Summer 2019 Mid-Season Thoughts

It’s week seven of the season, and you know what that means: FGJ update time. All in all, summer is looking like a solid recovery from the doldrums of last season, but we still have a few surprises in store for you: a couple drops, some wishy-washier opinions, and even a…well, you’ll see at the end. We promise it’ll be worth it. As for the rest, you know the drill. Let’s run these seasonals down.


ARE YOU LOST? (SOUNAN DESU KA?)


Yatahaze:
I have a little trick to seasons I do Weekly Rundowns over on Twitter: watch an odd number of seasonals. Whether it’s seven or my maximum of nine, it makes formatting my posts a breeze. If I start a season with nine shows and some fail me, I can drop them and either continue at seven or pick up two more I had my eye on. In July, I was almost certain Are You Lost? would be one of those original nine dropped. I only picked it up because I had eight other shows I wanted to watch, this one was short, and I was keen on keeping the formatting easy for myself.

I did not expect to be here a month and a half later genuinely hooked, let alone eagerly anticipating new episodes, but here we are. The series’ plot to fanservice ratio has largely skewed in favor of the former, and while it’s taken a while to get a cliffhanger-worthy event (this prior week, the girls decided to explore more of the island, found a high vantage point, and witnessed smoke rising from the shore), every episode until now has laid the groundwork for an overarching plot by fleshing out its characters. By and large they’re still archetypal, but each has their own quirks beyond that; Asuka is hesitant to kill a rabbit, for instance. Shion is trigger-happy when it comes to thinking they’ve been rescued. Mutsu is trying to make herself useful and Homare has mellowed out a tad from her earlier presentation as a “serious” survivalist. She still is one, and it’s allowed the quartet to make it this far, but the “we’re in this together” dynamic has only gotten stronger as episodes continue.

Beyond that, has anything really happened in Are You Lost? No, save for a lot of discussions about finding what little food they can. Though I don’t mind thatas is, the episodes are short enough that each week’s installment is neither too burdensome of a commitment nor too dull to just forget about. It’s a sweet middle ground, and I’m reasonably certain that consistency will continue until it ends, so why drop it now?
Current score: 6.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

ASTRA LOST IN SPACE (KANATA NO ASTRA)


Yatahaze:
With no hope of rescue on the horizon, Astra spent its first cour exploring various characters’ backstories as they hopped from planet to planet in search of food. Those backstories weren’t executed with equal import, but thankfully the show’s creativity remained a constant: each world they discovered housed its fair share of crazy landforms, animals, and flora, presenting the crew with new physical challenges to overcome in addition to their emotional trifles. This week brought the toughest challenge yet, one that may even ground them for a while: Astra sustained too much damage to fly while landing on a planet with a rotation that matches its revolution, meaning there’s almost no area to stay with an inhabitable climate. With no tools to facilitate take off and no contact, the crew thinks they’ll be stuck here, but one search party discovered another Astra-like ship on the surface: just like theirs, it’s much too damaged to fly, but someone’s alive in the craft’s hibernation chamber. That reveal will be coming our way next time.

And I’ve gotta say, for what isn’t always an “intense” show, Astra has managed to pull off a fantastic cliffhanger with virtually every episode. There is a mystery at the foundation of it allwho specifically wanted these kids to disappear and why?and while hints have begun to come to light (many of their parents have prominent public roles, so this may be a conspiracy to safeguard themselves), there are too many variables to determine who orchestrated this solely with the clues revealed so far. Astra’s really milking that uncertainty for all it’s worth, but now that Luca and Ulgar’s spat has subsided without injury and Charce’s past has been explained, it seems especially unlikely that any of the kids on board the ship are in on the plot. If one of them is, they’re doing a fantastic job at blending in and biding time.

In Astra’s lesser momentsYunhua’s arc was too much buildup, not enough climax, for examplethe show itself is biding a little too much time as well, but those moments are increasingly few and far between. Even beyond the mystery, its cast has grown more genuinely likable by the episode, shedding their initial archetypes once they felt comfortable enough to open up about their lives. Nowhere did this work better than Luca and Ulgar’s standoff; not only was Luca’s reveal easily the most personable and tasteful depiction of an intersex character I’ve seen in anime, like, ever, but Ulgar’s desire to avenge his assassinated brother and subsequent guilt for nearly “betraying the group’s trust” were handled with remarkable finesse. Especially considering, you know, there was also a tsunami going on through all of it. I keep waiting for Astra to strike the wrong balance between its goofy Totally Not a Plot Device events and its richer character writing, but it’s managed to tread the line with ease up to this point. Here’s hoping its explanations in the back half don’t sully the positive reputation it’s built so far.
Current score: 7.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

CAROLE & TUESDAY


Yatahaze:
Well, I got three-quarters through it, but I think it’s finally time to let go of Carole & Tuesday for a bit.

