Musings and Reflections – Winter 2017 Week 5

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (Ep. 4) 

    Even when the main story doesn’t break any records on fast pacing, the show is confident to offer a side story that doesn’t really add much to the main picture. Sure, you could argue that now we better understand the problems of the country, its diversity and also get some insights into Jean’s personality, but that sounds much more significant than what we in fact got. I doubt that such a secluded district is possible in the first place. It’s hard to keep technical advancements from people especially if they don’t refuse them. That little coup felt like a game – the first guys’ coming to Jean who was standing too far away to understand the slightest thing of their speech, and obviously asking if he didn’t hear what they talked about their coup is ridiculous. At least Jean’s deadpan manner and collected actions once again proved how cool-minded he is and that he’s very suitable for his job. Nino showed up for a bit, some chairmen exchanged a few words but I guess I wasn’t that interested in this episode after all.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (Ep. 4)

    Well, I’m disappointed. People sure do have different tastes and this time KonoSuba provided exactly the opposite of what I might enjoy. Overall Darkness is the weakest character of them all. Only the end of the first season showed some possibilities of her becoming something more than an embodiment of M. It turns out that even her revealed descent adds nothing more and even in an episode whose center should be Darkness, the real center is only a part (technically two) of her body. And that’s quite sad. I understand that you can throw millions of words arguing that it’s a satire, and no one should by all means take things seriously but I find nothing funny there. Only the cheapest kind of ecchi and pointless fanservice. Aqua behaves as annoyingly as ever, Kazuma’s actions, while always very selfish, now doesn’t even attempt to make him the least bit likable or enjoyable to watch. After the last season’s episode about the succubi and the OVA I thought that there’s nowhere lower to fall but it seems that’s not true. I just don’t see any point in unfunny jokes, mindless fanservice and characters that actually would be better off executed. Well, that’s just me. Moving on.

Kuzu no Honkai (Ep. 4)

    To sum up, everyone just delves deeper into their personal scum-ness. Akane reveals more of her true face and her intentions towards everyone. She’s the closest person to an antagonist the show’s going to get, and while I definitely don’t approve of her actions, I understand that someone like her could truly exist, striving to play with people and to prove to anyone that she’s the best at it. Later on Hanabi and Ecchan try to experiment a bit, and both of them think that they’re using their partner and while it’s not a good thing to do, they’re too weak to resist it. And technically they’re both correct. I guess if Hanabi has to end up with someone, developing feelings for Ecchan would be the best route, but as stubborn as she is, that’s not the most likely outcome. I have mentioned before, but the problem of changing the POV characters remains. I surely isn’t anything significant, but such a relic from manga when you can be definitely sure when one chapter ended and another began shouldn’t be so notorious. Well, as the manga loves to have monologues, there’s just no way around it. To end things more optimistic, the soundtrack once again provides a score with every note deserving to be praised.

Also, be sure to check amazing analysis of Hanabi’s and Akane’s names by Kyra.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen (Ep. 5) 

    Man, that was so powerful and masterfully done, I almost don’t have words to say. First of all, once again my habit of never skipping an OP payed off since Sukeroku’s (the old one’s) eyes being red did heighten the stakes. It looks like Yakumo bit by bit has come to cherish the fact that he’s not the only rakugoka in the world, albeit he’s still the best one who holds the reputation of rakugo at a somewhat exalted level. Yakumo is happy that Yotaro’s efforts don’t let rakugo to be forgotten altogether, but still feels that the old kind of rakugo is only alive as long as he lives himself. It was interesting to see the differences between the outlooks on rakugo by the two rakugokas – Yotaro finds it fun and just wants to tell the stories not worrying about his own image, while Yakumo, who was involved in rakugo stuff not by his own will, achieved everything by hard work and does everything perfectly, but without getting much for himself, apart from gaining recognition and praise. The performance of Yakumo was one of the stellar scenes from the whole season, wisps of smoke foreboding something not that cheerful. Again the story a Yakumo tells is very tightly tied to his own feelings and present situation, a parallel that the show constantly uses perfectly. Seeing Miyo as well as Sukeroku after a very long time was really effective, bringing the realization how long Yakumo lived alone without anyone whom he could’ve called a close friend. The episode and also all these clues from the OP confirm that things are really not looking well for Yakumo. The next episode just can’t come too soon.

