Musings and Reflections – Winter 2019 Week 1

One phrase impressions

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (Ep. 1) – Underwhelming to say the least.
Boogiepop wa Warawanai (Ep. 2) – The story sort of kicks in but also sort of doesn’t..
Sword Art Online: Alicization – Ugh, exposition upon exposition…
Dororo –  MAPPA knows how to deal with historical anime, apparently

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (Ep. 1)

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Takeda, Boogiepop

  • The OP sounds quite good. Its animation also seems on par with that. Good.
  • Similarly I quite liked the very beginning with shots that created a strange feeling of cramped space – there are wide empty areas and volumes, but you can still feel pressed by the city whose colors remind me of the harsh light of Hiroshi Hamasaki (think Steins;Gate). And the characters were always framed in some way – there’s no opportunity for them to be free.
  • Was my computer lagging somehow, or does this episode really lag that much? I’m not talking about animating in 2s and 3s, it’s sometimes seems to be 2 jerky FPS at best…
  • And then my optimism about the art disappeared. These interesting shots were no longer there, the spotlight was taken by talking about stuff. At least I quite liked the character designs. If I remember correctly there have been some production issues due to miscommunication between the original character designer and the creators of this adaptation, but I think the end result is pretty good.
  • Aoi Yuuki does great both as Boogiepop and as Touka. It’s something always great to hear the same person voice two completely different characters and succeed anyway.
  • But, to be frank, it definitely wasn’t the most entertaining piece of entertainment. The episode fairly accurately adapted Takeda’s chapter from the light novel, but the feeling I got after reading it was that the story was only beginning. The adaptation doesn’t feel that way – it’s just like a completely self-contained slice of life episode where nothing happens and you have no idea what will happen next. To say it in other words, I don’t feel any drive that a story should possess. Especially since there’s very little known about the characters to make them likable.
  • Another problem I have is that I find Boogiepop too smug. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I always thought of him as someone that feels out of place among other people, and not only because of his costume. This Boogiepop makes others look out of place with his unending self-confidence and know-it-all attitude.
  • And all that comes to my biggest problem – the show doesn’t feel like a mystery. It feels like a bad slice of life show where nothing happens and nobody cares. Apart from these intimidating shots at the beginning and quick flashes of murdered students (that feels rather out of place), I didn’t find any sense of danger or suspense. When Boogiepop tells about a man-eating monster while smiling cunningly, there’s no way I’d take the monster as anything intimidating.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (Ep. 2)

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Suema Kirima Nagi

  • The pretty high number of characters isn’t helping at all. I’m glad that I know the source material. Otherwise I’d be very confused.
  • I would’ve burst out laughing  because of the cheesiness if I didn’t know that Boogiepop was written two decades ago. Siblings that are not actually related by blood are surprisingly common these days. As are the implications of stating that particular characters have such a relationship. But don’t worry, Boogiepop did it before it was cool or it had such implications.
  • I’m afraid I still don’t think there’s anything interesting about this show. And you know, when even mysterious supernatural elements don’t sound interesting, Houston, we have a problem.
  • The part where Saotome and the Manticore formed a tandem was rather poor. I may sound like a broken record, but again – when you see a guy for 5 seconds almost getting killed, then for some reason starting enjoying it, then for some reason the killer changing her (his? It’s?) mind and deciding to team up… No clear motives or reasons, nothing. And you can’t guess anything from the façade that the characters don.
  • Now I wonder why it wasn’t Trigger who adapted Boogiepop. They seem to like stories with aliens out of nowhere. I guess any of my problems with the show so far can be generalized as “it’s not the best adaptation” but it’s true that introducing aliens might have been not the smartest idea in the light novels as well. Though I could also defend it a bit by stating that that alien stuff was only marginal and it was no more than a supposition in the first place, though it seems like it was right after all.
  • I’m sad that I can’t be excited about this adaptation anymore. Especially knowing what little role Boogiepop himself plays in this story, and he’s probably the most interesting thing in this show so far.

Sword Art Online: Alicization (Ep. 13)

Sword Art Online: Alicization Cardinal crying

  • Well, I can’t say I well understand these rather complicated details of memory rewriting and other stuff that happened (or rather was talked about) before the OP. I have only one question – why on earth would you add such possible functions into the game? Why would you need to somehow copy/merge souls/memories/whatever in the game itself?
  • It does look cool, but some of the spells activate even before they’re called out loud. How does that work? What’s the point in calling the spells then?
  • Why are there locations that even an administrator can’t control? First, who then can? Second, what’s the point in having an administrator if they can’t do stuff? Third, whyyyyy?
  • An almost impossible army of bad guys at the gate? Don’t worry, a single Kirito will be more than enough to patch things up, mark my words.
  • Save some fluctlights? Come on, that’s the Yui story all over again.
  • And wait a second. If Cardinal is going to delete the souls of every single being because the bad guys have a better chance at winning, couldn’t she delete just the souls of the bad guys? Wouldn’t that, like, solve everything?
  • Convenient daggers are convenient. Can’t you make like two dozen of them and stab each and every knight with them? Only stabbing shouldn’t be hard, and Cardinal then could use some spells.
  • I guess we have a plan. And one strikingly similar to the Aincrad Arc – to get to the top of a 100 floor building.
  • I’m extremely surprised that I’m not sleeping right now. There was nothing but endless talking. Yes, worldbuilding definitely is needed, but not like this. You just don’t adapt a light novel like this. Not like this. What’s the point in having an anime adaptation if there’s nothing being animated? As it is, neither sound nor view do enhance the story in any way.

Dororo (Ep. 1)

Dororo Hyakkimaru

  • Well, it’s far darker than I expected Tezuka could do. And that’s great. The backgrounds look great, the lightning strikes also are very effective.
  • I’ve never seen an OP that’s only being shown after 1/3 of the actual episode has already past. Weird.
  • That monster looked like something from Ghibli environmental repertoire. I guess there’s nothing new under the sun.
  • I liked the action quite a bit though I still have no idea how a monster who entered the scene by swimming in water later on was killed by falling from a bridge (and not that high bridge, keep in mind) into the same water.
  • The monster didn’t attack Dororo first, though he was the closest one to the water. Also, Hyakkimaru (I presume that’s the cursed one’s name) didn’t lift a finger to save anyone until the monster centered his goo ( I can’t write paws nor claws nor tentacles, can I?) on Dororo. Good guy monster and good guy Hyakkimaru – always making sure that important characters (and only them ) survive.
  • I can suspend my disbelief of demons existing in the story, but prosthetics that behave just like normal limbs is something questionable in Sengoku era (presumably). Well, I still can live with that, but skin regenerating is something particularly weird, even with these demons around. I guess it does have something to do with the curse but if it is left unexplained better, I’ll be disappointed.
  • From the bottom of my heart I hope that Hyakkimaru will have at least as much screentime as Dororo. Because just as Spike Spiegel said that he “hates kids, dogs and women with attitude on a ship”, I can only agree and point out that Dororo can easily become a kid with a very bad attitude, and obnoxious kids are never fun. I couldn’t muster any pity for him getting beaten  – he did steal, so he did have to pay for it.
  • But yeah, overall a pretty good premiere.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Sounds like I’m going to have to eventually check Dororo out…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Dororo deserves at least checking it. I’ve no idea how will the relationship between Dororo and Hyakkimaru turn out, and a lot depends on it, but as far as 1st episodes go, this one wasn’t the shabbiest.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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