Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 5

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – More dragon-girls!
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Ugh…
Piano no Mori
– Seems like Kai will have to become a pro, willingly or not.
Golden Kamuy
– Oh, hello again, bear-san.

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 4)

  • As expected, the other girls arrived, so naturally the episode was spent introducing them and showing how conflicted one of hem – Hoshino – is.
  • To be frank, in this ensemble Hisone looks one of the most normal. I don’t think she has any problems communicating except for the fact that she may be too blunt at times. She only thinks she has problems and I guess relying too much on instructions and stuff only makes her act more unnatural. That also makes her rather spineless – agreeing with everyone and everything and discarding any opinion she might have. If Hisone lacks anything, it’s confidence, and seeing how not normal other pilots are should tech her that, hopefully.
  • The silent girl and the large girl at this point are just supporting characters without much personality. I’m mostly worried about the silent girl because her type usually is played only for laughs and thus such characters tend to escape having any other traits beside being silent. Well, there’s still lots of time to improve.
  • Speaking about Hoshino, her character arc should be pretty clear – she should develop a personal connection with her dragon and start seeing it not as a machine but as a partner. Learning to be not as strict with everyone (including herself) should be another aspect of her development.
  • At this point I’m not sure we need as many important characters. As I mentioned, the silent and the large girls haven’t done anything and so far they could be condensed into one character. Hoshino with her determination comes very close to Nao so I’m a bit afraid that they might not be differentiated enough. The two of them seem to have similar personalities and their different traits must be emphasized quite a bit to justify both of them being important. Nao in this episode felt very underused but hopefully that will be rectified.
  • So yeah, there’s lots of new characters to be developed but I hope that enough time will be dedicated to that as right now there’re just too many not that memorable girls.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 5)

  • If you die in the game, you die in real life. Ugh.
  • I’m almost completely fed up and frustrated. Sorry, people who enjoy it. Ugh.
  • Man, what a dull game design. Only rocks and stuff.  And Llenn truly is a bunny Kirito. Ugh.
  • The show has no identity of its own. The majority of its appeal (if there’s any left at this point) naturally comes from SAO. There’s Matrix (Please explain to me how a person can dodge a bullet fired like 10 meters away. I’m not even questioning why did Llenn’s opponents walk without taking any cover). And of course Keiichi Sigsawa just can’t live without random talking machinery, can he? Hermes at least made partial sense. Girl, you start hearing voices that aren’t there – you go see a doctor. Understood? Ugh.
  • The problem is that I really don’t care neither about M nor about Llenn. Others are even more forgettable. So, without any memorable characters can a show live off only by referencing stuff and being a part of a large franchise? It turns out it can but that doesn’t make it any good. 5 episodes of people shooting at each other because they can and what else? A girl that I should care about only because she wears pink and is small? Ugh.
  • Well, technically M’s despair might be justified but still my enjoyment level dropped considerably after such a 180 degree turn when M from being cool changed into being wimpy for a very petty reason (let’s not forget that later on he randomly reverted back). It’s a textbook case of behaving in a particular way simply for plot reasons. Man, if she’s going to kill you, go to the police or something. Not that she’s likely to do that in the first place. Is Pito a yakuza idol or something? Ugh.
  • Still don’t get why M couldn’t have a talk with Llenn and convince her to surrender. Also, can’t M just log off? Would it count as a death? Ugh.
  • I know that 1) it’s an anime and 2) it’s an anime about a game so it needn’t be realistic or anything but just come on, Stormtroopers are more accurate! No one is taking any cover, everyone is conveniently wasting ammo and time advantages for plot reasons and seemingly aiming at precisely the points that are defended… Ok, it is a game but if you try to make an immersive experience and a realistic game, DO IT! Ugh.
  • I guess the joke that these little girls were also playing the game was alright. If you can disregard the fact that it’s so unlikely that the possibility of me being a talking hippo should be way higher. Ugh.
  • Well, roll final credits, it could’ve easily been the end of the show. Ugh.
  • Next week – a recap. Ugh.
  • Ugh.

