Musings and Reflections – Autumn 2016 Week 5

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 4)

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     As much as I liked the last episode I wasn’t moved at all by this one. It almost seems like every character has a twin that only looks similar but their personalities differ almost completely – one of them is a sad soul, bothered by existential problems and another is a shallow husk suitable only for comedy. Hina was in the spotlight for the majority of time and even if her story was portrayed well visually (well, what else could be expected from Shaft?), it was very far from being original and inventive. Or maybe I’ve just seen too much fleeting middle-school crushes and broken-hearted kids in anime to be moved. Probably the most interesting part was that of Rei’s reaction to the baseball game. He definitely looked envious – maybe not for Hina herself but for the idea of being looked at with such passion. And the flashback teased some colorful times in the past which I hope will be revealed sooner than later. Finally, it looks like Totoro still is an especially iconic being in Japanese culture. Still, Gintama with “Tonari no Pedoro” was more amusing.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep. 5)

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    I can guarantee that there is nothing more I could’ve wished out of this episode. Returning of Taki itself is a huge plus (I guess I just can’t see enough of her, probably since that beautiful story of her and Natsume raising the youkai child in the last episodes of the second season) but that’s certainly not all. Somehow the reuniting of the two rabbit-rat (or rat-rabbit) like youkai felt genuine and moving, even if their screen time was very limited. And the whole story of the hairy youkai’s attachment to Taki just can’t not affect me. The dilemma whether it is good for humans to be able to see youkai is presented again. I think the answer is not that different from the one I could give about human relationships – yes, sometimes it’s better to not get involved with anyone in order not to get hurt but on the other hand in this way you can’t even know how much do you potentially lose. The ending quite unexpectedly was animated, and animated in a very appropriate way, even if some EDs in the past have been more memorable. Still it’s a huge improvement over seeing just some ornaments. So yeah, for me it was the best Natsume has already offered this season.

Yuri!!! on Ice (Ep. 5)

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     First, I don’t know a thing about figure skating, but is it so uncompetitive that even while making mistakes Yuri can not only get a personal best score but also achieve a place among top ten skaters worldwide? This was said after his short program and even his free program didn’t look to have scored adequately. The same goes for Minami. As far as I remember watching figure skating on TV a time or two, mistakes in the competitions weren’t unheard of but also weren’t that prevalent either, especially talking about better skaters. I guess it just means that Yuri managed to move the judges by his emotional performance. Maybe I’m just not that impressed since all the performances haven’t been as well animated as that one in the first episode. This time characters being of model wasn’t a very rare sight as well as appearing very CLAMP-like – lean characters are ok but stick figures while skating don’t look that good compared to their normal appearance. Animation also felt a bit choppy though it is still better than what we get in many anime. Lastly, I miss Yurio. Of course his comeback will be huge and pompous but his chemistry with Yuri was too enjoyable for it to be exchangeable with some new characters as interesting as they might be (sorry, Minami).

Fune wo Amu (Ep. 4)

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    I can’t remember if there was an anime other than Fune wo Amu I was having so much fun watching since Rakugo. It’s too bad that barely anyone is watching it. Well, what’s there not to like – the soundtrack remains really strong (even if the insert song could have been other than the OP), the voice acting is done as professionally as you could only wish for and that especially goes for the subtle humor, the story has clear goals in Majime’s private life as well as in the dictionary writing business. It may not be the work I’d like to do but I already feel strongly attached to the group and wish them all the success they can achieve. On the downside, the chibi dictionary segment never was that amusing and the show probably would be better without it but that’s just a minor detail. Also I want to mention that when Majime and Kaguya went out, their clothes were of the same colors, only tops and bottoms were inverted. This is a nice touch, meaning that their personalities may be opposite but looking in the bigger picture they complement each other well.

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2 Comments

  1. Taki’s return to centre focus this week in Natsume was awesome. I really enjoyed the episode and just found it very classic Natsume.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these shows.

    Liked by 1 person

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