Spring 2015, Week 11: Highlights of the Week

I feel like I’m barely watching anything these days, but post ideas are starting to pop into my head and the reduced “I have to watch this now!!” stress is really helping me actually feel like blogging. Of course, this also means I feel weird saying things like, “This was a good week,” because my anime week this week consisted of watching exactly six episodes, thanks to Blood Blockade Battlefront taking a week off for a recap. That being said, I did think this was a pretty good week, at least for what I saw.

Hello!! Kinmoza

Ore Monogatari!!, Episode 10: Hey, it was cute! It was fun and nice! And I was on time with the post!

Sound! Euphonium, Episode 10: THE DRAMA NEVER ENDS! It’s just like real high school…anyways, Yuko’s the worst, but I’ve been saying that for a while. While I could focus on how radically unfair Taki-sensei’s decision was to Reina, I think I actually prefer to talk about how amazing Natsuki was this episode. I’ve liked her basically since she was first introduced, but the grace she showed in the face of failure this episode—and the honesty with which she admitted she’s a sucker for a grand vision—endeared her to me even further. I don’t doubt that this a mask of sorts for Natsuki, but dammit if she isn’t at least engaged with the band and the people in it—something widely-touted Best Girl candidate Asuka definitely doesn’t have going for her. President Haruka also had some good moments this episode, showing that she’s really grown from the drama of a few episodes back and leading the charge to make sure the band isn’t going to fall apart on her watch again.

Danmachi, Episode 11: Well, I guess I can’t be too surprised that Danmachi‘s bad-harem-LN versus emotionally-authentic-anime pendulum started to swing back towards the former side this week—after all, it’s basically a miracle already that Danmachi has been as good and free from LN atrocities as it has been. The episode wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be—too much derping around with girls and Bell—but there were still moments that worked really well for me: Bell’s terrified/straining cries as he ran past the boss, his reunion with Hestia, his wonder at the beautiful 18th floor…even the fact that it was at Aiz’s feet he fell after his escape sapped him of his last bit of strength. Another element that was at play here, one I don’t believe I’ve actually mentioned in a post yet, is the fantastic quality of Danmachi‘s production courtesy of J.C. Staff. From the start, the show’s looked nice, but the fact that we’re still getting solid 2D fight animation in the eleventh episode, consistently drawn character designs, and occasionally beautiful backgrounds is pretty neat, especially for a silly light novel adaptation like this.

Nisekoi:, Episode 10: Speaking of production…wow, Nisekoi: looks absolutely terrible these days. A pretty sad downgrade from the glitzy shimmer of the first season. Without even the standard SHAFT tricks to spice things up and no Chitoge episodes in sight, Nisekoi: is really scraping the bottom of its entertainment barrel. The switch to Shu this week provided for some temporarily thoughtful reflections on unrequited love and selfishness via Shu’s melancholic rooftop reflections, but of course things ended up with Raku imposing his classically immature, lame perspective on top of Shu’s original stance. Thank goodness Kyoko-sensei is a good teacher and turned down Shu with a lovely teacher-student moment—if the episode’s emotional and thematic integrity hadn’t already been destroyed Raku’s Touma-ing, we could have had a legitimately touching episode. But this is Nisekoi:, after all…and what else would you expect besides what we got?

Nisekoi:

Hello!! Kinmoza, Episode 11: I had a terrible realization that this was the penultimate episode for this delight of a show, but I’m glad we had it for multiple reasons. First, Karen was basically the entire first half of the episode, the obvious highlight being her trolling of Kuzehashi-sensei with existential questions. Second, Karen and Alice’s departure to England opened up some character dynamics we haven’t seen from Kinmoza since the opening episodes of the first season; that is, Yoko and Aya with Shino. Shino’s obsession with Karen and Alice (along with all the Aya x Yoko shipping bait) tends to turn the group of 5 into two groups of 3 and 2, making the geographic shuffle and social one as well. To be honest, I actually felt a bit weird watching Shino interact with Aya and Yoko again—it’s been so long since just these three have been together that it was sort of like I forgot they were even friends in the first place. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any deep thematic gold to be mined out of this, but it was pretty interesting. Third, Mahou Shoujo Kinpatsu Shoujo.

