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Dated 6 August 2019: There's less impenetrable lore so far in Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note than I was expecting

Reines
Sure are a lot of TYPE-MOON characters with crazy eyes.

There's a non-zero chance I started watching Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note (The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II) because I dropped Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki desu ka? (Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?) and Uchi no Ko no Tame Naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai. (For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord), leaving my queue empty of shows with super-long titles (unless you count Symphogear). Besides, The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II features Ueda Reina in the voice cast, production by TROYCA, and I'm basically too far down TYPE-MOON's Fate-franchise rabbit hole to not at least give new installments a chance. Speaking of which, I'm going to go ahead and say newcomers can forget about trying to get up to speed on all the Fate mumbo jumbo before watching this. Someone going in blind with no prior knowledge of the Fate universe can get by well enough. Although it would probably help to at least watch Fate/Zero, I don't think it's strictly necessary, based on how I'm faring despite having forgotten a lot about Fate/Zero by now. Frankly, there's just entirely too much Fate canon to explore, and it goes back so far that it's not really reasonable to expect new viewers to have seen all the previous installments before starting Rail Zeppelin.

Gray, Waver, and Kairi
Hey, it's that guy.

Thankfully, the first six episodes (this includes the episode 0 special prequel) of Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note have been fairly episodic, and free of the wall-to-wall nonsense that saturates all things Fate. (E.g., the series does explain eventually what the fuck a "Rail Zeppelin" is.) So far, The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II has been about, well, the case files of Lord El-Melloi II. It's a detective show featuring mages set a little before the start of the Holy Grail War from the original Fate/stay night game and its direct anime adaptations. I get the feeling this isn't necessarily going to remain the case for much longer, because surely a show set in the Fate universe isn't going to go too long without piling on more convoluted, interconnected plot threads, right? Even Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya wasn't able to resist lore's allure. Frankly, I'd be content if Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note remained mostly an excuse for TYPE-MOON cameos, but I'm fine with it either way.

Dated 16 July 2019: I was guaranteed to watch Cop Craft as a matter of general principle

Kei, O'Neill, and Tilarna
This is some shakedown.

Seeing as how Cop Craft features a post-WUG Yoshioka Mayu and an Orikasa Fumiko + Nakahara Mai + Inoue Marina trifecta in its cast, I knew I was going to at least give the first episode a chance. The fact that its main character is an adult instead of yet another teenage boy? So much the better. You'll also find other notable talents in the show's credits, but I can't claim I would have personally regarded the inclusion of anyone else alone sufficiently persuasive. Fortunately, the first episode was legitimately interesting, which was somewhat of a relief.

Kei and Tilarna
Well, I guess someone is about to get fucked.

As either a police drama or a buddy comedy featuring two mismatched partners fighting crime, Cop Craft may tread a well-worn path, but this is a formula with a good chance for success. I suppose it's also technically yet another isekai, albeit it not one in the typical contemporary sense a la Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki desu ka? (that mom show). It's too early in the season yet to make any reliable projections, but I at least have solid hopes for Cop Craft among the shows I'm watching during Summer 2019.

Dated 10 September 2018: Reliability of Detective Conan as a control for anime statistics questioned

Conan and Genta
They might be making Genta bigger. That's him behind Conan.

If you're familiar with the spreadsheet I use to keep track of the anime I watch, you may have noticed that I have Detective Conan identified as the control for comparing the scores I assign to different series season by season. The idea being that a show like Detective Conan which has now run for more than 900 episodes apparently without any change in quality could be useful in qualifying the numerical 1-to-5 scoring system I use. (Think of it as 😠 ☹ 😐 🙂 😀 I guess.)

Kogoro and Ran
Ran and her alcoholic dad haven't changed much.

However, it seems the average quality of Detective Conan episodes has declined somewhat lately. The apparent change isn't dramatic, but it's enough to make me wonder what's going on. Based on information from the the Detective Conan wiki, I guess I'm blaming it on the block of anime-original episodes. These tend to be just a bit more contrived and unsatisfying instead of merely overly convoluted like normal episodes. Despite these concerns, I suppose I can still claim Detective Conan is as good as it's always been. Or at least it's probably still good enough to use as a basis for comparison against a bunch of other made-up numbers.

Dated 16 February 2016: I bet that truck in ERASED was going 88 kilometers per hour

Satoru
The only thing more dangerous than a Japanese truck would be two Japanese trucks.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi (literally The Town Where Only I Am Missing, but officially ERASED or commonly Bokumachi) is widely regarded as one of the best shows this season, just behind Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū. I rank ERASED quite a bit lower because of problems I had with the end of its first episode and because of issues I had with its fifth and sixth episodes. This blog entry includes some spoilers (nothing explicit), but my view through six episodes is that the ERASED viewing experience wouldn't necessarily be diminished by spoilers. I think a viewer can know in advance what happens (at least through six episodes) and still enjoy watching the show. This is partly because a number of twists are easily foreseeable for anyone who puts a little thought into the matter or pays attention to how many episodes remain in the series.

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Dated 23 November 2014: Anime triage

Conan and Sera
As if there is any chance in Hell of Sera turning out to be bad.

Because of "circumstances," I find myself dropping about half the shows I was following this season. Well, perhaps not so much dropping as putting on hiatus for the time being. Maybe I'll catch back up during a particularly lousy season that coincides with greater anime-watching opportunities. (Won't be next season, because next season looks pretty sweet.)

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Dated 12 November 2014: Magic Kaito 1412 and Detective Conan

Kaito
This heist might be a little too easy.

Because the manga dates back to 1987, Magic Kaito actually predates Detective Conan, although its kohei quickly overshadowed it. Kaito occasionally makes guest appearances on Detective Conan, and, in fact, got 12 excellent Magic Kaito specials of his own spread amongst the Detective Conan broadcasts between 2010 to 2012. These re-tell the origin of Kaito Kid and probably tested the waters for a standalone series. The new television series which began autumn 2014 retreads a lot of familiar ground, but includes a few cast and story changes (and different character designs compared to the Detective Conan appearances). It airs in the half-hour family slot immediately preceding the weekly broadcast of Detective Conan

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Dated 30 September 2014: Summer 2014 season conclusion

Slaine
Slaine has seen some shit.

Aldnoah.Zero was far and away the best show from Summer 2014. I know a lot of viewers disagree with this opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of its episodes. I've written a lot about it. Probably too much, considering I don't like it thaaat much even though it did almost get a perfect score on my little chart jobbie.

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Dated 28 August 2014: Catching up with Detective Conan

Sera
It helps that Sera has awesome hair.

I'm finally caught up with Detective Conan again. (Well, I'm "caught up" if you disregard the hundreds of episodes I've missed from several years back.) I'm rather pleased that Sera is appearing more often. In the current episodes, Sera is growing more prominent as the mysterious and previously vaguely threatening girl detective of the group. Naturally, this is likely leading up to some revelation about her mysterious background (alternatively, an effort to drag it out indefinitely), but it's a good excuse to have another detective on the show so Conan doesn't have to solve every single convoluted murder in Creation by himself. Contrary to some unconvincing red herrings when she was first introduced, it's pretty much guaranteed that Sera will not have any sinister motives, even if it turns out she has ties to nefarious unpleasant types. She is far too likeable as a character and too embedded with the group already for the show to suddenly transform her into a credible villain—not even a halfhearted one. It ain't Urobuchi Gen writing this story, you know.

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