Musings and Reflections – Autumn 2016 Week 12

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 10)

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    Much better this time. Now that we can see a fuller picture, the last episode’s silliness makes more sense (even if I still absolutely don’t approve it) as Rei is tested by two very different individuals who both in different ways via Kyoko pressure him to think what is more valuable – their well-being or his own. As I said previously, Rei just has to come into terms with the way things are – not everyone has only shogi in their lives, not everyone tries his/her best and is able to deal with the consequences. Yet, it looks like Rei finally has understood that even if he doesn’t like his predatory (sort of) instincts and actions, he can’t even stay afloat since without shogi he has nothing else. Kyoko’s role in this story remains very interesting – any mastermind toying with someone’s emotions brings more options to the story. Still, I can’t understand why Rei still lets her toy with him – he’s fully aware of Kyoko’s toxic personality so why he’s so attached to her so that he doesn’t  shove her away or start ignoring anything she says? Kyoko’s also interesting in another way – does she really constantly do an in-depth research and analysis of Rei’s opponents just to say two sentences that might or might not make some tiny difference? Is it really worth her time or does she have nothing better to do? On an unrelated note, the visuals looksed extra beautiful, as did the music.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep. 11)

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    That was a more or less standard Natsume’s last episode of a season. Nothing much to tell, as always. As much as I enjoyed it, I did that for purely nostalgic reasons, just as happens in the end of every season – there is a little and pretty much unimportant story going around and many of the supporting characters appear to remind of their otherwise not shown existence. Yes, it’s nostalgic to see some of them (and some of the others I don’t even have any recollection of) but I’m not that happy that they show up only to serve as a fanservice (of sorts) once a season. Otherwise the episode was a bit more playful than usual – getting that quite funny and not overlong sketch about Natsume’s fever dream, the two youkai, even if being idiots, showed some compassion and good will. Well, usual iyashikei feeling of the show, good news about 2 specials coming in March and April, and, most importantly the 6th season (that hopefully will continue many storylines from this one) announced – what else could I wish for?

Yuri!!! on Ice (Ep. 12)

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    So, the show’s apparently aiming to get a second season, isn’t it? I don’t know what I expected from the finale but I’m quite positive that it was satisfying enough but not really astounding. Probably the first episode set the bar unsurpassably high and other ones were good, might be even great by the standards of other shows, but the effect the first episode had didn’t really appear anywhere else. The fact that Yurio won felt gratifying – Yuri chose to get his strength from emotions while Yurio worked a lot harder (not to mention receiving better coaching from a technical point of view). Overall I think this kind of ending is a bit too vague. Yes, probably everybody wants to see more of Yuris, but I doubt any development Yuri could receive from now on could be as significant to his character as there was already shown. Sure, there are many things left unexplored – the relationship of Victor and Yuri is left open (well, that’s your romance anime for you), Yurio could use a lot more screen time, as well as other skaters. Yet, my opinion remains the same – a second season could be a nice treat but unless it would change the leading character and move the focus from skating performances somewhere else I doubt it could be as successful – it’s very easy to become just a clone with the same performances that could soon get boring despite being technically magnificent. A second season just couldn’t move people as much as this one did.

Fune wo Amu (Ep. 11)

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    It seems fitting that I write about Fune wo Amu last since out of all the final episodes I watched this anime delivered way better than others. The ending felt just like life is – bittersweet, but with enough hope to keep going forward. To think of it, Matsumoto began being featured more only a couple of latest episodes but because of the way others reacted to him, his circumstances and how much he actually meant for the team as well as the dictionary, I just couldn’t not get too emotional. Anime characters not turning everything into an oversaturated melodrama but experiencing pain and sorrow as real people do is no tseen too often. Also, even the tiniest scene showing Nishioka’s family completed his personal story beautifully and also managed to move me quite a bit. The overall ending being very satisfactory actually is no wonder since the anime was based on a novel which didn’t left much space for possible sequels. And that’s quite exceptional thinking about anime nowadays – everyone wants to leave an opportunity to continue a show that could sell well so receiving a complete and satisfactory ending without loose ends has become not that common. So yeah, just watch the damn episode as well as the whole damn show. It’s damn worth it.

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