A bit. I’ll see just about any Shinichiro Watanabe show to completion, but of the titles on my roster this summer, I’ve regularly had to work up energy to even care about watching this one, and I’m only left some degree of satisfied about half of the time. What went wrong?

Honestly? Maybe nothing. I realized a while ago that Carole & Tuesday simply had other priorities than what I expected and personally hoped it would be. It wasn’t out here to show the scrappy, slow rise to stardom through hard work and passion that I thought it was. It’s a commentary on the commercial pop industry more than anything, and its characters mostly serve as means to that end instead of the other way around. No surprise then that I find it at its best when it’s letting its cast be more human than performer through all the euphoria and trouble that contains. Of recent-ish note, Carole briefly reuniting with her father and Ertegun’s goofy plummet to bankruptcy after identity theft showcased what Carole & Tuesday can do at its most heartfelt and silliest.

And then there’s also the political scheming going on: Senator Simmons’ fearmongering is an uncanny parallel to populist right-wing politicians the world over right now, and she not only lost Tuesday’s support long ago, she’s losing her older son Spencer’s as well. Add to that a snooping journalist and it seems all but inevitable that the supposedly famous climactic performance every episode intro alludes to will come to be as a standoff between Carole & Tuesday and the unity they represent versus not only the mechanization of music but the segregation of Earthlings.

And like, that’s all fine. I dig it, even. The problem is that it’s still trying to do all this episodic bumbling around with half-written guest characters and situations that rarely lead to dramatic growth with the protagonists. Carole & Tuesday has become a show whose themes are often more touching than its actual cast, and that’s resulted in such a grab bag that even on weeks where the background agents continue to move towards some end goal, the foregrounded story seems too recycled to put much stock in. Simple fact of the matter is I’m not that into Billboard popnot just in the musical sense, but all the politicking that comes with it, and while I don’t necessarily think anyone shooting for that is a “lesser” musician because of it, I just don’t feel that this story conveys as wide a scope of the creative experience that being a musician entails. In that regard, even the funny filler episodes and bolder political commentary feel something like a let down. I’ve been trying to not let that overshadow what I do enjoy about this title, but after 5 months, I just need a break from it. I’ll come back for the end, as noted, but it’s time I go on hiatus from Carole & Tuesday for a few weeks.
Current score: 6.5/10
On hold after 17 episodes.

ENSEMBLE STARS!


Harubruh:

Yep, I’m still here.

It’s kind of fumbled about a bit since those first two episodes, but with the student council attempting to coerce our focal unit Trickstar into disbanding in the wake of their victory against Yumenosaki Academy’s top idol unit, Ensemble Stars has gained some momentum after demonstrating more of the true ruthlessness of the council in the third-year Nito’s recollection of his time with his previous unit, Valkyrie.

As it well should be for an idol show, the music and the performances have been catchy, even comparatively to stuff like Idolmaster SideM. Each unit has outfits, music, and choreography that fit their respective motifs and themes well, with two outstanding examples being the traditional Japanese themed Akatsuki, and their eccentric rivals, the occult themed Undead.

To be expected of an idol show, Ensemble Stars’ performances make extensive use of CG for the choreography, and to be fair, I wouldn’t want to animate all of that by hand either, especially given that David Production is simultaneously cranking out a sakuga-fest in Fire Force this season. Anywho, I don’t find the CG particularly grating on the eyes; though compared to other critics, I’m not particularly picky about it to begin with. I don’t have experience playing it, but I suspect they’ve ported and adapted routines from the game, and what bits are hand animated are integrated just fine into the performances.

Perhaps it’s the variety of the uh, ensemble cast, or maybe it’s just this franchise’s power as one of the two big boppers of the male ani-idol series I’m aware of, but this show really has managed to remain fresh for me at this stage in comparison to its other male idol peers. Given the recent developments, Ensemble Stars has regained my attention despite its foibles.

