I’m not going to humor you much with tales of how my week went. Needless to say, this post will go up on St. Patrick’s Day. Most of you will know what kind of activity typically happens on that day. I will undoubtedly be engaging in a much sadder version of that, without people. That’s what I would normally say but for the fact that I’m actually feeling a bit under the weather. Sober St. Pat’s for me. In the meantime, I can still pass the time playing Pokemon LeafGreen while doing the Nuzlocke Challenge. Eleven hours in, and I’ve only killed one of the anibloggers I’m using as names for different roosters in Japanese Legal Video Game Cockfighting.
As for the anime this week, the season is beginning to wind down. Or in the case of the Noitamina block, it just comes to an end which feels like the series director was only told they had 22 episodes last week. The terribad viewing actually did happen this week as the group finally decided that hard drive space needed to be cleared after watching Anno attempt to direct real actors. And as a side note, I’m out of town attending a small gaming convention, so won’t be doing a recap. I’ll try to throw something up on next week’s conclusion of Robotics;Notes in 2 weeks.
Currently Airing Top 5
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
I can’t say this was a particularly great episode. It was merely a case of everything hitting the fan from an economic perspective. Young Merchant’s manipulation of prices ends up inevitably causing a strain on the Southern Nations where this story takes place which have price stability. That supply issue, corresponding with the speech Older Maid Sister gave last week will lead to a war next week where Hero will try to prevent anyone from dying. That’s a tough ask. What I did get the most enjoyment out of from this episode was Young Merchant utilizing futures contracts. Not since Spice and Wolf have I had such esoteric entertainment.
I don’t understand why this show seems to get the shameless corporate sponsorship that changes between companies that other shows don’t. Take Natsuiro Kiseki from last year, that was pretty much Lawson: The Animation at times. In this episode, McDonald’s got a whole segment of Shion eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger, McDonald’s fries and a soda from McDonald’s at the same time. But you know what, I’m willing to live with it. Why? Because I find these characters entertaining. Their inability to interpret Kyoro’s art is adorable. The two groups getting together was a little awkward from my standpoint, but it’s done enough to let me live with it.
Zetsuen no Tempest
When Megumu decided that he had to dish out emotional judgement on Yoshino and Mahiro, I pretty much lost it. Who is this no one that just showed up and happened to be the key to saving the world to tell the people who lost someone close to them how they should feel? Why is he allowed to inflict internal bleeding on Yoshino? Regardless, it looks like this series is heading to a messy ending much like the characters have described. Trying to break through a blockade of the remaining naval forces on the planet, and if successful it will cause global war on an unprecedented scale. They are just making the global elements up as they go along, aren’t they?
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
Eita’s aunt entered the story this week to shake things up. Of course, she happens to have one of those jobs that only a character in a light novel/manga/anime would have: visual novel creator. That somehow gives her the power to judge relationships between people, and what she sees is Eita and Masuzu faking their way through their relationship. That in turn leads the other girls to plot against the pair believing rightly that Eita is being held hostage by Masuzu. This isn’t going to end well. Plus, Ai’s fake relationship seems to have just vanished as a concern since she’s obviously in the harem now. How are they going to cram the angle in with Masuzu’s sister again?
The Rest of the Week
Ishida to Asakura
The final character as seen in the OP is introduced. Yamada’s younger sister enters the story trying to exact revenge for the numerous times her brother has been killed. Only she ends up falling in love with Ishida, but is cruelly rejected. She vows revenge. That’s the whole episode, but in a tight 2-minute package it does the job well. Ending with the instant downpour when she was rejected was an excellent touch. With that said I still hope this series concludes quickly. There’s only so much you can do with plots revolving around the same homicide and main character being impossibly dumb.
So Nitta really does have a younger brother, and he appears to be full-blown hikkikomori. That’s the subtext for what will happen next week when he has to talk about his feelings with the rest of the group. This week was about a forced international competition. However, the reasoning is quite selfish in that no one wants to wait 7-10 years for a chance to go into space that may never happen if they finish last here. So the Asian group picks up speed to move into 4th on Mutta’s day in charge, before the end. The real downfall in this arc is that it’s not really entertaining, and the Nitta issue is something that surely would have been caught by now and he wouldn’t even be there. The very fact that I’m caring about these things means the show isn’t working.
