Musings and Reflections – Winter 2018 Week 6

One phrase impressions:

Violet Evergarden Disney!
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni –  Hamsters are awesome!
Ito Junji: Collection – It’s supposed to be animated, right?
Mahoutsukai no Yome – Run from the beast!
Fate/Extra Last Encore – And I thought Fate was interesting…

Violet Evergarden (Ep. 5)

  • SHE SMILED!
  • That last scene and the one before when the Princess had that intimate moment with her nanny made me grin like an idiot. To be frank, that’d be enough to forget any complaints I might have about the episode if we judge it by the emotional impact it had. And I don’t even need to remember countless gorgeous character animation moments and very suitable soundtrack.
  • I’m afraid I have to be not only frank but also fair, and there are other things to talk about, and not all of them are that great. The overall feel of the episode was vastly different from all of the previous ones, so I guessed (incorrectly) that KyoAni finally started adapting one of the chapters of the original novel. Compared to previous episodes Violet was pushed from the role of protagonist to the sidelines and if I haven’t known that the show was precisely about Violet, I probably wouldn’t have guessed it judging by this episode alone. Not only we saw Violet less, we were left in the dark about her emotions most of times. Previously there had been lots of shots of Violet’s body movements and facial expressions and now that was mostly veiled, so viewers’ connection with her was damped.
  • Another great change (by impact, and not necessarily by quality) was that Violet had already become sort of adept at writing, so this constitutes a very abrupt time jump. Naturally I was very confused as to why would anyone send Violet on a mission where stakes are incredibly high and it’s a question between war and peace. It appears that she had actually mastered some of the techniques, even if they may be only standard phrases learned by heart. Still, as before Violet seemed to be indefinitely stuck in the beginner phase, now she seems to have made much progress, though it happened off-screen. This new assignment (and probably others before) let Violet to see how other people handle love, but apart from developing some short-lived friendships, I don’t think Violet really got what she wanted from choosing her new profession. It’s one thing to observe people in love and another to experience it yourself, especially if you don’t have your loved one near you which for Violet is inevitable.
  • Speaking about that, Violet should be older than 14, right? Otherwise if she spent a substantial amount of time in hospital that would make the Major a lolicon, right? I’m not sure that’s a direction I want the show to take. Still, you are perfectly correct about ages, Violet, so go meet every character of Koi wa Ameagari no You ni and present them your statistical analysis, let’s see what will happen.
  • The last thing I want to address is the whole set up of letter writing royalty. The idea that even nobility have it hard sometimes with arranged marriages and stuff is ok, but I don’t know if royalty should be allowed to say such things like “I’m not a mature, thoughtful or a great guy” or “I’m a crybaby with short temper” in public letters at all. As far as I understand it, royalty represents a country, so would you go to war for a guy who isn’t that great? Would you be content to get killed for a crybaby with short temper rather than staying at home and protecting your family? I feel it could be a huge blow to the public morale, unless of course each and every person in their countries are head over heels for the betrothed, and somehow I find that unlikely. In times of fragile peace you should play it safe, and we witnessed the opposite.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (Ep. 5)

  • Hamsters! Enhancing relationships, evoking jealousy and being the most useful plot devices since ever!
  • And, as ever, this episode was very enjoyable. How could it be otherwise with simple and endearing and well animated moments like Akira leaving her shoes closer to Kondou’s, or the kid struggling to pour some tea. The positives were a bit diluted by all these conveniences like the circumstances that led Akira to Kondou’s house and got her shirt soiled with spilled tea.
  • Still, I can discount that. How could it be otherwise when the backgrounds are so vivid?
  • I also love how the show is capable to evoke various feelings. When Akira sits in the cupboard, you really get a sensation that she is gravely intruding into the private life of Kondou and his son. Later on when she begins feeling hot, it’s so overpowering, that I have to admit – I started feeling hot and stuffy myself.
  • Thinking about more general things, I have a feeling that meeting Kodou’s wife (and that’s going to happen eventually without a doubt) will be a huge moment for Akira. She may even want to copy her in order to suit Kondou’s tastes better.
  • At this point I begin to think that Akira is getting too pushy and aggressive. I get why and I like that she doesn’t let the show stagnate in the same situation forever but her behavior starts looking more and more creepy. I don’t know anything about Akira’s past in terms of love experiences, but she looks extremely determined, as if she already had been burned because of choosing not to act. I understand Akira’s wishes to squeeze into Kondou’s life as much as possible. Still, getting attached to his clothes and aggressively peeking into Kondou’s private life (figuratively and literally) aren’t the most normal things to do. I guess it’s an opportunity she can’t miss, but it may be getting a bit over the top. The same goes for getting so jealous because of hamster talks. Well, she’s just a girl with so little experience that I guess it’s understandable.
  • A bit random thought – I don’t like the first moments of the OP. To me these voice-breaking high notes don’t sound aesthetic at all.

