Musings and Reflections – Fall 2017 Week 1

Kino no Tabi (Ep. 1)

     The new look of Kino certainly needs some time to settle in. It‘s quite funny that even though the VAs are completely different from the first show, their speaking manner remains virtually the same. It feels like both Kino and Hermes have acquired some throat problems along the way but apart from that they sound exactly like before. Anyway, the general feeling of the story remains and I’m very happy about that. It could’ve been an amazing episode if not for the usual sprinkle of “Kino logic”. First of all, isn’t it too convenient that the gatekeeper emphasized that anyone might get killed in the country but said nothing about killing still being a crime? And no matter how well you try to explain that killing isn’t prohibited but also punished, it still just makes a logical loop with no satisfying ending. I mean, when the blond guy got hot, everyone decided to kill him because of the law, but it still should count as a wish to kill, shouldn’t it? As always, the idea is interesting but there’s no way that such a dumb law system could actually exist in the real world. One final quip – I understand that when Kino encountered the second guy with the horse near the end, it was supposed to mirror the first encounter, but still I believe that mirroring something shouldn’t mean just copying and pasting some CG that didn’t look that good in the first place.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 1)

     As expected, it should be a fine show, especially since I’m already familiar with the OVA. The introductory episode on the other hand concerned me a bit. The way Chise became an apprentice was glossed over really quickly without sufficient explanations of how Chise became a person who would willingly sell herself in this day and age. To be frank, I doubt anyone would even consider a possibility of selling himself as an alternative to a suicide. The way everything unfolded didn’t look the slightest as an introduction to a slice of life series. I mean a girl is sold as a slave to a weird dude who calls her his puppy, forcefully bathes her and later on decides to wed her. I know only one genre where such things happen and it certainly isn’t slice of life. But yeah, knowing the context makes me feel far less uncomfortable about all this. The second part started showing more of the world of magicians, and that was fine except I’d rather have such a story as a separate episode because it did steal some time from the first part. At this point I can only tell that the possibilities are endless and, as the introductions are apparently almost done, it’s up to the show itself to prove its worth.

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 14)

     Well, we got a catfight there and that yet again reinforces the statement that Ballroom doesn’t know how to make a decent female character – neither a bland sheep nor a violent, scheming and arrogant creature with whom no one would like to have anything in common. After the fight Chinatsu again showed her stiff neck pushing Tatara into teaming with her for real. And that didn’t add any enjoyment because I don’t particularly like either indecisive characters or indecisive real life people. Sure, you can have some time choosing but everything should have boundaries – you can’t quick smoking if you once in a while decide that one or two cigarettes won’t do any harm. And Chinatsu does exactly that – she balances between her drive to dance and choice to quit everything for good. It wouldn’t be so bad but she changes her attitudes more often than socks. To some extent Tatara behaves exactly the same – he understands that at this point Chinatsu isn’t a suitable partner for him and teaming up is forceful without even a possibility to click as well as Tatara was able with Mako. Yet the wish to have a partner forces Tatara to accept Chinatsu’s offer and thus condemn himself to constant stress and yielding his positions. Come on, let’s think logically. Chinatsu, please decide and don’t falter causing trouble for everyone. Tatara, calm down and find a suitable partner, or at least define your partnership with Chinatsu. Even if it’s clear that the  pair will grow to be effective later on, I still can’t approve of their lack of spine – complaining without trying to change anything isn’t doing anything. Meanwhile the competitions are taking too much time. It feels like training isn’t needed at all and Tatara and Chinatsu developed their partnership only off-screen. The fact isn’t helped by the usual lack of lengthy sakuga scenes. Maybe the competitions would have more weight if they happened less frequently? Now the show feels like one big tournament arc. An interesting thought – as Tatara and Chinatsu need to sync together, I guess some exercises that in NGE Shinji and Asuka did would be welcome. To be frank, that single montage somehow seems to have more spirit than this whole show.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (Ep. 1)

     At first let’s talk about the art because it’s clearly the most impressive thing so far. The backgrounds stand out even so much that sometimes it seems that they overshadow everything else. Made in Abyss could boast about impressive visuals but this show aims to surpass that. The watercolors and outstanding amount of detail may even raise a question whether the backgrounds have received the most attention compared to each and every possible aspect of the show. Character designs match the backgrounds surprisingly well – each character has his own color code and even this multitude of colors looks well when put together which isn’t the most common thing nowadays. Yes, character faces aren’t that memorable but at least everything else definitely leaves an impression. The concept of rock ships, sand oceans, mystery girls and the unknown hasn’t bought me yet but as any adventure tale it has enough time to prove itself. I’m not entirely sure that the tiny joke segments match the tone of the show but at least they aren’t annoying. There were some slips story-wise as the beginning felt like Chakuro just randomly needed to run around and give us a tour and nobody paid any attention about bringing an unknown mascot chipmunk to the Whale. Still, as of yet the show has me intrigued. The animation itself might be lacking but the stylishness is very compelling regardless of how the story will turn out, and it can go oh so many ways. One of them leads to becoming a carbon copy of Shinsekai yori – the setting, mysteries and to some extent character designs show some similarities.

 

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2 Comments

  1. I started watching Mahoutsukai no Yome yesterday, and started with the OVA and after that this first episode. Have to admit that the OVA was better, but that doesn’t mean I did not like the first episode. The series as a whole looks beautiful, and I think it has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see where this one will be headed. Seeing as they can take it in so many different directions 😊

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