Winter 2012 – Week 6 Anime Review

This week: my thoughts on a possible ending to Future Diary, some possible fun with the mystery in Another, and a rather unexpected but welcome surprise with Rinne no Lagrange.

Another (Episode 5) – Thought I don’t believe this is happening, wouldn’t it be great if Misaki’s explanations or advice during the episode turned out to be lies or misinformation regarding the urban legend?  I’d be impressed if the anime managed to pull something of that magnitude off, offering variations in the stories to confuse the audience while masking the truth and causing the curse to be prolonged.  I’ve yet to fully invest myself in that idea, however, since it seems rather elaborate to deceive the audience when it’s still retaining most of the information from us regarding the whole curse.  Still, I’m not going to dismiss the idea, especially if Misaki turns out to be a ghost.  If that’s true, then her versions of the stories should be different than the rest of the students since she still believes herself to be living.

Brave 10 (Episode 6) – There has always been a since of silliness and fun throughout Brave 10 but this episode fully embraced that mantra and made for easily the best episode yet.  Each member of the cast has their own distinct personality that fits in nicely with one or two of the other characters which leads to fine chemistry and delightful comedy.  This episode never really focused on anything serious, a pleasant change for this series, so it was able to fully explore what the cast can do when they’re all together and on a mini-vacation.  Can’t say I like every character in Brave 10 but they all had their bright moments in this episode.

Chihayafuru (Episode 18) – With Taichi facing off against Nichida for the B title and Kana and Tsutomu looking to advance to the C rank, the matches between friends has become rather intense and significant.  But are matches against friends with so much on the line more stressful?  Is there more competition between the two now that there is a singular goal to obtain or do these matches still retain some form of fun and friendship between them?  Give the situation these characters are in and their personalities, it would be logical to assume it’s more toward the latter.  Just because they’re facing off against another club member, I doubt any of the characters are trying any harder to beat their friends than they were in previous matches.  I would assume that both the winner and loser would experience a moment of sadness over the final result but come together to celebrate the champion of their class and watch as they advance to the next rank.  The friendship between the characters in Chihayafuru is strong and these matches will be a rigid test to see how durable these bonds are.

Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) (Episode 18) – Although Future Diary’s manga is over and the finale is well known to those who’ve read the manga, I’ve managed to remain spoiler-free throughout the whole anime.  That accomplishment is not the point of this post but it does help serve as an introduction; here’s one of my thoughts on how Future Diary might end.  One of my thoughts is that Yuki is imagining the whole thing, that the whole diary tournament is all within his complex head.  We’ve seen how powerful his imagination is, coming up with Deus Ex Machina and Mur Mur and interacting with them like regular friends once he returned from school.  So why not a few more characters and some intense situations to make his boring, normal life more interesting and exciting?  Also, all the events of the tournament have set focus on Yuki as the main target rather than any of the other diary users despite they being easier targets from time to time.  Plus, wouldn’t it be a fun twist to see Yuki actually be more psycho than Yuno?  If the anime could pull that ending off, I’d love it, but I doubt we’ll get a finale along those lines.  Still, it’s kind of fun to theorize how the ending might happen given that I have no knowledge of future events and I’m sure those who already know the final outcomes are probably entertained by my ideas knowing they had similar thoughts when they were trekking through the manga at around this point.  Please, if you have something to say in the comments section, avoid spoilers for those of us who have yet to see the ending.

Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates) (Episode 6) – Many anime can have fun within itself but it takes a certain something to make the audience have fun with you.  Mouretsu Pirates did just that and much more in this episode by having a wild adventure and amusing episode after several serious and sci-fi filled ones.  Not to say were was a complete absence of these elements but they were merely supporting the entertainment value this episode had to offer.  The pirate raid of the cruise liner was performed to perfection, both by characters and producers.  The whole scene was full of positive energy, excitement, and above all, fun.  Hell, even the people being robbed of their valuables were laughing and enjoying the swordfights and whatnot.  It might’ve been a hefty ticket (I’m assuming it’s analogous to watching a live performance or something like what they have on modern cruises) to pay for such a privilege but they certainly loved every minute of it.  And from what it sounds like, everyone watching the anime had the same reaction, too.  Great job with the piracy Mouretsu Pirates!

Persona 4 the Animation (Episode 18) – Persona 4 seems to be able to do everything well, whether it be comedy, mystery, adventure, friendship, and now heartwarming moments.  Persona 4 has to be one of the most versatile anime out there seeing as it’s able to dabble in every genre imaginable and do a satisfying job with each.  The episode did feel a bit overemotional and dramatized at times (the mother’s death/Nanako at the preschool was a bit much for me) but the message remained clear and was communicated effectively, helping repairing the bond between Nanako and Dojima and creating a new family in which each other is loved and respected.  What’s even more impressive is that the previous episode had nothing to do with this heartwarming story but was rather all about action, adventure, and friendship.  And the next episode looks like it won’t continue off this theme as well and rather go back to being one of the best comedies out there.  It’s amazing what Persona 4 is able to do and how it can quickly transition from one to another without missing a beat.

