Musings and Reflections – Winter 2018 Week 9

One phrase impressions:

Violet Evergarden Poor girl…
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni –  Rashomon and stuff.
Ito Junji: Collection – Tomie!
Mahoutsukai no Yome – Well, Elias deserved that.
Fate/Extra Last EncoreFate is suffering.

Violet Evergarden (Ep. 8)

  • Damn, that was brutal. KyoAni strayed as far from moe slice of life as possible, but still impressed as always. It was very hard to stomach waves of blood that scatter everywhere, bodies that fly left and right, and most of all the meaninglessness of all that.

  • After quite a few bittersweet or outright sweet episodes it was very easy to forget that Violet had been a soldier, and what it actually meant. At present she looks and behaves like a slightly immature but still very functional member of the society, knowing her courtesies and able to do her job just fine. Seeing everything that she had to endure (and that’s not the end, considering the news) it makes me even a bit happy that at first she wasn’t self-conscious enough to understand everything.
  • Our perception of Gilbert also was deepened in a quite elegant non-verbal way. Before the Major was simply a man who was important to Violet but now it’s confirmed that his last words definitely weren’t empty. I actually feel relieved that from what we saw it can be easily inferred that Gilbert’s words of love didn’t necessarily mean romantic love. A man who had nothing to do in the battlefield tried to be everything for Violet, and it doesn’t really matter now if Violet will be able to decipher what exact feelings Gilbert had for her, the fact persists that Violet was more important to him than a random passerby. I think verbalizing his affection was the right choice, as we see that his efforts successfully started transforming Violet to a human being, and hopefully even this tragic realization won’t let her stray from the right path.
  • There will probably be another confrontation between Violet and Dietfried because I don’t think this one exhausted all its potential already. I’d probably rate this exchange among most powerful moments in the show so far. Violet asked about Gilbert, full well knowing the answer and still refusing it, trying to find the slightest hint that everything might be a lie. Dietfried also received a bit of a blow since Gilbert’s affection for Violet truly proved to be able to make her human, something Dietfried at the time might have dismissed as an impossible whim of his brother. I can only theorize but it seems to me that Dietfried was also struck that such a doll that he expected Violet to be was able to be so emotive and so clear about her pain, while Dietfried himself probably made peace with his brother’s death far more easily.
  • I don’t like being critical about things that greatly affect me but I think I should say that I wasn’t completely satisfied with some reused footage, probably too dark  (in terms of lighting) war scenes, and, well, some pretty much unavoidable cheesiness that comes with this sort of tales.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (Ep. 8)

  • Theme: friendships. Participants: everyone.

  • How many anime can you name that lets the main lead get a pimple? If any, how many of them later on uses that pimple for thematic reasons?
  • Yui’s embarrassed behavior felt unconventional in a very good way. Anime girls usually hide their faces in their hands and start crying or do something similar, so hiding behind a table seemed a bit unique, showing that Yui is both trusting in Akira but also very uncomfortable talking about her feelings.
  •  I don’t know if Kondou’s attempts to force the idea that he and Akira are friends (and everything ends with that) are more laughable or pitiable. Yet, I was very surprised that Kondou’s declaration of friendship actually made Akira happy and quite optimistic. She even invited Haruka to the festival, and not Kondou. It’s just like her brain became reset – Akira no longer seems that desperate to get into a relationship and for now even a friendship seems good enough. I still believe that Akira is in no way qualified to give dating advice since she herself is confusing Kondou’s feelings, but if everything turns out well for Yui and that dude, I’ll be more than content.
  • Great – more Haruka! I’m not sure what was the purpose of introducing a new guy with a history that is surprisingly similar to Akira’s. He did got a point across that Akira still wants to run, only can’t, but apart from that (and suggesting the possibility that Akira’s trauma may not be terminal) he wasn’t particularly useful.
  • And then – even more Rashomon! By the way, Keiko did get quite deep about it, so check it out. This time Rashomon seems to indicate that Akira changed her attitude from mindlessly pursuing Kondou to building a healthier relationship, she even found some time for Haruka. Why did Akira change? I don’t know. Was Kondou’s hug so powerful?
  • Asking for a sequel, Akira, eh? Such short stories are precisely so good because they leave that space for the reader to insert his own thoughts and feelings and try to imagine what do the ambiguous words and passages really mean. I guess in this regard Akira can be thought of a modern anime fan of sorts – a fan who desperately wants a sequel of his beloved series (think Kino no Tabi), but sequels aren’t always needed, and may even make things worse (think Kino no Tabi again). I guess the goal of KoiAme is to lead Akira into choosing her own sequel, a story that would continue when all the Rashomon paralleling stuff will be exhausted.
  • Kondou had said that Akira doesn’t know anything about him. Well, this episode proved that he is willing to change that. Still I don’t think we learned that much since Kondou’s answer about his possible behavior in a Rashomon-like situation is nothing we couldn’t have guessed. Akira’s answer also seems to fit her character – she would go to great lengths to achieve her goals, not paying much attention to the consequences, but staying hopeful that everything will be ok.
  • Akira sure loves her sandwiches. Isn’t there any other type of lunch-food?
  • Seems like Akira-Haruka shippers will be content. I don’t think it will become canon but if some developments are introduced, I’d say such an ending would be fitting.

