Posted by: Leek | November 9, 2014

Little Girl Anime Power Rankings – Week 9

It’s becoming that time of season so you can expect a lot of Christmas jokes whenever I can squeeze them in. With all that in mind it’s an amazing fact that I’ve made it as far as week nine of this ranking series. Think about it. I only have to do those season reviews every few months and I could never pull that off consistently. Go figure.

Basement of Misfit Mascots

We’re the basement of misfit mascots; here we don’t want to stay.

Previous Standings

1) Aikatsu! – 61 Points
2) Lady Jewelpet – 51 Points
3) Happiness Charge Precure! – 41 Points
4) PriPara – 32 Points

Thanks to the huge boost from it’s Halloween episode, Aikatsu! managed to push it’s way ahead and is sitting on a pretty healthy lead. But it only takes a few weeks of screwing up to fall from the top.

Weekly Point Distribution

1) PriPara – +9 Points
2) Lady Jewelpet – +6 Points
3) Happiness Charge Precure! – +3 Points
4) Aikatsu! – +1 Point

A Word From the Big Man
After all the action last week you’d think that it’d be a little more normal this week, right? Wrong. Very wrong. This week was so unexpected and tough to lay a final judgement call on that I almost held off on putting the post together until I was absolutely positive about my decision. Luckily, I was able to make some decisive calls to establish the final standings.

Trying hard but missing the mark.

Aikatsu! is the only show this week that honestly landed itself pretty far outside of top spots. I want to say it was a decent episode but I really feel like it didn’t show up when I set it against everything else. Which, I guess it doesn’t have to worry too much about in it’s position but I never like when a show convincingly lands itself in last place. The point is, Aikatsu! just kind of flopped on another character introduction. I was marginally excited about Tsubasa ever since I heard about him in all the information releases. And while I feel like his character itself could be more exciting, that’s not my real issue with the episode. It was literally equivalent to a fetch quest you’d do in a RPG for any standard NPC character. With all the various trials and tribulations a lot of the other girls went through to get premium dresses, it feels like a bit of a slap in the face. Sure, Akari climbed three mountains but, at this point, it feels as if it’s almost a daily habit. Alongside that, the performance was easily the other factor that completely derailed the episode. While I would have liked a new song, it didn’t even need it. The issue was it probably needed something that fit in the scheme of the Swan Princess and ice skating rather than “Du-Du-Wa DO IT!” I love the song but it’s not hard to tell when it’s terribly out of place.

Warm fuzzies.

It’s hard to say Lady Jewelpet did any wrong this week. I feel bad that it was completely on point and was just edged out by an inch for first place. After building up Luea the entire season, they finally started cracking down on her people issues. We’ve seen her background, what she’s after, her handiwork, and the start of her breakdown. But the point is, it’s near the end and she has to be made into a full ally, adversary, or goat. And it’d be a little strange for her to go anything but ally after all the small times she’s begun to crack among the rest of the cast. This was finally that episode and it was really a warm fuzzies experience. It really just brought out the best into the cast as well as weaving a lot of character relationships nice and tight. The best part? Staff has managed to get away from the super strange for the meantime (even if they hint at the worst being yet to come). Lady Jewelpet really played to it’s strength this week and it’s nice to see that they’ve stopped overstepping their boundaries a bit. In all honesty, I don’t think they need to.

Don’t fret; you did good.

Precure was another show that isn’t in the best place but I really don’t want to knock on too hard. This week’s competition was rough and any normal week would have easily landed it in a second place spot. I don’t think it was an outstanding episode by any means and it did have it’s flaws. However, I feel that it was (another) incredibly enjoyable Iona centered episode. So what’s the good? It was another episode that displayed how much Iona has grown from the bitchy chihuahua that she was for a good chunk of the early series. She’s grown into, essentially, a team leader and all around reliable friend. And even if she hasn’t surpassed how incredibly broken her sister is, she’s still strong enough that she can probably hold her own against Tender. It’s like that moment where the mentor officially passes off the torch to the student so they can gain their own self and continue to grow stronger.

So what are the issues? It was a stereotypical, “This character is too broken so we have to either dumb her down or get rid of her” situation. Not only that, but Iona rolled over and let her sister leave a little to easily (as well as everyone else). Sure, she’s leaving for a logical cause but there’s no reason there couldn’t have been a little bit more of a struggle. But the big confrontation between the two sisters lasted for maybe 6-7 minutes. More time was easily spent on transformations and singing the song of innocence than on that actual sisters butting heads. I would have enjoyed a little more and it would have easily given the episode more impact. But it was still a cute and enjoyable episode nonetheless.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.

Holy shit, PriPara writers have answered to the call (finally). It seems like PriPara has this habit of taking ten episode long breaks or so before breaking out some decent writing. I’m just happy to see that it still exists and they hadn’t sold their soul completely to cheap gags and bait. And they did just what I asked for. An episode where they finally slowed the pace down and focused on building up the characters they should be worried about. I will say it straight. I do not give a shit about the rival team; I don’t even think they should be as relevant as they are just yet. These first twenty episodes or so should have been solely focused to make the main three as strong and as fluid as possible. So deciding to finally take the time to write background for another character that isn’t Sophie is great. It was nice to learn that Mirei wasn’t a picture perfect idol from the get go and that Kuma actually has sense as a manager. Did it still feel like PriPara? Of course it did. The random Kaiji basement of dejected losers managed to creep it’s way into the episode to equate to the weird cult scene during the Sophie episode. So even people that enjoy that random element of PriPara can’t say they didn’t get a little meat to chew on in all those painful words. Yes, I know. It’s easier to fill dialogue with childish catchphrases and bad jokes. But I know you’re capable of actually writing character backgrounds, staff. So good job. Just try to make those gaps between good episodes a little shorter. Please.

Wrap-Up
It’s refreshing to have more than one show stand out in a week. I honestly felt so bad for Precure taking third that I went into that long reasoning as to why I had to stick it there. I’m just going to hope that Aikatsu! picks itself back up next week and comes out with a better episode than this week. That or the staff really broke something doing that Halloween episode and need a few weeks to fix themselves back up.

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