Here are my thoughts on this week’s anime, with one addition and one subtraction.
Boy, it’s like the perception Olympics up in here. Most perceptive wins, least perceptive loses. The show seems to be focusing more on Kariu’s misunderstanding than Arata’s reformation, which I don’t know if I like, but it balances out by giving Arata an opportunity to show off his surprising savviness. Guy must’ve taken points out of strength and put it into perception.
Tales of Zestiria: The X
Man, hearing the Ladylake music again reminds me of all the time I spent scurrying around it in the game. A lot of game adaptation animes tend to cut plot details out wholesale to keep to the running time, but this one has been playing a little differently; all the major details are still there, but the order they appear in is changed slightly. For example, Alisha wasn’t attacked by the Scattered Bones during the Sacred Blade ceremony in the game. It does, however, speak to the skill of the writers for the anime that the plot still feels solid and cohesive despite these changes (though perhaps that’s just because Zestiria’s plot was a bit shaky to begin with, so it wouldn’t be hard to improve).
The Morose Mononokean
The Underworld is much more… pastel than I imagined. Reminds me of the last time I played Okami. Hanae’s kind of starting to grate on me a little. He seems a little too preoccupied with strange things; if he just acted like the youkai were the normal people that they are, he wouldn’t need to get all grossed out and panicky all the time. As for that little altercation with that store owner guy, there was a pretty simple solution there: just ask the people on the street to back up Hanae’s story. There were, like, five youkai watching him chase that little dog thing, I don’t know why he can’t just be like “hey, you all saw me chasing that thing with the fruit, right?” A man of common sense, he is not.
Active Raid Second
See, this is the problem with making Iron Man suits commercially available, any nerd with a grudge can go and grab one. It’s nice to see Asami again, gratuitous English and all, but wow, is she not cut out for leading a team. That whole “I am Justice” thing, aside from just sounding generally pompous, seems like an unhealthy attitude for both her and her subordinates. Asami is hardly infallible, after all; if her team can’t make their own snap judgements and instead have to rely on her for all things, what are they going to do if she messes up? Though, then again, looking at the ideas the subordinates had individually, perhaps any professional leader, even a flawed one, would work to their benefit.
Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World
Oh good. It’s not a dragon. It’s a GODDAMN WHALE. That literally EATS your entire existence, so everyone forgets about you, all except for Subaru, because TRAGEDY.
I think I’ve officially reached my boiling point with this show. I remember I said this was Watamote-levels of painful, but at least Watamote was made with the purpose of being funny. This… this is just mean-spirited. This isn’t funny; it’s barely even interesting. It’s basically just an uninterrupted series of tragedies. I get that it was supposed to be a subversion of the whole “nerd in a fantasy world” thing, but you can do that without being outright cruel to your character. Tragedy is supposed to be a stepping stone for a character, to help them grow and mature, but if their life just keeps taking dumps on their head without ever stopping and you completely lose the possibility of a happy ending, why should I even bother watching? Subaru will never succeed, at least not in any meaningful way. If the protagonist won’t do anything meaningful, I have no more reason to be invested. Even Betelgeuse can’t hold my interest anymore.
Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World: 17 episodes watched.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Future
Son of a… I can’t believe it! They faked us out! A toy knife and tomato sauce… why would the killer make Asahina look like she had been killed? I can’t see any purpose for that beyond just trolling Naegi. Curse you and your games of 4D chess, Monokuma. As for Gozu, well, I don’t think anyone’s surprised by that. Much like Bandai, guy stood out too much. It’s a shame those crowning moments of awesome we got from him will be all we get from him. And then we have Kimura doping up (and also having braces for some reason), Naegi being his usual hopelessly optimistic self, and Sakakura (or as I’ve taken to calling him, Punchy McPuncherson) going around trying to punch everyone. There are so many variables at play here; I can’t possibly guess where this is all going to end up.
