Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 3

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – What can I say? It’s fun.
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Keiichi Sigsawa is a clever man.
Piano no Mori
– Indifference.
Golden Kamuy
– Guess who’s back? Yes, it’s the star of the show!

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 2)

  • Anything that reminds me of Rakugo gets a pass.

  • Junichi Suwabe is a top-tear VA, and he’s perfect for the role. I immediately began getting flashbacks of Life Sexy from Yuri Kuma Arashi – this cool suit designer is basically the same character. I can’t say I feel absolutely comfortable with his advances even though I know that Hisone already finished her high-school. But still, talk about memorable characters.
  • Usually I don’t really enjoy more fanservice-based humor that much, but HisoMaso manages to overstep that hurdle somehow so while I still don’t think it’s exceptionally great, the sexual humor manages to work fine. Humor in general is tackled very well. Such simple things as the delinquent reading a manga whose cover isn’t immediately associated with delinquent behavior, elaborating the act of sharing some yogurt or just sorting out the priorities are instances of comedy I enjoy quite a bit.
  • The conflict between Nao who seems to have worked hard but fruitlessly and Hisone who just came in and succeeded immediately even without wanting it works well. Nao’s given more depth by revealing that her mom has been a pretty high-ranking military lady so the expectations for her aren’t the lowest. Despite her behavior Nao looks to be a decent girl underneath her facade. The dynamic between her and Hisone should continue to be fun to watch.
  • I don’t think this rivalry of Hisone and Nao is already over. Maybe we passed the most intense and antagonistic period but still there’s only one dragon and at the moment there’re two pilots. Judging from the ED, there’ll be more, so in theory everything may go the inverse harem route with Maso-tan at the epicenter.
  • I wonder if this yogurt lady is a masked grandma of Nao, some important staff member or simply the director of this whole dragon-division.
  • I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but as far as my seasonal anime watching goes, I found out that usually my favorite show of the season and favorite OST awards go to the same anime. Of course it’s only the third week but so far none has come even close to the joy of hearing OST of HisoMaso – every single second seems distinctive and important. I can’t wait for the full OST – it seems it’ll be a blast to listen to it even apart from the show. And yeah, there’s also that lovely ED.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 3)

  • Well well well, don’t we have some meta stuff? I think Sigsawa writing himself in the story is a very clever thing. Good job. Great. One brownie point.

  • After the second episode in the discussion thread of Derek’s post an idea arose that it would be interesting to see some cameos or at least mentions of the events that SAO covered. It seems natural that such a big event (especially since killings were involved) would be talked about in the local game community. And well well well, here’s what we asked for. Great. Another brownie point to the show.
  • Some people have called it earlier, I call it now – Pito is that singer girl. Of course she won’t be able to participate in the tournament because of the concert. Oh, I mean the wedding.
  • So, after these scenes that I really enjoyed, everything returned to the baseline that is boredom. It isn’t particularly engaging to see characters standing and talking, or to keep things not so monotone, sitting and talking. Camera work is also purely functional during these scenes. It doesn’t help that the theme of the talking is the same rules that more or less were explained during the first episode. Sure, now we’re told some finer details but does it really matter when we already saw Llenn going very far in the tournament? It’s an explanation post factum that might interest someone but looking from the point of logic it’s no longer necessary. First you explain the rules and then use them, and not the opposite.
  • So it seems like this tournament isn’t over and we’ll return to the point where the first episode ended. It makes some sense to break continuity in this way. First episode showing the tournament was certainly a better choice than the story of how Karen got into GGO. Still, even if it might have been more similar to what people expect firsts episodes to be, I don’t think now the story connects very naturally. Two weeks of flashbacks (effectively) blur the link between the first episode and the fourth. Thus continuity and growing sense of suspense that any tournament arc tries to emphasize are damaged quite a bit. At least a vague sense of direction is finally revealed.
  • M is a weird name to have. It would be even weirder if he teamed up with someone named S.
  • Well, it’s probably inappropriate but when Pito started explaining what “jam” is, I could do nothing but remember the good old Saber’s “J…J…Jam it in!”. I hope I didn’t lose you.

Piano no Mori (Ep. 3)

  • Another week, another episode, another indifferent sigh from me. The show feels precisely like a poor man’s Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. You might remember that the same manga that became the source of this version of Piano no Mori also inspired a film by Madhouse a decade ago. The problem is that both versions of the story are hardly different. It looks extremely likely that the next episode will reach the point where the film ended, so both versions even span approximately the same amount of time. And I can assure you that the film looks superior, and not only because of the visuals. The fifth episode of the series might actually become interesting because I know the story only until that point. And now? It’s just a cheaper version of the film.

  • The story itself still runs faster than I would’ve liked. The competition came without much pathos. It certainly doesn’t feel like a very important event that may possibly greatly affect the lives of all these young pianists. And that’s failing at the fundamental level if you consider Piano no Mori a sports anime. Well, I do. Sort of.
  • Kai had barely time to learn, or to be more precise, to be shown learning. It’s commendable that the show mentions that real pianists have to spend hours upon hours for boring practice to become good, but Kai seems to overstep that by being a genius. Making the protagonist too strong right from the start is a pretty big flaw of sports anime, you know.
  • As in film, Takako was introduced fairly quickly and even quicker was elevated to position of an important person. Why? Go read the manga, I guess. And that’s just the overall feeling I have. As I already more or less know the story, there’s nothing that engaging. Well, maybe except the music. But half the credit goes to Mozart, and that’s to be expected.
  • If you feel that Tatako toilet jokes are funny, wait till the next episode. If they will show what the film has shown, you can count on seeing many “anime out of context” meme iterations.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 3)

  • Yep, it’s a cooking show.

  • Damn you, squirrel, I knew you were up to something.
  • Well, it’s really hard for me to form a cohesive opinion about this show. On one hand there’re things I absolutely love, for example this steady undercurrent of presenting Ainu culture. The language, the customs (both weird and making sense) are something you can’t experience reading some book and while Golden Kamuy certainly isn’t a documentary and I have no idea about the accuracy, I think this aspect is one of the highest points. Getting to know different culture was probably one of the points that drove me into anime, so the show can completely ditch its main storyline and become a CGDCT kind of show featuring Asirpa’s grandma, and I wouldn’t be dissatisfied the least bit.
  • Not that the story is unsatisfying. Yes, there’re some Dogs ex Machina and this episode barely moved things forward but the premise still is very interesting, especially since it’s official that apart from Sugimoto Faction and Army Faction there’ll be a strong Hijikata Faction. Well, and probably one-man Faction of the Tattoo Master.
  • Talk about being gruesome. And actually that’s a bit toned down compared to the manga.
  • But then there’s comedy. Some of the skits landed fairly well, but not all of them. It’s basically the same old problem that I had with 3-gatsu no Lion – that is when the mood jumps multiple times from being depressing and dead-serious to extremely light-hearted as if nothing had happened.
  • And well, it might be more effective if someone used more than two damn lines when drawing faces. Look, I don’t expect Violet Evergarden, or the same insane amount of details of the original manga. I simply want a consistent and competent performance, such that it wouldn’t take me out of the show every time I see a bear. On the other hand, the backgrounds create a unique atmosphere, just right to be compatible with hard men in the cold fighting for lost gold.
  • It’s carved in stone that the adaptation wouldn’t be on the same level as the manga. There’s probably no point in watching it. But I will.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Poor man’s Your Lie In April

    Ouch

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I might be too hard on the show but take the music aspect away and there’s little left to like. At least there’s still hope that the following episodes will bring something interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Squirrels will get ya every time!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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