Week in Review, 3/2 – 3/9

sailor moon r 72

Finally back to watching animu.

This week, after roughly three and a half weeks without a single drop of anime watched, I finally found I a. had the opportunity to watch some anime, and b. felt inclined to watch some anime. Saying ‘Week in Review’ is a slight lie, to be honest, since this was Wednesday – coming home to a pile of manga kept me fairly occupied during my little bits of free time, so anime got shoved to the side. This obviously confirms my status as a bad anime fan, but, hey, no surprises there.

I’m behind enough on AKB0048 that I’m just waiting until it to end so I can watch it all at once or over the course of a few days. I think I’m also going to have to accept that that is how I’ll deal with From the New World as well.

In other news, I think I’m going to re-watch Nadia since it has been at least a decade since I saw it and I’m currently re-reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, so it seems appropriate. Tangentially, Nadia’s one of those shows that ten, twelve years back was an anime that you could generally expect sub-watching American fans to have at least seen some of, but you just never hear anyone mention it these days. I used to be able to simply utter the words, “Island Arc” and people would respond with, “FUCK NO”. (By the way, Nadia was the show that Hideaki Anno directed before he directed Evangelion…)

Err, anyway.

Tamako Market, eps. 4 – 6

Thankfully, a reduction in screentime for Dera coincides with him wearing out his welcome a bit with me, although watching him give bad romantic advice to poor Mochizou was pretty funny… of course, watching Mochizou getting all flustered and being incapable of telling Tamako how he feels is just pretty funny in and of itself. And, yes, Midori interfering with him added to the amusement, but I’m glad that they sort things out by the end of the episode… while also not getting it *actually* completely sorted out since I get the feeling Mochizou isn’t as good at sussing things out as Kanna proved to be. I like the idea, though, of Midori and Mochizou ending up as good friends over their mutual interest – I definitely have at least three friends whom I ended up bonding with over a shared romantic interest, and, honestly, I’m much closer with two of them than I am with the prior object of our affections. Its funny how life works.

Princess Nine, eps. 14 – 17

These episodes were… well, let’s talk about the good bits. These episodes were largely that wonderfully overblown melodrama and SPORTS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS that is to me glorious and awesome. And Princess Nine really covers the bases (lulz) – it isn’t content to stick to dramatic games and inter-team fighting and people overcoming adversities such as lacking confidence. Oh, no, that is mere child’s play! Princess Nine goes straight for the jugular with a twenty year old scandal involving match fixing that threatens to destroy the team. And someone almost dies. Also, orphans and dead dads. This is all set to an orchestral BGM.

I’ll admit that I was watching these episodes while I was pretty tired, so I was in a state of vulnerability, which is always a terrible idea when something involves baseball. I got very emotional about it. I’m a pretty strong believer in the idea of baseball as a metaphor for life, and that quote,

“It [baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”

So, yeah, even though it was really cheesy and overdone and cliched, I was basically beside myself during the later episodes of this set.

That being said, episode fourteen is… wow. This was a pretty upsetting episode given that this has been a decently feminist show so far – nowhere near perfect, mind you, given the camera pans on female bodies (it is a seinen anime), but definitely a solid underpinning. So I was pretty bummed when, in this episode, the girls utilize feminine charm tactics to help beat a boys’ team that is a Koushien regular.

Having said that… I grudgingly accept it in the show. I’m not happy about it, but given the parameters the show had set for itself (the Kisaragi Girls’ School baseball team must defeat a Koushien regular in order to be allowed to compete in the baseball league), well… there’s no other way they could’ve. And the show does emphasize that they end up resorting to such tactics because of the fact that those opposed to girls playing baseball are unwilling to be fair. And the implication isn’t that girls and women can’t compete in sports versus boys and men unless they use sneaky methods, but that, yeah, a brand new baseball team isn’t going to be able to defeat a historically highly competitive unless they play a bit dirty.

Again, though, I’m not happy that they decided to include that.

I wonder where we go from here, though – there are only nine more episodes left and that doesn’t really seem like enough to go from where they are now to competing in the Koushien. If the show ends with them qualifying for Koushien, I guess I could live with that, although I’ll be annoyed that they spent so much damn time on just forming the team itself.

Sailor Moon R, ep. 72

Lot of great facial expressions out of Petz this week. Not really anything else to comment on – Chibi-Usa does finally figure out that Usagi has the Silver Crystal and that these girls she’s been hanging out with are the Sailor Senshi, and while I’m tempted to mock her for being so slow on the uptake, Naru is Usagi’s best friend and constantly attacked in the first season and in the first arc of R, but she never figures it out.

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