Week in Review, 4/25 – 5/1

kiznaiver 4b

Aren’t those Maromi’s cousins?

Did you see that K is getting another TV anime? No one whom I’ve seen comment on this has had anything good to say about it, to include myself. It’s also worth noting that the average sales per disc were less than half from the first series to the second, so I’m a bit surprised. K is one of the few shows where I went from loving the first series to truly despising the second.

On a different note, I’m toying with the idea of adding book reviews for non-weeb stuff to this blog. I read about ninety-five books last year and watched about thirty anime – you do the math.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, ep. 3

I saw a lot of bad reactions to this episode, so I was surprised that the whole thing about the pregnant woman was relatively unremarkable. It was a pretty cheapo, obvious attempt to elicit a certain reaction from the audience, and in that regard I was mildly miffed, but it didn’t make me angry.

Speaking of Ayama, do you think her Taisho get-up in contrast to the more Edo-style apparel most of the remainder of the cast is in is meant as symbolic of modernity versus traditionalism?

To be honest, this show leaves me pretty cold. I feel like I’m so lazy about writing about it, and it was this sentiment which prompted this revelation. I don’t dislike it. I don’t like it. If someone suggested watching it, I’d go along with it, but if someone told me I could never watch it again, I wouldn’t be ruffled, either. Even at the end of the episode with the rape-y imagery, my thought at that moment was, “She has nice breasts.”, before I had that sense of misgiving over the situation. Can there be a better indication that I don’t care about this show than that?

Big Order, ep. 3

I feel safe asserting that Big Order will win the “dumbest impregnation” prize for this spring. I also feel pretty safe asserting that it is likely the dumbest impregnation ever in anime. Sure, we love to bust Clannad~After Story~ for hand-holding prengnacy, but at least in that show it made sense in the larger context – Nagisa and Tomoya were a cohabiting couple. Here we learn one moment that a girl is extremely ignorant about how pregnancy works, and then two minutes later she’s knocked up via ribbon-grabbing. Another five minutes and she goes into labor! I’ve been watching anime for sixteen years, and this easily makes the top ten of stupidest things I’ve ever seen in anime.

Otherwise, this was another fairly bad episode. It felt like a lot of disparate things glued together for fairly arbitrary reasons, and, as usual, the tone was all over the place. One moment people are being beheaded on live television with swords and a child is being splashed with their blood, then we’ve got a gag about how the lead has to stop bullets for his comrades but can just let the pink-haired girl get pumped full of them since she’ll revive anyway.

Big Order is bad. I keep watching because I keep wondering what really silly thing it’ll pull next. I also learned that it’s only slated for ten episodes, so that makes it fairly easy to commit to!

The Lost Village, ep. 5

I realized while watching this episode that, actually, for all that there’s a lot of talk about how the characters are all deranged, there are quite a few who really aren’t. There’s the guy who keeps trying to get everyone to calm down, the three girls who convince Mitsumune to stand guard, the detective woman, Maimai, fedora guy… People like Lovepon are, honestly, outliers, although they certainly stick out more. I’ve seen some folks commenting on the fact that they seem to be easily distracted during conversation, to the extent that they end up latching onto very minor details, but for a group of people who’ve only been together for two days, that’s not really that odd.

Having focused on the relative normality of most of the cast, let’s talk Mitsumune. I like how the show’s demonstrated that he’s rather off kilter himself in a fairly understated way. Mitsumune isn’t leaping around screaming for executions, but his reactions are pretty bizarre – “Wow, I talked to a bunch of girls today!”, he observes, after a day in which someone tried to drown/strangle him, he was accused of being a ghost, someone called for his execution… That’s a fairly odd response, to say the least.

I think there may be some significance to the fact that the cast struggles to recall poor Hyouketsu no Judgeness’s name, especially taken in conjunction with their having seemingly forgotten about Yottsun.

My favorite part of the episode was probably the angry glasses guy telling everyone that he doesn’t trust them, so he’s going to sleep elsewhere… and then he asks if anyone wants to come along with him. Hmm, yes, that is some logic right there. And then later on he’s in meeting with the gun nuts and Lovepon. Because if there’s someone whose presence screams safety and security, it’s Lovepon.

Kiznaiver, ep. 4

I’ll repeat that I like this show best when it’s not obtuse conversations about ~deeper meaning~ and instead presents its cast and their interactions with one another. Ultimately, they can deliver the messages which they appear to want to deliver with the interactions of the cast, so the shadow-y rooms and dreams bits grates increasingly as the story goes on.

Beyond that, my complaints are nitpicky. Chidori’s overbearing jealousy is tiresome, even if I like how it affects her dynamic with Tenga. I enjoy the dynamic, likewise, between Maki and Yuta, but am worried that the show intends to pair them off, which would be disappointing. Honestly, this would be the least interesting thing they could do with it. Good thing Nico and Hisomu seem to be easy bosom buddies but incredibly unlikely to pair off romantically!

Hoping we get some more about Maki’s background, by the way, sooner rather than later. We certainly don’t get any closer to it here, although we absolutely get more demonstration of her “terrible” personality. She’s casually vicious to a degree that I’m more accustomed to getting in the pages of shoujo manga rather than on the TV screen. My money is on her having been involved in an attempted double-suicide, and her suicide partner was successful where she failed. There’s also a chance that maybe she either didn’t intervene in bullying of a classmate who then killed herself, or that she participated in the bullying of a classmate who killed herself. But I could be entirely off the mark. Surely we shall see.

Macross Delta, ep. 4

Loved it! I have a lot more to say about it, but I have a half-finished post that covers a lot of what I want to say, so I wish to refrain here. I do still think Hayate is a serious weak link, though.

Kagewani: Shou, ep. 5

HMMMM not sure how I feel about this latest twist or about what direction this show may be heading in.

Gundam 00 S2, ep. 1-4

Oh, where to even begin? It’s all rather silly. The thing that does irritate me is the whole thing involving Allelujah and Soma, for several reasons. It’s that the thread was introduced at the last moment in the previous season and therefore felt like something someone thought of at the last moment; this also means that it isn’t really integrated into the larger story but was instead unceremoniously dumped in. Someone who is supposed to be as important a figure in Allelujah’s past is one he didn’t think of once for twenty-three episodes? That’s some poor storytelling. But then it’s also that it’s the “man shouts at woman that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and who she is” storyline. Ugh.

Otherwise… well, Saji’s continued presence in the story is hilarious when one considers it at a remove, but annoying when one is watching the show. Adding red!Haro to his scenes does improve them a little, but these remain moments to skip. Katagiri turning into an angry MRA because the woman who was drunk in his apartment for two solid years was actually part of Celestial Being is fairly funny, as is Allelujah being able to sprint and pilot a mech immediately after being in a straitjacket and chained to a chair for four years.

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