Week in Review, 4/12 – 4/19

kanojo ga flag ep 2 c

Ladles are a girl’s best friend.

I’m actually watching a decent amount of anime this season, so seems as good a time as any to restart this. I also never got around to doing first episode posts for a ton of shows this season (whoops), so its handy to have a place to roll them all together into.

Thus far for this season:

  1. Haikyuu!!
  2. Akuma no Riddle
  3. Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara
  4. Can’t Poop at Magic High
  5. Dai☆Shogun – Great Revolution
  6. Knights of Sidonia
  7. The World is Still Beautiful
  8. Selector Infected WIXOSS
  9. Atelier Escha & Logy
  10. The File of Young Kindaichi Returns

The File of Young Kindaichi Returns, ep. 1

Just barely made it through this episode. Talk about hideously disappointing! As a big fan of the mystery genre (but admittedly incredibly picky about it) I was really looking forward to this. Perhaps it was silly to, though – I think the success of Detective Conan tends to overshadow the fact that as a medium anime seems to fare quite poorly when it comes to shows that are exclusively mysteries. This episode was marred by a breakneck pace and much too many coincidences and moments of willful stupidity to remain afloat. Perhaps the best bit was the whole thing involving Kindaichi’s friend, Miyuki, being approached by some random guy on the street and asked to take the place of a missing model in a fashion event in Hong Kong – apparently this passed the smell test with her parents, as we find the story plopped into Hong Kong with no fanfare whatsoever two minutes later. Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but come be in this fashion show in Hong Kong because our original model vanished maybe? Guess I’ll be investing in that forty-plus volume long (to date) Case Closed release from Viz after all.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, ep 1-2

Here’s another drop. I tried really hard to get into this because I know so many people who are obsessed with the Atelier video game series, but this was stunningly boring. Its also got either a shoddy budget or indifferent quality control; first episodes are always supposed to be the episodes that get a decent budget but this first episode featured enough off-model moments to rival the likes of Weiss Kreuz (considering the middle portion of this show featured characters so consistently “off-model” that one could hardly claim there *was* such a thing as “on-model”….). Then there’s the sad fact that Escha has a super squeaky voice and her outfit features a freaking tail. Ugh, why??? I couldn’t force myself to finish the second episode.

My mind does remain blown by the whole Escha & Logy –> ‘and’ is ‘to’ in Japanese –> Escha to Logy –> eschatology thing, though.

Can’t Poop at Magic High, ep. 2

I continue to enjoy this although some of the shine wore off for me in the second episode. Jargon blah blah jargon blah. I do find the idea of magic as being a technological system still intriguing, and even with the jargon being flung about I liked learning a bit more about that aspect.

I’d like it better if the incest angle was played more strongly as a matter of fucked up family dynamics. The student council does do its part briefly by being a bit skeeved when Perfect Onii-sama makes the “joke” about wanting to be imouto’s lover, but they also get over it pretty quickly when he tells them he was just kidding (because, y’know, its TOTALLY normal to kid about boning your sister).

Dai☆Shogun – Great Revolution, ep. 2

Not as funny as the first episode, but some of the content managed to actually be a bit more bizarre than the episode prior – there’s a scene involving a guy orgasming from having his hair licked. Our hero learns he is afflicted with a curse that will keep him virginal (women literally give him hives), and other people in the show attempt to prevent him from getting into situation where he might part company with his virginity, all a bit reminiscent of Devil Hunter Yohko, a reminiscence strengthened by the grandmother’s vital role in all of it.

Akuma no Riddle, ep. 1-3

I never ended up doing a first impression post on this since I didn’t have much to say after the first episode – it was a pretty basic establishing sort of episode, after all. Episode two kicked it up several notches, thankfully, and solidified my interest in the show. The characters are all types to this point, but the relationship between assassin Tokaku and target Haru is being handled quite well. This actually isn’t all that surprising, as original author Yun Kouga is, in my experience, fairly adept at handling dynamics and relationships between characters. So much of the ink spilled about Loveless is (and not unfairly) as regards the seeming pedophilia at work in that title that there’s comparatively little said about Kouga’s skill in fleshing out the characters and their various ties. Neither we nor Tokaku understands why she’s drawn to Haru yet, and it might be a bit of a standard trope in such a tale, but it doesn’t feel like its happening because the plot dictates it.

