Musings and Reflections – Summer 2018 Week 9

One phrase impressions

Shingeki no Kyojin 3– Lots of explanations and little action.
Hanebado!
– Didn’t expect so much silliness.
Yama no Susume 3 – Ordinary stuff.
Banana Fish – Being in this show is suffering.
Sirius the Jaeger – Sorry, but it’s pretty boring. Again.

Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Ep. 6 /43/)

  • A power to alter memories makes sense, just as Erwin’s dad predicted. Such a power does explain lots of things but I’m not particularly happy about its very existence. It’s just like with Kenny – both his introduction earlier and now this power of memory alteration feel like late add-ons and not elements intrinsic to the story right from the start. Well, it’s ok to have superpowers but in a show that can live without them they seem like quite a cheap way of making things work. At least personally the initial premise of the show – that there’s a world just like ours only there’re huge unintelligent humans roaming – feels far more potent than what we have now. Of course I understand that you can’t sit all the time with only the premise (unless it’s a slice of life, and Attack on Titan clearly isn’t) but developments into the fantastical department always make me cautious. It’s a very short way to adding more and more superpowers to heighten the stakes and resolve situations until the story ends up being a mess where everything can be explained by “it’s magic that can do anything”. Attack on Titan clearly hasn’t crossed such a threshold (yet) but it’s getting uncomfortably close.
  • As always, when one question is answered, another three or four arise. It was explained how Eren became a titan with (apparent) memory restoration abilities (wait, how about reading someone else’s memories – how does that work?) but it’s still unclear why and how Eren’s dad did what he did. Another thing that bothers me is all this power transmission thing – apparently you can either get a power by eating a titan, but it can also be transferred through a bloodline. What’s the physiological mechanism then? Should I reach out for some textbook concerning Mendelian genetics? Why is that some people are immune to the memory alteration and others aren’t? Does it apply to other powers (like titan summoning)? Is it necessary to be a titan in order to possess a power? What did the Reiss family do about their daughter (meaning Frieda) being a titan? Didn’t they see that as dangerous and at least sometimes unpredictable? Didn’t anyone of the royal bloodline decide that titans should be scientifically examined? Or every single person of power is a titan and it’s a huge conspiracy theory with Illuminati and stuff?
  • Oh well, I was pretty disappointed with the very first episode of this season, but the second one delivered something spectacular. Maybe the studio could pull out something similar next time?
  • So, Mikasa and Levi and Kenny are explicitly related. Cute, I guess.

Hanebado! (Ep. 9)

  • Well, that was silly for the most part. It’s sort of a calm before the storm and the girls do have the right to do girly things but I prefer stuff that doesn’t feel so thematically different from the side of Hanebado that I adore. Pointing out that short skirts may be too short? Shopping for the merchandise of heaven knows what kind of mascot? Cosplaying?.. That’s an OVA material, and definitely not anything I’d expect from a serious show.
  • That just feels too disconnected from the Ayano-machine mode that she had entered for the matches. Normal Ayano is just too different – her actions don’t evoke a sensation of forced superiority, and I don’t even need to mention the change in her eyes. Yes, a person can change dramatically but when it’s pretty much a switching between completely different personalities, it’s bordering a description of a psychological condition. Doubtless that can be justified by Ayano’s traumatic past but I just don’t think that the show really wants to (and needs to) go that far. It’s just not consistent when a girl casually eats lunch and has the most natural small-talk (an oblivious sort of, almost straight from a typical anime romcom) and minutes later becomes a bloodthirsty predator, willing to completely destroy her talking partner.
  • Of course, it’s hard for a show to completely lose its charm overnight. Connie trying to get closer to Ayano via a won keychain was a touch I appreciated. The same can be said about Connie’s situation – she clearly wants a normal family or just a human connection, and theoretically Ayano is the most similar to her out everyone she knows. Yet that also is consistent only in terms of this episode. If Connie wanted to befriend Ayano so much, why didn’t she do that right from the start? Previously talking about defeating Ayano, showing her (almost) ownership-like attitude towards Uchika, mentioning the importance of being acknowledged – these are things that are completely opposite stuff and needed to be avoid at all costs. And now Connie’s upset that her friendly gestures aren’t returned. The nerve. It can be argued that Connie simply doesn’t think about considering Ayano’s position and her relationship with Uchika but then her mental age is closer to elementary school, and that’s also no good.
  • By the end it appears that Connie actually has sort of a family – at least her teammates consider her a valuable person. But then again – during her match only a single girl cheered for her openly and others showed only disdain. Afterwards the team did have that heart-to heart bathing experience but I somehow doubt that so little is enough to consider their binds as tight enough.
  • I’m very interested to see Uchika’s reasoning of abandoning Ayano. It’s almost unbelievable how a mother can be so cold towards her own daughter only because she failed at one badminton match (as at this point the viewers are supposed to believe). And it looks like such a conversation between the mother and the daughter is right around the corner.
  • Ayano’s semifinal wasn’t shown so it probably ended up with Ayano bossing the match completely. The final should be very interesting as Nagisa’s knee problems definitely won’t get better, and Ayano may once again have a hard time psychologically. Truth be told, I’ll root for Nagisa.
  • Well, the episode as a whole was a definite step-down for me. Sure, the actions of the characters can be justified but all these justifications are post factum, and still half-assed. It’s just that I don’t feel consistency anymore and a natural flow of things. The show is hitting all these emotional points, but it’s hitting them in a wrong way. Let’s hope it’s just a temporary hiccup and not a sad end to a very enjoyable show.

