Musings and Reflections – Summer 2018 Week 6

One phrase impressions

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 Even more questions and no answers
Hanebado! – Tournament arc!
Yama no Susume 3 – Coffee time.
Banana Fish – Very bad parenting.
Sirius the Jaeger – Just stuff.

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Ep. 3 /40/)

  • So, we have another contestant for the worst anime mom of the season award. Krista’s mom has a fair chance fighting Hanebado’s Ayano’s mom.
  • “Historia, I am your father. Come join me. Join the dark side.”
  • Interesting idea that the former torturers sort of transfer their job, their reputation and their sins to Hange.
  • Sorry, but it’s quite funny: “Let’s wait for some extremely important news, but meanwhile let me tell you about my childhood.”
  • I guess this idea of eating something and gaining its power was to be expected (or at least something similarly weird) but it definitely needs elaboration. I’d love to know the precise mechanism of such a power.
  • This whole business about Reiss family being the royalty (and a “true” royalty apparently) also feels shady as hell. Without the fact that there are titans, I got an impression that the state is doing ok, so do people really care who rules them? Looking cynically, is there a difference for a layman between a “true king” and just a “king”? What good a change could bring? Especially if it’s Krista (who has absolutely no idea how to rule) on the thrown. Why Krista, why not her father then? And where’s the evidence that Reiss family should have a thrown? Does it matter? Wouldn’t it be easier to just collaborate with the Reiss dad since he already apparently has all the power?
  • The legal system is rotten to the core if someone might coin any convenient story, accuse anyone and restrain them WITHOUT ANY DAMN EVIDENCE!
  • Erwin’s story posed even more questions. Was his father really so dumb to tell a mere kid something that shouldn’t be disclosed to others? Sure, trust is a good thing but please don’t let it be an excuse for doing stupid things. I get that the reaction to Erwin’s father’s theory shows that it might be close to truth, but again – what’s the mechanism? How could a king alter memories of everyone? And make a bad enough job of it so a mere teacher some time later could deduce the truth? The last quip is that if it was Erwin who talked with everyone about forbidden things, wouldn’t it make sense to silence him also? Surely the government must have had enough brains to know that the death of the father will be enough to strengthen whatever ideas the son received. Why would anyone let such a possible troublemaker achieve such a high military post? Weird to say the least.

Hanebado! (Ep. 6)

  • A Riko episode. Very good. She definitely deserves a spotlight, in essence being the main support for Nagisa. Elena’s role to Ayano is very similar, so will we get an Elena episode also?
  • Isn’t it weird to have a character with so pronounced lips in an otherwise lip-less cast? On the other hand, she’s a chip off an old block – her coach also has that quirk. Is it contagious?
  • So, all these kids in the ED are Riko’s siblings. I’ve been wondering for a while what does Nagisa have to do with such a bunch of admirers but it’s finally clear. Simply knowing that Riko comes from a big family and is the oldest sister alone somehow develops her character.
  • The scene with Nagisa coming for Riko nicely mirrors the very beginning of the show when it was RIko who offered some comfort. As Nagisa isn’t a very eloquent person, simply sitting nearby means a lot.
  • I think Riko’s mini-arc story-wise went as best as it could. She, being pretty smart, started using some tactics based on observed playing patterns. But sometimes that isn’t enough. It’s just like Riko said herself – Nagisa is hard-working, Ayano has talent, and Riko has only heart (and brains). It’s enough to come to the level of a good player but it takes all of her power just to be equal and not better. And that’s sad but fair – neither power of friendship nor mustering of inner resources sometimes may make a difference. At least even if it does hurt, Riko was able to come into terms with the loss and extract the most important thing in any sports – it should be fun primarily.
  • So, the worst mom (arguably) of the season arrives. At least in the present she doesn’t seem like a very terrible person. For now. Could it be that Ayano was an unreliable narrator?
  • More animation than usual and I’m all for that. Also, I usually have a problem with a sports game being played and the audience simply commenting about what’s happening. Hanebado somehow nailed the pacing very well so I noticed this conventional sports anime technique only by the end of the episode. Maybe fast cuts between various games and a very dynamic animation were the reasons for my immersion.

Yama no Susume 3 (Ep. 6)

  • Predictable? Yeah. Is it bad? Hell no. Well, I didn’t expect a cooking show embedded in Yama no Susume but it’s great how many aspects mountaineering (and lives of people who love mountaineering) can have. There’re other things to like – for example Aoi comparing coffee bitterness with adult life. Or the way character animation was better compared to the last time. Or the fact that once again Aoi is encouraged not to overthink things – other people are just like her, only not so unnecessarily self-conscious. The show sure is versatile and more or less always entertaining.
  • Coffee is overrated. Give me rather some Earl Grey every time. Well, I don’t have anything against coffee and it tastes fine (some bitterness is always a good thing, for example 70%+ chocolate or something similar) but I prefer a much more subtle taste of tea. And no, I’m not British.
  • Oh, it’s a compensation for Kaede’s absence last week. Good. I guess all the girls will gather only for the finale to one spectacular climb.

