Now it is almost the holidays, and that means stuff like preparing my body for the amount of alcohol that will be ingested come Tuesday and then having to recover for work on the Wednesday. Oh how I wished we celebrated Boxing Day here. Alright, the family isn’t that bad, but for dramatic effect I had to put it that way.
So for the anime this week (that is what you read it/find the images in GIS for, right?), the season is just about to wrap up. That doesn’t mean a lot for several of the shows that I am watching now, but I did ultimately finish off four shows.
Currently Airing Top 5
This series begins to turn the corner in a good way. Most of the entertainment is provided by the interactions between Frau and Kojiro with some Airi thrown in. The grand conspiracy at the heart of the show is beginning to take place. The 3rd Kimijima Report sounded more like abstract fiction, then the deaths of the top Killballad players coincided with the release of production renderings of the last episode of Gunvarrel which matched with what was happening in the report. Aki is digging in too deep for others’ liking as this series begins to move to an interesting place.
For the penultimate episode, this was an incredibly well done transitional episode. Jonah decides to flee Koko’s team and is picked up by Kasper. He then spends most of the rest of the episode working with him to try to forget about the moral dilemma he had to deal with. At the same time, a now isolated Lehm was in a brilliant scene with the rest of Koko’s team which showed that he was completely isolated. The rest of them happily accepted their place as Koko’s tools for her vision of world peace and only he questions what will happen. Also, Bookman’s adventure in North Africa really showed how much power her quantum computer really had. The one person close to unraveling that extent had his career destroyed at the end of the episode. How will this end next week?
To Love-Ru Darkness
It’s another episode of trying to humanize Mea, and it actually largely succeeds. And for once, it actually uses the excessive fanservice to make a point. Yami and Tearju had their big meeting where each of them was glad they were still alive. This transitioned to Nana doing something kind for the only friend she has at school before the final confrontation. The intervention of the series standard vague tentacle plant was pretty much unneeded, but it set the scene for a conversation between Mea and the others about how people can change. She sees herself as a weapon and not much else, but they want her to live like a normal person. However, to make her point that it isn’t easy to change someone’s heart she demands Yuuki do something perverted on purpose to her. His refusal makes her point for them. There’s still a long way to go, yet next week is the final episode. I guess it’s all dependent on sales from here on whether there’s more.
Sukitte Ii na yo
Watching this after To Love-Ru made this seem very much worse by comparison. The main plot element is Megumi’s instant recovery from her depression thanks to Yamato’s appearance in front of her apartment and her friend being there for her. Suddenly she wants to live an honest life with true friendships. That’s admirable of course, but the change was way too fast to be believable. The second half was a nice bit of Yamato and Mei summer festival interaction. It just feels settled between the pair of them now. But back to Megumi, the simple fact that she’s getting paired with Kai in the last couple of episodes makes me question what the point of his confessing to Mei was.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Sorata’s journey of personal discovery continued this week as he tried to discover what it was that would stir his heart. At the same time, we found out more about Jin. The fact that he tried dating Misaki’s older sister as a way to distance himself from her was pretty interesting. His playboy act is really just a way of trying not to admit his own feelings. The next step of that is going to study in Osaka. However, Misaki has absolutely no problems with this. With time running out as Mashiro may be heading back to England, Sorata finally found something within him to make the Nyaboron project interesting. What is it about school festival arcs suddenly becoming the turning point of a series now?
The Rest of the Week
Zetsuen no Tempest
Hakaze is finally back in the present thanks to the fortune of having a missile all onto the island. However, that is but the beginning of the story as the trees of Genesis and Exodus begin to destroy the world. Also, having conveniently done their job of rescuing Hakaze, Mahiro and Yoshino are seemingly killed off by flying gardening debris. Alright, it’s a bit contrived to force Samon and Hakaze to use resources meant to stop the destruction of the world on saving them, but some dramatic tension was needed. Eventually, they are going to have to get to the root of why Aika is the main link between all of these events.
A feeling of unease washed over this episode. The mystery behind Nishizono still hasn’t been resolved, but that’s not the important part. It’s really about the jokes more than the story at this point. Nishizono’s attempt at shipping the male members of the Little Busters together was alright. The lame poetry got laughs out of me just for how stupid the ending of the team created one was. But now the story moves forward, and we have to find out who the girl who looks like a happy Nishizono is. Time for some of Jun Maeda’s Emotional Manipulation™.
