Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 1

One phrase impressions:

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Recipe: 10 parts of talking, 1 part of action.
Piano no Mori
– Actually pretty good, though rushed as hell.
Golden Kamuy
– Hokkaido’s fauna is pretty memorable.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 1)

  • Well, I was bored. I can expect many things of SAO but such plainness (including the visuals) is something new. First, I must give some credit to the idea of using the suitcase as a strategic object. That was inventive. The soundtrack by Starving Trancer (whoever he is) also was a high point.
  • Other than that… Nitpicking time! Why does the introductory segment have interlacing lines and is pixelated? What’s the purpose of that? Does that mean “hey, it’s something to do with computers”? Yeah, pretty bad ones if they can’t get their graphics right.
  • Is it supposed to be interesting following one infinite source of exposition (and that’s almost excessively technical info) and a pink bunny that seems to know nothing and be absolutely out of place? I guess being weird is one of Llenn’s appealing points but the more I think about her costume the more stupid it seems to be. In the forest M told Llenn to cover herself because her outfit stands out. Well, yeah. Apparently in real world pink camouflage has been used in deserts where it should work fine (especially at sunsets and dawns) but I don’t think it’s the brightest idea to wear pink in a game that mostly uses urban setting. Sure, Kirito did venture into a desert but let’s think logically – would you rather use a desert or a city in order to hide?  A small advantage in one area becomes a serious disadvantage anywhere else, but it’s your choice. Still, there’s probably a reason why all soldiers don’t dress in pink of that brightness by default. If you want to be competitive in such a game, a pink outfit is one of the worst choices. Well, maybe Llenn is just inexperienced. As many of the other players. In any armed conflict (game or no game)  the primary goal is to stay alive, not to kill someone. Even if you play heroically and kill dozens of enemies but because of your lack of defense you get shot anyway, what’s the point of these heroics in the first place? Why only pro guys wear helmets and these muscular dudes just go “screw armor, screw cover, screw aim, screw bullets, screw common sense, we go LLEEEEROY JEEENKIIINS!!!”?
  • Why would these two remaining pros resign? The tournament still continued and no matter if your teammates got killed, you still can get some experience. In real conditions some of your teammates can get killed, you know? So why resign and not try to use unfavorable circumstances as something like that can happen in real life? It’s not that during, say, a terrorist attack you could resign when some of your buddies get shot. And don’t tell me these two couldn’t kill Llenn when she was in plain sight. I’m not even talking about the fact that a little girl who apparently has almost no idea that is she doing singlehandedly butchered four people who do such stuff for living.
  • During the match the scan happened 4 times so if it works as it did in SAO, that means that we saw the game happening for at least an hour and a bit. At the end of the episode team LM still had work to do so I don’t think saying that 90 minutes of playtime would be an unrealistic approximation. Having 23 teams competing requires a huge map. During the 3rd scan there were only 8 teams left but I’d consider such a turn of events way faster than standard, especially if teams decided to play defensively. My point is that such a match with a ridiculous number of teams and an enormous map would be a pain in the ass to play in terms of time wasted. Do you think an average and not particularly avid gamer has 90 minutes (approximately on average) to play continuously? And during that time you can’t even go to the toilet or take a snack. What a pain in the ass. Wouldn’t it be more effective to have a smaller map with, say, 5 teams?
  • I quite like the OP song. The visuals remind both of Kino no Tabi and Kimi no na wa.
  • So yeah, Llenn’s redeeming feature is that she’s moe and M is as forgettable as it can be. Great start, GGO, great start.

    Piano no Mori (Ep. 1)

  • That’s an opening I expect from an anime about music. I really appreciate that Kai’s hands actually follow the notes and are not just randomly creating an impression that he’s playing. Shots from afar also show Kai using pedal and most of hand gestures look right so that’s a great start at expressing the art of playing a piano. Of course CG is very apparent but I’ve seen worse, way worse.
  • And these were my thoughts only concerning the introductory segment. Everything else didn’t look that great. I’m afraid I can’t escape comparing this anime to the film (that I watched but a few days ago). The film used the perspective of Shuuhei and in that way Kai looked far more mysterious. You had no idea who that kid was and how his story will go. Yeah, it was clear that the film will have a happy ending (though I wouldn’t call it a good ending as an ending) and here we are told from the start that we needn’t worry about Kei because he will eventually succeed. Also this way retracts some of the importance from Shuuhei.
  • I remember strongly hating that bully and not only because he was a bully but mainly for the reason of being so cartoonish. I guess the story doesn’t try to be that realistic (yeah, only one person in the world can play a particular piano and nobody else can) but he’s hardly sufferable. It’s good then that he’s not that important because the story rushed right past him. Not without taking a toll on Shuuhei who had to be hurt a bit. Why exactly? I don’t think that scene added anything. Having a bully in a class (who looks like a bully) and torments the main character (that is Kai) should be enough – why go with that “show your balls” stuff? The film skipped that and didn’t lose anything as a consequence. I glad it did.
  • Well, that scene might be a nitpick but I don’t think the show has time for that. It’s an enormous 26 volume manga that spanned 17 years you’re adapting, so think about that. And the story really could use some breather. The introductory segment did that right, letting the music carry on and not forcing things but I can’t say anything similar about the rest of the episode. There’s no sense of peace while getting immersed into the beauty of the music (that should be the core idea behind the show) and the anime seems to be aiming to cram as much material as possible without much space for anything to settle in.
  • Character designs appear quite simplistic but as they remind me of both Nodame Cantabile and even more of Natsume, I’m quite happy about that.
  • Yeah, it’s Maaya Sakamoto. Was there even a possibility of me missing the show?
  • Let me guess, this guy is French, isn’t he?
  • Considering the pacing, I think I should eventually be able to conceive a witty remark along the lines of “Run Forest, run!”.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 1)

  • Well, that’s Game of Thrones kind of brutal. Kinda expected that.
  • It took me longer than necessary to understand that the old dude that threatened Sugimoto didn’t die immediately after their conversation but some time later. I was quite confused as the guy was found frozen seemingly just after he had left.
  • The premise is interesting and Sugimoto is a fine protagonist – gruff but with enough heart (heart of gold maybe? /pun intended/) to help people, his friend’s wife and child included. Or he simply has nothing better to do.
  • The setting is quite novel. At least I know virtually nothing about Japan in 1900s, Ainu included. And that, if the story will find some time to add these historical and cultural bits and pieces should be extremely educational and entertaining.
  • This old dude was old. The fact that he told the story probably means that the gold is still not found. But he’s pretty old so what are the chances that all the other prisoners aren’t simply dead from old age? The fact that the old man had this tattoo was very predictable. I guess then this main antagonist is really alive the and will be the final boss.
  • The story definitely deserves more in terms of the visuals. Especially since this anime isn’t likely to be a full adaptation so I guess a manga reading session is just around a corner for me. Sure, the backgrounds are great in creating the atmosphere but the characters are continuously off-model. And that’s the first episode that should be one of the most polished. I guess I can now begin to prepare for delays  (possibly) and recaps (definitely).
  • So, in the same award row next to Deen Dragon we’ll have to put Geno Bear? Well, probably not since it’s the other way around – the CG looks pretty competent while everything else doesn’t more times than not, so the clash between 2D and 3D is more than apparent. At least they got the fire just right.
  • How tall Asirpa is? 130 cm at best?
  • I guess I’ll let my friend Gimli share his opinion about this episode:

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