Someone call UPS, I think there’s some shipping going on here. Yagami and Toyama seem pretty close, almost like sisters (or perhaps more than that). Not much else really happened this week, aside from the paycheck conversation. Again, I’d have to agree with Shinoda; if I lived in Japan, I would probably spend a little more than a sensible amount of a paycheck on Sentai toys. Still, whether the job is good or bad, it really does feel satisfying to be paid an appropriate amount for the work you put in. I kind of hope we could get a little more into the other developmental aspects of game making in later episodes. Cute shenanigans are nice, but you can’t rely exclusively on that for too many episodes in a row.
Show by Rock!! Short!!
Only in anime could “fun” be considered a vital aspect of swordsmanship. I guess this and what assume will be next week’s episode will be the origin of Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan (god, that name is obnoxious). If wonder if Daru Dayu was as small as she is in the present back then. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me; girl looks like a grade schooler but talks like she’s in her thirties.
Mob Psycho 100
I don’t believe that psychic powers couldn’t make someone popular, but I get where Mob’s coming from. The cognitive dissonance that comes from having to restrain your emotions for whatever you believe is the greater good can be quite painful. Much like anything that builds up, when it finally bursts, it can be in the most unpleasant ways, such as, I guess, an explosive psychic rage (though I have to say, Rage-Mob is pretty badass). I don’t think pursuing this Tsubomi girl is good for Mob’s health. When a girl ain’t interested, you shouldn’t try to restrain yourself to make yourself seem more appealing. After all, would you really want to be in the extended company of someone who doesn’t like you when you’re most comfortable? I sure wouldn’t.
Sweetness and Lightning
Ah, the age old battle between kids and vegetables. Tsumugi is surprisingly perceptive, being able to detect bell peppers no matter how small or hidden they are. I’m glad she didn’t make a fuss about them at the end, though I did genuinely laugh out loud when she slipped Kohei all of her peppers in one bite. It’s a good thing she’s such a nice kid; that kind of perception in a child could easily be used for evil. I guess that’s just a testament to how much she loves her dad that she doesn’t try to suss him (at least, not on a regular basis).
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Despair
Hey, look at that. We got our first blue face of the show. The first of many, I presume. It was pretty much a given that we’d get a proper reenactment of Twilight Syndrome (play the second game if you don’t know), though I’m a little surprised Hinata had his toes dipped into the whole fiasco. I figured a particular person would be the push to get him to join the artificial hope program (coughKomaedacough), but I guess this works just as well. On the bright side, now that he’s off selling his body to science, maybe we’ll be able to squeeze in a few more happy moments with the 77th Class before the world ends. Unless, I dunno, Punchy McPuncherson decides to just start going around punching everyone. Wouldn’t put it past him.
This Art Club Has a Problem!
Oh god, cute teacher alert. It’s weird; usually such nervous-natured people would start out teaching, I dunno, first grade or something, but in anime, it’s always straight to high schools. But hey, if I had a teacher that adorably awkward in school, I’d sure pay attention to her (though I might be a minority on that). As for the students, Usami is still enjoying her one-sided love, though it seems like Uchimaki has become gradually less standoffish with her, so that’s progress of a sort. Colette just sort of… spreads stupid wherever she goes. I have to wonder what her parents are thinking leaving a girl like that to live on her own.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Ep 4 (Shorts 16-20)
Well, so much for plot threads. Oh well, no big loss. It’s still funny. We’ve finally rounded out our circle of “friends” with Toritsuka, who actually knows Saiki’s a psychic. I’m glad at least one character besides his parents could be in on it, and with powers of his own to boot, even if it just means a constant eyeful of ghost butt. It’s a little hard to tell sometimes when something is supposed to be Saiki’s internal monologue or him actually talking. I suppose it wouldn’t be strange for him to never actually talk, considering the company he keeps ignores most common sense; I’d just like a little clarification.
