Musings and Reflections – Spring 2017 Week 10

Re:Creators (Ep. 9)

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     So that’s what kind of a show it is. I guess Mamika had accomplished as much as she could and her disposal might truly be more beneficial than a continued existence. Mamika brought her doom herself for not using her brain so it’s also fitting to show that foolish behavior has its costs. Also it proves that characters can die, and that always makes things more interesting though I doubt we’ll be seeing any more of this stuff. Anyway, Mamika was the only one restraining Alice. Even a try to to talk some sense into her now is not going to work as Alice now more than ever is going to rely on her muscles rather than brains. Magane staged everything pretty nicely and even though there aren’t any more easily manipulative characters left, she still may cause some havoc, being probably even more dangerous than Altair. Sota’s breakdown wasn’t as effective as it would’ve if he had been established as a more prominent character – now he’s just a random dude without any observable character traits who has done something wrong. For a side character such a story might work but he’s not interesting enough to make me care about him. Once again, „talking“ should’ve been counted into the cast as one of the most important characters. Overlong discussion scenes with nothing happening and various characters voicing out every single thought they have doesn’t feel too exciting. Well, I don’t have a problem with lots of talking per se but there’s just too little information transferred by too many words.

Little Witch Academia (Ep. 22)

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     Now we’re talking. Wish every single episode of LWA was as impactful as this one. The fact that Chariot’s magic came from absorbing magical abilities from others changes pretty much everything, giving another layer to Ursula’s character, complicating relationship between her and Akko, and probably most importantly giving Akko much to think about her passion, her abilities (or lack of them) and just generally what she wants to do with her life. I wouldn’t have said that such a show could throw a twist like that but that’s certainly for the better. Akko might need some reassurance from her friends and especially Diana should feel indebted to her. Andrew (well, he and Akko surely look well together) is still being prepared for something prominent and everything just looks a hundred times more interesting. The idea to slowly evolve the escalation of the football match (I guess the Japanese wouldn’t mind another war between the English and the French) from a merely noticeable side event to quite a huge threat works well establishing continuity. The other aspects of the show also seem to have picked up the pace – soundtrack always remains on point and animation looks sharper than usual – that’s Trigger we love. I only wish that the remaining episodes would retain the quality.

Natsume Yuujinchou Roku (Ep. 9)

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     I still think that this season especially compared to the first ones isn’t as strong, but the last few stories have raised the bar higher. Not all youkai are trying to meddle with humans or take advantage of other youkai and such endearing stories like the one in this episode feel special for their gentle sadness, inevitability of loss and just simple kindness shown to others. To me the most memorable moment was when the mask apologized for having caused concerns. There have been lots of youkai only for comedic relief but there also exist some that deeply respect other beings and just try to live on continuing to fulfill their duties as best they can. The story also ties beautifully with the last episode, confirming that love between a human and a youkai in the end gives a lot of pain. Dolls and masks probably are the closest real things to be placed in the “uncanny valley”, resembling something alive but also not showing any apparent emotions thus becoming pretty scary and creating suspense. And, as Natsume remarked, the scariest things are those that are unknown and unexplainable. Nyanko-sensei feels like he has no longer the slightest wish to eat Natsume and become the owner of the Book of Friends. It’s not a big development but compared to the first seasons Nyanko-sensei has become an irreplaceable and absolutely harmless friend of everyone. Especially Taki.

Sakura Quest (Ep. 10)

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     …And how did it get so quickly to be an almost a mystery horror story? Well, actually this change of style brings much novelty to the already known setting with its pretty much unchanging atmosphere. By itself the episode was only a setup with the girls doing their everyday stuff, except this time Riri has been brought to the center of the attention. I think it’s a very effective way to get to know the characters better – every girl gets her own episode or two and then lets someone else to get the spotlight. Thus the rotation of the characters ensures that each and every one of them are constantly developed and no one is forgotten. It’s quite sad when you think of it that not only one town but even its neighbors burst with excitement when just three potential wives come to take a tour. Is the demographic situation in the rural regions of Japan really that bad? It’s interesting that as we are approaching the mid-point of the show there’re still things to show about Manoyama that make it unique. At first there were wood carvings, then some specific food arc and now we even came into contact with dance traditions and local deities. Incredible how many distinctive characteristics a place can have.

Tsuki ga Kirei (Ep. 9)

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     Well, I can’t say the episode was particularly exciting. Slowly deepening the bond between Akane and Curly is a good thing but I feel that there was too much reiteration of already established ideas. Besides the new fact that Akane might be moving (not the most original idea, eh?) everything has been already shown. Yes, slice of life isn’t a bad thing but a little variety wouldn’t make things worse – we’ve already seen Curly being reminded to concentrate on his studies as well as the couple messaging each other. The track meet also served little purpose since there are many ways to use time more efficiently in order to show that the couple became closer. The episode wasn’t truly boring but there neither was anything to call it a worthy addition to the story. Weirdly first few scenes featured quite expressive character animation, but it slowly died down to the usual trend. Speaking about trends, it’s true that the development of the relationship hasn’t been too fast but I’m beginning to doubt if the show will be able to advance the story much further than we are now and wrap things up accordingly. It’s enjoyable to watch everything unfold but plot hasn’t progressed much from the very start. Tsuki ga Kirei might end up being a nice show that actually accomplished surprisingly little.

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