The Professional Gamer - February 18, 2019

Hello faithful readers, and welcome to this weeks installment of The Professional Gamer. Last week, I spent a lot of time talking about Mod Psycho 100 and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. I haven’t watched Slime yet this week. And as I discussed last week, I may not end up watching it at all. What did I do? Keep reading to find out. Just a reminder, spoilers for current season anime below. If you aren’t caught up, you may want to do that before you continue reading.

The first thing to talk about is Mob Psycho 100. I was really happy to see some development of Reigen in this episode. Shigeo also had some interesting development, especially concerning his relationship with Reigen, but I think the flashback and business improvement arch was the more important part of the episode. Reigen has always been rather shady, so it was interesting to see him turn over a bit of a new leaf. He's still tricking some people about his psychic powers, but it also sounds like he’s just trying to help a lot of people out. Obviously, he’s still charging them for his help, but at least he seems to be actually helping people. I do hope that he and Shigeo get back together again, but I hope that the creators of the series will see this separation through, and allow them to grow a bit without each other. This episode had much less flashy animation, but I thought there were some very good effects, such as the more sketchy appearance during the flashback segments. Mob continues to surprise me. The first season really pushed the boundaries of what a comedy/action show could do. With the second season, we are seeing a shift to a much more character driven story, and I’m excited to see what will happen next.

Since I was mostly home alone on Friday, I decided to spend some of my time watching a series that Crystal was not particularly interested in. You might be surprised to learn that the anime I picked was My Roommate is a Cat. Subaru Mikazuki is an introverted mystery writer whose parents have recently died. While he is placing a food offering on their grave, a stray cat leaps out of the grass, and steals the fish from the sushi pack. Subaru decides to take the cat in and use it as a reference for a new book. Unfortunately, Subaru is incapable of caring for himself, and has no idea how cats work. So far, the episodes take the form of following Subaru’s perspective for the first half, and following the cat’s perspective for the second half. And, whenever the two have a breakthrough in their relationship, we are treated to s still frame with shoujou sparkles. I’m of two minds about the segments with the cat. On one hand, the cat is extremely cute. On the other, I feel that the cat’s motives and thoughts are a bit too human. When I first tried to watch an episode of My Roommate is a Cat, I was watching the sub-titled version on Crunchyroll. This time, I started with the English dub on Funimation. Animation in the show is simple, but serviceable, and the English voice acting is good. I think I’ll go for a few more episodes when I get the chance, and then I’ll be able to post a real review.

This week, in western animation, we finished watching the second season of Korra. Somehow, repeat watching of this series seems to minimize some of my original criticisms. I’m not sure if it is because I know the story or because I know the characters, but the story feels less rushed this time around. I can now point to a few specific points that feel rushed: Asama turning against her dad in the first season, and Korra’s amnesia in the second season come to mind. I still think that Avatar is the better series in terms of overall storytelling, characters, and plot; but, Korra definitely got a huge boost in the animation budget. I love the increased details in characters and backgrounds, as well as the improved action scenes. I do wish that Nickelodeon would have been more willing to front cash for multiple seasons at once, so that the series pacing could have been a bit more even. The core story is good, but the herky-jerky production schedule really took a toll.

That’s it for now, hope you have a great week, and game on!