Yamada-kun, Episode 10: It went away for a bit, but the stresses put on the anime adaptation by cutting out tons of material from the manga were showing again this episode. Unfortunately, the speed at which the story is moving is starting to infringe on the anime’s ability to convey emotional moments effectively, which is really a shame. The show’s generally consistent, if subdued, production also seems to be wavering a bit—Shiraishi, in particular, had a handful of shots where she didn’t look quite as gorgeous as normal, which is unfortunate when she’s supposed to be more charming to Yamada than ever. At this pace, Yamada-kun shouldn’t have any problem wrapping up this arc in the remaining two episodes, but I’m worried about how much will ultimately be lost in translation. When even the Yamada x Shiraishi scenes aren’t quite hitting right, it’s a sad day…

Yamada-kun


Backlog Rundown: Only backlog thing I got to this week (thanks to a busy weekend) was Rie Matsumoto’s Heartcatch! Precure film, entitled Heartcatch Precure! Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show…Desu ka!? I found it to be an utterly charming film, as well as being fascinatingly emblematic of what I like so much about Rie Matsumoto as a director. I’m actually preparing a full post on the film’s cinematography, themes, and Matsumoto’s influence. Look for that later in the week!

21 thoughts on “Spring 2015, Week 11: Highlights of the Week

  1. And now, the weekly wall o’;

    Ore Monogatari!! ep 10 (not 11 as you have above); Commented on this weeks posts.

    Plastic Memories ep10; More badly done rom-com, this time of the “newly minted couple” family of tropes. My lady now agrees with me that they’re building toward a “reset by the Power Of Love” ending.

    Sound! Euphonium ep10; Wow… I’ve seen this kind of thing in various clubs over the years, and it’s no prettier here than in real life. But on the other hand Euph has a track record of being honest about the goings on, so it’s not unexpected. I agree with what another reviewer said elsewhere, the upcoming audition/vote is grossly unfair in pitting the popular Kaori against the unpopular Reina. Natsuki… I don’t know if it’s a mask or honest feelings. She’s always struck me as a pretty straightforward individual. (I don’t really think we’ve seen any devious/underhanded types so far… given group dynamics, there should be at least one.) This would also fit in with the show’s themes of growth and awakening and contrasts nicely with Yuko’s machinations to force a ‘reset’. Asuka as Best Girl? Breast Girl maybe, but otherwise I’m not seeing it… she’s as self centered as they come, and doesn’t even seem to have Reina’s extreme talent or drive to make up for it.

    Eden of Grisaia ep 9; I’m not sure I like where this season is going… The plot is much more muddled and muddy than the first season, and there’s a growing tendency towards deus ex machina. Not to mention the re-union between Amane and Kazuki was so badly handled.

    No comment this week, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying ep 11, Sailor Moon Crystal ep 23.

    In other news;

    Sat down and worked my way through Non Non Byori… It’s been on my radar for a while, and I wanted to get it watched because there’s a sequel coming next season. I enjoyed the heck out of it, and it’s artless charm was just what I needed given the stress of Post June Faire Madness and aggravation induced by some of this weeks regular eps.

    On a friend’s FB wall this week, there was a discussion of fictional places where you’d like to live. There was much discussion of Middle Earth, Pern, Westeros, and other such places filled with war and bloodshed… Sometimes I think it would be cool to visit those places and see some of the natural and created wonders, but for actually living I think that Byori‘s country village or Barakamon‘s quiet island are not without merit. I’d catch a train every so often and visit a decent sized city though, and if I could stay at Kissuiso Inn a couple of times a year life would be just grand. (Hey! There’s a potential topic for an AniWords essay or a blog entry.)

    Also, started Chihayafuru last night and got through Episode 2… Looks interesting so far.

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    • Yeah, I’ve never liked Asuka and she’s been quite the jerk to people this week—not making it any easier for me to like her, even if I think she’s interesting. I think Natsuki is just the type of person who is hard to get motivated and finds it difficult to stay motivated for long. Which, incidentally, is something I relate a whole lot! Being motivated by other people’s motivation is a feeling I’m quite familiar with, as it happens… ^_^”

      I love NNB! Such a relaxing show—unparalleled at just being slow-paced and chilled, if you ask me.

      Ooo a “Where in Anime Would You Like to Live?” column? Hmmm…

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      • I liked Asuka in the beginning, but it gradually dawned on me that she’s kinda like someone I once knew – nice enough, but has to be the center of attention, and ultimately shallow. The other week where she was giving Midori grief during practice really brought that to the fore and she slipped from the “kinda OK but a bit much” category to “casual don’t care for”.

