Weekly Trash Update – 02

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Cara:  Pretty good week this week – the musical shows are settling into a ‘introduce one cast member per episode’ pattern, K is trying to convince us it has a plot and Seraph is still faffing about with character moments until the fighting can kick off.

Day: In a pretty good year for trash, have to say that this autumn has so far proven to be the best trash season this year. I’m impressed, as summer was itself pretty solid for trash, and this season is even better! And, in just a couple of weeks, Triage X’s OAV is coming out! What more could I ask for? (By the way, if you missed our first installment of Weekly Trash Update, you can find it here.)

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K: Return of Kings – Episode 04

Day: My relative lack of interest in Sceptre Four or Homra is definitely going to be a stumbling block for me this season, especially if we get much more of them sitting around tables while glowering. I like Anna just fine (although I wish she were a bit less lolitastic), but I will freely admit that Munakata bores me, as does the rest of the Blues (save the one-armed guy we saw earlier in the season) and most of the Reds.

However, I was glad to have Shiro back in the mix, in particular as I’ve been curious to see how his re-appearance ends up affecting both Kuroh and Neko. But, too, I’m interested in how their group dynamic is affected by both the fact that he was absent for so long as well as that he’s not exactly the Shiro they both came to know and care about over the course of the first season. The “real” Shiro did make himself known to them at the very end of that season, but he was barely there before he vanished completely. As such, I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time watching the three of them together without anyone else around.

The conference in the Silver clan’s sitting room was kind of hilarious – just having all these self important people sitting about a coffee table in a cluttered, homey room was such a funny contrast -the straightlaced, uniformed Blues seemed particularly out of place sitting opposite a pantie-twirling Neko.  There is an interesting power dynamic going on between the three Kings – Shiro is technically the eldest (even if he looks like a teenager now) and knows the most about the nature of the Slates & the powers of the Kings, but he’s also the one least likely to actively participate in issues (and indeed spent the majority of his life running away from everything & chilling out in his airship).  Anna is powerful and Homra is a force to be reckoned with when they’re going all out, but she’s very young, naive and inexperienced as a leader, both in terms of age and in use of her powers.  

Munakata on the other hand, is an adult, a seasoned leader and very well aware of his powers – his willingness to work with the other clans was really the deal breaker in this episode.  If Sceptre Four didn’t lend their manpower & resources to the fight against the Green clan there would be very little the Red & Silver clans could do.  Munakata is very aware of this and uses this position of power to firmly shut down Shiro’s attempts to regain control of the Dresden Slate.  Munakata’s slightly frosty attitude all adds to the feeling that he is on his way to losing sight of what he should be doing as the Blue King – that crack on his Sword of Damocles will only get bigger.

So a very talky episode of K, but it was needed to get the ball rolling.  Looking forward to more action next week!

Cara: A bit of a step down for K this week – lots of talking and not much action.  Although I suppose this was really needed to establish some sort of story for this season – can’t be all flashy animation and nothing else!  It was interesting to have all these different characters sit down together in the same room and talk through – the awkwardness was clearly perceptible – and a tentative three clan alliance is something I can’t imagine lasting long once Jungle is no longer a threat.

The conference in the Silver clan’s sitting room was kind of hilarious – just having all these self important people sitting about a coffee table in a cluttered, homey room was such a funny contrast -the straightlaced, uniformed Blues seemed particularly out of place sitting opposite a pantie-twirling Neko.  There is an interesting power dynamic going on between the three Kings – Shiro is technically the eldest (even if he looks like a teenager now) and knows the most about the nature of the Slates & the powers of the Kings, but he’s also the one least likely to actively participate in issues (and indeed spent the majority of his life running away from everything & chilling out in his airship).  Anna is powerful and Homra is a force to be reckoned with when they’re going all out, but she’s very young, naive and inexperienced as a leader, both in terms of age and in use of her powers.  

Munakata on the other hand, is an adult, a seasoned leader and very well aware of his powers – his willingness to work with the other clans was really the deal breaker in this episode.  If Sceptre Four didn’t lend their manpower & resources to the fight against the Green clan there would be very little the Red & Silver clans could do.  Munakata is very aware of this and uses this position of power to firmly shut down Shiro’s attempts to regain control of the Dresden Slate.  Munakata’s slightly frosty attitude all adds to the feeling that he is on his way to losing sight of what he should be doing as the Blue King – that crack on his Sword of Damocles will only get bigger.

So a very talky episode of K, but it was needed to get the ball rolling.  Looking forward to more action next week!

starmu 3c

High School Star Musical – Episode 04

Day: Where last week we had a happy boy riding a dolphin while singing, this week we’ve got a boy singing a love song to his cat while sitting in an empty urban lot at night, which is definitely a decent bit of one-upmanship. Maybe next week we will have the bluenette boy rhapsodizing about how only his sunflowers or bookcase understands him as he lies curled up in the dorm cellar.

