Musings and Reflections – Spring 2016 Week 4

Flying Witch (Ep. 3)

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     Yet another heartwarming episode, just as expected. Preparing to grow some vegetables and stuff is the right way to use the rural setting efficiently. Some fun with the pheasant, whose charms even a grown man can’t escape and other mild jokes didn’t make me laugh, but just maintained a stable level of amusement. Considering the second half, Flying Witch was almost exact as the last week – a pretty random guest appeared, and left without accomplishing anything special. In a way, the appearance of Makoto’s sister was more interesting, and not because of her family ties, as doing some witchcraft, as the sister herself pointed out, remains a path that hasn’t been trodden too often as of yet. This, of course, provides more entertainment and what else can I wish for? To think about it, the episode can be summarized just in a few words – farming + a visit of Makoto’s sister, but I am a bit puzzled myself how everything just happened on in its own pace without being boring or somehow unenjoyable. Still, something more about the mechanics of witchcraft would be welcome.

Joker Game (Ep. 4)

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     I’m quite conflicted about this episode. Maybe I was just being inattentive, but it was not the easiest plot for me to follow. Character designs, while pleasant enough, certainly did not improve the experience when it came to the most simple of things – the distinguishing of the characters – till the very end I was unsure if the real spy was the officer, or someone else, or this episode just weirdly avoided the initial spies and just randomly injected a new protagonist. The plot felt a bit convoluted, or at least didn’t seem to run as smoothly as it could have. I understand that the episode had a decent story, but somehow I wasn’t that invested in it. After all, the characters showed up for the first time so their development was nonexistent and I just don’t even want to mention that evil grin when the villain’s plan was uncovered. I want to like the show, but it’s getting harder to do that. It has some cool stories to tell, but the telling itself doesn’t seem the most eloquent and engaging one.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Ep. 3)

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     So, Kabaneri are not part humans part zombies, but also part vampires after all? If Kabane need blood to survive, how do they manage that when humans are fenced away from them? Do they bite one another? Or do they, since they shouldn’t produce any blood being dead? So why do Kabaneri need blood? Wouldn’t some glucose be better? Well, it’s probably a thing called magic, but I really would be grateful if later on all this stuff was explained even a bit, unless it’s just a big red herring. Another thing that bothered me a bit was the characters. First, I must give the show much credit for portraying the atmosphere of distrust towards unfamiliar things very well, but I just don’t particularly like or care about the main guys. This was only the first time Ayame did anything thoughtful, Ikoma without his backstory remains just a pile of potential (not a small pile, but let’s be realistic, he hasn’t done anything significant either, apart from becoming a Kabaneri). Mumei seems to have the most spirit, but her attitude and arrogance aren’t that attractive. Also, that mysterious thin shawl that magically releases her power doesn’t make much sense for now. As there’s a long way ahead I hope much of these things will get some explanation, but now I’m not that satisfied.

Sakamoto desu ga? (Ep. 3)

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     I guess I wasn’t really in the right mood while watching this. Yes, the ideas are pretty neat and witty, but apart from that… It’s funny to see that even when being used by a bully Sakamoto manages to accomplish everything with style and finally even to improve the bully himself, though that wasn’t handled in the most believable way in my opinion. Kubota’s mother’s affection as an idea also works well, but the whole realization of it certainly does a better job in manga, when you only need to show one specific Sakamoto’s hiding place at one panel and it tells everything you need to tell, while anime as a medium doesn’t work that well in portraying repetitive actions when smoothness of animation simply isn’t needed. The outcome also was a bit weird, but oh well. I’d have probably been more entertained if I haven’t already read the manga. Some jokes work only for the first time.

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