Wow, guess who actually watched anime this week?
Y’know, I’ve been pretty busy of late with training, but, even so, it still surprises me that I’ve been largely without anime for the past month or so. My final semester of college, I took twenty-one hours worth of classes on top of devoting countless hours per week to ROTC, but I was still consuming quite a bit of anime. So it did feel a bit odd that I wasn’t watching much in March. I suppose one of my less fallow periods of fandom just happened to coincide with me being busy, which would seem to be a case of useful timing.
But, hey, seems that’s over, since almost all the stuff listed below I watched within the past two days. Happy Easter…?
Princess Nine, episodes 18-20
Things had begun to settle down in the land of Princess Nine again, so of course the story had to come up with a new wrench to chuck in. In this case, its time for the Running of the Hormones, as the show moves to solidify the canon romance for the heroine while simultaneously ensuring that the luckless lad left out in the cold ends up with his own happily ever after. How kind of the show, even if it comes more or less out of nowhere.
Of course, in confirming what we had suspected all along, i.e. that the handsome, not-childhood-friend suitor would triumph, his own childhood friend is thrown into turmoil. So it is that Izumi re-surfaces as an enemy of Ryo despite having proven a mere few episodes sooner that Izumi cares rather deeply for Ryo and values her as a friend and as a team-mate.
Honestly, there are a lot of reasons to not like Izumi. She’s previously been rotten to Ryo, and she reverts to form on that front in these episodes. But Izumi’s pain is so raw and her hurt so obvious that I can’t bring myself to dislike her – its been demonstrated again and again that she’s a young woman who feels things fully and intensely, the sort who will always be completely absorbed by and devoted to whatever has caught her up. Almost all the girls on the team are fully committed to baseball, but with Izumi there’s a degree to it that exceeds the rest. She’ll never feel things or experience them in half-measures, and its both admirable and painful. How could I possibly hate a character like that?
Tamako Market, episodes 6-8
I’m not really sure how I feel about Choi. Yo, is this shit racist? She basically acts like the other young, female characters of the show, if lacking in an understanding of some Japanese things… so, she’s basically just another Japanese character in an anime, except with darker skin… which is kind of racist, except she’s ambiguously raced anyway? Blargh, I don’t know… I like her, but I feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing. At least watching her put Dera in his place repeatedly was hilarious – if anyone needs putting in their place, that damn bird is it.
A Certain Scientific Railgun, episodes 1-5
I ended up watching this rather randomly – RightStuf had the first box listed as a “Hot Pre-order”, I thought to myself, “Didn’t this air and get a license a while ago?”, and this somehow lead to the Hulu page for the legal stream, which then became me watching it. I can’t really chart a logical progression there, honestly, but, well, it happened.
The first two episodes almost drove me off – way too much sexual harassment played for laughs. Yet I kind of liked the characters… so, I gave episode three a go. And, well, folks, I liked it. And, ok, maybe the eyebrow girl’s hair reminding me very vaguely of Miyu from Vampire Princess Miyu helped, but, well, so it is.
I’m kind of uncomfortable with my general feelings about Kuroko, though. Her behavior in the first two episodes is very creepy… but I felt some sympathy for her, because, like with Izumi in Princess Nine, there was a rawness to her feelings that resonated even as I cringed over her antics (unlike Izumi, though, Kuroko isn’t unhappy). I could see some of my younger self’s awkward overtures in her actions, even if I myself never tried to slip aphrodisiacs into someone’s drink or stole anyone’s underwear. At the same time, though, Kuroko’s actions are pretty blatantly wrong – she’s trying to drug Mikoto so she can “seduce” her, she has a photo album full of photos taken without Mikoto’s consent, she’s stolen Mikoto’s underwear, she gropes her in the showers… its all gross and a complete violation of Mikoto’s privacy and bodily autonomy. Thank goodness it tails off as the episodes proceed…