Musings and Reflections – Spring 2017 Week 6

Re:Creators (Ep. 5)

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    So it appears we have a Shinji Ikari knock-off guy with even  a worse personality, not to mention him being hypocritical about getting into the damn robot. I wonder if there’s time travel in his story because he doesn’t look the least bit surprised about all this situation. Annoyed, yes, but not more than that. The show’s trying to get as realistic as possible with the premise it has, but the way the government interfered was a bit weird. Not to mention that everybody’s absolutely alright with the fact that there’re damn 2D people come to life, and not some cosplayers or just random madmen. The only exciting thing was the ending with that blue-haired girl, who also did get a few cuts in the first episode. Sadly, apart from that the show can’t get away from its usual style of doing nothing but talking, and talking with little results. I guess this talking is wrestling CG from Tsuki ga Kirei in terms of starting to be annoying. 12 episodes would probably have suited this story better.

Little Witch Academia (Ep. 18)

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     It’s all over the place, and not for good. It would be silly to expect serious things to happen in a show about witch-girls but some storytelling consistency within the episode as well as in the whole show would’ve been appreciated. It’s just like Trigger didn’t have any ideas what to do with the episode and when everyone was asked about suggestions, each and every one of them made to the final product. Well, of course there’re some nice sakuga moments, Akko was enjoyably being Akko (including the fact that Megumi Han nails the voice acting) and Constanze finally got some screentime so that she would start resembling a character because up to now even her character design spoke only of an easily disposable third rate schoolmate no. 87. But even now there’s not much more that can be said about Constanze. The concept of the Wild Hunt that on itself has enough potential to cover an arc more than several episodes of length was underused in order to put some random mecha. Yes, mecha fighting a kaiju (and that one having physique not dissimilar to a certain angel from NGE) should be fun, but with little buildup it was just there and nothing more. Inconsistent character designs also weren’t a positive highlight. LWA once again offers a bag full of everything but there’s little thought put into making the motives stick together and form a coherent narrative. It’s alright, but knowing that it could’ve definitely been better feels disappointing.

Natsume Yuujinchou Roku (Ep. 5)

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     Not the most exciting episode but the payoff with some emotional moments to the point was good enough. Sometimes (and it was this time also) Natsume manages to capture some fundamentally human feelings and youkai, having more concentrated and straightforward emotions compared to humans can really bring home the message. You don’t even need to try hard to find comparisons with the real life as the masked youkai rages and cries in confusion about not being able to get any answer from a person he cares deeply about while the person just can’t do anything about it. Yet, story-wise the most interesting part of course is Natori’s premonition about the Book of Friends. I doubt it will pose any real threat but stirring things up a bit might be refreshing. Also refreshing should be the following episode about two other Natsume’s buddies besides Tanuma. Actually it’s quite funny that the show runs way past its 60th episode and out of its not that large cast there are still some recurring characters that we know virtually nothing about.

Sakura Quest (Ep. 6)

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     Guess which shot received the budget of the whole episode? Well, the filming thing came out of nowhere. It felt very different from the usual fare – no more explorations, wanderings around the town to get to know the people. It’s almost amazing how such an event managed to push things forward – Riri got her moment, Maki’s past became a little bit clearer, Sanae was able to take off further from her completed mini-arc, and even Shiori was troubled enough to lie. Speaking about the last fact, it definitely feels wrong to burn a part of a town just for the sake of some self-righteous jerk who doesn’t care about anything (well done P.A., making such an unlikable character so quickly is a feat) even if voice of reason points out differently. There’s no doubt that the director will have much trouble achieving his ends in Manoyama, but far more interesting remains the interplay between the girls and all the bits and pieces about their pasts constantly being revealed. Seeing the chief old dude acting like a perfect zombie I began wonder why did they chose to build a kingdom of Chupakabura instead.

Tsuki ga Kirei (Ep. 6)

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     Nice one. The slow pace with events unfolding at their own speed really suits the show. This episode weirdly reminded me of many things. The parts that were especially slice of life-y looked like something KyoAni could do (if they were broke and desperate enough to use CG), some of the longer “ehhhhh” moments were straight from Nichijou (I guess KyoAni again). Nonetheless the best part was shared with Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (actually it’s also the only part I really liked about the latter)  – the portrayal of people who no matter how passionate and dedicated are, still aren’t able to achieve their goals on the first try. There are lots of shounen style stories where a protagonist on the verge of failing summons his full might and defeats everyone fair and square without batting an eye, but to watch someone actually failing and having to deal with that looks far more realistic. Of course the protagonists will end up realizing their wishes one way or another, but such moments of total defeat, especially in a show that’s deeply grounded in reality make everything far more relatable. I just have no idea why on earth would anyone think that the skits in the end are anything but a dead weight.

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