Expect me to ride this one out, as I have done before.
Current score: 7/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

FIRE FORCE (EN’EN NO SHOUBOUTAI)


Yatahaze:
I can’t recall the last time an anime got off to as explosive a start as Fire Force did only to become the season’s forgotten child due to unprecedented, unimaginable heartbreak. The week it was scheduled to air its third episode, an arsonist entered a Kyoto Animation office spreading flammable liquid in an attack that killed 35 and injured many more. Fire Force wisely took a hiatus in the immediate aftermath so as to not dredge up even more pain with its imagery of burning bodies, and once the show did return, viewership hasn’t seemed to recover. I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to dwell on the hurt that anime fans and artists around the world felt after the KyoAni arson attack, but I also feel terrible for the crew working on this title; there’s serious artistry at work here in its own right, and many are passing over ithopefully just for the momentdue to circumstances out of their control.

In other words, Fire Force remains a solid watch. It’s not quite as consistent as I initially hoped it to be, but it seems to peak when it needs to, perhaps due to its aesthetic sensibilities: this adaptation is full of wide shots and silent pauses, a presentation far more susceptible to greatness when there’s weighty conflict going on, but not during moments of downtime. The series’ highlights so far include its opening episodes, the introduction of its first thoroughbred villain, Joker, and the latest episode, wherein Shinra knocks some sense into Hibana, an ex-nun who used her pyrotechnic prowess to jump to the rank of captain at a fire force despite having no predispositions to help people she viewed as lower than her (spoiler: that included pretty much everyone).

Oh, and Hibana? She’s hot. Really hot. ‘Cause she can control fire and stu- yeah, you get it. She’s also attractive, though that comment represents both a blessing and curse with this series: not unlike its wisps of fiery sakuga, the character designs in Fire Force continue to wow me. Everyone’s the right mixture of gruff and sleek, and these bodies move well on screen. That in spite of the con here, which is that many of the female characters have skimpier outfits and heightened sex appeal solely for the sake of it. That alone doesn’t particularly irk meit’s commonplace in shounen anime and I am but a horny young man, after allbut the manner in which Fire Force occasionally subjects them to undue ogling and dismissiveness is a serious mood-killer, and it frankly hasn’t used those cheap jabs to make a statement on gender discrimination in the workplace either. It’s gotten a bit less prevalent than it was earlier on, and it wasn’t an abrasively common occurrence then to begin with, but it remains Fire Force’s most glaring weakness. If your show’s about heroes, then as an author, give themall of themthe dignity to not be degraded for their sex. Basic shit 101.

While Ookubo hasn’t entirely got that in check, this series is taking a big-picture approach to dealing with the power held by institutions, however. Though Fire Force introduced its “main” antagonist early on, this latest arc’s villains have actually been figures who should ideally be Force 8’s allies. As Captain Obi explained to Shinra and us viewers way earlier than I expected him to, the fire forces are not a uniform entity: they were jointly created by this world’s predominant church, the police, and an industrial corporation, each holding varying sway over the individual branches and leading to conflicts of interest with their supposed united goal of “researching the causes and curtailing the spread of human combustion.” Our heroes’ branch was tasked with overseeing the others and holding them accountable, though until now, they’ve been held back by red tape. Hibana was the first callous, greedy head of a branch they’ve encountered and I’m sure she won’t be the last, and I’m almost more excited to see how these actors clash than I am the easier option of an obvious “good guys vs. bad guys” conflict.

All of which is to say that aside from a couple complaints here and there and some horrendous coincidental timing with a real-world tragedy, I’ve been enjoying Fire Force and don’t anticipate that changing unless it suddenly detours hard. Chances are I’m in this one for the long hauland if you had any interest in it beforehand, I implore you to pick it back up whenever you feel ready to.
Current score: 7.5/10
Still watching after 6 episodes.

GIVEN


Yatahaze:
Given is the second major music title of the season I’ve been watching and the second I’m putting on hold for the time being. I’m just finding it increasingly sluggish as it attempts to become a deeper character drama. Fact of the matter is visual expression can make or break a series’ ability to immerse the viewer, especially one about, you know, feelings. Given’s writing is sparse, doubly so with regards to Mafuyu, leaving a lot of slack for the visuals to pick up, and they just…don’t. I’m fine with spending four episodes following around a kid just learning the basics of guitar in between daydreaming. I’m fine with (and even appreciative of) the casual gay crushing that’s been shown recently as well. But halfway through this series, the story hasn’t given the characters enough individual depth for me to feel invested in their budding romances nor their band enough screen time to feel like that aspect of its plot is moving anywhere. Not unlike Mafuyu, Given just feels…static. Dull. More and more forgettable, neither impressive nor infamously subpar, by the episode. I’m curious to see how this adaptation resolves, but not enough so to continue watching it weekly. Come the end of the season, I’ll likely run through the rest and have a final verdict then.
Current score:
6/10
On hold
after 6 episodes.

