The Return of the Recap 39

Cosplayer A and Cosplayer B (yuri scene not used)

With a screenshot like this, it’s a shame Photo Kano had to disappoint this week.

The idea of passion was on my mind this week as I was reading posts on Valvrave of all things. Flawfinder in his post on the episode, really couldn’t be bothered with something that hadn’t earned the right to do a rape scene. It’s all pandering to fans and that sort of thing. The discussion on Twitter took a turn to the classic moral quandry of a series that is Yosuga no Sora since that also had a rape scene in it as well. I really wanted to say that it didn’t handle it badly, but I didn’t think it would find much of an audience. I think it feels like there is just little desire on my part to try to make any sort of passionate argument, so I think of making fence-sitting contrarian crap arguments instead.

So I’m going to try to be different in this week’s recap. Tell me if I fail in the comments to be passionate in my views on any of this week’s entries.

Currently Airing Top 5

Buy low you fool.

Otohime’s investments are at the center of every great economic collapse of the last century.

Muromi-san

Truth be told, I didn’t actually laugh at all during this episode. There’s biting social commentary throughout this episode. The story at the beginning of the episode involving the convenience store worker Masuda is a case in point.

Here’s a man with a dream that he is going to have to put on hold never to pursue. He wants to be a comedian, but he’s stuck as a convenience store clerk who is good enough to be promoted to store manager. So maybe he’s found his way in life in a low paying job, when he then finds out that his unemployed 30-year-old girlfriend is pregnant. His life is hell and his plan B in life now involves cleaning up after mermaids and their friends after they decide to drink outside of his store.

That’s really what this episode is about, what people have to do when the thing they really wanted to do with their life doesn’t pan out. Otohime is at the center of this episode. Her casino/hedonistic enterprise at the bottom of the sea went bankrupt, she lost what she had left when Lehman Brothers went down the toilet. So her new dream of being able to return to the sea with pride in tact is gone. She now has to work multiple jobs trying to make a living.

There’s also a sentimental edge to this episode as well with Levia, Takurou and Muromi all interacting with Otohime. She says the day she gives up on returning is the day she disappears. Levia’s reply is a request to be told when that day is. It does feel like a cry for help from Otohime, but the message is so complex that it goes over Takurou’s head.

The scene that plays out as the end credits roll is fantastic as well. Levia, Takurou, Otohime and Muromi all drinking and eating in a parking lot with Muromi, the enthusiastic mermaid trying to convince Otohime of the cruel state of modern markets. All the while they are having the fun that three of them used to have at Ryuuguujou. It isn’t the place that they were all yearning to return to, but the people. They don’t want Otohime to return to the sea because she’s a failure, but because they want to help her as a friend.

Now that the serious bit of the series is over, I think next week it’s a Fuji episode. Yeah…

Even Yui can laugh at Yuzu sometimes.

That reaction face…

Yuyushiki

This series which begins with a premise of three girls looking around at stuff on the internet has turned out to be one of the year’s few gems to date. Last season’s GJ-bu would have been an excellent candidate to fill the “cute girls doing cute things” series of the year, but it’s been completely blown away by this trio and their club that doesn’t seem to do much.

Yuyushiki’s best episode to date focuses almost entirely on the trio of Yuzuko, Yukari and Yui and their club advisor Yoriko, better known to everyone as Mom. Typically, Yukari will set up a gag with Yuzu and Yui go on their boke/tsukkomi routine. The role of Yoriko is to serve as the outsider who quickly gets lost in the pace of the other three.

What made this week special was simply the strike rate at which the jokes worked. Yuzu coming up with jokes, acting like a slightly grown up Yotsuba from Yotsuba&!, drawing Mom-sensei into the visual gag with the wrestler in the bath, the eye catch in the middle of the episode after one of Yukari’s statements of love, the comic strip gags (all of them), Yui always being there to try to shut down Yuzu to little effect, then being drawn into Yuzu’s mood herself. None of this would work if you didn’t believe these characters were truly friends. None of this would work if the audience didn’t think that these jokes could not come from these girls. Also, the exclusion of the other trio has thankfully reduced the lewdness of some of the jokes as well.

Ashiya should go to the hospital.

Unfortunately, this series seems to be going down the same path as Ashiya’s bowels.

Hataraku Maou-sama

This episode will be remembered most for Chiho’s full-blooded defense of Maou as a person. She urges Suzuno to just let Maou live his life which is essentially what Emi says she is doing at the time. That appeal falls on deaf ears in the end, but Chiho’s argument was interesting for to me for the simple reason that it is an argument that Maou is only being targeted for being a loser.

He brought great pain on all of humanity in Ente Isla, but was chased to Earth by Emi. So it looks like a pretty open and shut case that Maou is evil and should be punished regardless of his good activity on Earth. But what if it isn’t as straightforward as that? We know Yang Wen-li and Reinhard von Lohengramm in Legend of the Galactic Heroes each were responsible for untold numbers of dead in their battles. Yet because we know the reason each of them did it, there’s not much of an issue.

All we know is that Maou and his subordinates were responsible for killing a bunch of humans. As Suzuno’s flashback illustrated, the Church that she and Emi were fighting for is just as capable of killing people as well. To date, Chiho’s appeal is the first real question that is being asked of what exactly happened in the buildup to that final battle on Ente Isla. Was there a larger cause that Maou was fighting for? Is the Church really the true evil in both worlds? There’s not enough on which to condemn Maou on what happened in Ente Isla other than the fact he lost. Maybe that’s good enough for some out there.

oreimo25a

Oreimo.

