Autumn 2011 – Week 8 Anime Review

This week: UN-Go being “The Last Great noitaminA Anime” , why I can’t hate a villain in Mawaru Penguindrum, and whether the use of poison in Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) was good or not.

Working’!! (Episode 8) – Inami isn’t the only character I’ve grown to like since this new season of Working!! began.  Yamada was another character I never really cared for during the first season, largely for two reasons.  One is that she showed up in the latter half of the first season and was featured quite a bit, taking away from other characters like Sato and Soma.  Second, her jokes were pretty meh and it felt like they were just trying to make her cute rather than funny which turned me off of her character.  This season, however, has had a bunch of jokes played off her that have resulted in some pretty hard laughs.  It’s fun to see how everyone finds her annoying and no one cares to really help her (except Taneshima) when she wants it.  I find it hilarious how they treat her and how she always disappoints in her activities.  I think Yamada was the final major character of Working!! that I did not enjoy meaning that the entire cast is now in the positive.  Certainly helps a comedy when you like every character, doesn’t it?

UN-Go (Episode 7) – Yuuki has earned a few monikers as a young but brilliant detective.  “The Defeated Detective” and “The Last Great Detective” are the two most common titles he’s been given which tell two very different stories of our protagonist.  But to me, they also tell the story of this anime.  The public calls Yuuki ‘defeated’ since his deductions are never ‘correct’ when in reality he has actually performed exceptionally and achieved many accomplishments.  I feel this anime is the most underrated and underappreciated this season, largely due to the lack of discussion on it when it has been marvelous from about the third episode forward.  It’s fitting to give this anime the title “The Defeated Anime” although I’ll admit it’s extreme at this point.  As for the other one, by no means is this “The Last Great Anime” but something more along the lines of “The Last Great noitaminA Anime”.  With the timeslot moving away from its original purpose and demographics, this kind of feels like the last ‘noitaminA-ish’ anime given its characters, storytelling, and originality.  If the noitaminA timeslot does change over the next year or so, then this might be the last to embody its original spirit and message of unique anime with a focus on stories and characters that the general or casual audience can enjoy.  It’s a stretch to apply those two labels from Yuuki onto the anime in general but they are close enough to how I felt about the anime, especially after this intriguing episode.

The iDOLM@ASTER (Episode 21) – Kotori is the secretary for 765 Production who is often is in the background keeping the business running without partaking in any of the flashy or rewarding aspects like singing or managing.  She’s never really had a chance to shine during the anime, which is understandable when you have over a dozen main characters who all have adoring fans.  But this episode had other plans and used it to show another side of Kotori: her passion for singing.  What a pleasant surprise that was.  And what makes it even better is Kotori has a beautiful voice (and a nice body, too).  In fact, she’s better than most of the idols in my humble opinion but there must be reasons why she isn’t an idol.  It was great of the series to have something like this for such a minor character and I’m glad we saw Kotori in the spotlight for once.  After all, she supports everyone in their goals and dreams and never gets to share her own with the others.  It’s too bad she never gets any recognition or praise for what she does and I see she’s still not really respected by the series since everyone talk over her only performance.  Still, I’m glad we had an opportunity to see her do something she loves for herself.

Tamayura ~hitotose~ (Episode 8) – The ticket with no destination is a beautiful metaphor for some of the themes in this anime but I can’t help but wonder if it applies to the anime itself, too.  I’m not sure where Tamayura is going, especially with Fu’s photography being a bit… underdeveloped (haha) at this point.  At this point it seems like it’s a complete slice-of-life anime with no real direction or progress being made in terms of a story.  The characters are maturing just fine but I’m never sure what they’re going to do or what will happen when they do it.  Every episode seems random and disjointed like the series has no idea where it wants to go and is sampling everything along the way.  And just like the ticket with no destination, the anime isn’t sure where it wants to be when its journey is over.  Does it want to remain a slice-of-life or does it want something more from its rich cast and to tell a story of growth, understanding, and friendship?  Maybe we’ll find out soon.