Ep 1-3 (Catch-up)
A blog I follow was talking about this show, and the character designs looked just interesting enough to get my attention. I appreciate the “fun is infinite” philosophy; almost anything can be a ton of fun as long as you approach it with the right mindset. Hikari is one of my favorite character archetypes for a slice-of-life show: the energetic weirdo. She doesn’t always make sense in the things she does, but she’s gung-ho about the stuff she loves, and nothing makes her happier than to spread that joy to others. Seems like a really fun person to be around (plus her weird frog face always makes me smile). I’m glad she met Futaba; it always helps to have a good friend in a confusing time in one’s life. I do, however, have one incredibly nagging question about this show: what the hell is Chu supposed to be? A cat? A lemur? A can’t think of any animal that has little gold things on its head, except maybe a Meowth.
While she’s not the most screen-grabbing character, I’m kind of glad Futaba is effectively our protagonist here instead of Hikari. Hikari seems pretty content with herself and her life, but Futaba’s got plenty of room to grow as a person. She’s got a bit of a defeatist personality, which I can sympathize with, so seeing manage to do a successful dive (albeit in a swimming pool) with a little help from her friend is really heartwarming. Also, the monkey hood scene was hilarious. That’s what you get for leaving your panties out, Hikari.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Let’s see, going by today’s exchange rate, five million yen is about… $48,950. Not bad, not bad. Even if he’s kind of being a butt about it, I do have to side with Shigechi here. Harvest did all the legwork, Crazy Diamond maybe fixed a few scraps of paper, and The Hand did nothing, so I would say Shigechi owes Josuke and Okuyasu like, 10%, if that. Speaking of Shigechi, I can’t stop staring at his head. Considering all of the crazy hair styles and skull shapes around there, I wonder if Morioh was built on a toxic waste dump or something. Having a head covered in little spikes just isn’t normal, unless you’re Bart Simpson.
Time Travel Girl
Oy vey. This is the problem with multiple parties time traveling independently, you can never keep your timelines consistent. That aside, though, Prof. Hayase is a badass. A bulletproof vest and a stun gun; when he time travels, he does it seriously. I’m curious as to how his compass ended up in the lab without him. Maybe now that Waka’s found it, she’ll get to join in on the time traveling shenanigans. Though, now that I think about it, is Mari actually accomplishing anything by bumming around time? She’s revealing more of the weird book, though why going back and meeting famous dudes is doing that is beyond me, plus there’s no guarantee that the book isn’t just a history book with some kind of time travel remote in it.
Oh boy, Eraser-chan’s gone full yandere. You never go full yandere. I have a feeling this won’t be the last we see if Miyo’s creepy face. On the bright side, Handa’s trying to talk to people. With extremely broad topics like whether or not Japan is a nice place, yes, but give him points for effort. Perhaps he’d stop thinking the whole school hates him if the people he speaks to stop bursting into tears and throwing chairs out the window. How the hell do you even get “prepare to give up your life in battle” from “window” anyway? Is that like, a pun or something I’m not getting?
I’m not one to say that you shouldn’t hold lifelong grudges, but just being pushed in a river seems like a really dumb thing to hold a grudge over. At the very least, I’m glad Matsugo’s “dilemma” was resolved in this episode, because I feel like this show has enough antagonists already, especially ones with really petty grudges. Maybe he’ll appear again later in a support role, though I don’t think I’d be too broken up if this was the only time we saw him.
Food Wars: The Second Plate
Ooh, beef stew, an old school favorite. I had a pretty kickass bowl of beef stew a few years ago, so watching this episode made my stomach growl like crazy. Man, I’ve gotta go eat lunch… erm, anyways, that journalist kid seems kind of suspicious. His timing’s a little too good, showing up right when Yukihira’s starting his cooking trials. Though perhaps he’s a red herring; the old “bright eyed kid who’s secretly an asshole” trope is pretty old, so a subversion of that would be a welcome twist.