Musings and Reflections – Summer 2017 Week 9

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 8)

     It pisses me off that the tournament is made to look like it’s Tatara dueling with the Jerk and their partners (who just can’t keep up with both of the dance geniuses) are there only because the rules say so. Come on, it’s a pair sport, isn’t it? Even Hyoudo who tells Tatara not to dance alone seems to treat women only as if there were some props: “You need to make Mako a better dancer…”. Well, maybe just talk to Mako then, wouldn’t you? She has danced for quite a while and knows everything far better than a plain copycat that Tatara is. As if there is some magical switch that Tatara needs to find in order to make his partner better. And no, Mako has no say in this thing. Why would she? When Shizuku gets in the competitive mood it’s only because she wants to impress her ex-partner, and Mako also does the same exact thing. Even if the show’s focus is rather on the relationships of the characters I think it still should give more information about the dancing itself, not to mention ANIMATING THE DAMN THING! Some of the character interactions this time definitely were expressive but come on, I know that you can make a dancing cut longer than 2 seconds. I understand that Tatara is a beginner and Sengoku also just took a new mentor role (wait, that’s just like Victor from Yuri!!! on Ice) but simply forgetting to mention the importance of stamina is unbelievable. Is Tatara so unhealthy that every single person dancing only loses a breath when he seems to be on the verge of asphyxiation? Stamina needs to be built but didn’t Tatara practice his whole routine even once to see his capabilities? Please tell me what does the show’s fixation on Hyoudo’s mother (well, more often than not a certain part of her to be more exact) gives to the story.

Made in Abyss (Ep. 8)

      I wish the show spent more time revealing how Riko and Reg spent their training days. Apart from annoying flies and that hippo thing (yep, Kou Yoshinari again but as always the monsters get awfully little screen time) the trip seemed to be going rather ok and problems only mentioned could’ve been a good way for further characterization and development. Still, even if the level wasn’t explored to my satisfaction the overall mood of the show has gotten more serious compared to the sunlit school-walks during the first episodes. You really need to push yourself and level up in order to go deeper. The flashbacks a bit humanized Ozen showing her fondness of Lyza, may I guess the only friend she had. The Abyss truly is powerful if it’s able to connect two so different characters who on the first glance shouldn’t have any common points to share. Lyza has been featured quite a lot lately (and only now I realized she’s voiced by Maaya Sakamoto. Cool!) but Riko’s father remains a mystery. Was he truly just a usual bland anime protagonist, loved for his “kindness”? Lyza definitely couldn’t get an overall satisfying friendship from Ozen and seemed to be fairly outgoing person so having lots of very different friends wouldn’t be unnatural but still Riko’s father is another intriguing part of the show.

Re:Creators (Ep. 19)

      Well, that was something. I guess I wasn’t the only one who doubted the show and was if not annoyed then at least disappointed by endless stream of recaps (to be frank it wasn’t bad, but a recap remains a recap) and episode-less weeks. Now I think it was worth it. Animation alone compensated quite a lot of static talking scenes in the past – the show’s really determined to gather all of the fan following it has been slowly losing. When there’s plenty of action scenes Hiroyuki Sawano may feel like a god – he’s in his own territory and even if the insert songs were not unique, their task of pumping excitement up to eleven was accomplished well. Turning now to the meat of the episode, I don’t think Alice’s death was as impactful as Mamika’s. Of course it did give more gravitas to the story, especially when paired with such phrases like “you only have a supporting role in this story”. Nonetheless, I feel that Alice reverted to the rightful side too quickly and almost completely off-screen. After that she was featured only marginally so Alice with a changed worldview wasn’t seen enough for me to start caring about her a lot. Yes, she was a nice girl but not more than that. Her death also brings an ongoing issue – we still have no idea how much the creators are able to influence the ongoing story – did Alice’s creator really killed her off? If yes, then was it done for the approval of the viewers (not the most elegant way of getting that then)? If not, then to what point he has written Alice’s storyline – did the reality negate that? Even if we take another matter – Matsubara was clearly astounded by Selesia’s decision so that would mean that he wasn’t the one who crafted such a twist. But then again – to what point has he written everything and how much freedom do the characters really have? I don’t think Selesia died – killing two pretty important characters in a single fight isn’t as impactful as killing them separately over a longer time. Plus, we didn’t see the pixels that appear when a character dies. Anyway, knowing that Meteora was able to revive Blitz’s kid I wouldn’t be so sad neither about Alice nor about Selesia no matter their fates. Not to mention that Magane and the main guy so far haven’t shown their cards. Still, having ability of revival is a double edged sword and I’m afraid the show may cut itself in some way. Speaking about other matters, there’s still stopping to talk mid-fight and fighting weirdly (why didn’t Selesia and 2nd-rate-Shinji fight Charon together? Don’t tell me two robots (and one of them a giant-ass one) can’t obliterate a single one). I guess that’s just how things in many anime are.

Sakura Quest (Ep. 22)

      It seems like with Erika’s tooth also came out a bit of her childish stubbornness. It’s very true that sometimes any arguments of a third party simply can’t make a difference and only a very close person can help to appreciate other opinions. It’s also a lesson of maturity for Erika – she may as well go and live in Tokyo but even if her mother’s opinion isn’t relevant (probably because of dim future prospects), she isn’t the only one who deeply cares about Erika. The ending also very satisfyingly made things click – ideas borrowed from Warabiya also brought more light to the streets of Manoyama – just the thing Erika wanted. Maybe that also had some effect since in the end (as expected) Erika decided to settle down for a time being and even acknowledged Shiori’s opinion as having right to be valid. Maybe there might have been more to this story but with only 3 episodes left the festival stuff will probably completely usurp the scene. Somehow it’s comforting that as with other two treasures, the search of the Golden Dragon also turned out not be that trivial.

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