Persona 4 the Animation (Episode 8) – All the characters in Persona have been great in both contributing to the story and to the comedy.  But Yuu might trump them all in both categories.  His stoic expression has been an absolute killer in some scenes.  His indifferent delivery in some jokes, such as on the phone with Yosuke after watching Kanji’s Midnight Channel and again in the tent with Kanji and Yosuke, are beyond hysterical, too.  And given his personality of being passive yet heroic feels contradictory to some of the things he’s said and does, especially in the past two episodes.  I pretty much love every character I’ve seen in Persona so far but Yuu might be my favorite given what he’s done for the story and how he’s made me laugh.  It’s amazing how delightful the cast of this anime is while still carrying out a serious murder mystery, too.

Mawaru Penguindrum (Episode 20) – I know we’re not supposed to like Kenzan Takakura, the father of the family and mastermind behind the much of the misfortune in the series, but I just can’t hate him.  What silly reason do I have to justify such a preference?  Well, it’s largely because he’s voiced by Takehito Koyasu and I don’t think I can hate any character he’s given his voice to.  Had it been some other voice actor skilled in villainous male characters then yeah, I’d probably hate Kenzan for what he’s done.  But when I hear his voice as it is in the anime, I can’t develop feelings against his character or any character of his for that matter.  It might be a lame reason for me to view a character’s development irregularly but that’s how I see it and how I’ll probably always see it.  Maybe sometime near the end when Kenzan is explained more I’ll begin to dislike him but right now, even after all that has happened in the series, I retain positive feelings to Kenzan.  And all because of his voice.

Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) (Episode 7) – I’m not sure whether to give Future Diary credit or not for the way it used poison in this episode.  I am overjoyed to see a series name a poison it’s about to use instead of something generic like “poison” or a skull with crossbones.  But really, methotrexate, that’s what you’re going to use?  I’d love to find out why the author selected that since there are so many better ones out there.  Methotrexate is a medication I see every day at work and one of the most universally used chemotherapy drugs out there.  I fail to see how that would’ve been effective as a poison in such a dose and, had Yuki bitten into the cherry tomato, the bitter taste would’ve caused him to spit it out and wonder what’s wrong, effectively preventing any absorption of the “poison”.  I would’ve liked that better than seeing Yuno be suspicious about the weight of the tomato and stopping Yuki before a bite. (I realize she read her diary before and knew what to expect but saying because of the weight?  If Rei was as intelligent as we’re supposed to assume, I figured he would’ve taken out a specific amount of tomato juice and replaced it with methotrexate to avoid any suspicion.)  But still, the series named a poison but unfortunately, it’s something I’m quite familiar with.  I guess it’ll get points for that.  Plus, it didn’t piss me off as much as the latter poison gas scene which I’m not even going to get started on.  That was not a good use of poison at all.

Chihayafuru (Episode 8) – Now that the club finally has enough members to become official, it’s about time we take a closer look at the new characters and their roles in the story and in the club.  Strictly from a karuta standpoint, Nishida seems like the only elite player while Kanade and Tsutomu are mere novices.  It’ll be a while before those two are a factor in any karuta matches and we have yet to see either actually play a game.  But with enough practice and training from these skilled players, they may turn out to be impressive players before the end of the anime.  From a story standpoint, none really jumps out as a strong or decisive character that will be an influential role in the story.  Part of that may be because of how the story wanted to portray them entering the club.  Perhaps the anime wanted to show Chihaya and Taichi work to convince them to join to make engaging episodes and develop their characters a bit further.  They might turn out to be strong characters now that those scenes are over.  But for now, they’re rather mediocre for the story.  I hope that these characters aren’t there just so the club is official, that they contribute to the story and the main characters but it hasn’t been apparent yet.  Maybe now that this small arc is over the three lesser characters of the Karuta club will begin to strengthen and become more valuable to the anime rather than just being bodies for the club (which is how they feel right now).

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  1. #1 by Zammael on November 28, 2011 - 8:22 AM

    I’m not sure which team does the subs for Un-Go, but Yuuki is referred to either as the “defeated detective” or the “failed detective.” I think the latter is more appropriate to being a detective: u don’t exactly win at sleuthing because it’s not a competition.

