Week in Review, 6/13 – 6/19

lost village 12

Which Pokemon is Lovepon’s favorite?

I’m not going to even answer that since I shouldn’t have to.

So, here we are again. I haven’t watched this week’s Kiznaiver yet, which is somewhat indicative of my feelings toward it at this point. Even if I had watched it, it’d probably just be the same thing I’ve been saying for a while about it, anyway. I’m ready for it to be done, sadly.

Big Order, ep. 10

Ah, the grand finale – and, wow, did the scale get grand! They managed to pull off a better finale than I would’ve expected Big Order was capable of delivering, I’ll give them that. There’s still a lot of silliness and incoherence, but it more or less made sense, and I liked the small note of ambiguity right at the end with Daisy. I even was able to glimpse a better story in among the murk, one which may’ve been able to assert itself if this adaptation had more space to move in. It still would’ve been quite stupid, mind you, but a little closer to Future Diary in terms of overall feel/entertainment.

I liked the idea that they had to go up against God at the end, and that all their powers flow from her, but that its resolved in the space of roughly two minutes took the edge off completely.

Of course, what is most noteworthy about this episode is that Eiji was stabbed through, had his hand cut off, was thrown off of a platform and dropped a few hundred feet into water, drowned, and was cut in half, but survived. And Rin gouges one of her own eyes out. What a show!

The Lost Village, ep. 12

I’ve been feeling for a bit that this was actually Revolutionary Girl Utena, so, yeah, look, folks, this was Revolutionary Girl Utena! It even gave us people who weren’t ready yet to move on, just like that did! Which is a good move considering the show didn’t exactly get everyone to work through their trauma over the course of the show. The finale felt a little rushed in spots, but this was an area where they were able to avoid feeling like boxes were being rapidly checked. (This surprised me, to be honest, as I figured everyone would have to get out of Dodge.)

The revelation about Koharu and Kamiyama’s relationship wasn’t quite what I was expecting, although I was dead on about her having been the one to drug him. The rapid forgiveness she’s granted by the bulk of the cast sure was convenient, and this was something which bugged me big time. At the same time, this was hardly the first time people got over the murderous impulses of others really quickly! Some of this might be explained by the Nanakimura-induced lethargy, I suppose.

Anyway, the star of the show it turns out is the bus. Wow, that bus! Whatever company manufactures that bus deserves a medal – I seriously doubt most buses could fall off of a cliff and then still be able to do things like drive through the woods multiple times, and also survive being driven by idiot teenagers with no driving experience whatsoever. Bus-chan is an easy contender for Character of the Year.

Macross Delta, ep. 11

The similarities to EVOL keep feeling strong in this episode which feels like a mirror of EVOL’s own “getting over the death of a comrade” episode. I like the way the setting plays a role in this, as the local culture has a big effect on how they go about their mourning. It demonstrates that the setting *is* a setting rather than simply window dressing, and that isn’t honestly that common in anime. So, good job on that, Delta.

Also great job with the use of Remember Sixteen! Macross 7’s where my favorite music from the larger franchise is from. It’s a bit bizarre to hear an acoustic take on it since Fire Bomber’s very much of the 80’s rock stripe (even though it aired in the 90’s), which means that there’s a lot of electric guitar stuff going on.

I am a little troubled by the seeming… well, so – Messer had a crush on Kaname, but we know Kaname has the hots for Arad. I feel uneasy about the way there seems to be this positioning of, oh, Kaname should in particular feel down about the whole thing because Messer liked her. Kaname was friends with him, sure, so I’d expect her to be upset about his death on that count, and to feel a complicated stew of emotions since she realized right before he died that he held her in particular esteem as his savior. I do not, however, like the idea that she is specifically obligated to be sad because he had romantic feelings for her (which he never managed to inform her of), and it isn’t clear to me that the show isn’t trying to force that.

