Bit of a quiet week again. Admittedly, part of this is likely due to the fact that there are only a couple shows that I look forward to on a weekly basis (Triage X, Blood Blockade Battlefront), the remainder falling under “I’ll get to it when I get to it”. But I may also just be in a bit of a lull in terms of watching anime after a couple months of blitzing stuff. It’s probably Tomino’s fault!
Go! Princess Precure, episode 15
During the first half of the episode, I kept thinking, “Wow, that looks like ass.” When the battle scene arrived, it became crystal-clear why such simple-looking, static shots featured off-model derangements left and right in the early going. I can’t quite say that the animation during the fight is great, but the direction was fantastic, and I thrilled to the dynamism of some of the shots of Cure Flora during her solo performance prior to Marine and Twinkle’s arrival on scene.
Not a bad episode on the whole; at the very least, I liked it a lot better than the previous two episodes, which felt very much like water-treading. Pafu was just as endearingly cute and prone to enthusiastic incompetence in a humanoid form as in her fairy form, and I enjoyed watching Aroma interact with Haruka as he was serving as her butler and in human form. I still find anime’s veneration and adoration of servants pretty weird and off-putting, mind you; the butler’s dream being solely of serving his mistress perfectly was, truly, sad as fuck, even given that the dreams people have been shown to have in this show have all been pretty simplistic.
Triage X, episode 6
Not as good as the first half of the mini-arc since the idol/assassin’s effectiveness degrades a fair bit. She does manage to take out quite a few of the bad guys before getting caught, and admittedly part of the issue is that she’s contending with a threat to two other, non-combat trained people, but it still was a letdown for her to get captured and have to be rescued. Episode five may’ve been the high-water mark for this show. It’s still me second-favorite show this season, though.
Re-Kan!, episode 6
I have absolutely nothing to say except I would love to beat the pervert cat to a bloody pulp, although, regrettably, given the heroine’s ability to see spirits, doing so probably wouldn’t help her much.
Blood Blockade Battlefront, episode 7
Was a bit leery going in since I don’t find the whole mafia-run cage matches storyline to be of much interest to me; it feels very played-out at this point. BBB gave it a good twist, though, in making it all be a scam on Zapp’s part to get his debts settled by pretending to be held hostage; it also further reveals the only apparent flaw that Klaus has – he’s gullible and peculiarly naïve.
The guts of the episode more or less lay elsewhere, though, as we get a bit more familiarity with White’s brother, Black, he perhaps of a dual personality. Some unsure stress on the “perhaps” because I genuinely haven’t been able to parse it for myself yet (ditto for any implications engendered by his facial expression when Leo reveals that she claimed to be a ghost when he’d first met her). His personality when he’s in glasses and has blue eyes is more devious than he presents himself as, but his change in visual appearance to red eyes, no glasses, and mussed hair seems to coincide with a deepening of his potentially dangerous personality. But we haven’t spent a lot of time with him, so I’m hesitant to commit to anything too strongly. Maybe he’s like the crime boss of the episode, a corpse now controlled by a vampire?
Innocent Venus, ep. 1-2
I remember when this got released in North America. It’s one of the fleet of shows that were released by now-defunct (although, in its case, “defunct”) licensors in the 2005-2008 or so timeframe, only to end up out of print fairly quickly as their licensors creakily keeled over and keened wildly and despairingly at the night sky, to no avail. It, however, is one of the titles that has never been re-licensed by anyone, and prevailing opinion by those who have seen it gives a good answer as to why – no one was terribly passionate about it.
So, why am I bothering with it?
Well, there’s this category of shows for me that I am getting toward the end of the pursuit of that were shows that got hard-copy N. American releases before the era of streaming, and at a time when I had extremely limited resources to watch licensed shows. So, I never saw them, even as I repeatedly gazed upon their glossy DVD covers. Most of them were probably no good anyway, and the ones I’ve watched so far have largely been forgettable, but that isn’t the piece that matters, really – it’s the fact that I WANTED to see them and COULDN’T. (And, by the way, because of all that, I will *always* associate Coyote Ragtime Show and Innocent Venus in my mind as they were released around roughly the same time and were both out of my reach. Other shows in the broader category include Someday’s Dreamers, Charcoal Feather Federation, Pumpkin Scissors, Soukou no Strain, and [?], among others.)
Ahem. Anyway, Innocent Venus. Did you know this was by Brains Base? (Coyote Ragtime Show, as long as I’ve mentioned it above, was an ufotable efforts, bizarrely enough.) Well, I don’t think you’d guess it from watching; I kept thinking it was a Gonzo while I was watching, and only realized it wasn’t by checking. It feels very Gonzo.
Vague post-apocalyptic world with a society of ultra-wealthy living inside a walled city and enjoying life? Check. Impoverished underclass confined to the wastelands outside of said city? Got it. Mildly hilarious backstory explaining the apocalypse? Complete with scientifically-insupportable ice cap formation. Girl being sheltered by archetypical men who pilot mechs? Absolutely. Really obnoxious supporting character? Regrettably, yes.
It isn’t bad. But it isn’t good, either. Haven’t we seen this post-apocalyptic world with a mysterious girl being rescued from ambiguous captivity and whisked away somewhere before? Hell, if you chuck out the “post-apocalyptic” bent, and ate one marshmallow for every story covered by what remains, you’d be vomiting nonstop for weeks. But I am mildly intrigued, and not repelled by any of it, so I’ll hang with it a while longer.
Vampire Holmes, episode 7
No, I can’t write about this show episodically. I’ll check back in when the horror has ended.