    But u certainly do succeed or fail at solving it.

    • #2 by avvesione on November 28, 2011 - 8:50 AM

      “Failed” might be more appropriate a word but I usually (almost always) see “Defeated” used (including all the sources I used to cross-check that section). They do have very different meanings and for the purpose of that little section I wrote about, I’d rather call UN-Go the “Defeated Anime” rather than the “Failed Anime” lol. But thanks for bringing that up since I did miss him being called “failed” by some groups.

  2. #3 by Marina on November 28, 2011 - 11:26 PM

    Hmm, did Yuno really look at her diary before blocking the tomato? I guess I totally skipped that scene somehow. I was completely convinced that she was crazy amazing enough to notice a difference in weight on the single tomato.

    I, too, am enjoying UN-GO, but I guess I’m still unsure about Inga’s character who has yet to be really explained.

    • #4 by avvesione on November 29, 2011 - 12:06 AM

      Nope, you’re right. I remember seeing a diary say that they ate the salad and got sick and thought that was Yuno’s before the scene. It turned out to be Yuki’s after the scene. I also thought she knew before hand because she picked out the tomato first, weighed it, stopped Yuki, glared at Rei, and then threw out the entire salad. Just the way it went down led me to believe that she knew about it beforehand because that’s what it seemed like. But they never show her looking at her diary in the anime and I just checked the manga, too, and there was no such scene. Probably should check my sources a little better next time I make statements like that…

  3. #5 by Joojoobees on November 30, 2011 - 11:30 PM

    Wow, I never knew you were that picky about poison. Well, I guess we all have to have something we are particular about.

    I really agree with your comments on Un-Go. It is an overlooked gem. I understand why people were put off by it, but it has some very unusual elements that are worth seeing.

    With Tamayura, it is a bit difficult to tell, but I think, more than tell a specific story, they are more interested in providing variations on a theme (maybe several themes).

    Chihayafuru rocks! I have no worries about this title. It has handled everything up to now with such confidence and artistry that I’m willing to just settle in for the ride. This is my favorite of the season.

    PenguinDrum: He certainly has a lot of people convinced he is a hero, not a villain. I can’t wait to see how this one ends. It has been such a crazy ride to this point.

    • #6 by avvesione on December 1, 2011 - 5:39 PM

      I’m picky about certain things, especially health/medicine/sciency stuff in anime, television, movies, or any media really. Just the way the poison was used in this episode irritated me for whatever reason.

      Glad you like UN-Go and Chihaya. Those are probably my two favorite new anime this season, especially with Chihaya episode 9 this week. Series is really picking up now that they finished forming their club.

      It’s interesting to see how polarizing a figure Kenzan is. Should be fun to see how everything turns out in the end with him and his role in the story.

      I’m not sure but there’s something missing in Tamayura (for me) if it’s just an anime about themes. Can’t figure it out yet but hopefully I’ll realize it before the anime ends here shortly.

  4. #7 by feal87 on December 1, 2011 - 7:56 AM

    Always be careful of Yandere Stalkers, they check everything! Even the weight of the tomato you’re eating atm…:O

    • #8 by avvesione on December 1, 2011 - 5:42 PM

      That makes me wonder what else she does off screen, like when she broke into the house and cleaned up his room. Wonder if any of Yuki’s clothes are missing or if a camera or two got installed during her time there… Scary!

  5. #9 by SnippetTee on December 1, 2011 - 9:04 PM

    I failed to keep with other animes that I’m following like Tamayura and Mirai Nikki. The only anime that I’m constantly following are Chihayafuru and Penguindrum.

    For some reason, I can’t only hate Kenzan. Not because of his voice, but I think Ikuhara is just using him as a the go-to-person to be hated. However, he intrigues me especially after revealing that his wife and gave birth to a one child not twins, like how did he get Shouma or Kamba…

    As for Chihayafuru, I’m really loving that show. I like how it gave its characters their own arc and elicited their own social issues. I also don’t want to see Kana, Deskkun and Porky as background characters so hopefully during the competition, we can see them shine–pretty much at least just like how each character in Saki shined.

