Cute girls in the snow
This post should’ve published this past Sunday as I did schedule it in advance since I wouldn’t be around aaaaand it didn’t. Ah well. Have at it.
Anonymous Noise, ep. 4
If the third episode has been the high point thus far, this episode thunked everything into a sinkhole all over again. On paper a lot happens – Nino stops singing out of guilt over Yuzu’s inability to sing, Miou enters the same vocalist audition as Nino has, we learn that Yuzu’s band is actually In NO Hurry to Shout and that Miou’s been providing the voice for Yuzu in drag, Nino learns she’s passed the initial screening for the singing competition AND that Momo knows where she is but thinks her singing is garbage… But, in reality, a lot of what goes on is retreaded material we’ve already tussled with, and an astonishing chunk of the runtime is eaten up by flashbacks to things that happen in the episode itself, sometimes only a few minutes prior. It comes off almost as if the director couldn’t decide on whether they needed to speed up the pacing or slow it down; with no personal experience of the manga, its impossible to say if this is an issue with this adaptation or if the source material has similar problems.
I’m also reminded yet again that there is a baffling gap between our heroine’s apparent psychological scars and what we actually see of her past and of her present. Its understandable that Nino might have some hang-ups over the fact that her closest childhood friend disappeared in the night due to his family’s unpaid debts. But Nino appears to have a stable and comfortable home life and to not really have suffered any other injustices across the course of her life. Its absolutely true that one can struggle with mental illness despite being relatively privileged, but its clear that we aren’t meant to conclude that Nino has an underlying problem with depression or a personality disorder – instead, we *are* supposed to draw a straight line between her experiences as a young child with her behavior and attitude as a teen.
Another issue is, of course, that Nino’s approaches to problem solving suggest that she is fairly stupid. Going to the beach to sing at the water for six years because you miss your friends instead of trying to find them in more constructive ways is both bizarre and fairly dense. Its something you can accept a ten year olds doing, but not a sixteen year old, quite frankly. Would the girl still be doing this at twenty-four had she gone to a different high school than Yuzu, or would she have realized that there are ways of searching for people that may actually work by then?
As long as we’re talking stupidity, what is up with the whole thing involving the band and hiding identities when performing as In NO Hurry to Shout BUT also playing high school gigs and being freaked that your band club might be shut down? I find this all pretty mystifying. If you have a professional career, why would you still be fiddling around at the high school club approach for it? And if you don’t want anyone to know that you’re part of the professional band, why also play together in a high school club and hold concerts? Even by shoujo logic this doesn’t make any sense, perhaps because the show hasn’t offered any line of reasoning, even if specious, here.
I think I’m going to drop this show.
Starmu S2, ep. 5
If I’m annoyed at how much Anonymous Noise is rehashing already-existent plot points and story material, I find myself oddly largely untroubled by the fact that Starmu S2 is doing the same insofar as Tsukigami is concerned. It does make sense that while he’s worked out his sense of resentment toward his elder brother over feeling as if he’s in his shadow, this doesn’t necessarily mean he’s totally free of angst about trying to establish an identity for himself which both exists apart from his brother and which also puts him on-par in terms of recognition for his abilities.
I can’t decide what to make of what seems like ship-teasing that went on in this episode, especially since I’m positive it won’t lead anywhere. Should I simply look upon it as a bone tossed to fujo/danshi in the absence of any actual interest in giving us legitimate same-sex storylines? Should I be pleased that its included in a laidback manner which may implicitly support the idea that queer attraction shouldn’t be viewed as exceptional? WELL alright, its probably intellectually unsound to view the latter as even a remote possibility, but I have for years been rumbling away at wanting a same-sex romance included in one of these sorts of high school shows in an unfussy manner (i.e. no one flailing around shouting “but we’re/you’re both girls/boys!”, nothing to suggest it might be shocking in a way that a heterosexual couple is not, etc.). We did get what amounted to a confession scene out of Nayuki in S1, but it was pretty much kiboshed by Hoshitani immediately…
Anyway. Even is Kuga has never been convincing as a teenager, I did enjoy the fake-out on the punch.
Attack on Titan, ep. 30
This is the only episode of Attack on Titan I’ve ever seen, and this will likely continue to be the case, as while I found the straight-faced presentation quite funny at points, this is the kind of show that’d get old for me over time. You know what I did wholly like, though? The use of sound in depicting scenes, particularly with regards to the metallic clanking of the lanterns they were using. Its a small detail, but went a long way to lending depth to the scenes, in that I felt more like I could imagine being there, the cold, the howling wind, and just a wee light to help one find one’s way.