Musings and Reflections – Summer 2017 Week 4

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 3)

     And you tell me without any blinking that it’s actually possible to use a substitute dancer that looks completely different – hair, height and everything – and no one has any objections? Even the other dancers who should know their pairs fairly well? In a serious competition? Count me disappointed. That’s not all – the silly humor that I don’t enjoy at all was carried over from the last episode, and it certainly didn’t improve. And please explain to me what are the odds that a random dude who just started learning the basics of one particular dance just happens to be available when there are problems for the same exact dance, and manages to offer a more or less decent performance without any training. Suspension of disbelief is necessary for any kind of story but one that should be more or less realistic in my mind has no right to do such things as Ballroom does. Maybe that’s because it’s shounen? At least the show is able to have some fun at itself sometimes. And did I really spot some CG dancers that for CG were particularly good? The continuation of this mini-arc will probably shed some light on what really happened when Hyoudo fell, but it was probably just an accident. Still, pain or no pain, to simply disappear without any notice instead of telling everyone about your situation is at least unprofessional, so to that extent the dudes were right that Hyoudo doesn’t really care that much. To see such a talent behave so illogically would be another mind boggling thing, but as the story goes on, some explanations may rectify it. But not all of the damage that the show has taken is reversible.

Made in Abyss (Ep. 3)

     Clearly not as impressive as either of the previous episodes but I guess later on the weirdness of the Abyss will pay off the debt. Getting emotional so easily and behaving rashly well characterizes everyone as kids that have no idea what is waiting in the depths. Riko’s situation is quite interesting – even if last time she claimed that she doesn’t know her mother at all but despite of that her mom’s fame and glorious image still shapes Riko’s decisions. It could well be possible that if Riko finds her mom, the encounter may prove to be totally different from Riko’s imagination, as any person would be hard pressed to live up to imagination of a zealous admirer. The letter may have nothing to do with Riko’s mom in the first place, but if anyone is as concentrated in doing whatever they like as Riko, there’s virtually no way to dissuade them. Especially since it seems like Riko doesn’t have any other aspirations and goals in life, and to completely change that at the age of 12 is kinda difficult. I’m a bit at loss whether Leader really knew about Riko’s plan and allowed it to be executed. Sure, Riko may be restrained probably only by using some utensils in her torture room but any clearly thinking adult should make sure that kids don’t go into places that have basically “suicide” written on them. By the way, do these squishy things have any meaning? Will we see the stayers-behind again? And should I feel guilty that anytime someone calls Nat, all I hear and imagine is natto?

Sakura Quest (Ep. 17)

     Well, it seems like the real Quest is beginning, with mandatory (almost) evil scientists and stuff. It was a very good idea to include a story about a village even more rural and inaccessible than Manoyama itself, and showing the problems of elder people living here. Such problems are not only confined to Manoyama nor even to Japan, and speaking about them by itself is a positive thing. A decision to make an Internet-generation out of these elderly people might be a good idea and it was fun to watch (especially since they encounter the same problems as everyone – flaming and stuff) but I doubt that in reality everyone would learn so quickly or would want to learn at all. Still, it’s a possible solution, and thanks for that. It’s said that details may elevate a show very high, and Sakura Quest takes advantage of that very well. When the personalities of the characters are already established, it’s very gratifying to see Erika place a glass of water forcefully, to watch Chitose get embarrassed for visiting the old chief (but still do it) or to take a glance at Sandal showing his prowess at shogi or Riri getting in touch with the Spanish. By the way, why the subtitles have “monkeys” instead of “tanukis”?

Re:Creators took a leave this time, so let’s hope it’s for the best.

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