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Friday, 7 October 2016

What We're Watching 7/10/16

What We're Watching.

It's been -- well, actually, it hasn't been that long since we last did a What We're Watching, but since both a new season of television and a new season of anime has started, we may as well run through the shows currently on our radar.

Digimon Universe Appli Monsters.

We'll see how this one pans out. I'm a big fan of Digimon, and I appreciate how much of a bold departure from the series' norms Appli Monsters is, so I'm hoping this will be good -- but it's no secret that Digimon shows can be a bit hit and miss, seeing as it's a franchise whose qualities stem from 'still one of the best anime I've seen' (Adventure) to 'critical and popular darlings' (Tamers) to 'irritatingly mixed with a lot of massive highs and deep lows' (Savers) to 'absolutely horrible, I couldn't even finish it' (Hunters).

The first episode was fun enough, but suffered from the problem all Digimon first episodes have of simultaneously needing to give the audience a lot of information while also introducing a bunch of characters and having some kind of battle sequence. Generally speaking, I have never especially liked the first episode of a Digimon series, so the lackluster opener isn't giving me too much cause for concern yet.

The Flash S3.

I've been waiting for The Flash to start airing again, and not just because the more ongoings I'm doing, the less I have to think about my schedule for the week. It's really not a secret that I adored the first two series of The Flash -- and it's equally not a secret that I've been wary of the third series, since that was around the point where Arrow started declining.

(Although Arrow's fifth series has gotten off to a surprisingly good start? It'll be interesting to see if they can follow through on that.)

So far, it looks like the villain for the third series of The Flash is Doctor Alchemy, who is not the most well-known or intimidating of the Flash's rogues gallery. Oh, and he'll be joined by Savitar, just so that we can tick off the 'evil speedster' box.

Arrow S5.

Arrow has actually had a surprisingly good start this year. The trimmed down team works pretty well (and I'd be more than happy with it just being Ollie, Felicity, Curtis, and Quentin being the entire team from now on, with Thea occasionally stopping by for a chat), and the show feels a lot fresher and more interesting than it has been for a few years now.

It looks like we have another evil archer as the villain this year, and I'm fine with that -- we haven't had an evil archer as a main antagonist since the first series, after all, so it's not like The Flash and its endless parade of evil speedsters. Speaking of The Flash, it's still not clear how, if at all, Flashpoint affected Arrow.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans S2.

Ah, Iron-Blooded Orphans, a series that surprised me with how much I liked its first series. The second series gets off to a slow, but otherwise pretty strong start, with Gjallarhorn scrambling to regain its status, and a power vacuum springing up that has destabilised the world.

We didn't get to see any of the eponymous mechas in this episode, bar a few short moments of Gundam Barbatos Lupus (and maybe a little bit of Gundam Gusion Rebake Full City?), but we did get to see some of the new characters, including Hash Midi, who is clearly the best new character, and not just because he's named after an outdated music file.

Like The Flash, Iron-Blooded Orphans will be one of my ongoings for the next however-long this series goes on for, so hopefully this series will turn out to be good.

Bungou Stray Dogs S2.

Bungou Stray Dogs has opened its second series on an interesting note, and I do mean genuinely interesting -- instead of immediately starting on the Guild arc, which looks like it'll make up the bulk of the series, we instead have started on what appears to be a two-parter adapting a prequel manga (or novel?) about Dazai.

That's led to some concerns that they won't have time to adapt the entirety of the Guild arc, but I wouldn't be too worried -- it seemed like they didn't have enough Port Mafia material to stretch over an entire series, so having to compress their storytelling a bit might work pretty well for them.

A lot of people are also praising this series for being more tonally consistent, but I think it's a bit too early to say either way. When we've gotten Atsushi back for a few more episodes, then we can talk about whether the tone is better.


You know, I could never say that Gotham is boring, at least. There's a constantly changing status quo that keeps the series engaging even as it gets more and more ridiculous. In this year's series, we apparently have an evil Bruce clone (potential Owlman?), Fish Mooney with the power to make anyone do her bidding, and the Court of Owls conducting conspiracies, as they do.

Oh, and Jim's a bounty hunter now? In all honesty, he's the least interesting character in the show, so I hardly care what he's doing.

The Fall.

I wasn't exactly waiting for The Fall to start airing, but I'm pretty happy it has -- it's one of the most interesting and unique shows on television right now, and a fascinating exploration of gender and violence, and Gillian Anderson puts in a killer performance as lead character Stella Gibson.

This series has shifted away from the investigation angle somewhat, as the killer is now in police custody, and onto both the fallout of said killer being shot, and the build-up to a court case. The Fall was never really a mystery series in the first place (with murderer Paul serving as a deuteragonist of sorts), so it's not exactly suffered from the shift.

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