Yama no Susume 3 (Ep. 9)

  • Last time the conflict (if it can be called that) between Aoi and Hinata appeared to be way more serious. For the most part this episode didn’t address it at all, only by the end when the girls took the same train (as pretty much expected) Hinata started sulking a bit but declared to herself that it’s actually ok if they have fun separately. She declared that but it didn’t look like she believed it. The funny thing is that it’s Hinata who has millions of friends and way more experience who is feeling forgotten and a bit tired. Meanwhile Aoi is doing more than fine – she had a great time with Honoka (yeah, obligatory onsen segment was obligatory) and didn’t even think that spending time not with Hinata is something not right.
  • I guess the solution to any problems of the girls is to simply go somewhere together (and take Kaede for once). Shared experiences (and a little bit of hardship) should make all the bumps in the relationships disappear like wind.
  • Autumn colors were beautiful but that reminded me that summer has ended. I could’ve used a month more of that.

Banana Fish (Ep. 9)

  • And the manga was serialized in a shoujo magazine? Yeah…
  • Poor Eiji. To wake up and see pretty much everything turned upside down… Well, he had multiple chances to fly back to Japan so I guess he should’ve known that business with mafia doesn’t always end well.
  • Poor Ash and poor Shorter as well. I still can’t say that I love the characters or approve of everything the show throws at the viewers but at the same time I can’t deny that the shown emotions are depicted very well. The soundtrack also does a very good job in emphasizing the visuals. All the exaggerated faces don’t help with the immersion but otherwise the visuals remain very satisfying. Well, if you can call such a portrayal of suffering people satisfying in the first place.
  • A thing I still find annoying is the mad scientist aspect. “I was bullied so I made a drug to kill them all, muahahaha!”. That isn’t really the most original character type, is it?
  • Shorter will be missed. The guy had character, and to me was probably even more memorable than Ash or Eiji. Also, now comic relief will have to come from elsewhere, and if it means more silly faces from Ibe and Max, I’m out.

Sirius the Jaeger (Ep. 8)

  • Pretty boring. I still have no idea what (or who) is this Sirius thing and the same goes for the box. Everyone can blabber ages about it without actually revealing any useful information and that’s one very annoying thing about the show.
  • If I have a problem about an unfavorable portrait of a scientist in Banana Fish, I probably don’t need to say a word about the abomination that created Frankenstein’s monster in this show. It’s almost painful how clichéd he is. And do the vampires really have to look like they rather belong in a visual kei band? Loli vampires are included. Why do they have to exist?
  • If Mikhail constantly disobeys his orders and isn’t useful in order to collect the box, why keep him alive? I’m sure it’ll bite all the vampires in the ass later on.
  • So, more and more elements of the show are becoming blatantly annoying and all the interesting stuff is getting scarcer and scarcer. And by interesting stuff at this point I mean the fights because the story isn’t the least bit exciting, and I’m not particularly excited about the reveal what the box is anymore. Oh well…

 

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8 Comments

  1. Yah, this ep of Hanebado! raised the bar for being a confusing mess….

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. It will be interesting to see where Attack on Titan is going to go storywise. I have to say I like the way it reveals some secrets while at the same time still not giving all the things up. And..I honestly have no idea who to trust any more at this point. As in who is “good” and who is “bad” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Definitely the possibilities are almost endless. It’s good that things are getting revealed but more and more questions remain unanswered and I think it’d be best to sort at least the oldest things out, for example that stuff with Eren’s basement.
      Good point – the show does well making characters grey. In the end even Kenny might choose to side with the scouts, and that wouldn’t be too surprising.

      Liked by 1 person

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