This week began on a rather low note. I lost to Kevo by the aggregate distance of 2.6 yards. 237.74 centimeters of crushing fantasy football defeat in the SCCSAV fantasy football league. No matter, I’m probably making the playoffs and he isn’t. There were some other conversations of note if you follow me on twitter, but I’d rather not use this space to talk about it here. Those are for the terrible anniversary posts after all.
So what’s on the agenda this week. Among other things, there’s a great episode that probably ruins a series, comedies failing at getting serious and a good episode of something I almost dropped. Plus the terribad had time-traveling Nazis. Who would not want to see that? Trust me you don’t.
Currently Airing Top 5
As this series is now entering another one of its trademark real time banalities of life arc, I expected this new “Phone Call from JAXA” arc to be tedious. A few minutes in it looked the same as Kenji was the first to get the call. As the details of his test results were told over the phone before the final result, he began to remember the story of his adult life. That’s when this episode got good. The whole working a well paying job that isn’t something you dreamt about is something a lot of people can relate to. And his wife Yuki just blowing me away with providing him the emotional support he needs to chase his dreams. Yes, I’m well aware I’m being emotionally manipulated by this show at times, but this felt right in Kenji succeeding. Next week is Serika, which will probably be nowhere near as uplifting.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
This is an episode that is all about failure. Around Sorata, nearly everyone else is experiencing success of some sort. Nanami, who failed two episodes, is completely over it as though nothing had happened. However, for our main character he wouldn’t be so lucky. The hope that was raised be making it to the next round of the game creation contest would not last long. Emasculated by one of his heroes on a simple question, Sorata fails in his presentation. He doesn’t have the right stuff for the game creation world. So with Sorata firmly depressed, the rest of the crew drags him along to break into the school pool to have fun. Eventually he does, but it’s of that contrived trying to hide his real feelings sort of fun. I think this show heads back into the gutter again next week. That preview…
Sukitte Ii na yo
On to more failure this week as Megumi, Mei and Yamato have to deal with various forms of it this week. The more serious one is Megumi, who is absolutely furious at the fact that Yamato cares more about Mei than modeling, and as a consequence herself. As for the latter pair, Mei’s mother intervenes and utterly cockblocks her daughter’s boyfriend. Yes, we get the greater objective of Yamato being accepted by Mei’s mother, but still it’s like wiping out one of the great scenes from Kare Kano. There was also the small matter of Kai, who is back in town to get revenge on the kids who bullied him when he was young. Only to then discover that the bullies have tried to move on with their lives and that Mei’s words discouraging him from seeking revenge have made him fall in love with her. The former childhood friends are now rivals, but at least it’s out in the open.
Jormungand continues to be as good as ever this season. This week’s episode changed the tone a bit and took a more capitalistic look at the weapons trade business. The use of the satellites was really part of an effort to create a logistics powerhouse that was greater than anything even the largest governments could support on Kasper’s side. What this meant elsewhere was two-fold. The first was an acceptance of defeat from a smaller arms dealer whose advantage of being able to use local connections would be wiped out be a legitimate, legal multinational corporation entering their realm. But from the standpoint of the series as a whole, it firmly established that the relationship between Minami and Koko is extremely strong since no one other than the two knows what the true grand plan is.
Zetsuen no Tempest
I think this show has finally realized how camp it should try to be. All the hallmarks are there. Natsumura and Evangeline entering the battle with overacted monologues. Mahiro casually betraying one of the people who got him so far because Samon could offer him the same thing. Yoshino then turning shounen hero and devising a plan that can save Hakaze and find out who Aika’s killer is. But that’s not enough to convince Mahiro, no, because Yoshino has the bit of information he cares about more than his sister’s killer. Yoshino is willing to give himself up as Aika’s boyfriend. Surprisingly, the turns in this series make plenty of sense. And it was good to see Yoshino decide to not take the bland protagonist route.
The Rest of the Week
I worry about where this series goes from here. Yes, this was a fine episode which completely illustrated how strange this would had become, but it feels like it’s going for the evil super villain angle, disappointingly. What worked in this episode were revelations like victims becoming villains. I was more impressed with the fact that works of art that were deemed dangerous were banned even for research purposes and that capital punishment restrictions on children were eliminated all for the sake of making society safer. On the downside, I thought there was too much pleasure taken at Rikako’s end from a directorial standpoint. Simply contrast that to the short endings the other criminals have had if you don’t understand what I am pointing out. Yes they were bloody, but they were short.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
Less talk about depression and killing people and more talk about love here. Nibutani’s chuunibyou has taken on a different form than before, so now she’s into feng shui and shipping her friends now. But even she wouldn’t be able to see that. Unfortunately, not everything goes to plan for her since Isshiki is an idiot and Rikka is too embarrassed to acknowledge her feelings. Fortunately, there’s contrived action and terrible building codes that combine to bring Rikka and Yuuta together. Since this is a school festival arc, this will define the series as it seems to do so for most Kyoto Animation works.
