Week in Review, 8/18 – 8/24

gatchaman crowds ep 2


I blame Daft Punk. My brain keeps translating “I’m up all night to get lucky.” to “I’m up all night to get honky.” This is probably my father’s fault.

I have to admit at this point that I’m not sure I’m going to catch up on Watamote – I may just wait to read the manga when Yen publishes it next year in North America instead. That I picked up Gatchaman Crowds this week makes it more likely this will be the case than not.

Day Break Illusion, ep. 7

Lol, subtlety. I think we all know where this is right about to head – happy, fun time episodes are so often set up as the cheap way to make us sadface by then moving immediately into gloomy territory, and I doubt that won’t be the case here. That we do have some more ominous bits lurking in the background of the episode certainly solidifies the likelihood.

I’m interested to see how things go from here. The fact is, despite bad crap happening to folks in several episodes, and despite learning about sadder pasts for a couple of characters, I’ve never felt particularly overwhelmed by these aspects in Day Break Illusion. If anything, I’m surprised that the show hasn’t been soppier about its melodrama – I really was expecting this to be Black Rock Shooter level in that regard, and that really hasn’t been the case. However, that it hasn’t been the case may just be evidence of how little I’m connecting with the show at all – Seira’s friend getting spiked made me giggle, as did the moment when the guy got crushed under a bell that’d been struck by lightning at a funeral a few episodes back.

Yet I do keep watching. *shrugs* As I’ve said before, there are some intriguing elements in the mix, even if the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

My money is on bad things happening to Luna, by the way. She’s got tragic written all over her in a way that the others simply don’t, likely because she’s playing a sanded- and watered-down Tomoyo to Akari’s Sakura, especially in this latest episode. I’ll note, though, that I’ve felt her likely headed for a crash for a while now, though – just something about the brief shot of her in the OP looking out a window and blushing, presumably at a person. Can’t really explain why this made me suspicious, but it did.

Symphogear G, ep. 4

Catching up here. Goodness, what is there to say about Symphogear, though? Chris’s whole “wow, I’ve made friends and am becoming a normal girl!” song montage at the end of the episode, while nice in its own right, felt very weirdly-placed – seemed like the sort of thing you’d see at the end of a series, not four episodes deep into a sequel. Ah well.

Shirabe is obnoxious, by the way. I like Kirika a bit – her character has more depth than I’m used to out of Symphogear, what with the contrast between the cheery self and the more serious side, but Shirabe is just irritating. She’s so utterly a stock character, and completely incapable of riding above her carbon copy nature. I don’t expect much out of Symphogear, but I’m legitimately annoyed with her inclusion here – surely they could’ve come up with someone who was slightly less boring and grating?

Gatchaman Crowds, ep. 1-4

Bit late to the party here. I caught the first episode on a whim (I have a Crunchyroll membership, so it basically boiled down to its availability there) earlier this week, but wasn’t terribly impressed. I liked the visual direction and the animation style (the neon-and-black outfits for battle brought to mind Tron Legacy), but I didn’t really care about anyone in it, or anything that was happening.

Skip a few days forward, and I shrugged and figured, well, eh, let’s try the second episode. And, lo, I was a convert!

I really, really like Hajime, which is a bit surprising as characters like her (i.e. the ultra-genki girls) don’t usually do much for me. I think its the oddness she exudes, which itself feeds into her refusal to look at anything the “right” way ’round. Girls with magical/super powers bringing enemies over to their side instead of killing them isn’t exactly original as a concept, but Hajime’s straightforward, drama-free way of doing so was a fresh take on it. It reminded me slightly of Digimon Savers (a.k.a. Data Squad), where the lead there ends up with a Digimon, who are considered the enemy, because he decides to get into a fist-fight with him instead of letting the “proper” authorities destroy him.

And then there’s GALAX. A ubiquitous app that can change the world! I simultaneously thought, “Wow, that’s a neat idea, crowdsourcing as a means of helping people solve their regular problems.” while I cringed, my dislike of a society where one is never unplugged and a distrust of apps surfacing (I have exactly two apps on my phone). Then there is the simple fact that, in most cases, it is far better for first responders that most people run AWAY from danger rather than TOWARD it.

So, GALAX fascinates me as a concept, and I enjoy the prospect of seeing how that particular angle plays out.

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