Don’t you wish your mom was hot like me?
Bit of a light load to go over since I was making my way through a lot of premiere episodes still. Some of the shows have hit their second week, though, so there is that, and I have been gnawing through some older material as well.
Actually, speaking of new shows, I may as well say how I’d rank all the ones I’ve seen (including those I’ve dropped already):
- Beyond the Barrier
- Galilei Donna
- Samurai Flamenco
- Golden Time
- Outbreak Company
I sort of wanted to leave the first slot empty, to be honest – I am enjoying Beyond the Barrier, but I’m still a bit skeptical about it. Coppelion had a great premiere, but its second episode was horrible. Samurai Flamenco should maybe be above it, but while I liked its first episode just fine, well, it didn’t grab me, exactly. And, yeah, there’s a HUGE drop-off from number four to number five up there.
Next week I’ll be back to just ranking the shows I’m actively following.
Coppelion ep. 2
I cannot believe how big of a decline in quality happened between the first episode and the second with this show. I realize some people were bored by the first episode, but I enjoyed the manner in which it introduced us to the world these girls live in, and to the type of people the girls are. This episode decided to throw in the melodrama hardcore, and it also already had the leads acting in ways that felt inconsistent with what we’d been previously presented. Ibara having a weird breakdown-ish moment about whether she is human or not and what her purpose in life felt like it came completely from left-field. I would’ve been willing to accept it if it’d come from Aoi, as she previously demonstrated a bit of angst about her humanity or lack thereof, but from Ibara it was off-key.
I was mildly amused by the description of the ballet Coppelia; while its somewhat true, it isn’t quite correct to say that the ballet is ultimately about the doll Coppelia – sure, the story hinges on its existence, but the story is truly about the folly of a young man falling for a doll he believes is a young woman, and of his sweetheart’s having to deal with that.
Anyway, I sure hope next week is more like the first episode than the second, because I am going to drop this like a hot potato if it sticks to this unconvincing and cheap melodrama crap.
Beyond the Barrier ep. 2
As I said above, I’m still a bit skeptical on Beyond the Barrier. I do enjoy it, but I still have a lot of moments where I want to smack the characters or the writers for how silly and over-serious some of the material is. Emily of Atelier Emily has an interesting take on it, but even if I’m aware of the potential that the overly-serious tone is intended as a potshot to chuunibyou-ism and its teenaged fiction, well, its hard to ignore that it still feels stupid at points. Akihito’s protest as to the nickname that Hiromi calls him by felt like the sort of thing you get when a fourteen year old is trying reallllly hard to be funny while utterly missing the mark. And Mirai wandering around crying because she couldn’t see through the blocking barrier was really quite obnoxious as a means of making her ~moe~.
However, I do like the show on the whole; there remains that slightly sinister feel to the whole affair even as we are treated to a lot of chuu-tastic times. Mirai getting worn out from fighting the youmu because she uses her own blood to make her sword was a fairly clever touch.
The show also continues to remind me of Hyouka a fair bit, and not simply due to the literature club. There’s just something about the overall atmosphere that makes me think of it, although there’s a small dash of Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in the air as well (although perhaps only because of the dynamic between Akihito and Hiromi that brings to mind Kyon and Itsuki). (….yeah, does it go without saying that SHIPPPPPP?)
Perhaps my enjoyment of the show boils down to the fact that, well, even past the age of it being “acceptable” to enjoy media about outsider high school kids who have trust issues, I nevertheless feel something in common with the chillens that flop around these shows with their tragic pasts and their difficulty with letting people get close to them in the present. For all that I do a decent job of being a generally functioning member of society, well… I suppose ceasing to hold others at arm’s length can be a bit hard if one is used to doing so.
Golden Time ep. 2
You know, someone said the second episode was a lot better, but they totally lied. There’s still a feel of seeing the seams here, even if it isn’t as excruciating as the first episode had it. Sure, there were a few brighter moments – Mitsuo’s monologue about how people totally ignored that Koko was being awful to him in high school and told him to stop whining because she is “hot” was a pretty damn rare acknowledgement that a woman being hot doesn’t make it not harassment when she won’t leave a guy alone, even if it still certainly was played that we are to sympathize with the brainless Banri’s point of view instead.
Then there’s the whole thing with the tea club. It was funny at first, but then it just got ridiculous (which is to say, pretty much right when that one girl rubbed her face in the other’s crotch) and tedious. What drove me away, though, finally, was when Linda started talking clubs with Banri. You know what? Fuck this, this isn’t a college show, its just high school shit all over again, no thanks.
The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke ep. 1-2
I remember when Zettai Karen Children first aired – lot of the talk about it initially was that it looked a bit like it was in the wrong decade. Its spin-off, The Unlimited (“Courtesy of Zettai Karen Children”, the subtitle helpfully reads), doesn’t really look that way art-wise, but it does feel that way a decent amount, from the monster toward the end of the first episode, to the set-up itself (psychics on a ship!), to the thing that starts it all off (Hyoubu and protagonist Andy meeting on an island prison for psychics). Just feels 90s, man!
I’m still not quite sure what this show is about, but I do like it so far. I would describe it as Terra e… if the psychics in that show had been more morally ambiguous and violent (well, ok, some of them were violent). I suppose what draws my attention most at this moment is how casual the show is about the fact that little girl Yuugiri is apparently just as involved in the violence as other members of the cast are. It doesn’t draw much attention to it, it just sort of let’s you see the aftermath that lets you know she’s not exactly one of the kids from, say, Beyblade.
Yamishibai ep. 1-9
Well! As a person who frequently is known to bemoan the lack of good horror anime, I have to say Yamishibai has proven a surprise. A show that manages to be utterly creepy quite often in less than four minutes? Now that’s an impressive feat! Not every episode of Yamishibai does manage to hit the mark, but when it gets it right, it is truly unsettling. Too bad I’ve only got four episodes left of it. This is definitely one of those gems that no one really talks about.