Spring 2012 – Week 6 Anime Review

This week: a change of perspective in Mouretsu Pirates, a question about the transformation process in Zetman, an imperfection of Medaka in Medaka Box, and some concern over anatomy in Kore wa Zombie desu ka? OF THE DEAD.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka? OF THE DEAD (Episode 6) – I’m uncertain whether this is a positive or a negative with Zombie but I can’t help but notice there’s nothing down there for Ayumu.  There’s no bulge or lump or any sign there’s anything in his panties.  It’s like he has no junk; it’s like he isn’t a dude.  It is a bit alarming and concerning that our protagonist is anatomically incomplete like this, you almost feel sorry for the guy.  But at the same time, you wonder if there’d be any disgust or fury toward panty shots that include the male anatomy properly covered.  They kinda already do that for jokes in shows where guys don speedos at the beach or pool, so why not here when Ayumu’s shimapan are used for cross-dressing or embarrassment jokes?  I do sorta feel bad for Ayumu already but I feel even worse for all the girls who are chasing after him who don’t know this terrible, terrible secret that he’s been hiding.  Ugh, maybe I’m thinking too much into this…

Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (Episode 6) – Though it always seems that Lupin wins in the end and is always in a cheerful and lighthearted mood, you have to wonder how he’d take it if he learned the girl he’s trying so hard to obtain has already done it with his archenemies, Zenigata, a few times already.  It’s a bit contradictory to think the one thing Lupin cares strongly about is the one thing he can’t win from Zenigata and the detective completely passes off the privilege as nothing more than a way to try to capture or kill Lupin.  It’s somewhat funny how Fujiko is this wildcard in their rivalry and the one thing that gives Zenigata advantage over our hero.  You’d have to wonder Lupin would react to such news but you already know he’d pass it off as some joke, swipe something valuable, and piss Zenigata off even more.

Medaka Box (Episode 6) – Though Medaka is some extraordinary being who’s able to solve everyone’s problems with her super abilities, confidence, personal philosophy, and above all, optimistic attitude, she doesn’t seem to have much modesty for how she dresses or presents herself.  I suppose it is a part of her confidence that she doesn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed when she’s naked, minimally dressed, or showing off her boobs, but it seems a bit contradictory compared to how she’s always concerned about how others think and feel and accommodating their problems.  You’d think she’d recognize how she makes Zenkichi feel uncomfortable when she’s walking around in her panties or wearing a bikini that’d probably be censored by giant beams of light if this weren’t a late night anime (but that’s also Zenkichi’s problem, too). I can’t help but think that her lack of awareness about how others feel is one area where Medaka is far from perfect.  I expect to see this change as the series continues but I wouldn’t be surprised if she never gets over her mantra of forcing her ideals and philosophies on others and assuming that she’s always right.  If I’m wrong, well then, I’d still be happy because we get more fanservice.  Hurray!!

Mouretsu Pirates (Episode 19) – While Marika is a fantastic space pirate captain and is a suitable lead for this anime, I can’t help but always wonder how the series would’ve played out had Ririka, Marika’s mother and former infamous pirate, had assumed the lead of the Bentenmaru and sailed among the stars again.  Well, for starters, the involvement of the school girls would be drastically reduced since Ririka’s connection with them would be only through Marika and I’m sure they’d be merged into the series somehow.  Still, this entire schoolgirl arc would be non-existent.  The most noticeable difference I’d assume from switching Ririka for Marika would be that we’d see Ririka interact with a number of other space personalities more, such as other pirates, space forces, governments, and various important members of the intergalactic society.  I’d prefer that since it would give a more complete image of the piracy business and perhaps put more emphasis on how special the Bentenmaru is since those are two areas, besides the space adventures and authentic piracy, that I feel are lacking with Mouretsu Pirates.  However, I do understand that Marika is a better character to lead an anime series since this anime isn’t all about getting drunk, firing lasers, and looting ships.  There’s more to Space Pirates than space and pirates, and I’m thankful the series is able to do that.  Still, I can’t help but wonder how things would be different…