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  2. I don’t know why… but it feels weird to me at least that I am actually watching more than you this season… but I guess that is because you are the bigger blogger so I just feel mentally like you should have a bigger plate than I do. XD

    As for thoughts on the post:

    Couldn’t be more accurate with Ore Monogatari and Kinmosa. Especially with Kinmosa and pretty much forgetting Aya X Yoko + Shino are actually friends.

    Me personally I found the Danmachi episode great. Of course I think I am more tolerant of the harem/LN-trope aspects than you seem to lead me to believe about yourself. But whether I am or not damn is that harem thirsty for some Bell-kun.

    As for Nisekoi it was undoubtedly my favorite episode. Which is kind of sad for the exact reasons you stated with Raku pushing his ideals (or really in this case Tsugumi’s pushed ideals onto Raku) onto Shu. I wish I could look at the first season as a stand alone bit and this as OVA but since it isn’t actually being called that and I look at series as a whole anyway even with OVA/Movies/Whatever else it doesn’t really matter and now Nisekoi looks like crap in my eyes.

    Finally with Yamada… the more I hear about it from people the less I want to watch it.

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    • I just ran out of steam on so many of these shows—and I dislike watching so much stuff that I can’t write about the stuff I watch.

      Glad I’m not the only one who felt a bit odd about Kinmoza. Show’s just very different without Karen and Alice there.

      Yeah, Shu was actually great this episode, but Raku pushing his ideals onto Shu was dumb and bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Trying to work out whether I should have dropped Danmachi or not. The show felt like a lot of the interesting things in SAO’s first arc minus a story I actually cared about, plus boobs.

    Like

    • Hmm, interesting. I guess I see Danmachi and SAO as stories about fundamentally different things, but I suppose if you liked SAO‘s story then I can see why Danmachi might not work as well for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly, I think Taki-sensei made the right decision. No it may not be technically “fair” to Reina, but Reina is a bitch who only thinks about herself. Her whole “I want to be special” schtick is basically saying “I already think I’m better than everyone else, I just need to objectively prove it to everyone else so that they know it too”. (Not saying I dislike Reina as a character. She definitely adds an interesting and necessary dynamic to the drama. But as a person? Good lord, she’s awful.) Taki-sensei has to do what’s best for the band as a whole, to help them do their best in the competition. If Reina’s not seriously the most awful person ever, she’ll put aside her pride and go into this second audition without resentment. She probably thinks there’s no doubt she’ll get the part again. I would LOVE to see Kaori come out ahead instead.

    Aside from Euphonium, I’m falling behind on my weekly anime because I’m really getting into Soul Eater. We’re 21 episodes in and it’s pretty intense. Death the Kid is easily my favorite character. He’s awesome and hilarious and it doesn’t hurt that he’s voiced by one of my favorite seiyuu. Good stuff!

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    • Whoo boy, those are some hot takes about Reina! Frankly, I think she’s head and shoulders above Yuko and Asuka. We have pretty different reads on her character, though—I think she’s just a typical teenager straining against the fear of being “ordinary” (a fear I can relate to myself). Definitely, she’s stuck up, but I don’t really see her as actively causing problems for other people.

      Glad you’re liking Soul Eater! Kid’s a riot—and his English VA is actually pretty darn good, too!

      Like

  5. That Nisekoi episode was really weird. In what universe is Shu confessing the right thing to do? She’s a teacher, twice his age, and is getting married to someone else. Does Shu imagine a future where she jilts her fiance and runs off with him?

    Maybe they were trying to set up something that honesty is to be valued above all, in contrast to Raku’s shenanigans. Perhaps something like in Toradora where Kitamura confessed. But where it worked in Toradora, it just came off as excessively indulgent in Nisekoi.

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    • I think the point was something about not having regrets, but it was stupid whatever it was. I don’t even think it was on the same sort of plane as Kitamura’s confession—at least there he had a hope of reciprocity. For Shu, it’s nothing but a selfish moment for a character who had stayed unselfish until that point.

      Thanks a lot, Raku.

      Like

  6. Week 11
    1. Euphonium ep 11
    2. Food Wars ep 11
    3. Houkago no Pleiades ep 10
    4. Kaitou Joker 2 ep 11
    5. Ore Monogatari ep 10

    I really, really wanted to give Food Wars first place this week, but once again Eupho would not be denied. Right now that show is just on another level from everything else I’m watching.

