Musings and Reflections – Fall 2018 Week 3

One phrase impressions

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (#5) – Some backstory, ok.
RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (#6) – Some time travel with a confusing mechanism.
RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (#7) – A new fairly unimpressive villain.

Sword Art Online: Alicization
– SSllooww pppaaaccciiinnnggg…
Banana Fish – Ash is too good at everything.
Golden Kamuy 2 – The usual cocktail of everything.

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (Ep. 5)

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida

  • I don’t get how Yuri found out where to start looking for Mage.
  • The mystery and Derrida’s reactions to his memories and recollections of seemingly alternative timelines give a vibe of Steins;Gate. But I guess that’s the best I can say about the show. In every single aspect Steins;Gate was a stronger show and I doubt that this one can come even close.
  • These random snippets of memories and ghosts (and a headache for some reason) make little sense for now. Reality being changed because of time travel also is an interesting (and probably inevitable) addition, but without a clear mechanism it doesn’t mean much for now. Still, I appreciate the effort put into revealing some of Derrida’s past. He’s still a fairly bland dude, but he can be useful (as last episode showed) and he has some backstory. I also like the idea that for some reason humans sometimes simply forget important pieces of their history, making their relationships entirely different. It’s very true that if people willingly recalled comforting memories when being in conflict with another person, the world could a better place.
  • I guess I liked this episode more than previous ones. But this enjoyment is more due to the endless possibilities that the premise can offer. How the execution turns out will be a whole other matter. And at least visually there’s really nothing to be optimistic about.

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (Ep. 6)

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida Yuri

  • Thinking about the basic narrative structure, the resemblance of RErideD with some elements of Steins;Gate is uncanny. And that isn’t working in favor of this show.
  • So you’re saying that two random people will attract somebody’s attention and a cool car parked in the middle of a deserted city won’t? I’m not even judging the fact that the car broke down extremely conveniently.
  • The way Derrida manages to time travel simply by vividly recalling the past seems very anti-climactic. Sure, there might be a complicated mechanism behind it (I hope it is) because otherwise that would be the saddest attempt of constructing an appealing sci-fi scenario ever. Why is Derrida special? Can’t others time travel? Who is that Ange girl (if she’s not Mage herself)? Who decides when a time jump should end?
  • Yuri wandering alone at night and doing that under the streetlights (don’t ask me why are they still working among all these ruins) isn’t smart at all.
  • Do I sense a possible romantic subplot between Derrida and Yuri?

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (Ep. 7)

RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida antagonist

  • Please bring back the time travel. Even with all these action scenes I almost fell asleep. For someone who’s new to anime or new to the genre it might seem an ok show but I hardly find anything that would interest me in the first place or be something I’ve not seen yet.
  • Ok, there’s a new villain who’s apparently is working for the government. But. If that’s true, he should be laid off immediately when everybody learns that he let the choppers fire in streets and bombed a bridge, but didn’t manage to get anything out of that. If the guy is lying about this position, then what is the government doing when people are nuking bridges for fun? Either way, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Another thing is that the villain lost his cool when Derrida suggested taking a photo of the exchange. It’s strange. How could a competent negotiator start yelling instead of calmly agreeing, completing the exchange and only then killing everybody if he wishes?
  • At this point only Derrida has received some sort of a backstory. Everybody else behaves like very simplistic characters – they don’t stray from what is expected of them, they fulfill their predictable function and offer very little in terms of making the show better. The world building also could use some power-ups. Apart from several snippets about how bad robots roam the wilds, there’s virtually nothing about the humans. And I’m quite interested to know how did the society change during those 10 years – how people cope with the robots, do they have decent jobs, was the overall moral system perturbed – these are all things I’d expect to be addressed by any serious sci-fi story. Looks like this show doesn’t really belong to that category.

Sword Art Online: Alicization (Ep. 3)

Sword Art Online: Alicization goblins

  • You know, when a character starts talking about his situation and mentions such things like odd things happening recently, unsubdued goblins and similar stuff, it feels like a conversation with the first NPC in any fantasy video game (MMORPG or not). I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing though.
  • Using a sword to cut a tree is the silliest thing I encountered in a long while. Yeah, it’s a game, and in games you can sometimes cut down a tree by punching it long enough. Still, it feels just wrong using such a well-crafted item for a crude job like cutting trees. Guys, if the material is that hard, you’ll just blunt the blade (via durability stat or something). Unless such things never happen in this game, and that would be a let-down, considering how realistic the game is made to be. Also, it’s a very bad idea to swing a sword you can barely lift. Forget doing any damage – it’s far easier to hurt your joints, ligaments and muscles. But yeah, because it’s a game, you can justify virtually anything.
  • Many have warned that the story will be slow but it’s reaaaaally slow. I keep thinking that such heavy exposition doesn’t seem that bad in the pages of a book but considering that anime is a visual medium, watching two guys (or a guy and a girl) talk for who knows how long without doing anything is just plain boring. Yeah, I like worldbuilding as much as anybody but couldn’t there be any more natural and elegant ways to pass this information? The final part sort of picked up the pace a bit but it’s an incredibly little treat after the whole episode of walking and talking.
  • I can’t believe the blockheaded-ness of both Kirito and Eugeo. You didn’t need to be a genius to find out that Selka right away decided to enter the Mountains. I guess Kirito has neglected his intelligence stat in favor of strength and agility. Oh wait, he can’t even lift a sword at this point, so what is he good for? And Eugeo isn’t that better. He did experience a huge shock seeing Selka captured but what was the point exactly in letting a loud shout? Especially since Kirito told him to be careful. Pretty frustrating.
  • What’s with goblins this season?