Ito Junji: Collection (Ep. 9)

  • Well, circumstances of Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (agegap and stuff) had been leaking into Violet Evergarden (the slightly uncomfortable situation with Gilbert and Violet), and now Akira herself decided to try some Junji Ito. Weird stuff.

  • Both stories were incredibly clichéd and only slight details differed from the norm. I wouldn’t say the episode was exciting but precisely these details managed to provide some sort of baseline of creepiness that probably is the best thing the show has going for it.
  • How many times have there been a story about an artist who became so obsessed that he didn’t shy from killing? Yes, I also lost the count. Minor details aside (how did Tomie get into the painter’s house, why did the blond model overreact so much and so on and so on, and so on…), Tomie’s presence was nailed. Even without her, let’s say, physiological quirks she has a very manipulative and crowd-controlling personality, and because of that she’s just generally fun to watch. I’m glad that there will be two OVA episodes featuring Tomie.
  • I’m not sure why the second part had these sort-of-vampire-kids in the first place, the exposition was especially lazy and the story ended far sooner than I would’ve liked. At least the imagery of blood-like fruits was quite impressive.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 21)

  • Well, I didn’t expect that, that’s for sure. In retrospect, a huge conflict had to be introduced, but I thought that getting Chise’s hand fixed would be enough. Guess not. I think that by the season finale Chise and Elias will have their differences already settled but until that point things definitely look interesting.

  • So the witches were useless. I hope they will be important later on somehow because as it is now, this trip to the witch world was absolutely useless. You can say that the witches’ encouragement reminded Chise of Nevin, and that was a bit useful later on, but that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel.
  • Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention but the montage of Elias going to the sorcerers’ to get some information was confusing, as if the track of the characters’ speeches was supposed to be there but it somehow got deleted, or VAs simply didn’t record it because of some error. I get that Elias tried to get some knowledge but I’ve no idea what’s with that torn piece of paper.
  • Uhm, why did Chise injure herself with that convenient, uhm, object? To be sure she’s awake or what?
  • And then there’s the elephant in the room, or two, actually. To start from a simpler one, I don’t get the behavior of Ruth. In the first place he and Chise should share some special connection so Ruth should know better than anyone that using Stella won’t get him any brownie points from Chise. I understand that Ruth may think that a human sacrifice is needed but he should have enough brains to know how Chise feels. Come on, get a terminal cancer patient or something if there’s no other way. It’s just this deliberate blindness that’s bothering me – how can you be a familiar if you chose to ignore the fundamental values of your master, no matter the reasoning?
  • Elias, of course, isn’t much better. I can sort of almost understand that jealousy, especially for not that human creature, might be a very hard nuisance to take care of. Still that doesn’t justify his actions. As Ruth, he wants the best, but it looks like he doesn’t understand Chise the least bit. I don’t know how bad Chise is cursed, but she should have at least some weeks left, right? With the power of magical traveling Elias could check very many of his colleagues and possibly find some specific spell or at least get advice from someone who can actually think.
  • If I understood correctly, Chise can also be saved by killing the dragon. Why then no one thinks about that possibility? I don’t know how much a dragon is valued, and whether it’d be a wise decision, but is it really that important so Elias and Ruth would rather scrap piles of human lives than remember this possibility?
  • So yeah, both Elias and Ruth behaved inadequately dumb so I guess Chise’s response is just as they should’ve expected. I’m a bit sad about the Dog but as I never liked Elias that much, he got what he deserved – the further Chise will run, the better her life will probably be. Until her death that is.

Fate/Extra Last Encore (Ep. 6)

  • I wonder how did this floor look in the game since I highly doubt anyone who was responsible for the art deliberately copied Madoka Magica. It feels really weird when you know it’s Fate but your eyes can’t confirm it. Not only the overall feeling, even some details like that card are taken straight from Madoka. If someone told me that this was an OVA of Madoka, at some points I would’ve wholeheartedly believed. Only Saber at times and the lack of that memorable Yuki Kajiura atmosphere (sorry, Satoru Kosaki, you actually did pretty well) make a distinction. Still, it’s a pretty damn tasty aesthetic. All that cutsy but pretty disturbing imagery, the castle that might resemble a ballroom dress, an hourglass, a top of a bottle or whatever you may think of depending on your perspective – it’s Shaft at its best. Or Inu Curry, to be exact. Sure, some things might make sense (an ominous skull for example) or absolutely none (a platformer, really?) but it’s far better than easily forgettable lower floors.

  • I hope the following episode will clear some things up because now I don’t really see any connection between Alice, Amari and these monsters. If this episode aimed to make the viewers care about the new girls, well, it failed. Three sentences said while twisting in a bed certainly is Shaft-ish, but that doesn’t add any likeability to a character.
  • As visually entertaining as this episode was, it still followed the same damn formula – Protag-kun once again encountered a master who’s actually not bad but isn’t friendly, and a practically unrelated solitary girl who’ll be nice just because.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Yeah, this weeks episode of Magus Bride was… weak and muddled to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. KingDylbag13

     /  March 9, 2018

    I’m really not enjoying the Junji Ito collection. I love his manga so it makes the anime even worse

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • It has some nice moments, but that’s mainly because of the quality of the manga. It’s really saddening that some people might get their first exposure to Ito by this anime.

      Like

      Reply

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