When one takes in a Jun Maeda joint, it is probably just better to take each episode in isolation rather than the series as a whole. The latter generally causes lots of head-scratching at best for me anyway, and utter dismay most of the time. So this episode about the group coming together to save the cafeteria for a night worked well. It pretty much hit the mark for a well-executed story from a school life series perspective. The grander plot point about someone knowing exactly what would happen. I don’t see that leading anywhere other than a place that is baffling.
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
The gang end up with a copy of The Game of Life and proceed to make it incredibly unbalanced. Nori ends up triumphing as a freeter with many kids. It’s about as Hidamari Sketch as a Hidamari Sketch episode gets. Also, Yuno trying to get Oyasan to dream.
Have we reached the point where accomplishment based storylines are a thing? Anyway, there’s silliness as Aki turns down assistance from JAXA simply because they wouldn’t build the robot her sister designed. Nae from Steins;Gate makes an appearance as pretty much a clone of Aki. Instead, I think the real talking point is Kimijima Kou making the conspiracy available to anyone willing to go through certain achievements and tasks.
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!
Oniai does just a few things well these days, with very few of those relating to the storytelling. In this episode, I think it did about as well as an episode of Oniai can do. Akito gets sick, and everyone takes turns taking care of him. This is all build up to how Akito and Ginbei first met, though. Also surprising was the fact that at no point this week did I cringe at how bad something happening on screen was. Small victories.
To Love-Ru Darkness
Clearly stretching out the story in what is supposed to be only a 12-episode series. Are they really going to take this over multiple seasons. I think they’d be at 5 or 6 seasons if they went at this pace. Anyway, this episode was about Yui realizing her feelings for Rito and Mikan doing the same for her Momo and her older brother by proxy. Why not? Every show has a little sister incest angle going on these days (yes, even if it is not technically incest). It’s a little disappointing to return from a week off with a filler episode though.
Hayate no Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Can this even be considered a comedy series anymore? Actually it seems to have settled into something involving evil magicians, Ruri being OP and as many terrible stereotypes of Americans as possible. Really, a police officer just firing his gun in a hotel lobby. I know it’s Nevada, but that’s pushing the boundaries beyond realism. It wasn’t even played for comedy either. Plus, this serious plot is just rubbish for trying to cram comedy elements in to drive the plot.
The Fall Seasonal Average Ranking
|Season Rank||Year Rank||Change||Anime|
|1||1||-||Sukitte Ii na yo|
|3||14||↑3||Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo|
|5||20||↑1||Zetsuen no Tempest|
|8||28||-||Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You|
|9||30||↓1||Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai|
|10||31||-||Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb|
|11||33||-||Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2|
|13||39||-||To Love-Ru Darkness|
|14||40||↓2||Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!!|
This week’s table has a bit of an anomaly. Despite getting the first-place vote for the week, Space Brothers is jumped by Sakurasou for the sole reason that the latter has fewer episodes that have aired. Also the lead that Sukitte had for first overall has closed up. Also, I believe this was the first week where my top 5 of the season correlated with what appeared on my ballot. That’s really boring by my standards actually.
Queen’s Blade Rebellion (Specials Episodes 1-2)
So I got back together with the Classiest Anime crew for a brief watch of the only episodes of the QBR specials that have been subbed already. They are about as much as one can expect from this franchise. The first episode contained Siggy teaching Annelotte all of the holy poses. Yeah, you know what poses I’m talking about. Pure class there. The second was Mirim and Luna Luna trying to figure out how to take off the legendary vibrating armor. Once again, you know where that is going. Can you believe there are actually 4 more of these?
When something is from the producer of Catblue Dynamite, it’s definitely time to run away as quickly as you can. It’s not that this story of lesbian time-traveling Nazis is particularly catastrophic in quality (it is), but rather that it is so incredibly boring while doing so.
So the plot for this CG animated crapfest is set in 1943 in Europe. All of it. A pair of NASA employees managed to travel back from the year 2113 and now their technology poses a threat to the Allied forces because a blonde haired lesbian Nazi wants to take it. Fortunately, the hero Erna is there to stop this all from happening by stopping the Nazis via boring action set pieces that feel about as real as playing with action figures.
Probably the best part comes when having discovered the space shuttle that contains the time traveling technology, the Nazis decide it is best to make sure that it is painted in green camouflage with swastikas on it to hide it in the middle of the winter wasteland that is “Europe.” That leads to one final battle, the little girl who is key to the plot gets sent back to 1933 to become the protagonist in this. But wait it gets even worse, just watch after the end credits to see how laughably bad it is. Yes, it is somehow worse than Catblue Dynamite.
First instance of female nudity: None (again?)
Overall Rating: 7 (seven) /100
Terribad takes a sort of break for the rest of the year as the next two weeks will be filled with a Worst of 2012 collection of episodes chosen by a highly regarded panel of experts. I’ll leave the guessing up to those who don’t already know.