Fall 2014, Week 10: Highlights of the Week

The end of the season is nigh, with Chaika being the first show to finish up this week. The crazy time of ending reviews and first impressions (and wow I need to get moving on those Toradora! posts) is almost here.

So have some Chaika while you anticipate!

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle

Your Lie in April, Episode 9: Thank goodness for Best Girl Emi—this episode would have mostly been a flop for me if not for her.

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 10: I thought I wouldn’t have much to write about. I was wrong.

YuYuYu, Episode 9: It doesn’t matter how sad your tragic premise is if you can’t make it felt, and wow, did YuYuYu do exactly that this week. Your Lie in April started reflecting on the emotion guilt this week, but YuYuYu‘s engagement with guilt was infinitely more moving. Fu’s terrible sadness at feeling responsible for dragging her little sister and her friends into the Hero Club was executed with painful brilliance, both vocally and musically and in writing. It’s been made clear: she loves Itsuki more than anything in the world and wants her little sister to be happy more than she wants herself to be happy. And so she lashes out in her pain, at anyone and everyone. Yuna’s the hero here, make no mistake—sacrificing her own body, literally, to stop Fu’s rampage. She’s probably right: they probably would have still fought to protect their world even had they known about what would happen to them. It’s an awful situation, but that’s what they would have done. Anyways, who says Kishi can’t direct drama? This was effectively executed to the point it was painful. Two episodes left (unless this is headed for a split cour)—I’m totally hooked.

YuYuYu

Shirobako, Episode 9: This one was on the more standard side of Shirobako‘s quality continuum (which is still above where most shows are at all), but, as always, there were some really soul crushing lines and some really uplifting moments. I actually really like the way this episode juxtaposed Misa’s artistic agony at the CG company with Kinoshita’s wild creative breakthrough—I mean, dang, sonic engines sprouting off the wings of winged horses? I would like to watch that. As far as portrayals of creativity go, this is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of how suddenly all ideas seem great and they all come at once and suddenly you’re miles from where you started but it’s exhilarating getting there even so. And the writer leaves with one of the best lines of the episode, “I just came her to play catch.” What an incredibly humble thing to say and to do, to put aside your own ego as an artist and facilitate someone else’s creativity.

Shirobako

Argevollen, Episode 22: How do you like some plot twists in your Argevollen, eh? So, the commander units have had the function to shut down all other units “from the beginning?” We all know what that means, right? That Namie didn’t have to die. Samonji’s clearly been driven beyond the realm of reason by his feelings of guilt, to the point where he’s willing to turn on the men he led for so long. Tokimune’s furious outburst about Samonji making decisions for him was great. He’s right; he made a decision long ago that he wasn’t fighting just to die, but to live. And Samonji has effectively taken away his ability to make that choice. It’s pretty gratifying to see Suzushiro being moved by her unit’s pleas—they all want to stop the captain they love, they all want the same thing. Izumii, it seems, is just trying to enable Samonji, but Suzushiro’s response, “A man’s friendship? I can’t understand that,” was right on point. Do you want what’s best for your friends or all you willing to stand by and let them destroy themselves if they wish to do so?

Argevollen

How little the decisions of the war makers affect those actually fighting it…

Hitsugi no Chaika -Avenging Battle-, Episode 10 [END]: And so it ends. In Chaika terms, there’s not a lot more you could really want from the ending to this charming show. Toru makes the contract, Akari and everyone else get to fight, Gaz is betrayed by Niva Lada, and everyone basically lives happily ever after. We don’t get to find out if Chaika recovers her memories or not, but I don’t think it matters that much. Toru has made the decision to stay with her and protect her, and that’s what counts. Peace is restored to the kingdom and everyone lives happily ever after. Well, at least most people who aren’t kicking down doors…

Hitsugi no Chaika

In a Sentence

  • Amagi Brilliant Park, Episode 10: One of my favorite episodes of the show yet and it was one with little comedy and a lot of moving character drama for Kanie.
  • Log Horizon 2, Episode 10: Well, I’m fired up for this next fight now, so it better live up to the hype that Log Horizon is so good at building.
  • Yama no Susume 2, Episode 21: Some uncharacteristically off-model character drawings in a few places for a show that’s usually as close to perfect as you can get with production values.
  • Garo the Animation, Episode 10: Piles and piles and piles of solid execution.

Yama no Susume 2

  • selector spread WIXOSS, Episode 10: Who will be the lucky girl that gets Ulith as her LRIG next?
  • Inou Battle, Episode 10: That was a pretty lame episode.
  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Episode 10: Please, let Rita be safe!

