Winter 2012 – Week 8 Anime Review

This week: a major change of opinion for a character in Chihayafuru, some logistical concerns in Mouretsu Pirates, and an ill-fated move in Rinne no Lagrange.

Rinne no Lagrange (Episode 8) – So let me get this straight, all these aliens from other planets are originally earthlings from 20,000 years ago?  Oh, Lagrange, why did you have to do this?  Why did you have to set a date like that for an anime like this when it was perfectly fine without it?  What began as simple background information for the completeness of the series has caused an eruption of questions for me that will never be answered or even addressed.  How did these civilizations exist 20,000 years ago with space travel technology and God-like mecha?  What did they eat (agriculture is ~10,000 years old and most modern crops were wildly different back during this era) and where did they live?  And why are there absolutely zero artifacts left behind?  Oh, it’s probably for the best for the anime to just ignore this issue all together rather than to try and explain everything since I seriously doubt it would make any sense or help the story in any way.  But the most damning of the questions and the one I want to hear the most is this: despite having the technology to create super powerful mecha 20,000 years ago, why has your technology failed to change AT ALL during these past twenty millennia?  Ugh, this is why anime should never assign dates during fantasy or sci-fi stuff.

Persona 4 the Animation (Episode 20) – Though the anime will still continue for several more weeks, it appears this will be the last comedy or entertainment based episodes with the final arc starting at the end of this episode.  It’s a shame, on one hand, since the comedy and entertainment aspects of this anime were some of the best these past two seasons and a major factor in why I feel in love with this anime the way I did.  On the other hand, it’s about time the anime settled down and focused on its story and ended its mystery with some excitement, action, and drama.  I have no complains with how Persona 4 budgeted its time since it feels like a ‘complete’ or comprehensive anime but I do wish it had continued for just one more season.  With that amount of extra time, I’m sure the story could’ve been fleshed out a bit more, dungeons could’ve been expanded further, the main cast could have shown their development more through battles or conversations or the likes, and there could’ve been more comedy and such.  Better yet, we’d have more time with Naoto in the main cast if they were all placed at these time points though I realize that wouldn’t be entirely realistic given the way the game is structured and paced.

Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates) (Episode 8) – The fact that Marika is bound to her high school still seems to indicate there won’t likely be any major missions anytime soon.  Because Marika will frequently need to return home and attend classes, she won’t be able to drift around space looking for action and adventure in every imaginable site.  Furthermore, if they do get into any pirating, they’ll likely have to make it only last a few hours because Marika will need to return home to go to school the following morning.  There is a feeling that this new ‘ghost ship’ hunt will turn into something that breaks this mold but I can’t help but feel that this mission will be broken up daily to accommodate Marika’s strict schedule and expand the mission’s timeframe well beyond what it needs to be.  The fact we saw the Space Yacht Club in the preview for the next episode supports this idea but it might work out for the best by introducing the school girls again (they were surprisingly enjoyable) for a space adventure with both teams (not to mention a princess, too!).

Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) (Episode 20) – The last time Minene had stolen the point-of-view for an entire episode was when we saw her in a comedy episode that seemed to be more fanservice (not the ecchi kind) than story.  This episode, however, was quite the opposite with more of a focus on the story at hand rather than tending to the fandom’s desires.  And this recipe worked out for the best becoming one of my favorite episodes in Future Diary.  I’ve gone back and forth on Minene’s character a few times but was extremely happy to see her in this episode being serious when required and comical whenever she could get away with it and not ruin the mood of the episode.  After this episode, I wish there were more incidences where Minene had the spotlight on her for the entirely of the episode since the episode was more entertaining as a whole and dealt more with the action (rather than Yuki which seems to be more thriller and horror elements).  That’s not the say Minene should’ve been the star from beginning to end since Yuki and Yuno’s relationship is quite an interesting and appealing aspect of the anime but I wish Minene had the camera following her around more than the few cameo appearances she seemed to have throughout the series.  Oh well.

