Lists Are Fun to Make: Favorite Episodes of 2013 By Title

I find anime episode titles lined up to be aesthetically pleasing. There’s an art to picking a good title that really speaks to the content of the episode. Here I tired to keep things simple, and limited myself to one episode per show to keep Gatchaman Crowds and the non-racist parts of Space Brothers from dominating the chart and keeping some other interesting ones out.

10. Change the World (Samurai Flamenco)

9. Autumn of Arts, Appetite, and Attack (GJ-bu)

8. Soccer… Soccer? (Outbreak Company)

7. Because It’s Fun (Yuyushiki)

6. Everyone has Close Calls. Learn from Them and Keep the Workplace Healthy. (Servant x Service)

5. Shocking No Breathing (Free)

4. Muromi-san and the Ryuuguuju (Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san)

3. Qualifications of a Hero (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

2. Excitement of My Youth (Space Brothers)

1. Crowds (Gatchaman Crowds)

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 13 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

This episode had everything I liked about the show stuffed inside. What a great way to go out for what’s definitely been my favorite show of Spring 2013.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 12

I really wish Fuji and her giant boobs were out of the cast. They represent one very weak link on an otherwise strong chain of comedy. A jealous female friend isn’t out of the question in a comedic cast, but it kind of feels like she’s just an excuse for the show to not be worksafe.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 11

This show really does love to depend on new character introductions to provide a weekly hook. At first I was doubtful as to whether or not it was really feasible for a small-world type of show with only a few characters shown in the opening/on the boxart to maintain this approach for a full 13 episodes. This week was going to be critical, since every character from the opening had finally been introduced. So the makers this show faced a choice; if they didn’t want to lose their momentum, skim the bottom of the barrel or start building deeper relationships around the current cast.

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Or do both at the same time, what do I know?

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 10

That the show opened with a bizarro dream sequence was interesting, a nice little noirish contrast with the rest of the show. It says something about the rich flavor of Muromi-san’s oddball comedy when a dream sequence about deep-frying and eating a mermaid is less bizarre than the rest of the show.

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And they say fish can’t fry…

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 9

It’s pretty clever that this show waited until the episode dealing with aliens to take a page from Japan’s most popular sci-fi franchise. A little bit of Doraemon flavor goes a long way.

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Plus, the gags are all stretched to just the right length

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 7

It stands to reason that immortal beings have explored every known way in the universe to have fun, legal or not. I’m really enjoying both the scenes of the myths and legends in their own world and the scenes where Takuro gets a glimpse into it, both of which were prominently on display this week.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 6

I got an email the other day (my first one, so thanks, anonymous reader Y!) asking why I’m blogging this show over Attack on Titan, which also airs on Saturday. There are two main reasons, which I want to briefly address that before moving into the meat of the episode.

First, good comedies are no less difficult to produce than good dramas. If you handed Astro Fighter Sunred, Panty and Stocking, or another comedy that relies on its particular sense of style (workplace-themed deadpan and rampant excess, respectively) to a replacement-level handler like Chiaki Kon or Yuu Kou, you’d almost certainly get something darn near forgettable. A comedy has to have real personality to work, which is something that’s not at all easy to do; just because they seem* to come along more often than dramas doesn’t mean a good laugh is worth any less than a good teardrop. Muromi-san specifically happens to be a *very* well-executed comedy, as it’s effectively mixing the high-energy of Angel Beats with the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and subtly clever camera play of Joshiraku, and has a ceiling as a low-tier 10/10 on my ranking scale.

Second, while I like Titan quite a bit, it has a plot I’m very familiar with as a reader of the manga. It means that a) there’s less I can legitimately speculate on, b) I don’t want to spoil anything by accident, and c) I’d only be able to comment on the execution, which I find slow and less interesting than the wham-bam lightning rod pacing of the manga. It’s distinctly my third-favorite Saturday show at this point. Which is, if anything, a mark of how fun Saturdays this spring have been.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 5

I was worried about whether this show was going to fall off a cliff by resorting to cheap boob humor and forgetting to be actually funny. Fortunately, Muromi-san showed itself to be made of sterner stuff.

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