Musings and Reflections – Summer 2018 Week 5

One phrase impressions

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 Levi acrobatics and stuff.
Hanebado! – A fight for mom and stuff.
Yama no Susume 3 – Photography and stuff.
Banana Fish – Assassinations and stuff.
Sirius the Jaeger – Just stuff..

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Ep. 2 /39/)

  • That’s what I’m talking about. Levi running through the roofs before the OP is the kind of action I missed in the first episode. If I remember correctly, these cuts were also featured in the PV but they still are great. The stuff after the OP is just as great. These cuts are worth analyzing frame by frame.
  • The team is seriously emotionally confused about their current goal being to fight men and not titans. To some extent it’s even strange that their reaction was so strong because they should have a pretty clear idea that every titan should have a human within. On the other hand, killing a monstrous deformity is always easier than a fellow human being. The episode spends quite a while building the idea that at this point no one is truly righteous. During previous seasons you could think that the titans attacked first so they are wrong but stories of for example Ymir and Reiner showed that titans are also people, at least sometimes. Still, their humanity can be questioned, and that can’t be said about what’s happening with Kenny. The Levi team is basically outlawed and must embrace torture (again, the idea of torturing titans wasn’t the most comfortable, and now it’s taken to the extreme). And you can’t say that each and every opponent, especially when they’re low rank, is evil. That’s similar to one of my favorites – Shiki – where by the end you can’t tell if humans aren’t really more monstrous than the real monsters.
  • I wonder about Levi’s past. There was an OVA giving some details but if I’m not wrong, its story happened just before Levi joined the Scouts. So it should mean that Levi met Kenny as a little kid, and separated leaving enough time for Levi to get comfortable with acting alone.
  • I wonder why everyone started using Krista’s real name – I’d think that even if a possibility of someone overhearing that who knows anything about Historia is rather low, it’s still higher than if everyone called her simply Krista. Seems like she (and Erwin) will receive some flashbacks next time. And, according to the ED, Krista seems pretty important this season. Looks interesting.
  • Well, generally the whole episode was way more interesting than the first one. After that warm up I think I can like the story even without any titans.
  • The ED is by Linked Horizon. I guess their OPs are better, but I can’t really complain about this mix between Yuki Kajiura and their own Sasageyo.

Hanebado! (Ep. 5)

  • Yeah yeah, team spirit. And an appropriate reaction to a high five. I guess it’s no wonder that if Ayano is so accomplished as a solo player, the focus of the show is going to be just as she wishes herself – learning to play in a team. And, as we know, power of friendship always wins in shounen sports anime. Peal the emotional drama, add more boyish personalities and Hanebado will essentially turn into a conventional shounen sports anime. But it isn’t at least at this point. Team spirit may do wonders but solo-ing Connie still won (ironically enough because of her teammate). The question is – does that make her happy? Team vs individual are a common theme but it doesn’t feel too stale  as of yet.
  • On an unrelated note, I started to think that Nagisa went to a background rather smoothly. It isn’t often that anime tries false protagonists, and that they work. I don’t know if Nagisa will sometime be promoted to a semi-protagonist (because I’d love that more than anything) but even just as everything is now, Nagisa feels like a dear (at least more dear than others) supporting character.
  • I hope Sora’s role in the story isn’t over though that might be the case as she already stated her dissatisfaction with Ayano. And she was absolutely right, bringing the point that Ayano needs to grow not only as a team player but as a person in general. After any loss you simply can’t fault the circumstances as the only reason of a failure. That means that you absolve yourself of any responsibility for the loss, and therefore you try to persuade yourself that you don’t need to improve, though that’s precisely what you need to do. It looks like Ayano managed to wise up by the end and appreciated Sora’s words, as shown by her clinging to Sora.
  • Quite unexpectedly Connie is also given some depth. I also liked the scene where the captain asked Connie which girl really suffered because of her. Connie so far thinks about her teammates at best (when she isn’t busy thinking about herself) and taking into account perspective of Ayano so far doesn’t cross her mind. For her Ayano is only a goal that must be achieved by any means, psychological warfare included. That shows that Connie isn’t that dissimilar to Ayano – both of them try to get the approval of Ayano’s mom. Ayano’s final idea that she doesn’t need mom theoretically is correct – you can’t stick to your mom all your life. But her eyes do worry me. People with complexes as strong as her can be hardly predictable.
  • So yeah, despite minor slips (that bathroom scene that sure, made Connie more human, but was it necessary this way?) I really like the show. Sakuga moments may not be as abundant as they used to be, but the soundtrack, suspense, drama, even some words of wisdom – I just like it.