Rinne no Lagrange (Episode 6) – Rinne no Lagrange has been full of surprises ranging from the characters to the music to the story and in almost every facet of the anime.  But perhaps the most surprising and impressive is the number of wallpaper worthy scenery shots out there.  This episode featured an absolutely gorgeous shot with the sun emerging over the concavity of the cloud-covered Earth when Madoka and Lan were flying into the stratosphere.  Stunning!  And in the previous episode, there was an angled shot from Villagiulio’s perspective of the tranquil ocean and tropical skies with the sea station off-center.  Beautiful!  And those are just my favorites, there are numerous other shots that have been simply amazing to look at and would make great wallpaper material.  The art in Rinne no Lagrange, both the character designs, environment, and mecha, is easily the best I’ve seen from a Xebec TV anime.  Might be because it’s a collaboration with Production I.G but the anime has a distinct Xebec feel, so that’s why they’re getting the credit here.

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  1. #1 by Quizoxy on February 13, 2012 - 9:43 PM

    Love to watch all of them! Just that Brave10 don’t seem to by my type.

    • #2 by avvesione on February 14, 2012 - 1:40 AM

      Yeah, Brave 10 isn’t really that great of an anime. I think the only reason I’m keeping up with it is because I’ve been longing for a samurai anime for quite some time now and found it to satisfy that desire. Plus I like most of the characters and the fighting is decent.

      Glad you’re watching everything else on this list though. There are plenty of solid anime this season.

  2. #3 by Marina on February 14, 2012 - 1:29 AM

    Opening image of Danshi Koukousei, but no actual thoughts on it? I’m curious what you’re thinking about it right now! :3

    • #4 by avvesione on February 14, 2012 - 1:43 AM

      Yeah, I decided to leave comedies out of these posts this season since I had trouble writing about them each week plus it saves me some time. As for my thoughts on Daily Lives of High School Boys, I’m loving it. Not loving it as much as everyone else it seems but it’s a fantastic comedy and wonderful satire on the current anime industry. The comedy doesn’t always ‘hit’ for me but I find myself laughing pretty hard when it does. And the girls in it are pretty cute, especially Ringo and the Literature Girl. It’s certainly one of the better anime this season and probably in my top 5 (out of 13).

      • #5 by Marina on February 14, 2012 - 3:18 AM

        Yay :) I’m glad you view it positively. I, too, am loving this show. It’s a huge surprise for me since I didn’t expect much out of it, and Literature Girl usually is my favorite skit.

        • #6 by avvesione on February 14, 2012 - 3:28 AM

          Yeah, if I were writing about it regularly, I’d be showering it with praise but it’s rather difficult to write about comedies as I have found. Still, since it’s an anime I’m watching, I decided to give it some time on my blog and give it a spot here with this past week’s episode. Also did that to Kill Me Baby (which I am also fond of but for different reasons) a few weeks ago despite not writing about it in these posts.

  3. #7 by Zammael on February 14, 2012 - 5:46 PM

    While the idea of Yukiteru being more psychotic than Yuno seems intriguing, pulling a Deus Ex Machina at the end, that it was entirely based in the loner’s imagination and reset everything back to zero would be complete trolling on the author’s part.

    • #8 by avvesione on February 15, 2012 - 12:22 AM

      I’d love it but I’d also rage. Also, if you must know, my track record for theories is almost nil. I’ve come up with some pretty elaborate and interesting theories over various anime and stuff over the years and almost all of them end up being wrong in some way or another. Wouldn’t be surprised to see if Deus Ex Machina was lying about dying and just wanted to see people kill each other or something either. I’m expecting some sort of troll ending though given how the series has progressed and how Deus Ex Machina and Mur Mur act.

      • #9 by Zammael on February 15, 2012 - 9:15 PM

        I wouldn’t worry about the accuracy of predictions — but rather whether those predictions do satisfy the internal logic of the story.

        That’s a more plausible outcome: the game is rigged, or even subverted/sabotaged by Murmur, who had actually been trolling the entire series. Perhaps that outcome would be entirely consistent with the Future Diary aesthetics — as opposed to a reset button that negates the progress of the entire drama, making it meaningless.

        I posted something along this line over at psgels.net, where the blogger complained about the lack of characterization. While this is true, it also signals a failure of understanding the internal standard established by the FD aesthetic: extremely flat characters set in near implausible scenarios. On the whole, the series has been fairly consistent in this regard — a great, self aware thriller.

        • #10 by avvesione on February 16, 2012 - 1:53 AM

          That’s true and I suppose its more fun to try to come up with explanations ourselves and see how they play out rather than trying to get the correct ending given the information presented. Still, it’d be nice to be right…

          As for the latter comment, I can understand where the blogger is coming from wanting more characterization from the characters. While you’re right bout it not being consistent with the current FD aesthetic, if they were able to characterize all the enemies throughout the anime, then it would be. Plus, it would give the battles a bit more weight since we understand the characters more and feel for their problems with the current world. But whatever, it’s not like it needs to be, just something that might be nice.

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