    • #10 by avvesione on December 1, 2011 - 11:25 PM

      Thankfully Kana, Tsutomu, and Nishida were anything but background characters in episode 9. They all performed real well and were actually the focus for most of the plot. Something like that really excited me and the way the whole episode was really rejuvenated my interest in the series. I do hope we get to see them have their own 1-2 episode arcs to explore them individually but it was nice to see the group do something together where every character participated.

      I think there’s more than the voice on why I don’t hate Kenzan but the voice would be the single biggest reason why I like him. I think he’ll turn out to be something like a misunderstood character. Everything we’ve seen him do has been in a negative light but he doesn’t seem like a negative character. Time will tell but for now, it’s clear the series is trying to make him look like a villain.

  6. #11 by flap on December 4, 2011 - 8:27 AM

    Looks like someone had much to say about Persona 4, episode 8:
    “Mind you, let me be blunt here: I fucking LOVE Persona 4. So much I commissioned our very own Matt Speroni to draw me high-quality P4 fanart. So much that Chie Satonaka is basically my soulmate. So much that I’ve played the game through three times; once playing the main character as if he was myself, then going for a ‘perfect’ playthrough, then playing the game a third freaking time because I enjoyed it so much that I HAD to play it again. Even achieving perfection already was insufficient to persuade me.

    I love Persona 4 and I’m getting that out of the way in advance because you don’t need to accuse me of hating P4 just because I hated the last two episodes. The fact that I love Persona 4 so damn much is basically the reason why these last episodes hurt so hard. It was like getting sucker-punched by your best friend, learning that your father betrayed you or getting dumped by the love of your life. P4’s like my favorite roleplaying game of the last five or six years, if not the last decade. Getting curb-stomped like this was unexpected.

    I even liked the first six episodes of the P4 anime. No, really! They were good!

    So let’s establish why I personally hated recent P4 Anime developments:

    * I kind of expected, and in fact would have encouraged, Yosuke to be a homophobic jerk because, let’s face it, he’s a homophobic jerk. He’s a lovable character, but in the game the fact that he is a homophobic jerk is clearly portrayed as a character flaw. The reactions of other characters to Yosuke’s behavior throughout the game clearly establishes that Yosuke is a tad immature and he blurts out stupid things and he often receives a legitimate comeuppance for his bursts of douchebaggery.

    That’s kind of the point with Yosuke: he’s a decent human being who nonetheless is a bit of an ass. And while the Protag basically scores with every woman in the city because he’s a nice, compassionate guy who cares about his friends and acts respectfully, Yosuke deliberately contrasts with the Protag and shows just how and why the Protag just might be so ‘successful’ in his dating life and why he and not Yosuke is the leader of the Investigation Team. With men like Yosuke as ‘competition,’ all Protag has to do is not be a chauvinistic, homophobic douche with the maturity of a third grader!

    So, the way I thought Episode Seven should have gone was the way my game’s playthrough essentially went: Yosuke says stupid homophobic shit, the Main Character and the girls scold Yosuke for being so self-centered when Kanji’s life is at risk, the Protag acts like the supportive, all-around awesome person he is (and the awesome person that the game and the anime portray him as and that the other characters believe him to be; that is important), Kanji accepts his shadow, everyone wins!

    So it was exceptionally disappointing when the Protag decided to join the Homophobia Train. And not just with one or two “You feel mild trepidation entering this dungeon with the wacky sauna theme…” messages that the game gave. Merely feeling fear upon entering a dungeon with shadows trying to kill you, even if that fear is exacerbated somewhat by some irrational and brazenly idiotic “What if the shadows are gay and try to rape me?” thought is one thing, but it’s what the Protag actually says when he opens his mouth that differentiates the game’s Protagonist from the anime’s douche.

    Game Protag hesitates but he never once indicates that he’s willing to abandon the mission outright (and effectively allow Kanji to quite possibly die due to his non-intervention) because he’s afraid of gay people. And while I don’t have the script of Episode Seven in front of me, some of the lines from Protag’s mouth were just disgustingly homophobic. It wasn’t ‘snarky,’ it was homophobic. There is a difference.