Yama no Susume 3 (Ep. 5)

  • So, finally the photographer girl got some screen time. The price for that was the absence of Kaede, so I’ve seen better tradeoffs. Oh well, you get one thing, you lose another.
  • I…is this Shaft?
  • Is it weird that I found it strange that the show presented digital photography as sort of a default option? It didn’t get any explanations, and the old (by the show’s standards, apparently) style photography did (the need to use a film and stuff). I still remember when there was not even a thought that there could be something like digital photography – somebody could call you mad if you said that there’s a possibility to view a fully functional photo a fraction of a second after it was made. Of course, when slowly digital photography came (oh the flip phones with their terrible resolution cameras…) I enjoyed photographing absolutely everything as much as anybody. My knowledge of photography is no better than any layman’s, but I just never thought that digital has come so far. The old style is of course still used but it definitely feels odd to think that conventional photography is another matter that some people might find as strange as VHS or floppy disks.
  • Honoka’s brother somehow looks as old (or even older) than Hinata’s dad. This actually might be the case, but I think it’s more likely that his character design is a bit weird.
  • So, it was another episode not connected to mountaineering. Still, visiting tourist sites sort of sticks to the general idea of the show, especially since an European style castle isn’t something I’d expect to see in Japan. I have some reservations about quite limited animation but I guess it still felt novel enough for me to like it quite a bit.

Banana Fish (Ep. 5)

  • I probably shouldn’t laugh at the lawyer running and showing all the benefits of having a beer belly. Intense voice acting also did the trick. This little scene as well as the one where Eiji took initiative and helped Ash escape Ibe and Charlie remind me what I loved about the very first episode of the show.
  • Speaking about the visuals, there’s some very neat framing. Also, during that very scene the music theme (that’s probably associated with the mafia boss) again reminded me of the first episode. One of the more memorable music pieces of the season.
  • The fact that Eiji had a trauma and this journey to America was supposed to alleviate his depression makes him similar to Ash who also starts to lose something (or rather someone in his case) dear. And when both of the guys understand that in their hearts there’s a lot of place to fill, a friendship can be born more easily (damn, it unintentionally sounds almost poetically). Or more than friendship, considering everything we’ve seen already.
  • The unexpected help for Ash feels really unexpected. I agree that any mafia boss acquires not a single enemy but this one dude just popped out of nowhere. Oh well, I can live with that. But I don’t trust him the least bit.
  • The assassination was pretty weird. Why would Ash need a truck to be able to get near the boss? Hooting from a moving object never is the easiest thing around. And wouldn’t it be safer to ram the boss with the truck? Well, just in case, since you have a truck after all. Maybe these guys just don’t know how to effectively assassinate people.

Sirius the Jaeger (Ep. 4)

  • It seems like all the pieces are more or less on the board and the game is there for the playing. That doesn’t mean that I remember all the pieces or care about the majority of them. Especially the vampire side is shady – there’re seemingly lots of people there but I remember only Yuliy’s brother and maybe this wannabe doctor Frankenstein. The good side doesn’t fare much better – I also don’t remember any names except Yuliy and the Professor (by the way, a professor of what? Does he really have a PhD?) Other parties – that terrorist group as well as the police are even less developed. It’s just that I have very little idea about all the characters, their, well, characters, goals and motivations. It’s even more convoluted when all sorts of Frankenstein monsters, Sirius’ Arcs (what the hell is Sirius?) and other stuff is added. I lack clarity. Well, it was only a 4th episode but I have my doubts about the ability of the show to make a coherent thing out of all these elements. I guess I’m still waiting for something interesting and hoping beyond hope that the potential of the director and the studio are not for nothing. On the other hand, even KyoAni has stumbled quite appallingly, so why should P.A. Works be better than that?
  • Another character, unrelated to anyone else, is Ryoko. To some extent her involvement is understandable – a convoluted story like this needs an audience-insert character. On the other hand – why is she important besides that superficial reason? At least for now she doesn’t really feel like she’s suitable to be in the same story as everybody else. Yeah, that might be precisely the point but I don’t think her presence adds much to the show. Well, I don’t think that anybody’s presence adds much. Characters simply don’t feel that alive.
  • Returning to Ryoko, she clearly doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’ll definitely end up in trouble and Yuliy’ll have to save her thus abandoning his current goals.
  • Little kids on a train? Want to bet that they’ll die horrible deaths?
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4 Comments

  1. Yah, this season of Encouragement has suffered from a severe lack of Kaede…

    Hmm… I’m working on a discussion of photography in anime based on this ep. Will have to keep your comments in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. This episode for Attack on Titan, really was great. Exactly as you say, I don’t mind the fact that there currently are not Titans in the show (though if I still feel that way if it continues in this way for the entire season is something that I can’t answer yet).
    Hanebado! is still very enjoyable, but I agree with you on that bathroom scene. Yes it made her more human, and it was nice to see a different side from her , but was it necessary to show it in this way was a very good question. I do have to say that I am glad this is so far a show that luckily doesn’t have a focus on fanservice 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • There’s a chance that we might at least see Eren in his titan form so that could be better than nothing. But yeah, neither OP nor ED feature many titans so the prospects are scarce.
      When Hanebado’s character designs were first revealed I was very cautious about the show and expected it to use quite a bit of fanservice. It’s great that the show has so many other ways to keep the viewers engaged and the fanservice isn’t needed at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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