Endings Without Context 7: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

"He brought this feature back for this!?"

“He brought this feature back for this!?”

“So it’s about uh, this guy Elric and he has a brother who lives in that armor suit. They are trying to get the brother’s body back after they messed around with alchemy and cost the guy his body. For some reason there are people after them too.”

– Me Attempting to Explain the Plot to Full Metal Alchemist to a Co-Worker circa 2006

I’ve decided to raise this feature from the dead after two years. It wasn’t simply a case of running out of shows that I hadn’t watched, but rather it felt like I was being compelled to only watch those shows that had infamously bad endings. Why not take on a show that is popular and pretty much watched by anyone who has casually watched anime, but that I had not seen? As for the explanation above, it was 11:30pm on a college campus where beer was being served a few feet away and I could only go off of what I had picked up about the show in vague things I read online. I think we’re good to go here. Continue reading

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Episodes 11-14 (Broadcast Order): The Bittersweet Ending

That's right Taniguchi and Kunikida, Tsuruya-san is better than Mikuru.

That’s right Taniguchi and Kunikida, Tsuruya-san is better than Mikuru.

It’s now on to the final part of this strange journey into what was at the time of airing one of my favorite shows of all time. The second season put a bit of a dent into it, but the memories of the feelings caused by something linger longer than the actual events themselves. Or something along those lines anyway. This last set of episodes includes two filler episodes where Yuki does awesome stuff and the concert scene that was the greatest in anime until White Album 2 was a thing before the final two episodes of the main story. And ponytails. So on with the show.

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The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Episodes 6-10 (Broadcast Order): The Middle Part No One Remembers Until The End

Free was always destined to be made.

Free was always destined to be made.

It’s back to watching the same old show as last time in weird order. The first segment wasn’t good enough to get a comment, so I will try to do better next time. Maybe I have to trash characters for no reason and wait three years for anyone to care. As alluded to in the title, this is the middle portion of the original series run which only covers one episode of the main story and is otherwise just filler with random plot points thrown in.

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The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Episodes 1-5 (Broadcast Order): Remembering a Different Kyoto Animation

So I haven’t died or fallen off the face of the Earth in maintaining this blog, though the reason for my long absence and reduced posting this year has been related to death itself. So to pass some time, I went back and watched an old DVD copy of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi in the original broadcast order because that’s how I remember it best. The reason I picked this and not any of my other favorite series is because I’ve been catching up on The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki, and it’s already in the discussion of what Satelight’s 2nd best anime is since nothing will ever match White Album 2.

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Secret Santa Anime Review: Akuma no Riddle

anr07aGiven the options I was provided for this year’s Secret Santa review competition, I was provided three options. I could go with Tortov Roddle, which while available on Youtube was far too short to really get my money’s worth in a review. The next option was Kino’s Journey, which is a show that is far too good for me to review. That left me with Akuma no Riddle, a show that was widely available when it came out earlier this year. Given the feedback I got from those who had watched it, I was warned to look out for the bullshit at the end. The only question was whether I would choose to unethically watch this on the website of the licensor or follow my ethical calling.

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The Ballad of Post-Apocalyptic Tatsuya Part 5 (A Mahouka Tale)


The show’s on fire and there’s no director at the wheel
and the characters are all muddied with a thousand lonely expositions
and a dark wind blows

The government is corrupt
and the audience is on so many drugs
with the television on and the curtains drawn

We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible plot machine
and the machine is bleeding to death

The sun has fallen down
and the writers are all leering
and the character flags are all dead at the top of their poles

It went like this:

The plot lines tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the plot rubble
and pulled out their hair

The story was beautiful on fire
all twisted character development stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze


I said: “Kiss me Virgin Imouto Waifu, you’re beautiful –
these are truly the last days”

I grabbed your 1:6 scale hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a hangover

We woke up one afternoon and fell a little further down –
for sure it’s the death of plot

I open up my wallet
and it’s full of air

The Story of Tatsuya Marx Part 4 (A Mahouka Tale)


[The following is the preamble to the well-known Mahouka historical document The Course 2 Student Manifesto. Further excerpts will be released in the coming weeks as this defined an ideology that shaped the nature of politics between magicians and non-magic users for over a century after it was first published.]

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The Story of Jesus Tatsuya Part 3 (A Mahouka Tale)


It’s time for a bit of Easter filler. So here are some famous lines from the Book of Plot that comprises the universe of The Story of Jesus Tatsuya. There will be more to enjoy next week.


Tatsuya said to Mari, “I am the resurrection and the life. You who believes in me, believe in Jesus Tatsuya who also believes in you.”


Praise be to the Plot and Imouto of our Lord Jesus Tatsuya! In her great mercy she has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Tatsuya from the story.


