Fall 2014, Week 3: Highlights of the Week

I guess it’s that time again—three weeks into the season—for the weekly rundown. At least for now, while I’m still trying to cut shows from my schedule, the individual entries might be a little shorter (at least I’ll try to keep them so). I’m down to 15 shows, which is manageable for watching, but not for blogging. So far, nothing’s stuck out like Zankyou no Terror last season as worthy of weekly posts, but we’ll see…

Anyways, wow, week three already? It feels like the season just started to me.

Inou Battle

Inou Battle identifies the worst kind of person.

Your Lie in April, Episode 2: This should have been the “Oh, yes, I’m keeping this show” episode. But instead…I am so so pissed that some idiot thought it was a good idea to cut to the whiny judge in the middle of Kaori’s performance. Put that stuff at the END, instead of wrecking the impact of the moment for the viewer! And then I want to dish about the awful attempts at comedy in this show. They are 1) not even funny, and 2) totally trivialize the weight of the drama. Like the jump into the pervert joke after Kousei’s beautiful monologue as he leaves school? The direction there said, “See all this interesting, touching emotional stuff we just contacted? Yeah, none of that matters because WE’RE FUNNY HA HA!” How am I supposed to take your serious moments seriously, show, when you won’t even do it yourself? Very annoying stuff, and I hate that it’s so annoying because I really, really like a lot of the other stuff going on. But it won’t get out of its own way and right now I’m unable to ignore that.

Shirobako, Episode 2: Lots of people thought Shirobako‘s first episode could have been a fluke. I was not one of them. This show has pretty much consistently exuded confidence, competence, and solidity to me. It’s simultaneously grounded and silly, and exists on the thin boundary between outright satire and whimsical ditziness. Stuff like the moe girls appearing before the staff in their meeting is downright hilarious, but that’s played across the proud realism of the show in which the director is wanting to redo an entire character and the composer just asks, “So, do we keep the music as is?” I have to wonder if some of these staff conversations were just recorded by P.A. Works staff and then reworked into a script with a bit of editing, because I believe every moment of this show.

Shirobako

Amagi Brilliant Park, Episode 3: Still on the fence with this one, but episode 3 did some work to keep me and some work (fanservice, duh) to lose me. Moffle is starting to get on my nerves a little bit and I don’t find him funny, just annoying. He seems determined to do everything he can to keep Kanie from succeeding, even if it means bringing down the park and his own life. I’m a bit worried about the inbound drama next week. If it falls flat, AmaBri might end up a drop after all. But the OP’s full version is out this week and oh my gosh harpsichords.

Garo, Episode 3: A bit more of a pedestrian episode from Garo this week, although it seems like Ema is unofficially joining the Makai Knights’ party? Getting the ring was probably important, but this felt like a one off episode to me. Did we really need to spend the full 25 minutes on it?

Garo the Animation

selector spread WIXOSS, Episode 3: We’re kind of teetering on the edge of diving headlong into the morass of love drama that was Yuzuki and her brother last season, this time in the form of Akira and Ulith. Ulith doesn’t work for me at all as the pseudo-loving psychopath who put Akira back together and Akira’s emotional convulsions over Ulith are just as unsympathetic and difficult to buy as were Yuzuki’s. Apart from that, of course Tama ends up in Ulith’s hands—we could expect no less from Mayu’s grudging promise. Her conversation with Tama finally gave us some hints as to how the WIXOSS system came to be, although in a cloudy fashion. I still like that Iona is baffled by the Ruko-Yuzuki-Hitoe trio and Ruko’s feelings about Tama, and I especially appreciated that Ruko finally got sat down and talked to about her tendencies to do everything on her own. Now, whether or not she actually retains that lesson…

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Episode 3: Something finally clicked for me this episode, and I think it’s mostly thanks to Kaiser dumping his backstory on Rita. We finally got to see both what makes him tick and how that influences his behavior in extreme circumstances. At this point, I think he and Rita are a more interesting pair than Farvaro and Amira. The rest of the world spins on, too, and I’m pleased to see that Jeanne d’Arc (whom the Japanese seem to be quite fascinated with) is an appropriately competent and awesome character here. Maybe most importantly for the rest of the plot, Amira being the God Key herself holds some interesting implications going forward. It’ll be interesting to see how that element of the story is used.

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 3: Chihayafuru vibes, anyone? Despite the cute flashbacks to the kids, the episode actually felt kind of disjointed (in a Glasslip kind of way) to me. Like the pieces weren’t very well connected together. Additionally, the music seemed a bit off this week, too. I usually don’t notice soundtracks, but the rhythms of the music just didn’t seem to match the scenes. Don’t get me wrong—I liked the episode and I thought it was good for a lot of reason (backstory, characterization of both Hak and Yona, a nice bit about King Il), but it all came across as oddly pieced together.

One Sentence Summaries

Twintails, Episode 2: Some funny stuff, but the joke might be getting stale for me already.

Argevollen, Episode 15: I thought the choice to focus the camera away from the actual battle made the effect of Tokimune’s out-of-control screaming even more discomforting and hard to listen to.

RWBY, Episode 10.5: Another recap episode where nothing happens between full episodes of nothing happening.

Inou Battle, Episode 3: This show might have some actual substance and I’m comfortable with the archetypes and the redtsun has cute hairclips, so I’m happy.