The remainder of the characters to this point are varying shades of batshit, and it isn’t clear that they’ll get much development. The only character I have much interest in so far is Nio, whom we learn is the arbitrator for the assassin game, but this is more to do with her role than with her character itself.

I want to note that Haru is mercifully a decently capable character herself; it isn’t that much fun to watch a character be wholly helpless, after all. She does get herself into some tight situations by being surprisingly idiotic for a person who knows she’s being hunted by all her classmates, but at least she manages to assist in her own salvation when attacked twice.

The World is Still Beautiful, ep. 1-3

Hmm. This is a decently solid show, but its also a bit painfully predictable once it moves past the first episode, and even in the first episode it only manages to surprise a few isolated times. I’m also skeeved by the ED’s front and center use of a naked shouta, and that the third episode certainly hints that things will be moving in a romantic direction *shudders*. I certainly love my adorable Oofuri boys blushing and making cute faces, but they’re also fully clothed when doing so, y’know?

I was also really bothered by the depiction of the thieves in the first episode as a bit bumbling and harmless when the only reason they didn’t rape a girl was that Nike kicked their asses before they got to. Eww.

Knights of Sidonia, ep. 1

Seems decent enough, and the CG is really not that bad, but there are moments when it jars pretty strongly. Vertical is also releasing the manga in digital, so I think there’s a decent chance I’ll just pick that up instead, especially as what I’ve seen of that art I like.

Selector Infected WIXOSS, ep. 2-3

Episode two was boring as all hell – I skipped through a good bit of the card battle since it was pretty obvious from the start what the outcome was going to be and what the trauma of Hitoe was (uguu, no friends, if I become an Eternal Girl I can have some!). The SUPER DARK memory by Yuzuki of being made fun off by kindergarten classmates for wanting to marry her twin brother was pretty funny. Episode three was an improvement as regards the matches themselves, if no less predictable, but all the Yuzuki angst and trauma was tiring at best.

The only thing I can laud in this show is the backgrounds. Really! I love them! In fact, I think I only gave the third episode a go so I could see more of the good-looking backgrounds. If the staff released an artbook consisting solely of scenes of classrooms, neighborhoods, and construction sites, I would absolutely want to pick up a copy. Wish they were working on a better show.

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara, ep. 1 – 2

Before the season began, I boggled a bit at how stupid and absurd the premise for this show was and resolved to watch the first episode at least. I’m really glad I did, as this show is bizarre and hilarious. I don’t know if this is intentional, and I don’t think it matters for my enjoyment either way, but I can’t help but see this as fairly tongue-in-cheek given the existence of a Public Works Club (bad screencap but)…

kanojo ga flag ep 2

…among other things. There’s a girl who runs around in an apron and toting a ladle the entire time, and the show doesn’t even trouble itself to give any justification for it whatsoever; she even brings the ladle into the bath, where it ends up serving the purpose that steam serves in other shows.

Watching Kanoflag is a bit like watching a bunch of concussed people who were deprived oxygen as infants flap around, and I figure that while I find it highly entertaining others may have much more limited luck with it.

Haikyuu!!, ep. 2

I’ve run out of steam at this point which seems unfortunate given that I’m enjoying Haikyuu!! most of all this season. Its a little surprising that Kageyama is as much of an asshole as he is – in other sports shows I think the jerky rival team-mates have at least shown a glimmer of decency by now, but he’s lacking in this utterly.

Could’ve done without the presumed-manager being introduced boobs-and-butt-first. I suppose at a larger level I’m pretty bored of girls only being allowed into shows like this to be the managers of the boys’ teams – quite frankly if this is the only way they get into the show at all I’d rather that the show dispense with them entirely. “But, Day, aren’t you a feminist? How can you argue against including female characters?!” Going to Smurfette route really isn’t all that thrilling, is it?

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One Response to Week in Review, 4/12 – 4/19

  1. I have heard that the first File of Young Kindaichi anime was excellent. Too bad that the second doesn’t seem to live up to its prior season. But, it is hard to find a traditional (i.e. Western) mystery in anime. The closest I’ve seen besides Detective Conan is Shindere Shoujo To Kodoku Na Shinigami (The Death Loving Girl and the Lonely Death God in English), which makes for a fun manga.

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