Banana Fish (Ep. 6)

  • Saying something is “only 500 km away” from something else is weird. Even 50 km may make a huge difference. Well, maybe my own country isn’t the biggest of them all and I’m not particularly travel-minded but to me even 300 km is a synonym with “pretty far”.
  • We had Ayano’s mom from Hanebado, then Krista’s mom from Attack on Titan, and now Banana Fish joins the company with pretty bad parenting. Is it a new cool trend? And it’s a really bad parenting. What kind of dad lets his kid be abused if only he gets money out of it? And I still don’t get why the dad is so angry to Ash but completely ok with telling sad stories about him to others. Weird dude, weird.
  • Well, somebody needs to learn their distances. Eiji exclaims how far the bottles for the shooting are but a few seconds later we get this. It looks like they are like 2 meters away from the bottles. If Eiji missed from that distance… And don’t tell me that Ash for his training used full bottles of actual booze. Returning to the distances, by the end of the episode the gang thought they were lost somewhere, then went 10 steps and saw the whole landscape of LA. Quaint. And how could they get lost in the first place – aren’t there any road sighs in LA?
  • Dairy Cape Cod”? Really? That’s some name for a newspaper. I didn’t see any cows nearby though.
  • Well, If I had a kid and he would turn up all bruised, the first thing I’d think of would a brawl and not some sexual assault. How common are such things in the first place? Are they more common than boy fights?
  • I seem to kind of like the show, for example the conversation between Ibe and Max was quite enjoyable. There seems to be a decent direction, mafia stuff also feels complicated but not convoluted, so everything seems good. Still, there’s always just some one bit or another that somehow doesn’t let me think about this show as something particularly great or memorable.
  • Manga probably had more space to flesh out the dad and Jennifer as well as their circumstances. In anime form however if a character gets killed after being there for a single episode, don’t even think I’ll care. And I don’t.
  • Max’s plan and all the shootout seemed very improbable. Max’s idea to say that the police arrived worked like 2 seconds at best, and he apparently had no better plan after that. Betting all on a presumption that “Ash’ll think up something” seems very poorly conceived. The other guy then shot Jennifer. Why exactly? She was the least intimidating opponent of them all. Wouldn’t shooting Ash in a leg or something make more sense? Also, the fight seemed very linear – someone does something then another person does another thing and so on. In reality everybody acts at the same time. I get that it’s  incredibly difficult to create a dynamic fight like that with many people acting simultaneously. Still, I think that showing the whole space would’ve been preferable. Or just when someone acts, seeing others in the background because now if two people had a direct confrontation, only they were shown, and others were left waiting for their turn to get on a screen. Well, it’s complicated but I hope it makes at least some sense.

Sirius the Jaeger (Ep. 5)

  • Yuliy must feel very strange and disarrayed when talking with Mikhail – it’s his brother and at the same time another person, totally unknown and unknowable, and not only because he’s a vampire now. Even such little character trait like refusing to use a gun while hunting, previously seen as inherent to Mikhail’s character, is no longer there. This central relationship is probably the one interesting thing to me about the characters of the show.
  • All this train business reminds me of Baccano. And you know, it’s really really hard to top Baccano in any way. But, truth be told, I kind of liked it. Once again it’s proven that Masahiro Ando knows best how to take care of action scenes, and this episode basically was one big action scene. I can’t say I’m totally invested in all these plots and machinations but at least as an action piece the episode was definitely enjoyable. I guess it’s the best the show can offer in terms of everything – I never expected the story to be groundbreaking, but once characters are sort of established and they can finally act without much exposition. The fights and stuff are what the show really excels at compared to other departments where it’s pretty much mediocre.
  • As much as I loved the action, there still has to be some logic. Are bows and arrows really that effective using them against someone sitting in a metal box (I mean the train)? Later on when the terrorist leader advanced, I counted at least 9 soldiers who were firing at him. The result? He came out without a scratch, and two soldiers were killed. Are they that incompetent? How can bows and arrows and swords win against a squad of rifles who have everything – time, distance and clear sight?
  • Ryoko proved to have some guts, and that’s great, considering that she has been a pretty blank character so far. Her kendo practice came to be useful and while she herself might not have consciously understood what happened, her reflexes were right. One less vampire to fight.
  • This Frankenstein monster actually was kind of disappointing. His character design wasn’t particularly memorable. And I guess if you try to use such a stock character, you should make him at least a bit stand out among others. Apparently as soon as he was made relevant, he was scrapped just as that vicious vampire lady from the first episodes (anyone remember her?) The villain side (except Mikhail) seriously needs some working. Bad guys because why be good aren’t anything too great.

 

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1 Comment

  1. I was nominated… The Brotherhood of the World Bloggers Award – Keiko's Anime Blog

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