    But that pales in comparison to Protag’s single worst line (said in Episode Eight, we’ll get there,) and it also pales in comparison to…

    * The Protag and Yosuke expressing willingness, at a moment’s notice, to attack and attempt to kill Kanji’s shadow just because Kanji’s Shadow makes them feel uncomfortable because Kanji’s Shadow is totally gay and hitting on them.

    Let’s get a few things straight:
    At this stage of the storyline, Protag and Yosuke have seen and fought other shadow versions of characters before. They know that shadow versions of characters are absolutely harmless in their original state and remain harmless until the person in question denies them, at which point the shadows transform into a violent version that does in fact start to destroy things.

    …So, Yosuke and Protag know that the shadow must be ‘defeated’ by Kanji accepting Shadow Kanji as himself. Given that the shadows have never been permanently ‘defeated’ by the cast by any other means, attacking the pre-transformation form of Kanji’s shadow is counter-productive at best and could well end up in an outcome of Kanji’s death at worst.

    Remember, the strategy employed by the P4 characters at this point of the game was to attempt to convince the affected character to accept their shadow before the denial happened, therefore avoiding a fight outright. I’m reasonably certain that at no point in the game did the P4 cast attack the pre-transformation version of a Shadow, particularly when this version of the shadow did nothing to merit their anger except be gay.

    And let’s not forget that the only fault or foible of pre-transformation Shadow Kanji was that he was too gay for Yosuke and Protag to apparently handle. Shadow Kanji did not constitute a physical threat to the Persona 4 cast at this juncture. He did not physically attack them. He did not threaten to hurt or kill them.

    …He just was gay.
    And being gay, in and of itself, was totally enough to send Yosuke and Protag into a primordial rage.

    But even if we could stop there, I might have been okay with the episode. I mean, sure, lots of (heterosexual, privileged) high school guys who are otherwise decent people have no idea whatsoever how to handle the thought that another guy might think they’re smexy. Back in high school, I was one of those guys myself! And maybe there’s a message here that the P4 Anime would attempt to convey, like perhaps the Protag who was a perfectly compassionate, likable dude in the game would be portrayed very differently, as a flawed boy with significant moral shortcomings, in the anime.

    But then…

    * Chie and Yukiko join in and attack a pre-transformation version of Shadow Kanji who represents no physical threat to them just because he’s gay.

    I guess Chie sort of attempted an excuse of “It’s not because he’s gay, it’s because I’m impulsive and really annoyed at his monologue and I want to freeze things!” But it was particularly surprising (and disappointing) to see Yukiko Amagi, who is basically presented as a sweet, likable girl who’s thoughtful and considerate and not excessively prone to initiate violence suddenly decide that she too has had enough of Shadow Kanji.

    …because Shadow Kanji is ‘acting gay.’

    Shadow Chie was acting pretty sinister; why didn’t Yosuke and Protag beat the crap out of her when she talked her trash, before Chie’s denial and Shadow Chie’s transformation into Dominatrix Banana-Chick? Actually, that’s just the thing; Shadow Chie’s pre-transformation dialogue was arguably far more threatening and antagonistic than Shadow Kanji’s, because really, all Shadow Kanji does is flirt shamelessly and talk about how much he enjoys what constitutes his definition of a ‘good time.’

    The answer that the Anime posits to us is quite simple: Shadow Kanji was gay, and open about being gay, and willing to flirt openly and present his sexuality in a forthcoming manner around others, and that alone merited wanton violence against him. From everyone, male or female, ‘jerks’ and ‘compassionate heroes’ alike. The Protag is the chosen one, a symbol of tolerance, progression, heroism, the greatest hope the town of Inaba has, beloved by every woman, respected by man, and he totally wants you to know you better not flirt with him if you have a penis or he will fuck your shit. Chie and Yukiko weren’t even a position to feel personally threatened by Shadow Kanji’s idle flirtations and they still were so riled by Kanji’s **gayness** that physical violence was the preferred solution! Their only justification was one of brazen homophobia, unless you want to argue that they were ‘afraid’ they’d otherwise be subjected to something so torturous as ‘watching this guy talk about how much he enjoys hot saunas with other guys.’