This screenshot pretty much captures everything about this silly episode. Kuroneko is fine with incest. Let me repeat. Kuroneko is fine with incest.

Disturbing, if nice on the eyes.

Wakatsuki-sensei only rolls in school uniforms.

Aiura

To be honest, it sometimes doesn’t take all that much to make my top 5 episodes of the week. Aiura makes it for only the 2nd time for doing two jokes in its two minutes very well.

The character of Misuzu attempts to work on a level that for as much as she is a teacher, she looks, acts and completely plays the part of a high school student. This being the second time that her appearance has come up in being scolded by Matsuno that her mind makes completely illogical leaps like a young girl’s would. So a simple request to wear normal looking clothing and his compromise of wearing a lab coat earlier transforms into a perverted request to wear just the lab coat. It’s simple character comedy, but it worked here.

Now the other joke is Kanaka running around trying to get people to guess who she is. This doesn’t really work at all to be honest since she clearly tries to act the part of a happy high school girl while performing something that is done by kids half her age. So if a show can do one thing really well, it has a good chance of making my Anime Power Ranking ballot.

The Rest of the Week

This week's Origami picture isn't as extravagant as last, but it's mandatory this season.

This week’s Origami picture isn’t as extravagant as last, but it’s mandatory this season.

6. Oregairu – As fun as it was to see Hachiman go off on the rest of that committee, the rest of the episode really didn’t have much to offer.
7. Nyaruko-san – Didn’t they do this exact episode earlier in the season?
8. Gargantia – Better than last week, but obviously heading to one of those robots hitting each other endings.
9. Date A Live – Completely unremarkable for being the penultimate episode.
10. Hayate Cuties – Kayura made to be the most Nagi-clone character there is, poor Chiharu is wasted.
11. Photo Kano – The most disappointing episode to date, a complete non-event really.

Updated Seasonal Average Episode Ranking

  Season Rank Overall Rank
Yuyushiki 1 1
Hataraku Maou-sama 2 2
Suisei no Gargantia 3 5
Photokano 4 7
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W 5 9
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san 6 13
Date A Live 7 15
Oreimo. 8 16
Oregairu 9 19
Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties 10 20
Aiura 11 24
Attack on Titan (dropped) 12 26
Space Brothers (dropped) - 10

Terribad

So it's not this movie?

So it’s not this movie?

Independence Day Planzet

Aliens in a giant spacecraft hovering over Earth dispatch other smaller city sized ships with giant lazers that also have smaller versions for fighting humans in this week’s terribad. Media Factory’s inadvertent homage to that classic piece of 90s cinema Independence Day looks pretty good for a completely CG animated film. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to watch the real Independence Day as I was watching this.

The flow of the movie is one of rapidly altering between humanity being doomed and a new superweapon being unveiled to save humanity only to have humanity doomed again and so on. The protagonist of this film, Taishi, has to deal with a meddlesome younger sister, a mecha pilot all-star team that consists of himself, a bro-con girl who sucks as a sniper and an alcoholic like Randy Quade in…Independence Day as well as a base commander who is suicidal and wants to roll the dice on saving the world with one shot of a D-Cannon.

"Hello boys. I'm back!!"

“Hello boys. I’m back!!”

If that sentence seemed to run on a bit, that’s pretty much how you would feel watching this. Rarely in this movie is there a moment where the characters aren’t talking about the plot to each other. While they are going through Basil Exposition moments they also come up with acronyms that make no sense. That “D” in D-Cannon comes from an acronym that has no words that begin with the letter “d.” The only good performance from Yara Yuusaku with a mailed-in narration that must have paid him a decent chunk of change.

So in conclusion, this is the perfect film for the terribad completionist. If you want a complete mess of a plot filled with numerous deus ex machinas as possible, then this is your film. If you want the good version of it, just watch Independence Day. Jeff Goldblum and his homebrew virus to the rescue and so on.

Time of First Female Nudity: None
Rating: 27.2 out of 100

3 thoughts on “The Return of the Recap 39

  1. Well, personally I think it’s a shame you didn’t like this episode of Photo Kano. :) I thought it really was the best story that we’ve gotten, although like I wrote, mostly because of it’s ordinariness. But then, I think we don’t get enough tales of ordinary people falling in love ‘normally’. And that’s something I think needs to be celebrated also, not just ‘special’ ways of falling in love. To me, it made for compelling TV (and I’ve watched this episode two extra times over what I usually do for blogging) and just made me feel good.

    • I think this story was well executed, but terribly unremarkable. I tend to rate ambitious failures ahead of episodes like that. I didn’t hate the episode as much as it didn’t give me a reason to love it.

      • Ah, I figure I found the remarkableness in its unremarkableness. In contrast to so many other anime romance stories that seemed to require a gimmick (or blackmail, in the case of some of PK) . Perhaps it’s the same quality I found in the “Dinner” episode of Otona Joshi no Anime Time, which I thought was also excellent for it’s depiction of ‘ordinariness’. Perhaps if there were more stories like that, just showing normal people doing normal things, I would enjoy individual ones less, but as they feel like such a rarity compared to the stories where things happen that would never (and frequently could never) actually happen, to me that’s what makes them remarkable. Especially when they’re as well executed as this was.

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