Surprisingly, or maybe not, it’s actually really hard to find pictures of some characters from Photo Kano that aren’t perverted. That above was the best I could do with a few minutes effort from a certain popular Japan-based artist’s hub. It wasn’t a particularly different week or interesting week, rather I’d think of it as just another week in the middle of the season. That didn’t mean there were no standout episodes, there were 2 of those this week, but the spring season is turning into a bit of a letdown.
Also, a bit of news. Next week I will be blending into the scenery at various locations in downtown Boston, so I will not be doing the recap. Also the Maou-sama post will be delayed if I post it at all. No repeats of the 3-state Koichoco post from last year.
Currently Airing Top 5
I’ve learned a hell of a lot about how this series was put together and in many ways is similar to my favorite series of 2012, Sengoku Collection. It takes a bunch of talent to do an episode or two as guests all while building on the basic Photo Kano story. This week’s episode was storyboarded by Yuasa Masaaki (Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy, many others of that ilk), and his work is only obvious on Hikari’s flashback to her losing friends when she was younger. You could say the storyboard was so good they could give it to debutant episode director Machida Koichi and it would work. I doubt the process was like that since they surely collaborated on this episode.
So about the episode itself, it’s the omnibus format at it’s most simple. Hikari is the girl of the week with a complex about having friends and smiling. Kazuya in his determination to get a picture of her smiling does a bunch of funny stuff in trying to get her to take a picture of a person. Much like an arc of Amagami, he succeeds and there’s not even a perverted element here unlike last week. Well, maybe the post-success photo shoot counts, but you would have to be looking for it. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it this season’s Sencolle, but I think this series has come on strong.
This show continues to be my surprise of the season. I didn’t think I was one for this type of show, but the characters work off each other so well that I can’t help but like it. So I can’t tell you much about what happened for story in this episode apart from the trip to Mom-sensei’s place and Aikawa’s friends trying to stop friendship NTR from Yui, Chemistry between characters and keeping the structure simple have led to this show being quite successful in my mind.
This series is at its best when it is trying to make Ledo experience new things. While there was plenty of that in this episode, there was a bit too much of his past for my liking. His suffering from PTSD when looking at the octopus really betrays a character who seemed bored of battle in the first episode. When he is fighting, I just lose interest in his character or what the fight is about. When he is watching the belly dancing of Amy and doesn’t understand what he is feeling, then this show is much better. This is supposed to be a show about a fish out of water trying to find his way in new surroundings and his purpose in a new labor market. I just don’t think it works as well as a story of a traumatized war veteran unable to escape the past.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
The conclusion to the Kuuko wanting to be Mahiro’s wife arc came this week in a rather silly way. Get Kuune to fall asleep in the separate dimension they were using for spare rooms, then throw the key away. Anyway, the important and best part of this episode was the scene in Mahiro’s bedroom where Nyaruko pinned him down trying to get an answer from him. He’s an indecisive character, reluctant to go down any route like a normal harem lead. But it’s really more understandable considering they are Lovecraftian alien monsters in moe form. Nyaruko steals this episode by pulling off the being depressed about Mahiro not making a move and trying to push him at the same time. It goes nowhere in the end, but it feels like it did at the same time.
Date A Live
The final spirit is introduces in Tokisaki Kurumi. She can’t be killed apparently as Shido’s newly introduced younger sister manages to kill her again, but she’s back in school the next day. Kurumi’s also different from the others as she’s actively going after Shido instead of having to be seduced like the others. Kurumi is actually a breathe of fresh air in this series as there is finally a sense of drama introduced by her presence. She’s different from every other character, and she’s more dangerous on the surface than anyone else. I can’t say the same about Mana since she just seems like Token Little Sister #2. So more action and suspense in this harem series ahead, and that’s a good thing.
The Rest of the Week
The screams of fans everywhere means that there is finally a winner in the pointless contest of which girl wins. Kuroneko’s confession is successful after a brief waiting period, so now it’s about trying to figure out how to be a couple. In the process, it’s sort of destroyed what’s left of the story. It’s just going to peter out as none of the other ships matter anymore. Trying to be an exploration of high school romance in an innocent way has already proven to be far beyond what this series is capable of, but it’s going to try to go for it anyway. Prepare for boredom and failure.