Space Brothers (Episode 7) – I can’t help but enjoy myself whenever I see America get illustrated in anime.  Ranging from hilarious to just flat out wrong, it’s refreshing to be given a setting that isn’t the tired and overused standard of modern, urban Japan.  Perhaps my favorite aspect of seeing America in anime is what they get right and what they get absolutely wrong.  In Space Brothers, the architecture and environment deserve some praise since it’s able to capture a much different feel than that of Japan.  Rather than having everything packed and built up like what we see in so many anime, you can see the difference in how everything is spacious and level.  For an actual example, look at how Hibito’s rambler (I suppose since it is Texas, it would be a ranch-style) and his yard compare to any other home in anime that’s in Japan.  But beyond the good is the bad, which Space Brothers seems to have an abundant supply of, and beyond the bad is the hilarious which is pretty much made clear by whatever is on the TV.  An extensive list could be made that details all the little mistakes that Space Brothers makes about America but that’s forgivable since this anime isn’t about showing what America really is like and a number of these mistakes are things you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t in America.  But those TV broadcasts, that newspaper, and those radio programs are something else entirely.  I can’t help but be amused by the way these things are shown and think to myself that is how Japan perceives our media and entertainment.  That Texas News Network or whatever that was shown in the car was the capstone for this just given how awesome and wrong it was at the same time.  I hope the series continues to say in America for a few more episodes since it is rather amusing but I don’t think the series will see any significant progress in its story until Mutta returns to Japan and begins training at JAXA.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Episode 6) – Well, that was something completely different.  What I realized with this episode of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is that this series can be good when it wants to be good but it doesn’t always choose to do so.  Not that the previous episodes that dealt with high school hijinks weren’t good, they all had magnificent directing, provided some fun and character development, and progressed quite nicely, it’s that they were rather boring or full of overused clichés.  This episode, however, bucked the trend and showed an entire story with new characters and built up the setting and the atmosphere to higher level.  It introduced new elements to the series, as well as a new character, and used that content in a way to provide some insight into how the school views Yuuko and its ghost stories.  It shouldn’t hailed as a turning point in the series, however, since the series will likely revert to the school tropes and terrible romance that it enjoyed before, but this is an instance where it shows that this anime can be good when it chooses to do so.  I’d be happier is the anime retained these qualities and narrated stories like this in its overall goal to resolve Yuuko’s mystery.

Tsuritama (Episode 5) – So we’re in agreement that Haru and Koko are aliens who’ve come to Earth to educate teenagers about how to fish.  And while their true intentions are unknown (I still believe that story at the beginning explains everything but doesn’t supply us the details), we know that they have a fascination with fishing and water that brings them to Enoshima.  But why do they like fishing so much when Koko is able to turn herself into a fish like she was shown at the beginning of the series?  You’d think that if she and Haru were aliens who could turn themselves into fish that they’d be against fishing since they can understand what the fish are going through.  Unless their goal is to save the people of Enoshima and rescue the fish in the ocean from a monster or something, I fail to see why they’re so enthusiastic about fishing.  I’m also a bit curious about how they’re able to turn into fish or if Haru is even able to do such a transformation (so far only Koko has been shown to do such a metamorphosis).  Likewise, I’m also curious about how their mind-control water gun works but I think the fish-thingy is more important or intriguing now given that the two sibling aliens love fishing so much.

Upotte!! (Episode 6) – Whether it’s her cat ears and bushy tail, her unrefined and jovial personality, or the fact that she has some of the best humor in this series already, Galil is amazing.  Seeing her stay at the school while Sako, the sadist elf, moves on to easier targets makes me pleased since the better of that pair is staying and the one that gave me problems is gone for the foreseeable future (hopefully for good).  But I wasn’t prepared for how cute Galil would be, attempting to open the bottle of juice with her teeth (looked rather painful) or awesome she’d be when she sprayed everyone with her juice like she couldn’t see that joke happening from the moment the bottle appears on the screen.  I figure she’ll pop up in the series whenever AR18 isn’t with FNC or anyone else but I can’t help but think she’ll be used for nothing more than comic relief and be removed from any of the story or combat for the time being.  Still, her comedy and visual appeal are great additions to Upotte!!