Piano no Mori (Ep. 5)

  • Release the Kraken!
  • As I thought, when the story no longer is known to me, everything is far more interesting.
  • Still, the feeling of rush remains. The second competition started seemingly the next second the last one finished. It’s actually a problem I have with sports anime – competitions may roll one after another so quickly that their importance then is greatly diminished. It’s just as if the participants never train and only come to the tournaments, and such tournament stuff gets repetitive very quickly.
  • I get the commentary on the unfairness of the judges (and it really does exist) but in my mind it’s getting a bit too far. Don’t they have spines to stick to their opinions and enough honor to be fair?
  • So, Kai has another friend that incidentally has never been mentioned before. And sorry, I can’t help but think that her upper lip is a mustache.
  • I quite like the way Kai and Takako were juxtaposed. Kai even was cleaning a toilet as Takako was preparing for the competition. It’s just as if Kai transferred all of his ability to Takako and is unable to play anymore. He just outgrew the forest piano. A romantic thought, but that comes with two problems. First, Takako changed surprisingly fast from a fearful child to a competent performer who enjoys playing. I don’t think psychological problems like this one can be solved so quickly and effectively. The second problem concerns the forest piano. The fact that Kai was the only one able to play it was already very hard to believe and even if I appreciate the idea of piano quitting after showing the right path to Kai, I refuse to accept that a little rain may completely mute the entire instrument. It’s not that Kai was able to take care of it each and every day for all this time, is it?
  • I think the show spends too much time advancing the story and leaves the characters behind. The friendship of Kai and Shuuhei feels very thin, as if the show tells us “Hey, these two love playing the piano. Everything else – you know, usual friendship stuff, we don’t need to show it, it’s not important.” I don’t feel their connection that much. The same can be said about Takako. She’s simply a girl who sits on a toilet with her dog and plays piano, and Kai helped her get better. That’s all there is to her at this point. I could probably gather as much from a character description, so what’s the point in watching the show then? Probably the best portrayed relationship (and one that I actually like) is Rei’s concern over Kai but everything else isn’t developed enough. Hopefully only yet.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 5)

  • Once again the show’s juggling various genres (again, all of them) but I think this time went better than before.
  • Asirpa just made a terrible decision. She may as well not desire gold, but, dear girl, please do think practically. You needn’t take everything – even meager 25% would definitely benefit your village, wouldn’t it?
  • Sorry, but “Good evening” is a far better in this case than “I decided to drop in”. Still pretty hilarious.
  • Sugimoto really took his time before he pulled these little sticks from his face.
  • Some instances when characters voice what we actually see (like “there’re fingerprints on the belt”) aren’t the best way to tell a story.
  • Sugimoto feels very unprepared to survive. I don’t know what sort of life he lead before the series began nor how did his service as a soldier went but I’d believe that such a man who bears a nickname of being immortal should be better acquainted with the secrets of surviving without any help of others.
  • I don’t think the introduction of this new hunter guy was necessary. There’re already many factions so do we really need another one? 7th division is pretty one-dimensional, Hijikata is nothing more than a cool old dude so any spare second for their development would be useful. I don’t think an extra storyline about a guy trying to kill Retar is that needed. And let’s not forget that there’s also that evil mastermind somewhere, and the Ainu might become a force to be reckoned with. The equation is getting messier and messier.

 

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5 Comments

  1. I’m behind on Gun Gale but it looks like I’m not missing much lol. So they really are now dying in real life? Oh geez.
    The MC needed a more sympathetic problem to make us like her. I get the fact that she is upset at being tall, they should have taken it further or gave her some other tick that made her escape into the game. I just don’t buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Well, they’re not precisely dying, just one dude massively freaked out screaming that if he dies in a tournament, another character will murder him in real life. No idea why.
      I think being too tall would’ve been acceptable but it at least had to be presented as something of a grander scale. Now as you say, Karen has only a reason to be upset and nothing more. And how much do you need to play in order escape being tall? 24/7? Anyway, as of ep. 5 Karen seems to have finally sorted out her problems and is ok about her height. And that’s another problem – a character arc shouldn’t be as simple as 1) have a problem 2) escape the problem 3) there’s no more problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Exactly, we only got to see her walking around on the street and some people looking at her with some comments. I wanted to know about her school life or maybe did a person she liked mock her for being tall? It just felt so bleh. But from what you said I guess that isn’t even an issue anymore lol. A lot happened in the episode I fell behind in.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Yeah, Karen’s characterization is lacking. If I’m not mistaken, these 5 episodes covered the first volume of LNs so some resolution was to be expected. Maybe the height problem will resurface later on? At this point apart from “mysterious” true identity of Pito there’s nothing even remotely interesting going on.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  1. When your gun starts talking to you– It’s time to take a break from your game – KimchiSama

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