    * Did I mention that all of this is occurring in the context of a moment when Kanji’s life is personally threatened? The kids don’t have the slightest clue of the intricate nature of the TV world they’re exploring; all they know is that they have a strict timetable to save Kanji in or he dies, and he needs to accept his Shadow or he’s at risk.
    …Oooh, I know! Let’s antagonize Kanji’s Shadow before it transforms and give Kanji more reasons to want to deny his affiliation with said Shadow because we literally care more about not having to listen to gay people flirt with us or our guy friends, than we value Kanji’s life!

    * Oh, it’s okay, because we all know that deep down inside Protag’s a really, truly nice guy who cares about Kanji and respects their friendship, he just likes to be ‘snarky’ (manifesting his snark in the form of wanton attacks in this particular instance, I suppose) to his buddies, right?

    Well, Episode Eight puts rest to any thought of that notion!
    Episode Eight takes place after the Protag and his buddies have presumably ‘accepted’ Kanji.
    …Only they’ve only accepted Kanji at day. At night, it’s another matter entirely!

    Protag’s line here is absolutely ludicrous to defend precisely because Yosuke acts far worse around women and the Protag does not call Yosuke out on it. Hell, in the very same episode, Yosuke brazenly advocates that Chie and Yukiko sleep in an integrated manner with he and Protag — he is advocating a sexually predatory outcome in a tent in the exact same manner that he and Protag accused Kanji of doing! And yet the Protag and the women will tolerate this, because it’s typical heterosexual male chauvinistic bullshittery.

    …And that’s probably actually the biggest problem about all of this. It isn’t just the homophobia, although the homophobia is very overt and very despicable and it very openly refutes the P4 game’s flawed yet positive approach of encouraging tolerance and diversity in friendships.

    …It’s that the characters respond so harshly to actions taken by ‘homosexual’ characters while tolerating and in fact encouraging the very same behavior from their heterosexual counterparts!
    Yosuke forcing Yukiko and Chie to wear swimsuits despite their discomfort at the notion is funny and typical guy hijinks, and Yosuke can be excused of that! Even Chie and Yukiko don’t aggressively call Yosuke out for being creepy. When Yosuke says “Hey Yukiko and Chie, why not sleep alongside us tonight?” The girls do not respond by badgering Yosuke for threatening to take their ‘chastity.

    So the message here is plain: Girls just have to tolerate this from heterosexual guys! Heterosexual guys can and will act like perverts who want to steal your sexual purity against your will and force you to dress up in scanty swimsuits, but you should just swallow your criticism and choose to remain his friend and accept the behavior as ‘typical.’ Even the Protag, by refusing to aggressively scold Yosuke when Yosuke acts legitimately creepy as fuck in drooling over Chie or Yukiko, is passively enabling Yosuke as his ‘friend’ to engage in this skeevy shit.

    …But when Kanji barely acts half as predatory as Yosuke and is just sitting silently in the middle of the guy’s tent, both Yosuke and Protag feel that their chastity is in serious danger! Not even because Kanji is gay and because Kanji, like Yosuke to the girls, has expressed a serious sexual interest in the Protag or Yosuke. The ‘real’ (non-Shadow) Kanji hasn’t flirted with Protag or Yosuke at all! They don’t even really definitively know whether Kanji is actually gay! And there’s far less evidence that Kanji is remotely interested in pursuing a relationship, and he’s certainly not forcing the Protag or Yosuke to waltz around in swimsuits for his personal enjoyment.

    …The anime says this: The mere possibility that your guy friend might be gay, even if he is utterly disinterested in you, is more threatening than a heterosexual guy’s overt and depraved sexual interest in women. There’s only reason why this could be: Because mere gayness in and of itself is a ‘threat!’