Chihayafuru (Episode 20) – About a thousand episodes ago (actually 15) I declared my hatred for Wataya due to his intolerable and unforgivable attitude toward Chihaya and Taichi when they ventured to his new home and tried to rekindle their fragmented friendship.  Well, they say time heals all wounds, and seeing Wataya interact with the main cast again, along with playing karuta, I can say that my aversion has dissipated and only a memory remains.  Wataya, as a child, was actually my favorite of the two males but his attitude in episode 5 really irritated me by being incredibly rude and cold to Chihaya and Taichi.  Now that he’s back to playing karuta again, he’s acting like his former self and is a much more pleasant character.  Seeing him behave this way has really provoked me to reconsider his character now.  And in doing so, I approve of Wataya as a likable character.  Let’s just hope things stay like this until the end since that was the one blemish I had with Chihayafuru and it appears to have vanished completely.

Brave 10 (Episode 8) – Even though the anime is called BRAVE10, I count 11 members.  Yes, when looking at the entire cast assembled (since they are now), I count 11 people in the group.  So which one isn’t counted?  It’s quite obvious that most are, so no need to provide explanations for that, so let’s just see which ones don’t quite fit the criteria and see who the extra one is.  The two that come to mind are Yukimura and Isanami.  Yukimura should not be counted as one of the braves since he is their leader and the 10 braves are his braves, something he’s reiterated numerous times.  He assembled the entire party himself, inviting these 10 people to join him, so it’d make sense that he would not be included in the group of 10 and be the extra one.  However, the braves are the names for the warriors and Yukimura, who’s fighting skills have been on display numerous times, is a more likely candidate to be a brave than Isanami.  Isanami is, in fact, what Yukimura is protecting so considering her as a part of the group that the group is protecting, something that he is also protecting, would not make sense at all.  From this perspective, the 10 braves are here to protect Isanami which would make her the extra one.  Everyone else, however, seems to match the description of the Brave 10 exactly.  Whoever is the extra, either Yukimura or Isanami, will probably never be formally announced but it is fun to consider and open to your own personal interpretation.

Another (Episode 7) – Now that the class has decided to acknowledge Mei’s existence, it will be fun to see how everyone interacts with her and how she talks back to them.  I can imagine that a few people will attempt to be friendly and social around her but most will continue excluding her from their circle of friends and go on with their daily lives.  And Mei, honestly, I can’t foresee much change in her personality except that she will be around people more rather than not.  She claims she doesn’t harbor negative feelings toward the rest of the class for what happened but words don’t always represent feelings (could Mei be a tsundere then?) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mei remain reclusive after what happened.  But what happens now and what I’ve been waiting to see this whole time is how everyone else treats Mei and how she treats them back.  We’re finally able to see interactions between these characters after so long without.  What I’m most excited for is to see Aya, with her genki and smiling personality, talk to Mei who is her complete opposite.  Will be amazing when it happens.

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  1. #1 by Zammael on February 28, 2012 - 6:55 PM

    Lagrange might be riding that Von Daniken’s premise, that alien technology was already here in the dawn of mankind, by using circumstantial evidence. It’s not a scientific valid hypothesis but this is anime, they could get away with some fudging.

    Moreover technology doesn’t always progress in a linear line, because knowledge isn’t necessarily cumulative: e.g., we lost the Roman recipe for concrete for 1000 years, and to this date our modern concrete uses a different recipe. Roman concrete remains a mystery.

    • #2 by avvesione on March 2, 2012 - 12:55 AM

      (sorry for how late the reply is)

      I’m not sure that Lagrange is saying there was alien technology around at the dawn of mankind but that a subset of humans were able to advance their technology to the degree that they could travel freely in space and create mecha that possess super powers. At least that was my take from it when they said they were humans who were returning home. But I understand what you’re saying since from out perspective it’s almost the same argument, especially the points you presented. But that’s what leads to my second point…

      If they were able to develop this technology 20,000 years ago, wouldn’t you assume they’d make some progress in those 20,000 years to stop the mecha these girls are piloting? I do realize that there can be gaps, declines, and loss of knowledge and especially after an event like that (colonization of planets in space) may have fragmented technology development but something should’ve happened in those 20,000 years. The mecha they use are virtually the same. It’d be as if we’re still using stone tools and hunting and gathering still, well before animal husbandry or argiculture were developed. It’s just something I have trouble believing but it’s a trivial detail in an anime I like so I shouldn’t let it create a growing problem. Just something I wanted to point out and see what others though (and it seems quite a discussion developed!)