Hayate no Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
For a final episode, I can’t say this episode was particularly bad. Sure, Nagi’s father sacrificed himself to save his daughter. Dolly had to finally accept that her beloved had died and yeah that was about it as far as the plot. It was largely a generic final battle episode, which is fitting for a show that never seemed to have a purpose. Trying to introduce new fans to the series is perfectly acceptable, but the minimum starting point for knowing who most of the characters were was extensively reading the manga. There were a few moments, last week’s episode was good as well as the scene in the restaurant where they were trying to get out of paying. But it was never enough to make this feel like it was anything apart from getting money out of Hayate fans. (62.39)
This week, Mutta got to experience the rigors of a press conference followed by the slow realization that he was now an astronaut. As far as Space Bros episodes go, this was truly a throwaway episode. The focus was largely on the characters who were with Mutta in the capsule arc. The emails sent by Furuya were a nice touch, even the picture he sent. However, much like Kitamura in this episode it will largely be forgotten. Next week sees the dramatic incident involving Hibito. So expect this next arc to play out with lots of childhood flashbacks if anyone else is still watching.
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!
And finally they got the title into a line at the very end of the episode. Anyway, this was about as boring of a final episode as I could think of. The stuff in the woods ends up being a bunch of cats. Plus Nasuhara’s back story wasn’t really all that spectacular to begin with. For someone so fun to watch in the series it was a real let down. The episode then transitioned to a sleepover with Akito’s editor invited. All that really happened was Arisa’s habit of getting undressed while she slept, therefore leading the rest to temporarily compete, etc. where Nasuhara’s no panty problem was discovered by all. Finally, the episode ends with Akiko trying to get closer to Akito, but failing miserably. So for those scoring at home, all relationships remain exactly where they were when the series began. (65.9/100)
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
There are bad final episodes, and final episodes that are bad but think they are amazing. This was definitely the latter. Kumin acting like Rikka really got the ball rolling downhill as needing characters to act unbelievably wacky to move the plot is hardly ever a good thing. That was followed by a tearful reunion between Rikka and Yuuta and after some back story on how Rikka decided to turn to delusion there was an unbelievably pretentious monologue to wrap things up. That explanation of how she became a chuunibyou really bothered me though. It was just the fact that in order to deal with the loss of dealing with her father, she turned to falling in love with Yuuta. Because there are only two different emotions in this series, love and crippling depression I can’t rate this too highly. However, it did look pretty while being average. (65.72/100)
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
The production committee clearly ran out of money during the making of this episode. It all looked rather cheap. Fortunately, the episode had already been written and the voice actors paid to voice lines because that is what held most of this episode together. It was well timed with it being a New Year’s episode to wrap things up, though. It means sparing a plot for now as the next edition would have to deal with exams, new characters and Sae and Hiro’s departure. That would prove incredibly unpopular after all. It was a cheap ending to be honest. (66/100)
File this under the category “Series Destroying Pretentious.” I was astonished to see that this episode got rave reviews in most places. It’s kind of like being the last person to realize that Sword Art Online isn’t very good. There’s just been so much building up to this point that I’m so close to dropping it. Mainly, the big revelation in this episode renders the entire world as it was constructed meaningless. It’s basically back to a simple story of someone above the law having to fight honest police officers. You could have set this story in I don’t know, late 1980s New York with a pair of buddy cops and had it work the same. But then the conclusion also made me think of Urobuchi as a writer in this as well as Madoka. The fact that there is a commonality of innocent girls being put into situations where they are put through an emotional meat grinder and then failing over and over again. Then also compare the deaths between women and men in this series. For men, fairly short and painless with no emotional component. For women, drawn out, emotionally manipulated and painful deaths. God that ending was painful to watch.
Updated Fall Average Seasonal Ranking
|Season Rank||Year Rank||Change||Anime|
|1||3||↓1||Sukitte Ii na yo|
|4||17||↓1||Zetsuen no Tempest|
|5||18||–||Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo|
|8||29||–||Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You|
|9||30||–||Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai|
|10||31||↑6||To Love-Ru Darkness|
|11||34||↓1||Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2|
|12||35||↓1||Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb|
|14||40||–||Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!!|
The World God Only Knows: Tenri-hen
What a delight it was to finish off this short OVA as a third season approaches in 2013. A new character appears in what is the closest Keima had to a childhood friend in a silent girl named Tenri. She happens to be inhabited by a goddess named Diana which confuses the other shinigami after a spirit in the area. The OVA plays out as part chase and part back story. There’s the usual ridiculousness with Kaminomi in play with the back story as it involved trawling through a cave with the light provided by a supply of 100 Game Gears. I can tell you from experience the weight in batteries would have proved too much for most people to do that. However, it was enough to make me care about Keima, Tenri and Diana. It also sets the story up perfectly, and it was entertaining in the process. (80.9/100)