Musings and Reflections – Spring 2018 Week 9

One phrase impressions:

Hisone to Maso-tan – Going overboard with the worldbuilding.
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Going overboard with ridiculous gameplay.
Piano no Mori
– Going overboard with fast pacing.
Golden Kamuy
– Going overboard with homoeroticism.

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 8)

  • Oh, an altered OP. Well, I liked the first version better… what the wait what is that thing!!
  • As expected, the yogurt lady proved to be a thing. One question though – if virtually nobody knew who she was, how was she allowed to freely roam a top secret military base?
  • That jerk that has his eyes on Hoshino seems a bit tamer but I’m still not happy about his advances.
  • And now, the elephant in the room. Actually, I’m not sure how I feel about this development with deities in form of dragons that for some reason need to be escorted. It’s really walking the edge of my suspension of disbelief, as the show started very realistically. It turns out I can stomach mecha-dragons well enough but if everything goes further… Why would you need miko? Somehow dragons being a military asset sounds ok but if the sole purpose of their existence turns out to be escorting someone precisely every 74 years (why though?), the believability starts to shrink.
  • HisoMaso seems to have almost forgotten about the energy it spent last week forcing romance on everyone. I definitely won’t be satisfied if the show tries to put Hisone in a useless love triangle with that mechanic dude and a miko, though that sadly looks like a possibility.
  • By the way, why would any of the girls need to have their hearts broken if they were able to fly 3 days without sleep that well? What else could you demand from them? And why would you start a training course from the most difficult objective? If you train your push-ups, you don’t start from doing a 100. You start from 10, then 20 and so on until 100. Not the other way around. My problems don’t end there. I don’t understand why would all the dragons need to be flying together. Can’t the deity be escorted by 3 with the last one taking a break? Let’s say that’s not possible for some reason. Isn’t then sleeping in turns an option? If the sleeping pilot strays from the course, the other pilots could simply wake her then. And it seems like the dragons are able to fly on autopilot mode just fine. I’d think they’re intelligent enough that saying “follow that deity” should be enough to ascertain their course without even the need of pilots, save maybe in an emergency situation. Isn’t it weird that the dragons need to be overseen every second? Even horses can be intelligent enough to carry a rider without any command, and with all due respect to them I’d say that the dragons should be in a higher evolutionary niche. Unless of course they aren’t which would be a shame.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 8)

  • In a strategy-based game Llenn shouts her lungs out out of frustration. Just in case some enemies weren’t for some reason able to figure out her location by looking at the map.
  • That map seems huge. Having stadiums, forests, mountains, towns and stuff – how’re you supposed to cover so much ground? That brings memories of some complaints I had about the game initially – if someone wants to stay hidden, one match could take place for hours. Wait, maybe it’s a viable strategy – wait as long as you can while your opponents log out one by one because they’re in a dire need to use a toilet?
  • What a cool strategy – some dudes just camp in a plain sight apparently waiting to get sniped or to receive a grenade or two…
  • Please explain to me how does the pain work in GGO. A girl might get her legs severed and that’s no big deal – she’ll calmly wait until they regenerate. A minute later a guy gets his crotch destroyed but his facial expression isn’t as reserved.
  • I guess the only serious difference between Kirito and Bunny Kirito is the pink color. The girl is invincible while her opponents are incompetent. The situation reminds me of the isekai light novel trends – there always must be a random dude transferred to another world where he forms a harem. But wait, this story is unique – the guy has a smartphone! This one is also so original – the guy was reborn as a slime! A spider! A damn vending machine! Sure, I’m not being objective since I haven’t read/watched any of these but I’m tired of hearing about similar stuff being reworked over and over again, changing only the tiniest bit. When you think about it, Llenn also sort of has a harem – all the more prominent characters (except M) are girls. Probably one of the reasons why GGO might be interesting for someone is the gun part, but it’s not my cup of tea. It might seem like I only watch this in order to bash SAO all over again, but I started it genuinely wishing for GGO to be different, to have some philosophy similar to that of Kino no Tabi. Sure, I had my reservations about Sigsawa’s style but I didn’t expect GGO to be the same old SAO so little changed and hardly improved, visuals and OST inluded. Without the mindless shooting and ridiculous bits and pieces about Pito’s character there’s nothing. At least for me.
  • It occurred to me that teams that matter can’t lose members until serious confrontations. Sure, last time it was only Llenn and M, now it’s only LLenn and Fuka but for example these high-school girls last time all managed to stay alive until encountering Llenn. I bet a similar thing will happen this time. The faceless teammates of Pito an M will probably get slaughtered  but everyone whose name was ever mentioned (and that random green-haired girl) will stay alive until confronting one another. Is it bad? Not necessarily but it makes it look like there’re like 3 teams of competent players while the rest are absolute noobs. At least one of the high-school girls getting shot before encountering Llenn or Pito would seem more realistic. But wait, do I demand realism from SAO?
  • Why does everyone assume that it’s ok to shout and take walks not bothering about cover if the scan shows other teams pretty far away? You do remember that scan shows positions of only the team leaders, right? Other players can wonder unnoticed wherever they wish, right?
  • You expect me to believe that a team would stay in open where they are if they are getting attacked with grenades? Do they wish to get wiped out? And, as far as I remember, these bullet lines of Fuka’s grenade launchers are awfully slow. Last time Llenn was able to easily move out of the impact zone without much sweat while these guys for some reason seem to have an eyesight worse than that of an earthworm. Also, a great development – it’s Fuka’s first time in a tournament, but she’s already a pro because we are TOLD that she practiced a lot.
  • When I think about it, it’s weird that currently I dislike this show more than the original SAO. Originally I came to think of SAO as an average show. Maybe at that point I hadn’t watched as much anime. I remember being bored at some points and upset but not that mad about others. Maybe I simply glossed over the whole thing not bothering to dig into the details. GGO on the other hand continues to frustrate me deeply. Very deeply. Ugh…