Banana Fish (Ep. 15)

Banana Fish Ash

  • Clearly nobody believes that Ash is dead. Yut Lung (yay, finally remember his name!) said that Ash could make him pay for making Eiji bleed. Later on he insisted that Ash is dead but that’s only to get under the skin of Eiji. Why that conversation went on as it did? I can speculate that Yut Lung idolizes Ash (well, everyone does in this show) but also doesn’t approve of everything he is and he does. I doubt that Yut Lung could let himself succumb to a friendship like Eiji and Ash have, he isn’t a guy to make himself vulnerable in that sort of way. About letting Eiji go, Yut Lung probably thought that re-abducting him would be no fun. Just as Eiji didn’t shoot the Chinese because it wasn’t a situation to defend himself. Well, Yut Lung just seems to be a far more fitting antagonist than Arthur ever had an ability to be. Good.
  • Oh, for some reason the creators decided that IQ of 180 was too low? Alright, it’s now 200 – here we go! Does that mean that by the end of the series Ash’s intellect will be over 9000?
  • I’m pretty tired of the stereotype that always has some scientists as villains. Of course when you have access to tinkering with human body, you can do much harm but my optimism doesn’t let me believe that such bad cases of abusing power are that frequent. Scientists more often than not are immersed in their very specific and narrow sphere of interests (for example the 3rd hair on the left frontal foot of a flea) and don’t care about conquering the world. Sure, financing can make a difference but it’s usually knowledge that people seek, not power. And how that knowledge is used than depends on other people, not necessarily the scientists themselves. Well, the bottom line is that anime in general lacks scientist characters who would be neither mad nor bad (I accept Okarin as an exception, but he’s one and only).
  • Well. About Ash’s “methods”. Well. It’s ok as far as it works but it doesn’t make much sense. Is there a security guard in the whole world so dumb as to allow himself to be seduced by a dangerous criminal?  I just have no words.

Golden Kamuy 2 (Ep. 3 /15/)

Golden Kamuy Season 2 Cat eye Fire

  • As last time, the action was pretty good, especially thanks to the soundtrack. I can start complaining about for example the lack of longer well-animated cuts, various convenient facts like a person who almost killed his opponent sees another person and leaves for the latter, leaving his former prey completely unchecked. That costs a leg, a rightful payment for someone who does stupid things. Well, Golden Kamuy never was about people who behave rationally so I guess there’s nothing to be done about that. Still, the bottom line is that I liked the action.
  • The other parts… Well, I’ve seen that already. Food and comedy and stuff. Apart from being slightly annoyed and bored I found I’ve started to respect Ogata more and more recently, simply because he doesn’t give a damn about all these nonsensical things the others do. Kenjiro Tsuda is a fine VA, so that also adds something. Well, to think about it, Ogata may be a character I wish Sugimoto would be. The latter started being as a fairly similar gruff soldier, but due to him meeting  Asirpa, Sugimoto became far less original and interesting. I could even argue that he isn’t really irreplaceable for the story – participating in comedy routines and once in a while using his rifle – it’s not a particularly interesting description of a supposedly main character. On the other hand, Ogata’s self-sufficient personality seems far more appealing at this point. I hope it will last.
  • I’m afraid of what Gintama has done to me. I can’t hear anything about Hijikata, Kondo or Shinpachi and not think about mayonnaise, gorillas or four-eyed straight men…

 

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8 Comments

  1. Well…it might be that I am just a huuuge fan of Sword Art, but well I don’t mind the slow pace at all at the moment. I love the storyline so far, and I like spending time with the characters. So far for me at least, it’s been time well spent. And you are so right: what is it with Goblins this season? 😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • I can ramble a lot but from all the stuff I watch this season I find that I await the next episode of SAO most eagerly. Sure, the competition isn’t insane, but still. I think my prejudice that SAO should feature action is showing up. That little moment with fighting dragon-riders I liked quite a bit, and some goblins in the picture should bring more excitement.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Well…guess we will find out soon enough. I’m actually planning to watch the next episode in an hour or so, so hopefully it will be a good one. I think we will definitely get some more action, although it would also not suprise me if it took another direction and went back to the real world. Well..we’ll see 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Yeah. I think I’ll do that tomorrow. Going back to the real world would be very unexpected but quite effective dramatically. Another possibility is that a new character could be introduced – a wandering warrior who later could lead Kirito to the Central City (or whatever that place is called) to meet Alice.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  2. I had the same question about the security guards in Banana Fish. Not only was Ash doing an incredible ham job of acting, he’s a criminal who was arrested for mass murdering an entire gang, he’s proven to be incredibly smart, and they’ve just finished telling him they plan to use him for medical experiments. What idiotic guard listens to him for a moment?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. I kind of found his seduction antics funny. But I think sometimes that is the set up for an anime. We all have to assume that everyone is just so horny they are willing to die for an orgasm… ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Yeah, true. and in a true anime fashion more time than not everything ends up being only teasing with an unresolved harem ending. Pretty unlikely in Ash’s case but still far from being realistic.

      Liked by 1 person

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