Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 7

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – Licking solves all the problems in the world!
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Video games solve all the problems in the world!
Piano no Mori
– Time skips solve all the problems in the world!
Golden Kamuy
– Wolves ex Machina solve all the problems in the world!

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 6)

  • Simple and straight-forward, but effective.
  • I wanted more Nao. Got that. Wanted more yogurt grandma. Also got that. Sure, that amount isn’t enough by all means but it’s better than nothing. I’m not sure if that last remark about the apparent importance of the yogurt grandma will be played only for jokes but either way if that will give her more screen time, I’m all for it.
  • The general feeling of the episode reminded me strongly of the first few episodes of the show, when everything looked very novel and interesting. Overcoming problems rather smoothly makes HisoMaso a very feel-good show. Still, it’s not a show where nothing happens. The new-girls’ arc added more weight and seriousness to the initial light-heartedness, so the overall feeling is similar but not the same. And that’s great.
  • Hoshino’s character arc was wrapped up very satisfyingly, even if it happened maybe too fast. I can definitely understand her frustration that she wanted to be a normal pilot and put all her mind to it, but ended up being paired with some weird creature who behaves neither like a machine nor like a living creature. Hoshino’s dragon’s behavior also is explained well. Having chosen a partner and wishing for more intimate relationship but receiving nothing must have been quite stressful. I hope all these things were completely sorted out for good and the new arc will capitalize on that. Hoshino should become a good leader once she’s able to master her own feelings.
  • The other girls – Sucy’s from Little Witch Academia cousin and the motherly one also got a few seconds to show their characters. As with Nao, that’s less than minimum but as the show goes on and Hoshino’s arc went well, I hope that the others will be treated in the same manner.
  • Atmospheric animation and OST as always were right to the point.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 6)

  • Did Karen just start a harem?
  • Of course I don’t mind new characters but I doubt the best way of doing things is trying to introduce 6 copies of template “generic high-school girl”. Basically it’s 5 minutes wasted trying to connect the girls and their avatars. Didn’t care about them before, don’t care now. So, video games is a solution to all the problems? I don’t like the mindset that gaming is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to humanity. It’s portrayed as if excessive gaming can do no wrong.
  • Do you expect me to believe that if I do sit-ups in a video game, I’ll get abs? At least such an idea seems to be viable in the world of the show. The girls weren’t good so they played a sports simulator and got better? They lacked team spirit so they learned how to shoot people and then got better at gymnastics? Well, it’s the same idea as with Karen – she played a small character and magically got over her height complex. Sure, I won’t deny that experiences in video games can benefit your life but what GGO is doing is going too far. You’ll never get good at gymnastics if you only play a video game about it.
  • That gamer friend of Karen will definitely become an important character in the tournament. Still, I’m not happy about her introduction. She was shown early in the series and then ditched as if she didn’t exist. When it’s convenient, she’s dug up again.
  • I like how GGO is self-aware. Sigsawa’s sense of humor isn’t half bad (kabedon and stuff), but I find it frustrating that the general template of the jokes is like this: start generic, make fun of it, return to being generic and repeat. The problem is that even if the show starts asking the right questions (for example “Why Pito isn’t in a mental institution?”), it completely dodges the answers (“It’s just the way it is, nothing can be done about it”). In this way it isn’t a deconstruction of tropes – it’s a foundation of deconstruction, but without a single brick to build anything higher than the ground level. To be frank, I had the same problem with One Punch Man – that show also began with making fun about shounen tropes but still ended up with a massive fight with all the shounen requirements accomplished.
  • Whiny M is the worst M. I came to dislike him even more. Yeah, a person wants to commit a suicide but Mr. M just can’t do anything because he respects her decisions. But consulting Karen about that is alright? Simply pushing the problems to other people is the right thing to do because it’s just easier that way, right?  How can you say you love her if you won’t even attempt to help her yourself? What a pushover! Such a person might exist in the real world, but that doesn’t make him an entertaining character. Like at all.
  • M dodged the question of how does he know Karen’s real name. He insisted that he’ll tell that later but guess what – he didn’t. If I had to guess, Karen’s fan letter in episode 3 might have been the clue. But then again – how likely is that the singer’s manager (or a bodyguard – it doesn’t matter) finds a letter by the precise person he’s looking for? Well, I can’t think of any other scenario that would make sense (not that this one really does). Hope it will be addressed.
  • And Pito’s situation is another concerning matter. I think M is exaggerating but even then for me it’s unthinkable that Pito is left to roam as she wills if she openly spoke of suicide and wishes to murder people. I get that such situations are probably happening in real life that it’s the utmost extreme. I don’t see a reason why Pito couldn’t be taken care of in this case, and not necessarily by the most unlikely acquaintance from a video game.
  • It’s so frustrating when obvious and logical actions are not even considered, and even if they are, they are dismissed after 2 seconds.
  • Ranting aside, the set up for the next tournament is decent. The competition between LLenn and Pito should be entertaining, especially if Karen’s friend is as proficient as she boasts to be. And the high-school cardboard cutouts may spice things up.

