Musings and Reflections – Autumn 2016 Week 4

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 3)

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    Sometimes I think that 3-gatsu is made of two different, almost antagonistic shows – one of them is a cheesy slapstick comedy and the other is a good existential study. There’s probably no need to say which part I like more. Since this episode was more serious, thankfully cringeworthy moments were barely there but still the show is just terrible in moving between the moods. Where it is truly stunning is the backgrounds. Everywhere from warm city lights in the evening to the scorching hot afternoon (the depiction of the sun (which made me remember similar feeling that I got from the first episodes of Steins;Gate) is amazingly beautiful) 3-gatsu does a magnificent job in deepening the atmosphere. Another thing worth mentioning is the metaphor of the flying balloons. I might be wrong but it looked like they symbolized all the children that try to become shogi players and improve their skills. Everyone gave in except the two who for some time flew up together but ultimately Rei came out on top. I just wish every future episode would just try to develop such themes that are present (like if it’s alright to cease remembering your dead loved ones) and stop any attempts to provide comedy.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep. 4)

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    The waiting for the second part of the story wasn’t for nothing. Even if the mask youkai wasn’t that frightening visually, the idea of it is rather unsettling. Pushed by Matoba, Natsume gets to see a bit more of the world of the exorcists and its problems. Wanting or not, he looks to be drawn not only into the affairs of youkai but also to the business of various people which lead him (according to the preview) to question the method Taki (finally an episode with her) uses and probably the existence of the Book of Friends. It’s not clear how Natori is also connected to all the events and he so far remains an unpredictable variable. As much as I love episodic Natsume, some overarcing story that touches both various relationships among both humans and youkai seems very interesting. By the way, the overall development of all of the seasons seem to start with Natsume not being able to communicate and connect with anyone then slowly learning to befriend various youkai who behave like children or people consumed by some specific ideas or emotions and not being very complex when you start to understand them. Finally Natsume looks to be advanced enough in relationships with youkai to be able to readjust and meddle in the affairs between humans.

Yuri!!! on Ice (Ep. 4)

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     Probably the weakest episode so far for a number of reasons. The animation didn’t feel that fresh anymore most of times and in some scenes it was apparent that the studio did take some opportunities to take a shortcut or two and save the resources for some more impressive moments. The story also didn’t have all that momentum that the first episodes were filled with. Well, it’s expected because you can’t go through all the season only increasing the speed (unless you are Baccano). The amount of the explanations of the technical skating stuff was quite high but it’s probably better than to have it on a more serious episode with some stakes and concentration of the viewers needed. I think the most memorable things this time were the introduction of two new characters who don’t seem to be that important after all and the continuation of the yaoi theme. If one of the main pair would be a girl I would almost take a bet on anything that the show is a romance and the two of them will certainly end up together. Now I’m not sure and feel a bit confused – are these scenes still only a tease and fanservice (manservice) or are there any serious intentions? The name of the song I could hardly call perfect. Everything it reminded me of is a proverb of my country that translated sounds “cow on ice” and means “bull in a China shop”.

Fune wo Amu (Ep. 3)

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    I have a mixed feeling about the episode. To think that a grown man (as immature in some aspects as he is) would think he fell in love only after a minute or so of a conversation is a bit far-fetched. Not to mention that other people with decades of life experience also would want to play such a childish game and take Majime’s confusion as something real. That’s what I can expect and partly tolerate in a high-school drama series but come on, I think every character should be grown out of that phase already. Some random news about the future of the dictionary being threatened isn’t the most original way to move the plot forward. Now let’s move to the good stuff – the soundtrack was as amazing as always and the beginning of the episode was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve seen this season – the close up shot of the yawning cat was unexpected and inventive and Majime’s “conversation” with Kaguya as well as his walk, including bowing to the lamp post after slamming into it didn’t let me lose a smile on my face. There have been tons of shy anime characters but this one shines with sincerity and that as well as well-handled writing of the scene made up for a very entertaining moment.

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Aldael!

    Concerning the shyness of Majime:

    My experience while going out in Japan (both among young, 20yo+- groups and older people 40yo+) is that they will always bring up dating and finding a partner if you happen to be single. If you mention a woman/man while you are single, due to the nature of Japanese society, it is normal to just go ahead and assume you are interested on her/him. Add many surveys data that indicate that a grand proportion of 30yo Japanese have never been in any kind of relationship, the overall setup of Fune wo Amu isn’t an uncommon sight there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hey! Thank you very much for the information. It looks like my generalizations based on personal knowledge are fairly improper when it comes to cultural differences. Now I can see the Dictionary Squad (for the lack of a better term) behaved normally but it still looks a bit queer to me that Majime was so infatuated with Kaguya after such a short period of time.

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