    * And the game sort of was imperfect too, but the crucial difference was, the game at least gave you incentives to roleplay the Protag as a decent human being who did not in fact support this worldview. Yosuke may have been condemned to his childish immaturity, but the Protag received rewards in the form of boosts to his social links with Chie and Yukiko by treating them respectfully during the swimsuit scene, and the Protag received rewards in the form of boosts to his social link with Kanji by treating Kanji compassionately, like a true friend, supporting Kanji’s presence in the tent, refuting privilege and refusing to indulge in homophobia. Even if you could choose to roleplay the Protag as a jerk, doing so felt out of character (how could the Protag acquire the sincere respect of Kanji and the women he interacts with regularly if he was a chauvinistic homophobe?)

    Choosing the ‘I-am-a-decent-human-being’ options subsequently flow naturally. Yukiko and Chie and Naoto and Kanji and Nanako and Dojima repeatedly reinforce the notion that Protag is a great guy; and more often than not, choosing the ‘snarky’ options results in penalties to your P4 gameplay experience in the form of stalling social links. An ideal playthrough requires you to consider your friends’ feelings and act respectfully and not be intolerant.

    But P4: The Anime is tying to have its cake and eat it, too; it’s simultaneously attempting to give you a snarky Protag who repeatedly chooses the “hysterical” (note that I don’t think they’re often very funny) dialogue options, yet also gives you a Protag who, by the Anime’s own admission, has above-average Stats in all fields of personal growth by Episode Eight and who’s Maxing social links with relative ease. The dynamic of P4 that once punished a homophobic, chauvinistic, asshole of a player is gone, and instead there’s a huge fundamental disconnect: The anime characters are still acting like Protag is the sweetest, coolest, most benevolent, likable, tolerant human being they know, utterly demanding their fealty and accruing their affections, but the Protag is increasingly acting just as big a jerk as Yosuke is.

    The plentiful evidence that the game provided you that the Protag was a decent person in watching his social links gradually accrue over extended periods of time and effort is gone; what’s left is a homophobic jokester who tolerates Yosuke’s chauvinism and who’s petty and insecure and yet still beloved. At this point, the Protag is in desperate need of the same kind of abuse given to Yosuke on a regular basis. But even when Yukiko and Chie dared toss the Protag into the river with Yosuke, it’s still heavily implied that they’re totally crushing on him, just as it’s still heavily implied that Kanji thinks the Protag is an incredible friend (except, well, not at night, lest his chastity be threatened) and just as Naoki can apparently be swayed from hating the Protag and Yosuke to totally being good bros in the course of a single goddamn conversation.

    …So it’s not just the homophobia that bothers me, although it’s bothersome enough. It’s that the homophobia is in plain contradiction of the halo the P4 anime team is still painting around the Protag, and that in painting that angelic halo around the Protag, the animators are saying this: The Protag is an ideal high school student; all you high school students watching the P4 Anime should want to be just like him, because he’s going to get all the girls and earn the respect of all the guys and he’s a role model. Oh, and by the way, he totally hates gay people, and you should, too. They make him feel awkward and uncomfortable and fearful for his chastity just in the mere act of being themselves. And, it is totally acceptable for heterosexual men to treat their gay friends with this degree of innate suspicion. (By the way, despite the fact that gay people can’t do this to you, it’s totally cool for you or your heterosexual friends to go even further then this when pursuing women. They just have to accept your inherent lustful state.)”

  7. #12 by ThatOneGuy on December 8, 2011 - 5:59 AM

    The problem with aerosol poisons is that if they work, they work too fast, if not, they work by giving you cancer. Liquid poisons to be ingested have that problem on their own, they actually must make it through our mouth.

    • #13 by avvesione on December 9, 2011 - 4:41 PM

      That’s pretty much the case but not why I had a problem with the poisons in Future Diary. I just thought methotrexate was not the best choice of poisons to use and how it was planned to be used in a cherry tomato. The problem I had with the poison gas is that it it instantly knocked out Yuki (still not sure how) while Yuno was fine running around the house with a cloth rag over her mouth. There were minor issues, too, but those were the two that bothered me the most.

      • #14 by ThatOneGuy on December 12, 2011 - 5:12 PM

        Yeah, a (possibly wet?) cloth isn’t going to do much in the long run, not to mention that as you move around frantically, your oxygen runs out faster.

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