Now if we died with Tatsuya, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Tatsuya was raised from the plot, he cannot die; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died in the backstory, he died to once for all his emotions; but the life he lives, he lives to Imouto. In the same way, count yourselves dead to filler but alive to the Great Virgin Imouto in Jesus Tatsuya.


For Fans so loved the world that he gave his one and only Protagonist, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal plot armor.


If you confess with your mouth that Tatsuya is Protagonist and believe in your heart that Imouto raised him from the dead, you will be saved.


The Story of Jesus Tatsuya Part 2 (A Mahouka Tale)


Now the Blooms gathered their forces for war and assembled at the front gate of the school. They pitched camp in front of the senpais, between Mari and Mayumi. Imouto and the Weeds assembled and camped in near the wallsand drew up their battle line to meet the Blooms. The Blooms occupied one exit and the Weeds another, with the valley between them.


A champion named Hanzou, who was from Parts Unknown, came out of the Bloom camp. His height was slightly above average for a person his age.He had a bronze helmet of hair on his head and wore a coat of white faux-leather weighing five thousand grams; on his legs he wore white pants, and a dumb emblem on his shoulder. 


Hanzou stood and shouted to the ranks of Weeddom, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Bloom, and are you not the servants of Imouto’s Onii-san? Choose a man and have him come down to me.If he is able to fight and defeat me, we will let him serve on the Disciplinary Committee; but if I overcome him and defeat him, you will stay our subjects and serve us.”Then the Bloom said, “This day I defy the armies of Jesus Tatsuya! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Bloom’s words, Imouto and all the Weeds were dismayed and terrified.


For one whole day the Bloom came forward and took his stand.


Early in the morning Jesus Tatsuya left the flock in the care of his Virgin Imouto, loaded up his CADs and set out. He reached the site of battle as the Student Council was going out to the battle positions, shouting out the lengthy rules of battle. Hanzou and the director were drawing up their vision of how the battle would not pan out. Jesus Tatsuya left his things on the nearby Table, tightened his tie and asked prepared to wreck Hanzou. 


Then Imouto stood and blushed at Onii-sama in her own special wayJesus Tatsuya tightened the grip on his CAD and stood around, because he was awesome.


Meanwhile, the Bloom, with his CADin front of him, kept coming closer to Jesus Tatsuya in his mind. He looked Jesus Tatsuya over and saw that he was little more than an Onii-san, glowing with no emotions and handsome, and he despised him.He said to Jesus Tatsuya, “Am I a civilian, that you come at me with your weak skills?” And the Bloom cursed Jesus Tatsuya.“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your ass to the kouhaisand the wild weeds!”


Jesus Tatsuya said to the Bloom, “You come against me with words and more words, but I come against you in the name of the Virgin Imouto, the Goddess of the armies of Brocon female leads, whom you have defied.This day the Plotwill deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and beat your ass. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Bloom army to the kouhais and the wild weeds, and the whole world will know that there is a Great Virgin Imouto in this school.


As the Bloom moved closer to attack him, Jesus Tatsuya ran quickly behind him.Reaching into his metaphorical bag of ninja skills and knocking him out like a stone.


So Jesus Tatsuya triumphed over the Bloom with speedand elite ninja skills; without a weapon in his hand he struck down the Bloom and killed his purpose in the rest of the story.

The Story of Jesus Tatsuya Part 1 (A Mahouka Tale)


Now when Tatsuya came to the Magic High School in the days of War, behold, there came wise sempais from the Bloom class. Saying where is he is born King of the Weeds? For his Imouto have seen his star in the east, and come to worship him.


When Hanzou the Vice President had heard these things, he was troubled, and the First Class with him.


And when he had gathered all the Blooms and characters of the mob together, he demanded of them where the Legend of Tatsuya should be born.


Then Hanzou, when he had privily called the characters of the mob together, enquired of
them diligently what time the star appeared.


And he sent them to a ninja dojo, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and teach him a lesson also.


When they had heard the Vice President, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where Tatsuya was doing cool ninja moves.


And when they were departed, behold, the ninja master appeareth to Imouto in person, saying, Arise, and believe how awesome it is that I can be a ninja in this day and doth thee look great in that school uniform, Also, bring thee word: for Hanzou will seek the Onii-san to destroy him.


Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Leonhart the prophet, saying, In class was there a a man, with no emotions, and able to use a keyboard, and register for classes, Erika weeping for her poor classmate, and would not be comforted, because he could not care for himself.


But when Imouto did decide to have lunch in the room with Tatsuya, Leo was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of being wrecked by Blooms in a dream, he turned aside into the mob And he came and dwelt in a place called near the school gates: that it might be fulfilled which a magical battle might almost start.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: A Quick Review

Some would say she didn't go far enough in pulling down his pants.

