Week in Review, 11/23 – 11/29

wixoss ep 5

I was shocked to discover that it’s actually pronounced “we-cross” not “weeks-oss”. Maybe it really is all about ethics in gaming journalism!

Not a huge amount of anime this week, although I did binge WIXOSS for some unfathomable reason. Between that and binge-watching the remainder of the first season of Love Live a few weeks back, I can only conclude that someone with shit taste died and has possessed me and now is forcing me to watch terrible shows in order to soothe their soul. I didn’t even get any pleasure out of finishing Love Live (it took me about eighteen months to watch six or seven episodes originally); I just walked away wondering what the hell people truly see in it. Even when I don’t like something that is popular, I can at least see why others would like it, but here I was puzzled by the complete lack of characterization of the cast. How can a person become so invested when everyone was an archetype at best? I just felt annoyed, felt like the people behind the effort had failed their own characters! The meta-characters cried out for true justice!

Argevollen, ep. 22

WHOA what is this? A good episode of Argevollen? I could hardly believe it myself, especially after the opening scenes (prior to the OP) bored me so thoroughly that my eyes glazed over, but around the halfway point of the episode, things get interesting as the Arandas forces fall to factionalism. Yeah, its pretty silly that the rebellious general is able to just waltz out after saying he’s not going to follow orders, but I can live with that. I like that its become much difficult to say where exactly the show’s sympathies lie at the moment – it seems like it might with the rebellious general (I don’t freaking remember his name) but his previous heavy-handed depiction as evvvvulll and scheming clouds the picture on that front. We know the show is on Tokimune et al.’s side, but where do they stand in all of it, anyway?

I was reminded of WWI when watching this episode. The whole argument against settling for peace with lost territory was reminiscent of the myth after WWI in Germany that the military could’ve still won the war had not the civilian leadership bowed to pressure and sold them out, along with some of the military leadership. This thinking itself sprang up amongst those who thought it wrong to settle for peace with the loss of German provinces, that it was disgraceful to those who’d died in the fighting to that point. Rebellious general is definitely appealing to this sentiment (and he seems to be a true believer himself). I’m curious about whether Argevollen really has the chops to pull this all off effectively, though.

Shirobako, ep. 8

Ok, I always feel weird about saying stuff like this, but I instantly thought, “Gay.” when Iguchi tried to talk to Ema in this week’s episode. Maybe it sounds weird, but gaydar totally works for fictional characters as well as for people, I swear (you’d be amazed at how good I am at sniffing out books that secretly are about lesbians, which was a reallllllly good skill to have at the not terribly enlightened Southern university I attended – I was such a whiz in the library!). So, yeah, of course – ship.

Kaori’s job truly seems like a complete drag, but still doesn’t give her the right to be dismissive about Miyamori’s job in the anime industry. I’ve been in soul-stunting jobs like hers, too, but it doesn’t help to just act like other people’s jobs don’t count as work. If she really hates it, save up and find something else to do. I didn’t like my retail jobs and I didn’t like my civilian job much by the end, but I just put money aside and bided my time. Kaori doesn’t seem to be aching for money, anyway, so its hard for me to sympathetic when her behavior toward his sister is crappy.

Magic Kaito 1412, ep. 8

I had to stop and think before I could write anything since the contents of the episode had honestly completely escaped my memory. Boring episode. Felt like it was some filler-type material from the manga – maybe a a side-story? Akako is funny to watch, although I dread the fact that she’s probably going to be enamored with Kaito. By the way, Kaito has such an awful laugh, doesn’t he?

But even with Akako being amusing to watch, this episode was awkward and disjointed and a chore to watch.

By the way, this show’s been regularly making appearances each week in the top ten for ratings on Japanese TV of anime, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a sequel is in the offing (this week it was number seven, ahead of the new hot children’s franchise, Yokai Watch). Also, its been announced that the newest Detective Conan movie will feature Kaito prominently. Doubt that these are coincidences.

selector infected WIXOSS, ep. 4 – 10

Wow! What happened? How did I end up back with this?

Actually, I discovered WIXOSS isn’t all that bad if you skip all the Hitoe-centric scenes and only watch the incomprehensible card battles when they feature Tama. Yeah, its definitely melodramatic to the max, but, hey, that’s enjoyable sometimes, too. And its even got twincest! Woohoo!

Mind you, the card battles themselves are awful. I’ve mostly skipped them. Also, Hitoe is awful; I was hoping her memory loss thing meant she was gone from the show but NOPE just even more irritating than she was before!

It isn’t that WIXOSS is ‘good’. It really isn’t. But having excised the bits that bore me, I find it entertaining, at least. A lot of it is really hilariously silly – all the people acting like it’s terribly unfair of Kazuki to be upset when they accuse him of incest is plain idiotic.

I still love the backgrounds other than those in the card battles. I’m going to keep saying it again and again – I would be thrilled to buy an artbook if the background animators put one out of just cityscapes and interiors. It took me a while to watch all these episodes since I stopped to screencap so many of the shots of the city and a lot of the interiors free of people.

 I Can Hear the Sea/Ocean Waves

If it looks like a Ghibli, but doesn’t quack like a Ghibli, is it still a Ghibli? Well, apparently, although of all the Ghibli I’ve seen so far, this is definitely the weakest entry (although I’ve never seen Earthsea, nor do I ever intend to). Its a bit unfair, though, to compare a TV movie with all theatrical releases, though, isn’t it?

The characters were petty and stupid and I wanted to slap them frequently. I couldn’t stand how much the lead whined about the way he was being treated by the romantic interest since he just kept going along with it anyway – you can’t complain when you’re letting it all happen! The best friend seemed decent and reasonable for most of the runtime but then he got all bent out of shape because the lead didn’t defend the romantic interest, and this is after the romantic interest and the lead hadn’t spoken in months and their last interaction was of them slapping each other. Bro, he isn’t friends with her, they’re not dating; he has NO obligation to step into an argument she’s having with classmates. Ugh, I get it, sometimes teenagers are very unreasonable, but that doesn’t make it something I want to be witness to.

Took me a few days to watch this and it was only a touch over an hour long! Well, I didn’t hate it, honestly, but I’m glad I’m done with it, and I won’t be watching it again. Also, what did the ocean have to do with it at all? Nonsensical title and irritating characters, 4.5/10, wouldn’t ever watch again.

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