HOW HEAVY ARE THE DUMBBELLS YOU LIFT?
(DUMBBELL NAN KILO MOTERU?)


Yatahaze:
There was a time not too long ago where I was confident I’d be dropping Dumbbells by this point of the season. That time was before the introduction of the series’ gratuitously Russian, head-in-the-clouds “rival” Gina Boyd.

Not that she’s singlehandedly saving this show or anythingDumbbells’ “problems” run a bit deeper than that, and right now Gina’s more a distraction than a solution. Fact of the matter is the series is more than happy to suffice as workout edutainment, and putting aside whether that replaces or supplements the fanservice, it’s become apparent that it never quite had intentions of being a title with a larger plot. This made episodes without some new element, be they a new character or a serious motivation, repetitive and dry. These characters themselves aren’t the deepest bunch in the seasonal bin, and Dumbbells needs a goal for them to work towards in order to be actively engaging. When it lacks thisTachibana’s cosplay double-life and Hibiki’s catch-all hopes to slim up aren’t really enough, for instanceit drags. I can only take so many “training montages” without a payoff.

But hey, when a payoff does come, it’s quite fun: the arm wrestling contest and relay race in recent weeks were miniature events in and of themselves, pushing these characters to achieve a specific goal and ending up all the more engaging for it. More of that in the coming weeks would be welcome, but even if we don’t get it, I’ve already come this far with Dumbbells and it’s averaging a more enjoyable and versatile experience now than it was at first, so I’m inclined to stick with it to the end. Dumbbells ironically may not be doing much heavy lifting compared to its competition this season, but in a reversal of everything I’ve just said, sometimes not everything needs to be a contest.
Current score: 6/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

ISEKAI CHEAT MAGICIAN

Harubruh:
I said I was still watching Isekai Cheat Magician at the end of my blurb about it last writeup, right?

Well, whoops, that turned out to be an unintentional lie. I haven’t come back to it since writing about the pilot, as my attention span was soon drawn to starting and then catching up with Astra Lost in Space and Wasteful JK, and I feel that this was probably time better spent. Additionally, due to hanging out at AnimeFest last weekend and uh, circumstances following it this week that have occupied my schedule and attention, I couldn’t devote any watch time to catching up.

I may or may not catch back up with this later on, but I probably wouldn’t count on it if I were you.
Current score: yeet/10
On hold, maybe? or Dropped, perhaps? after one episode. I don’t know.

KARAKAI JOUZU NO TAKAGI-SAN 2


Yatahaze:
Takagi-san sure is a hearty serving of Monday morning comfort food, but it’s a pain in the ass to write about. There are only so many waysespecially in the middle of a second seasonto praise a series this successfully formulaic, this “knows what it’s doing and does it well.” A cour and a half in, Takagi’s still teasing Nishikata in between making moves, Nishikata’s still the worst flirt in the world and nearly all his plans backfire, and the side characters gladly swoop in at some point each episode to save the series from being too absorbed in its leads. This season looks as polished and clean as ever and the writing likewise hasn’t taken a turn for the worse either. Maybe the series is getting a little bolder with its pseudo-date setups, but that may also just be recency bias talking. Whatever the case, the fact that Takagi-san can keep this dynamic up for so long without it wearing thin is impressive, and I love the duo’s very very slight progressions towards a more explicit relationship. And that Moto flash-forward this week? Whew, icing on the cake. Takagi-san, keep teasing me to your heart’s content.
Current score: 7.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

THE ONES WITHIN (NAKA NO HITO GENOME [JIKKYOUCHUU])


Harubruh:

Lo and behold, The Ones Within is not just my favorite of the uh, two shows I’m still covering, it’s actually consistently been one of my favorite shows airing this summer.

Maintaining a healthy mix of decently executed suspense, some disarming slapstick, more fistfuls of catchy (at least to me, anyways) artistic cues, a lot of lively banter from its veritable band of idiots, a dash of some uplifting moments of honesty, and an increasingly intriguing mystery at the root of it all, The Ones Within has handily kept me coming back week after week. It’s stuck with a simple formula, but you know what? It’s been simply entertaining, and that’s all that matters to me.

