Musings and Reflections – Autumn 2016 Week 11

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 9)

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     At times like these I really rue myself for not being able to ditch a show and still wanting to know how everything ends, even if it’s becoming more and more unbearable to watch. Yep, it’s my problem, but it’s also a problem for the show if my thoughts about this episode can be easily summarized by one screenshot with a certain line of monologue. You had one job, show. Setting up everything perfectly so that Rei could think about himself and his future as a shogi player, if he really is strong enough to want to win against anyone no matter their personal circumstances and the possible outcome of the match. Yes, there are all kinds of people but if you go such great lengths as reintroducing Kyouko last time and spending 1.5 episode for the whole story, I expect something decent, not just some cringe worthy comedy that (probably) no one requested nor needed. What’s the point in trying to elaborate the old man’s circumstances even after he’s shown to be totally incompetent as a shogi player as well as a human being? Maybe the point was just to make yet another build-up nullifying joke in the very end. You had one job, show. Call me humorless prick but I don’t find that’s funny at all.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep. 10)

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    As the whole this season of Natsume doesn’t feel more exciting than previous ones, but when you think of it, it covers some fundamental things that have been asking to be talked about for a long time, and does it with the usual grace of Natsume – so far we got the previously unseen elements from the past of Natori and Tanuma, every second with Taki was a joy to watch and now we receive a story about probably the most underrated and forgotten pair of very beautiful characters – Touko and Shigeru. Sure, it doesn’t feel like much was told but even a glimpse of their everyday lives and mindsets that usually get overshadowed by stuff that happens to Natsume is very endearing. The crow may be thought of as a metaphor for Natsume – if he looks alone that doesn’t mean that he actually is, though taking care of it and showing compassion can make a lasting bond. Also I find it heartwarming that as Natsume is always afraid of telling the Fujiwaras about his abilities, Touko, even not knowing anything but only seeing that Natsume gets troubled over something wishes to break that wall. And that would make an amazing episode. By the way, the ED has grown on me so much that I could place it above other EDs to be rivaled maybe only by the first one.

Yuri!!! on Ice (Ep. 11)

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    Man, the next week just can‘t come too soon. The last episode being a breather from figure skating worked wonders – every program to me looked fresh enough and as outstanding as ever, even if from the technical viewpoint it may not have been. Cheering for Yuri was very easy and I’m a bit surprised myself for that because even the same program being used again and again every time is depicted just a bit differently so at least this time it still felt fresh enough. To think about it, even if most of other skaters haven’t been given much time to show their characters, pretty much all of them are individual enough to be able to cheer for them, too. I’d have liked to see more Yurio during the whole season, but the earning of his record felt deserved and very right because probably no one else worked as hard as him. Even JJ, whose personality may not be that appealing, despite his arrogance deserved some pity and I felt sorry for his misfortune. Well, generally most of the skaters look like real and relatable people and that’s one of the successes of the show. And this particular episode for me was one of the more emotionally affecting ones, even looking as far as other shows this season. Not to mention that the episode perfectly built suspension to the grand finale.

Fune wo Amu (Ep. 10)

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    Another rather beautiful episode stressing how much work is needed to make a decent dictionary. All those scenes of people at their limit coupled with wonderful music just shine with optimism and passion. Well, the downside of it of course is the overworking and that isn’t strange at all for the Japanese and sadly for the anime industry in particular. Anyway, as the final episode is coming very soon I think we all are ready for it emotionally and in terms of the story. That little blue dictionary actually being the mascot of Daitokai is a very nice touch, bringing that pretty nonsensical segment of the show a little bit closer to the rest of it and in this way the mascot to the viewers really means more than just an anthropomorphized book. I don’t know if I just missed that the last time, but Nishioka looks to have a wedding ring and I’m really happy for him. It’s just a subtle gesture that doesn’t require much effort but speaks volumes. The same could be said about the absence of the grandma. She just doesn’t appear anymore but her fate sadly is quite clear. And that leads to the last seconds before the credits – no one in a room save the photo of Matsumoto and his wife. I’m afraid it means another set of sad moments.

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9 Comments

  1. Agree with March Comes In this week. I’ve really enjoyed it so far but this week was just not very good. Also agree with you about Natsume. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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