Ito Junji: Collection (Ep. 6)

  • About the first part the only two things that I can commend are a few seconds of animation of moving hands and the very last shot that implies that the house is at least partly alive and can morph as its owner wills.
  • Everything else was as bad as ever. The monster woman had so incredibly obnoxious hair color that her appearance was more laughable than scary. Her VA spoke over still images, and that both takes a viewer out of the story and continues the trend of cutting corners whenever possible and looking exceptionally uninspired.
  • Now when the first part is left to oblivion, I must say I’m very surprised that the show could pull off a moving story that was the second segment. Sure, the animation and everything else is as forgettable as always but the story itself was a thing for me.
  • Actually, without prior knowledge I’d guess that it was written by anyone but Junji Ito. It has no horror elements that can’t be translated well into the anime form, and the idea, though esoteric, is more sad than scary. It’s strange but after so many segments I can finally pinpoint one that I really liked, and that had very little of usual Junji Ito.
  • I’m afraid newt week we’ll once again dive into the swamp of monsters-with-obnoxious-hair stuff but even if we already seen the best the show can do, it’s not a complete garbage. Unless the next episode will feature more of Souichi’s butt. But let’s think positive.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 18)

  • I guess an anime doesn’t get approval to be made if it hasn’t got a single scene with tentacles…
  • I think I prefer episodes (at least for this show) that aren’t as segmented. If there’s a common thread between all the parts, it’s not easy for me to find it, and I see only separate stories.
  • We started with the arrival of Stella, and I’m happy that Chise found another friend. Add some other people, and I guess at least from the social standpoint Chise is finally leading a pretty healthy life.
  • The problem of course is Elias. It’s natural that a being being humanized would also get some negative emotions but Elias’s behavior is over the top. Yes, Chise is a human but after so little time she was able to make friends so has Elias been a professional hikikomori all these years? His emotions are overflowing, and I’d guess that even if he can’t control them, with all his experience he should be able to see that coming.
  • In theory this storyline should be quite strong – a beast that strives to be human gets conflicted and almost fails dramatically. In practice I don’t think I know about Elias enough to care about him even after 1,5 season. The show is about Chise and Elias is basically a supporting character. It’s hard to read him because he doesn’t have a face, so that’s another reason why I can’t like him that much. Chise on the other hand seems to like him a lot. It’s to be expected that after much time observing him she knows when he’s acting strangely but it’s very dangerous to forget that Elias’s actions can’t be predicted. Chise feels lots of gratitude for him (and maybe something more) but if it was me, I’d run away as soon as possible, or at least be a thousand times more cautious. Elias is picking up some human emotions but he’s still an untamed beast.
  • At this point I can’t see relationship between Elias and Chise working, and, oh the surprise, I can reiterate that Akira and Kondou from Koi wa Ameagari no You ni for me seems to be a far more suitable and plausible pair.
  • Moving on, encounter with Angelica’s husband gave Chise another choice to see how ordinary human/not ordinary human (or non-human) relationships can work. I think from this one Chise learned that she has a chance with Elias, but everything needs time – Elias can’t be tamed in one day. That’s all well and good but we already saw many these happy (or at least quasi-happy) pairs and it supposes an idea that every single relationship eventually works out well. Chise should also see a similar relationship that failed horribly, just to get a grasp of all the possibilities because I repeat – at this point Chise and Elias aren’t compatible.
  • I think I already know where from this black dragon in ED came to being. It’s too early to start the build up for the grand finale but some stolen dragons, and some mischief with Stella sounds very promising.
  • By the way, I just realized that my favorite color is very similar to that of Chise’s coat.

Fate/Extra Last Encore (Ep. 3)

  • “I am me”, right?
  • To be frank, I wasn’t impressed. The truth is, I already saw countless Fate exposition scenes and countless Fate battles when the outcome is more than clear. I get that the show is also supposed to be easy digestible for newcomers but as technically I’m not one, I don’t feel much excitement.
  • Rin getting more attention was nice but apart from spewing some exposition that as always could’ve been explained in way less complicated manner she didn’t leave any impression. The only exception might be this – people who started “umu-meter” for Saber should do the same thing with Rin’s “desho”.
  • How did Hakuno survive his second death is brushed under a rug, and I find it unlikely that a person knowing that he should be dead by all means shouldn’t try to get an answer to a question “how?”. Apparently such a woodblock that Hakuno is doesn’t give a damn.
  • Mana transfer scene was a bit surprising, so I guess I can add this way of sharing life energy to Rin’s crystals, Deen’s Dragon and the usual way. Yeah, that one.
  • The fight was ok but not much more than that. After all that ufotable has done such level of craftsmanship simply isn’t enough.
  • Was I supposed to care for Shinji? I confess I didn’t pay much attention to his reasoning but it sounded Fate-level of unnecessary complicated explanations that generally fail to evoke any emotion apart from “oh, we’re done already?”.
  • At least Hakuno didn’t die third episode in a row. It wouldn’t be a huge loss for the show though. With Rin on the board I secretly wish for Shiro to appear for some reason. I guess Hakuno is fine too.
  • Ok, 6 floors remaining.

     Hey, everyone! I guess you noticed that I changed a bit the way I write my episodic thoughts. It happened on a whim and this new form is still unrefined. As we say in my country – it’s neither devil nor cuckoo. The change was probably evoked by my constant subconscious discontent about the results of my wish to fit all these rather unconnected thoughts in at least marginally cohesive paragraphs. Many anibloggers use bullet points for the same reason, and it definitely seems to be far more efficient in both conveying information and not getting lost while reading it. Also I thought of showing my overall impressions on each episode (Liked / Ok / Disliked), which might prove to be interesting statistically by the end of the season. So how do you think about these tiny changes?  Is it better? Is it worse? Should I try something else?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Oh god…please don’t remind me of Souichi’s butt…..that was true horror 😱😱😱😱
    😂😂
    I agree though, the second story was moving…but still at this point, I will be very surprised if this series is going to turn into something good. It will be remain mediocre in all likelyhood, unless I am vastly mistaking 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • At this point I think Souichi is at the same level as “meshing” from Hand Shakers.
      All things considered I may be happy if the shows ends up being mediocre – it has all credentials to be very bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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