It was one of those so-so sort of weeks here in this part of the world. Actually, for certain people from this part of the world, it was a massive week. However, for me, personally, nothing of note. Anyway, it’s on to another one of my weekly recaps where my mountain of factual errors, ridiculous opinions and a general lack of taste serve as the source of entertainment…I think. So on with what I watched.
Currently Airing Top 5
Humanity Has Declined
This is a rather interesting episode to look at for people who like to analyze government and politics. What is basically encapsulated in this episode is the rise and fall of a fairy nation ruled by Watashi as queen. There are a number of ways that one can look at how this all transpired.
I tend to view it as the grand culmination of a governing style that can be described as half-assed central planning. Watashi basically rules as queen by catering to everyone’s immediate desires. So her own comfort, then the comfort of her citizens came next followed by convenient advances in technology that allowed them her to be more uncomfortable and all without paying the slightest bit of attention to making it all work for longer than a week.. Of course it all ends in tears as the island they all inhabited was destroyed. It wasn’t anyone’s fault in particular, rather it was everyone’s fault for having absolutely no long-term thoughts. There’s an obvious environmental message in there as well, but as this is a show about humanity declining, I think it’s right that the fairies got to experience the same thing.
This was a surprisingly touching episode where some of the relationships that have been driving a couple of the plot lines are reinterpreted. The angle between Haruka and Ryuuta was changed from the standpoint that while it still feels like she is being forced into a marriage, that it is more about her own inability to stand firm on how she feels. She really had not decided one way or another on how she felt. However, the level of protection that Ryuuta seems to insist on having for her is over the top.
Marie and Sawaki continued their conversation in a variety of places. The issue with the latter, extracted after drinking several bottles of wine (then driving?!) is that she doesn’t want to interfere with her father in running the vineyards. This despite the fact that she knows what to do more than her father does. It’s always the simple conversations between parents and their children that can make a world of difference, yet never seem to happen.
This week’s episode we finally figure out who won the game of janken, Serika and Nitta. Which left Mutta out in the cold wondering if he would get one of the 2 wild card spots that were left available following the last test. It hit me during the middle of this episode that what this entire show has been about is a drawn out search for a job following unemployment. It’s disappointing for those who fail to get the job, but they are able to move on to the next opportunity, like Fukuda and Furuya. Mutta, on the other hand, is constantly caught in thinking about what he should do next or whether to get his hopes up over going to Houston.
Even worse is the thought that he’s competing with Kenji for a single spot. It feels like a situation I’ve been in myself. Sometimes it’s the hope that feels the worst. Fortunately for Mutta, he does get the good news he was hoping for. As for Kenji, Mutta isn’t going to duck out of trying to console him.
The last 2 episodes have been all about developing the relationship between Hotarou and Chitanda. This episode takes place entirely in the club room, and but for one line from the PA system, the dialogue is entirely between the two of them. Essentially, the episode is the same as last week. One line from someone else, is over-analyzed to within an inch of its life to find the truth.
This week, Hotarou used his skills from the announcement to uncover a connection to a counterfeiting scheme. It’s something that’s hardly believable for a bored high school student to come up with from the information given. Yet, like Chitanda expresses toward the end of the episode, that is hardly the important part. It’s really about the path and the imagination needed to come up with the story Hotarou tells.
The storyline involving Date Masamune is revisited as the detective who originally captured her must once again chase her down. He’s been assigned to a department who’s purpose is to contain the damage done by the Sengoku generals who have been incorporated into society. However, in his heart he knows that as a group they have done nothing but good in the world.
His role in this episode is really one of deception. He’s accompanied on his mission to track down Masamune by Katakura Kojuurou. In reality, his goal is to reunite the pair of them and letting them get away from the authorities. It’s also about teaching Kojuurou not to be so cold to the rest of the world. The plot plays out in a typical way a story involving a staged death would. When the big reveals came, it still felt genuine. The detective, Higurashi, probably less so. I can’t see how someone so cynical about his job could be given that much responsibility personally. He seems to idealistic to be where he is.
The Rest of the Week
I’ve been pretty critical of this show in the past. Probably a bit too harsh. Or maybe this was just a bad week where this seemed good by comparison. Anyway, it’s an Eclair episode this week. Our tsundere knight has to be pushed to the absolute limit to finally admit her feelings for her friends and Cinque. It’s not that complex an episode, but the secondary characters really stood out. It continued on from what I liked in last week’s episode, the conversations about love between the other characters, and built on it with more being drawn in.
