Week in Review, 12/1 – 12/7

galilei donna ep 8

Dat hair.

Well, the year is hurtling toward its end, and it certainly seems I’ll have finished off a lot more shows that aired this year than I have in years. From the summer alone I finished a shocking six shows! SIX! My previous high was three in one season, way back in something like 2008 or 2009. I do have to go back to finish off a few things I haven’t yet (Symphogear G, Utapri 2000%, AKB0048 Second Stage), but, wow, a banner year, indeed.

By the way, speaking of Utapri, it is getting a third season. WOOO!!! In 2015. Hmm, no so woooo. But, damn, does that thing print money, or what?

Galilei Donna, ep. 8

Still enjoying Galilei Donna. Still PROUDLY enjoying Galilei Donna. I’ve heard other folks criticize its attempts at being dark and edgy, but I found the attempts to be such so half-assed myself that I couldn’t hold it against the show since I was simply snickering through it. Of course, that I like the primary cast so much probably has a lot to do with the fact that I still love it for all of its “falling off buildings will give you a cold!”, etc.

As for this episode… yeah, this was full-weeb territory. Its so bizarre to watch something like this happen since its a Japanese-produced thing, and Japan gets reduced to kimono and traditional houses. Hozuki is basically a horrible weeb for much of the episode. Oh well. At least we finally know where Anna stores her cellphone.

Samurai Flamenco, ep. 9

I’ve sort of given up on figuring out what Samumenco’s game is for the time being. It plays some aspects of the superhero thing so straight while obviously sticking tongues firmly in cheeks, such as Samurai Flamenco’s stationery-based weaponry, but then it flashes to a guy who has clearly been tortured, complete with a full kit of torture devices with blood on them. Which is it? Poking fun at the superhero conventions, or trying to Christopher Nolan it all?

I did like that Konno ended up selling Mari down the river. I was worried they were going to make him look kind of sympathetic and noble, what with his last call being to Ishihara, and then it’d be soooo tragic because she rejected him and then he died! But, ha, nope! Although I’m not sure he’s even alive still. We certainly don’t see him at all after that, and King Torture did agree with him when he stated that he’d probably kill him even if he did give up Flamenco Diamond.

Kyousogiga, ep. 3-6

Didn’t think episode three was all that great, which slowed me down in getting to four through six, but four through six were fantastic. I really enjoy the character dynamics at play here; the siblings are fascinating to watch in their interactions with each other. Getting a closer look at the siblings and their various motivations, exploring their inner lives a little bit, breathed a lot of life into an already-lively show. Yase’s my favorite, but how could she not be? I love the contrast between her ultra-feminine bearing, clothing, and possessions, and her tendency to flip to a more ‘monstrous’ form with the accompanying monstrous temper.

So many shows have absent parents. So many shows have absent parents whose children wish to emulate or avenge. Precious few, though, actually give a sense of the parent as a unique character, or truly get across the why part of the seeking of vengeance or the aspiration for alikeness. Watching Yase’s memories and feelings, one actually understands the burn of not having her mother around. Watching Myoue’s memories, one actually gets why he both misses his father and has a weird relationship with his legacy (ditto Kurama to an extent). Its easy to say that someone is trying to find their mother or father. Its much harder to do the legwork of demonstrating the reason for doing so beyond simple filial obligation.

Hikaru no Go, ep. 21 – 31

Sigh. I love this show. I like so few shounen shows, so its always a bit surprising when I do like one, even as I list a shounen as one of my favorite anime ever. Hikaru no Go is helped by the fact that Hikaru transitions from having a magical spirit playing all his games for him to a determination to play his own matches with no assistance. It reminds me a little bit of Yumeiro Patissiere, actually – Ichigo there had a magical fairy who provided support, but it was up to her to work hard and improve herself. And while Hikaru is ahead of curve in terms of how quickly he improves, he does have to work himself from the very bottom, as in these episodes he starts as last in the second Insei class and still ranks only at number sixteen in the first class by the time the pro qualification exam starts up.

I do find it dismaying that Hikaru’s middle school Go Club friends recede into the mists in these episodes. We get one episode (and I’m pretty sure its pure filler) showing them again, but that’s it – otherwise these kids are pretty much completely forgotten. I liked Tsutsui and Mitani a good bit, so I wish we could have them around more. Mitani is one of my favorite characters in the whole show! And how could he not be? The kid wears suspenders   and has the manner of a jaded noir character… and he’s only thirteen years old. How could I hate that?! (P.S. – Akari x Mitani!!!)

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