So far, this has seemed far less visceral and far more cozy than Mayoiga was, but I still feel I wasn’t wrong in making that comparison, seeing as our cast somewhat similarly appears to have a common connection of complicated, often tragic relationships or occurrences within their respective families. With the Let’s Players view count steadily progressing towards the 100 million views needed to clear Paka’s task, it looks as though we may see him step up the danger level soon. Then again, this show has hinted at supposed changes in tone before, but it’s largely remained upbeat for the most part. We shall see what Paka has in store for the idiots.

Needless to say, you can count me in for more.
Current score: 7.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

O MAIDENS IN YOUR SAVAGE SEASON
(ARABURU KISETSU NO OTOME-DOMO YO)


Yatahaze:
I saw a post the other day suggesting that AnoHana might be the decade’s most polarizing anime. If that’s the case now, it may not be for long; sasuga Mari Okada, O Maidens is proving about equally as divisive as this season unfolds. There will be those who just can’t get into this teenage sexual tension for what it is, and that’s fair enough, but I’ve seen opinions more detailed than that. This show is making a lot of people uncomfortableeven people who like it. I think that’s great and a testament to this show’s execution of its mission statement: “puberty is messy, but like, more than we usually acknowledge it is.” Beyond that, I can’t say O Maidens is prescribing any of its featured relationships as recommendable, just letting the characters act out in turn and seeing where the ride goes.

That’s where a lot of the disagreement seems to be stemming from, it turns out. To recap, of our 5 heroines, Rika is now in a fairly healthy albeit slow relationship, Momoko is realizing she’s not into guys, Hitoha is continuing to blackmail her club advisor, Kazusa is trying and failing to ignore her crush, and Niina is also making moves on said crush while secretly seeing her pedophilic ex-theatre troupe director. Clearly these developments aren’t of equal morality, and until the most recent episode, I’d say O Maidens has done a laudable job of dramatizing the less skeevy ones and letting the seriously problematic ones speak for themselves.

Well…mostly. Hitoha’s one-sided advances are often disquieting and always A Step Too Far, but she’s clearly not comfortable crossing boundaries of her own, and their teacher is keenly aware of it too. That’s beginning to change; “Milo-sensei” hasn’t made the first moves, but he’s dangerously egging Hitoha on now, and in the midst of the aforementioned love triangle, Niina has resumed to seek that creep Saegusa’s advice. In other words, this aggressively Mari Okada™ Mari Okada show has stepped over a line for some people: the problematic is taking center stage more frequently, and be it from matters of taste or past trauma, it’s not sitting well as it explores more irksome territory.

I get all that, but at the same time I think the greatest crime that O Maidens is guilty of is using these sketchy relationships as a means to generate drama, which, in fiction, really isn’t a crime at allthat’s how fiction works. Romances especially, and while I’ve enjoyed the ride so far, I can also admit that I’ve been hooked by O Maidens for the ride, that sensation of not knowing how this juicy drama will escalate next. Discourse in the vein of “is this show problematic?” doesn’t really get anyone anywhere, and it’s about as pointless a trying to justify the thrill or dread given by a literal roller coaster, something people likewise tend to really enjoy or find absolutely terrifying. I’m more concerned with what the series is saying about these relationships than the fact that it’s depicting them at alland so far the absence of firm condemnation seems misleading. O Maidens is sympathetic to its protagonists the same way all great adolescent fiction is; not only acknowledging but taking pride in the fact that those messy years mean messy people. Mistakes and poor choices abounddepicting them is not inherently the same as advocating for them, nor is feeling challenged or vicariously enlivened by them. It’s a hit-or-miss dynamic, but at the end of the day, I’m just gonna own up to the fact that I like it, I think it’s hitting far more often than it’s missing, and I feel its heart is in the right place. Take it as you will.

Also holy shit Lay-duce is still knocking it out of the goddamn park production-wise. Where the hell did this come from? Great work. Keep it up.
Current score: 8.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

WASTEFUL DAYS OF HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
(JOSHIKOUSEI NO MUDAZUKAI)


Yatahaze:
I enjoyed Wasteful Days from the get-go, but in the weeks since it’s only gotten funnier and I can barely begin to put my finger on why. It’s not often I run into this rutcomedy may be the most subjective of genres, but even then I can usually demonstrate a few gags as examples for what a show does to make them unpredictable, inevitable, or any sort of “right” punchline that gets me cackling. The simple truth is this: Wasteful Days is just very my sort of humor. The absolute gremlin behavior? The simultaneous subversion and upholding of roles? The ability to be pottymouthed without ever really feeling mean? That’s all right up my humor alley, and I mean right the fuck up it. “Luke in the X-wing blowing up the Death Star with the target assistance off” precision.

