What I Watched the Week of August 4

In a quest to further distract me from posting decent content here, the football is back on. At least one Belgian decided that the sport is actually a comedy.

In light of the fact that there still is no Koichoco for another week, I have to submit you to another one of these weekly recap posts. Hopefully that should go away once the corporate sponsorship orgy taking place in the British capital finishes up and everything returns to normal. So to kick this off, I did not watch anything beyond the currently airing, and terribad was a very special live-action movie called Ninja Terminator. Thanks to Shinmaru for the recommendation on that.

Power Ranking Top 5

Yui proves that it is actually possible to break a Japanese table.

Kokoro Connect

Taking top spot this week was Kokoro Connect which changed up what the mischievous Heartseed is doing to the cast by having them act on their deepest desires. It’s a quite interesting subject to take on for a show like this. The way Taichi is used in this arc will be important as well, since one has to wonder what it is that the Yuji Everylead truly desires.

Somehow, I don’t think this would actually stop Taichi if he really wanted to act.

As far as the relationships between the cast are concerned, Inaba and Yui are most definitely fighting over Taichi from base desire. Iori’s relationship with him still remains governed by reason from her perspective. While the little of Taichi’s feelings this episode seemed to be about control over Iori. As far as the very notable scene of Inaba, what I liked was the explanation later that she probably would have stopped herself because she had no experience so wouldn’t have an idea what to do because it’s both highly dubious and believable at the same time.

Where this could also get interesting is relations with the rest of society. As someone who studied political theory back in the day, I now see a group of people who are no longer bound by social contracts. Acting as though they are in the state of nature, this really becomes a show about who these characters are at the most basic level. Without the years of socialization which shaped their personalities, are any of them governed by reason, or will their lives turn out to be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” That quote from Hobbes is a good reason why Heartseed has no problem with them going into hiding.

Serika is watching a man run like he stole something using the power of multiplication.

Space Brothers

This week’s episode was really an examination of judging people and what is fair. The principle thing I got out of this episode is that all of the characters in Mutta’s team have been deemed worthy of becoming astronauts. Mutta undoubtedly put himself over the top with his display of concentration on the treadmill. However, as fair as coming up with an objective standard like the members of the B team and Yasushi want to use to judge. It falls apart when all are qualified.

So Mutta’s solution to this was to decide via janken. On the face of it, it is the fairest way to decide between equals. However, there is a cruelty to the fact that people’s lives may be shaped by one moment of luck. Yet, that is generally how this series has gone about developing it’s story lines. Mutta’s luck has taken him to this stage despite the headbutt to his boss and through having the fortune to end up on US TV by an improbable series of events.

And there’s your social commentary for the week from Jintai.

Humanity Has Declined

In this week’s conclusion to the arc, the character of Pion and newcomer Oyage were revealed to be personifications of the probes Pioneer and Voyager. The primary message I got out of this revelation was that it somehow made Earth special. It may have gone irreversibly backwards, the people might be narcissistic as hell building the Human Monument and there may be strange fairies going around areas without electricity, but there is a warmth to it that does not exist in space.

I think it could be said that those two probes could represent the pinnacle of human exploration and that it’s been downhill ever since. Yet, I don’t think they quite went about it the right way if that was the criticism that was being made. The story simply wasn’t serious enough to pull that off.

There’s a very good reason for this…I think.

Moyashimon Returns

In some ways this was a return to form for the series. It was pretty obvious the moment when there was a fight to determine if an associate professor could become a full professor by going up against a robot. Add to it cosplay, dodgy misleading sake and an moral heart that is all about getting Sawaki out to France to rescue Haruka made this the best episode of the series so far.

This is some form of shipping, right?

Rinne no Lagrange

Just as Kokoro Connect goes away from the body swapping, Lagrangejumps straight back in to it. This was actually an episode with simultaneous rescue missions going on and plenty of deceit. Madoka was trying to rescue Yurikano from the clutches of Dizel, then from her own mind, not knowing the Dizel fully intended for Madoka to be stuck in an empty shell of a body permanently. On the other hand, Lan appeared to betray Muginami again, but after putting on the worst on-screen performance in addressing an audience in living memory, she stalled long enough for Muginami to reach Madoka.

Unfortunately, I remain bothered by the creators need to stuff in unnecessary fanservice at times here. The episode was good enough without it.

The Rest of the Week

It was all an act, now go home.

Sengoku Collection

The main story came back into focus in this week’s episode. But one could hardly tell it because it was hidden underneath one of those story within a play within a dream type of stories. The primary storyline is probably the weakest portion of this show.

Clearly Chitanda doesn’t see Hotarou as a man, merely a way to satisfy curiosities.

Hyouka

More Satoshi trying to be a hero, and Hotarou’s sister intervenes in the story to effectively solve the case for them. Everything works out if you’re a pirate have a sister who seems to hold the key to everything in this series.

Nanami covered his eyes so well they disappeared.

Dog Days’

Serious, what is this show trying to be now. The fact that it seems to be caught in this strange area where it appeals to children with the human cast, but at the same time decides to make them superior to the rulers of the 3 nations featured in spirit, while ramping up the amount of clothes disappearing each week is troubling. The moral inconsistency at the heart of this series is astounding.

Emperor J’s Updated Average of Anime Power Ranking Ballots

Season Rank Year Rank Change Anime
1 2 ↑1 Kokoro Connect
2 3 ↓1 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
3 8 ↓1 Sengoku Collection
4 10 Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
5 11 Moyashimon Returns
6 13 Rinne no Lagrange
7 18 ↑2 Uchuu Kyoudai
8 24 ↓1 Hyouka
9 Dog Days’

4 thoughts on “What I Watched the Week of August 4”

  1. I need to check to rest of Godfrey Ho’s oeuvre to see if he made anything approaching Ninja Terminator. I’ve watched Undefeatable (amazing, but way too much of a budget to be on NT’s level) and Ninja Dragon (half-boring and half-hilarious, although it does feature Richard Harrison as an international banker/ninja) so far … wonder what else I could find in the bowels of the Internet.

    1. I think you could just stick to Richard Harrison movies with the word Ninja in the title and be fine. I’d imagine they are all about the same quality.

  2. I think this arc of Kokoro Connect has the potential to be even better than the previous one. If Iori seemed the most fragile one last time around, I think it’s Inaba that’s in danger here. How Taichi’s deepest desires reveal themselves will be interesting indeed. Will he put all the girls in a special wrestling move?

    1. The thing I worry about is that it somehow makes Taichi into too good a person again. I don’t think you will see Taichi going after Inaba in the same way that she did in this episode.

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