A fairly tame episode until the end this week. Taichi once again managed to get everyone, bar Inaba reconciled prior to the class trip. The only real moment of desires being unleashed was in the club room with a gigantic mountain of food. Fulfilling oneself would be near the top of basic human desire anyway.
As for the ending, Heartseed once again felt that he had to try to spice things up, and good thing too. Inaba was clearly trying to loophole her way through this story arc by doing just enough to not isolate herself, and keeping social interaction to a minimum. As the projection of the audience, that simply doesn’t work. We all know that she likes Taichi and that she also wants to keep the club together at the same time. So yes, she is going to have to risk the latter in order to go for the former for our own entertainment.
Rinne no Lagrange
Another filler episode this week from Lagrange. There is a message about trying to adapt to a peaceful society. As Kamogawa has inexplicably become the most famous city on Earth, there’s a big festival in the city that takes on special significance on this occasion. Also, the Jersey Club has to be saved by becoming a legitimate club and adding a member. However, that member, a clumsy girl named Reiko, really just wanted to pilot a robot. That part was rather tedious. They could have skipped to the end where Moid decided to advance the plot on his own.
The Updated APR Seasonal Rankings
|Season Rank||Year Rank||Change||Anime|
|1||2||–||Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita|
|4||11||–||Rinne no Lagrange|
|6||17||↓2||Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate|
Mysterious Girlfriend X
It didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t very emotionally invested in these characters. It just felt that I was watching a story written where everyone was pretending to be lovers. The dramatic high point of this OVA was Akira freeing Mikoto in a perverted way only the two of them could contrive. There’s fairly little happening otherwise, and it’s probably worth a watch for fans of the series. For everyone else, it can be easily skipped. (62.39/100)
Golgo 13: The Professional
As kadian recently returned from a trip to Japan, and because he felt the need to respond to my plea for something to watch, he recommended I watch this classic example of 1980s animation. I came away thinking that there were elements that were catastrophically bad, troubling and pretty good all in the same movie.
As far as the plot is concerned, it’s laughably bad. Our hero, Duke Togo, or Golgo 13 to everyone after him, assassinates the son of industrial magnate Leonard Dawson. The rest of the movie turns into one giant quest for revenge as Dawson sends wave after wave of men after Golgo 13. All the while, Duke continues his normal routine of fulfilling assassination requests and having sex with any woman who talks to him.
One can’t help but think that this movie would be horribly sexist, but it went beyond what I expected. Dawson decided to allow one of his henchman to rape his daughter-in-law as payment for his revenge quest. That scene was rather uncomfortable and entirely unnecessary. It was as though the makers took pleasure at depicting a proud woman being destroyed. It was even worse as in the film’s epilogue, she had turned to prostitution having also abandoned her daughter.
The movie still has its moments. There’s the CG helicopters which while advanced for the time this was released (1983) look catastrophically bad. Especially as one ends up crashing into the building in the movie’s buildup. There’s the building up of the assassins nicknamed Gold and Silver who are dispatched easily by Golgo 13. The car chase scenes in the middle look completely cartoonish. And even the reveal behind the original assassination is laughably bad enough to make this whole movie rather silly. That said, it was pretty cool when Golgo killed Dawson before he hit the ground in a suicide attempt.
It’s definitely worth a watch if you like mindless action that is set piece after set piece of violence followed by sex followed by more violence and explosions. If you desire something deeper, you probably would have purged Golgo 13 from your thoughts already. (70.85/100)
Why must every single one of these involving China or Chinese people be so horribly stereotypical beyond belief? Anyway, this week’s terribad watch was among the more humorous to watch ironically. Although I may be basing that on the fact that a character blows up a tank with his fist after citing Tienanman Square and that the climax involves destroying a dragon that turns into a giant Mao Zedong.
The basic story of this travesty is that the Great Emperor’s grave is unearthed which releases a curse that can only be stopped by three people coming together. That would be the aforementioned Shin, who is really a light version of Kenshiro from Hokuto no Ken, Mizuho, who had an unrequited love with Shin in a former life and does nothing in this apart from have sex with him and wear as little clothing as the scene requires and Ryuko, who brings them together and likes to reenact various scenes from Eyes Wide Shut.
It’s a pretty much by the numbers bad anime OVA. Basically there is lots of fighting between our cast and various hoards who are as Red as the blood that explodes out of them whenever they are hit by a protagonist. When that gets boring toward the end, everyone gets superpowers that had never been hinted at before and it all became rather silly as I hinted at before. Also that sex scene between Shin and Mizuho, it’s pretty much softcore hentai and completely unnecessary after a certain point. That’s going to make you all want to watch it, isn’t it? (22.8/100)