And central to all of that, though far from the only reason, is the voice acting. Everyone in this show is giving it their all, especially Chinatsu Akasaki as Nozomu Tanaka, the closest thing Wasteful Days has to a protagonist…though mostly because she has no concept of others’ personal space and refuses to be left out of this madness even when the spotlight’s on somebody else. Tanaka is all the things I would probably loathe in a friendshe’s extremely insensitive, conceited, and erraticbut that just makes for an extremely amusing viewing experience, watching all her peers essentially try to work out how to deal with her. The answer? Often unsuccessfully. And Wasteful Days is all the better for it. Tanaka is the greatest agent of chaos to grace 2019 and I can’t get enough of her.

Not that the other characters have disappointed either: Yamamoto can rival Tanaka’s absurdity on a good day and basically any chuuni character out there on a bad one, Majime is an adorable ball of awkward, Lily’s pretty girl shtick is a riot and the recently-introduced “Majou” is bound to continue creeping everyone out. Every so often, Wasteful Days’ ability to revel on archetypes is worn thin, especially with “Loli,” whose childish innocence makes her feel uncomfortably out of place among all this immature, brash comedy, but that’s the exception more often than the rule. I’ve been looking forward to Wasteful Days each week more than any show in about a year, so it’s gotta be doing something right. Fingers crossed it can keep maximizing its mileage with these characters’ personalities now that it’s probably doing throwing in new ones.
Current score: 8.5/10
Still watching after 7 episodes.

I ATTEMPTED TO CROSS AN ENTIRE COUNTRY IN A STRAIGHT LINE


Yatahaze:
What? I told you there’d be a surprise with this one, didn’t I? You thought the “sometimes other stuff” of our site subtitle was a joke? I’ll show you a joke, and his name is Tom Davies, some English twat who thought it’d be a swell idea to do something presumably no man ever has before: cross an entire country in a straight line. His choices were limited, seeing as travel costs would be expensive, he’d probably end up shot at or arrested in the majority of countries, and if other people didn’t stop him, it’d have to be somewhere the terrain wouldn’t either. So last year, he suited up in army gear with extreme camping paraphernalia, jaunted over to the border of England and Wales, and just…started walking west with a camera running.

Move over, O Maidens. Move over, Wasteful Days. I attempted to cross an entire country in a straight line may sound like a niche isekai title, but it’s actually the most entertaining live-action show of the summer, and I’m not the only anime fan to stumble upon it by chance and come to the same conclusion. In each roughly 30-minute installment, Tom traverses rivers, lakes, dense forests, mountain slopes, people’s farms in broad daylight, and barbed wire hedgerows in countless number. And for what? Because it’s there. Because it’s never been done. Fucking white people still out here trying to conquer the world like it’s the 1800s and that’s still in fashion.

But like, all joking aside, I am hooked. It helps that Tom isn’t just a dumbass; he’s a groggy, hungry, and often humiliated dumbass. He’ll prattle on about delusional visions of grandeur only to gash his hand (why the fuck was he not wearing gloves) on an old fence. He’ll avoid climbing up a sheer crumbly cliff face and go a few meters off course but still carry on insisting that he’s done this in “basically a straight line.” The entire goal of this project is for naught. Its legitimacy is already in tatters. But he’s continuing anyway, because fuck it, at least he’d be the only one to attempt it and get that close. I’m not saying it’s admirable, but if nothing else, watching a grizzled Brit grumble and curse to himself in the countryside for a cause this pointless is mighty entertaining. So is his soundtrack. And the scenery? Whew. Who knew brambly fields under foggy, overcast skies could ever look so beautiful. The things you can enjoy from the comfort of a screen, right?

As of now, Tom is about halfway through posting his journey. Episodes have dropped on YouTube each Monday except this most recent one, apparently due to editing delays. Do yourself a favor and catch yourself up on the anim- well, not anime, but show of the season. You’ll thank me later.
Current score: “get in”/10
Still watching after 4 episodes.


Hm, right, I think that’s all for now, so tha- WAIT A MINUTE. We almost forgot, For Great Justice officially turned five years old earlier this month! We never imagined when we started back in 2014 that we’d still have a semi-regular audience, and it can’t be stated enough how grateful we are that so many of you stick around. When we say “thanks for reading,” this time it applies far beyond just this update. Seriously. Thank you all so much.

We’ll see you next time.

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