Musings and Reflections – Summer 2018 Week 3

One phrase impressions:

Hanebado! – Nagisa isn’t the only one who had it rough.
Yama no Susume 3 – Sandals!
Banana Fish – Somebody help Ash.
Sirius the Jaeger – Sorry, but it’s boring.

Hanebado! (Ep. 3)

  • Once again I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. It’s almost strange that I feel such an affinity to it when everybody else seems to think that the show’s good, but not that good. Last time a similar thing happened to me with Koi wa Ameagari no You ni. I’m not sure why these two shows speak to me so much but they do and I’m grateful for that.
  • So, as Nagisa’s troubles seem to have been already completely sorted out we turn to Ayano’s problems, and they are many and deep. As far as I understand it, Ayano’s mom was raised in a very traditional kind of way. I’d say she wasn’t particularly happy about that and tried to escape. For some reason it was badminton that offered such a possibility. Ayano’s mom immersed herself into it, striving to be the best and pushing herself even more than possible. That’s a theory but I’m sure we’ll eventually meet her and get the true story. So, Ayano’s mom being a perfectionist tried to project her passion onto Ayano herself. It might be that Ayano’s mom started badminton fairly late and achieved as much as she did mainly due to her work (hey, a parallel with Nagisa), so, seeing that her daughter was enjoying badminton as well, Ayano’s mom decided to push her to the extreme. But Ayano wasn’t her mom, capable of sacrificing everything in order to win. Well, I’m not sure if a person is qualified to be a mother if she behaves the way Ayano’s mom did (I wonder where’s the dad). Poor Ayano. Her mom probably thought that she herself wouldn’t have let a mere flu stop her and therefore Ayano isn’t cut to achieve as much as she did therefore she isn’t worthy any more effort. And that hurts quite a lot, even if such a turn of events seems not the most likely.
  • Looking from Ayano’s point, I doubt she was given enough love, or at least all the love was inevitably connected with badminton. Thus Ayano’s only goal became to be good at badminton. Once her mom left, Ayano found a huge hole in her – she didn’t know what else to do, what else she was capable of. A plan to win as much as possible to get her mom back was a good temporary solution but that apparently failed. Ayano’s mom made another step towards the worst mom of the season award. And then the hole in Ayano’s heart manifested again, only stronger. If she couldn’t call back her mom, there’s little to do with badminton anymore. Ayano surprisingly quasi-recovered, deciding to quit the sport and pursue a normal life, but badminton caught her and brought back all the negative emotions. Especially remarks that she’s exceptional and all that arrogant display of Kaoruko (yeah, as expected I didn’t like her that much) don’t let her to feel like a normal girl she wants to be. Talk about being enclosed from all the sides. On the other hand, in her heart she still loves badminton and knows that it’s still the one thing that unites her with her mom, so her ambiguous attitude towards the club is understandable.
  • Elena cares about Ayano very much, but even she has a hard time – badminton isn’t her passion, she only wants to make Ayano great whole again. Normally I’d expect Elena to be a character like those best friends of visual novels – always happy, always caring, always selfless and helpful. Thankfully, Elena’s deeper than that. To some extent Elena behaves like a mom Ayano lost. The watched film bolstered Elena’s understanding that she can’t let Ayano always rely on her and simply pushing Ayano to join the club isn’t working, the girl needs to start dealing with her insecurities herself. Choosing Nagisa as a catalyst made much sense – Nagisa is not only a very capable player, she, as I mentioned is similar to Ayano’s mom by her work ethic and iron will to succeed. Thus Ayano might have been reminded of her carefree days playing with her mom.
  • That’s all great but if Ayano’s trauma is resolved only like that, I don’t know – it’d be more than anticlimactically quick. If everything will be resolved and both Nagisa and Ayano will be able to play badminton happily as if nothing had happened, I’d be disappointed. These inner problem solving episodes have been particularly enjoyable and I wish very much that we stay in this realm as long as possible, without a move to a typical tournament-structured sports anime stuff.

