Musings and Reflections – Summer 2017 Week 11

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 10)

     The Akagi siblings’ history was revealed but I still see the Jerk as the Jerk. Only Mako’s wish to be paired with him now may be viewed in the light of knowing that she wants to perform so well that her skills would help her brother to win, and in that way she may repay her debt of having him agree to dance with her at the very beginning. Anyway, the episode felt extremely long and boring. This tournament arc is almost endless – I have no recollection about its start and no idea how stretched it’s going to be. And why is that? I guess one of the reasons is that the stakes are extremely low. Any shounen fight needs some struggling against the odds and it applies to a tournament arc even more. And what would happen if Tatara lost? Nothing, really. Sure, he’d be a bit upset for a day or two and the pairs would remain as they are. And what of it? Tatara should be happy that he managed to get an experienced partner at all in the first place, the Jerk has already shown what he thinks about Mako’s gratefulness and Mako-Tatara pairing is better because of their physicality. I don’t care what the Jerk wants or needs and the less I see him the happier I am. Finally Shizuku only now starts to develop a personality so I can’t say I care about her in the first place. Also I doubt she’ll remain with the Jerk once Hyoudo will get his leg healed. So yeah, it even looks that Tatara would gain more if he didn’t won this competition. So what’s the point in elaborating every single second of dancing? It’s getting anything but interesting. There was nothing really bad about the episode, it just didn’t have any highlights, animation (as always) included.

Made in Abyss (Ep. 10)

     Well. The episode. Right. I can’t remember when was the last time I watched anything like this. Anything as immersive, anything as dark or anything as well-made. Going out of the state of being absolutely astounded I can gloat a bit because I totally called that Riko will have to suffer physically. Still, I had no idea that the magnitude of the suffering would be as high. As if for every last bit of luck the pair already had Riko now needs to pay with her own blood, interest included, and that makes Reg as stressed as ever. Never has he looked as human as now. Don’t mention Reg’s arms and you’ll have no way of proving that he’s a robot. The visuals also definitely need mentioning. At first the surroundings were quite impressive (I wonder how the creators manage to think of so many different locations that change very organically) but it was the painful segments that stood out incredibly. Going extra miles in showing, say, Reg’s trembling hands, unstoppable bleeding and claustrophobic close-ups make the episode stand out by far compared to pretty much anything you can think of this season, and even longer than that. It’s just becomes excessively painful to watch. Still, Nanachi wasn’t impressed. It was actually a perfect time to introduce a new character – Ozen was already left, the pair received some time alone and now the things may liven up a bit once more. Nanachi as a being fully deserves an episode named after her – her origins, abilities and story are very intriguing, and Shiori Izawa found the right voice for the character. I also have to praise the scene were Reg applied first aid to Riko. Probably any other anime would’ve made Reg blush and shy away from a kiss but Made in Abyss once again treated the matter maturely – a life is far more important than aggravating and out of place anime-isms. Overall, it was just an excellent episode. I guess even after five or so years if I remember the show, it’ll be these very scenes that will be the most vivid. May we talk about saving anime again?

Re:Creators (Ep. 21)

     Knowing how dissatisfied I have been with some of the episodes and just ideas in general that the show chooses, I must say that everything is wrapping up pretty well. Last episode it seemed to me that it wasn’t possible to get a cohesive ending at all and now I stand corrected. Still, there’re things I’m not happy with. That Setsuna girl was created by the main dude, and he did that only basing everything on his memories. And let’s remember, he knew her for quite a short while, plus during the very last months he had absolutely no contact with her. So how authentic is this creation? It seems like the main guy was incredibly lucky theorizing how Setsuna must have felt, and that was a very far shot. Making a character that resembles an actual girl when you hardly spend any time with her and have no way of knowing what she thinks of sounds too good to be true. And Altair was surprisingly eager to swallow the bait, even knowing that everything was a sham. Maybe the real Setsuna died cursing the world and Altair and everything and everyone, spewing bitterness left and right. Who can tell? Well, on the other hand Altair wanted to know her creator in the first place so even a fake one might be better than no one. But still, Altair also had the right to react something like “you try to manipulate me? I’ll destroy you even more painfully!!”. The new Setsuna and the old one are completely different people – the former being just someone who the main guy wants her to be regardless of the actual person. Considering that, it was a gamble that ended surprisingly well. And why did the main guy loose his calmness? He already had broken down saying almost the same exact words. And getting emotional because he liked his creation and she forgave him is a bit too narcissistic, isn’t it? Also, why did Setsuna need to die once more? None of the other creations were affected by their story elements that were yet to happen. I hope the final episode answers the question about the mechanics of Altair’s entry into the world. If it turns out that she summoned other characters only because of her omnipotence, count me disappointed. And please let Magane do something. She’s severely underused.

Sakura Quest (Ep. 24)

     This episode and the final one probably should’ve aired as an hour special considering all the wrapping-up work that has already begun. In many cases the episode emphasizes how much everyone has grown and how better are the decisions that need to be made. Setting up such comparisons naturally adds some continuity and for a longer than one-cour show it’s always a welcome sight. Yoshino has already completed her arc of consciously deciding that a country isn’t that bad and this time she strengthened the notion by adding that the appeal of any job in any place also depends on the person himself and his outlook on everything. The crew as a whole used their knowledge not to trust TV producers who ultimately care only for their skins, and rejecting such an offer is even more important because the festival is being held for the locals as previous events proved that a transient surge of people doesn’t do any good in a long run. The scene also signifies a point when the old chief finally comes into terms with the notion that traditions aren’t necessarily a bad thing and in order to protect Manoyama as it is he needs to preserve what already makes Manoyama unique and any extra-weird initiatives (especially chupakabra related) might not always work. It’s also a bit odd but heartwarming to see the chief finally getting an idea that actually (and finally) might be a useful one. Other than that, exoskeletons and various returning people set a stage for a memorable last episode, reminding about all of the journey. I’ll be sad when the show ends. I guess the most thing I’ll miss will be the weirdness of Sandal. Just remember “watashi no roots”… As always he’s on a completely different level than anyone else.

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2 Comments

  1. Yay, glad someone agrees with me when it comes to Welcome to the Ballroom being so terrible. Just so much ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Yeah, the only interesting thing about the show is its premise and everything else just has been already done and way better.

      Like

      Reply

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