Some would say she didn’t go far enough in pulling down his pants.

In the final first episode review of this season, we have a show that doesn’t really accomplish much in the first of its 10 episode run. Inari Konkon spends much of its time trying to create a moral lesson only to have it disappear without consequence in the end. Or will there be consequences?

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Wizard Barristers: A Quick Review

This is the most fake form you will see this season.

This is the most fake form you will see this season.

When a show uses a word like “barristers” in the title, my expectation is to compare it to all of the episodes of Law & Order and other legal procedural dramas that I’ve watched. So when the guy who killed people in the opening scene was sentenced to immediate death, I thought it was a little unfair. He should have the right to appeal damn it. Also, with the scene where Cecil was questioned by police, I was shocked that the police wouldn’t invent a reason to search her bag like they would in real life. Finally, I can’t get the thought of Jack McCoy fighting wizards using magic powers. Basically, this episode review is going to be entirely unfair.

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World Conquest Zvezda Plot: A Quick Review

It's important to note that this destruction is the end result of this show.

It’s important to note that this destruction is the end result of this show.

World Conquest is definitely a different kind of show about someone trying to conquer the world. The opening hints at a terrible world that comes from what one Hoshimiya Kate is trying to do, but in the first episode it’s all a psychedelic trip filled with strange mechanical devices and people in strange costumes. It harkens back to classic shows only this time the good guys want to conquer the world.

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Nisekoi: A Quick Review

You actually have to go through the entire episode before getting to this bit of normality.

You actually have to go through the entire episode before getting to this bit of normality.

It’s really easy to call most things that Shaft produces over-directed, but it does feel hard to call Nisekoi anything but that so far. I’ve known the anime adaptation has been on the cards for a while having read the manga, but I do wonder if there wasn’t enough to be pulled from the source in this adaptation. I also wonder as a reader of the manga if I’m too inclined to hold the source material against this adaptation.

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Nourin: A Quick Review

Ouch! Right in the testicles.

Ouch! Right in the testicles.

Life in the countryside is full of compromise to everyone except for one naive young man and his love for a certain idol. This is another one of these life of farmers idealized shows though I think it will be much more relationship focused than the others. Also, it’s a lot more silly than that other show with a similar setting airing this season.

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Wake Up, Girls!: A Quick Review

One has to commend the accurately labeled shirts in this show.

One has to commend the accurately labeled shirts in this show.

Yamakan’s latest effort at directing TV anime is very much not the comedy vehicles he tends to have the most success with. In fact, this seems to be a much more personal vehicle for him. After watching the first episode, I can’t tell if Wake Up, Girls! is some sort of encouragement for himself or if it is actually a defiant piece aimed at those who have criticized him. I do have to say it did seem like he was rather pissed off.

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Pupa: A Quick Review

Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.

Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.

Pupa in its first episode really showed why censorship can be a bad thing if used selectively. We have an older brother witnessing his sister turning into a man-eating monster where we can’t see that transformation happening. Then, we get to see her in her new form, which isn’t as terrible as I expected.

The only other thing I thought was worth noting in this 4 minute short was the fact that everyone except for Yume had were bodies covered in wounds. What that leads me into is asking a question of whether this show can actually work in short episodes as a psychological horror series. I’m inclined to say that the short format makes it more disposable and less likely to be remembered. Putting it together in a single hour-long feature format would make more sense in my opinion.

Magical Warfare: A Quick Review

I present to you the pair of objects that got the most attention in this episode.

I present to you the pair of objects that got the most attention in this episode.

Suspension of disbelief is important for action shows like this. Few things are capable of destroying this than running out of budget partially through the episode and inexplicable mid-combat exposition scenes. My goodness is there a lot of the latter as everything turned silly.

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Hozuki no Reitetsu: A Quick Review

This is how you negotiate your vacation time in Hell.

This is how you negotiate your vacation time in Hell.

As absurd as a setting of hell can be, Hozuki no Reitetsu is essentially a workplace comedy with a dark edge. The first part features the title character having to deal with the incompetencies of his boss and having to solve problems all on his own. The second half is world building through pets. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag overall.

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Z/X Ignition: A Quick Review

The 2 assholes taking pictures with their tablets deserve exactly the death that is coming to them.

The 2 assholes taking pictures with their tablets deserve exactly the death that is coming to them.

When 6 minutes into an episode you are questioning the logic of the universe of an action show, it generally means one thing. Yes, a children’s card game adaptation. As always with these things, I’m left with more questions than answers. These aren’t the nice questions about what to expect from the show, but the most cynical questions one can come up with.

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