Musings and Reflections – Summer 2018 Week 4

     Yeah, I’m a week late. Long story short, there have been some semi-avoidable troubles with the Internet but everything’s back to normal so just for the record before I jump right into catching up with week 5, here’s week 4.

One phrase impressions

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 – Shouting: the Anime is back!
Hanebado! – Sports anime starts being about sports.
Yama no Susume 3 – Weird, as there’s only school stuff.
Banana Fish – Prisons are awfully uninviting places.
Sirius the Jaeger – Flashbacks plus stuff.

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Ep. 1)

  • Speaking about the OP, it seems like the backstories of Levi and Erwin and other characters will be featured quite prominently this season. By the way, it’s quite funny that young Erwin’s face seems exactly the same as it is now. Maybe the guy was even born with a beard? Well, I would like to understand what’s happening now more than I need to know what jam Erwin liked his oatmeal with but oh well, if that deepens the characters I can’t complain, can I?
  • Also, it’s weird to have a relatively calm ballad as an OP and not an adrenalin-pumping epicness that all the previous OPs were. The song isn’t bad by all means – I especially like the bass. Well, I guess this season might be calmer and more focused on the characters and their feelings rather than the story itself. There’s only one way to find that out.
  • I guess overall I expected something more bombastic. The episode was clearly ok – all the human drama and stuff, but I expect some titans out of the show called Attack on Titan and not some introspection into the government details. Well, Eren did appear in his titan form, but even then he wasn’t fully formed and was featured  for a surprisingly short amount of time. Another trademark of the show – the glorious action – was also very limited. Mikasa’s proficiency reminded me about that splendid gif from Nichijou but that was about it. Actually, the story up until the kidnapping didn’t hold my attention too much, only then the things started to get more interesting.
  • Speaking about the human drama, the king has his face shown, and that also indicates that this season will probably provide more development on the human side of the world with various organizations, authorities and the interplay between various characters with differing motivations. All is well and good – opening a whole new layer of the worldbuilding never is a bad choice, only I wish that all the titan stuff (that basically defines the show) was featured more. Previous seasons posed many questions and very few of them were addressed later on. We still have no idea what’s in Eren’s basement or what society (?) titans form or, well, pretty much anything about their goals, not mentioning such extraordinary phenomena as the monkey titan. The questions are piling up and an arc solely about humans will likely ask a few more, so in my mind it’s already past time to get at least some explanations.
  • I’ve always had a problem with such introductions of guys like Kenny. He’s framed as a very powerful and a very dangerous person, something like a mafia family head, and that comes with a healthy number of subordinates. The question is then why haven’t we heard a word about him earlier if he’s so infamous? It’s probably too much to expect mangaka to come up with all the key elements of the series in advance and then introduce them slowly in due time. Still, no foreshadowing at all (at least not of the kind I can notice) doesn’t go well with my suspension of disbelief – my brain automatically sends a message “Hey, where did that guy came from? Haven’t heard about him earlier, so he’s either an ass-pull or so unimportant and unimpressive than nobody cared to mentioned him before”. Either way, Kenny will have to work hard to deserve my respect as a character.

Hanebado! (Ep. 4)

  • An episode with less concentrated content both story- and emotion-wise. I definitely would’ve preferred an approach the show had been taking up until now – that of deep human drama. I guess you have to have some sports in a sports anime after all, and drama doesn’t hit as hard when you can’t juxtapose it against some calmer stuff.
  • To be honest, it took me half an episode to understand that Connie isn’t Kaoruko with dyed hair. Come on, that’s character design 101 – don’t make too similar characters. Unless it’s for a reason, but I doubt that. Coonie’s and Kaoruko’s personalities also seem rather similar. I wouldn’t even have been surprised if someone stated “she’s very good at psychological tricks”. And that she definitely was. Choosing a ribbon clearly similar to that of Ayano’s mom was good thinking, for whatever reason she did it. I can’t say much about Connie’s personality apart from the fact that she’s a huge jerk. Thinking up such a tactic is something I don’t necessarily approve but definitely appreciate.
  • Hey, I would’ve loved to see Nagisa play her match. I guess regrettably the show’s technical abilities are limited after all and I should be grateful for each and every sakuga moment.
  • I’m not sure it’s a good idea to throw a world class player at Ayano already. If a story tries to build the tension up, stakes should be lower at first. I expect that the manga is longer than the anime is going to be, and the story naturally should pose higher and higher stakes. If Ayano is able to play the best of the best players already, the question is where do we go from now then?
  • There’s something with that Sora girl. I’m not sure what though.
  • By the way, in the ED Ayano is shown with a ribbon similar to her mom’s. I guess that means that Ayano will either reconcile with her or simply overcome the trauma and start appreciating time spent with her mom.

Yama no Susume 3 (Ep. 4)

  • It turns out I had completely forgotten that Aoi was a loner at school. It was a while since we saw her there. Also, knowing that even if generally cautious, Aoi usually interacts with her friends just fine, made realization quite strange.
  • This Mio girl who invited Aoi to hang out knew too much about her for it to be an accident. I can’t think of it in any other way than that it was Hinata who tried to pull Aoi into her other friends’ circle. As expected, everything turned out pretty well for everyone. Hearing a previous OP as a karaoke song was a good idea. I love when shows find ways to incorporate their OPs into the narrative.
  • If there’s a message to be extracted from this episode, I think it’s not to overthink stuff. Everybody may make mistakes and feel awkward, so you have to just pay as little attention to that as possible, especially if you’re with people you trust.
  • Another idea is that appearances can be very deceiving. Who would’ve thought that a lonely girl who only knits during lunch breaks and has only one friend (who usually is occupied with other stuff) actually is a very generous and crafty person, working part time and as a hobby climbing various mountains? I think these classmates of Aoi should be quite content of making an acquaintance of such a person as Aoi is.

