Musings and Reflections – Fall 2017 Week 3

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Ep. 3)

     Just like I expected – something new happens (that is the new character (voiced by none other than the notorious Akira Ishida if my ears don’t lie) appears) and the girls get a goal, no matter that it’s temporary. These additions come at just the right time when the overall tone is established and some developments can start to appear. Thematically the episode comes very near to Kino no Tabi and its existential problems – what can you make of a man who wanders making maps that no one needs? The episode also provided some very nice moments – Yuu insisting that she doesn’t love food above all else and in the end giving some to the mapper (and in turn receiving a similar gift from Chi) was very heartwarming indeed. At this point it’s also appropriate to address the CG. Sure, when it’s only the vehicle, it’s fine, but if any of the characters also appear in CG, particularly when, say, Chi (CG) is driving and Yuu (2D) is standing nearby, it’s quite difficult not to cringe. The collapsing building also looked rather unrealistic. To be frank, the whole idea that a usual glass and metal structure could fall down and still basically retain its form sounds as fantastical as a pair of dragons. P.s. I feel for you, Chi. #FearOfHeightsForLife.

Kino no Tabi (Ep. 3)

     Basically my reaction to the episode was “yeah, so what?”. Sure, some people may be bothersome but do you need to create a whole episode about it? For me there just wasn’t anything that interesting about it. The last episode about the Coliseum had a negative impact on this one – I’m afraid there’s still no reason for me to like this new Kino, as after effectively butchering a whole country last time she didn’t get any brownie points in this episode. Yes, her purpose for the most part is to be a bystander, an observer, but somehow Kino from the old show had something likable about her and I can’t say anything similar about the new one. An idea about a moving country is an interesting one, but it seems like the attitude of its residents would benefit from some empathy. Is it normal to just go trampling everything with a stance of “we just don’t want to turn around so move away. We’ll destroy your crops and buildings and stuff but we’ll be quick about it. And, yeah, by the way, we’re kinda sorry about that. See ya!”. Also the whole thing of such a huge machine stopping in order to take in a single stray traveler seems like a terribly inefficient use of power. So yeah, it just wasn’t an interesting episode. I can’t say it was bad but if the show wants to reach the quality of the old Kino, it needs to do far better than now to breach my indifference.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 3)

     I’m still not comfortable about how quickly the action moved to Iceland without any set-up or narrative reason. Yet, the episode finally managed to strike the right cord. Examining such fundamentals as cycle of life and death or a place in nature of any living creature calls for discretion and subtlety and I think the show nailed it. Especially for Chise it should be very uncomfortable to see how peacefully the dragons are able to view the fact of death and leave present life without regrets. Chise’s past hasn’t been shown fully yet but her mother’s death probably was one of the defining events of her life making her as she has been before meeting Elias – lonely, full of regrets and without much inclination to live. This meeting with the dragons should teach Chise a bit of coming into terms with the inevitable and living her life to the fullest. Sure, it might not be a sudden change but I feel that she placed this message deep inside to let it grow. The old dragon itself was portrayed very impressively – from the moss to the peeling scales, not to mention his whole size. The idea of death immediately giving life to another being speaks of a fundamental truth and also suggests that every experience, be it pleasant or not, has some meaning, even if you can’t understand it at the moment. Just as Chise’s painful past made it possible for her to become who she is now and pursue a happy future.

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 16)

     Quite unexpectedly I have barely any negatives to say about the episode. That grand prix part felt like anything but a grand prix. Technically it’s supposed to be a competition above all other competitions but it looked even duller than anything we’ve seen already. Please use the competitions sparingly – no anime can be alive let alone interesting using only half-baked tournament arcs. The four-legged thing reminded me of Junji Ito, so Tatara’s confusion about it was quite well portrayed. I wonder why anything similar didn’t happen with Mako if they were synced so perfectly. The other part of the episode also quite well portrayed the building stress when Tatara and Chinatsu tried to force things, even when it’s clear that they’re incompatible right now. Wouldn’t it be a better choice to split up? Also I noticed that Chinatsu changed her personality since her introduction. At first she was that arrogant and bratty gal who can’t be wrong and looks down on any lame dancing dude. Now she’s just hot-headed but also able to listen to Tatara’s opinions to some extent. I’m not sure the change was gradual enough but it’s definitely better not to see that initial Chinatsu ever again..

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (Ep. 3)

     Well, come on, you see an exhausted person, possibly your friend who might as well have easily died by now, and you say what? Of course – “what happened to your clothes?”. The show’s first episode was very impressive but after that it certainly didn’t get better. Lack of establishment and build up to this slaughtering came back to bite once more. No matter how hard Kujira no Kora tried to evoke empathy, it failed. Come on, I’ve barely seen these people each like for 20 seconds at most and now you expect me to care? That one is dead and this one, the chieftess and that another guy are also dead, what’s that to me? What was the point of having so many characters appear and share the screentime if many of them already died and died without any effect on me? This whole military operation is also a bit fishy. If this army came to eradicate that other ship then why would they start killing everyone on this one? And, stranger still, why would they suddenly stop? Not to mention that the military is pretty incompetent, conveniently stopping and sparing some certain characters. Also, we saw what Ouni, Chakuro and Lykos can do when they concentrate and become determined to fight till the end – the military guys are beaten like no big deal. In the first episode it was told that 9/10 of all the population can use this Thymia (and Chakuro is even counted as being pretty inept at it) so why aren’t the military guys being ones completely wiped out? I’d think a score of competent Thymia wielders could destroy everything to dust. And of course we get an obnoxious villain character with an obnoxious hair color. Don’t tell me these military guys are supposed to be lacking emotions because this dude clearly doesn’t. Oh well, I guess I should lower my expectations quite a bit as our unlikely hero motivated by his dead girlfriend together with a new girlfriend, a fragile wise man and an antihero with a dark past (and dark hair, of course) will try to save the nation, destroy the villains and get their revenge. How original.

 

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  1. I was nominated – The Unique Blogger Award! – Keiko's Anime blog

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