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This is a follow-up to an earlier post targeting the same three shows.  The relative rankings have changed since.

Tari Tari

At 10 episodes in Tari Tari is continuing to deliver the strong character work expected from a good slice of life show.

Along the way Tari Tari attempted to tackle the thorny issue of body image in girls. It wasn’t entirely successful, but still noteworthy for:

  • Not using a romantic basis for the issue, ie not justifying the self image in terms of what a boy thinks of her;
  • Not using the tired dramatic hair cut aka “Hair is a Girls Life” from Ranma ½ and others; and
  • Using Sawa’s own ambitions and dreams as the frame for the issue (albeit in a manner that stretched my suspension of disbelief more than a little).

This has dramatically raised my opinion of the series; currently it is my favourite pick for the three.  There are also hints of a subplot affecting the school coming to a head soon, so the potential for a big finish is definitely there.

Kokoro Connect

At 9 episodes Kokoro Connect has moved on from the Grand Theft Me to another method of messing with the heads of the main characters. Heartseed’s latest tricks have been downright nasty in terms of violating the main characters free will, and this has made for uncomfortable viewing sometimes.

That said there are hints that this could end well, and with only 4 episodes left I’m willing to see this one through.  Still a cautious recommendation, but drifting south to the borderline.

Sword Art Online

At 9 episodes in Sword Art Online could have been amazing.  As it is Sword Art Online is merely good.

If only Sword Art Online had consistently lived up to the opening credits.  If you watch you will come away with the impression that Kirito and Asuna are equals, partners.

Unfortunately what I’m now calling the Deedlit effect is in play: Asuna is powerful when convenient to Kirito’s story, and a damsel in distress when convenient to Kirito’s story.

Just like Deedlit was powerful when convenient to Parn’s story, and a damsel in distress when convenient to Parn’s story.

When I last wrote about Sword Art Online a path had been set up for Asuna and Kirito to meet later as equals, as partners.  That it didn’t happen that way is a disappointment.

Sword Art Online is still an enjoyable watch, and is starting to tell the real story, but is no longer the star pick for the season.