It’s an episode that was Hosaka-heavy, but yet it wasn’t very entertaining. Maybe his schtick is wearing off on me finally. In this episode, he picks up knitting and then gets Hayami concerned at the fact that he is treating Haruka as a goddess. The real downfall in this episode was a dumb sequence where snowfall and breasts were confused. It would be bad enough if that happened just once in this episode, but Natsuki’s act with Hitomi was repeated in the opposite direction when Haruka showed up. The end just turned into a half-assed Christmas episode unfortunately. The fourth of these despite the characters staying the same age the whole time.
This is a Very Special™ episode of Jun Maeda’s Little Busters! this week. You see, Kud ends up embroiled in a civil war and taken hostage by the resistance movement. It doesn’t ever feel like she is in danger as she is tied up in chains and left hanging by herself. Because they don’t guard her at all. Plus, the magic that is only possible from allowing a main character to repeatedly attempt to solve all the character routes allows Riki to transport a piece of metal with his mind thousands of miles. It’s supposed to be some sort of miracle connection between the group of friends. But why did it feel like I spent hours of my life draining away watching 24 minute episode that removed the opening and ending because it was Very Special™? Maybe Key should have stopped after One.
Yet, that’s all much better than Kotoura-san doing its own attempt at Very Special™. I question the very nature of this project now. Is it supposed to be a completely episodic story with the same cast? But why is there a continuous crime thriller going on in the background. Could the ending be more telegraphed if it were in Morse code? I don’t blame the writers too much for this crime of an episode. Given the instructions from the producer, they could only come up with a terrible mess after 48 re-writes.
These last few episodes have definitely felt like there’s been no sense of pacing at all. I’m aware the source visual novel takes a long time to develop, but faithfully adapting a show shouldn’t come at a cost of cohesiveness during the transition. This week’s episode just felt like it was trying to wrap up loose ends one after another. Want Airi to meet her AI counterpart for a farewell? Let’s do it this week. Want Kai to confess to Aki and remove the other romantic angles? Let’s do that as well. Next week is the final episode, and it’s going to come down to a battle between robots. Which will probably end up meaningless as a completely unannounced thing comes in to save them all at the last second.
Oh boy, Yamakan’s having to deal with plot again. We all remember what happened last time with that, and he can’t even have old people dancing again. Actually, I don’t really understand why this suddenly turned into a mess. The disc sales must be poor because now it’s feeling like an hour’s worth of story is being crammed into about 10 minutes. This episode was probably the first time the jokes felt forced. There was a serious situation that involved breaking out of the jail they’ve been in for half the series, but the jokes seem to flow in at the wrong time and without much of a punchline.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
It inspired me to write this which is devoted to watching anime while hoping bad things happen to the character. It takes a lot to do that to me recently.
Updated Seasonal Average Ranking
|Season Rank||Change||Series Average Rank||Change|
|Maoyuu Maou Yuusha||1||-||1||-|
|Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT||2||-||2||-|
|Zetsuen no Tempest||3||-||3||-|
|Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru||7||-||7||-|
|Ishida to Asakura||11||-||13||-|
|Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo||-||-||8||-|
This is the live action version that came out at the same time as the Re: Cutey Honey OVA was made. This was also directed by Hideaki Anno of Evangelion fame. That’s an important element when it comes to judging the quality of this tribute to the 70s Go Nagai classic. We don’t usually watch a lot of live-action movies in terribad, the most recent was the Hong Kong Dragonball movie (terrible, but miles better than Dragonball Evolution), but at least that one had Chinese Rambo.
But enough about that, what can I say about the subject before hand? To put it quite simply, it tries to force an animation feel to the film in places where it cannot be done. There’s a definite sense that even Anno felt this was the case when brief animated scenes were inserted for back story. When the two worlds do meet during the action sequences, it looks as though the effects were made with the cheapest tools available. That may have been on purpose, but it looks absolutely terrible.
As far as the story is concerned, it tries to stick to a buddy cop action-comedy sort of feel as the lonely title character Honey teams up with the lonely detective Natsuko to try to bring down Panther Claw, the secret organization led by Sister Jill that is trying way too hard to be camp. They are after the device on Honey’s choker that allows her to transform into Cutey Honey so they can continue to do bad guy things.
The biggest problems begin with how Natsuko is wasted as a character. She’s there just for moral support at the end. What can she do when her new friend is capable of melting people. Then being a comedy, the jokes being made about the unintentional comedy should not be funnier than anything happening. Seiji, as a journalist, should not have a fancy apartment and drive a TVR. He should be dirt-poor and covering up the water damage on the ceiling of his top-floor apartment with newspaper and not living the high life (drinking it is no problem though). As for a recommendation, just watch Shoot ‘Em Up instead.