Week in Review, 11/16 – 11/22

bonpati ep 7

How do you review an anime that has five minute episodes?

You don’t, a least not weekly, so although I’m watching Orenchi no Furou Jijou and Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie each week, although I’m ENJOYING them both every week, I will not write about them every week. So, yes, I’m current on them, regardless of whether I write about them or not. Hard to get behind on anime that have episodes that short (although it HAS happened before!).

Magic Kaito 1412, ep. 7

It struck me, watching this episode, that I like watching Kaito and Aoko when the two are giving each other a hard time but neither is being nasty about it… well, more accurately, Kaito isn’t being nasty about it – Aoko’s never actually nasty to Kaito for all the crap he puts her through. If it was more like this and less of Kaito’s usual bearing toward Aoko, I’d be able to buy that Aoko has a crush on the boy. I want to hope that it’ll trend that way but I also have no faith that it will. Alas; we even get a nice moment wherein Kaito expresses frustration with Aoko since she’s acting how she thinks girls are supposed to act on dates, not like herself.

Another thing I noticed in this episode is that the visual direction is actually fairly decent in this show. It isn’t anything particularly special, but there were some well-framed and well-blocked scenes in here.

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works, ep. 7

I’ll admit that I put this episode off a few times before finally watching it late Saturday. It was still one of the better things I watched this week, but I feel as though a spell is wearing off between me and it. Shirou’s attitude is irritatingly ignorant and naïve, but Archer’s attitude is just as annoying, albeit in a different way. Also, damn, everyone kept saying so much that Rin’s the tsundere of the show, but you could only say that if you’re ignoring Archer! If he really wanted to snuff Shirou, he could’ve easily done so; you’re not fooling anyone, Archer. (And, yeah, before you jump up and down to say it – I already know who Archer is, no need to go spoiler fest in the comments.)

Then there’s the whole thing with Assassin. As far as respected rivals go, F/Z’s Rider was a much more interesting match with Saber. Quite frankly, Assassin is just proof that frequently Japanese people are their own worst weebs.

Shirobako, ep. 7

So, pop quiz time – how the hell are the characters all living in single-person apartments that are small and a bit older but not tiny and terrible on their awful salaries? I’m assuming Ema eats her lunch at home because its cheaper than buying it, but even considering that it seems a stretch that she has her own place on that miniscule animator’s salary. And if you’re wondering how miniscule, luckily the Shirobako Twitter account tweeted a graphic depicting it, and, lucky for you (assuming you’re American)! someone translated it into dollars.

ORAFhaN

Mind you, I don’t really understand where the $17,200 is coming from that one apparently earns as a college student. Maybe Ema’s getting some money from her parents. I realized that animators make garbage pay, but I’ll admit to still being a bit shocked at how low of a figure that is, even considering that Ema would be on the low-end as a relative newcomer to the field. I’m also, though, surprised about those higher figures – this means a Series Director with quite a bit of time in the field is making only a touch more than I made at my low-end, eight to five administrative job at a hospital! Yeah, that job could be pretty stressful at times (usually it was the fault of patients!), but as stressful as directing an anime? Hardly! But, if anything, this chart would seem to prove that working outside the industry is a much better deal – Zuka’s making almost as much as Miyamori and she’s working about half to two-thirds of the time. Hell, if she worked full-time, she’d be doing better than the episode director!

Anyway. Its good to spend some time in the viewpoint of a different worker at Musani, especially as it gave us a chance to see Miyamori from a remove, and therefore see that she screws up in ways that aren’t easy to rectify sometimes, too.

Finally, Miyamori’s sister sure is a jerk, isn’t she? Showing up unannounced, clearly doesn’t think Miyamori has a “real” job despite the woman working sixty-plus hour work weeks… although I’m not sure what the purpose was of her inclusion in the episode.

Argevollen, ep. 20

About halfway through the episode we learn that two months has passed since the last episode, this even though the episode feels like its happening perhaps a week afterward. The less, of course, is that Argevollen isn’t a good show, but we knew that already. This episode isn’t very good, either, and I’m really having to strain myself to even recall what happened in the episode. There’s some morose boozing. The captain’s off operating Perphevollen to great effect. One of the guy’s gets mad at some of the others for doing calisthenics since somehow that’s not acting like a soldier. There are hints that the crazy blonde guy is going back to battle again. Ho hum. How the hell is this show going to pull it together with only six episodes to go and this sort of leisurely, fillery pace?

Macross: Do You Remember Love?

I liked this movie; I think it was a good movie. On the other hand, I think this movie also had a lot of terrible ideas about women and about romantic relationships between men and women. There’s a scene in which a man, Focker, admonishes a younger man that he needs to be willing to rape a woman if he loves her to get what he wants (i.e. her) before proceeding to assault his date in a restaurant booth while the younger man and another woman sit passively by watching. (And this is also after he tells another woman that she needs to accept that even though she graduated valedictorian from her military academy she’s going to have to agree with a man someday even when she knows he’s wrong because she’s a woman and he’s a man.) This guy gets killed in one of the next scenes, and we’re supposed to think this sucks since he was the lead’s mentor, but I was sitting there thinking, “See ya later, asshole!”

Then there’s the whole running thing about how Misa Hayase, said valedictorian, needs to soften up and be “womanly” or she’s going to be forever alone (and probably own lots of cats, although they don’t mention that bit). And, no, I don’t care that this is from 1982 – its ass-backwards and awful.

So, how can I say that it’s still a good film?

Well, because it tells a perfectly-paced story that manages to truncate thirty-six episodes into just under two hours of film without feeling like there’s something missing that the TV series could fill in. It also manages to convey that grandeur of space, and the sense of wonderment of space travel. Watching it, I was actually, of all things, reminded of the third Men in Black movie, a film which did a shockingly good job of impressing upon the modern audience the excitement of the early era of space missions with people and not just dogs or monkeys or the rockets themselves (if you don’t believe me, try to catch it on a screen larger than a TV). Everything is lovingly animated, and one gets the feeling of the sheer size of things.

So, some really odious, horrid ideas that I wish someone had warned me about before I watched the damn thing, but worth watching. Its also a good way to get some of the context of the original Macross in a fraction of the time, and I’ve always felt its important to have a working knowledge of anime that extends further than ten years back.

Anyone else, by the way, think its hilarious that they managed to cut Macross down to two hours from thirty-six episodes and have a good film, but Macross Frontier went from twenty-episodes to four hours and was a mess? Also – Lynn Minmay is a zillion times the idol Sheryl or Ranka will ever be, although I could definitely go without the saccharine My Boyfriend’s a Pilot.

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