Musings and Reflections – Winter 2018 Week 11

One phrase impressions:

Fate/Extra Last EncoreStill Madoka.
Violet Evergarden
 Anime is obsessed with dead moms, isn’t it?
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni –  And finally that’s a healthy relationship starting to grow.
Ito Junji: Collection – It’s an Angel! It’s an Angel! It’s a Gundam! It’s an Angel! It’s an Angeru! OMG, it’s Gojiraaa!
Mahoutsukai no Yome – Is it possible to wrap everything up next time?

 

Fate/Extra Last Encore

  • Anybody forgot it was Shaft?
  • It’s just like (best girl) Senjougahara at some point encountered Kyubey and became quite a terrifying witch.
  • Rin remains very intriguing. Why does she behave like a servant – transforming, handling Lancer’s spear and stuff? Does she have a master then? Or is it a bug in that cybernetic reality? Her hair looks to be getting white as the time goes on. Weird.
  • Hakuno already used two of his Command Seals. The guy is optimistic. He also came into terms with the fact that he’s dead because he was killed. The realization came with surprisingly little emotion. I guess you can’t expect much from a dead dude but still he’s even more forgettable than a cookie cutter isekai protagonist. I don’t really get how Hakuno could feel so much hate and in that find hope (about what that hope is I also have no idea) to ascend. To me it seems more like “Ok, I’ll go up, I have nothing better to do…”. I wonder what is Saber’s wish.
  • I don’t think the story of this floor needed to be as complicated as it was but overall it was probably the most interesting one as the visuals played the biggest part. In pretty much any shot you could find something interesting and usually unsettling and that mixes perfectly with all this fairytale-ghost-horror-repeat story. Alice probably was the most fleshed out supporting character. At least in my book she did way better than Shinji or these two dudes from the second floor.
  • Is it true that the show will be only 10 episodes long? Even with 2 episodes per floor each level seemed very empty and not that interesting and there’s 4 floors and supposedly 3 episodes left so… Well, in that case it wouldn’t be un-Nasu-like to pull off something weird.


Violet Evergarden
(Ep. 10)

  • I don’t add sugar to my tea. If somehow I get a cup with sugar already added, I won’t object, but wouldn’t be too satisfied. Another thing is when someone purposefully adds so much sugar that the tea becomes fully saturated with some sugar already beginning to crystallize. You probably get my point – anime in general has a long history of dead mothers and though I have nothing against such a set-up in principle, the episode could’ve been far less Hollywood-y and predictable. It seems like every single person in the community cried and was emotionally affected to a very great extent. Well, I guess there has to be some exception, and that’s me.
  • Imagery was great as always – for example branches reaching over Ann’s head and looking like cracks in her safe home, Ann’s mother seemingly blocking Ann from unwanted outside influences, a bit too obvious overshadowing.
  • I guess Violet at this point is fully certified human – dealing with kids is far more complicated than dealing with adults. Ann didn’t feel like a normal child though. Well, I don’t have much experience with children but Ann constantly changing between a gullible toddler and self-analyzing insightful young adult seemed a bit uncommon.
  • The scene where Violet connected with Ann felt incredibly flat visually when compared with the PV of the show. I understand that that level of polish is hard to expect from a TV series, but pour a little more heart into it, ok? Oh well, PVs are full of lies.
  • The ending  felt like a mixed bag. I failed to predict who the recipient of the letters  was (I thought it might be some long-lost uncle who may take care of Ann after  the mother’s death) and the reveal of that was really heartwarming. On the other hand, do you really need to send a letter for 50 years?  I appreciate the sentiment but what if the postal company goes bankrupt like 20 years in the future? Well, in the end it’s still a heartfelt, even if also a cheesy story. Ann’s continuous strive to get her mom’s attention or to at least acquire a big sister felt genuine and real.
  • Did Ann start working as a maid? Does it mean that she inherited the mansion, then went broke and because of that needed to labor manually, and then somehow again happened to win a mansion?

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (Ep. 10)

  • Akira looking at the Moon and thinking about Haruka. So, the romance target has completely switched? Especially since Kondou now is associated with the Sun. Guess which of the astral bodies is more romantic.
  • I’m still not happy about the abruptness of the relationship between Akira and Kondou changing from romantic to friendly. Funny as it is, this new Akira feels a lot more mature and likely to impress Kondou. At this point I don’t see that happening and these two will likely end up being quite good friends.
  • I don’t think the amusing story about Hugo was implemented as seamlessly as it could’ve been but yeah, it confirms that Akira managed to befriend Kondou quite well, even if that cost her a possible romantic ending.
  • Because of Chihiro we already knew some bits about Kondou’s past but now it’s Akira’s time to gather some information. In the end the two of them really connected, and not only in that almost artificial way when you talk about a meme, use it two minutes later and feel proud that the other person understood you. The episode did very well to draw parallels between Akira’s and Kondou’s situations. Even if they’re so different – age, hobbies, life experience, friends – you name it, – they are very similar in the way they both feel left out, lagging behind their peers. Akira craves to restore her relationship with Haruka and at least stop avoiding anything connected with running. Kondou feels that Chihiro surpassed him as despite starting from the same place, Chihiro is an honorable guest in a TV show while Kondou is left eating ramen in some obscure shop.
  • Probably my favorite moment came when Akira connected all the dots and encouraged Kondou to try being honest and start doing what his heart desires. It’s not given that he’ll actually begin writing seriously but I don’t think that even the embrace scene made them as close as this one did. Nice swallow metaphor by the way. Kondou is a smart man (well, usually) and I think I can predict that he’ll end up encouraging Akira to return to her club, or at least to get closer to track and field club members. The doctor said that Akira’s problems at this point are mainly psychological, so with a right push everything is possible.
  • I bet the next episode will feature Haruka. Lots of her.
  • P.S. Kondou best girl.