I am really having problems with the writing in this series. It’s really and ridiculous pretentious whenever you get the characters into a group and talking. It turns into dialogue that would make sense for characters in their 30s, but they are supposed to be 17. It means I can identify with these characters on a level I really should not be. Also, the prospect of having 10 older people devoting their time to trying to get 1 girl to not feel alone as a story arc feels like it is blowing things out of proportion. Instead of trying to make something unimportant feel more unimportant, Oregairu has only succeeded in pointing out how important it thinks it is.
I believe that all the characters have been introduced by now, so hopefully they can get to actually constructing jokes from these characters now. See this week, they introduced the kappa named Kawabata. He’s just really awkward and carries around strange food items. It doesn’t make for very entertaining stuff to be honest. Then in the epilogue, Sumida and Hii-chan were stroking cucumbers erotically. The only thing I found funny was the eating poisonous mushrooms segment. It’s horribly irresponsible like everything else in this series.
Manglobe continues to Manglobe this franchise. This is the episode devoted to the three idiots in the Student Council that always bother Hinagiku and call Hayate Hayata. The only thing that is really notable about this fact is that it probably draws more attention to the terrible character designs. I mean, what the hell did they do to Miki, is she suffering from liver failure where the whites of her eyes match her skin. What the hell Manglobe? Besides that, the writing for this continues to be nothing more than par at best, so far from good enough to distract from the horrible production quality.
For a 2 minute series to already be repeating the same jokes from previous episodes on episode 6 is pretty appalling. This week the 3 girls go to Kanaka’s place to “study” when really they mess around as always. They bother Souta, Kanaka’s younger brother because her room is in disrepair. I suppose my problem with this series is that Kanaka is the one carrying the comedic value, but it leaves the 2 other girls as passengers. Saki and Ayuko occasionally play the straight man role opposite her, but I have no feeling for either of them as characters.
Updated Seasonal Average Ranking
|Season Rank||Overall Rank|
|Suisei no Gargantia||1||1|
|Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W||4||7|
|Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties||8||18|
|Date A Live||9||19|
|Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san||10||24|
|Attack on Titan (dropped)||11||25|
|Space Brothers (dropped)||–||10|
This week’s terribad entry comes from the director of Dirty Pair in the 1993 OVA Big Wars. For an early 90s OVA this is pretty standard cheesy sci-fi/action movie filled with as much sex as they could get in and still be allowed to sell it to under-18s.
The basic story is that humanity had expanded to other worlds and with that came the consequence of dealing with alien beings called “The Gods.” Why one would choose to make an enemy seem so unbeatable by name seems odd, but I digress. Anyway, these aliens work by penetrating the minds of people and turning them against other humans. As this is skeevy in nature, it actually turns women into nymphomaniacs. Why!? Because our protagonist perfect human Captain Akuh can kill her and then spend the rest of the movie haunted by the act.
The movie then makes a terrible pacing error of spending too much time on that instead of the actual war in Big Wars. Akuh is captaining a special new ship that is supposed to be humanity’s last hope against The Gods, but instead the focus is on the past horrors witnessed by members of the crew of which most get killed off quickly after that. A better way of summing up the pacing is really this comparison. About 24 minutes are spent on Akuh and his lover having sex wherever they happen to be and 30 seconds are spent on summarizing human history in the 300 years before this movie takes place.
So finally, the part where I try to convince you to or not to watch this. I suppose if you really want to watch some Skinemax-esque sex scenes followed by a bunch of characters you won’t care about suffering from PTSD and with a conclusion that is done better in Battlefield Earth, then God help you and yes you may like this. For the rest of you, this is not horribly appalling nor is it any good. In fact you’ll probably struggle to remember much after an hour of watching this. Good for you if you do.
Time of First Female Nudity: 25:36 (Though after two different sex scenes where little is seen and much is heard)