Musings and Reflections – Winter 2017 Week 6

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (Ep. 5) 

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     I hope ACCA still knows that there’s a story to be told. Everything moves just so very slowly. Well, I don’t really mind that. Sure, everything that happened could be summarized in just a few words, but it was enjoyable enough. It looks like Jean actually had no idea that Nino was spying on him. Well, that got cleared out with Jean ending his friend’s (?) job with some unintentional help of his sister. Quite characteristically, Jean really doesn’t give a damn about anything. I wonder if there actually is anything that would make him emotional. All the stuff with the coup remains incredibly shadowy and practically any character could stand behind it.  I don’t even try to count how many factions that try to get some benefit for Jean there really are. Watching the episode another thought came to me (and apparently everyone also notices that) – the show spends weirdly much time for talking about bread, eating bread, admiring bread, spying for bread and so on (edit: please repeat the sentence with other kinds of food). It’s not just for fun, it also to a certain extent works as characterizations of the districts. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to have so many of them, but world building certainly was there and so far seen districts are more or less easily recognizable. Still, some action wouldn’t hurt. Especially when there’s Shingo Natsume on board.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (Ep. 5)

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     If it‘s a comedy show then it‘s too bad because I didn’t even grin for the entirety of the episode. The fact that everyone is incompetent in some way has been stated countless times and you can do so much variations of the same theme. Sure, the play between Kazuma and Darkness and later on Darkness and that demon guy was fine, but not really anything memorable. At least Darkness resembled her previous form when she was still something more than a fanservice object. But why is she suddenly able to hit objects? The demon guy was rather uninteresting with his mad scientist attitude and not much power of thought. Apart from other cliches it’s almost unremarkable that Darkness remained alive even after bombing that previously had managed to destroy a castle or that robot spider. What was that talisman really for? With or without it the demon guy still remained in Darkness and it provided nothing to the story that also was pretty pointless. At least the animation throughout the episode was rather good.

Kuzu no Honkai (Ep. 5)

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    Falling further down. Both Hanabi and Mugi try to fight loneliness in their ways, not being satisfied by their fake relationship, but in the end neither Ecchan nor the senpai provide any salvation. For Ecchan Hanabi is unable to feel more than pity and friendliness, and Mugi’s senpai sees in him nothing more than a physical body. The main pair wants to experience pleasure but it doesn’t feel satisfying emotionally without a special person. Eventually Hanabi and Mugi reconcile as neither of them has any other person with whom it would be possible to speak about everything, including their frustrations for love, even if it means having to consciously maintain some distance between them. It’s revealed that Akane’s “hobby” may have come from her too determined life as she strives to do something interesting, and playing with Hanabi (and generally with anyone who may be easily affected) seems to be one of such things.  I guess if Akane hadn’t experienced that emotion of not wanting to be exploited early on, she easily could have gone a very different way and found something else that she would truly like. Well, it looks like the ways upward are still not available for anyone.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen (Ep. 6) 

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    I can do nothing but be deeply moved by Rakugo once again. When the market is overflowing with generic high-school stuff and bland self-insert characters such a show like Rakugo that manages to portray more complex feelings than a struggle to get a girlfriend are a goldmine. As expected, the episode finished incredibly fast. The health problems of Yakumo have really shocked the world of the show. Even if now Yakumo appears as an old man full of regrets and sometimes pretty annoying, it’s plain to see how important he is to the others as well as to the whole show. Yakumo’s problems are also nicely paralleled with the plans of renewing the rakugo hall. Yotaro’s Inokori was painful to watch since his mind was definitely not with the audience, but it shows how much Yotaro has grown – prom a former arrogant inmate to a performer who can do his job despite of his own problems and his wish to be heard and praised by Yakumo.  I don’t think Yotaro has yet found such a refined form of rakugo as his master, but he can (and eventually will) be a worthy successor. By the way, does anyone know how many hundreds of years is Matsuda old? He was already an adult when Yakumo was a kid.

3-gatsu no Lion (Ep. 17) 

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     I’m a bit surprised how much I enjoyed the episode. Everything just flowed really nicely and, apart from usual comedy that I would like to go away and other little things, it was really enjoyable. Souya’s soundless appearance was very effective (but they needn’t voice that out later). He probably has faced the same problems as Rei, and because of his status has no one to seriously compete with, to strive for something, or just doesn’t have normal understanding friends beside him. If Rei stats to focus only on shogi and rejects his close relationships it’s very possible that he might become just like Souya. But I think Rei’s admiration of him isn’t strong enough, and he has experienced tender care of his friends, so I’d say he’s bound to become a more normal person than Souya. When the part concerning Kyouko began, I started thinking that for a very long time she has maintained the same attitude and just remained a pawn to be thrown at Rei so that he could lose his balance. Now eventually we get a bit deeper. It’s very interesting that both of the (sort of) siblings still care about one another and Kyouko at times manages to revert to a normal girl, even after all the mess she makes in Rei’s life. At the moment I’d guess that Rei, as damaged as he is, is far more stable and happy than Kyouko. It looks like the girl doesn’t even have anyone (apart from Rei) to rely on.

Tales of Zestiria the X (2017) (Ep. 6) 

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     As expected from ufotable, the purification scene was amazing – the special effect for once felt perfectly aligned with 2D characters and, well, if you saw the scene, you know, and if you didn’t, definitely do. Alas, everything else was far less enjoyable. The tie in-with Berseria was done far better than in the first season (though I doubt that’s all of Velvet Crowe we’ll see, judging from her appearance in the OP), but without any more elaboration it doesn’t feel like a solid world building. And, as far as I remember, during the Berseria episodes everyone had their emotions, so I don’t really know what to think about it. Anyway, the whole business with Pendrago was only the purification scene, and, as good as it was, I don’t think it deserved the buildup it got previously. I seemed like a pivotal point in the story, but it turns out to be just a trip to do a five minute ritual and come back. Shirayuki recovered surprisingly fast and completely ditched her previous beliefs rather easily. And what’s with that power that a squire of a Shepherd gets? Why then Alisha is free to roam where she wills when Sorey definitely needs some help? Even if he needn’t that, shouldn’t Alisha be doing something about the malevolence instead of focusing on her political career (which no doubt is also important, but still…). Speaking about Alisha, how does that spirit-phone work? Apparently you can get the number wrong, if Sorey needs to confirm that it’s him on the other end of the line. Anyway, why such a way of conversing isn’t used more often? If a mere squire can call Sorey in that way, why not the Seraphs? Or is it another case of “because it’s magic”? I’m not even surprised that Sorey adopts the usual trope of a Protag-kun to deny the need of help in every way possible. And doesn’t it bother anyone that there was a huge-ass dead dragon in the church?

Little Witch Academia (Ep. 6) 

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     If Trigger is the studio that is going to save anime, I doubt that LWA  (as of yet) is something that will be the saving show. As last time, LWA tells an episodic story (that may yet start a whole arc) without doing anything truly spectacular. Of course there are positives – Akko’s ears and nose definitely works for the rabbit-girl (and other types of animal-girl) lovers, some flashbacks were interesting (though I have no idea how and why Akko saw what she did, though it was pretty charming), and Akko finally showed more emotions than being enthusiastic or angry. On the other hand, the sakuga moments weren’t as plentiful as there could’ve been and the fact that Akko would somehow make a metamorphosis of the famous guest was obvious right from the start. The new guy behaved just like a male version of Diana with no love for magic. Well, the show isn’t bad, but I guess it’s still running on the dividends from the OVAs. It just doesn’t feel as free and energetic, which of course is to be expected from a TV production, but still…

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