Zetman (Episode 6) – Despite being given explanations on how Jin transforms into Zet and after watching it happen for the past few episodes, I fail to understand how this whole system works.  We’re given unsatisfying answers to this question with some sort of super gum that accelerates the process and monitors and machines that measure his evolution each time but it seems completely arbitrary until he needs to transform as a requirement for the story and readily does.  I almost wonder what the point of all these devices are if he transforms just later than expected.  It’s like the anime is creating weak drama for us by saying that Jin isn’t transforming fast enough when we already know he’ll eventually transform and defeat whoever he needs to defeat.  I’d rather the series do away with these silly things and just show them tracking Jin’s movements and actions rather than having some machines that gives completely random numbers that have no real effect on Jin or Zet.  Maybe soon he’ll master his transformation process and the series can do away with these details that add little to nothing to the series.

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  1. #1 by mwnanamai on May 15, 2012 - 1:27 AM

    I was expecting the complains about Upotte yuri surge to have reached avvesiones too ;)

    I have been thinking that maybe because of the budget, the episode count and maybe the gun-girl mythos, they didn’t want to build an arc with boys but still wanted to make dating jokes, so they took the most boy looking girl on the cast and made her in love with FNC and from there had to workout SiG connection into the script … or is my theory too convoluted :D

    Last exam Thursday, then it is Zetman marathon for me horray !

    • #2 by avvesione on May 15, 2012 - 10:02 AM

      Nah, I don’t mind yuri in anime really all that much. If there was any yuri that bothered me, it probably would’ve been Medaka Box this week since there were no romantic or sexual feelings for that kiss whereas Upotte!! had some justification though weak and sudden.

      As for your reasons on why they added it in, I’m thinking it was adapted from the manga which might mean the budget and episode count might not be reasons for its inclusion in the series. I do agree with the gun-girl statement that this anime tries to have as many guns/girls as possible since that’s a staple of the series and probably true for the manga, too. Plus it wasn’t developed further, so it’s likely there for a yuri joke and doesn’t hold too much meaning. At least that’s how I look at it.

      Good luck with your exam and enjoy your Zetman marathon!

      • #3 by mwnanamai on May 15, 2012 - 10:15 AM

        After thinking about it, it seems I enjoyed it so much because I could see lots of my own young man past dating problems in that episode … minus the automatic rifle and being showered soda by a cat girl of course.

        So next time I will just skip the convoluted theorizing, and let the power of moe work my sub-conscience :D

        • #4 by avvesione on May 15, 2012 - 10:22 AM

          Sorry to hear about your dating problems in the past but it sounds like you were able to enjoy Upotte!! just fine. And it’s probably better your past didn’t involve assault rifles or anything like that.

  2. #5 by Myst on May 15, 2012 - 4:44 PM

    You bring up a great point about the portrayal of America in Space Bros. For those of us living in the states it is easy to see the things that are incorrect, but in defense of Space Bros, the incorrect things are more amusing than anything. This compared to, for example, the portrayal of GHQ from Guilty Crown (which was definitely supposed to parody America) that was so off that it was almost insulting. Makes me wonder how American television and movies appear to foreign viewers… probably not that different from what we experience with Space Bros :P

    I like Medaka box…. I can’t justify it though… >.>

    • #6 by avvesione on May 15, 2012 - 9:21 PM

      For Guilty Crown, I think they wanted to make the GHQ seem incompetent and evil so that way the audience would side with the resistance and support the whole “free Japan” side of the anime. For Space Brothers, however, they’re working under NASA, so they’re portraying America better than what Guilty Crown did. But I guess they only went so far with their research and are basing some less important details (streets, sidewalks, television, businesses) with less care than other areas (like anything NASA related or space related).

      I do often wonder how American TV is received in other countries, especially ones with different cultures and how it is perceived. Guess anything I say here would be guess work since I have no basis of support for anything I put here.

      As for Medaka Box, it is dumb fun and sometimes, you just want to have an anime that is entertaining without a whole lotta thought into it. At least that’s why I like it.

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