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 16) 

    3-gatsu continues with its stable above average performance. I’m glad that the mood changes now are not as jarring as they were near the start. Now usual moral message is also present – this time it’s the idea that humans should rely on other humans and expect to be relied on. It looks like Rei has already learned not to stay hidden in his shell all the time and to seek people and their help. After all, there’re many people that care about him and are ready to offer some help. Even the chemists – people with whom Rei has virtually nothing in common – can be a source of human connection, profiting both sides. The soundtrack also played not the smallest part in making the episode fairly enjoyable. Apart from all the good things, the shogi-heavy part for me was a bit too technical. I guess the cat-lessons were not enough to make me understand what exactly all of the players were discussing about. I get that actually that’s some trivial stuff that everyone has his own opinion about but for someone with little interest in shogi tactics it’s rather boring.

Tales of Zestiria the X (2017) (Ep. 5) 

      I think this I liked this episode best of all Zestiria this season so far. The continuing fight from the last time again showed ufotable’s capabilities in animation, although everything ended too quickly for all the buildup it got. That’s a bit undermining, but as anime villains that are told to be “maybe” dead rarely actually are, there might be another encounter with that possessed guy. And couldn’t someone at least checked if he was really dead? Moving on, Shirayuki sure received much food for thought. Usually when you accomplish something that you waited a long time for, there might come a sense of being goalless and directionless, but Rose isn’t even sure if she actually succeeded, and if she did, were her actions justified. Well, Sorey surely disapproves of Rose’s actions, as any evil will bring more malevolence so it’s just a feedback loop.  Yet, he fails to provide any alternative decisions to this very situation. Sure, as every anime protagonist is certain, killing is bad at any situation, but maybe what Rose did was a lesser evil? Sorey just can’t spread happiness in the whole world and solve every single conflict with no blood spilled. Still, Rose, also stunned by the malevolence ghosts in that very beautiful riding scene with the soundtrack precisely on point, feels shaken to the core. It will certainly be interesting  to see what conclusion she will come to.

Little Witch Academia (Ep. 5) 

     I don’t know if knowing beforehand that this episode was fully outsourced had much to do with my opinion about it, but it certainly wasn’t the best episode of LWA. Giving more screen time to Amanda was a good decision, as she can rival Akko with her stubbornness and that offers some fairly enjoyable scenes. Still, the story wasn’t very impressive. Well, I don’t expect anything covering dark themes, existentialism and other similar stuff but this episode felt a bit too simple. The ending was particularly disappointing – the heroes get some unexpected help that saves at first hopeless looking situation. All is well and good but sadly the real world debts don’t get cancelled so easily. I’d very much preferred something involving hard work covering for the borrowed funds or just, well, anything but the conclusion we got. Returning to the outsourcing, even if there were some nice sakuga moments, overall it just didn’t feel like a Trigger show with its signature deformed character animation and over the top action scenes. Well, that’s the price to pay for getting a TV series. By the way, I didn’t know that that rich dragons work with Word, Excel, or, dear me, Internet Explorer…

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6 Comments

  1. Hey Aldael!

    Thanks for the shoutout on Kizu no Honkai!

    Still have to watch TOZX and LWA tomorrow. While I’ll probably agree with you on ufotable’s work, I hope to disagree on LWA, although I can see myself already going with a biased look due to the full outsourcing. Fingers crossed!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hope you enjoyed both episodes! I think I might have been a bit too hash on LWA since it has some great moments, but still, the next episode will probably be better.

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  2. Kuzu no Honkai*

    Seems like my mobile hasn’t yet fully accepted that I finished reading Kizumonogatari and probably won’t watch the movie at any time soon. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hm.. Hanabi as Araragi?
      By the way, did you like Kizumonogatari?

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      • Hachikuji would love to say something like Hananabi and blame on biting her own tongue.

        The novel is great, as both I and II movies so far. Part III is glorious and I can’t wait to see it Animated (If I get really lucky I might still catch it on Theaters on my next trip). As far as the novel goes, I was rather surprised by how kinky Hanekawa were in Kizu, but after I stopped for a while and thought about Nekomonogatari Kuro/Shiro events, it did make sense.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Thanks! I’ve been thinking about starting the novels for some time but I guess it’s really worth doing as soon as possible.
          Hope you’ll have an opportunity to catch the third part!

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