  2. #3 by Joojoobees on February 28, 2012 - 8:19 PM

    @Zammael, that’s interesting about the concrete, but I have a hard time buying into the premise as well. I have friends who think that space aliens are really the ancient Sumerian gods / fallen angels and stuff, so … I guess it works for some people.

    About the Ghost Ship: I was wondering something similar = will this force Marika to commit to a pirate adventure, even though it conflicts with her school work? They are building up something related to her work ethic, but I don’t quite know what yet.

    • #4 by Zammael on February 29, 2012 - 6:38 AM

      Not only is that hypothesis scientifically invalid, it is also ethnocentric: implies no non-European culture could have anything to contribute to history without extra-terrestrial help. I mean, really, the Egyptians could not have built those pyramids before the birth of western civilization!

      One reason why my parents hate shows like Stargare is the implied racism. Of all the scifi snows that flirt with the ancient astronaut hypothesis, only Fifth Element avoids the taint of ethnocentrism.

      • #5 by Joojoobees on February 29, 2012 - 9:21 AM

        Not to mention that the fallen angels are supposed to be the evil followers of Lucifer, so those other cultures that worked with the extra-terrestrials are also “evil” according to that narrative.

        I doubt you can convince those people they are wrong via Science, though. Some people are ready to reject anything that doesn’t fit with the grand narrative that makes them comfortable.

        • #6 by Zammael on February 29, 2012 - 3:19 PM

          That’s painfully true: science lacks the narrative myths that flatters the person for belonging to the right group and gives him the carte blanche to judge others.

          (apologies on the typos/misspellings in the previous comments)

        • #7 by avvesione on March 2, 2012 - 1:01 AM

          Yeah, and even if you prove them wrong through science, it might make them reinforce their ideas even more and shut them off to further explainations or theories on the subject. Of course, it all depends on how the situation is handled and the personality and knowledge of the person but it is a tough situation trying to prove something wrong when they respect and value it.

    • #8 by avvesione on March 2, 2012 - 12:57 AM

      I hope it’s something along those lines where Marika is taken away from her home for a while and is forced into a long and uninterrupted pirate adventure… but seeing the Princess enroll in the school in the episode is what’s keeping me from committing to that idea. I feel that both will go back to school every so often to keep it from developing into a long space saga. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something happen at school where the Princess and Marika talk that opens up the space adventure seperate from the crew. Just my thoughts though and nothing concrete… =P

  3. #9 by Myst on February 29, 2012 - 5:22 AM

    What do you think of Brave 10? Is it good? Not so good? I’m considering picking it up, but I wanna get some opinions first.

    • #10 by avvesione on March 2, 2012 - 1:04 AM

      Depends on what you’re looking for. For me, I’m watching BRAVE10 because I wanted a samurai anime and for the most part, it’s delievered. On its own merit (rather, if I didn’t have this craving for a samurai anime), I wouldn’t be watching it because it’s only mediocre to decent. Fights show off super powers and are painfully predictable, the cast is split evening between serious and silly characters (works sometimes, doesn’t others), and the comedy is mild. Overall, it’s my least favorite anime of the season but I do like the setting, a few of the characters, and some of the battles have been pretty entertaining. If you want more depth, I’ll be glad to provide it but right now, I think this basic opinion might do the job for what you’re looking for.

      • #11 by Myst on March 3, 2012 - 6:43 AM

        “Craving for samurai anime?” Haha, that sounds about what I have right now. Sounds like it will provide some satisfaction then :P

        • #12 by avvesione on March 4, 2012 - 3:46 AM

          If you’re craving a samurai anime, give BRAVE10 a shot. It’s got some other elements to it that’ll keep it fresh each week and I’m sure you’ll like Isanami as a lead female (in case you’re worried about the male dominated cast). Give it a few episodes and see how you like it.

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