I feel a little odd about it, but I’ve realized that I don’t merely find Hoshitani tolerable, but I sort of like the kid. He’s certainly a type, but his fear of cats and the weird/silly reason why was endearing, while his refusal to pick up Tengenji’s pencil case was a welcome sign that he isn’t the doormat type even as he’s determined to wear down his antagonists with cheer. And, hey, I guess I can’t resist his desire to get senpai to fall in love with him be like senpai.

As for Tengenji… pfft. He sure went from standoffish, hothead prince to dorky pretty quickly. It’s just as well, though – I don’t think I could endure watching both he and the bluenette be nasty each week for very long. I know some folks peeled out of the show pretty fast since they were turned off big-time by Tengenji’s characterization, so if that was what kept you away, well, it doesn’t last long, so you may wish to give the show another go.

By the way, was it just me, or did this episode seem to feature a whole hell of a lot “YO THEY’RE ALL BOYS BUT NO HOMO GEEZ OK” moments? After two episodes of female people not existing at all within the show, suddenly there were girls all mobbing the front gate to see hot guys, and there were boys hashing about girls and dates with girls. It wouldn’t’ve been so jarring had they been so wholly absent previously, but as it was, I felt like someone was creeping around the background loudly whispering, “No homo no homo no homo!” for much of the episode… Mmm-hmm, because your audience doesn’t want the homo, huh? I’m sure.

Cara: So this week’s episode was focused on Angry Redhead (I suppose I should call him Tengenji now that I’ve learnt his name) and it was fantastic fun – fastest defrosting of a tsundere I’ve seen in awhile!  Tengenji was helpless in the face of Hoshitani’s relentless assault of good-natured cheer, optimism, offers of eternal friendship and willingness to search all night for a cat……not that I can blame him, it would be pretty impossible to stay pissed off at the duo of Hoshitani & Nayuki – they’re like adorable puppies.  But yeah I am very amused at how quickly Tengenji’s character did a 180 from angry snob to a blushing, cat loving dork……I like him even more now, he reminds me of Kyo from Fruits Basket.

Moving on the singing, and I swear the visuals for the insert song gets better each week (although there was a disappointing lack of flying friendship dolphins).  Tengenji’s song was pretty decent, but the accompanying PV was just beautiful with some gorgeous use of colours and backgrounds.  I’m really impressed with Starmyu’s visual design so far, which is a massive surprise given how bland the actual character designs are.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over how random the switch to an insert song PV is though – this week was just hilarious, as when it cut back to the boys Tengenji just looks all super smug while Bitchy Blue has this ‘well, damn’ look on his face.  Gold.

So yeah, fun episode – looking forward to next episode as it will be focused on Bitchy Blue & he has already declared his resistance to being affected by Hoshitani’s friendship speeches……we’ll see~!

Cara’s current Starmyu character ranking: Tengenji > Otori > Nayuki > Mute Purple > Bitchy Blue > Hoshitani > Snooty Megane Senpai > Purple’s Playboy friend

dance w devils 3

Dance With Devils – Episode 03

Day: After commenting on liking the way that family plays a role in Dance with Devils, I feel a bit weird saying that this episode made me dislike Ritsuka’s brother Lindo the most of all the male characters. Sure, Urie was being an uber-creep toward Ritsuka, but I was much more bothered by Lindo’s refusal to sit down and have an honest talk with his sister. He kept telling her to stay in the house and to not go to school, threw holy water on her and on the front gate, but it ultimately was all for nothing simply since he won’t level with the girl. How on earth can Ritsuka know what to be wary of if Lindo won’t bother to loop her in? Rem’s got plenty of an excuse for keeping her in the dark – he’s a devil! he wants the Grimoire! – but in Lindo’s case it’s flat-out that he’s being paternalistic as well as unrealistic.

If Ritsuka is still fairly ignorant about what is going on, I have a strong suspicion that her friend Azuna is aware of much more than she’s let on. I’d wondered a little last week if she had a bigger role than the show initially suggests, but her reaction this week to the text from Ritsuka and the shot of the tiny cross charm on her phone make me think she may have a connection to Lindo’s faction. In fact, I think Lindo knows where to find Ritsuka because Azuna tipped him off about it.

Speaking of Azuna, well, damn, if Ritsuka had to be rescued, would’ve been nice if Azuna had been the one to do it and not Rem! But at least Ritsuka had the backbone to take one look at the situation after Rem showed up and run the hell away from him and Urie.

Hate to say it, but I’m leaning toward our resident frosty blonde as Best Boy. I’m pretty sure the pomeranian is the blue-haired boy, but where he tried to defend Ritsuka before, he sat by quietly this time, so his stock dropped. Lindo won’t tell precious imouto anything, so stuff him. Urie pretty clearly considers Ritsuka to be an object and not a person, so, nope, pass. Rem, too, has his own ulterior motive, but he at least prefers to keep Ritsuka from coming to harm in the process of getting the Grimoire, and I doubt the anime would bother to have Urie accusing him of caring about her beyond the Grimoire business if it wasn’t true.

I really hope next week we get the man-bun guy, as he’s the hottest of the bunch, and he also isn’t the awful yandere-esque raven guy. Pomeranian needs to up his game, or I’d want him next.