Yama no Susume 3 (Ep. 3)

  • A simple message like “alone is ok but it’s better together” seems fitting to a such short slice of life show. I wonder how many times Aoi has gone on a trip alone since she reunited with Hinata. Probably not many.
  • The track to the mountain seemed really exhausting. That paired with the sensation that the trees are enclosing Aoi from all the sides made the encounter with Kokona so much more reassuring.
  • The god of the lower body must have some big feet. I remember once looking up various Japanese gods and for example only counting gods  of various significance that are somehow associated with rice you can make a list larger than entire mythologies of other countries. There seems to be a god for every aspect of life.
  • I wonder when we’ll see this shy photographer girl that was the latest addition to the cast, especially since from the OP it seems like she’s going to be featured quite a bit. Well, even Kaede and Hinata aren’t that often on screen but I think it’s time to let the most mysterious of all the characters get some spotlight. And I also think it’s time to have all the girls together do some mountaineering. For now it’s enough of separate preparatory stories.

Banana Fish (Ep. 3)

  • Do you really end up in a jail for punching a cop? And for so long that somebody may ask to look after someone else who as far as I know is jailed indefinitely? Weird. Maybe the Americans really value and cherish their cops.
  • Yeah, the show really doesn’t shy from homosexuality matters. Only so far we see only the dark side – Marvin never was a pleasant guy, the same can be said about the mafia boss. Ash was abused (let’s not forget that he was still a kid back then) and the prison doesn’t look like the most pleasant place in that respect. And add some banana innuendos. The show is ruthless. By the way, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have cameras cover the entirety of the prison? Is it really productive to throw cop-punchers into jail but don’t oversee the prisoners?
  • I don’t know virtually anything about drugs but what’s the point in having a drug that is so unpredictable and comes with so many adverse effects like aggression and destructive behavior? You could say that aggression and stuff is useful for soldiers that could go completely berserk but sporadic behavior doesn’t ensure that such a soldier will understand who is the enemy. I have no idea why would anyone want to try such drugs – neither on a person nor a group level.
  • I don’t understand why did Ash get so worked up about Max to the point of threatening him. What else Max was supposed to do when Griff went berserk? The guy getting an arrow a bullet to the knee to me seems like quite a reasonable scenario. Yeah, Ash might accuse Max of leaving Griff after that but he doesn’t even want to listen to Max’s story about how everything happened. If Ash is so emotional and judgmental I begin to wonder how did he became a gang leader in the first place.
  • THAT came out of nowhere. I was pretty surprised. Of course, everything became clearer later on but what do you know, that might be a start of some developments. Maybe he really fancies Eiji as apparently Ash doesn’t have any other close and pure enough friend. Still, I don’t think Ash needed to go as far, especially knowing it was in a prison and even more because of that previous incident with the abusers.
  • I’m not sure I like Ash as much as I did during the first episodes. Eiji is still an audience insert character but despite all these complaints I find the story still very full of potential. It’s just not enough at this point to say “great!” instead of “not bad, not bad”.

Sirius the Jaeger (Ep. 2)

  • We already have a bunch of vampires and the OP indicates some sort of Frankenstein monster. Doesn’t seem too original.
  • Somehow I find everything very stale as if I have watched the show before. All these gestures – an innocent and energetic child (with a dead mom – obviously we can’t have it otherwise, can we?) being told not to ask questions, a suffering protagonist who explains that “he had to do it because he felt it was right no matter what others said”, the same protagonist trying to rejoin his teammates after an injury but being told down by a superior, a pair of supporting characters who have only one gimmick (“don’t touch my hair”) and no depth beyond that… It’s just not interesting.
  • Why do scientists in anime always have to get the short end of a stick? They are either killed or choose to become evil (and then get killed). Probably only anime moms get it worse (this show isn’t an exception). Only the Mado Scientisto escaped the rule (with a fair share of suffering) but he’s one of the kind. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a JRPG adaptation. There are great video game stories to be adapted yet but even so, why would you take up an original story and stuff it with so many clichés and predictable moments? Of course a particularly cheery kid should be devastated by the end. Of course the villain has to be super badass, even if she’s devoid of any personality. Of course there should be a family drama.
  • All these things aren’t necessarily bad but I’ve seen such stuff more than enough times to be immune to it. Maybe I picked this show in a wrong time. Well, the bottom line is that apart from the action animation apparently I don’t have much to look forward to. Sure, some story might develop over time but do I really care at this point? Nah.
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2 Comments

  1. You are not alone on Hanebado! And just keep in mind that I absolutely hate sportsanime, but this one for me just has something special. I like the characters, and the storyline is very good as well. Also the focus is not really solely on the sport itself which is great. Really one of the better shows around this season 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Definitely agree. It’s great to hear that you enjoy it so much. From the top of my head I don’t remember any other sports anime whose main focus was not completely on sports, and that’s great.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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