Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 2

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – Bones living up to the expectations
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Kawahara messed up real bad with character creation.
Piano no Mori
– Not that impressive so far.
Golden Kamuy
– Cooking time!

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 1)

  • I’m not particularly interested in boxing and everything else that people are more or less unanimously passionate about right now are mostly sequels and the like. Judging from the reactions, there’re many decent shows but they aren’t much better than that. Oh well, I said then, any Bones show should be credible enough.
  • A young adult without any idea what to do with life and what to choose as a career suddenly finds a place (usually pretty unlikely) in the world and starts to become better and better – to be frank, it’s one of the most basic anime story premises but somehow it turned out to be rather enjoyable.
  • One of the key points of the charm of HisoMaso is the character designs. As they’re very minimalistic, it becomes not that difficult to apply squash and stretch and other ways to provide a multitude of cartoonish and very expressive instances of character animation. The OST also works surprisingly well – it complements pretty much every scene perfectly while being always audible enough and at the same time not distracting the least bit. Thanks, Taiko Iwasaki!
  • The reason why the show felt so fresh to me naturally has also to deal with the dragon. I have no idea how deeply the mechanics of flying will be explained because despite looking very cool it leaves lots of questions. According to my sense of humor, exit by being vomited or, as have been mentioned, in a case of emergency using the rear end of the dragon sounds like a pretty stale joke. For now I’ll keep silent about that as other things are more concerning. For example how do you steer a dragon from its insides? Is the helmet Hisone wore (that projected the interface) is somehow connected to the dragon’s brain? Why then a pilot can’t be outside? It was told that military dragons have been used for centuries so how did the people of old pilot them? How a beast can chomp a cell phone but leave a swallowed human alive? I hope everything will be answered one way or another. It would be a shame if such a concept would be left unexplored.
  • Oh, so the new scientifically proven method of dealing with stress in unforeseen situations has been discovered?

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 2)

  • Llenn’s tactic of “LLEEEEROY JEEENKIIINS!!!” works surprisingly well for a tactical game.
  • Compared to the first episode, this one was way better in terms of character introductions and interactions but as there were no memorable action sequences, again I felt quite bored.
  • What comes to my mind is the same old argument that so many people in SAO world simply don’t give a damn that a game killed every 2 players out 5. Nah, it’s no big deal, let’s overfill the market with similar stuff – everyone will love it! They implemented the feature of logging out if the heart rate increases too much (what if you’re just very excited about the game itself?) but I think people should be way more cautious about it. At least I would. But I guess I already know what jerks were running Alfheim Online.
  • Alfheim Online for some reason randomizes character appearances. If Karen is taller than average, what are the chances that her randomly created character still is taller than average? Is character creation such a difficult process that you can’t design it yourself and if you don’t like what you’re given you have to create a completely new character? Is there no game with a normal character customization process? Why each and every game (yeah, all 36 of them) Karen tried has a random character creation only? What happened to the game industry? And what’s the point in transferring a character to another game if you can’t keep your belongings? What do you keep then? Wouldn’t it be wiser to keep the old character and create a new one for the second game? Just in case. And why would Karen try all these different games instead of repeating character creation in just one of them?
  • If a game had such a humiliating tutorial (as well as no option for customizing your character), I’d quit it after 2 seconds and go back to anything where I can feel some enjoyment, the oldest possible version of Runescape for example.
  • People are blind if they can’t see Llenn three meters away. Come on, you expect me to believe that even the white stripe on her hat is super useful for hiding in a desert?
  • Why does everyone assume that a player with a female avatar is a female in the real world? And as small female (or even a child), even everyone knows perfectly well that character creation is randomized.
  • Oh well, it ended up being nitpicking again. Many of these flaws came from Reki Kawahara’s original ideas so I can’t blame Keiichi Sigsawa for that. On the other hand, I can’t really applaud his efforts as fully embracing these flaws (37 tries to get a character design you like? Really?) instead of trying to somehow rectify, hide or overcome them isn’t what I would expect of an accomplished writer. Unless it’s a satire.

Piano no Mori (Ep. 2)

  • Talk about an unconventional OP. As beautiful as these still images are, it feels lacking. Well, the show isn’t supposed to be an action-packed spectacle but the chances that I’ll remember this OP for more than this season are extremely slim.

  • I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with the show but I can say the same about memorable stuff, or, in this case, the lack of it. The show feels like a perfect example of something mediocre – something you’ll likely forget as soon as it ends.
  • Is Kai really a person who would go and read a ton of books about Chopin’s life (and “Studying Bach”? Really?) because he simply lacks technique to play?
  • Nitpicking time! I fully agree that Chopin is difficult but playing scales shouldn’t have posed such a difficulty to Kai. Sure, you might make one or two mistakes but to a musician that Kai already is playing scales should be difficult only because of immense boredom.
  • The CG of Kai playing (and especially of his head) was awful. It looks more like something from a video game a decade ago.
  • I guess the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy Chopin (though I definitely respect his music) also impedes some possible enjoyment. Still, the audible part of the show probably is the only aspect I have no problems with.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 2)

  •  I quite liked the OP. Nothing too impressive talking about the visuals but the song isn’t half bad. I probably need to find more Man with a Mission songs. It turns out I like the ED even more. Cool.

  • Wait, since when did the show change its genre to cooking?
  • Everything seems alright but there were some instances that made me worried about the future of the show. There have been countless anime protagonists that strongly believe in not killing people to the point of causing too much easily avoidable trouble to everyone. Well, I’m a pretty pacifistic guy myself but at least as far as Sugimoto is concerned, he shouldn’t have much trouble executing one man or another if it’s the best course of action. Asirpa can stay true to her beliefs but I hope she’ll acknowledge that sometimes you have to be brutal to survive (and, as a bonus, find the gold) because otherwise she may get pretty annoying.
  • Another feature that I wasn’t too happy with was the comedy. Again, it wasn’t bad but it seemed a bit too disconnected from the realism and grimness of the rest of the show, and I prefer realism over comedy every time. Unless it’s Nichijou. But at this point it’s too early to make any statements about that.
  • Um, did this guy wear makeup?
  • What happened to the drawn copies of the tattoos? The first prisoner was shot and his blood ruined Asirpa’s drawing. Or didn’t it? Did she redraw the pattern? Did they skinned the guy? Or was he simply left without any concerns? The same goes for this Escape King. Did Asirpa copy everything or didn’t she? There’s surprisingly little emphasis and too much ambiguity about these presumably very important plot points.
  • The visuals didn’t improve. Well, if we don’t count the fact that there were no bears this time. Again I can assure that I like character designs quite a bit but otherwise it seems to be a rather pedestrian adaptation. It seems like I’d be better off reading the manga.
  • Hijikata, eh? Good. Though this version will have to work very hard to be more memorable than the Mayonnaise Hijikata.


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  1. Yeah, SAOA:GGO is off to a very rocky start.

    Liked by 1 person


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