Cara: This week it was Urie’s turn to romance Ritsuka, and while I enjoyed all the random imagery and music, I wasn’t quite as fond of the fact Ritsuka needed rescuing by Rem & her brother in the end – although she did a pretty decent job of defending herself over all.  Regardless I may not be all that keen on Urie as a character given his creepy playboy theme, but I definitely loved his turn in the spotlight!  Loved all the rose, cage, chains & butterfly imagery – so much symbolism, it was like something lifted straight from Utena!  And the flamenco themed music was also pretty great – think this is my favourite musical moment in this show so far.   But yeah, not keen on Urie and all his rapey connotations.  I actually got the feeling he was more interested in Rem than Ritsuka over all – kind of like he was going after Ritsuka just because Rem’s interested in her and Urie was throwing a bit of a hissy fit in a ‘I’m going to break your favourite toy so you’ll pay attention to me’ kind of way…….but that may just be me.

I don’t have much else to say about this episode.  The mystery surrounding Ritsuka’s over-protective brother deepens with the reveal that he’s an exorcist (which wasn’t exactly surprising), I continue to feel sorry for Ritsuka’s poor neglected friend & hope she doesn’t get further sidelined, and the other devils only serve as window dressing until they get their own episode.  Dance With Devils continues to be a wonderful bit of trashy entertainment – hope it continues in this vein!

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Valkyrie Drive -Mermaid- – Episode 02

Day: If I have to sit through one more iteration of the “joke” that Mamori’s surname’s kanji can be read in a way that means ‘virgin’, I might have to buy a plane ticket to Japan so I can go punch out the scriptwriter for this show. If there’s any one thing in this show that is a tip-off that this is meant for a male otaku audience, that is absolutely it – no, not the gravity-shattering boobs, the required panty shots, or the performative-type homoeroticism, it’s the so-stale-it’s-turned-to-dust “gag” involving virginity.

That aside, Valkyrie Drive is excellent trash, and the second episode did not disappoint. I could’ve done without the rape-y imagery when the school tried to pair off Mamori with a more manageable Liberator than Mirei, but at least Mamori was able to fend off the other girl herself even before Mirei re-appeared, so, well, baby-steps in our trashy anime.

I don’t foresee Mamori and Mirei evading the school for very long, though – after all, the promo art and the OP both feature Mamori in the school’s uniform quite a bit, and one of the women in the ED is pretty clearly going to be the dorm mother. Dorm mothers don’t really fit into an anime if its The Most Dangerous Game, so everyone’ll have it out with each other before the show can happily slot everyone into the high school setting that anime in general adores so strongly.

I’d say Mamori and Mirei are my OTP this season (hello, she carried her off from a wedding ceremony!), except the two guys in Kagewani already seized that title when I watched the fourth episode of that.

Cara:  I’m not watching Valkyrie Drive, the first episode was quite enough for me, but it does hold some residual morbid curiosity……still I think I’ll rely on Day to keep me informed about its wonder.

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Seraph of the End S2 – Episode 03

Cara: So last week’s theme was fighting your inner demons, this week it’s value the family you make for yourself – both are perfectly interesting themes for an anime to play on, but Seraph is just so laughably unsubtle about things I can only roll my eyes.  Not much really happened in this episode, it was all maneuvering to get characters heading towards Nagoya and the massive battle that is due to happen there, but it does have a few nice little moments.  I like that Shinoa’s team all get along now and feel comfortable talking about personal motivations with each other over breakfast – it’s cute and real progress from them all being at each other’s throats constantly.  I also enjoy seeing Guren being treated like a disposable pawn by the Hiragi family – it’s a bit of a taste of his own medicine since it’s similar to the way he treats Yuu & co.  However I do have to laugh at how mustache-twirlingly evil Kureto is painted in this episode – he comes complete with human experimentation and plotting world domination……suddenly Guren doesn’t look like quite such a bastard!  

On the vampire side of things, it is a very similar story – except where Yuu has a supportive team made up of new family members, Mika is very much alone and prime for manipulation.  Krul has made him utterly dependant on her and is now playing on his feelings for Yuu.  Mika is being led to believe that he should be rescuing Yuu from both the humans & vampires for Yuu’s own good, without getting the full story of the circumstances – oh the suffering!  God knows what Krul has planned for the Seraph of the End, we weren’t allowed to hear what she whispered to Mika.  On the bright side – the vampires got new outfits!

Business as usual in Owari no Seraph.  It has decent elements it just goes too far – all the subtlety of storytelling as bashing someone over the head with a brick.  I kind of love it.

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2 Responses to Weekly Trash Update – 02

  1. klark says:

    I really don’t know but I am amused with this trash of the week segment of you two. I only watch StarMyu in the shows you are covering but… what I read was an entertaining piece.

    Yes. Tengenji went from a snot to a cat loving dork (seriously, someone sang a love song to a cat) to a tsundere. Give me moar of this.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Trash Update! 03 | Caraniel's Ramblings

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