Piano no Mori (Ep. 7)

  • Whoa, a time skip!
  • The show’s coming awfully close to Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso with Shuhei declaring that he’s unable to put this heart into playing despite having all the technical proficiency. The similarities go even further because Kousei also wore glasses and as far as I remember his primary color was blue, and when we see older Shuhei, he’s also wearing blue. It’s interesting since the manga of Piano no Mori is older, but Shigatsu was the first to spawn an anime adaptation (the film doesn’t count since it didn’t go as far as Shuhei’s teen years).
  • I’m sorry, but that friend of Kai looks very funny. I don’t know why exactly – maybe her forehead seems unnaturally large, maybe it’s her lips (I still see them as a mustache), but it’s damn weird.
  • A minor quip – when Shuihei went to check out Kai’s place, he got scolded by the residents. I get that it’s supposed to be mysterious and they had reasons to behave that way. Still, that place is a brothel, right? So what’s with the attitude “Don’t ask questions, creep!” if a person simply wants to know about a particular employee (or her relatives)? Such a customer-unfriendly place should go bankrupt in days. At least be polite.
  • Can Kai be considered a trap?
  • Well, Franz Liszt in a strip club? Exceptionally weird. I guess it’s fine that that competition judge can enjoy it but I find it extremely hard to believe that the general public of such clubs would find Liszt an appropriate accompaniment to the ladies dancing. Especially that piece. I’m not against classical music being used in such a way per se, simply Liszt sounds too moody to be easily digestible. There’re plenty of composers that would fit the atmosphere way better due to their music being more general public friendly. Take Franz Lehar for example. And I’m not even taking into account all the possibilities that jazz may provide.
  • Uhm, how does Shuhei know that the name of that brat is Daiki? Is it another side effect of rushing through the source material?  I guess it is. And why is he simply a younger copy of Kai? On the other hand, not really. Kai wasn’t as annoying.
  • The brat reminds me of Nodame Cantabile. Nodame also made a song (I guess?) that’s basically the same. Are all these coincidences simply coincidences or is theme borrowing so widely spread?
  • The music once again is the best part of the show – Shuhei, being a gentler person, arranged that stupid ballad to suit his character way better than the brute strength that Daiki used.
  • The piece that Kai performed is La Campanella by (again) Liszt. The genius piano performer actually arranged it, as the original version was composed by a genius violin player – Paganini. To put it simply – it is a damn hard piece – Kai must be a very advanced pianist to be able to play it. And then comes the CG. As always – it is a good CG, but not one that doesn’t clash with 2D. Oh well.
  • Kai really seems to haven’t been slacking the least bit. He’s still on a higher ground compared to Shuhei.
  • What Ajino plays in the DVD is the final moments of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2. One of my favorite classical compositions of all time.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 7)

  • As much as I loved the action, I don’t think real people would fail to look around and even think anything about defense. Are you all suitable for trips in the wild if you all get distracted, taken as hostages and injured so easily? Sure, playing it safe isn’t interesting story- and visually-wise but I would’ve preferred a bit more thought put into fighting.
  • Shouldn’t Sugimoto be more adept at being Immortal not because he gets lucky but because he’s more skilled and smart than everybody else? Sugimoto’s multiple escapes while constantly being portrayed as a dude who has so much to learn yet to me seems to approach Forrest Gump level of lucky coincidences.
  • I’m afraid the miso joke is getting stale by minute.
  • Hijikata’s storyline finally gets connected to that of Sugimoto, but that comes with a price of finishing the business with that hunter dude. It felt anticlimactic. There might’ve been more satisfying endings to him than Wolf ex Machina.
  • I guess it’s the mustache but I can’t help comparing this Ushiyama to King Bradley from FMA. And what’s with his forehead?

 

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4 Comments

  1. I’m still debating with myself and why I’m watching Gun Gale still…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Me too, me too. Being a damn completionist is probably the sole reason for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • I know if I don’t stop after my 3 episode rule I’m usually in it for the long haul. Sometimes I’m also scared I’ll miss that later episode that was epic, but gosh is they save all the good stuff for later then it is pointless.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

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