Piano no Mori (Ep. 9)

  • In spite of what Kai says, I think that Shuhei looked pretty bad, being barely recognizable. To be frank, production doesn’t seem to be rolling smoothly. At all. Character designs are anything but polished.
  • The rush through the manga chapters is taking its toll. It seems like only a few weeks ago Kai was still kid, then suddenly he became a decent performer, next second he decided to enter the competition and in a blink of an eye he’s already in the preliminary round. I guess this competition should be extremely important for Kai but there was absolutely no build up to that, so it doesn’t feel so. Are there any stakes at all? I think even the first time Kai performed in public was way better structured.
  • A good point that even the most accomplished and generally confident performers might struggle quite a lot. You never know when the nerves can attack. I remember my old piano teacher saying that if you want to play 100% in a concert, you have to be able to play at least 110 or even 120% while practicing. Definitely true.
  • In the light of the show being 24 episodes long I think that the conflict between Shuhei and Kai won’t be resolved just yet. A likely scenario would be for Kai to stumble somewhere so that he can’t reach the final round and have a match with Shuhei. Then Shuhei might even win the competition but still feel like he didn’t accomplish anything. Or, upset that Kai didn’t qualify, he might stumble himself. Thus both of them could decide to have another go next year. Wait a second – Chopin Piano Competition happens only every 5 years.
  • I missed Rei. It’s somehow not surprising but a bit disappointing that she hasn’t moved on from her situation. I mean if she’s so self-conscious about her job possibly affecting Kai, can’t she do anything about that? It’s not that there aren’t any other jobs for people without specific qualifications.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 9)

  • The show’s too serious to be a decent comedy and too comical to be a serious story. A wealthy dude shooting in his own mansion (“I may kill my wife doing that but who on earth would think it isn’t worth it?”), a villain that’s too pathetic to be intimidating – that sort of stuff makes any attempt to take the show seriously fail, at least for me.
  • Speaking about the villain, pathetic isn’t the only adjective I have to use. That whole scene with him fighting with Sugimoto and almost dying to me felt extremely repulsive. I get that it’s supposed to be funny but that sort of humor isn’t my cup of tea. I find the whole shining pants visualization to be vulgar, it also clashed hard with the purposefully sad music and the guy’s whining. For me it’s out of place. Especially knowing that the previous temporary villain was that hunter dude who, albeit having his own reason to be unentertaining, had some sort of presence, some aura that made him organic with the setting. A homosexual mad guy with shining pants but little essence apart from constant blabbering isn’t able to live up to the role. It may be too harsh to call it simply disgusting and wrong but that’s how it made me feel. As if it’s a crude insult to the history and the setting.
  • Well, this episode overall was very hard for me to watch. Maybe I was too tired (and that day I was pretty tired) to pay much attention but it’s still a poor excuse to have half a story about the excited pants guy and the second one about some military dudes I’ve no interest in. Is it supposed to be entertaining when a random guy no. 5714 talks to a random guy no. 126 about how good he is with his rifle while targeting random guy 48951? Sorry, I’m just interested in Sugimoto, Asirpa and to some extent in Shiraishi and Hijikata. Even the last two, while being rather important, have quite a lackluster characterization, so that also tells something about even less important characters. Can’t we just skip everything that doesn’t concern gold-searching?
  • When I think about it, Golden Kamuy has so much stuff to do every time (this week there was no cooking segment – preposterous!) but being such a busybody it fails to say anything deep or meaningful. It’s just a comedy for comedy’s sake, action for action’s sake and so on. Of course it isn’t just all bad – some snippets of Ainu culture are pretty educational and a pure action show also has a right to exist (hooray for Black Lagoon!) Yet, none of these positives work on me so well that I could overlook the segmented-ness, abrupt mood switching, crude comedy and too much meandering around without getting to the point. And after all that, can you tell what message the show is trying to convey?

 

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. I’ve missed a few of these and need to catch up. These aren’t my favorite of the spring so I’m dragging a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: