Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 4

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – Hisone, get in the damn dragon!
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – W-what happened, M?
Piano no Mori
– Ah, the CG! Ah, my eyes!
Golden Kamuy
– Sticking to the determined structure.

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 3)

  • I guess the novelty effect has worn out a bit. Am not as excited as I was during the first two episodes, but the show remains to be solidly build and very much enjoyable.
  • The fact that Hisone had to perform quite unexpectedly was predictable and this appearance by a senpai who has never been mentioned before felt a bit odd but these are the only aspects I can think of that doesn’t satisfy me completely. I doubt this senpai will stick for long as past events she was a part of can be explained by other staff members. Still, a hearty talk between her and Hisone about FAQ of flying and interaction with Maso-tan would be welcome.
  • The show’s doing a good job convincing me that Maso-tan is also a character with his own mind. Sure, it’s as hard as it’s for Hisone to understand his thoughts and intentions but he clearly isn’t a simple device that will behave exactly like everyone would expect him to.
  • Yeah, the comedy works very well. Right from the very start we get a great moment when Hisone is formally introduced to the staff – she’s nervous as hell and the staff isn’t exactly excited or moved.
  • Probably should’ve mentioned earlier but CG is very well done. The planes look as if hand drawn. Sure, I still might prefer some examples from 80s but in this day and age such CG implementation to 2D is nothing but applaudable.
  • Regardless of the future prospects of seeing more of senpai, I predict that the next episode should introduce some other girls seen in the ED. It’s about time.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 4)

  • Please don’t praise Llenn so much. I’m afraid I’ll start having Kirito flashbacks.
  • By the way, did you notice that in the production committee of GGO there’re companies with such names as “Straight Fdge” and “Egg Firm”? Imagine getting a business card like that.
  • Didn’t expect Llenn to hum some Mussorgsky. Extra weird. For those interested – check Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition.
  • The first fight somehow didn’t look very reasonable. Sure, team LM lay on the ground but is it so difficult to target them? Flat ground or no flat, they didn’t have any cover before M took his shield. How can the opponents be so good if they charge head on full well knowing that their opponent might simply snipe them? I guess nobody wants to survive or basically every other player is simply incompetent.
  • So I guess that Pro team that team LM beat in the first episode weren’t such pros if they decided to take advantage of the game mechanics rather than trying to recreate as realistic environment as possible (though it was presented as if it was precisely their goal). I think this mechanic of not setting off bullet lines if you’re good enough creates such a big advantage that more players should be using that. More, if not all of them. I mean it’s possible to snipe a whole group of people while they still don’t have any idea from where the bullets are flying. Bullet lines pose a serious disadvantage and any way to cancel that should be expected to be used quite a lot.
  • M, what the hell? First, the only reason I can think of for trying to kill LLenn is to resign because M has some stuff to attend to. So. He could simply have said that it’s super important. Then. It’s a game dude, you won’t die (unless you already played too much SAO). Hasn’t M died yet during his career in gaming? I get that that’s supposed to be a comic relief but it’s just weird and too at odds with, well, everything. And if stuff M’s got to do is so important, wouldn’t getting shot be a reasonable solution?
  • I’d like to see more of Karen and her real life. I guess she’s just a normal girl who does usual stuff and plays from time to time but is she in the show only as a reason to have a small and cutsy MC? I’m far more interested in the characters than in the game itself, though the show apparently has different priorities.

Piano no Mori (Ep. 4)

  • I’m far more satisfied with this episode compared to the previous ones. Still I can’t help but think whether choosing Hinamatsuri or Megalo Box would’ve been a better idea.
  • I can do nothing but once again remember the film. There Kai didn’t give a second performance that was the same except not being a copy of Ajino’s style, but did some jazzy improvisation with some semblance to the Mozart’s piece. Maybe I want to be too idealistic but I prefer to see Kai outright disobey the rules and play beautifully than get degraded by the incompetent judges. Judging art is a ridiculous concept by itself (says an AniBlogger) bur I wish to believe that such occurrences of purposefully not objective judging are rare.
  • Another thing is Takako’s performance. It was alright (only very short), but can you even compare it to the glorious absurdity of this scene in the film? It felt absolutely out of place but I guess it’s already entered a realm of “so ridiculous it’s fantastic”.
  • So, Golden Kamuy managed to abstain from CG bears this week but Piano no Mori insists on putting a very suspension of disbelief shattering performance. I understand that not every studio can pull off character animation straight from KyoAni or Trigger tier of excellence. I also respect the fact that CG Kai played the piano using the right notes and not just bashing the keyboard all over the place. Even so. It. Does. Not. Work. If it’s the best Gainax can do right now, I fear and dread the release of Aoki Uru. There’s no way they could pull it off.
  • The only thing that I’m fully satisfied with is the soundtrack. Sure, for the most part it’s just a load of Mozart but when the original pieces find a moment or two to intervene, this neo-classical stuff sounds pretty good.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 4)

  • A very similar episode to previous ones but I think I have warmed up to the show at last so everything felt smoother.
  • On the other hand, the biggest problem remains – Golden Kamuy tries to be everything, but, as we say in my country, “nine jobs, tenth hunger”. As in previous episodes, we get a cooking segment, an Ainu culture segment, a comedy segment, and finally an action segment. The segments have clearly defined boundaries so effectively an episode consists of several mini-episodes that are vastly different. To achieve anything in such a mini-episode is a difficult task, especially since after one mini-episode ends I still need some time to restart my brain and to tune it again. Also, such a structure makes the show somewhat predictable. You just know that there will be some action so anything that happens can’t happen unexpectedly and therefore more effectively. Do I have any suggestions? Yes. For once, choose one theme and pursue it wholeheartedly. Be a show about Ainu cooking. About Ainu culture. About a valiant soldier kicking ass in Hokkaido. But not everything at once. I guess that’s too much to ask so another possible solution would be to blend these themes. That may invite too jarring tonal shifts (yeah, pure cool action and pure dumb comedy mixes well very rarely) but it might be a better solution than having such a segmented story.
  • As I mentioned before, the atmosphere, created mainly by the backgrounds, is one of the highlights. I only wish the show didn’t need to rush over the story and could take a breather more often giving the spotlight to the surroundings. But no, hardly any time for that. Hell, even Asirpa’s relationship with Retar was explained in a few seconds though it could have used at least half an episode. Golden Kamuy would be a terrific slice of life or a drama show if only it tried.
  • Wait, is this Gintama?

 

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2 Comments

  1. I agree that Golden is trying to put way too much into each episode. It is trying to be too many things. I think if they would have just settled down on hunting the prisoners it would have been way more solid.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • My thoughts exactly. Well, I don’t necessarily think that these different segments are bad, it’s just that such a structure makes it very hard to make the overall story cohesive and developed enough in each department.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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