    A little about a few episodes, and a lot about Eupho 10:

    Food Wars ep. 11: Focused on Megumi’s fight to avoid being expelled after running afoul of a jerk teacher last week, and as a vehicle for fleshing out and developing her character, this episode’s story knocked it out of the park. I love Megumi so much because she’s so different – in this school full of ravenous wolves all vying with each other for Alpha status, she’s just a normal, humble, sweet kid. And yet she’s showing she has the talent to match almost any of them, if she can just find her confidence and her “voice” as a chef. It makes her relatable and interesting, and gives her so much more room for character development and growth than someone like Souma, who already knows how good he is. But I also love the dynamics between her and Souma and how well they play off and support each other – this could potentially end up becoming one of my favorite anime friendships by the time it’s all said and done.

    Houkago no Pleiades ep. 10: No spoilers, just a big wow. HnP won’t ever be mistaken for a great series, but it’s still capable of delivering some great individual episodes, and this one floored me. Beautifully done.

    Yuki Nagato 11: Continued the arc started last week. Not quite as strong as last episode, but still a cut above the rest of the series – the beginning part and the way it used the music and voices and visuals to create a strong sense of detachment and distance from the proceedings was especially effective. If this whole arc is able to keep the same quality as its first two episodes, it’ll more than make up for sticking it out through the long run of mediocrity from weeks 5-9.

    Now then, I promised my thoughts on Eupho 10. First, I knew you’d love Natsuki’s scene – I did too. Natsuki may be a bit lazy and easily swayed by the prevailing winds, but she’s also a kind and generous person and a good friend. Which leads into what I love most about this episode: how wonderfully human these characters are. The main cast, the supporting cast, even the teachers, they’re all allowed to have strengths and weaknesses and shades of gray. There isn’t a single person here who’s just a one-note character or a trope-on-legs. Even Yuko, as much as she annoyed me in this episode, isn’t acting out of malice. She does what she does because she loves Kaori and just wants to support her friend’s dream.
    Kaori herself is interesting too, because she publicly says and does all the right things about how she’s accepted the result and wants the band to let it go, but her behavior (like continuing to practice the solo, and doing basically nothing to quash the rebellion aside from a few token protests) suggests exactly the opposite. I don’t think she actually believes the audition was rigged, but I can’t help wondering if somewhere deep down she hoped her friends could pressure Reina into stepping aside anyway, without having to dirty her own hands.
    As for Reina herself, even if I wasn’t her fanboy I’d feel bad for her. All she did was pass her audition, but she ends up right in the middle of a warzone thanks to Kaori’s friends and Taki’s abysmal handling of the situation – which really highlights his inexperience dealing with high schoolers. At the same time, though, she didn’t do herself any favors either. She may prefer playing the role of talented-but-aloof loner, but that persona isn’t going to win her many allies, especially in a conflict with someone as popular as Kaori. Losing her temper at Kaori and Yuko just makes it even worse, especially since those are upperclassmen she’s dissing. It’s also out of character for her, but that’s exactly what stress and pressure often does to people. Between that outburst and then breaking down and seeking reassurance from Kumiko afterwards (also out of character), it really drives home how much all this is weighing on her, no matter how much she tries not to show it.

    Like

    • Seems I dropped Yuki-chan just before it stopped being terrible. Oh, well…it’s still not Haruhi.

      More kudos for Pleiades? Man, I am going to have to get back to that show, huh?

      Now, Eupho 10. What an episode for Natsuki. Damn, I love that girl. The more I think about her, the more I realize how closely our personalities align—which makes the radiant moments she has with Kumiko are actually profoundly hopeful for me. Makes me think I can be like that sometimes, too.

      And yeah, all the characters in Eupho are great in terms of being well-sketched out human beings. It also means it makes it reeallllyyy easy for me to dive into my real life biases against certain types of people—which is why Asuka and Yuko piss me off while Natsuki and Haruka make me happy.

      Like

    • As usual, an excellent analysis of Euph.

      What you and a couple of others have written about Pleiades in some ways makes me wish I’d stuck with, but there was just too much I couldn’t get past. Individually brilliant episodes generally aren’t enough for me. And besides, I already have PlasMem for this season’s “train wreck I can’t quite take my eyes off of. One per season is enough, especially when there’s so precious little else this season.

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  7. A big Shake up at number one! I will just post my TOP Tier

    A Side Note The Funimation Dubs are really good ! I missed all the song tributes in Show by Rock!

