Musings and Reflections – Fall 2017 Week 4

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Ep. 4)

     You know it’s a decent slice of life show when nothing happens but you still feel content and would love to watch the next episode immediately. What makes this one work? Character dynamic, for instance. Even during everyday situations Chi and Yuu have something to talk about, to reference their immediate past or to blabber anything that comes to mind but the subtle sense of humor, variety of topics, specific character traits of the girls and, of course, brilliance of the VAs make it a very pleasant experience. Character animation as always also plays a big role in making the characters dear and relatable – just like that moment when Chi doesn’t forget to check if Yuu’s hair looks alright before taking a photo. The second part succeeded mainly because of the setting – the temple sure felt mysterious, with all these weird and slightly unsettling statues built everywhere (but who the hell would build one straight in the middle of a road?). The scene when Yuu finds herself in the dark impressed me quite a bit – claustrophobic shots and tilted angles sure makes you as well as Yuu (pun intended) feel uneasy. So yeah, even though the story is very laid back and almost unambitious, there’re many little things that make it endearing.

Kino no Tabi (Ep. 4)

     For the whole episode I kept that Tiffany (or what’s her name) expression which exactly describes my level of excitement. Well, let’s talk about relatable characters. Shizu? One episode (and a tiny bit of another) isn’t enough to make me care about. He’s just a bland righteous guy without anything else going about him for now. Kino? It was portrayed that Shizu’s choice to remain with the people rather than oversee them was a sound and empathical one, so should I like Kino because she chose the opposite? I guess it leaves Riko, and he’s only likable because he has a cute face. Right. Also, there’s too much idiots everywhere. The fact that the people chose not to leave the ship was kind of a point so that’s fine but the AI… How can an AI decide that it’s not safe to land because some other people might attack but it’s perfectly ok to sail a sinking ship? It’s not that there’s lack of manpower so what kind of AI would manage to overlook the fact that the ship is barely floating when there’re certainly opportunities to fix it? Whoever did the programming screwed up hard. And you tell me that on this whole ship there wasn’t a single person who would take care of Tiffany since she was born because she wasn’t related to anyone? I don’t know, maybe I have a too idealistic view on the humanity but come on. While I appreciated that Shizu and not Kino was the center of the story, the explanation that was info-dumped by Hermes near the end threw away all the good work building a nicely flowing story. To sum up, it’s just another half-assed attempt to give some possibly interesting ideas an embodiment. Oh well.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 4)

     Somehow any time an anime ascertains that mages and sorcerers are completely different and one shouldn’t confuse them by all means, I’m forced to laugh. In this show they seem pretty similar so far and only their goals (whatever they might be) differ. Anyway, a story about cats seems fitting concerning all this magical stuff, though it’s still not clear why precisely cats have to oversee that region and what’s the point of having them in this particular story in the first place. Still, such a bizarre idea of a cat country was implemented in the usual world quite nicely – a cat may have an owner whom she looks to be taking care of (which also sounds funny). Also at this point I have to mention how much I do love the locations – it’s a real refreshment after so many uninspired high-school related anime. All the other stuff, concerning that sick girl and her husband and the sorcerers remains unclear. I just hope that the next episode will sort things out, kidnapping Chise, throwing her into the lake and, of course, Chise’s visions included. By the way, doesn’t it look familiar? The previous arc also had Chise kidnapped by a flying blond person who in the end threw Chise into a lake. Well, let’s hope that the best moments of the arc are still awaiting.

Ballroom e Youkoso (Ep. 17)

     I appreciate all the effort to make Tatara-Chinatsu relationship deepen but it didn’t make a really interesting episode. All I could think of was the fact that Tatara and Chinatsu just don’t mesh. Why force the thing then? Mako was clearly happy with Tatara and she has the skills to be a great partner. She also is still physically incompatible with the Jerk. I’ve said that already quite a lot but is there really a point in not separating for our main couple? I bet Chinatsu even would be happier with the Jerk. Yes, sometimes it’s good to aim higher and overcome some pretty difficult obstacles but that only makes sense if there’s some achievable goal so that you won’t have to try to break a brick wall with a needle, and that’s precisely how I’d describe the progress of Tatara’s and Chinatsu’s pair. Meanwhile the onsen part provided as always completely unnecessary fanservice. At least it gave some spirit to otherwise not that interesting bickering, shouting and all the other drama stuff. Maybe if I cared more about the characters it would’ve been a more meaningful character-building episode but oh well.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (Ep. 4)

     I guess great visuals don’t always come with a great story. Well, it isn’t bad, but certainly not on par with everything else. I’m just skeptical. An adventure story like this generally should be fun but some elements don’t sit that well with me. I guess till the very end I’ll remember the slaughter of the undeveloped characters and how pointless it felt. This episode provided something similar though of a smaller scale – Chakuro heard that the Whale would be sunk and that apparently only the elders are ok with that so isn’t there a point in telling everyone and trying to do something collectively? I don’t mean anything like an outright revolution but I hope that guards are chosen not because they’re dumb so some talk possibly could’ve persuaded them and no fight would’ve been needed. And what kind of guard is that captain? What’s the point in a guard who himself chooses who to let through and who not based only on his own gut feeling? Another thing that didn’t sit well with me is that after that hallucination scene and a moment with his dead waifu (I guess it will be Chakuro’s motivation for the whole season) Chakuro so quickly gets a new one who previously wasn’t important to the story at all. At least she proved to be useful but jokes concerning her feel a bit at odds with the grave atmosphere of the story. Well, maybe not grave but at least serious. It shouldn’t be a harem story, you hear me? By the way, I like Lycos’ logic – “we came to slaughter everyone on that other Whale and that’s reasonable but we didn’t plan to attack you lot, sorry about that, our bad”.

 

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