Banana Fish (Ep. 4)

  • It’s alluded that Arthur has some very unpleasant memories because of Ash. I’m quite interested in knowing what exactly happened to at least partially justify why Arthur behaves like such a jerk.
  • I’m still not convinced that the portrayed prison system is realistic. How long did it take for the guards to arrive since the brawl started? And they only arrived because people were gathering. If there’s only “an eye for an eye” and “the strongest gets all” philosophy out there, it can turn to a slaughterhouse in a minute. It should be a normal prison and not some Deadman Wonderland. This brutality is at least a bit excessive.
  • So, Griff died. Ash gets another reason to be absolutely mad at Arthur. As everyone dear to Ash has died left and right, Eiji still survives, and that should make him dearer to Ash, even if the two of them have known each other for a very short period of time.
  • The sole purpose of this dude is to tell Max where Ash is. What a role!
  • The last scene transitioned to the ED extremely well. To think about it, the energetic OP “rhymed” with the more brutal scenes while the ED suited the calmer and more introspective ones. Good.
  • During the first part of the episode I kept wondering if my choice to watch the show was really right. Nothing but prison brawls episode after episode start too be repetitive and everything else isn’t that interesting. Every last bit of mystery that Ash showed initially transitioned into his bad attitude and that’s also a thing I didn’t approve. The guy’s an embodiment of a concept of chaos. Or rather an animal that’s cornered and would bite any hand regardless of intentions. I’m not sure if Ash’s change of attitude towards Max is a long-term development. At least I’m happy that Ash for once started to think how other people felt and that he might not be the only one who cared about Griff. If Ash will be able to think rationally, he might very easy find a trustworthy friend in Max, and it’s a thing he needs because Eiji can’t possibly substitute all the dead friends and relatives of Ash.

Sirius the Jaeger (Ep. 3)

  • Basically Yuliy receiving lots of visitors and having lots flashbacks. I guess that’s ok. Still, P.A. Works should probably stick to girls working and similar stuff. You may say that this show is basically guys working and it just happens that their job is vampire hunting, but I’d still recommend not deviating too much from a tried and tested formula.
  • The funny thing is that the show actually sticks to the formula, but not the one the studio is prepared to carry out. When I see a beautiful anime mom in a story that isn’t a comedy, I assume that she’ll end up dead. The fact that I was correct again shows how close to the tropes the show sticks. And generally it might not be even tropes – it’s a bunch of ideas that have been executed before, and better.
  • So, the flashbacks. These villagers seemed awfully ecstatic seeing one dead moose (announcing parties and stuff). As if it could feed and clothe them all for months. The outfits and various ornamented fabrics looked quite impressive. The flashback also made me question the location of the village. The fact that now the gang resides in Japan tells that the show tries not to stray too much from the historic truth. Then the names like Alexei, Yuliy and Mikhail are clearly Russian. But then we have Gustaf in this mix and as if that wasn’t weird enough, Yuliy is transcribed as such and not as “Yuriy” which would be a logical assumption if the name was Russian. Weird. And we also have Dogville. Come on, it sounds like a Facebook game at best. Where the hell that place is supposed to be?
  • Back into the present, it seems like the little girl from the last episode was very conveniently adopted by some relatives. Was her sole purpose to simply tug at the heartstrings of the viewers seeing how the poor kid lost her dad? Again, it’s a pretty pedestrian approach to make the viewers care. Oh well.
  • What is this Arc? Is it edible? I guess a lengthy exposition with or without a flashback will address that sooner rather than later.
  • Despite everything else, I found the possible development of the relationship between Yuliy and Mikhail quite promising. Their situation is set up very well – the brothers seem to care about each other a lot, and finding each other among the opposing sides creates quite a conflict, especially since both of them look to be permanently stuck with their current comrades because of their very nature. Unless the very final confrontation will have Mikhail redeem himself by doing something against his current nature, and that action should let the heroes win.
  • Another point about Mikhail is that he insisted that Yuliy as a child was brave. It stuck me as strange – the kid didn’t do anything worth admiring. But then maybe Mikhail himself feels craven and that would explain why  he became a vampire. If he was given a choice either to die or to become a vampire, I guess it would be probable that Mikhail simply gave in to his lust for life, no matter how miserable existence as a vampire might be. Of course, that’s just a speculation, but seeing how conventional the show is, I wouldn’t be surprised if this prediction turned out completely true.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Attack on Titan’s next episode…naw I’m not going to tell you, just watch it, as I think you will love it.
    You were not the only one who thought that Connie was Kaoruk by the way. Still, surprisingly, I am still very much enjoying Hanebado! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • You’re absolutely right. I watched it a few hours ago and left far more satisfied.
      I wonder if Hanebado will remain to be enjoyable for you if it tries to be more sport-y. Hope it’ll still be.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Well…I’m not going to drop it anymore, even it becomes more sporty as I am far too invested in it now😊😊
        Glad you enjoyed the new episode of Attack on Titan: looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it😀

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Broadening your views is always a good thing, especially if it is entertaining at the same time.
          Well, my thoughts about Attack on Titan will basically be “Hey, I liked it more than I expected!”. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  2. I think I’m the only one that disappointed end-to-end with the new season of AoT. I am not looking forward to a season of endless chatter.

    “To be honest, it took me half an episode to understand that Connie isn’t Kaoruko with dyed hair.”

    I’ve seen a lot of people annoyed at that particular screwup.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Imagine then that the mangaka himself asked for the story of this season to be condensed. Maybe that will pay off somehow compared to the manga.
      Let’s hope that this screw up will be the biggest problem of Hanebado. I wonder how many people during the production saw this problem and did nothing to interfere.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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