    EPISODE(S) of the WEEK

    Re-Kan / Hibiki’s Mom
    My Love Story /. The MT EP was fun
    Ghost in the Shell / A good finish ep

    TIER 1 Top Favorites

    RE- Kan takes Top Spot had the most EPS of the week and what a twist at the last moment!

    1 Re-Kan!
    2 Baby Steps 2 / Reading Manga
    3 Arslan Senki / The Heroic Legend of Arslan / ALSO ENG DUB
    4 Ansatsu Kyoushitsu / ALSO ENG DUB / Reading Manga
    5 Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki / Reading Manga
    6 Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic / Kiniro Mosaic Season 2
    7 Nisekoi 2 / Reading Manga
    8 Shokugeki no Souma / Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma / Reading Manga
    9 Hibike! Euphonium / Sound! Euphonium
    10 WORLD TRIGGER
    11 Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?
    12 Show By Rock!! / ALSO ENG DUB
    13 Ore Monogatari!! / My Love Story
    14 The Labyrinth of Grisaia / The Eden of Grisaia
    15 Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo / Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
    16 Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Alternative Architecture (TV) / GITS Moved into tier 1 EP 9 / 10 were very good!

    ONGOING 2015 Spring English DUBS

    WED NITE Dubble TALK

    Assassination Classroom / Wed / READING MANGA
    Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign / Wed
    Blood Blockade Battlefront / Wed

    Watching Dubs On Mondays Slow anime DAY

    Ultimate Otaku Teacher / Sat
    The Heroic Legend of Arslan / Sun
    Show by Rock!! / Sun /
    Mikagura School Suite / Tue

    Like

      • They are all very good but Mikagura School Suite with Eruna / Mnica Rial comes off so good ! I actually like it better !

        Then Show By Rock of the things I missed ( visuals ) subbed ! In EP 1 I missed the name of the Plantium records on the Orton John -Elton John . Devel Bowie / David Bowie and Story Dan / Steely Dan I was surprised I missed that subbed ! Then in EP 2 there are phrases in sentences / homage to songs / Dust In The Wind / The same by Kansas Cant But Me / Love Beatles and then All Shook Up by Elvis ! I have a whole different take on the anime !

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  8. I’m getting impatient with Ore Monogatari. The humour simply doesn’t work for me. I groaned at the boar, for example. And the cuteness has diminishing returns. The emotionality seems idealised and in the background. The show has great moments, but none of them were in the last episode.
    Sound Euphonium: An episode of the quality I’ve come to expect. I have to agree about Natsuki leaving a great impression this episode (and not for the first time). As for Asuka, I find her easily the most interesting character; her font is awfully annoying, but her character isn’t. This is a cast I can believe in (with the exception of Midori and Hazuki who feel a lot like KyoAni standard fare). I wonder if Taki sensei isn’t more dominant and manipulative in the club than he should be? After all, he’s the club adviser, not a teacher in music class. The club should be the students’ responsibility, no? (This is where my ignorance of the Japanese club system, both official rules and unofficial mores, hurts my understanding of the situation a bit.)
    Danmachi: I really don’t have much to say about the episode, except that this arc doesn’t balance threat/relieve very well. I mean, there’s gods breaking the rules to go see Bell in the dungeon, which should be a big deal, but to what end? It doesn’t feel like a story that makes sense, but neither does it feel like well-choreographed melodrama, which I would be fine with, too. I’m not sure what I’m watching.
    Nisekoi: It’s being Nisekoi. I shouldn’t have started watching it at all. This episode actually gave me a couple of scene with best girl Ruri (not a popular choice, is it?), but they weren’t really good scenes. Nisekoi shouldn’t try to be touching; it’s at its best when it’s indulging in silliness. [I confess I only watched this season because I heared Koiwai Kotori got a role in it and I was curious. I’m not longer curious, but I’m still watching the show. Go figure.]
    Kinmoza: I confess I dislike the show when it focuses on either Alice or Shino, and most of all when it focuses on them together. They alternately bore me and annoy me. So half the episode fell nearly flat for me (Aya and Yoko salvaged some of it for me). Karen/Honoka is cute, but they need to involve Honoka more, or there’s danger of her becoming a one-trick pony.
    Yamada: I’m a bit nervous in real life lately, so the timing for that sort of drama is bad for me. The recent developments bother me more than they otherwise would. But that does mean the current arc hits a nerve. I may have to re-visit this later, but it doesn’t seem the best the show has to offer.