Ito Junji: Collection (Ep. 11)

  • One thing that Ito can never disappoint at is endless imaginative weird things. Eye flowers – how cool is that? Well, unless you cram so much stuff that it makes absolutely no sense. One second you have a discussion about how “magicians” may fool people and just after a blink of an eye there’s a flying dude fighting a zombie who can shoot lasers from his fingers. Yeah. Once again I think that the idea is pretty neat – a mysterious dude causes mysterious incidents but the story is just far too short to evoke any emotional response and too many supernatural additions make everything only convoluted and cringy. I guess I can give some points for originality, but that’s all.
  • Well, scarecrows were bound to appear some time. Anything almost human (but not really) works perfectly for something creepy. I’m afraid I’ll just reiterate myself saying that the idea is cool but the segment was simply too short. Until it ended, I only got two notions – first that people of this town should find what causes scarecrows to grow hear because all the balding men around the globe would make this town the capital of the world. The second notion is just another entry to a list of the most amusing deaths.
  • I wish, hope and pray that the last episode will be Souishi-free, Souchi-less and without Souichi, especially concerning his, cough cough, certain body parts.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (Ep. 23)

  • No resolve so far. It’s only natural but I expected at least some hint about the direction of the story, but this episode simply reshuffled the cards as they were and left everything for the last stretch. And that stretch might not be that final. The anime caught up with the manga and as far as I know the source isn’t going to finish anytime soon, so the ending of the anime might not be very satisfactory. Of course there’s a possibility that the creators planned everything in such a way that a partial conclusion will nicely wrap everything up, but that’s not given. We might get a last minute anime original ending, or, probably worse, the show will simply stop at an arbitrary point, just like Akatsuki no Yona did. So yeah, I’m a bit cautious.
  • Titania looks way less mature, right? I’m sure she has a reason for that but since we don’t know anything, it doesn’t really make sense. Unless “magic”. So if I understood correctly, Titania and her cheerleaders at first decided to support Elias? So that means then that they were only unhappy about him because he went on a rampage but his way of healing Chise was thought of as ok. Then they decided to recapture Chise and, if need be, lock her someplace so that Elias would be happy. Well, if that’s correct, I’m afraid Chise is really way better as far from the magical world as possible. I don’t think this idea that faeries in general approve of Elias’s methods will have time to be explored and that’s really a shame. It would be a great arc for Elias to try to understand Chise and choose a more human way of handling things. Well, he sort of already chose that, but that went almost inconsequentially fast.
  • Remind me again why the witches are relevant. From the point of viewing the anime as a separate thing, introducing a whole new cast of magicians a few episodes before the end doesn’t make much sense. That old witch was supposed to be glued to her tree or something, right? Why is she able to fly anywhere she likes then? Maaya Sakamoto will probably play some important part in the final episode but such last minute additions aren’t great.
  • Cartaphilus’s backstory was ok. Except for the fact that I don’t understand the reason why did Joseph think that somehow merging with an unknown and possibly dangerous dude will be a great idea. If no one thought about saving neither of them separately, why would anyone do that when they are one?
  • So, Chise will probably tell Elias and Ruth “You are bad boys. Promise not to do that again and I’ll love you more than ever!”. Ok… Yet another unticlimactic resolve, and this one was supposed to be a deal-breaker for Chise. How can you trust someone who completely misunderstands you and forces you through something you’d never approve? The final and complete resolve will probably be addressed next week but from the looks of it – it doesn’t look good at all.
  • Well, I wouldn’t call the episode all over the place but it did leave a lot of stuff to be accounted for next week. Chise’s hand problem, reconciliation with Ruth and Elias, the Witch business, saving Cartaphilus… Lots of stuff. It doesn’t look like a right place for the anime to end.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Yah, Mahoutsukai no Yome certainly seems directionless at this point… And it’s awfully late to not know where you’re going.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Another case of marketing concerns taking over common sense of making a naturally flowing story…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • I don’t know that I’d call it marketing, but I don’t know that I wouldn’t either. My understanding is that Mahoutsukai suffers from the same constraints that routinely trip up 3 Gatsu no Lion. It’s a strict chapter-by-chapter adaptation without taking into account the differences between the two mediums.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • That also is a big problem but by marketing I meant that they chose to adapt manga that is still ongoing in order to boost its sales. No matter how well the mangaka has planned everything, it’s an unfortunate necessity to adapt something when you haven’t got a clear idea whether stuff you chose to animate is worth it or by choosing something you will omit something else that may be far more important. Choosing a manga to adapt only because its hot right now makes sense in a marketing perspective but the story (as we see) may suffer.

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