Pan de Peace!, ep. 2-10

I had dropped this, but then I was baking bread, so it seemed appropriate. It’s settled down into a fairly unremarkable cute girls doing cute things-type show, dropping the earlier hyperactiveness as well as shedding a fair bit of the breadsbians angle. We still have one girl who is very enthusiastic about cute girls, and she does get into a rivalry with someone over that, but other members of the cast have developed some sudden interest in boys. At this point, I’ll finish it since it’s a short, but I wouldn’t say I’ve enjoyed it. At least the diet episode ended in the girl who was trying to diet deciding she just didn’t give a shit and returning to her bread-scarfing ways.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, ep. 10

Well, I’m kind of bored with this. I liked the gambit to make a rush on the engine room, but that was about it. There was a lot of cartoon villainy happening here, something I have a fairly low tolerance for. Also, Biba’s supposed to be a very sharp bad guy, but then he does things that make little sense within the framework of the show and in light of his own goals. Humans certainly have flaws, and people who’ve displayed a high degree of competence totally screw up sometimes, but his errors don’t run along those sorts of lines – they just are blatantly stupid.

Speaking of stupid – the whole bit about the shogun allegedly sending 400,000 soldiers to their deaths intentionally. Huh? Now that one honestly doesn’t make sense on the face of it given the sheer scale of the numbers involved. It also doesn’t seem like we’re supposed to take it as a fiction of Biba’s. (By the way – LOL, Biba lead them into battle at age 12??? Really??? I’m sure people’s lifespans aren’t as long in this Japan, but that’s still anime-type bullshit.) I’m mildly curious about what the explanation proves to be with that.

All in all, I’m ready for Kabaneri to be over. Ho hum.

From the New World, ep. 14-16

It’s only been about… three years since I stalled on this. On the one hand, I want to say I still don’t know how I stalled on it, as it’s an excellent show, but, on the other, I think I was really not into Maria leaving the town to remain with Mamoru. In my defense, I didn’t like Mamoru much, and it did seem like a bit of a Sudden Heterosexual Cop-out! I still think it does a bit, even with Maria calling Saki her lover and expressing a lot of pain over the idea of leaving her behind.

That being said, what strikes me in these episodes is that there, whether intentionally or not, seems to be a stealth debate about patriarchal versus matriarchal power structures going on. In a move that strikes me as rather Victorian, the bakenezumi lobotomize and imprison their queen(s) after deciding they’ve gotten crazy in their elder age, shifting to an apparently democratically-inclined system which nevertheless seems to be male-dominated, and which is also reliant on treating their erstwhile queen as a solely a baby incubator. Meanwhile, the human society of Kamisu 66 appears to be one in which women disproportionately wield power, as there are very few men who are shown to have access to the levers of power. (Is From the New World really about whether it should be legal for women to have abortions when the fetus has genetic defects? HMM.) I don’t recall this occurring to me at all when I first watched these episodes (episodes fourteen and fifteen were re-watches for me), interestingly enough, but it seems blindingly obvious to me now that it could be read that way.

Regardless of whether this has any validity in the long-term, glad I finally got back to this.

 

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2 Responses to Week in Review, 6/13 – 6/19

  1. samui says:

    As regards to Shin Sekai Yori

    Episode 17 is where the tables turned and delivered all the horrors it promised earlier on. I still remember the chills during that festival. I hope you finish the series. It was one of my personal favorites.

  2. Ayanami says:

    Yea the “suddenly heterosexual” thing in Shin Sekai Yori didn’t bother me too much, although yes, it was a little unexpected. But it did make sense considering that humans had had both the bisexuality and polyamory of bonobos bred into their genetics. So it’s pretty easy to buy that while Maria was certainly sexually attracted to Saki, she could also be romantic (or at least very close/nurturing) with Mamoru as well.

    It was also pretty entertaining (but also sad) to watch homophobic viewers flinch at the “sudden gay stuff” when it first aired (“eeeeewwww boys kissing… DROPPED!”).

    Shin Sekai Yori is such an incredibly interesting sci fi story for someone who studies genetic engineering (there is a healthy dose of psychology to enjoy as well). Fortunately, the science remains vague enough so that even sticklers like me can COMPLETELY buy into it.

    Also, you’ve probably already heard this, but SSY has one of THE BEST anime villains of all time. I hope you enjoy the rest of the ride!

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