    I can agree with Re-Kan having one of the best episodes this week: really excellent use of Tanabata symbology and a key character moment for Hibiki make this one a winner.

    I’ve pretty much given up on Plastic Memories ever really doing much with its potential, but do still hope they won’t go for a love-conquers-all ending. Sadly, it’s a real possibility. Some scenes in earlier episodes (e.g. Marcia regaining her sanity just before being shot) support this. That said, I do still enjoy the show. One of its key strength is characterisation through body language. The show is very good at that. It’s a joy to watch. This particular episode had mercifully little painful humour, but it also had fairly little meaningful development. (The episode before was an important thematic node, I thought. Even if they go with a love-conquers-all ending, there’s the potential for them to go with a broader meaning – tying it in with the retrieval policy. I do still have hope.)

    Pleiades is a sneaky show. They’ve been building up a decent plot all along, but they’ve been hiding it under a thick layer of common tropes. And there was a turning point, when I honestly didn’t know where this was going. I’m not going as far as Wing King’s “big wow”, but this show is certainly smarter than it looks.

    Yuki-chan: Yeah, we’re in the titular arc now. It’s better than the lack-lustre middle, but it’s still not really working for me. The early episodes at least had some sort of charm I could enjoy whenever I forgot what it wanted to be. I do agree with Wing King about the visual and sound direction being spot on with regards to the sense of detachment. Great work, there.

    I finished Soul Eater some time ago. Pretty quickly, actually, and I sometimes watched “just another episode”, when I would otherwise have watched a current show. That’s always a good sign. I found it hugely entertaining. Someone on the team was obviously a David Lynch fan. Heh.

    Like

    • Yay, glad you liked Soul Eater! Favorite character (If I haven’t already asked)?

      Re: Asuka—I find her a very good character, but Eupho is so good at making its characters feel like real people that Asuka (and Yuko) totally trigger my “how I react to real people” impulses, which is why I’m so outspoken of my dislike of them. Because I’m far too reserved to ever do that in real life, but here I can left off steam because they’re fictional, while also recognizing the nuances and humanity in their characters. Maybe a bit hypocritical, but it’s working for me.

      RIP PlaMemo—VN writers should stick to VNs, it seems.

      Like

      • Favourite Soul Eater Character? Hm, I really liked the Maka/Soul dynamic in the show, which is rare since they’re the main characters and I tend to go for side-characters normally. Stein was a great character near the middle of series, but had a bit of a weak ending to his arc. I loved Medusa as a villain; very charismatic and entirely unapologetically selfish. I think I might have to pick Kurona as my favourite, though. Wonderful arc. All in all, I’m not much good with naming favourites, so take this with a grain of salt.

        Also, Plastic Memories isn’t bad, and I think I might actually be the only one on the web who thinks they do have an interesting theme going, with the episode last week (not the latest one, but the one before) connecting a few dots. The SF isn’t irrelevant, it’s just underused. I think the problem is more complex than just blaming the writer. I think a huge part here is the director, Fujiwara.

        I don’t know if you’ve seen his other works, say GJ Bu, or Mikakunin de Shinkoukei. The director is pretty good at hiding subtelties behind blatant tropes, so good that either a lot of people miss them, or I’m reading things into the shows that aren’t actually there. I sense the same kind of thing in Plastic Memories, but it’s not an unmitigated sucess, and I think the problem might be the genre. The romcom elements don’t jive well with the SF elements; hiding subteleties behind blatant and unapologetic tropes worked better in GJ Bu and Mikakunin because those tropes were genre central. Here we have already a mix, and tropiness of the romcom is in contrast with the more subtle presentation of the SF. As a result the former takes over the representation, but because the latter is also important, there’s an imbalance in the representation, and you don’t really know how to take things on face value. For example, making the giftia indistinguishable from humans is a design choice: this isn’t Chobits or Key the Metal Idol. But because the romcom elements are so loud, and the SF elements are so subdued, the romcom elements take over and people say we’d have the same story if Isla were just terminally ill. But I think that’s absolutely wrong. On balance, I actually still think it’s a good show, but it’s not what it could have been.

        Like

        • I did think Mikakunin was actually quite good at handling its dramatic moments and give a lot of credit to Fujiwara’s direction for that. I remember thinking PlaMemo had that same sort of delicately-handled sensibility to the drama in its first episode, but you’re right—the romcom tropes are so loud that, at least for my part, I couldn’t hear anything else.

          Like

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