19 thoughts on “Fall 2014, Week 10: Highlights of the Week

  1. I observed in my Wild Mass Guessing post about the previous episode that Fu is more a mother than a sister to Itsuki – it’s why IMO Fu lost an eye as it halves her ability to watch over Itsuki. So, yes, episode 9 was brutally effective but Togo’s mental space is arguably even more worrying.

    As for Shirobako, that episode had the perfect capstone in the final moment. You can see Aoi running the scenario through her head (2), remembering that episode 13 is “hers” (+ 2) and then “OH CRAP!” (= 4). The expression in that moment is priceless.

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  2. Shirobako always has something that resonates closely with my career experience. When Misa starts waxing aesthetic about how those 22s fill the wheel arches of that Prius so nicely. STUPID JOB, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

    And the last shot of the episode, where the full (practical) weight of the director’s creative epiphany comes crashing down on Miyamori…Not good place to be.

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  3. YuYuYu: I think I’m going to continue watching that series. The OST was out in this week, I want to know the lyrics to some of the songs (specially the one used for Yuna and Togo’s transformation scenes). For the moment, it doesn’t seems to have shoujo ai, despite what people at tvtropes say (I think some of them interpret close frienships as attraction), but certain supplementary comic are suspicious.

    Shirobako: I watched the third episode, this series has some informative quality that makes it interesting. Still, can’t get used to some designs (the female doll of the protagonist. These lips look strange for the aesthetic used).

    Hitsugi no Chaika -Avenging Battle- : It was a good end, although I think it was rather rushed. Some things were obvious, like Toru making the contract, and Niva Lada helping Chaika. I’m glas that the protagonist, the Red Chaika team, and the Gillette Corps survived. And Chaika was very cute, as usual… save for losing her memories. I wonder how many of her memories she lost.

    Inou Battle within Everyday Life: It was a rather bland episode. One of the typical settings for fanservice episodes. And the male protagonist is increasing his harem… but, a child again? for being so grossed out by the prospect of him being into little girls, Cookie (Kuki) became infatuated by him quickly. Now, about the second part, more fanservice by a typical characer for the role. That blonde guy is the friend of Ando? it seems that he is working for the rival group of people with fairy granted powers.

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    • YuYuYu: I think a lot of it depends on what you do or don’t want to read into the relationship.

      Inou Battle: I think it’s pretty strongly implied that Sagami is at least somewhat affiliated with the fairies. I’m guessing he might even by F himself.

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      • Maybe. I’ll see if that is true. I think it isn’t.

        Yes, maybe that was one of the few plot elements in that episode. It felt more strange after the Hatoko (speacially the episode featuring her amazing rant) and Tomoyo centered episodes.

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  4. Inou-Battle really does seem a whole lot worse after they gave us a glimpse at just how good it can be, doesn’t it? I can’t help but think I’d have been okay with the last couple of episodes if they had come before seven.

    Also, lolChaika. Dumb as it could be, I’ll definitely still miss it. I always looked forward to it. I thought the ending was actually pretty good? Though I was braced for a total disaster..

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    • I still think this episode would have been a total drag for me. Without Tomoyo and Hatoko on screen, the show really struggles. Neither Chifuyu or Sayumi are convincing as possible candidates for winning the Andou Bowl, so all their screentime this episode felt totally pointless. At least Hatoko presents an interesting interior struggle to go along with the fact that she’s totally doomed to lose to Tomoyo. If this were a WA2-esque love triangle, the whole show would have been so much better. But, as you say, I’m only complaining because I know it can be better. If we hadn’t had the amazing moments in episode 7, I might have dropped this already.

      & yup, Chaia ended pretty well, I thought. Wrapped up all the loose ends, albeit rather quickly. But I feel like it was more about the journey than the destination anyways.

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      • Huh, WA2 is the one I’ve always thought of too. This has a great 6 episodes in it somewhere. I’d probably have thought this was a drag too; I thought the other Chifuyu and Sayumi episodes were the weakest as well. Sayumi’s conflict is slightly more interesting than Chifuyus, since it’s trying a bit of meta-commentary, and not just “cute girl likes main character”. But even then, I think those interesting bits could be spread to other characters like Hatoko or even Mirei

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        • I find the meta part of Sayumi’s conflict really funny because Sagami is essentially a fan fiction writer trying to get his best girl with the MC. But fan fiction is fan fiction, not canon. Thus, by trying to help her, he necessarily dooms her chances.

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          • Yeah! It actually kind of highlights how trying to ship characters doesn’t really work that way, since Sayumi is clearly doomed. It’s that chemistry thing again, you can’t just stick two people together and expect it to work. They’re actually breaking down the harem concept, pointing out that Sayumi wouldn’t stand a chance normally.

            I’d like to think Inou-Battle is aware of all this, but that’s probably giving it too much credit

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