Musings and Reflections – Spring 2017 Week 2

Little Witch Academia (Ep. 14)

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    That was terrific. The second cour has officially started, and everything’s as good as there ever has been. The OP was surprisingly low-key and just not that memorable, but the ED by Masanobu Hiraoka fully compensated for that by its minimalistic smoothness. The story also advanced rather far by the shows standards. It looks like the main theme of the previous cour – Akko trying to get recognized as a suitable witch – will leave the pedestal for the conflict between the old magic and the new. If it wasn’t clear from the OP, Croix herself showed that she’ll be the main antagonist, but it would’ve been way more interesting if her role wasn’t revealed in such an explicitly boring way. The show so far managed to go on with only slice of life stuff, but it’s great to finally have an antagonist, and one that is able to oppose both Chariot (on a personal level as well as in a fight for the affections of one clumsy witch) and Akko, whose being easily swayed proved to be quite funny and also good for the plot reasons. I guess it would make an interesting dynamic to pit Croix with Akko against Chariot and Diana. Anyway, it was already past time to introduce something new and exciting, and such wonderful world-building ideas like technological magic or a strike by the fairies probably could’ve been introduced much earlier. I guess it’s rather clear that Akko will revive the remaining words and traditions ultimately will win against new technologies, though knowing LWA a kind of symbiotic ending (though with the traditions still in a better position) wouldn’t be totally unexpected. Anyway, the gears finally are turning, and doing that in the right direction.

Sakura Quest (Ep. 2)

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    If everything will go on just as this week, I’ll be quite satisfied. Yet, probably not much more than that – the show is quite pleasant, but it doesn’t have that punch, that goal in the far horizon that everyone must reach. Sure, being a queen comes with problems, but some larger story and not just episodic running in a circle would be appreciated. On the other hand, the mood is very consistent, the jokes are more or less nailed, the girls start to develop chemistry. It was a good idea to set up characters with very contrasting personalities, but they still need to bond more in order to be able to play off of each other. The personalities of Shiori (cute, fluffy and motherly one), Maki (pessimistically realistic, cool and skillful one) and Riri (individualistic deadpan loli) are already defined and not likely to change. Yoshino still needs to develop into someone more than just “normal” and we’ve seen only glimpses of the IT girl’s true colors. Out of the story I find it a bit hard to believe how easy it was for Yoshino to postpone (indefinitely) her plans to return to Tokyo knowing how much she wanted that. Well, so far there isn’t much going on, but the table is set and the figures can start moving.

Tsuki ga Kirei (Ep. 2)

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    The show certainly won’t be the pinnacle of sakuga. Despite of that, what it is capable of doing, it does rather well. It’s actually quite surprising that something like a sports event that countless romcoms have done and exploited in every possible way in this show doesn’t feel that redundant. Sure, in itself it’s nothing ground breaking, but just following a normal route without twists and turns doesn’t occur that much nowadays. Curly’s obsession with Dazai reminded me of my recent Aku no Hana experience. It’s impossible that Tsuki ga Kirei will venture at least half as far, but it seems like teens fascinated by literature that probably is beyond their mental reach is a thing. If I needed to summarize the characters and their actions into one single word, it’d be “embarrassment”. It seems weird how people can get uncomfortable about slightest details and more or less meaningless situations. On the other hand, I can’t deny that I see a bit of my younger self in Curly and Akane, and it’s funny, embarrassing and even nostalgic. The short stories in the end on the other hand weren’t worth anything.

Natsume Yuujinchou Roku (Ep. 1)

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     I think at this point Natsume could get away with almost anything, considering the almost inexhaustible supply of brownie points the show has amassed over its surprisingly long existence. And I’m not saying that because I disliked the episode, or anything. On the contrary, this time also increases the endless supply, providing Natsume at its best – showing how beautiful human connections can be. Tanuma, Taki and  little Natsume seem like they could be a family of their own, and I actually would offer much to be able to see a spin-off about that. Well, for me any second with Taki in is golden. Nyanko-sensei was responsible for an unusually high concentration of actually funny jokes, and, what’s more, he finally starts to get involved as a character and not only as a mascot, which was quite a problem last season. But yeah, the perfect iyashikei feeling has already returned after a holiday, the show is on its own refined, tested and approved track. I wasn’t even aware how much did I miss such simple but effective and heartwarming moments. Weirdly, now I feel both especially excited about the upcoming episodes and at the same time very sad because it means that now I already have one episode less to watch.

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