Inou Battle

Log Horizon, Episode 3: DEEN might actually have a budget for this show(!?), because there was a lot of animation during Shiroe’s long monologue about what a raid is.

Sora no Method, Episode 3: Noel is a cooking dish, are you surprised?

Hitsugi no Chaika, Episode 2-3: Chaika, blurring lines of good and bad? Akari, good joke!

Kokkuri-san, Episode 3: Pedo jokes aren’t funny, and that’s all we’re getting. Dropped.

9 thoughts on “Fall 2014, Week 3: Highlights of the Week

  1. I’m of two minds about Yona. A part of me feels that it just wasn’t really necessary? But then I also think it was, for all the good parts you’ve pointed out above. Because we did learn a lot, and it’s brought up a lot of interesting questions but… I don’t know. I think it killed the momentum a little bit. But hey, I still definitely enjoyed the episode, and it feels good knowing that the series has time to flesh out its characters like this. And Hak is still awesome 😛

    I haven’t watched Twintails or Kokkuri-san this week, and I don’t really have any drive to. That might be pretty telling in itself, but I think I’ve already gotten what I came for out of them, so I’m okay with parting amicably.

    Inou is really surprising me with it’s human moments. Last week was the apology scene, and this weeks was that “Do you want to know?” “Do you want to share?” exchange. Genuinely shocked that the drama here is working much better than the comedy. Also White’s cardigan falls past her shoulders and it looks cute.

    If Noel is a cooking dish… Noel is the saucer. Does that mean in the end, they’re going to fry a massive egg on her? Is that where this series is going?! Where will they get a big enough lid??

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    • I thought it was necessary for the future story. Clearly, there are some things that aren’t adding up between what we know of the past and what we know of the present. There’s such a huge disconnect between how Soo-Won is now and what he was then that I can’t believe the story we’ve been fed from him is the whole story.

      I think it’s always nice way to part with a show if you just don’t end up going back to it.

      WHO IS THE EGG????

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      • Oh my god, is the symbolism going right over your head? Back-pack girl is the egg. The shape the bag provides gives her the most egg-like appearance. On top of that, she hates the saucer; what egg wouldn’t hate that which cooks it? Eggs don’t want to be cooked, they want to be hatched.

        While I’m at it, headphones is clearly the lid. Note how her earphones cover her in a lid-like manner. I don’t think I need to explain why Pinkie is the cook, we’ve already seen it twice. We haven’t been shown enough yet so I’m not sure, but I’d wager Twin-brother is the fire and Sweetness is the oil.

        It’s all very simple, really.

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  2. insert some comment here about not liking and dropping my tied for favorite show of the season

    In all seriousness though Kokkuri-san and your one line thoughts are about all I can talk about since I am still catching up on my shows. I need to watch Shigatsu, I plan to marathon Garo and WIXOSS, I enjoyed Bahamut from the get go, I dropped or am not watching Twintails, Argevellon, and RWBY, as for everything else I agree with?

    Every episode does seem to be edging Inou-battle further up in my liking list, Method while I like (I think primarily for Noel) there seems to be something off for me with the character interactions kinda like they are dolls talking or something to each other.

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    • Yeah, Method hasn’t fully struck me as authentic yet, but I think it’s getting there slowly.

      Inou Battle continues to surprise me with really great moments. Hopefully they will continue to increase as the show goes on.

      Kokkuri-san, I assume is the show you’re complaining about in your first comment. Sorry! I just wasn’t finding it funny anymore & the scattered moments of genuine emotion were just too far and few between.

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      • Yeah Kokkuri-san. I’m easy to entertain though so that is probably why I still like it. While Inugami I would probably find less annoying if he/she/it stayed in fem-inu form, I am able to ignore the annoyances so far from Inu thanks to Kokkuri (who is voiced by Daisuke, who did Handa from Barakamon, which you know I loved), and Kohina.

        Also the Tanuki guy seems like a fun character, even if the whole alcoholic old god isn’t exactly a new thing.

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  3. Completely in agreement with you about Your Lie in April – and I’m actually a bit baffled as to why so many people seem to utterly adore this show. It’s pretty, sure, but it’s also a huge problem when the writer(s) seem so determined on shooting themselves in the foot with cringe-worthy attempts at comedy.

    Akatsuki no Yona did seem a bit disjointed this episode, now that you mention it – I guess at least in part because we had so many time-skips, none of which had any particular sense of order to them. Still, as someone who’s usually really not a fan of flashbacks, I had half-expected to be bored by this episode, yet I wasn’t. I think Yona’s probably going to be one of those shows that a lot of people overlook because it’s not the prettiest/funniest/the most anything of the season, but will end up missing out on something genuinely enjoyable (and even, gasp, reasonably intelligent).

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    • I mean, I understand people glossing over the comedy because they like the other stuff the show is doing. I do that all the time with other shows, so that makes sense to me. However, in this case, the comedy seems to directly oppose the stuff that I like and that is where the problems arise for me.

      Well phrased for Yona! The flashbacks were just kind of ordered at random—that’s a perfect way of saying it. & yeah, I see Yona getting overlooked for a lot of reasons (shoujo, not hugely flashly), but it very well might turn out to be one of the genuinely good shows this season has to offer us.

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      • Yeah, it’s not just a case of the comedy in KimiUso not working for me – it’s that it seems to work directly against the otherwise decent writing. It’s like it’s sabotaging its own efforts to be a good show.

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