Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 8

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – All good, except the sexual humor.
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Alright, except boring.
Piano no Mori
– All good, except… Well, it’s just good.
Golden Kamuy
– Alright, except the resurrection of the sexual humor.

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 7)

  • Well, I’m not particularly fond of the direction the show has taken. It’s true that I shouldn’t expect an overserious story from a show with goofy looking characters and more than enough humor showing that all males are either unimportant or are jerks, should I? It’s a feel-good show and not anything that can go much further than the genre or slice of life would allow. Still, seeing much dramatic potential I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed that HisoMaso is trying to be yet another romcom instead of capitalizing on its uniqueness that mecha-dragons can provide. Also, I don’t think the matter was introduced seamlessly. That dumb suitor that annoys Hoshino (as well as me) was introduced quite a while ago but for example Hitomi has never had any chance to show what she thinks of one male or another. And now she basically harasses one dude out the blue. How did it come to that so suddenly? Huge leaps in character behavior never is a good thing.

  • When HisoMaso isn’t trying to be funny using male-female interactions and instead makes simple jokes like the manga girl trying to start the girly-talk, it works surprisingly well for me. Otherwise let me quote the show itself: “Never in a million years”. It’s really weird that every single joke that doesn’t concern sexuality lands perfectly and I couldn’t ask for more but there is more, and that’s entirely the sort that I don’t like.
  • However, when male-female interactions aren’t played for jokes, it’s all good stuff. Hisone had a really heartwarming date, even if it was very brief. Knowing that these two are sincere and honest people, I can see myself liking such a ship. Of course, the ridiculous plan of breaking everyone’s heart will still be in motion but I guess the power of love (and a dragon possibly) should make everything work either way.
  • I appreciate that the characters despite looking like grade-schoolers are actually adults. I guess it’s natural that love should enter the story. Yet, I think I’d prefer the show taking the route that for example Shirobako or Sakura Quest took – female characters trying to sort out their personal problems and accomplish their tasks without ever implementing notorious male characters. And that approach didn’t feel sterile nor boring. Well, HisoMaso needn’t go as far but throwing itself head on into the love matters doesn’t seem to me the most natural turn of things.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 7)

  • Yeah yeah, female avatars surely are rare. Now let’s count how many at least semi-important females and males we’ve seen. In my book there have been 9 females vs 1 poor mad dude that is M. What are the chances?
  • I’m pretty sure the game is broken if a new player only has to have enough cash and then can buy all the weaponry imaginable. What’s the point in leveling then?
  • STOP. WITH. THE. DAMN. RULES. I get that some people might have not watched SAO but pretty much the same rules were dumped in the first episodes of this very show. Should I get insulted by GGO’s idea of how long my memory is? Well, from the viewing point of the original light novels the repeat of the rules sort of has a point because this arc that we’re in now is in the second novel so people in principle could forget some things between the novels. But still, it’s an anime and the explanation of the rules already took far more time than necessary. Do we really need another iteration? Especially if the exposition dump is IN A DAMN CAFE! Thankfully the talk about the rules wasn’t long.
  • Why did they change the rules so that team names are visible? Or if it’s so important, why haven’t they done that during the first tournament? Personally I don’t see much difference either way. It looks like the change happened only because Sigsawa decided that he’ll be better off this way in the future.
  • Uhm, didn’t you say that in the past Pito had short hair like five seconds before showing a flashback where Pito has long hair as always?
  • I get the feeling that the show is trying to hype me up for the tournament but it’s not working. So far I’ve no reason to care neither about Llenn’s friend with a hard name nor about the high-schoolers, while potentially interesting characters aren’t doing anything interesting. In the end it’s just a typical introductory episode with a fair share of jokes that most of times didn’t work on me. I’m sorry, but it’s too boring. At least the tournament should bring some thrills, right?

Piano no Mori (Ep. 8)

  • Despite the fact that Takako was introduced very abruptly and somehow forcefully, I think I’ve warmed up a bit to her. If she’s able to no longer use the toilet association (damn, that sounds like some corporation) and simply be a confident  woman, able to withstand the power of Kai, I’m more than happy. Also, her updated character design is just to my liking.
  • Could the fact that Kai mesmerized Takako with Moonlight Sonata mean a possible romance? I’m not against it.
  • Actually, I never thought of a possibility of a piano string snapping. Violins and stuff – yeah, but definitely not a piano. I don’t think the situation should be taken as “Kai played so energetically that he snapped a string” but rather than “Kai managed to continue playing despite the snapped string”. I don’t really know but snapping a string only by playing (even more forcefully than really is necessary) shouldn’t be the cause. Unless of course you bang the piano for 20 years continuously or something. The piano might’ve been quite old, or the string might’ve been faulty – these explanations sound more sound to me.
  • Does any story involving pianists must have a kindhearted French teacher? As the show goes on, these similarities with Nodame Cantabile start to worry me more and more. It seems like Nodame won’t be threatened to lose its place as my favorite anime about music, but yeah, the similarities are uncanny.
  • More Rachmaninoff. I couldn’t be more satisfied.
  • Wait, is the friendship with Kai dangerous? On the other hand, it might be the opposite thing – both Takako and Shuhei got problems (physical and mental) while being separated from him.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 8)

  • When that hunter guy was killed and could no longer passionately announce his physical excitation about everything, the show brought another person, who expresses his excitation by placing light bulbs between his legs. Yeah… Well, this new sort of antagonist feels a bit menacing (more psychologically) but at this point he isn’t as flamboyant and memorable as the hunter dude. Both of them actually have the same function but as much as I didn’t appreciate all the erection jokes, I think the hunter was more impactful.
  • Manga adaptations show their true colors when different chapters need to be adapted into one episode. There’s sort of cohesiveness, as all the storylines ultimately are a part of one story but I believe I’ve seen far less disjointed episodes.
  • Shiraishi’s part of the story felt like a Western. Sure, the whole show has that vibe but somehow stealth, bank robberies, gunfights and stuff come exceptionally close to being a classic Western.
  • I wonder how clever and how dumb Shiraishi actually is. On one hand, he’s able to think about basically every possible way of escape and also is confident enough to start playing double. On the other hand, what did he think he could accomplish by tracking the forehead implant dude all by himself? It’s not like he could singlehandedly tackle an opponent twice as big, especially on his home ground. Anyway, what Shirashi did well was to establish deeper bonds between the factions. It wasn’t only his effort but the fact remains that Tsurumi’s and Hijikata’s groups are very unlikely to cooperate. That leaves Sugimoto some space to search for allies. Hijikata is portrayed as sort of a good guy so I guess it wouldn’t be unthinkable for him to team up with Sugimoto, if only for the time being.
  • By the way, Sugimoto and Asirpa seem to be constantly travelling. The question is where? They never seem to go far from Asirpa’s village or the town so what’s the point of that? Maybe they’re low on money to spend a night in the town but I doubt that searching for the tattooed people in vast snowy fields should be more profitable than trying to scan a town.
  • Why did the whale hunting segment was so short? Apart from one (and not that great) example about swimming islands called whales, I don’t remember seeing whales in any anime. Also, it’s a unique enough way to get even more information about Ainu culture, and of course, our characters. Well, maybe next time…

 

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