was by her side all this time.
Episode #91 Staff:
Storyboards, Episode Director: Ayataka Tanemura
Chief Animation Director: Takahashi Tsunetoshi
Animation Director: Takahashi Tsunetoshi, Eiichi Tokura
Black Clover is reaching the climax of “Royal Knights” and as always it’s series director Tatsuya Yoshihara is doing the possibles and impossibles to deliver a quality output with the poor resources that are available to present both manga and anime fans for their restless support to the series.
This episode marks the start of the “Eye of the Midnight Sun” head charters invasion with the highlight being the big fight between Mereoleona vs. Rhya the Treachery. And you wonder why did I mention Yoshihara for this episode taking into account that he’s not on the main staff for this episode. The thing is that he more than anyone loves this series, not just for being its director, but because at this point he’s its biggest fan and does everything does see its shiny, either the conditions are. Yoshihara himself contributed with layouts for a part of the main fight, his effects and impact frames are what we expect from him even with a tight schedule he was able to not only show what he can do best but as well do some experimentations with Blender. (something that we saw before on #63)
Other than that, it was an action-packed episode with several great scenes like this smeary attack, Hiroaki Nakamichi amazing sequence with great water/fire effects and a couple of nice impact frames. Look forward to episode #93, it can’t go wrong when Yoshihara will be in charge of the storyboards, and you can expect the presence of amazing animators like Sunagawa Takaya, PEBBLE, Sute (すて) and maybe again more overseas talent like Gem, Till, and more.
Episode #02 Staff:
Storyboards: Hiroko Kazui
Episode Directors: Yoriko Tomita, Yamato Haishima
Animation Directors: Minori Homura, Hasashi Tojima, Tomita Yasuhiro, 機井祐哉, Kazuhito Tominaga
This week Fire Force episode, it changed the tone a little bit for a more grounded one. Most of us probably didn’t have the chance to “sit” our ideas about a more serious issue. This episode showed our protagonist that heroes don’t always have their moments to shine, sometimes the job must be done in the ugliest way.
We got presented to the protagonist’s greatest rival, in contrast to his nickname of “demon”, his rival nickname or self-attributed nickname is the “knight”. Although they’re rivals it seems that we won’t see, at least for now, any ugly confrontation between them, in a matter of fact they take their moments lightly, the storyboards even broke the “4th wall” to show it.
The Kagenashi “shadowless” shots continue to be a pleasable presence throughout the episode, as well some eye focused shots where we can see how the director plays with its colors, being different for which character, more brightest, of course, for the fire “manipulators“.
On the episode 2nd part we got a much darker tone, with a great composite setting. The new recruiters excepting some cool action mission, only faced a calm “infernal” like he was just waiting for them to let him rest in peace without hurting anyone, mostly his daughter. The final blow was beautifully set, to be a short but impactful scene with some nice impact frames. “Not always heroes will have the time to shine” is the message that the new recruiters for sure will take ahead in their journey, that looks like it’ll become a convulsed one since we got a glimpse of what seems to be the first “main” villain of the story.
Side Note: I loved seeing one of my favorite artists, the animator Minori Homura on twitter, getting his time to shine, especially when he got the chance of drawing cute girls as he did on this episode and also a cool fight scene. Please, go check his original characters’ drawing. (Poniko is best waifu cof… cof)
Kanata no Astra
Episode #02 Staff:
Storyboards, Episode Director: Yusuke Shibata
Chief Animation Directors: Keiko Kurosawa, Yumiko Yamamoto
Animation Directors: Tomohito Hirose, Mayuko Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Honda, Hiromi Higuchi, Takao Takegami, Ayano Fujita
We got yet again another entertaining and intriguing episode of Kanata no Astra. The crew seems to have gotten more bonded and friendly with Kanata as the epicenter. This episode had a very beautiful fauna scenery mixed with the discovery of a recent knew planet and it’s living beings.
Before even the things turned into a “vacation break”, the crew was chased again by that mysterious light organism that sent damn to mid-space last time. This time they managed to escape, but the questions remain “what is that” and “what’s its goal”. Plus, we see a glimpse of a coming conflict/problem by Zack’s concerned attitude.
As it used to be said, one problem brings another Funicia ends up in danger after getting pushed away by her sister. The situation seemed very alarming, been that she only had 2 options, wait until noon until the plant gets down again (risking been caught by one of the wild creators, or jump from there and praying for falling on a “soft” spot.
However, Kanata was there, and his courage, experience, and athletic built helped him to jump from tree to tree until he reaches Funicia and saving the day. What proceded was Quitterie falling in tears of regret for what she said to his beloved sister. Although the crew grows closer after that, the episode ended with an air cutting cliffhanger of what it seems to be a traitor between them.
Episode #893 Staff:
Episode Director: Kohei Kureta
Animation Director: Shuichi Ito
As Wano’s gears start to move rapidly we got Kohei Kureta directing and Shuichi Ito supervision the episode #893. With Toei’s in-house Chinese superstar rising above the rest, Yong-Ce Tu, he pretty much animated all of the beach scenes highlights, being the komainu vs baboon fight and Luffy’s vs Kaidos soldiers. Besides that, a great Otama character animation caught my eye.
I appreciate their new approach to Zoro’s aura, that’s wasn’t that we weren’t usual to see at this extent, and the new filter they use for reaction moments does a really good job at portraying the impact of the shot.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru managed to keep the comedic tone of the first episode without disregarding the training part and delivering yet again some short but nicely animated character animation scenes. I love how they kept it close to reality, if you ever went to the gym and did some of those exercises, you know that they’re being extremely accurate, almost like a dynamic class. The gags and extremely bulk bodies even with women put such a good mood to the show…
Lastly, I just wanted to give props for the Joshikousei no Mudazukai Joshikousei no Mudazukai opening sequence, boarded and directed by Aoi Umeki and supervised by Shoko Yasuda and Satsuki Hayasaka. Adding to the addicting song, the opening manages to portrait the mood of the show in a creative and funny way.