Welcome to Week 11, the week the season starts to end!
selector infected WIXOSS, Episode 11: Another full write-up this week for one of the best shows of the season.
The World is Still Beautiful, Episode 10: It kills me that this show is so up and down, because there are parts of it that I really love and that are really good. The beginning was funny, cute and awkward as only two people experiencing love for the first time can be. The ending, as they both fight to get back to each other, was moving and intense. And then the middle was just stupid. Nike’s loving grandma and the rest of her family turn out to be either psychos or cowards, except one sister? They kidnap her and try to forcibly separate her from the person she loves? Her obsessive cousin asks if she’s ever had sex with her husband and then drugs her? WHAT THE HELL. It’s just like I said last week: everything that is good and compelling about this show arises naturally from Nike and Livi’s relationship. Everything that is just thrown in to increase the stakes or drama sucks. And that, on its own, sucks, because this show could be so much more.
One Week Friends, Episode 11: As soon as they said restaurant, I was afraid the whole episode would go up in the cheap flames of forced drama, but they saved it and saved it good. There was no screaming or weeping or big emotions, just a lot of little pieces working together to build this episode as set-up for next week. It’s always been the little things that One Week Friends excels at, and this was such a grounded episode that I felt like we were back in the days before episode 9. We got Hase being characteristically straightforward with Kujo, and Fujimiya acting mature and realizing that the past is in the past. Hase, though, is struggling with foolishness and Shogo knows it. I think Shogo throwing the rock was one of the few outward expressions of frustration we’ve seen from the typically reserved best friend, as he’s said all the right things to Hase and still can’t get through to him. If Hase isn’t careful, he’ll end up doing a far worse number on Fujimiya than Hajime did, and he’ll actually be at fault for it. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen with all the good people that are surrounding Hase, not the least of whom is Fujimiya herself.
Love Live! 2, Episode 11: I didn’t cry, but I was close. I knew it would be an emotional episode, and I was sort of prepared—but they got me anyways. I am sort of torn on the whole group name thing. On one hand, I deeply understand the sentiment behind the decision to end μ’s with the graduation of Eli, Nico and Nozomi. The group is defined as the nine of them, and without the nine of them, it’s not truly the group. But, at the same time, it’s very selfish and very much an action that isolates others. When I graduated high school and left the choir department there, I was leaving what was my defining group of friends and activity. But there is no way I would have wanted to end that there with my departure. If you love something, the best thing you can do to honor that love is to share it with others. I really believe that. By ending μ’s, the girls are also rejecting everyone else. It almost stands against the catchphrase they came up with last episode, which was really focused on μ’s being almost a community entity. This episode kind flew in the face of that. So, I’m torn. But whatever, last episode is coming up. I might actually cry this time. And then back to season one!
Hitsugi no Chaika, Episode 11: Chaika‘s always been about the relationship between identity and purpose, and amidst what was a long episode in a good way, we got a very nice pushback against the message the show’s been pushing so far. Toru has been defined by his purpose throughout the show, but in Layla (aka Blue Chaika), we find someone who has found their purpose to be poison in their very existence. So, yeah, Chaika is asking the question: “What makes you human?” But it’s nice to see that the show isn’t taking a single track towards the ending, but letting counterarguments arise and playing those out. And I don’t think White Chaika is so weak-willed that she will crumble under the revelation—she’s learned too much and she’s already made an identity for herself outside of her mission, whether she realizes it or not. Blue Chaika has the wrong idea. You don’t redefine yourself by committing yourself to a different mission; you define yourself by the being that your are and the things that you do. Blue Chaika is making a tool of herself to other people—and even if it’s her own will, she’s still subjugating herself to the goals of others. (Also, this episode was super serious, and super good. I still miss dorky Chaika, though.)
Note: Publishing a day early because Gochiusa probably won’t need a write-up and Ping Pong is ending, meaning that it’ll get a full review.